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Monday, 16 August 2021 08:52

Parent Letter - August 3, 2021

August 3, 2021

Dear Parents, Students and Families of Weber School District:

We are excited to welcome you back to the 2021-22 school year! Our teachers are so excited to meet your children as we return to school. There’s no doubt that the last school year was a tremendous challenge for every one of us. While last year may have been one of the most difficult school years, we believe that this upcoming year may be one of the most important! We have been preparing all summer for the return of your students. Following are important informational matters as we begin the 2021-22 school year:

Academic Learning Loss

Learning may have been disrupted for some students due to a variety of factors related to the pandemic. Under the direction of our curriculum department (led by Sheri Heiter) we have carefully analyzed student data to determine areas that we may need to focus on as we rebound from the effects of the pandemic. Teachers have gone through professional training in important areas and are even better prepared to address potential areas of academic learning loss. Our school district has strategically distributed Federal Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds directly to schools and they will be developing plans to work carefully with students and families. We encourage you to speak to your principal for local community plans to support student learning.

Face Masks

We understand that as a state and nation we are beginning to experience another spike in COVID-19 case counts. Local and state health officials are beginning to recommend the wearing of face masks when in-doors. While we will invite those who choose to wear a mask in school to do so, we will not require the face coverings. In fact, during the last session, the Utah Legislature passed HB 1007 which prohibits school districts from requiring face coverings in school during this upcoming school year.

Test to Play

Last year, our high school athletes and students participating in extracurricular activities went through “test to play” protocols every two weeks. We will not begin the school year requiring these students to test regularly in order to participate; however, should case counts begin to rise at a local level, we may strategically institute the “test to play” protocol in order to keep our students playing.

Contact Tracing and Quarantining

We will still be required by the health department to contact trace, notify and inform students and employees who have been exposed to COVID-19. Any student or employee who has:

  1. Been fully vaccinated;
  2. Had COVID-19 within the last 180 days; 
  3. You and the person who tested positive were both wearing masks at the time of the exposure;
  4. You were wearing an N95 or KN95 mask, even if the person who tested positive was not wearing a mask.

will be exempt from the recommendation to quarantine. Education leaders across the state have worked with health department officials and legislative leaders to also exempt from the quarantine recommendation those students or employees who agree to wear a mask for the 10-day quarantine period so that they can remain in school.

Test to Stay

Our goal this year is to keep students in school! Test to Stay is one more tool that the legislature has provided to help us achieve that goal. Last year, the health department and governor’s office implemented a 1% threshold that required schools with 1% of their overall school population testing positive for COVID-19 (or 15 for schools with enrollment less than 1500) to move into a two-week school closure. This year, SB 107 doubled that threshold to 2% (or 30 for schools with less than 1500 students). Fortunately, SB 107 now provides a way to keep students in school. This is how SB 107 outlines the “Test to Stay’ option: should a school hit that threshold in positive COVID-19 case counts a “Test to Stay” strategy would be implemented. Those students who test negative (trained personnel would administer the test) or who are fully vaccinated could continue attending school in-person. Those who test positive (or refuse to test) would simply move to online learning for a ten-day period. It should be noted that with the 2% threshold, Weber School District would never have had to close one of our schools last year.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Weber School District will not require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, we will partner with the Weber Morgan Health Department to sponsor an after-school clinic for those families who choose to vaccinate their children ages 12-18. Those clinics will be held at select secondary schools during the week of August 30th. A follow-up clinic will be held exactly four weeks after that date at the same location. Of course, participation in one of these vaccine clinics is completely voluntary. Additional information will be sent to you from your child’s school.

This information represents the latest guidance from the Utah State Legislature and the Governor’s Office. We recognize that things could change and new laws would then dictate our policies and practices. As a school board and superintendent, we wish to express to each of you how much we appreciate your remarkable support. We believe we have the finest parents, students and families anywhere! As we work together on behalf of children, we are confident that we can continue to navigate any complexity encountered. Thank you for all you do and we look forward to a highly successful school year!

With Great Respect and Appreciation,

Board of Education Members

Jon Ritchie – Board President Dean Oborn – Board Vice-President

Doug Hurst – Board Member Paul Widdison – Board Member

Janis Christensen – Board Member Bruce Jardine – Board Member

Jan Burrell – Board Member

Superintendent Assistant Superintendents

Dr. Jeff Stephens Lori Rasmussen Art Hansen

Monday, 02 August 2021 07:30

Reporting Harassment / Discrimination

Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information listed for the Title IX coordinator, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. 


Sexual Harassment Prohibited by Title IX


Sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

    1.   An employee of the District conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the District on
          an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual misconduct; (quid pro quo)
    2.   Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively
            offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the District’s educational program or
            activity;
    3.   “Sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C.
            12291 (a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in
            34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30) 

Alleged conduct that does not rise to the level of the sexual harassment under Title IX will be addressed in accordance with other District policies that prohibit sexual harassment and/or sex-based discrimination, or other forms of inappropriate conduct, as is deemed appropriate.

Monday, 02 August 2021 07:29

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 USC §1681)

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.  


WSD Title IX Coordinator

Art Hansen
Assistant Superintendent
5320 Adams Ave. Parkway
Ogden, Utah 84405
801 476-7826


Art Hansen (Title IX Contact - Sexual Harassment) - 801 476-7826  
Clyde Moore (Title IX Contact - Athletics) – 801 476-7878
Jamie Ellis (Title IX Contact – Discrimination and Equity) – 801 476-7865  
Larry Hadley (Title IX Contact - Complaint Against An Employee) - 801 476-7804  

Resources

Policies 4120 Student Discrimination and Harassment, 4121 Student Sexual Harassment, 7100 Employee Harassment and Discrimination 
USBE Title IX Website
U.S. Department of Education – Title IX
Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities
WSD Sexual Harassment Complaint Form 
Informal Resolution Process

Link to Title IX Training Materials Utah Attorney General's Office)
Link to Title IX Training Materials (Heidi Alder - Legal Counsel)
Link to Title IX Regulations Training Video (Utah State Board of Education)

Non-Discrimination Statement

Weber School District is committed to ensuring a safe learning and working environment for all our students and employees. Weber School District prohibits discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), or retaliation on the basis of race, color, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other legally protected classification in all educational  programs, activities, admissions, access, treatment, or employment practices. Board Policy 4120 and 7100 prohibits discrimination based on race, color and national origin, sex, handicap or disability, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,  and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Access Act, and Utah Code 34A-5-106. Other related Weber School District Policy 5201 - Bullying Policy. Related inquiries and complaints may be directed to a school administrator or to the Weber School District Director of Equity, Justice, and Inclusion (801) 476-7869. You may also contact the Office for Civil Rights, Denver, CO, (303) 844-5695 or, if you believe you have been discriminated in your employment, the Utah Antidiscrimination and Labor Division (UALD) at (801) 530-6801 or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at 1-800-669-4000..

Thursday, 06 October 2011 12:40

October Superintendency Message

Lex Puffer, Asst. Superintendent of Weber School DistrictIn the new Common Core State Standards Initiative, college and career-readiness standards have been incorporated into the K-12 standards which will enable educators to better prepare students for the 21st century. The Utah State Board of Education gave permission for school districts to take time to implement training of the core to educators. The WSD Board of Education granted a full school day for the purpose of training, planning, collaboration and application of the new core. On September 30, elementary and secondary educators gathered together in several different locations across the district for general and subject-specific training and teacher development. The focus of the day was centered on speaking, listening, writing and comprehension of informational text across all curricular areas. Teachers have indicated that the Common Core training day was valuable and impactful. We are currently in the process of gathering more data from educators to help determine the level of effectiveness of the training and how to improve similar trainings in the future. We appreciate the members of the WSD Board of Education for their support in allowing educators this valuable opportunity for planning and preparation, collaboration with colleagues and opportunities for growth and learning.

Monday, 12 December 2011 10:07

December Superintendency Message

lindacarverI have had the pleasure on numerous occasions to speak to University students within their educational departments throughout the State of Utah.  Without exception, the overriding concern they share is the availability of employment opportunities.  Many, many times I have been asked if we ever hire new teachers.   It has been interesting to watch their reactions when I inform them that we have hired well over one hundred new teachers for the past three years. They then mention they have heard rumors that we have imposed a hiring freeze.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It is accurate that prior to these years, we have hired slightly more teachers, but the demand for new teachers is still great.  This past year we also hired over one hundred classified employees.

"Weber School District is committed to provide educational experiences which motivate each student to become a lifelong learner, attain academic and personal potential, and enter the workforce with the necessary skills." This mission statement is our number one priority but it is noteworthy that in addition to providing academic excellence,  we are also the second largest employer in Weber County, the first being the IRS.  We have over thirty-three hundred caring employees that contribute a great deal to the community and economy of Weber County.

Thanks to all.

Monday, 02 January 2012 10:33

January Superintendency Message

Recently, I finished re-reading Notebooks of the Mind, a fascinating book that explores how creative people think and examines the human mind working at its highest potential.  In particular, one phrase caught my attention--"the legacy of distant teachers."  The author, Vera John-Steiner, described the critical role that teachers play in shaping lives.  I began reflecting upon the "legacy of distant teachers" who have impacted me.  The list of memorable teachers was long; however, I do want to briefly mention one very special teacher—Janice Cashmore-Allen.

I opened the newspaper on New Year's Day to learn of Janice’s passing.  I student taught with Janice 28 years ago at South Ogden Junior High School.  Janice was a master teacher and the consummate professional.  She was my friend and mentor and will be greatly missed.  When I consider "the legacy of distant teachers" in my life, Janice is at the top of the list.  Although no longer with us, Janice’s influence on my life continues.  Therein is the legacy of a teacher!

Since becoming superintendent, I have been in dozens of classrooms throughout our district and observed numerous master teachers.  Weber School District is fortunate to have dedicated, caring teachers and professionals who shape and impact children's lives.  One paradox of teaching is that although typically occurring in large-group settings, the effects are always individual.  Great teachers possess the capacity to connect with each student.  These connections are held not in teachers' methods but in their hearts.  Although the rewards of teaching are not always tangible, be assured that you will be among "the legacy of distant teachers" as your students reflect on those who have influenced them.  I thank each of you for your great efforts!

Wednesday, 01 February 2012 10:33

February Superintendency Message

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. will require at least an associate’s degree or a post-secondary vocational certificate. In the near future, employers will be hiring individuals with technology education training more than any other group. Higher level knowledge and skills are not only requisite for traditional college bound students but also for those students who are entering the career fields of technology. Weber School District (WSD) is meeting this demand by offering secondary students the opportunities to learn from well-qualified instructors to help prepare them for future employment in the real world of technology application.

WSD’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) offers a multitude of educational opportunities, courses, internships, and student organizations to better prepare students with 21st Century knowledge and skills. Many of the high school CTE courses in WSD offer Concurrent Enrollment (CE) credit through many of Utah’s colleges and universities.

Worked Based Learning (WBL) opportunities are provided to qualified 12th grade students. Through this program, apprenticeships and internships are available at participating local businesses, medical facilities, schools and government entities.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) gives students hands-on pre-engineering courses and provides a rigorous curriculum of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). PLTW is a national program that is offered in all 50 states. Recently, WSD’s PLTW program housed at Two Rivers High School, received the “Model School Award for Leadership” in STEM education. Only 16 of the participating 4,200 schools received this distinguished honor.

Secondary schools in WSD can become actively involved in a variety of CTE classes ranging from business, health sciences, technology, robotics, computer technology, and digital electronics to manufacturing, construction, automotives, welding, architecture and engineering ….. and everything in between. Through the CTE programs, students can also engage themselves in several different student organizations to help enhance their interest and abilities in CTE.

As a district, we are very fortunate to have such dedicated, professional CTE leaders and instructors who enhance and multiply the learning opportunities of our students. We are also deeply appreciative of the army of local business, medical, school and government leaders who have partnered with us to help students better prepare themselves for future educational and career opportunities.

Lex Puffer

Monday, 05 March 2012 09:17

March Superintendency Message

lindacarver

Our schools have great leadership, highly qualified teachers, exceptional, supportive staffs and motivated students. We are well-organized and operate with great efficiency under normal conditions; occasionally however, a situation may arise that causes a school to face unusual demands, this may be due to the death of a student, faculty member or another unexpected and unpredictable event.  During such an emergency, our schools must maintain day to day operations as well as try and meet the needs of those affected by the crisis.

In our schools, a crisis can impact many or a few individuals, including not only students, but faculty as well. Depending upon the nature and impact of the crisis, Weber School District has in place a team of individuals under the direction of Bob Wood, Student Service’s Director and Sara Allen, Student Services Coordinator, that respond to help the schools when requested by the principal. The team is comprised of counselors from different school levels, Student Services Coordinators and the Student Services Director

The District Crisis Team is available to each school, if it is determined that the event will have a significant impact on the students and/or faculty. A phone call from the school principal, to the Director of Elementary or Secondary Education, is all it takes to start the process. From there, they contact the Director of Student Services who activates the team. Help from the district team will vary, depending upon the needs of the school; how many people are impacted; when and where the incident occurred; and if it involves a death or serious injury. 

In the day-to-day operations of a school, the administration and counseling staff will handle many smaller crisis situations. The district crisis team’s job is to help the principal and counselors when they may be in a position where they don’t have enough resources on hand. The team is there for support and to coordinate any additional services as requested. This may include communicating to parents of distraught students; organizing a place for impacted students to meet for additional support; and a sympathetic ear for affected faculty members. The team’s primary purpose is to help when help is needed and remain at the school as long as necessary.

After the crisis situation, the team coordinates with the school principal and school counselors to make certain their needs have also been met. Our Crisis Team is one of the best in the State and is called upon frequently to train other teams within the region. We are grateful to have such a well-qualified and professional team. 

Friday, 30 March 2012 17:56

April Superintendency Message

Jeff Stephens, New Superintendent of Weber School DistrictRecently, the Weber Board of Education officially announced their intent to hold a bond election on June 26, 2012. Following months of study, the board has determined to bond for $65 million dollars. Most importantly, these bonds can be issued without increasing tax rates. Being able to bond without increasing property tax rates represents wise and prudent fiscal management on the part of our board of education. Successful passage of the bond election will address growth in student population as well as several aging facilities. The average age of the schools recommended for replacement is 68 years. The following projects have been identified by the board:

  1. Replacement of West Weber Elementary School (Built in 1928);
  2. Replacement of Wahlquist Junior High School (Built in 1942);
  3. Replacement of North Park Elementary School (Built in 1959);
  4. 10-Classroom Addition at Rocky Mountain Junior High School;
  5. Replacement/Consolidation of Club Heights (1942) and Marlon Hills (1961);
  6. Remodel of gym, cafeteria, and auditorium at North Ogden Junior High;
  7. Address growth in the north and west through either a new elementary school or additions on existing schools.

We recognize that the above list does not include all the needs in our district. A bond that addressed all the needs in our district would require a significant tax increase. It is important to note, however, that when major construction projects are being addressed with bond money, it frees up local capital dollars to address other needs throughout the district. Hence, every school and community benefits from a successful bond election.

This list of projects represents an aggressive construction plan. Because construction costs and interest rates are currently very low, the school board has concluded that this is an optimum time to address our growth and aging facilities. These are projects that will need to be addressed at some point. Delaying replacement and construction would likely result in a significant increase in overall cost.

During the months of April and May, I will be visiting each faculty to discuss the bond and answer any questions from our employees. Thank you for your remarkable support and extraordinary professionalism!

Tuesday, 08 May 2012 07:43

May Superintendency Message

Jeff Stephens, New Superintendent of Weber School DistrictAs we come to the conclusion of another school year, I wish to express my deepest appreciation to each of you for your tremendous efforts, which have contributed to a successful year. Every time I visit schools, I am overwhelmed by the remarkable dedication and professionalism of all Weber School District employees. Each of you makes a difference in the quality of educational experience that children have in our schools. Thank you!

I enjoy the poem by Marge Piercy called, “To Be of Use.” The poet begins with these lines:

“The people I love best jump into work head first…”

The poem goes on to describe people working together collaboratively who “harness themselves” to a task and then pull with “massive patience.” I love that phrase—massive patience. And, I know that sometimes our work requires just that—massive patience! Your efforts with young people who are learning to make good decisions and maturing in their personal development can be challenging at times. But, these same young people look to you as role models and examples. You are a stabilizing and anchoring influence in their lives. Think of the deep respect you have for memorable teachers in your past. That is precisely how our students feel about you!

Piercy’s poem concludes with a statement that people cry out to be engaged in “work that is real.” Without doubt, our work is real. You impact real lives in a very real way. As you conclude this school year and prepare for a summer break, please know how much you’re appreciated. With Highest Regards,

Jeff

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