Utah education news

Rift at University of Utah poses a new challenge for controversial health reformer Vivian Lee

Edward Ashwood had led ARUP Laboratories for about two years, he said, when Vivian Lee approached him in 2011 to propose a new approach for the nonprofit enterprise tied to the University of Utah. Lee, then the new senior vice president of U. health sciences, wanted ARUP to focus on innovation — to expand its focus beyond processing lab tests for hospitals nationwide to include creating inventions and “novel medical devices,” Ashwood said. He tried and felt he was making “good progress.” But Lee...

American Preparatory Academy facing $50,000 deadline as it pushes for traffic access

American Preparatory Academy must resolve its ongoing property dispute before Jan. 1 or pay $50,000 in easement fees, Salt Lake County records show. The charter school is involved in a lawsuit against its southern neighbor, Price Logistics Center Draper, over a narrow strip of land that separates American Preparatory Academy (APA) from 11950 South. That dispute has left APA functionally landlocked, relying on an easement with The Forest Corp. to allow vehicle traffic to and from the school. B...

BYU grads encouraged to keep an 'eternal perspective' and avoid exes, pornography

Provo • Bountiful native Benjamin Merrill said Thursday that it felt like both forever and no time at all since his first day of classes at Brigham Young University. The genetics and biotechnology major was dressed in a cap and gown, sitting among thousands of his fellow students and their families in BYU’s Marriott Center as they waited for the start of commencement ceremonies. “I started in 2009,” he said. “It’s taken a while, but it’s been great.” The bachelor’s degree Merrill earned on Thurs...

Lindon charter high school named Utah's best by U.S. News and World Report

The best high school in Utah is Karl G Maeser Preparatory Academy, a Lindon charter school, according to rankings released Tuesday by U.S. News and World Report. The annual rankings showed three Utah schools earning “gold medals,” based on data from statewide tests and college preparation rates. “We are excited,” Maeser director Robyn Ellis said Tuesday. “It’s nice to see that the students’ hard work and preparation is being acknowledged.” Maeser enrolls roughly 640 students in grades seven th... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Audit dings Utah's dual-immersion program for mismanagement of federal funds

Between 2013 and 2017, the Utah Board of Education potentially mishandled more than $1 million in federal funding for the state’s Dual Language Immersion program, according to a report released Monday by Utah State Auditor John Dougall. The funding, which Utah received through the Flagship and STARTALK grant programs, lacked adequate oversight, Dougall said, while the structure of the dual immersion program led to inappropriate compensation and payments between administrators at the state and s... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Teachers sign off on salary changes ahead of votes in Salt Lake County

Teachers in Jordan School District will have a choice between old and new after the district school board votes on a major overhaul of its salary system Tuesday. The option for teachers to remain in the status quo was announced Friday in response to mid-career educators who say proposed salary changes would hurt their wallets over time. “We did not want teachers to feel anxious about what was going to happen,” said Janice Voorhies, president of the Jordan Board of Education. Voorhies said the...

'I don't feel I'm worthy': Karen Huntsman surprises first two education award winners

Spanish Fork • Several years ago, some of J. Merrill Hallam’s students joked that they were planning to toilet paper their teacher’s home. Hallam responded in kind, joking that he would pay them each a visit “with a shovel” to dole out justice, keeping the threat cryptic. Since then, the Spanish Fork Junior High teacher has kept a tongue-in-cheek list with the names of rabble-rousing pupils written on the handle of a shovel kept in his biology classroom. But one shovel may no longer be enough... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Principal on leave amid SLC police investigation into alleged 'inappropriate' conduct

The principal of Salt Lake City’s Edison Elementary School has been placed on leave pending a police and school district investigation related to alleged inappropriate conduct involving a young student. Principal Laurie Lacy is being investigated by the Salt Lake City Police Department’s special victims unit, Detective Richard Chipping said. An allegation was made about the principal related to a “single incident” involving a boy at the school earlier this month. Chipping called the allegation “... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Principal of Salt Lake City's Edison Elementary on leave amid police investigation

The principal of Salt Lake City’s Edison Elementary School has been placed on leave pending a police investigation, though officials are releasing few details. Principal Laurie Lacey was placed on leave several days ago, Salt Lake City School District spokesman Jason Olsen said. He could not comment beyond an emailed statement, he said, because “this is a personnel matter.” “The district was made aware of the allegations involving the principal at Edison Elementary several days ago and immediat...

Initiative backers eye sales tax to fund Utah schools

Since November, a group of business and education leaders has pitched a seven-eighths of 1 percent income tax increase to Utah voters. The initiative, known as Our Schools Now, is in the early stages of putting the question of a $750 million tax boost for public education spending on the November 2018 ballot. But, as organizers prepare to submit their final ballot language and begin the laborious task of gathering signatures, the once-narrow guidelines of their tax proposal have begun to widen.... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

American Preparatory Academy demolishes nearby home to open emergency route through Draper neighborhood

Work began Friday on a permanent driveway linking Draper’s American Preparatory Academy to a public road, advancing a long-held goal for the landlocked school. But the development is cold comfort for school administrators, who have their eyes set on reaching a different road, and for residents in Draper’s Inauguration Park neighborhood, who saw a home demolished in the name of charter expansion. “They’ve just had poor planning to begin with since they started the school,” said neighbor Tim War...

Speak up and stand up for one another to prevent sexual assault, researcher says at BYU lecture

Provo • Lindsay Orchowski likens sexual-assault prevention on college campuses to digging at a mountain with spoons. “We all want that mountain to fall,” said Orchowski, a researcher who designs sexual-assault prevention programs. But, she asked, “how do we work together to tackle something so large?” The answer? It takes everyone to make a comprehensive difference — and students, especially, need to be involved. “We have to understand our students and what our students want and need,” she sai...

Granite School District readies tax hike to fund raises in teacher-retention race

The Granite Board of Education plans to raise property taxes this year to fund across-the-board pay raises for teachers and school administrators, the district announced Wednesday. Starting teaching salaries in the district will be bumped from $37,000 to $41,000, and current faculty members will receive a roughly 11.6 percent “market-based” raise, Granite spokesman Ben Horsley said. Amounts have not been ratified by members of the Granite Education Association, but Horsley expressed confidence... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

American Preparatory Academy's neighbors say the school erected a "spite fence" to silence critics

Good fences may make good neighbors, but a recently-erected construction barrier at American Preparatory Academy is adding to simmering tensions between the Draper charter school and nearby residents. Last Wednesday, homeowners Josh and Emily Aune hung a banner on their fence promoting ShameOnAPA.org, a website critical of American Preparatory Academy’s construction of a second campus on its Draper property. Their home is located next to the mouth of the school’s driveway on Lone Peak Parkway, ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

District approves $2.5 million demolition of Granite High School

The century-old Granite High School campus in South Salt Lake is facing its final days after a $2.55 million demolition contract was approved by Granite School District on Tuesday. District spokesman Ben Horsley said demolition is likely to begin in August after work on asbestos mitigation has been completed. Granite High School opened in 1907 and has been closed since 2009. Over the last decade, various proposals have been floated to preserve the school’s iconic structures. But after an $11.6 m...

Salt Lake City schools hopes to retain $8M in property taxes after equalization 'quirk' ends

Property owners throughout Salt Lake County will face tax adjustments this year after a 7-year-old school equalization law expires. In most cases, the changes will be negligible, such as the estimated 55-cent annual tax break that Granite School District administrators say average homeowners there will receive. But in Canyons and Salt Lake City school districts, combined effects from the changes are putting millions of dollars at stake as the byzantine revenue-sharing system among districts is... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

'Orange Is the New Black' actress to speak at SLCC commencement

Actress Diane Guerrero, known for her roles in “Orange Is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin,” will give the keynote address at Salt Lake Community College’s May commencement ceremony, the school announced Friday. Guerrero was named a White House ambassador for citizenship and naturalization in 2015 and is an advocate for immigration reform. Born in New Jersey and raised in Boston, Guerrero has spoken publicly about her experience remaining in the United States after her Colombian parents were... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Navajo Mountain robotics team headed to championships for first time

The Navajo Mountain High School robotics team qualified to compete in the FIRST Robotics Championships in Houston, Texas – an accomplishment the newly formed team never anticipated. The team is looking to raise about $11,000 to travel and compete in the championship, taking place April 19-22 in Houston. The team secured their spot in the championship after winning the Rookie All Star Award at the Idaho Regional FIRST Robotics Competition March 31- April 1 in Boise, Idaho. Team members from the r...

30 students quarantined after charter school with lower vaccination rate gets hit by whooping cough

Spring break came early at Murray’s American International School of Utah, but the holiday will be full of sick days for several students and faculty members. Administrators closed the charter school Friday, ahead of a scheduled recess next week, after an outbreak of pertussis — also known as whooping cough — led to roughly 30 students being quarantined and hundreds of absences. “Understandably there are some concerned parents,” AISU operations director Kelly Casaday said, “and our absentee ra...

Mid-career teachers feel overlooked in proposed Jordan School District salary plan

Teachers in Jordan School District got their first look this week at a proposed overhaul of educator pay, and not everyone is pleased. The Jordan teacher’s union is currently shopping the salary reform package to its members, in anticipation of a vote by the district school board later this month. The plan would pump nearly $10 million of new cash into teacher compensation. But informational meetings have reportedly generated pushback from rank-and-file educators, who worry that the focus on e...