Ribbon cutting for new school at Monument Valley

Highlighting the month for the San Juan School District was the official opening of Tse’bii’nidzisgai Elementary School at Monument Valley on September 20.
More than 1,000 local residents participated in a celebration to mark the event.
The school board met prior to the ribbon cutting for their monthly meeting.  Regarding the new school, board president Nelson Yellowman reflected on the battle to get the project completed and moving forward from that.
“We have that sense of unification back... and from this day on we should work together,” said Yellowman.  He said he is grateful to have representatives at the ribbon cutting from all interested agencies, to show the community what they have accomplished together, and move forward in  “harmony and peace and prosperity again.” 
Yellowman said it is important to remember that they have accomplished the project for the benefit of the community and the county and especially the children who will be served by the school.
The board approved a new district extra-curricular activity policy. The participation of sixth grade students in junior high sports was discussed by the board at several meetings. The policy mandates that schools sponsoring wrestling or cross country events allow sixth grade students to participate as independent participants for a reasonable fee.
Superintendant Doug Wright said that Governor Gary Herbert will be in San Juan County on October 12. Herbert will broadcast from the USU Eastern Campus in Blanding to all high school students across the state over the Ednet system. Herbert will also visit Whitehorse High School.
Wright said the district consolidated plan tracks district-wide standardized test scores over time.  There is a large gap between the test results of English language learners and non-English Language learners. The gap ranges from ten percent in the third grade to 63 percent in the 11th grade.  
The board approved several home school requests throughout the district. Yellowman asked if home schooled students are successful in their education.
Wright said they have no way of knowing as the State of Utah does not require testing for home school students.  State law requires parents to agree to do what is necessary to educate the student and there is no additional follow up.

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