Panguitch High School

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Approved Council Minutes

Panguitch High School Community Council Minutes

February 5, 2021

Present:  Principal Russ Torgersen, Christi Evans, Kim Harland, Gary Bennett & Jacie Torgersen

The meeting began at 8am and was held in the art room at the high school.  Christi motioned to approve the minutes from last month and Kim seconded the motion, the vote was unanimous.

Principal Torgersen wanted to give the council an update of expenditures for the year with the plan but the website was down so he was not able to do so.

The council discussed the possibility of using trust lands fund to help make more art classes available at the high school next year.  Principal Torgersen and Gary Bennett have been discussing this possibility with the Superintendent.  The FTE has been a fixed statistic in the past with the number of teachers in the school.  They are trying to find out if the teacher is paid with trust lands money then that shouldn’t be counted on that number.  The superintendent would like to go more on a class by class basis. The seniors have a smaller class and the freshman have a bigger class address it more individually than a fixed percentage.

New this year individuals have to be LEA qualified teachers which means that they have to be highly qualified and certified in the specific area to teach in that area.  An individual would have 3 years to get certified in an area. There have been some excess funds the past few years so there would be funding to help pay for a teacher to offer a few art classes next year but it might be hard to keep going every year.  The council wanted to make sure to have some money available for technology and some of the other goals in the plan and not just spend it all on salaries.

There is an individual who is interested.  They would teach music; choir and keyboarding.  This is an option that is already available at the school.  Mrs. Natalie Perkins teaches a choir class and they do some keyboarding in that class. Principal Torgersen and Mr. Bennett feel like offering some hands on art classes would be of greater interest to the students.  Kim Harland mentioned that Piute High School has a great choir and music program right now.  They have a very dynamic leader who gets them excited about doing it.  We would need to find the right person to get the kids excited about music.  Panguitch High School has not had a music program for a long time and doesn’t really have the music background in place.  The music culture is not in place in the community.

Christi Evans asked about online art options.  Mr. Bennett said it is hard for hands on art to be taught online.  The possibility of having Kara Syrett teach over zoom from Bryce Valley was also discussed.

The council would like to move forward in finding/hiring someone to teach art classes next year part time with trust lands funds.

Christi Evans motioned to adjourn at 9am and Kim Harland 2nd the motion, the vote was unanimous.

The next meeting will be held on March 5, 2021 at 9am.

January 8, 2021

Present:  Principal Russ Torgersen, Christi Evans, Mike Sarles, Ben Cox, Kim Harland, & Jacie Torgersen

The meeting began at 8am in the library.  Principal Torgersen reviewed the items that the trust lands money has been spent on this year so far.  He told the council to be thinking of next year’s plan and how they would like to spend the money.  The drama program has been funded out of the trust lands money in the past.

Christi Evans would like to see if the meeting can be changed next time so that the council can get the school counselor, Gary Bennett to come and the teacher representative.  She would like to check with the teachers and see if there is anything that they need, specifically regarding online teaching.

There are a variety of online classes offered at the high school.  A lot more students have started doing online schooling for the convenience of it.  They can still participate in extra- curricular activities if they choose to do online schooling.

The council would like to see a goal added into the new plan to include the library.  It would be good to be able to fill the library with books and equipment now it has been redone.  Recreational reading is a great benefit to kids and the council would like to make the library a place where the kids can come and use it.

Mike Sarles asked about possibly hiring a music teacher with the trust lands money.  It would be good to have some music classes offered.  He is aware of Cindy Coombs who just moved to Panguitch and has a teaching license for music.  Principal Torgersen said there is a need for arts at the high school.  Students do need some art credit to graduate and the only arts class that is offered right now is Miss Caine’s digital photography.   They had Mrs. Syrett teaching art at the high school the last couple years and that went well but she was offered a position in Bryce Valley where she lives.  It is important to have the right person in the arts program.  Everyone felt like that would be a great idea to offer some art/music classes at the high school.  Ben Cox felt like the students would enjoy hands on art more than music.  Jacie Torgersen suggested seeing if someone in town would be willing to teach part time so a couple classes could be offered.

As of today, there is only one teacher that is quarantined.  There have been two student athletes who have chosen to get the antibodies test and have been cleared to play from that.  There was a COVID test administered over the Christmas holidays and 10 athletes tested positive at that time.  Mr. Torgersen has been working with the wrestling team to test so that athletes could be out of quarantine to wrestle in region.  If they do not wrestle at region then they could not wrestle at state.

The next meeting will be held on February 5th at 8:45am.  The meeting was adjourned at 9am.

High School Community Council

December 4, 2020

Present:  Principal Russell Torgersen, Ben Cox, Mike Sarles & Jacie Torgersen

The meeting began at 8am and was held in the art room at the high school.  The high school did their first round of COVID tests this week for the athletes.  There were 2 athletes that tested positive.  From those 2 athletes there were 26 students that were exposed that had to be sent home to quarantine.  They can come back in 7 days with a negative test which can be done at school.  If a student or athlete tests positive for COVD-19 then they will not need to test again for 90 days.

Mr. Cox asked about the antibody test and wondered if someone tested positive for the antibodies if this would also exempt them from further testing for 90 days.  Principal Torgersen didn’t have any information on the antibody testing at this time.

There was a video that came on the email from the State Trust Lands.  Mr. Cox said that he watched it,  it was short and didn’t take a lot of time.  The other members of the council will look for it.

The biggest part of the budget is technology right now.  The school district is working on a My-fi receiver which basically creates a hot spot at the school.  This is something that the council could consider purchasing with trust lands funds to send home with kids for online learning if they do not have wi-fi available.

Mr. Torgersen wanted to thank all those that we involved in the Gratitude Lunch for the teachers.  They were very grateful and appreciative of it and it was a good thing to boost their moral.

The drama students are still moving forward with the play.  They do not have to test like the athletes at this time because they are not competing against other schools.  They are going to find a time to do the play with a limited number of tickets available and performing it multiple nights so people will have the opportunity to attend.

The school plans on doing their next round of testing on a Monday morning at 7am before school starts.  This way the school shouldn’t have to quarantine as many students due to exposure because they only have to go back 48 hours and the 48 hours would be on the weekend.  Mr. Torgersen hopes this will help eliminate some of the quarantine by exposure.

This is a hard time for everyone right now.  There are 3 students in the school that have had suicidal thoughts since the last meeting.

Mr. Cox let Mr. Torgersen know that the council is here to help him if he will just reach out and let them know what they can do.

Mr. Sarles motioned to adjourn and Mr. Cox seconded the motion, the vote was unanimous.  The meeting adjourned at 9am.

Panguitch High School Community Council

November 6, 2020 – 8AM

Present:  Ben Cox, Kim Harland, Christi Evans, Jacie Torgersen, Mike Sarles &

            Principal Russ Torgersen

The meeting was held in the art room at the High School.  The council reviewed the trust lands budget account #5420.  On goal #7 Principal Torgersen has purchased keyboards to go with surfaces for the teachers to use at home.  10 keyboards were ordered at $120 each so this will show up on the budget next time.  There was also a $5,000 purchase made for the IXL program at the high school yesterday.

Principal Torgersen made sure everyone was getting the emails from the Trust lands.  Some members watched the videos and were able to attend the fall training online.

Ben Cox brought up a program called BARK which is a filtering system in G suites.  He is on a safety committee with his work and this program is used in Piute County and it works well.  He would like to have the school check in to it.  Principal Torgersen will talk to the technology director and see if it is something that they could get.

Principal Torgersen gave an update on the school.  As of two days ago all people that were quarantined were back in school.  There were no positive tests or active cases at this time.  Several students that were high risk were nervous and have gone online by choice.  If they choose to go online, they have to stay online for the whole term.  There was one new quarantine today of a staff member. Sporting events are being scrutinized at this time, but those decisions will come from UHSAA and will not be made at a school or district level.  The kids are wearing their masks in school and the faculty is trying to keep things as normal as possible at the school.  The new locker rooms are done, and the gym floor will be finished next week.  The library remodel has started, and they are moving forward with that.

Students are scared and nervous right now with everything that is happening with the pandemic and also the election.  The teachers are overwhelmed and stressed along with everyone else, but they are doing their best.  Kids being able to be involved and participate in things right now along with attending school in person is huge to their mental health!  The community council was brainstorming ideas of how they could help boost the moral at the school and thank the students, the faculty and staff for who they are and the good things that they are doing.  Ben Cox thanked Principal Torgersen for all that he is doing to keep kids in school and support them.

The next meeting will be held on December 4th at 8am.

October 2, 2020

Middle School & High School Community Council

High School Art Room


Present for High School:  Principal Russ Torgersen, Ben Cox, Kim Harland, Jacie Torgersen, Christy Evans, Gary Bennett & Mike Sarles

Present for Middle School:  Kolbi Frandsen & Callie Ward

Other Members for Middle School Council are Vonnie Parkin & Megan Cooper.

Principal Torgersen said that a chair and vice chair needs to be appointed for each council and review their plans.  He said each member will be receiving an email from the State Trust Lands and some links for training.

The high school plan was reviewed first.  Goal #1 may need to be adjusted because there is not an art teacher this year and she was paid for out of the trust lands money.  There is still the choir and drama program functioning that is also paid from here.

Goal #7 is a specific request from the state to more effectively utilize distance/remote learning through technological connections.  There are some students who are quarantined right now so this is something that can be worked on and improved to help the teachers have the equipment they need to do online teaching.  They are working on getting the teachers keyboards to go with their surfaces.

Goal #8 is happening right now which is why we are meeting in the art room.  Goal #8  states: The library will be upgraded in order to provide a study place or better access to literature and reference materials in support of classroom assignments.  The library is being gutted right now and the remodeling has started.  The district is helping to do the work and fund the project.  Brynnlee Savage is in an architect design class at college and will be helping to make a design for the library.

Mr. Torgersen will email a list to each of the council members of what they can and can’t spend the trust lands money on.  This money is allotted to the school each year to spend but there are a lot of rules and regulations on how the money can be used.  This money is to be spent each year and not carried over.  There will be a teacher representative on each council.  Mr. Bennett and Mr. Torgersen will serve on both councils.  The goals that are being reviewed right now were set by last year’s council.

The middle school plan was reviewed goal by goal.

Gary Bennett said he is working with Dixie State to try and offer a CNA class for high school seniors.  If this happens he would need money to help pay for the teacher to teach the class.  Mr. Torgersen said it would also be a possibility to hire a librarian once the library is ready to go again.

Callie Ward nominated Megan Cooper to be the Chairperson for the middle school council and Vonnie Parkin to be the Vice Chair.  Kolbi Frandsen seconded the motion.  The middle school council will meet at a separate time next month and it will probably need to be in the afternoon after Vonnie is done teaching preschool.

Ben Cox nominated Christy Evans to be the Chairperson for the high school council and Kim Harland seconded the motion. Christy Evans nominated Ben Cox to be the vice chair and Kim Harland seconded the motion, the vote was unanimous.  The High School council will meet on the 1st Friday of each month at 8am.  The next meeting will be held on November 6th.

Another responsibility of the council is to monitor online safety.  There was an issue at the school lately on Instagram that Mr. Torgersen discussed with the students.  It was a page called “Panguitch Secrets” that was started.  He just wanted the council members to be aware.

Ben Cox motioned to adjourn at 9:10am and Mr. Torgersen 2nd the motion, the vote was unanimous.