Member Meetings

Meeting Schedule, 2022-2023

Our Member Meetings will be held virtually at 11am the 2nd Monday of each month. (click "+" below for meeting recap)    
  • Announcements and Upcoming Events
    1. School Spotlights
      1. April Thompson, Lakeview Academy Science Teacher, see the amazing post on IG here or Facebook here-scroll to September 7th post. Ms. Thompson participated in the Pathmaker Bridge program doing research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute over the summer.  
    2. Library Policy & LEA Specific Licenses – Deadline 10/1
    3. State Board of Education Debates online-all details are on our website here.
    4. UAPCS Board Elections. We have two open positions; please fill out an Intent to Run form if you are interested. We will hear from candidates at our October Member Meeting. UAPCS membership must be current to vote.
  • Role of Mentors 
    • Shannon Greer, Director of Training, presented on training opportunities and availability and purpose of mentors. See her powerpoint. If you would like a mentor, or have suggestions for mentors, please contact her at shannon@utahcharters.org.
  • Ratify Bylaws
    • Stephanie Schmidt, UAPCS Board Member, discussed updating the UAPCS Bylaws. To approve changes, a majority of UAPCS members schools present need to ratify the approved UAPCS board changes. A voting link was provided. Final votes will be reported on in next month’s member meeting.
  • Legislative Updates/Parent Outreach
    • Royce Van Tassell discussed including our parents in the discussions with lawmakers. UAPCS has created a page on our website (to go live soon!) so that parents can find who their Utah state legislators are and send an email to them. At times, UAPCS may have a pre-drafted statement regarding a particular issue that parents can send, or edit to personalize. UAPCS does not endorse any candidate, but does at times identifies issues that affect charter school students that need attention. As we thoughtfully use this tool, we ask that administrators and boards reach out to parents with the link so we can make sure that decisions favorable to charter schools are made.
  • Charter School Capital– Meeting Sponsor
    • Tony Soloranzo is willing to discuss any questions you may have about owning your school building, or any other finance needs. He can be reached at (971) 348-8992 or tsolorzano@charterschoolcapital.org.
  • Utah State Board of Education District 9
    • Cindy Davis appreciated the opportunity to participate and shared the following:
    • Reporting Task Force: Chair Huntsman has set up a task force to evaluate reporting requirements of LEAs with the intent to diminish those requirements. They have met once already and are meeting through December. 
    • The Law & Licensing Committee is evaluating AP and Honors courses, bullying policy, and business cases.
      • Discussion included AP/Honors question about whether a statute is driving the discussion-there is not specifically but there are funding stipulations surrounding honors and concurrent enrollment in code. AP and Concurrent enrollment classes have open enrollment, however, some of the courses leading up to those are closed enrollment, so they looking to change the rule to have continuity on those pipeline courses. The rule has more guidance than hard rule.
      • Royce brought up that at a particular university graduate program, charter schools were not approved for student teaching experiences. Cindy stated that the USBE is getting away from prescriptive requirements and moving toward competency-based certification. She was not aware of any statute or rule that would exclude charter school teaching experience.
      • Discussion on reporting requirements. The following reports were mentioned as onerous: AP/concurrent enrollment, TSSA, Grants (particularly supplemental applications), early college/gifted grants, DTL, and reports where the state has collected information and just tells you what to write. Cindy welcomes all input on specific reporting requirements.
      • Email: cindy.davis@schools.utah.gov
      • Phone: (801) 319-4117
    • Utah State Senate
      • Senator Ann Millner was not able to meet with us today after all. We will reach out to have her at our next Member Meeting.
  • Next Meeting
    • Tuesday, October 11th at 11am - Online

 

  • Welcome Back to School! We can't wait to see the great things you have planned for this school year!


  • Utah House of Representatives District 74 (replacing Lowry Snow) 
  • Neil Walter         
    1. Mr. Walter has a professional background in real estate, rural issues (including water rights), and energy-related issues. 
    2. He has been involved in politics for the last 10 years, running for congress and state treasurer.
    3. He is the board chair at St. George Academy (6 years) and Vista School (6 years on board, 4 years as chair).
    4. His wife is on the board at Vista School and he has children homeschooling, in charter school, in district school, and in higher education.
    5. Mr. Walter shared that in Washington County there are issues surrounding race and CRT that surround much of the political discussion. He supports inclusion and diversity but does not support divisiveness or labeling children by historic events of which they did not participate.
    6. Mr. Walter also would like to look at the 2019 restructuring of sales/income tax around the education fund. He believes that education funding should remain as defined in the Utah constitution.
    7. Mr. Walter is interested in investigating the possibility of an intermediate maturity fund through the public treasurer’s fund that will allow schools to get a higher rate of return on money held in reserve.
    8. Mr. Walter is also interested in determining the actual value of SITLA (school land trust) lands, including oil, gas, natural resources on the land. This will aid in understanding if the fund is performing well and money allotted to schools is appropriate.
    9. Mr. Walter doesn’t plan on entering the legislature in January with a set agenda, but is interested to listen and focus on the most pertinent topics that need to be addressed.


 

  • Legislative Updates – Royce Van Tassell
    • Paid Professional Development Funding (HB 396)
      • Educators need to put together a plan for professional development up to 32 hours outside contract hours before your school year begins.
        1. Flexibility built in to program. No set format to use for plan. Plan definitions on Lines 77-96.
        2. Must be approved by principal.
        3. Educators need plan to use paid professional hours at beginning of year and written statement at end of year to the principal how they used paid professional hours. (lines 97-103 in bill)
        4. Summer PD should be in the fiscal year: July 1, 2022 forward.
      • Staff that is included in the paid professional hours (from the bill):
        1.  (1) Subject to legislative appropriations, the state board shall provide funding to each
           62     LEA to provide additional paid professional hours to the following educators in accordance
           63     with this section:
           64          (a) general education and special education teachers;
           65          (b) counselors;
           66          (c) school administration;
           67          (d) school specialists;
           68          (e) student support;
           69          (f) school psychologists;
           70          (g) speech language pathologists; and
           71          (h) audiologists. 
      • Funding: 80% money that has been sent to the school is based on estimates. The remaining 20% will be sent to schools after final November 15 educator counts. Money can be distributed to employees based on hourly rate for up to 32 hours outside their normal contract hours.
      • Funding may be available in next fiscal year; we will watch for legislation.
    • Library Policy update


  • ETS – Meeting Sponsor  
    • Curtis Barrett, CEO, The mission of ETS is to solve the problems technology creates to reap the benefits that technology offers.
    • ETS has been a business partner to charter schools offering the following services: IT management, software development, web design, push notifications, security, classroom projectors, and electrical work (low and high voltage).


  • Next Meeting
    • Monday, September 12th at 11am - Online
  • Announcements and Upcoming Events
    • School Spotlights-
      1. Valerie Loredo, kindergarten teacher, Athlos Academy, was awarded Teacher of the Year by the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce.
      2. Top 6/10 schools named by US News & World Report are Utah charter schools:
        • #1- Beehive Science and Technology Academy
        • #2 InTech Collegiate High School
        • #3 Northern Utah Academy for Math Engineering and Science (NUAMES)
        • #4 Academy for Math Engineering and Science (AMES)
        • #5 Itineris Early College High School
        • #6 Karl G Maeser Preparatory Academy
    • National Charter Schools Week – May 8th – 14th
      • Celebrate with Toolkit from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
    • Trainings
      • May 25th, How to Plan a Board Retreat, Zoom meeting
      • New Administrator BootCamp, June 7th, 9am-12pm, Davis Conference Center, Layton, UT
    • UAPCS Conference – June 7th – 8th
    • National Conference – June 19th – 22nd
      • State Night! We’ll be heading to Camden Yards for a baseball game. 
      • Watch for email for RSVP or contact debby@utahcharters.org if your school is attending.
  • Busy Bee Therapy Services – Meeting Sponsor
    • Stormy Hill-Stormy shared the services offered by Busy Bee. The offer direct and indirect Occupational Therapy services depending on your school’s service delivery model and the needs of your students. They offer on-site and Zoom consultations to discuss your school’s needs. Call (801) BUSY-BEE. You can contact Stormy at stormy@busybeetherapy.org or Emily Colby, Outreach Specialist & Account Manager at emily@busybeetherapy.org
  • Utah State Board of Education District 12, james.moss@schools.utah.gov
    1. Jim Moss- Jim discussed the happenings of the Board of Education and his philosophy of the relationship between the USBE and local schools.
    2. Funding WPU: WPU increased 6%
    3. ULEAD: This is a legislatively established clearinghouse that identifies innovative, effective, and efficient programs to improve practices in public schools across the state. Schools are encouraged to share programs with ULEAD director, MiKell Withers at mckell.withers@schools.utah.gov. Jim is the USBE liaison with ULEAD, so please cc him at  james.moss@schools.utah.gov.
    4. Parent Engagement: This has been a hot button topic for the USBE. Jim believes that as parents engage at the local level the better. The USBE can help parents understand this and how to be involved on community councils, local school boards, etc.
    5. Funding: Priorities for USBE funding include getting money to the field for fees, transportation, etc. USBE is looking at the best use of staff to support LEAs.
    6. Licensing: It is the best interest to stop the constant change in licensing requirement and make the process predictable to teachers. With the teacher shortage, it is important to open the teaching profession to qualified talent and help them through alternate pathways of licensure.
    7. Strategic Plan Update: The strategic plan is 5 years old and needs to be reviewed. The pandemic provided opportunities to identify innovative ways to approach education.
    8. District Community Councils: Jim spoke about his experience on his local community council. When parents and school representatives can speak face to face about issues directly relating to their schools, discourse is productive because misunderstandings are resolved. The “lowest level”-the level closest to the classroom-is where discussions can be specific, detailed, and produce results. 

Utah House of Representatives District 2, jeffersonmoss@le.utah.gov

  1. Jefferson Moss: Jefferson appreciates the role that charter schools play in education. His wife is a teacher and he acknowledged the additional work that educators have dealt with through the pandemic. At the legislative session, while there were some bills to deal with “bad apples” in the profession that were overstepping bounds of classroom instruction. The bills did not pass but did convey a message that there needs to be oversight.
  2. ULEAD: This program can help reduce criticism of school choice/charter schools by showing the results from innovative programs. When we identify and share the things we’ve learned, we strengthen all schools.
  3. Education Funding and Education Innovation: Always a priority. With Education Innovation the intention is to provide autonomy to LEAs. He sponsored many education bills including innovation, paid professional hours and funding.
  4. Licensing: Licensing is not the same as employment. There needs to be baseline criteria. Talented people can be brought into the teaching profession through alternate pathways.
  5. Accountability Framework: A task force is being set up to be sure that accountability is student-based rather than aggregate-based, and is competency-focused. Chair Huntsman and Senator Ann Millner are part of this task force.
  • Discussion:
    • A director shared concern about how the “general supervision” role of the USBE/legislature has not seemed “general” but more prescriptive and “in the weeds” in schools. Rep. Jefferson Moss said that his philosophy is that educational vision, standards, and access are responsibilities of the USBE and legislature, while curriculum and pedagogy are at the local level. Implementation is local and the state supports these efforts. Rep. Moss stated that legislators need to hear directly from constituents. He suggested meeting with and building a relationship with your local legislator so they can understand your specific issues.  FIND MY LEGISLATOR
    • Board Member Jim Moss stated that the finance committee is working on consolidating legal and financial reporting to increase efficiency. He is advocating for autonomy at the local level. Member Moss requests specific examples from school leaders about what autonomy they would like to see. He would like to hear examples of what works in your schools. 
  •  Next Meeting- Monday, June 13th at 11:00am - Online

Zoom Details

 Meeting details will be send via Campaigner email prior to each meeting. 

Please provide your email to gina@utahcharters.org if you are not receiving updates from UAPCS.