Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jordan School District

I probably don't have many friends who live in Jordan School District, but just in case someone pops by this blog on accident, this is for you!

I've only worked for the last school year in JSD at Fort Herriman Middle School. It's really been a great experience. But, unfortunately, since I'm one of the last ones hired, I'd likely be one of the first ones fired. The district is facing at least a $30 million deficit next year, and will likely be cutting many teaching positions. They will be increasing class sizes, there will be fewer elective and arts classes offered (because there will be fewer teachers), and it's likely that there will be fewer supplies for students at school. But one of the biggest concerns I have is for the "extra" staff members who help the teachers so much - it is these people who's jobs are really on the line. We have a woman who comes in to make our copies for a few hours a day. It's a part-time job for her, but it saves us hours of prep time. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to wait and wait for a copy machine to be open and then to stand there and make my 200 copies for each assignment, activity, and test. I hand out a new piece of paper almost everyday for some assignment. I would not survive without the copy lady. We also have a hired hall monitor. She gets kids to class before school, between classes, and gets them out of the building after school. She's also in charge of collecting tracker sheets for the kids who have behavior problems. She is also in charge of taking a teacher's class if a substitute is running late. Both the kids and the teachers love her. Then there are the computer tech guys who help keep all of the labs running as best they can (and they aren't fabulous labs to begin with). If they are gone - no one will be left to fix the computers, and in this generation, it is imperative that students learn how to use computers for both research and making some sort of product. And there's the aides, and the assistants, and everyone else who keeps a school running as smoothly as possible. I suppose I've been spoiled, but I honestly can't see how I'll be able to spend my time grading, planning labs and lessons, contacting parents, and helping kids one-on-one if I have to worry about keeping the halls clear during lunch, and if I have to stand at a copy machine for my entire prep period.

Unfortunately, there are some grossly overpaid positions at the administrative level of the JSD. From what I hear - this is the reason that the community does not want to increase taxes - they are afraid it will go to these administrators who are already overpaid. If the money goes to keeping classes small, and to the teachers, patrons of JSD will probably be more likely to pay the extra ~$11/month in taxes. $11/month. It could save 500 jobs, and be good for the kids at the same time.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Katie's new record...

Most of Brett's family will not find this too impressive, but I think it's a record for me.... I ran (well, jogged slowly) for almost 3 miles today. I was pretty diligent at running during the summer, but since school started, I've had a hard time fitting it in. I've started back up recently, and I do think it helps me sleep better at night - I'm constantly fighting the Boren Insomnia. After my run I went to the temple and did Initiatories - I haven't done that since I went through the temple for myself a little over a year and a half ago. It's always good to go to the temple - and I needed a reminder about those particular blessings at the moment.

And that is all I've done with my day, but it's only 6:00pm, so I guess there's still some time to get something done before I go to bed. Just what something should I do....