In Frequently Asked Questions you will find answers and information regarding the following topics:
- Early Dismissal
- Early Start
- School Calendar Process
- Secondary Boundary Change
- Student Fees
- Tutoring Resources
Q: Why are my children released early from school so often?
A: We are committed to Professional Learning Communities. This means that we have high expectations for our teachers and our students. Our goal is to provide the best learning experience and academic success possible for each student. Research has proven that teachers who collaborate together, share ideas, follow standards and curriculum and share common goals and rigor can meet those expectations. We provide several minimum days of instruction for students so that we can schedule time for teacher collaboration. Assessment data has shown that those teachers who work together as a team, study data and respond to intervention, and are responsible for the learning of each individual student are making a positive difference in the lives of students.
Education entities across the United States have adopted similar methods to provide teacher experiences for their educators. In various ways, Legislative branches of our government have provided funds and mandates to fulfill this assignment.
FOR GRADES 6 AND 7 (INTERMEDIATE LEVEL)
Q: Why does my Intermediate student have to go to school so early in the morning?
A: Transportation costs are the main factor in the decision to set the school start times. Working out a schedule using the approved number of buses, the availability of bus drivers and the number of students who qualify for transportation is a very complex process. We are accountable for using State funds in an appropriate manner. The same bus and bus driver must transport a group of students of all age levels. By staggering the start times of the various grade levels, we can use our resources wisely and keep students safe.
- The decision to have students in grades 6 and 7 use the early start time allows them to be home early in the afternoon. They are at the age where they can manage their homework and other assignments without close parental superivison.
- High school students experience extracurricular opportunities and personal schedules that go into the evening so having a later start time works best for them.
- Elementary students are young and require adult supervision. They also need to be safe and traveling on a bus with older students can be problematic at times. The later start allows us to transport elementary age students in a safe manner and at the time of the day when family needs can be accommodated.
Q: Why does school begin so early in the month of August?
A: By law, school must be held for 180 days. The Washington County School District Board of Education has asked that we end the school year before Memorial Day. They have also asked that we accommodate the following holidays and breaks:
- All National holidays
- Two days for Fall Break at the end of the 1st quarter of study
- *Three days for Thanksgiving holiday
- Christmas holiday which begins at the end of the 2nd quarter of study
- Five days for Spring Break at the end of the 3rd quarter of study
- Two days for the Easter Weekend
After counting back from Memorial Day and scheduling in all of the days listed above we begin school as late as possible in August to accommodate 179 days (one day short of the required 180). Each year is unique depending on how these days fall in the calendar. Some years we can offer a longer Christmas break depending on how the weekend fits into the timeline. The School Board frequently makes suggestions to help move the first day of school as late as possible in the month of August. The calendar is approved by the Board two years out.
*Please note, we do not hold school on the day before Thanksgiving to allow for family travel. We use the SEOP (Student Educational Option Plan) to fulfill the 180-day requirement. Teachers and counselors must provide SEOP time for 6 hours either back-to-back days or one 3-hour block in the fall and one 3-hour block in the spring. These SEOP opportunities are scheduled after school hours in late afternoon or evening time slots.
SECONDARY BOUNDARY CHANGE
Q: When can we expect the next boundary change for Secondary schools (Intermediate, Middle and High School)?
A: Construction has begun on the new Crimson Cliffs Middle School. We anticipate construction to last two years and plan to open August 2018 . In anticipation of a boundary change, school administrators will submit boundary options for a new cone site. The School Board will evaluate the research before approving a boundary change for a new Intermediate, Middle and High School Boundary. Boundaries for the new Crimson Cliffs Cone-Site should be ready for approval the summer of 2017. Community boundary meetings have been conducted to provide parents and students time to become familiar with the boundary choices and answer any questions.
Q: Is a 6th Grade student required to pay school fees?
A: Yes! Utah Law 53A-12-102 amended in the 2013 General Session states that if the 6th Grade is included in a secondary school then fees may be charged for a 6th Grade student. Note: Fees are not charged for students who attend K-5 Grades.
Fee Waiver Application: http://schools.utah.gov/law/Forms.aspx
Q: Can a school withhold grades if fees have not been paid?
A: The school and school staff cannot withhold, reduce or enhance grades or credit, or withhold grades, credit, report cards, transcripts, or diplomas to enforce the payment of fees. A school may not prevent enrollment at another school and must send documentation to provide information for that enrollment.
However; a school may withhold the official student records until a student has paid for lost or damaged school property. 53A-11-806
Q: Can I set up an installment payment, an IOU or other delayed payment plans with a school to pay for fees?
A: Alternatives to simply waiving school fees may be a community service requirement and fundraisers that are appropriate to the age and condition of the student but may not include installment payments, an IOU or other delayed payment plans.
Q: What fees are waived if I qualify for a School Fee Waiver?
A: All fees that are specified in our Fee Schedule must be waived.
Q: Can a fee be waived for a class that is optional such as Early Morning Orchestra?
A: No. If a class is an optional choice for a student then the fee must be paid and is not eligible for a fee waiver. (i.e. Early Morning Orchestra requires a rental fee for the instrument, materials fee and tuning fee which must be paid in order for the student to participate.)
Q: In the School Fees Notice it states that I do not have show my eligibility documentation each year, why is the school requiring me to provide evidence of my income every year?
A: Schools may choose to view eligibility documentation each year to verify that a person's income still meets the requirements, especially if the eligibility guidelines have undergone a change. A parent may always ask for review for good cause. These options are specified in the School Fees Notice as well.
Q: Does Washington County School District provide private tutoring services?
A: Washington County School District provides intervention and remediation opportunities throughout the school year but does not offer other services outside of the school day. Utah Online provides summer school (June/July) opportunities for students in grades 9-12 who are graduation credit deficient.
Dixie State University partners with Tutor Matching Service (TMS). They offer a venue for individuals to provide tutoring services in the community. They retain a list of individuals who are interested in helping students at any grade-level or age. The tutors may set up their own fee.
Tutor Matching Service
We encourage parents to use caution when working with outside tutors who are not employees of any education entity and may not have gone through an extensive background check or fingerprinting process. Here are some suggestions for safety:
- Attend the tutoring session with your child
- Meet the tutor in a public library or other public place
- Insist on modest dress standards.