CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION
June 6, 2006 6:00 p.m.
Public Safety Building
3925 W Cedar Hills Drive, Cedar Hills, Utah
Present: Mayor Mike McGee, Presiding
Council Members: Joel Wright, Darin Lowder, Jim Perry, Charelle Bowman, Eric Richardson
Konrad Hildebrandt, City Manager
Kim Holindrake, City Recorder
Rich Knapp, City Accountant
David Taylor, Assistant to the City Manager
Courtney Hammond, City Meeting Transcriber
Others: Steve Kroes, Rob Smith - Alpine School District, Gary Seastrand - Alpine School District, Karissa Neely - New Utah, Jared Page - Deseret Morning News, Craig Frank-Utah State House of Representatives, Cliff Chandler (6:37 p.m.)
1. This Work Session of the City Council of the City of Cedar Hills, having been posted throughout the City and the press notified, was called to order at 6:10 p.m. by Mayor McGee.
2. Presentation by Alpine School District (6:10 p.m.)
Rob Smith and Gary Seastrand from the Alpine School District were present to answer Council Members’ questions. Mayor McGee said he was interested in teaming with the Alpine School District for a recreation center. Rob Smith said that the District is willing to work with the City on the feasibility study. The Council said that they would like all of Cedar Hills to go to the same high school. Gary Seastrand stated that the District constantly looks at boundaries. In a possible district split, Cedar Hills is in an interesting position for school boundaries.
Rob Smith said that the Alpine School District is one of the most efficient districts in the country and also has great performance. Mayor McGee said that the number one concern he hears from people is that they feel the District is too big and their voice is not heard by the District administration. C. Perry said that he ran for the school board and daily hears from people asking for the City to get out of the District because people don’t feel they are being heard. Rob Smith said that part of the problem is perception. Many constituents feel that if their concerns or needs aren’t addressed immediately, even if it doesn’t balance with the needs of the rest of the District, the perception is that they are not being listened to.
The Council and District representatives discussed the math program. There are two approaches: traditional and standards-based (Investigations Math). In the upcoming year the District Review Committee will select one curriculum of each approach. Local school communities can then choose which one will be used in the school. Each school will create a group of people, including parents, to decide which curriculum is best for the community. The group will include PTA executive board, school community council and other parents. Mayor McGee asked the District reps to consider giving more voice to the parents in the decision-making process. C. Richardson asked whether it is possible to have curriculum chosen by class rather than by school. Gary Seastrand said that you need to be consistent with the program and cannot decide by grade level. C. Bowman said that she feels that allowing each school to choose is a bad idea. She would like to see a traditional program supplemented with investigations. C. Lowder said that he would like to see a balanced approach with more emphasis on traditional. C. Wright said he believes that parents need to be in control of the situation.
Rep. Frank said that charter schools have the same number of special education students as public schools, within a percentage point or two. That number varies from grade to grade. C. Perry said that he thinks that the District needs to look at teacher accountability, discipline and listening to parents. C. Wright sees the Alpine School District at odds with Cedar Hills in three ways: division of Cedar Hills (high school boundaries); the bond election, which will tack on $10,000 in taxes with no benefit; and investigations math. He would like to see a school district formed with American Fork, Highland, Cedar Hills, and Alpine.
3. This meeting was adjourned at 7:12 p.m. by Mayor McGee.
/s/ Kim E. Holindrake
Kim E. Holindrake, City Recorder