SANDY — Examining school buildings and boundaries are just two of many top priorities set by the freshly formed East Jordan School Board.

The seven-member board brainstormed areas of concern during a study session at Jordan School District offices in Sandy Tuesday night. The members then ranked their ideas.

Other big issues include switching middle schools to junior high school models; improving relationships with public officials, especially legislators; reducing class sizes; deciding on board compensation and benefits; setting policies; slating board operating procedures; and discussing shared services and interlocal agreements.

The board is discussing a naming process for the district and has been doing final interviews of two candidates for superintendent: Dave Doty, 43, of Sandy, assistant commissioner and director of policy studies with the Utah System of Higher Education in Salt Lake City; and Martin Bates, 41, of Salt Lake City, an assistant superintendent for Granite School District in Salt Lake City.

The board plans to announce its superintendent selection next week.

Some ideas brought about intense discussion during the brainstorming session Tuesday but received a low grade in importance during the prioritization process.

East Board President Tracy Cowdell brought up the issue of a four-day school week, pointing to the recent positive attention Rich School District has received from state education officials regarding the district's innovative program.

Cowdell said he doesn't necessarily favor a four-day school week but said it probably merits study for east Jordan district.

"Think about busing alone," he said.

Rich District is in the rural northeast area of the state. While the initial goal of the four-day school week was to reduce student absences, a side benefit is the decrease in transportation costs. The district is saving about $1,500 each week from not having to drive students to and from school one day a week, according to Rich District Superintendent Dale Lamborn.

East board members also discussed being more environmentally conscious while saving money. "It's something an entity the size of east Jordan district ought to consider," Cowdell said.

Other issues brought up include helping parents be more accountable for the education of their children; boosting teacher morale; looking at traditional vs. year-round schools; and having a student representative on the board.


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