Alpine school back on top since focusing on 'whole child'

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  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    April 3, 2011 11:50 a.m.


    Not too surprising we have kids like that at our school too, though it is pretty rare that any are in trouble with the law (though I've worked with a couple over the years). We can't get rid of kids just because they don't comply. We've got a handful that we are working with to help them turn around their behavior and also hopefully enjoy school and learning more.

    The thing is a District can expell a kid from one school and send them to another. That isn't so cut and dry in a Charter. There was a student at one of the schools we would have expelled if we could. We suspended him the maximum days and I had to meet him off campus to teach his lessons during that time. He was back the next year (I went to my current charter) and behaving a lot better from what I was told.

    It sure would be nice to be selective, but as a public school we have no choice in who enters the lottery or who attends the school. There are very strict guidelines handed to us by the State.

  • Fred44 Grantsville, Utah
    April 3, 2011 10:26 a.m.


    I was with you all the way until your last two sentences of your second post. You actually can pick and choose who you kick out, based on your charter. Please be honest as well. I commend your school for taking in special education students. Special education students however are not the biggest challenges to the traditional school especially those special ed students whose parents are involved. The challenge to the traditional schools are those students who don't attend class, who are in trouble with the law. Who are disrespectful to teachers and students. Traditional schools must keep those kids, and test those kids, and their scores count against those kids. Lets be honest, do those types of students finish a school year at a charter school, or are they sent back to traditional schools? I know what I have been told by teachers and parents at both charter schools and traditional schools, I would be interested to hear your honest response.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    April 3, 2011 8:27 a.m.


    Charter schools accept all students in a fair manner. My Charter has a very successful rate working with special needs kids. That resulted in quite a few families enrolling after space became available. Our wait list is over 1400 and we are on great terms with the district we are residing in (which is a rarity in Charter-District relations). Our SPED percentage is currently 12.7% with a hotlist that after all the paper work and testing is done will result in more than 15% of our students recieving IEPs. Charters obey State law and can't pick and choose who they take. Charters also can't pick and choose who they kick out.

    Please be honest.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    April 3, 2011 8:18 a.m.

    Its very easy for people to hide behind a made up name and be bullies. Like most bullies, the things usually said about Charter schools by them are false or even made up. They also try to make themselves look better than those they are putting down. It needs to stop. Be adults for a change. This isn't PR. This isn't about your schools being ignored or that they aren't special in their own way. This is about a school that struggled to survive and is now thriving.

    MVA did something that should be commended. That is what this article is about. The media had widely reported the disruptions that the school went through including not making AYP, laying off teachers (and uping 6th to middle school) midyear and constant decline of parental support. This is the culmination of the school's journey to being a quality school and SHOULD be reported by the same media that reported all the negatives. I am shocked they have had zero suspensions this year. That is an accomplishment.

    One thing I do agree with the other posters is the need for more positive media coverage for all schools.

  • Fred44 Grantsville, Utah
    April 3, 2011 8:10 a.m.

    I would first like to commend Mountainville for turning their school around. I am sure that will be a good thing for the students that they serve. Seek to understand, I am bit surprised that you would criticize Orem Parent for their pro-traditional school stance, when your anti-traditional school stance shows in all of your posts. Traditional public schools work every day to adapt, improve and meet the needs of the their students. They however must meet the needs of all students, they do not have the option to create a set of rules and policies (charter)and then eliminate those students who don't follow the rules. You continue to try and compare apples (traditional schools) and oranges (charter schools). The comparison is unrealistic because the rules they play by are different.

    Could someone please explain to me this choice argument that charter school proponents keep throwing out there. You currently have a choice you can send your students to private schools, charter schools, and traditional schools. You can't however take my tax money to spend on your child at the school of your choice.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    April 3, 2011 2:51 a.m.

    Seek, I am not anti-school choice by any means. I think Utah had it right before the charter mess came about. In Utah you can choose to go to any school you like. You don't have to go to your local school if you feel the one down the road will serve you better.

    My problem isn't with choice. It is with charter after charter taking money away from the real schools and then providing only a mediocre education. Look at the school in the article. It took 2 years for the school to figure it out. So some poor kids lost out on 2 years of a quality education while some adults tried to get their act together.

    We need to stop experimenting on our kids and let the receive the quality education they deserve. The Dnews printed an article a while backing stating that 37% of charters were performing "significantly worse" than regular schools.

    Charters are not the answer.

    Properly funding the real schools is the answer.

    Unfortunately there are too many in power than can't make money from regular public schools, only from charters.

  • Seek to understand Sandy, UT
    April 2, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    Orem Parent you are always seeking to get more respect and attention for public schools, and this article does exactly that, so it seems that you would be pleased. But you are anti-school choice no matter what - I feel I could probably write your posts for you having followed them now for several months.

    Good job Mountainville. Glad you got it on track - but of course you did. 2 years ago, parent satisfaction was very low and you were in jeopardy of losing your student population, which would have meant losing your funding. Due to that basic principle (if you don't perform, you don't get paid) you were able to find the motivation to quickly turn around the school.

    Traditional public schools don't have this mechanism to help them see early on when a problem is developing and respond to it. It is a vital element and the fatal flaw in public ed: regardless of their performance, they continue to be paid at the same rate (or sometimes even higher when they falter).

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    April 2, 2011 7:00 p.m.

    This is, indeed, just more self-promotion by the Franklin Covey people.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    April 2, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    It's all PR, nothing more. That's the problem with "competition" between schools. It becomes who can do the most PR. The kids get forgotten in the race to out advertise the others and manipulate parents. Students just become the actors used by the administration and businesses in promoting their programs.

    DNews & KSL sure gave them a lot of free advertising!

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    April 2, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    Really, if they want to do a story about a school with a big turnaround, they should go check out Lakeridge Junior High in Orem. They have a program going on that is now being copied by schools all around the country yet very little has been said about it.

    I know the middle schools in Provo are now implementing it and I'm pretty sure most of ASD is as well.

    We've heard nothing about the improvement of the test scores across the board but especially with the minority population. For how much the Dnews likes to report on charters and minorities, I would think this would be a big story for them.

    Oh, maybe that is because there isn't much of a minority population at these charter schools...

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    April 2, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    There are great things happening everyday in Utah's neighborhood public schools. Schools that accepts all students. Schools that work wonders with diverse populations of students. Schools that are the anchors of many communities. The Deseret News shows its bias with their coverage of Charter Schools. While I think Charter Schools fills a niche well, Neighborhood Public Schools carry the load for our society. It's time for all of us to realize that America's greatness was built on the backs of Public School and the effort to dismantle Public Schools will hurt our country because we are dismissing the majority of our children when we do that.

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    April 2, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    "Earlier this week, it was recognized by Franklin Covey for being an example of all schools nationwide that use the program."

    It sounds like Franklin Covey's PR people sent a press release to the local media and the DN picked it up for an easy, but nice, story that advertises Franklin Covey's product.

    As Orem Parent notes, this stuff happens at my local public elementary school every day.

  • cdmom Provo, UT
    April 2, 2011 6:29 a.m.

    Orem Parent,

    YES they should and every other school in Alpine District! DNews didn't do a story on my local elementary school 2 years ago when they were a runner-up for the National School of Character and the Utah School of Character.

    While it is impressive that they have turned the school around enough to not be losing students and be getting all these accolades, it just shows the bias of the DNews when it comes to education.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    April 1, 2011 8:18 p.m.

    Glad they figured it out.

    Sounds exactly like what happens at my local elementary school every day.

    Should the Dnews do a story on them as well?