School Community Council Minutes

Willow Springs Elementary

May 18, 2022 | 10:00 – 11:30 am


Marianne Yule, Principal; Megan Gutierrez, Chair; Denise White, Achievement Coach; Shanda Antuna, Achievement Coach; Alexis Rife, Parent; Christine Wirthlin, Teacher; Cassidy Merrell, Parent; DeeAnna Smith, Parent


Susan Edwards, Amber Roderick Landward, Alice Peck, Connie, Kristi Wayland, Emily Ord, Stacie, Cami, Steve Petersen, SSP, George, Gino Lee, Amberly Jeppson, Cole, Mel, Jackson Brown, Rachel M


Brooke Zimmerman, Vice Chair; Kaydee McMahon, Secretary

  1. Approve Minutes from 4/20/22
    • Motion to approve minutes for 4/20/22 Cassidy Merrell and second by Principal Yule
  2. Review School Safety Report action items. Principal completes School Safety report follow up report on CSD Dashboard.
      • Principal Yule shared screen. Reviewed School Safety report & action plan of making a parent handbook which was distributed to all students, and teachers read each page with students. Tab on website is still in the works. No additional questions or discussion on this item.
  3. Assure that the current year’s LAND Trust funds and TSSA funds were spent according to current year’s plans. Determine if your current year’s plan made a difference in the area of your goals.
    • Budget for May is at goal, which is less than the 10% limit for carry over. Email will be sent out to SCC after the data is collected to determine if current year’s plan made a difference this year. Data is still coming in.
  4. Discussion and possible vote on motion presented by Cassidy Merrell on 4/20/22 that the school provide parents with a complete list of apps and programs that their student will have access to and use throughout the year specific to each teacher. This list should include the following 3 details: 1) The purpose of the app/program as it applies to the curriculum. 2) The amount of time it will be used for daily, weekly, or monthly. 3) By whom its use is dictated.
    • Cassidy motioned again for this motion to be discussed. DeeAnna Smith second. Susan Edwards provided additional information from district: remember SCC is an advisory body only. We can advise at the school level. We cannot compel or direct staff to do something. We can discuss and advise something that we would like to see happen.
    • Principal Yule: We will take this motion and advise teachers to do this in their back-to-school packets. We will advise that they include which apps are being used and their purpose. District and State have been reviewing apps and reading programs and asked for research on effectiveness of programs. Once this info is in the district will use that info to decide which programs to use going forward and we will provide that info in back to school packets. Estimated length of time can also be included. Programs have been vetted by district. LEARN platform has a link for programs that have been approved. We will provide reasoning behind schoolwide apps. This discussion has also given us a chance to review how teachers are using screens and ways student are getting around firewalls and how that can be remedied. Lanschool (which allows teachers to see what students are doing on their devices remotely from teacher device) cannot read tabs if students have more than one tab open, so teachers are now educated on being more aware of what students are doing by walking around more and being aware if they have more than one tab open. That is how Willow Springs will address these concerns and how technology is used in our school.”
    • Cassidy Merrell concerns of auxiliary apps that may not be on a schoolwide list. Only Lexia and Clever are school wide. Many others such as moose math and typing club
    • Principal Yule: This is the LEARN platform that was discussed. All apps that are approved by district are on the platform and parents will be able to view this info. Link is a district site and will be provided.
    • Cassidy Merrell: How will we gage time used on these apps as parents.
    • Principal Yule: Reviewed info from Mrs. Harper on time spent on apps. Many of these were 5 minutes or very low, these will not be specified.
    • Megan: could parents individually ask teachers for list and time spent on apps?
    • Principal Yule: Parents can always ask teachers for info on what is being used in class. However we wouldn’t want them to feel restricted to that list. For example if they didn’t include Kahoot on the initial list but wanted to use it a few months later, they will still be able to use that even if it wasn’t included on the original list as it is a district vetted app.
    • Clarification from Amber Roderick-Landward on auxiliary apps and info provided to parents on LEARN platform.
    • We can now choose to amend the motion or make an alternate motion to make a recommendation rather than absolute motion.
    • Amend the motion to be a recommendation to the school and district. Motion by DeeAnna Smith, second by Cassidy Merrell.
    • Vote yes Cassidy Merrell, Alexis Rife. Vote no: Megan Gutierrez, Principal Yule, Chanda, Christine. DeeAnna asked for clarification on difference between motion and what is already stated as taken into recommendation by Principal Yule.
    • Amend motion to: Recommend that school be more transparent and more detail given about apps used for parents able to access info.”
    • How will info be given? Newsletters, parent handbook, teacher back to school packets, emails; as extensively as possible.
    • Cassidy “I motion to amend the motion, to recommend that the school provide more a transparent list and places to access apps and programs students will use.”
    • DeeAnna Smith second
    • All present Unanimous vote yes. Brooke and Kaydee not present for meeting.
  5. Discussion and possible vote on motion presented by Cassidy Merrell on 4/20/22 to provide consent forms and opt-out options in relation to technology usage.
    • Principal Yule: Consent form on skyward during registration. All parents during registration sign or don’t sign consent for use of devices, and correct use of devices. Students held accountable for how they use the devices and sites they go to. State does have an opt out system. School will not provide individual opt out.
    • Cassidy Merrell has concern that the consent form reads that the form reads as using school property, not using individual technology at school. Doesn’t specify if it’s a computer lab, individual student one to one device.
    • Amber Roderick-Landward, just as you don’t consent to specific textbooks for the year, the consent does not specify technology. Learning plan is provided by district and teachers can pull from that as they see fit to help students achieve their learning goals.
    • DeeAnna talked about how maybe an official policy is not necessary, but rather just a parent has the opportunity to discuss their individual concerns with their teacher of preference for less technology based learning.
    • Chanda agreed that that discussion between parent and teacher can build relationship and communication between teachers and parents.
    • Cassidy asked for her student to be opted out of epic books for example but without a real plan in place at school, it’s not really a functioning opt out. Difficult for child and teacher to put in place. Child felt isolated and difficult for teacher to provide option for one student. Research within her social circle obtained 64 parents/children who would prefer not to have one to one technology use. State code reads that each student should be treated equally and an adequate opt out should be available. Technology is such an expensive item, perhaps some money could be used to provide more resources for non-technology based learning for students and training for teachers on how to provide opt out options for these students.
    • Principal Yule: Because of the extensive difficulty of balancing out needs of students and dividing students based on multiple factors could not form one class of opt out.
    • Amber Roderick-Landward: Due to responsibility of district and state standard that teachers are held accountable for, it is not possible to opt out of devices completely. Median time on screens at willow springs is 64 minutes. Amount of time students are on screens is actually a small amount. and most of that is used consuming and not excess and teachers are intentional in how they use technology. it would make teaching very difficult and would not allow for competencies to be assessed.
    • Susan Edwards: this is not a Willow Springs issue but a district/state level. More context: kind of ironic because Utah legislature has been pushing for 1 to 1 devices to deliver competencies in core subjects and help students achieve high quality computer assisted learning. Their belief is that it provides feedback to teachers in an instantaneous way. Trying to balance needs of state/legislature and students vs parent desires. This discussion goes further and requires much further discussion at much higher levels.
    • Cassidy: So what happens if a parent chooses to opt out, if these 64 students opt out, how will that be managed?
    • Amber: Even if you choose not to use the acceptable use device, students would still be expected to use the computer based competencies. A true opt out is not an option provided by the state or district and will not be any time soon. You can opt out of a specific lesson or activity, but cannot opt out of all technology use. This is a free choice education state which means parents can choose what schools to attend.
    • Cassidy: will students be lost due to a desire to opt out?
    • Susan Edwards: is it educational malpractice if we are not using it? It is a free choice state and parents can choose not to utilize public school. Parents can send their kids where they feel comfortable. Balance parent concerns with this and everything in between.  Again this is a broader conversation, those interested need to take their conversation to higher levels, not on a school SCC. Happy to provide assistance on how to pursue those concerns at the appropriate places.  
    • Cassidy: perhaps one way we can address this at a school level is that some teachers are more tech heavy than others, and perhaps parents can request a teacher who uses technology less.
    • Megan: We can put in the minutes that it is the recommendation of the SCC to continue this discussion at a higher level or resolve this original discussion.
    • Cassidy: good with continuing this discussion at a higher level, but wants to hear from Principal Yule on can it be addressed at school level as suggested. And can parents individually request an opt out of technology for their child?
    • Principal Yule: teacher teams meet and discuss this and because of this discussion we’ve spoken w/ teachers on how they use it and how to use it better per recommendations of district and state and will continue to provide information and advice to teachers. Reiterated what Amber said that there is not an opt out of technology option and we are in a free choice education state.
    • Motion to table motion: Christine Wirthlin Second: Megan Gutierrez
  6. Discussion – do we have any sort of parent education night offered by the District on screen time use and it’s dangers for children? Requested by DeeAnna Smith.
    • DeeAnna: not so much a question but to provide feedback on a previous parent education night I attended several years ago provided by the district with Collin Kartchner. It completely changed the way I parent and use screen in my household. I never would have attended this parent night if I hadn’t been invited by a friend as it was at a high school and info was given to parents of middle and high schoolers. Can we start educating parents of elementary aged kids, before we have the problems we’re seeing in middle and high school? Can we educate parents sooner on the damage to mental health and attention span of young kids? I know we did have a district night recently but it was 2.5 hours and is difficult to get away from kids that long. Can we provide these education nights again now that we are getting back into being able to meet in large groups, provide these at a regional or school level to get more interest, and keep it to one hour?
    • Susan: yes we will be providing more of these educational opportunities on digital citizenship going forward. Had to reschedule this one from February d/t COVID. However, SCC as part of digital citizenship can host parent night education nights on school level. Can get list of approved presenters from district.
    • Principal Yule we do have a digital citizenship coordinator, gets info out to parents and teachers in newsletter.
    • Susan: District has very strong approval rating for filtering when on school network. Problems arise at home on personal devices and networks and then they come to school and we have to deal with the fallout. More will be coming in the next year to address education with parents at home on digital citizenship.
  7. If time permits, we will open to additional public comment (2 minutes per person).
    • Meeting time was up and did not have time for public comment.
    • Megan and Principal Yule: Confirm to not meet in July, so next meeting will be September. Elections will be in August. Principal Yule will be in touch with SCC members on if their term is up for reelection or not.
    • DeeAnna motion to adjourn the meeting, Megan to second.