School district honors retiring teachers, hears dual immersion report, comment on baseball field

The Washington County School Board meets in the district offices, St. George, Utah, May 12, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Washington County School District Board met Tuesday and discussed, among other things, dual language immersion, selling and buying land and the new Dixie High School baseball field; it also gave out recognition awards to school district faculty and staff.

Awards

In keeping with tradition, school district Superintendent Larry Bergeson handed out over 40 recognition awards and engraved bells to retiring faculty members.

He gave many more awards to teachers who had reached 30, 20 and 10 years of service.

Dual immersion programs

A report by Dual Immersion Coordinator Marybeth Fuller presented statistics to the board about the 10 schools in the district that dual immersion has been implemented in.

In the district, there are five elementary schools with Chinese dual immersion programs and three elementary schools, an intermediate school and a middle school with Spanish programs.

Fuller’s presentation showed evidence that students in dual immersion programs have done better academically, almost across the board, than their nonimmersion peers.

This included data from the last five years the program has been in the district, as well as data from other areas where there are older dual immersion programs.

There are currently about 2,000 students enrolled in dual immersion programs in the district, Fuller said, and they hope to add 500 more per year.

Entrance into the program is based on a lottery draw from a pool of applicants.

Community comment – Dixie High School baseball field

Only one community member presented any discussion items to the board; Greg Brooks, a St. George resident, spoke to the board about the new Dixie High School baseball field.

There has been some uproar in the community, as many residents are upset that building a new field and tearing down the old Don Lay field might mean Lay’s name would be removed.

Brooks gave a list of community members’ names from an online petition to keep Lay’s name on the new field to the board. He also gave printed copies of comments those signers had left.

Other business

The board agreed to sell a piece of property next to Riverside Elementary school, which was originally meant to have a preschool built on it. However, since plans for the school have been scrapped, they decided to declare that land surplus property so it could be sold to interested parties.

They also approved up to $10,000 for a land purchase.

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