The growth of Morgan County has been of major focus the last few years. As a community, we have grown in population, opportunities, and challenges. Morgan County School District is no different. The district has been experiencing challenges, as well as many opportunities for growth and improvement in its schools due to our growth as a community. This applies to all areas of our schools including special education.
What happens when a marshmallow, a balloon, or a cup of warm water is put in a vacuum pump? Fourth graders at Mountain Green Elementary had many different hypothesizes. Eldon Jensen, retired Morgan High School chemistry and physics teacher, taught these students about air pressure. At the end of a half an hour of exciting experiments, students were able to sample the results of a pressurized marshmallow.
Each November, Morgan Elementary students start preparing to show off their storytelling skills as they compete for the opportunity to showcase their talents at the annual Weber State Storytelling Festival. All students from 1st grade to 5th grade are encouraged to learn or write a story. They then share their stories with their classmates in December. It is a tough decision to choose just two students from each class to move on to the grade-level competition because the children are all working to be great storytellers.
On Thursday, January 19th, Morgan Elementary School Faculty and Staff joined Chili’s in supporting the Weber/Morgan Strike Force by holding a luncheon. We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of such a worthwhile event.
On January 17, 2012 the Morgan High Cheer leaders traveled to Timpview High school to participate in the Utah Cheer Coaches Association State Championship. The cheerleaders work hard all year and look forward to the competition. Morgan also won the state title in 2008 and 2011. This year Morgan beat out a tough team from Desert Hills for the title. The girls were thrilled and surprised because their coach Tammy Bullock had just talked to them about being good sports if they did not win.
Broc Wilkinson, a student at Morgan Middle School, won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee on January 10, 2012 and a chance at a $25,000 college scholarship. The school-level Bee, at which students answered oral and written questions on geography, was the first round in the annual National Geographic Bee.
The students at Mountain Green Elementary presented a wonderful Christmas program this year before the Christmas break. Each grade performed several Christmas songs that were entertaining and enjoyable to listen to. There was a huge show of support by parents and community members who came to hear the students sing and share the Christmas spirit. Pictured are the Kindergarten students performing their songs.
A clear glass lies atop the counter. A young child fills the glass to the half-point mark with water. Is the glass half full or is it half empty? The answer could very well depend on the respondent’s attitude.
The students at Mountain Green Elementary School had the pleasure the past month of participating in a local food drive to help those less fortunate in our community. The students were given the opportunity to bring donated food and baby items to the school where the donations were combined and delivered to the Morgan Food Bank. There was an enormous amount of support for this project and thanks to the wonderful people who donated, 570 pounds of food and other items were delivered to the food bank. Thank you to all who helped support this wonderful cause. Pictured are the students in Mrs. Tolley’s 2nd grade class.
The holiday season is upon us and in addition to regular academic and extracurricular activities, Morgan High School is decking the halls, caroling, and gathering food and gifts to support families in need. Students and staff members are as busy as Santa’s elves making preparations for drama productions, choir and band concerts, and various athletic and club competitions.
Over the past few weeks, Morgan Middle School students have been participating in their annual food drive to benefit the Morgan Food Pantry. In an effort to drive participation, the school created some healthy competition between individuals, classes, and grades. The 2010 food drive brought in approximately 3,800 food items, and proved to be very successful. This year the students set a goal to beat that number by targeting at least 4,000 food items for collection. As the students sought donations from family, friends, and neighbors, they truly caught the spirit of helping local families who could benefit from the generosity of their community. This extra help is especially appreciated during the holidays.
The students at Mountain Green Elementary School were privileged this week to watch a performance put on by the choirs from Morgan High School. Students from the Millennial choir and the Ovation choir entertained the students with lively, seasonal Christmas selections. The performing students did an exceptional job and the Mountain Green Elementary students enjoyed listening to the students share their wonderful singing talents. Pictured is the Morgan High School Millennial Choir directed by Mr. Michael Mills.
For the past several months the Morgan County Board of Education has been focused on creating a new facility use policy for district buildings and grounds. In the process the Board looked at a number of similar policies throughout the state as a basis for their plan.
Morgan Elementary School seems to have its own fairy godmother granting it amazing new staff members. The new fifth grade teacher, Aimee Perry, seems to be a wish come true to her students and fellow staff members. The mutual love is easily seen between the students and their teacher.
What does it mean to be honest? It means to be truthful in all you do and say, and to be be truthful with others, including yourself. Even when you tell the truth in admitting you did something wrong, it solves the problem much better.
“Reality Town” came to Morgan High School on December 6th. Reality Town is a 2 to 3 hour activity, similar to the board game “Life”, the entire 10th grade participated in this annual event, which has been presented to the students and volunteers since 2002,said Emily Rose, Work Based Learning Coordinator. She said, “I think it went really well and the students gained a lot from this experience, and also learned a lot from it.”
The students filled out an “Reality Town Employment Application” that requires to be completely filled in with following information: personal information; education; employment; references; talents and hobbies, and employment desired. The applications are sent to R.E.A.L. LLC in Lehi, Utah (founders of this program) for processing. The scenarios that are assigned to each student is taken from the job application, but is mainly based on gender and (in years past ) grade point average(GPA). The GPA was not included this year on the application. Each scenario is different as is each student, Mrs Rose feels that these scenarios are scaled fairly with the GPA not a factor.
Sixth Grade Science is teaming with life. Not just with students anxious to learn, but also with living things too tiny to see with the naked eye. Students in sixth grade have been exploring and investigating the microscopic world. Thanks to a grant from 100% for Kids Utah Credit Unions Education Foundation, Morgan Middle School 6th graders have use of a microscope with a digital camera inside. This allows all students to see what is happening on the slide at the same time as it is projected on screen as well as the ability to take photos or capture video for later use. All students in the 6th grade were able to watch swimming protists and other pond water organisms from water sources all over Morgan County. These samples were collected by selected students living close to them.
The students at Mountain Green Elementary School have had an opportunity this Christmas season to learn about reindeer and caribou thanks to an amazing piece of artwork loaned to the school from Milan and Susan Mecham.
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ‘till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. ~Dr Seuss
Young adults from all communities in Morgan Valley recently presented a special service award to Sherie Wright. Representing a large group of young adults attending Institute, Jeni Lake and Chelsea Jensen presented Sherie with a crystal clock as a small token of appreciation for countless years of service to the students of Morgan High School.
The “Educate to Innovate” campaign for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education is a new initiative being funded by the federal government, private companies, foundations, and non-profit organizations. The purpose is to lift American students to the top internationally in science and math achievement over the next decade by motivating and inspiring students to excel in STEM subjects. Many states and universities have received or are about to receive large grants. Morgan Middle School CTE/Technology teacher Brian Rutherford has received multiple grants for this purpose. He has been awarded $1500.00 from the Utah Credit Union Education Foundation, $1000.00 from the Utah Education Association, $500.00 from the Carl Perkins grant that was awarded to the District Career and Technical Education Department, and several hundred dollars’ worth of product from vendors as well as a 20% discount on all future orders from TeacherGeek.
Douglas Hunt of Modern Woodmen presents Superintendent Ken Adams and Principal Wade Murdock with a $3,000 check for the Trojan Century Center. The Center is expected to be completed by the end of January. Many in the community have rallied around the project and the Morgan Education Foundation continues to receive donations from individuals, families, organizations and businesses.
We are fortunate in our community to have numerous local businesses and other supporters willing to help the district in a myriad of ways, including their financial assistance when needed. This was certainly apparent as the Morgan Education Foundation conducted fund raising activities for the Trojan Century Center. More than $500,000 was given to the Foundation for the cause and ninety-five percent of those funds came from businesses, foundations, families, and individuals with connections to the Morgan Valley!
Teachers from all over come to teach at our schools but Morgan Elementary didn’t have to look too far for the newest first grade teacher, Chelsee Brown, because she is from Morgan herself. Chelsee graduated from Morgan high and then went to Utah State University.
Morgan Elementary has had the great opportunity to receive several outstanding new teachers this year, including John Kelly. The elementary school has warmly welcomed this new special education teacher. The kids especially have quickly grown to love him. He can recall countless recesses of being mobbed and chased, but he absolutely loves it. In fact, that is one of the reasons why he loves teaching.
Last week, after reports to the administration of potential inappropriate behavior, the school administration placed a part-time employee on administrative leave, pending results of criminal investigation by the sheriff’s office. The administration then engaged an independent review by a third party to ensure that their actions were appropriate and legal.
What is happening with Special Education in Morgan School District? Federal law 94-142 Idea mandates the practice of special education. Each state dictates how they will adopt and implement educational practices. Then each district utilizes the guidelines to design programs that are mandated for individual schools, classrooms, and students. This can be tricky in both large and small districts because of size and funding, so creativity and intelligence combined makes it work! Synchronizing education between what is happening in the regular education classes, special education classes, related service providers and at home, is as crucial as a balanced diet.
Congratulations to Emma Morgan, 5th grade student at Mountain Green Elementary School, for her winning entry into the Morgan Conservation District’s “Forests For People” poster competition. Emma was awarded a cash prize, as well as a pizza party and a watershed model demonstration presented to her class. Emma put forth an amazing amount of thought and time into her project and her winning poster was a clear representation of her efforts.
Morgan High School’s Academic Decathlon team placed first at region this year!! They attended their regional meet on February 3rd and 4th at Westminster College to compete against all of the other high school AcaDec teams in the state.
Serving on the School Board is a privilege and an honor. I believe it would be beneficial to share a few things about School Board governance that may affect the way the community interacts with the Board and the Administration.
The new sixth grade teacher at Morgan Middle School this year is Mrs. Ball. Mrs. Ball attended high school in Arizona and then graduated from Northern Arizona University where she studied nursing and microbiology. Once her youngest child started kindergarten, she went back to school and received her teaching degree from Southern Utah University. Mrs. Ball taught eighth grade in Cedar City before she came to Morgan. She was given the opportunity to teach sixth grade here and she loves it. She is very glad to continue teaching middle school. Mrs. Ball very much enjoys being with her students. Her favorite thing about teaching is seeing the understanding in her students’ eyes. The satisfying feeling of helping the students learn is what she takes the most pleasure in.
Special Education at Morgan Middle School is a variety of experiences, personalities, subjects, abilities, and needs boiled into one program. Part of what makes us unique is that every day has different thrills and experiences. It is an exciting adventure!
The entire student body of Mountain Green Elementary school received a special treat when local artist, Zach Winegar, carved the school mascot, an eagle, into one of the large pumpkins that have been on display at the school for the past few weeks. He carved the eagle into a 994 lb. pumpkin grown by Tyler Quigley, also of Mtn. Green.
How many times has this sentence been said, “I hate all the drama!”? More than a billion times. How many times has this sentence been said, “I am going to stop gossiping.”? Not enough. The only way to stop “drama” is to make a change from within you. You need to be able to look at yourself and say, “I am going to make that change!” We can’t just sit around and think that someone else is going to fix the problem.
Learning beyond the classroom is an essential part of a complete education. The Morgan County School District Community has an expressed dedication to this concept through our Mission Statement and imbedded within our instruction. “What does it look like?” is a common phrase educators use as we challenge ourselves and our colleagues during professional development and is also a phrase that is appropriate when planning successful educational experiences beyond the classroom. What is learning beyond the classroom and how can it be linked seamlessly to the activities and learning prepared for school?
Morgan Middle school culminated an event filled week Thursday afternoon, by hosting an assembly to reinforce the messages of the Red Ribbon Week campaign. Started in 1988, Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program which is used to teach students all across America the danger of illegal drugs.
With the dawning of a new age at the turn of the century, the beautiful Morgan valley experienced more rapid growth and change along with the rest of the nation. The changing times also changed the functioning of the American families, communities, and society as a whole.
The accreditation process is well underway at Morgan High School. As we prepare for the visiting team to arrive on March 13th and 14th, we have focused on the steps to make sure that our school is on track and ready to go. One of the first steps was to analyze our departmental effectiveness using the new guidelines provided by the state accreditation training team. Each department met and answered a series of eleven questions regarding various aspects of instruction and learning within their areas of expertise. Teachers were asked how they help one another throughout the department and school to better meet the needs of students. In reading the different responses, I am reassured by the strengths and talents of our faculty and staff. We have an amazing group of teachers who not only understand their content area, but also know and understand their students.
This year in 8th grade science we are doing a number of fun activities. We will make and erupt volcanoes, make and launch catapults and make grape smashers. The students have many chances to perform hands on experiments and labs. I believe that this enriches the learning environment.
Mrs. Breshears is the new English teacher in the Morgan School District this year. She teaches three tenth grade English classes at the high school in the mornings and two seventh grade English classes at the middle school in the afternoon. Mrs. Breshears graduated from our very own Morgan High School and went on to Weber State University afterwards. She put her degree on hold for a while to start a family but went back to school three years ago and received her bachelor’s degree from Weber State majoring in English Teaching with a Psychology Teaching minor.
The students at Mountain Green Elementary School have been getting a close up view of some very large pumpkins. The growers, Matt McConkie and Tyler Quigley, both residents of Mountain Green, brought the pumpkins to the school for display.