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If you ever feel like you need just a little extra support in your life or your child’s life, maybe it’s time to visit the Jordan Family Education Center.

The center, located inside River’s Edge School, provides support services, counseling and classes free of charge for families and students in Jordan School District.

On this episode of the Supercast, we find out what classes like “Blues Busters” or “Superhero Social Skills” can do for students and how families can benefit from the free short- term counseling offered by school psychologists and counselors.


Audio Transcription

Anthony Godfrey:
Hello and welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Do you ever feel like you need a little extra support for your family or your child? If that's the case, maybe it's time to visit the Jordan Family Education Center. The Center located inside River's Edge School, provides support services, counseling and classes free of charge for families and students in Jordan School District. On this episode of the Supercast, we find out what classes like Blues Busters or Superhero Social Skills can do for students and how families can benefit from the free short-term counseling offered by school, psychologists and counselors. I'm here speaking with Fulvia Franco, Program Specialist at the District level who works with school psychologists and our elementary counselors and Sarah Robbins, the School Psychologist from Daybreak Elementary School to talk with me about the Jordan Family Education Center. Thanks to both of you for being here with me. Let's start with you Fulvia. Can you just give me a quick overview? What is Jordan Family Education Center?

Fulvia:
The best way is to explain the kind of services that we offer to families and children in the district, students in the district. First of all, we provide short-term child centered family counseling for families, and that's up to 10 weeks. There's no additional charge to families for participating in the services. We also have a variety of parenting classes that are offered three times a year during fall winter and spring quarter. Classes typically go for six weeks and they target a number of areas, including social skills. We have classes like Making and Keeping Friends, a class called Blues Busters for children who may be sad or worried. We have Effective Parent Training for parents who want ideas on parenting their children. We have classes for parents who might have a child with autism, and we have Anger Management Classes for elementary, middle school, high school and adults.

Anthony Godfrey:
That's a great variety of classes. Now, Jordan Family Education Center, you go way back. Let's talk about when did the Jordan Family Education Center start?

Fulvia:
The Jordan Family Education Center was established by the district in 1979. They initially had a coordinator there for five years and then had person, an interim person. And now I've been the coordinator every since.

Anthony Godfrey:
Before we talk about classes specifically, let's talk a little bit more about the counseling that's available for families. Sarah, let's talk with you about how that counseling works. Can you tell me what are some examples of when a family might choose to participate in that and what they can expect if they sign up?

Sarah:
We have families that come to seek counseling services for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes the issues are a little more acute and have just come up and sometimes they're a little more long-term. Some examples of things we see students for are maybe adjusting to a new divorce or a new move. Maybe they're experiencing some anxiety or depression and the family's not really sure how to help them, and the student doesn't really know what to do. At the Family Education Center, we can provide a little more in-depth services than we have time for at school. It's more family centered to address their specific problem. What they can expect is, if they call our phone number, which is (801) 565-7442, they can ask to have an intake. And when they do an intake, they meet with one of our school psychologists and can talk to them about what's going on and get a little more information. The school psychologist will then meet with our staffing committee and help generate some recommendations for the family. Sometimes we refer them to a specific class that might meet their needs. Sometimes we refer them for short-term counseling and sometimes, depending on the nature of the problem, if it's bigger and more long-term, we can help them find community resources. We also partner with the Health and Wellness Department and we'll make referrals. They can help us access private providers if that's something that the family needs as well.

Anthony Godfrey:
And then private providers, for those listening that may not be aware, can be funded for a limited time through some funds that were made available from the State. So really the idea, it sounds like, is that when a family comes, they call that intake number and they ask for a consultation about their specific circumstance. There is a wide variety of resources available that they can be connected to. Maybe a class, maybe a counseling right there at the Jordan Family Education Center, maybe some outside counseling, and any of those could lead to another step, depending on how things go. So it's a great place to start and to get connected to lots of resources that families may not otherwise be aware of.

Sarah:
Yes. In fact, just last week I had a conversation with a parent who had come for her own child, and while she was there, she thought about a neighbor and the neighbor had been through a recent divorce. And some of her children who are school age were having some difficulty processing that it was a big move and a big change. And so she stayed after and came and talked to me for a while and said, where else can I send her? I have no idea. I've never done any of this before. And between me and two of our other staff members who happen to still be there, we were able to give her several ideas within the district and also within the community, including our own Health Services Department, because the family no longer has health insurance. So that was a place we could start to help them as well. We definitely partner with all the resources here in the district and in the community.

Fulvia:
We definitely partner with all the resources here in the district and in the community. One of the strengths of the program is that it is funded and staffed entirely by individuals who work for Jordan School District. As such, we're an extension of the local school. So when we do an intake assessment with a family, we're able to give them resources, not only through our center or the district, but perhaps through their school. If we identify a need for testing, we can use a Child Find Referral to make a referral to the Special Education team or develop a 504 at the school level. We send information to the school to let them know a family is accessing services through the Center and families are informed of that. So they agree to have the school be a partner in this. So we do partner together to be the most effective in providing all the services that a child or family might need.

Anthony Godfrey:
And that's a really important point. This is a network of support that's connected directly with the school. So it's not a one and done. This is ongoing support for lots of different issues and lots of struggles that students and families may be dealing with. And as a part of that, what I referenced earlier is that the list of classes is really quite remarkable. Superhero Social Skills for grades one through four, Anger Management that you referenced, Surviving the Death of a Loved One, Calming the Storm Within, Anger Management for adults. So there are really a lot of great classes that can help with issues that may pop up. What can someone expect if they sign up for one of these classes? What does that look like? How frequently do they meet, for what period of time, and how large are those classes? Just what are some of the details of what those classes would look like?

Fulvia:
So our classes, due to the pandemic, we're limiting size of classes to eight participants and two instructors. Many of our children's classes like Making and Keeping Friends and Blues Busters, we have quite a few parents who want to sign up. There's a parent class that goes along with the children's class, but they meet in a separate room. We've added additional instructors so that we can reach more children. And so we now have limited numbers for the participants, but when there aren't restrictions such as with COVID-19, then we can have up to 15 students in a class.

Anthony Godfrey:
Tell us about the location of these classes. Where do folks go if they want to sign up online? What's the number again to call and then tell us about the location?

Sarah:
So the Jordan Family Education Center is located over at River's Edge School. inside the school. And if a parent or a family wanted to sign up for either an intake or for a class, or we actually even have a parent lending library over there with several parenting books, but they would just call to register. And the number is (801) 565-7442. We actually just started our second group of classes last week, and the classes run for six week. Each class is an hour and a half long. We have some classes that start at 6:00 PM and some classes that start at 7:00 PM and we'll be starting our third set of classes the week after spring break. So if there's something a parent is wanting to sign up for, but doesn't have time for right now, or maybe a second class they'd like to, they can take it again in the spring.

Anthony Godfrey:
Stay with us. When we come back, more on free services provided by the Jordan Family Education Center and how counselors and psychologists are supporting students and families in a multitude of ways during the day.

Break:
It is one of the most prestigious academic achievement programs available for high school students, and we're proud to say it's coming back to Jordan school District. We're talking about the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, which will be located at West Jordan High School. The IB program supports the personal and academic achievement for students at the very highest level. IB diploma courses take place during a student's junior and senior year in high school. All sophomores are invited to consider the IB program for next year. There are no prerequisites for IB and interestingly, middle school students can start preparing. Now students with the IB diploma have a better chance at getting into some of the most prestigious universities in the world. In order to find out if your teen is a good candidate for IB. visit ib.jordandistrict.org, or call West Jordan High School.

Anthony Godfrey:
How has the pandemic impacted what you do? Are there some classes that have become more popular because of that? And what are some of the needs that you've seen arise out of that.

Sarah:
I have noticed some of our classes are more popular this year than they ever have been. In particular, the Blues Busters class has been very full every time. So Blues Busters is a class for kids who are either sad or worried. And this year we see a lot of anxiety in kids. Kids are worried about things that they never have been before, like earthquakes, for example. And we offer that class for elementary age, and then we have a second one for teenagers. That's taught by middle school and high school staff members. And then there's a third parent class that's taught at the same time. So that one has been very popular this year. We also have another one called Mindful Kids and it teaches kids relaxation strategies. And that class we have had to add a second session for students because it's been so popular because everybody needs to relax. That one's been really popular. And then Making and Keeping Friends is always a really popular class. We always have students who are struggling to make friends and it's a great place for them to learn. We started a new class just last year called Supporting Your Child with Autism. And we've had really good feedback for that class. That's for parents of children who might be somewhere on the autism spectrum, and we're able to help them have ideas of how to parent their child and also to link up with community resources.

Fulvia:
We've also been doing intake assessments in the family counseling. We've offered virtual counseling for those families who would prefer that. We've had very few families request that. In fact, we have had families that started that way, that said that their children did better in person. So we sanitize everywhere we can in between sessions and we've done our best to try to keep it safe. But families have let us know that they prefer to come and get the services in person.

Anthony Godfrey:
That's good to know those services are available. And these classes just seem made for some of the issues that have popped up during the pandemic. But as you said, it's been going since 1979, it's a really well-established program and carefully thought through, the curriculum and these classes. And when you've been doing it for 40 years, you get a knack for what student needs are and are responsive to those over time. I'm very proud of this program in Jordan District and how successful it is and the number of people that are helped. Are there misconceptions about the Jordan Family Education Center or questions that you get frequently? That you'd want to clear up?

Sarah:
The one thing that is unique is not everybody has time to attend a six week class. Most of our clients are parents with younger children and it's hard to get away. So we do offer a session called Timely Topics and that's on Thursday night and they are one session classes. So many of our instructors have other classes will come and do an abbreviated version so if a parent can't make it to a six week class, they can come for just one night and those cover a variety topics. For example, there's one for Co-Parenting through Divorce. There is one for Internet Safety. There's one for Coping with Depression and helping your children cope with depression. There's one called Video Gaming Addiction that went really well last quarter that has probably become a bigger issue during the pandemic. We also have one called Study Skills and it's for supporting your teenager. That is also a popular class because most parents can come for one night. And ultimately our goal is to help kids to be successful in school. We want them to go to school. We want them to be able to focus while they're there. We want them to graduate all of our classes and the counseling services are designed to support the family in helping their child navigate the school and be able to finish.

Anthony Godfrey:
It's an extraordinary program. And I love the focus on students and families because families really are part of helping support students through difficult times and are an important element of student success in school. Tell us again, the phone number and the website and how we get signed up.

Fulvia:
The phone number (801) 565-7442. We're available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Monday and 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday,  and Thursday. More information about our classes or services can be found right on the Jordan District website in the Guidance Department, which is in Student Services. So the website is guidance.jordandistrict.org/jfec. And the address of River's Edge School is 319 West 11000 South in South Jordan.

Anthony Godfrey:
Great. Well thank you for spending the time. I know you're both very busy.

Fulvia:
Thank you for your support as well. Thank you for having us.

Anthony Godfrey:
Thanks for joining us on the Supercast. Remember, education is the most important thing you will do today. We'll see out there.

Show Audio Transcription

Have you ever wondered what it takes to store everything needed to run a district that spans 6 cities, with 64 schools and more than 56,000 students? Where do we safely store food for our kitchens and cafeterias or furniture, paper and cleaning supplies for our classrooms?

On this episode of the Supercast we take you inside the District's Central Warehouse on a fun and fascinating tour with a man who has taken care of business there for 39 years. Find out what Randy Gray has seen come and go throughout the years.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent:
Hello and welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Have you ever wondered what it takes to store everything needed to run a school district that covers six cities with 64 schools and more than 56,000 students? Where do we safely store food for our kitchens and cafeterias or furniture, paper, and cleaning supplies for our classrooms. On this episode of the Supercast, we take you inside the District Central Warehouse on a fun and fascinating tour with a man who has taken care of business there for 39 years.

We're here at the Jordan school district warehouse with Randy Gray, the Distribution Coordinator. Good morning, Randy.

Randy:
Good morning.

Superintendent:
We're here at 7:30 AM, which is early for me, but you start your day very early. What time does the warehouse get rolling?

Randy:
I get here about 4:20 AM. My guys show up around 5:00 AM.

Superintendent:
4:20 and 5:00 AM. Why does everyone start at that unearthly hour?

Randy:
Because we have to get all the food to the schools before they are ready to cook. So if they need it for the schools, they need anything for the lunch that day, they have it before they need it.

Superintendent:
So everything starts with you really here in the morning at 4:20 AM. So tell me, you've got a stack of calendars here. How long have you been coming in to work at Jordan School District?

Randy:
In one form or another 39 and a half years.

Superintendent:
39 and a half years. And we're about to lose all that 39 and a half years of experience from what I understand.

Randy:
Right.

Superintendent:
When do you retire?

Randy:
December 22nd.

Superintendent:
And how does that feel after so long?

Randy:
I'm going to miss a lot of guys, but I got a lot of other stuff I want to do, so it'll be fun.

Superintendent:
Well, you're certainly going to be missed. There's no question about that. Your stack of calendars goes back to the nineties.

Randy:
Yeah, 1996. I've got another door that has the other ones on it. That's about how long you and I go back right to one of those calendars. And I saw a long, long time ago.

Superintendent:
We met a long time ago. Tell us a little bit more about the warehouse. What what does that involve?

Randy:
We do all the food supplies go out of here, every day produce.

Superintendent:
So that's the main bulk of the load in the morning?

Randy:
That's my big crew. So that's getting everything to the school programs. Anything that they may run out of, they are short on, we get it to them as soon as we can in the day, as early as we can.

And then I have separate crews when we do the school supplies, custodial supplies and the maintenance supplies. And we picked orders every single day.

And then we do all the receiving for everything that comes in and clean books or any non inventories that come into.

Superintendent:
When you say picking, is that just pulling what the order is from the inventory that you have, what the schools have requested?

Randy:
Yes.

Superintendent:
Okay. So you have regular orders and then when they run out, then you run stuff out as needed as well.

Randy:
Yeah. If we do run out of things, we tried really hard not to. If we do run out, it goes into a back order system and then we pick back ordered tickets as soon as we get them in. And then they go out, as soon as we can get them to out.

Superintendent:
How many employees do you have?

Randy:
We have 14 people in here.

Superintendent:
I know with all the PPE, there's been a big shift to get all of that out to the school. So that's probably been one of the main impacts of the pandemic.

Randy:
Right, right. It has really impacted us. My guys were working overtime, breaking down masks and everything and anything, hand sanitizer. Kurt was out here helping us everyday on that. So they were delivering nonstop.

Superintendent:
Well, I've talked with Kurt, the Director of Purchasing who's with us here today about that.

But I just want to thank you personally for that, because that sure made a big difference when people have that the first day. And I know you guys just pulled out all the stops, so thank you for that.

Randy:
Yeah. The crew really jumped together. It's a good team out here. They work really well together and they just jumped on it and got it done.

Superintendent:
Part of what fascinates me about the warehouse is just the sheer volume of stuff that you guys have moving through here. It makes Costco look like a convenience store.

Randy:
Absolutely.

Superintendent:
Tell me about some of the volume of the items that you just have coming through here in big quantities.

Randy:
For instance, like if you take the white copy paper, we do around 23,000 cases of that a year. And we'll do like 12,000 to 15,000 cases of towels, toilet paper or tissue handy.

So you know, those quantities, they rotate and they never stopped. So because we don't have an unlimited space, we have to gauge how much we can bring in at a time. And hopefully your next order hits you before you run out. And we've been really lucky. We really haven't run out of much of anything. It is a large space, but like you said, it's not unlimited. So you have to gauge when to bring it in. And then the demand hits and in the front is the beginning of the school year. Just the craziest time. You're pulling everything for the startup of next year.

Superintendent:
Okay. So you have massive orders.

Randy:
We have to get them out and into the schools because when food start ups come in a week and a half before school. Then we resupply all the schools, lunch rooms with all their foods that are frozen. And then for the next two weeks, it's all food. It's getting all their produce to them. They're frozen. They're dry. I mean, it's just chaos. But the guys are very organized.

Superintendent:
Stay with us. We're going to take a quick break. When we come back, more of our fun and fascinating look at what's in the warehouse.

Break:
If you ever feel like you need just a little extra support in your life, maybe it's time to visit the Jordan Family Education Center. The Center, located inside River's Edge School, provides support services and classes for families and students in Jordan School District. Free of charge classes like Blues Busters for Children who are sad or worry. Take a Preteens Communication Class for parents and teens or Superhero Social Skills, a class that helps children with social skills. The Jordan Family eEducation Center also offers short-term counseling and all services are provided by the district school, psychologist and counselors. For information about classes and counseling, call 801-5657.

Superintendent:
Okay, let's walk through the warehouse. And I definitely want to visit the freezer. The freezer is really something. So let's head out.

We have Kurt Prusse, Director of Purchasing with us here, walking through the warehouse as well. We've got gloves, just sitting here on, what is this, transformers? Why is that warming them up here? This is like a hot potato or something like that, but they put these on gloves.

Randy:
Yeah, the freezer, they're in there for an hour or so each time. And then you get reinforcement. So that's why there's six pair here. He's got another pair on right now and he just rotates. So when those gloves get cold, he can just grab another warm pair off the transformer.

Superintendent:
Let's go check out this freezer. When you come here, people say, well, have you seen the freezer? Because it's really something. How cold does it get in the freezer?

Randy:
Usually around minus 12 to minus 15, I tried to keep it in the 10 to minus 10 range.

Superintendent:
And how many pallets can we fit in the freezer?

Randy:
We're about 900 right now. 900 pallets and 900 talents shopping at Costco. They're 900 pounds.

Superintendent:
Oh my gosh. And you gotta be a real good operator and make this work.

Randy:
Yeah, you do. You're not really happy if you don't know what you're doing.

Superintendent:
I could see that I will never drive a forklift in here. Tell you that. That would not be a good idea.

Randy:
I'm very picky about who brings in forklifts in here. And I have to say we haven't made it here very long. That cold kind of slows your heart down.

Superintendent:
Yeah. So what are we looking at here? What do we have?

Randy:
Oh, this is why a lot of your produce stops right here. This would be government that the Nutrition Services Director has had processed, breaded chicken chicken nuggets, you know, items like that. So it's like a lot of chicken. We tried to keep this together.

Superintendent:
So this is going to be all your process. And then we have to purchase and we have just regular government contracts, like  Kung Pao chicken.

Randy:
They're right here. They taught he's one of my top operators as far as the uprights and reconstruct. And that's why he's in here. I trust him in here.

Superintendent:
So he does me a very good job and he does the right stuff and tips the button. Oh, there we go. Now there's a frozen bag of chicken fajita. All right. Hungry working in here? All you do is work with food all day.

Worker:
Yeah. Once in a while, I gotta say you are ready for the Arctic band, your iron chop. That is a refrigerator where you don't last long, especially when you're grabbing boxes. Even with these six gloves on five, six times, pick your time up. You're out changing. We got two different sets. Your brand of Coke has the word refridge in it. That means that you are set to work in the freezer.

Superintendent:
Yeah. Wow. This is something. Wow.

Randy:
Even in the winter, the guys will go out of here and they'll go outside in the snow to warm up.

Superintendent:
That's a lot of paper. That's probably not a lot of paper to you, but we're walking by pallets and boxes of paper.

Randy:
This is all the colored paper right here. This is really our small volume paper right here.

Superintendent:
That may be more paper than I've seen over the course of my entire life.

Randy:
All the paper that we buy, we buy it on a reverse auction. So I kind of have to gauge how much space I have, what my need is. And then I'll average 840 cases a month.

Superintendent:
You guys have a great reputation for just having things on hand, just making things available because schools do have emergencies and we can't really shut down. We've got kids sitting there waiting for a lesson or a meal.

Randy:
Yeah. And I've been doing the requests.

Superintendent:
You know these warehouses.

Randy:
Pretty much. I started there as a driver. I drove for seven years and then started moving up.

Superintendent:
So have you been in the warehouse Most of the time that you've been at Jordan?

Randy:
The entire time. I started over there under a Superintendent Wittenberg.

Superintendent:
Oh, wow. So, you've been under four superintendents.

Randy:
I have.

Superintendent:
I think you started in the Reagan era.

Randy:
I did. Yeah. A lot of our drivers, we sit and talk and they go, you started at like a Lane one? Oh, us Lane three. And then some of them say, yeah, I wasn't born yet. I said, well, Reagan was not just president. He was a new president. He got voted in, which makes me is really old.

Superintendent:
Now you've mentioned the reverse auction on the paper. That's fascinated me when you've talked about that in Board Meetings before, tell us about the reverse auction for buying tapes.

Kurt:
Right. It's  something that we do as a cooperative purchase with other school districts. We've had the opportunity last two years to do that. What a reverse auction is, is kind of what you think of when you were at an auction, the prices go up and in a reverse auction prices go down. So everyone has the opportunity to outbid the lowest provider until someone says uncle. Basically, he says we can't go any lower. And that's the winner. And typically there's a lot of time. There's some rules with the reverse auction, but it's something we have done in the past. And it's been very successful in that you ensure the lowest price because really the competitors or the vendors really can compete with each other in real time.

Superintendent:
And that's just one of the ways that the Purchasing Department works hard to save money and the Warehouse Department, you know, when you've got the right quantities and they move out at the right time, that saves us a lot of money as well.

Randy:
Right. And when they send it, you know, I'll get a paper. Right now I'm getting them from Brenda, one of our buyers. And it just says, okay, here's three months. How many trucks do you want for this month? And then I just look at what I've used, what I have on hand, and then how much can I bring in? How much can I house? And it's worked out great.

Superintendent:
I can't even do that with my family. I cook way too much or not even close to enough when people are coming over. To do that for 58,000 students is something else.

Randy:
Yeah. If I run out, I'm not very popular. So I try not to run.

Superintendent:
Well, you are very popular and you do a very good job. So are people surprised when they come through here and see just the scope of what you do?

Randy:
You know, they come in and a lot of them say, don't you have time to do this. And I say, well, no. And you know, when they come in and they look and they say, we just didn't understand that. We didn't understand what you guys do. And we will give anybody a tour through here. And they come through and they're just absolutely baffled by how big it is, the amount of products we carry.

Superintendent:
Thank you so much for all your years of service, your decades of service. They just don't have any idea this is back here.

Randy:
Yeah. They just say, we never knew this was behind the building.

Superintendent:
Right. So this is behind the scenes in every way. Thank you so much for all your years of service, your decades of service. And we'll sure miss you, but we wish you the best.

Randy:
Oh, I appreciate Jordan District. They helped me support my family the whole time. It's been great. When I started here, I had one child.  had four kids and now I have six grandkids. So it's offered me a great opportunity. So I appreciate it. And I've always had a job. I've never been laid off. So it's been great.

Superintendent:
Well, congratulations on your retirement and I wish you all the best.

Randy:
Thanks.

(15:48):
Thanks for joining us on the Supercast. Remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you.

Show Audio Transcription

As we head into the new year 2021, Jordan School District is following some new State COVID-19 guidelines, quarantine procedures and plans for students who want to participate in athletics and other extra-curricular activities. On this episode of the Supercast, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey helps students, teachers, staff and parents understand the changes in COVID protocol that will impact our schools moving forward.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent:
Welcome to the Supercast and to a brand new year, 2021. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. As we begin the new year, Jordan School District is following some new state COVID-19 guidelines, quarantine procedures, and plans for students who wish to participate in athletics and other extracurricular activities. On this episode, I'm joined by several colleagues involved in our ongoing COVID safety plans together. We hope to help students, teachers, staff, and parents better understand the changes in COVID-19 protocol that will impact our schools moving forward. All right, we are here with Caleb Olsen, our Planning and Enrollment Consultant, Brad Sorenson, the Administrator of Schools over High Schools, and Mike Anderson, our Associate Superintendent to talk about moving forward and where we stand with the pandemic in a new calendar year. It's amazing that we're in 2021. And there's just been a little bit of a mind shift as we look toward the remainder of the year.

There've been some changes in procedure at the District level and at the State level, since we last talked about this on the Supercast. So I invited these gentlemen back to talk about some of the changes and how they're impacting students, families, and employees. Caleb, let's start with you and talk about the Dashboard.  First off, the Dashboard has been very popular. We have a lot of visits to the Dashboard, that updates case counts and quarantine counts. Tell us about that.

Caleb:
Absolutely. We've had the Dashboard up since about the end of September. And right now we're seeing between 1,002 thousand views a day of patrons and community members coming to get information on their schools altogether. The Moving Forward site with the Dashboard and all of the Districts COVID-19 information has been viewed just under 370,000 times since it went live in August, that's a higher level of engagement.

Superintendent:
And I really appreciate all the work that goes into providing and updating information on that site. There have been some changes to the way we report that. And one of the big changes that we've had questions about is the reset after we've been out for two weeks for the holiday break. Can you tell us about the reset and some of the ways that the information on the Dashboard has evolved?

Caleb:
Absolutely. The reset happened because of our return from winter recess. And I think everyone in the District needed that winter recess and that time off to kind of recover and recharge. But what that winter recess meant is there were no classes being held. So there were no opportunities for students to interact with those who might've had positive cases. There were no situations where we needed to quarantine new students.

Because of, and at the direction of the Salt Lake County Health Department, when we came back from winter recess, we reset all of our quarantine and our case totals to zero because any of the existing quarantines would have ended and any of the existing positive cases would have run through their course. It would have been more than 14 days and they would have been able to be back in school or back to work. So when we returned, we reset all of those numbers to zero. That meant the Dashboard had a few changes in the way it looks, and it may be a little different to people. But the main information is still there prior to winter recess, because we had schools who were going to virtual learning for a two week or a 14-day period. There were two sets of numbers on the Dashboard, one for current cases and one for the last two weeks.

When a high school or a middle school came back from virtual learning, they may or may have had cases that have been active in the last two weeks. But just like with winter break and our districtwide reset, there were no active cases at that moment because they would have run their course. So we showed on the Dashboard those two different sets of information so that patrons and schools could see what was happening right now, and  also a little bit of the history of what was happening since we've reset as a district. That last two week section has gone off of the Dashboard because it doesn't need it. Everyone's at the same starting level. Everyone went to zero on Monday and we've had a few cases and a few quarantines come back since then. So it's a little more simple, a little more clear to see the information about your school, but the same information is there and the same information is available. And as you said, hat reset comes countywide at all of our schools in any district in the County, because that comes from the County Health Department who reset protocol.

Superintendent:
Now you've talked about the changes to the Dashboard. What are just some of the things for people to keep in mind when to check when it's updated? Those are not live updates by the way. The Dashboard is updated once per day.

Caleb:
Absolutely. We don't update in real time, although our school nurses do and they are inputting information and reporting information to the District all the time. And they're hard at work, making sure those numbers are reported, but the Dashboard only updates once a day. We will always have it updated by 1:00 PM, but our goal is to have it done as soon as possible each school day. And as soon as we've been able to get the morning's information from the County Health Department and verify it and make sure it everything is correct and that it will display correctly, we push it out. So it's visible to all of the schools and all of our patrons.

So it will be available on the District website, jordandistrict.org, and at movingforward.jordandistrict.org everyday by 1:00 PM. As soon as it's ready to go, we push it out live. You'll be able to see the date and the time that it was updated last so you know how current and how accurate the information is you're viewing.

Superintendent:
Well, thanks for your hard work on that. I'm glad that you mentioned the nurses. Our nurses have worked constantly to get that information updated and to help coordinate quarantines that are put in place through the Health Department. And many staff members are working really hard at the school and district level to make those numbers available and to take the appropriate action. So thank you for that. One of those numbers that we talked about that's reported is quarantine numbers. We expect those to go down dramatically, based on the new procedures that were put in place just before the holiday break. Mike Anderson, Associate Superintendent, talk to us about that change to the quarantine procedure.

Mike:
Yes. Quarantines have now changed from 14 days to 10 days. And the reason behind that is because the schools started implementing the seven day test and return protocol. In other words, a student who was on quarantine could test after seven days. If they were negative, they could come back to school. The County has been crunching all of that data and they realized that less than 1% of the student population was being impacted with a positive COVID test after being quarantined. It's a very low number. And so based on that, they reduced the quarantine requirement. They count from 14 to 10 and that's going to significantly impact our quarantine numbers. In addition to that, you don't need to quarantine if there was a school exposure that was mask on mask.

In the past, you would have to quarantine if you were exposed to anybody that was positive for COVID-19 within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes. Now, if you're at school and you have mask to mask exposure to someone that has COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine at all. There are two important things to remember with this. It only is pertaining to school related exposures, and it's only pertaining to those exposures that were mask on mask. Any instances at lunch or participating at in athletics or in certain classes where masks aren't worn, there could still be quarantines as the numbers that we've seen previously. But mostly, this should dramatically reduce the number of quarantine.

Superintendent:
Yeah, it really should.

Mike:
And you'll see some quarantines on the Dashboard because of non-mask exposure. Some of those may happen also at lunch where students have removed their masks to eat. But we should see a significantly overall reduced number for quarantines. And hopefully that also translates into a lower absenteeism. There were also some changes at the District and State level concerning the threshold at which a school would be considered to be moved to virtual instruction and the process for doing so. Right before the Thanksgiving break, the Jordan School District Board of Education voted to change that process so that the District Administration and the School Administration have a conversation when the school meets one of three thresholds for two school days in a row. That means not over a weekend or over a break, but for two school days in a row.

The three thresholds are as follows:

  1. If there are 15 cases at the elementary or middle school level or 1 percent of cases at the high school level.
  2. If 10% of the student body is on quarantine.
  3. If 20% of the student population is absent.

And those are the thresholds at which there's a conversation about moving the school to virtual instruction. After that decision was made in December, the State threshold actually changed to match those.

Superintendent:
Would you describe that if you don't mind?

Mike:
Yes. Our patrons shouldn't notice much of a difference at all because they are the same protocols that our Board had implemented prior to Thanksgiving. And that is for schools with more than 15 of 1500 students, you would have to reached 1% of the population testing positive for COVID-19. Before, a school would be considered to go virtual for schools less than 1500 students. The threshold remains at 15 days before you would be considered to pull virtual. And that includes all of our elementary and middle schools.

And if a school reaches one of those three thresholds on a day where they could have a second weekday where they meet that threshold, then they'll receive a notification for what's called an alert day and be made aware that they've met that threshold one day. If they meet the second day, they would be seriously considered to be moved to virtual instruction.

Superintendent:
Stay with us. We're going to take a short break and when we come back we will discuss what you need to know about new COVID protocols for students involved in athletics and other extracurricular activities.

Break:
If you ever feel like you need just some little extra support, maybe it's time to visit our Family Education Center. The Center located inside River's Edge School. We provide services and classes for family and students in Jordan School District, free of charge classes, like Blues Busters for children to help them worry less. There is a Pre-teen Communication Class for parents and Super Heroes Build-a-Plan that helps children with habits.  Jordan Family Education Center also offers short-term counseling and all three are provided by the District School Psychologists and Counselors. For information about classes and counseling call (801) 565-7442.

Superintendent:
Now, another the impact is on athletics and there's been a big change there. So let's talk with Brad Sorenson, Administrator over High Schools. This is athletics, extracurricular activities, anything that involves practice or rehearsals outside of the school day. Can you describe that procedure to us? And it's been very efficient at our schools. I must say, people have really jumped in and worked really hard to make this protocol work effectively.

Brad:
Yes, since just after Thanksgiving break, it's been required that students in all of our extracurricular activities be tested within a two week window. That testing continues every two weeks for all students who are participating in an activity that is more than just a one-time event. So that includes all of our athletics. It includes a lot of our performing art groups. It includes dance. It includes any groups that are meeting after school. And now, each school has set up a protocol and a process by which those groups would be tested every other week. Our schools do testing mainly on Fridays, but we've also had schools testing on different times during the week in order to accommodate all of those groups. So it's been a huge effort by the schools, and support staff. And again, the nurses who now have come in. They're the ones actually swabbing our students as they go through the testing. And those testing results determine kids' abilities to continue in those extracurricular activities.

Superintendent:
I happened to be at one of our high schools when that testing was going on. Large numbers of students moved through that process very quickly.

Brad:
School staff have been very organized and have worked hard to make that process go smoothly. And there had been some positive test results, but it's also allowed for safe continuation of extracurricular activities.

Superintendent:
And that's a Statewide protocol that's in place with an expectation. We continue to receive shipments on a regular basement basis of tests from the State. They are the rapid tests. It only takes about 15 minutes to get a result.

Brad:
Yeah, correct. Students will come in and, based on their assigned time, are usually in and out of that testing in 15 minutes at the longest, and they'll know their results through the system that sends them an automatic notification after the test has been confirmed positive or negative.

Superintendent:
Well, a lot of families and a lot of employees at the School District and State level working very hard to provide the best experience possible for students. Things are shifting all the time. We encourage you to visit the District website for updates. We'll continue to send out emails, as we did this week, to provide the latest information that we have available.

Thanks to the three of you for joining us. Thanks to families and employees out there who have been working so hard. We'll continue to follow these protocols and provide the best education and experience for students, employees, and families that we possibly can.

Thanks for joining us on the Supercast. And remember, education is the most important thing you will do today. We'll see you.

Show Audio Transcription

Jessi Morton-Langehaug is a passionate educator, athlete, ultra-marathon runner, and parent.

On this episode of the Supercast, the Herriman High School teacher talks about inspiring students by sharing her personal story. Jessi went undiagnosed with Lyme disease for ten years and was told she would never run or compete in another ultra-marathon again because her body was too damaged.

Hear how Jessi defied the odds, not only competing again but recently winning the Moab 240 with the 4th fastest time in history.

Jessi’s story is one of hope and inspiration as we begin the new year.


Audio Transcription

Superintendent:
Hello, and welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. Jessi Morton-Langehaug is a passionate educator, athlete, ultra-marathon runner and parent. On this episode of the Supercast, the Herriman High School teacher talks about inspiring students by sharing her personal story with them. Jesse went undiagnosed with Lyme disease for 10 years and was told she would never run or compete again because her body was too damaged. Hear how Jesse defied the odds, not only competing again but recently winning the Moab 240. That's right, 240 miles with the fourth-fastest time in history. Jesse's story is one of hope and inspiration as we begin the new year. Jesse, I'm just going to ask you to kind of list off some of the amazing things that you're up to. Let's start with teaching.

Jessi:
I teach chemistry, AP chemistry, honors chemistry, regular chemistry, and yoga at Herriman High School. And a hobby is I love to run. I like ultra-marathon the most, but I've run the Boston Marathon three times. I've done Chicago. I've done New York. I ran my first marathon four months after my daughter was born. She's now six and a half. And I've just kept going further and further since then and just finished a Moab240 three weeks ago.

Superintendent:
Yeah. This is a long list of accomplishments in a very short amount of time, but I'm going to start with chemistry and yoga. That is perhaps a combination I'm going to use in the future. When I'm talking about difficult teachers to replace, it used to be French and math as the combination, but I think chemistry and yoga is going to take over as the new example of a difficult position to replace. Why chemistry and yoga?

Jessi:
Well, chemistry because really, chemistry is the fundamental science of everything. So like biology, if you break it all down, it all has to do with chemistry. And then yoga, it's just become a passion of mine. I started practicing yoga and then went to yoga teacher training and then spent three years in India and in three summers, my students actually were the ones that knew that I had gone to India. I would talk about meditation with them and things like that. And they asked me to bring yoga to Jordan School District. They said if we would go around to get enough signatures, will you write the program or get it to Jordan School District or get it to the high school catalog to teach here? And so I said yes, go get signatures. We'll see what I can do. So they did. I went to the District and presented yoga and they got it on the catalog and now we have yoga. So, I'm kind of a "Jack of all trades".

Superintendent:
Well, that's very impressive. And it's exciting that the students were the ones that were behind adding yoga to your schedule.

Jessi:
Yeah. I give them the credit. Absolutely.

Superintendent:
Well, you've had a wide variety of experiences and like I said, a wide range of expertise. I want to talk a little bit about the running nap. You said that you started just after your daughter was born, just a few months after. So you've been running for about six years. Is that right?

Jessi:
Well, I ran cross-country in high school. But then I got Lyme Disease and it wreaked havoc on my system. So I stopped running for a lot of years. Then I would do like little runs here and there. I got more into cycling. It was easier on my joints. I got more into yoga because it was a lot gentler on my body. Then I kinda was always told I wouldn't be able to have children and so when I was pregnant and I had my daughter, I started running. I got up to 10 miles and I thought, if I could do 10 miles, I just think I'm going to do a marathon. If I can have a child, I can run a marathon.

And the Boston Marathon bombing also happened during that time. And it like ignited something in me. I'd never wanted to run a marathon before that. This sort of runner in me, like runners united just created this emotional thing inside of me that made me want to run the Boston Marathon. And so I started. I was running with my daughter, when I was pregnant and then she was born in January and I ran my first one. I believe it was like June 14th.

Superintendent:
Okay. Again, you just jam packed a whole bunch of things into that short little conversation, because most people, in my experience, me included, don't say I just reached this 10 mile goal. If I can do that, I can for sure do more than double that. And I can for sure do it after I just had a child, but no one thought that I could have and overcoming Lyme disease. I mean, there's a lot of things that you've overcome in your life. Many people probably don't understand Lyme disease. And I understand that years went undiagnosed for a long time. So can you just tell me about that obstacle first?

Jessi:
Sure. Um, so it went undiagnosed for probably about 10 years. And I never had a bite. I just started to have a lot of digestive issues, the weight loss, the arthritic pains, the chattering in the mind, the constant headaches. It kind of felt like I was hit by a truck all the time. And it was just a struggle just to go from A to B. And then I got to the point where I was kind of feeling like this isn't living. I didn't feel good. I felt like I didn't want to go on. And that's when I found yoga and yoga brought me to India and their approach was different. Their approach was, you spent so many years breaking down, breaking down, breaking down, trying to kill all of this.Now we need to build your system back up. So there were herbs and treatments to open up the energy channels in the body, replace it with herbs to build the systems, rebuild the organs, get you strong again.

Superintendent:
So tell us about coming back to running after all of that.

Jessi:
Running has always been what I love. So even in high school, I was top of the Cross Country team and I started running in middle school and it's just always been a stress relief. It's mental happiness. It's my love, running is my level of self. And before I was diagnosed with Lyme's they said my body is so damaged, you'll never be able to run a marathon. I used to drive down the street and see people running and be so sad because that's all I wanted to do. So when I had my daughter and I started running and then when I ran my first marathon, my first marathon was a big joke. I was on par to get a bike and I just didn't take the electrolytes that I needed to. And I bonked really bad. I made it to the finish line, but it was not a pretty finish, but I learned a lot. And I know that this is going to come back.

Superintendent:
The technical term for hitting the wall.

Jessi:
Hitting the wall biking. Yeah. And I know it'll come back to this, but I am an educator and I am really real. At least I want to be with my students. And like I tell them all the time, don't be afraid of failure. Failure makes you better. And I learn way more from my failures than I ever did any of my successes.

Superintendent:
So true.

Jessi:
I learned so much from my first marathon because I realized, even though I'm a chemistry teacher, you know what you learn in a classroom, you don't necessarily take out of the classroom. And I knew about electrolytes, but for some reason I thinking, I'll get enough, I'll get an off on the course, so I didn't. And so, like that first marathon, I bumped it really bad. And that was my first marathon, over four hours. And then I learned a ton from it, you know? And then I went to Boston, I think the following year. From my first ultra marathon, my first hundred miler, I made some really, really, really big mistakes. And I went back the following year. So that same one shaved five hours off of my time and got third place, female.

Superintendent:
Five hours off your time?

Jessi:
I tell my students all the time, failure is good. You fail and you learn. So this last summer, I had some of my issues. My Lymes kind of came back. And in June, I almost hung up my racing shoes. I ran the Wasatch course on my own. I had some pacers and a wonderful crew, but it was just me because it was canceled this year. So I ran it anyway and I didn't throw up. I always throw up the last 33 miles of that race and I didn't throw up. It gave me the confidence that maybe Moab will go well. Moab was really, really hot this year. And I got behind on my hydration because I read the water chart wrong and I didn't have enough water. So I got behind and I started to get really sick on that first day.

Superintendent:
So you weren't in the race where you set a record. Is a record perhaps for you the only record that counts? But to me, fourth overall of all time, that's pretty freaking awesome.

Jessi:
Thank you. I got really sick that first day and I problem solved it and I didn't let it destroy my race. I said, I'm going to slow down. I'm going to walk. I'm going to try to get this under control. When I made it into my first crew station at mile 72, I wasn't going to sleep, but I slept for half an hour. And then I woke up and I threw up everything and I felt great. I didn't have any other issues for the rest of the race. I think what changed as I made that decision, I'm not going to keep pushing, I'm going to sleep for 30 minutes. I'm going to tell my body if you feel bad, I'm going to rest.

Superintendent:
So the thing that's remarkable to me as I listened to overcoming the illness and overcoming obstacles, even within the day. In a race is that you're always thinking about what does this obstacle mean? How can I solve it and how can I get around it and just keep moving? And I do think that's a great lesson for your students. You're the embodiment of just continuing to try, even when things don't go your way.

Jessi:
Oh, absolutely. 100 percent. I'm not a good teacher because I'm awesome in my content. I know my stuff, but I value relationships and I share a lot of my life experiences, especially with my yoga kids. I tell them if you become more flexible, awesome. If you become stronger, awesome. But what I really care about is that you have more tools in your toolbox for when life gets hard, because it will, and you can pull stuff from that. I want to teach them to learn, to have a relationship with themselves, to gain some mental strength because that's what's going to help when life gets tough.

Superintendent:
When you finish this race, you're running along at a 10 minute mile clip, is that correct?

Jessi:
There might have been some sections at the end that I was definitely pushing. I wasn't able to hold that pace for the whole race, obviously. But I was super impressed with how my body was able to continue to push some pretty fast miles when I came into the eighth station at 37 miles. They said, wow, good job. You're the first female. And I though, yeah, it's 37 miles in. There was a long race to go. I don't even tell me that at mile 200 miles. So the whole time I was thinking I don't want to know what place I'm in because I was doing my race and I told my crew that this is my race. There were definite lows, but I had a lot of fun and I know people that's crazy.

Superintendent:
Like how can you have fun running 240 miles?

Jessi:
I had a lot of fun. I was cracking jokes with my crew. I was like singing, belting out loud with my music. I had a lot of fun. I had some lows. I felt like crying at the very end. I felt like swearing a few times. There were some bad times, but I always knew that at the bottom of a low, there was always going to be a high because that's life. When I say ultra marathons are like life, and for anyone listening,  if you are in a really bad place or if life isn't going super well, it will get better. You know? So I just always knew that if I was in a really bad place that eventually it was going to turn around.

Superintendent:
Well, it's good advice. It's obvious that you have a lot of hope and just that you're able to say it's going to get better and you're able to see past that difficult time, which is something that we're all trying to do right now. And I do think that important component of not just saying it is going to get better, but also I have a hand in trying to do that and I need to think about a lot of different ways I can attack the problem. I just, I really admire that. And I'm so glad that your students are in your class and able to get that message.

Jessi:
Thank you.

Superintendent:
You also wrote a book? Tell us about the book that you wrote.

Jessi:
It was in my head for a while. When I run, it's kind of my meditation time, when I just sort of let thoughts flow.

Superintendent:
Do you run with a little notebook in your hand and a pencil?

Jessi:
I should run with a notebook and a pencil. I would sort of write in my head as I was running. I'm a pretty private person. or I used to be, especially in terms of my health. I didn't tell people that I had Lyme disease, just because I always kind of viewed or people would see me and think I was a weak individual. So I didn't ever tell people. I didn't want people to look at me differently. So writing took a lot of courage. I wasn't quite sure if I was ready to put it all out there. And then one day I just sat down at my laptop and I started writing. I would just write all day long. Chapter one, after the prologue, took so much out of me that I needed to go for a run, just to kind of get off of this table. I had felt like I had just run an ultra marathon. I was so tired because of all this stuff I had been holding onto for so long. I just put on paper. It was just like this heaviness, you know? I just kind of felt like I just kind of felt like it was time. And I always say, if I can help one person then I've done my job. I know that there's been a few of my students that have read it and they've reached out to me to say, I looked up to you before and now, but I just respect you and you've taught me a lot. I've had other people write to me and say that I've helped them.

Superintendent:
Obviously, you have some great accomplishments in your life, but there are a lot of great accomplishments to come. And I'm just thrilled that our students here at Herriman get to know you and get to know the attitude that you've brought to life.

Jessi:
Thank you.

Superintendent:
Thank you very much for spending time with us.  Thanks for joining us on the Supercast. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. And remember, education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you out there.

Show Audio Transcription

It is music that will make you smile and warm your heart. On this episode of the Supercast, we share some sweet sounds of the season performed by Jordan School District students. Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a safe, prosperous new year!

Concert Program

  • “Snow Carol”- South Hills Middle School Advanced Women’s Ensemble
  • “Sing We Now of Christmas” - South Jordan Middle School 9th Grade Concert Choir
  • “On Thin Air” - Hidden Valley Middle School Percussion Ensemble
  • “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” - West Jordan Middle School’s Combined Choirs
  • “Rock Ye Merry, Rest Ye Very” - Sunset Ridge Middle School Symphonic Orchestra
  • “Santa is the Man” - Ms. Madsen’s 6th grade class at Eastlake Elementary School

Audio Transcription

Superintendent:
Welcome to a Holly Jolly edition of the Supercast. I'm your host, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey. It is music that will make you smile and warm your heart. On this episode of the Supercast, we share some sweet Sounds of the Season performed by Jordan School District students. While you listen, just know we are wishing you the happiest of holidays and a safe prosperous year. Let's start with "Snow Carol", performed by South Hills Middle Schools advanced women's ensemble.

Song

Superintendent:
Now enjoy South Jordan Middle School's ninth grade Concert Choir performing "Sing We Now of Christmas".

Song

Superintendent:
Up next, Hidden Valley Middle School's percussion ensembles performing "On Thin Air" by John Wilmarth.

Song

Superintendent:
Now taking the stage is West Jordan Middle School's Combined Choirs performing "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" arranged by Carol Straumer.

Song

Superintendent:
We have Sunset Ridge Middle School Symphonic Orchestra with “Rock Ye Merry, Rest Ye Very” by Brian Beaumont.

Song

Superintendent:
Finally enjoy Ms. Madsen's sixth grade class at Eastlake Elementary School singing “Santa is the Man”.

Song

Superintendent:
Thanks for listening to this episode of the Supercast. Happy Holidays and have a wonderful break. Remember, education is the most important thing you will do today. We'll see you out there.

Show Audio Transcription