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Schools to Experience Benefits from CEP Funding

Oct 07, 2016 02:09PM ● Published by Travis Barton

The West Valley City Council voted unanimously to appropriate funds of $90,000 to the Community Education Partnership of West Valley City during a city council meeting on Sept. 13. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com


After-school programs received an extra boost from West Valley City. 

The West Valley City Council voted unanimously during a city council meeting on Sept. 13 to appropriate funds of $90,000 to the Community Education Partnership of West Valley City (CEP). CEP is a non-profit corporation that, for more than 10 years, has offered students after-school and outside of school time programs in West Valley City. 

Councilman Steve Buhler has been the CEP chair for more than five years. 

“This is essentially the only thing that we, as a city government, do to support education. We don’t run the school districts, we don’t support charter schools monetarily, we support and help the CEP,” Buhler said. 

Margaret Peterson, CEP executive director, said they typically receive their funding from the state board of education but the state has required CEP to cover their payroll before releasing the grant funds. The CEP then approached the city for help. 

“We are held to very high standards by the state auditor and if we’re not able to meet those requirements, we will not be able to function. And our contracts with the state would be turned over to the state, I’m not sure what would happen to them and I’m not interested in letting that happen,” Peterson said during the city council meeting.

The fund gives the CEP a pool to draw upon to expedite the actions already being taken by the CEP. 

Councilwoman Karen Lang requested that the appropriation was amended to include a yearly review. She said she wanted to ensure that the yearly review is reported to the city council to safeguard the expenditure of the funds.

“This is a great program, there are numerous schools next to my house it benefits. I want to make sure it happens but I want to make sure we’re protecting our residents as well,” Lang said.  

Students have seen progress in different areas over the last six years. CEP reported that teachers who worked with students who also participate in the after-school programs saw a 64 percent increase in academic performance and a 61 percent increase in classroom participation. The survey results come from after-school programs in 19 Granite School District schools in West Valley City from 2011 to 2016. 

“Our outcomes are tremendous,” Peterson said. CEP programs exist at all schools in West Valley except two elementary schools. 

 Various principals from West Valley schools were on hand to voice their appreciation and support of the funding to keep the programs going. 

Connie McCann, Rolling Meadows Elementary principal, said her school of more than 500 students has at least 60 stay every day after school.  McCann said it provides students a place to be after school before their parents come home from work as well as necessary academic tutoring. 

“We really look to this program and need this for our school,” McCann said. 

Julie Smith, co-coordinator at Rolling Meadows, said it is more than just academic assistance. 

“It’s a personal relationship we have with those kids, that’s as important as the academics…they know us and seek us out throughout the day to tell us things,” Smith said. 

Sue Dickey, Monroe Elementary principal, has an Extended Days program that runs for 34 weeks of the year. Dickey said 432 of her 700 students were touched by the program that has multiple subjects for the kids to be involved in such as Girl Scouts, science tutoring, Latina arts or computer coding to name a few. 

“Because of CEP, these programs are available month after month, year after year,” Dickey said. 

John Paul Sorensen, West Lake STEM Jr. High vice principal, has been teaching in the valley for 12 years. He said there are many at-risk students at these schools who need this programming. 

“[CEP program] is critical, not having it would be crippling,” Sorensen said.   

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