Stock: Alpine School District office 01

The Alpine School District Education Center is pictured on Friday, Aug. 24, 2018, in American Fork.

The Alpine School District Board of Education approved a plan Tuesday to distribute $11 million in state funds to create dozens of new school support positions.

The money is assigned through the state legislature for the 2019-20 school year through the Teacher and Student Success Act.

“I think we thought a little outside the box, but not too far outside the box,” Alpine School District Superintendent Sam Jarman said to the board during the meeting.

Under state law, 70% of the funds will go to school support, 25% will go toward teacher salaries and 5% will go toward teacher retention. The funds will create 80 new school support positions, including five psychologists, six social workers, 14 elementary school counselors, 16 dual language immersion teachers and 25 instructional coaches, among others.

The framework was unanimously passed by the six board members who were present either physically or by phone. Ada Wilson was not present for the meeting.

Jarman said he had heard praise from the area’s legislators about the district’s plan.

“We are very excited about what is being done,” Jarman said.

Julie King, a member of the Alpine School District Board of Education, said she had mixed emotions about the plan.

“I am so excited about the psychologist piece because I know we are struggling in some of my schools to get school psychologists,” King said.

King said she wanted to make sure the district is targeting high-need areas and looking at an area’s need instead of evenly distributing resources across the district.

She said she also wanted to know how the district would measure the effectiveness of instructional coaches.

The board also voted in the meeting to approve the purchase 2.21 acres in Eagle Mountain at the price of $508,300 from Rockcress Development Inc. The land is adjacent to a 8.87 acre parcel the board voted to purchase in May for about $2 million.

All present school board members voted in favor of the purchase. They did not discuss the purchase, but concerns had been raised by Sara Hacken, a board member, in May that the 8.87 acre parcel would be small for a one-story elementary school.

The land is located near East Golden Eagle Road and East Silver Road and is near Brookhaven Elementary School, which opened last fall as the district’s elementary school with the highest enrollment.

Braley Dodson covers health and education for the Daily Herald.

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