Teachers in YESS make themselves available to meet with parents, foster parents, caseworkers, advocates, staff, and any others that work on behalf of the students they teach.
YESS is privileged to have an awesome and dedicated group of mentors (Juvenile Justice Advocates) who work with youth in care throughout the schools in Granite and with students in some of the facilities.
A group of UK researchers has suggested introducing an inverted version of the periodic table, with heavy elements at the top and the lightest at the bottom. They argue that displaying the table upside down makes sense in many ways. The lighter, more fundamental elements are at the base of the table, and properties such as reactivity, atomic number and atomic mass increase from bottom to top.
By David N, Science teacher, Salt Lake Valley Youth Center
Steve Kaelin, who has worked at the State Board of Education for the past 6 years, and with us in YESS for 14 years before that, is hanging up his hat and venturing into retirement. Well…he’s retiring from one aspect of life, but setting off onto other paths of service.
As counselor, placement coordinator, school-based coordinator and fulfilling a plethora of other responsibilities, Steve was an integral part of YESS. We have appreciated the continued association as he has served youth in care in for USBE. Our students have benefited from his outreach with programs and a wide variety of opportunities. It is with deep gratitude that we thank Steve for his years of service, association and friendship and wish him the very best in the days ahead.
Students at DSI/Gemstone at the Salt Lake Valley Youth Center participated in the first of the Mission STEMCAP programming with a focus on the Grand Challenge topic of extinction. The program continued starting today with students at UNI GTC and will explore the topic of biodiversity loss.
Here is some information regarding STEMCAp from Dr. Nalini Nadkarni:
“I am a Professor in the Biology Department at the University of Utah, and the Director of the STEM Community Alliance Program (STEMCAP). This is a collaboration among the University of Utah, the Utah State Board of Education, the Utah Juvenile Justice Service, and a number of community educational and cultural organizations. STEMCAP programming is designed to inspire and fuel creativity and to communicate STEM concepts to youth who have complex and diverse backgrounds. Our approach brings experts in science, the arts, and culture to increase awareness of, interest in, and the capacity to achieve in STEM topics; to enhance educational self-discovery, and provide a constructive creative outlet for youth participants.
One aspect of our programming is ‘Mission STEMCAP’. At each of the five youth in care facilities in which we work, we offer a set of presentations and hands-on workshops to frame a single environmental challenge, provide up to date scientific research on the issue, help students create art/writing interpretations, and help students articulate their ‘responses’ by making a news report style podcast and writing letters to those concerned. Our emphasis is on positive aspects of challenges by pointing out policies, careers, and individuals who are addressing these. In November, 2019, we implemented our first set of presentations in the DSI/Gemstone programs on the topic of extinction. Next, we will be presenting our second session, at the Girls Transition Center, on the topic of biodiversity loss.”
YESS feels fortunate to have our students participate in this outstanding program!
Carol and Pamela, teachers at DSI/Gemstone, programs at the Salt Lake Valley Youth Center, recently moved from the outside relocatable classrooms into the building into vacant sections. Moving classrooms is no simple task, especially when art and music materials and supplies are involved! These teachers worked diligently at organizing, packing and preparing for the move, whilst continuing to teach their classes.
There were numerous individuals involved in this process: Trina, APD of DSI/Gemstone at Salt Lake Valley Youth Center, who worked so closely with Jason, Associate Director of YESS, to arrange suitable accommodations for the needed classroom space; Christy, YESS Registrar/Secretary at DSI/Gemstone, who scheduled the Granite movers; the Granite movers from the warehouse, Steve and Dallas, who were hardworking, patient, and professional in making the move happen in inclement weather; Suki, YESS Technology Specialist, who coordinated all of the Granite technical services; the Granite Wiring Department, Will and Ryan, who made sure the Internet would be available; Granite AV Specialists, Zach and Michael who consulted, took down equipment and will install the new equipment when it arrives; our Granite Network Engineer, Ronny, who configured the necessary wireless access points, and made sure the network was working properly; and others from Granite that helped organize and coordinate all the technical aspects of the move. The truly amazing ones in all of this were teachers Carol and Pamela, who worked harder than any of us to be sure their classrooms were moved and ready to begin classes again this morning! It definitely took a community effort to make this happen! Thanks to ALL involved in this process.
The students in YESS have been privileged for the past few years to have a team, under the direction of Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, forest ecology professor from the University of Utah, come to the facilities to bring science experiences. They were most recently at Gemstone working with the girls on ways the students can be empowered to impact ecological changes.
Dr. Nadkarni has been an advocate for students who are interested in science to pursue those interests, especially girls. She has worked with National Geographic and Mattel Toys to create a line of Scientific Barbie dolls. This is a link to a recent article about Dr. Nadkarni. We are so fortunate to have established a rapport with her.
The school staff at Gemstone/DSI donned holiday accessories, prepared and served 20 students, 20 JJS facility staff, and 10 YESS staff breakfast as a treat for the holidays. Mark, flipping a mean egg, Carol slinging pancakes, Kath and Allyson microwaving up some crispy bacon, Margie serving up her scrumptious homemade salsa, and Chad, Pamela and Sandi (retired, but came back for the occasion) working on the serving and everything else that needed to be done. A delicious morning was had by all!
Students in Pamela’s music class at Gemstone/DSI at the Salt Lake Valley Youth Center recently enjoyed a variation of color-by-numbers, color-by-notes! Students were also taking a drum test! Music is a blast in Pamela’s class!
Three of our teachers, Jodie, Paula, and Jim, were given the opportunity to participate in a SHIFT training sponsored by Youth in Care at USBE (Utah State Board of Education). SHIFT is a series of trainings that “support innovative technology integration in classroom instruction.” They were given a backpack full of equipment and resources to use in their classrooms for curriculum based multimedia projects.