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Monday, 03 July 2017 17:36

Happy 8th Birthday Canyons District

When Canyons, the first new school district in Utah in 100 years, opened its doors in 2009, the mandate was clear: Do what it takes to help students achieve their highest potential. If that means creating programs whereby middle schoolers can get a jump on high school and high schoolers can get a jump on college, so be it. If that means harnessing resources to pay teachers a professional wage, consider it done. It that means partnering with the community to spark innovations in the classroom, we’ll make it happen.

July 1, 2017 marks the successful conclusion of another year — Canyons District’s eighth — and with the community’s support, we’ve reached some significant milestones. The Board of Education approved the largest teacher pay raise in the District’s history, and crews broke ground on the 13th  and final construction project promised to voters as part of a $250 million bond, and that’s just the beginning.

The teachers, staff and principals here care deeply about what they do and how they do it, and it shows. Year eight has set a high bar for the future, but we’re confident it marks the beginning another extraordinary era. Happy birthday CSD!

2016-2017 Highlights

  • Three CSD high schools ranked in Utah’s top 10 for AP participation or pass rates: Brighton, Corner Canyon and Hillcrest.
  • Two CSD students won 2017 National Merit Scholarships.
  • A Hillcrest Husky was named a 2017 Sterling Scholar in the computer science category, and 22 CSD students were finalists in the state academic competition.
  • A Corner Canyon Charger earned a perfect 36 on the ACT, stretching the streak of at least one perfect ACT score every year since the creation of the District in 2009.
  • In their rookie year, Jordan High’s robotics team won the 2017 Utah Regional FIRST Robotics competition.
  • Thirty-one sporting students won Academic All-State Awards for excelling in athletics while maintaining high GPA’s (a combined average of 3.9).
  • Two athletes, Brighton High volleyball phenom Dani Barton and Alta High football standout Josh Davis, were named Utah Gatorade Players of the Year.
  • CSD student athletes won 21 team and individual state championships in girls golf, girls and boys tennis, wrestling, girls and boys swimming, track and field, boys soccer.
  • Hillcrest High took the state crown in 4A theatre.
  • Twenty-four students representing all five of CSD’s traditional high schools won “superior” honors at state choir, band and orchestra events. This is in addition to Hillcrest High’s string quartet, mixed vocal ensemble, and clarinet choir, and Corner Canyon’s wind symphony and orchestra, which also earned superior ratings.
  • Thirty-four CSD students took first place at state career and technical education competitions such as, Future Business Leaders of America.
  • The late Gretchen Murray, a teacher at Peruvian Park Elementary, was the second runner-up for Utah Teacher of the Year.
  • Altara Elementary School’s Joani Richardson was chosen to receive a $10,000 Huntsman Award for Educational Excellence.
  • Alta High soccer coach Lee Mitchell was named Gatorade Coach of the Year.
  • For his efforts to shrink the District’s carbon footprint, Christopher Eppler was honored as an Energy Pioneer at the Utah Governor’s 2017 Utah Energy Development Summit.
  • Crews broke ground on a remodel of Indian Hills Middle, and put the finishing touches on two rebuilds — Alta View Elementary and Midvale Middle — the last of 13 school improvement projects promised by the Canyons Board of Education with the passage of a $250 million bond.
  • The District maintained its sterling, “AAA” bond rating, which translates to low interest rates and millions in savings to taxpayers on school upgrades and new construction.
  • On our buses, we installed cameras and Child Checkmate systems to increase the safety and security of our students as they ride to and from school. Through the Child Checkmate system, drivers are reminded to check every seat to make sure students have exited the bus at the end of their routes.
  • Canyons was named a District of Distinction by District Administration Magazine for a coordinated, $416,000 effort to bridge the achievement gap at Hillcrest High. Committed to being a place where all students achieve, Hillcrest created a summer academy to give entering freshmen a jump on high school and put them on the path to excel that first, make-or-break year, and beyond. The program, coupled with daily mentoring and social and behavioral supports, has contributed to a 10 percent increase in the number of Husky freshmen on track to graduate.
  • Alta High accepted its first cohort of students into Step2theU, a novel program that will give hard-working juniors a chance to earn early college credit at the University of Utah. By the time these students graduate, they'll have two complete semesters under their belts, about $10,000 worth of university credit for the cost of $150.
  • The District expanded a successful pilot program to provide supplemental hours of instruction for kindergarten-age children. The tuition-based program has dramatically boosted student achievement across-the-board.
  • The Board of Education boosted CSD’s starting-teacher salary by more than $5,000 while also providing pay raises for mid-career and veteran educators, significantly improving their lifelong earnings and retirement. 
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