Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Midvale Elementary Comprehensive Restructuring Proposal

Midvale Elementary Principal Chip Watts was joined by a group of teachers to speak in support of the Midvale Elementary Comprehensive Restructuring Proposal, which was drafted to address the Title I school’s failing grade in the state’s school-grading system. The Board of Education approved the $174,978 restructuring plan. The plan calls for a split of Midvale administrative roles so one assistant principal can focus on academics and another on the provision of mental-health and emotional supports.  It also assigns teachers to specific content areas; restructures the schedule to maximize instructional time; and provides financial support for teachers and staff to make visit to student homes. The school also seeks to expand and strengthen the Dual Language Immersion Program. 

Land Sale, Purchase

The Board of Education approved the sale of District-owned land at 11500 S. Lone Peak Parkway for $6,749,099. This 13-acre parcel was previously acquired as a potential site of an elementary school in west Draper. However, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board of Education, the land is not ideal because it’s not located in the part of the District where growth is expected to occur. In addition, he said, there would be limited access points and construction would require significant earthwork to remediate the west slope. To be prepared for expected student growth, though, the Board also voted to purchase 11.7 acres on the west side of the train tracks as a potential site for an elementary school, which was identified as a priority at the time of the November passage of the $283 million bond. The newly purchased land, costing $4,872,000, is at 11900 S. 550 West. The property is adjacent to a five-acre city park and will have more access points for ingress and egress. Building costs also would be lower because not as much earthwork or remediation would be required for construction, Wilcox said.


The Board of Education honored the following for their achievements: 
  • Canyons Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor, who was named 2018 Outstanding Local Elected Official by Sandy City
  • The Bionic Porcupines, made up of students at Butler and Midvale middle schools, Alta High, and the Beehive Science and Technology Academy.  The group won the 2018 Northern Utah State First Lego League
  • Boys and girls basketball players who were named to the Utah High School Activities Association’s Academic All-State roster. The girls hoops players include Brighton High’s Sidney Kaufmann and Macy Raddon, Corner Canyon High’s Hannah Sanderson and Nicole Critchfield and Jordan High’s Peyton Naylor. On the boys’ teams, honorees included Hillcrest’s Bassel Tekarli and Brighton’s Adam Christensen.

Legislative Update

Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board on education-related bills that are being debated in the final days of the 2018 General Session of the Utah Legislature, which ends at midnight on Thursday, March 8. Representatives from Canyons will be at Capitol Hill to monitor discussions and provide information to legislators until the end of the session.

Policy Update

Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen discussed proposed changes to policies governing employees in public office, particularly the state legislature; termination of employment; reporting of child abuse; and release-time classes for religious instruction. These changes have been discussed by the District’s Policy Committee. The Board will review the proposed changes. 

Meeting Schedule for the Board of Education

The Board of Education reviewed a proposed schedule for Board study sessions and business meetings from July 2018 to June 2019.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

The American and state flags were posted by Webelos Pack 3430, the members of which attend Peruvian Park Elementary. The reverence was given by Jenny Dompier, a teacher and administrative intern at Peruvian Park Elementary.  Principal Leslie Jewkes announced Peruvian Park Elementary is being considered as a U.S. Department of Education Blue-Ribbon School. Jewkes said that although Peruvian Park is a site of a SALTA magnet program for advanced learners, the faculty, staff and volunteers have worked hard to build a “one-school” culture.   

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including the minutes of the Feb. 20, 2018 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; and requests for student overnight travel. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Canyons Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe thanked the Board for supporting the Midvale Elementary Comprehensive Restructuring Proposal. Dr. Briscoe reported on attending the FIRST Robotics state competition on the Maverik Center on Friday and Saturday and the final 5A boys basketball game on Saturday at the University of Utah.He congratulated Corner Canyon for their second-place finish in the Utah High School Activities Association tourney. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked Canyons representatives who are working at Capitol Hill during the legislative session. He also thanked the teachers who worked hard to connect with parents during Parent-Teacher Conferences and honored his son’s teacher for being recognized as part of KSL-TV Channel 5’s “Teacher Feature.” 

Board Member Reports

Board First Vice President Mrs. Nancy Tingey remarked on the award won by the Bionic Porcupines and how they were known for being good problem solvers. She encouraged students to focus on being problem solvers instead of always reflecting on what they would “like to be” when they grow up. Mrs. Tingey also commented on attending the unveiling the Sacred Murals project at Brighton High. It’s the fifth such mural to be completed in Canyons District. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley spent some time visiting several high schools and noted how Midvale Elementary’s Dual Language Immersion model might also benefit non-native English speakers at the high school level. He also remarked on how attendance is dropping at Parent-Teacher Conferences and asked whether there might be a better way to conduct them. He also attended the unveiling of Brighton High’s Sacred Images Mural and participated in Dr. Seuss Day at Oakdale Elementary.

Mr. Mont Millerberg expressed appreciation to the Midvale teachers who are invested in the Midvale Elementary school-turnaround plan. He also reported on the changes to the design of the Hillcrest High reconstruction to enhance security measures. He expressed a desire to build schools “as safe as we can make them.” 

Mr. Chad Iverson asked if the Board could engage in a future conversation about the structure of Parent-Teacher Conferences.

President Taylor noted the importance of recognizing student and staff achievements as the Board does at its regular meetings. He also thanked his wife, Pat, for her support since his election to the Board of Education in 2004. He also announced that he will not be seeking re-election in November and encouraged engaged citizens to consider running for the Precinct No. 6 seat on the Board of Education. Taylor, an inaugural member of the Canyons Board of Education, reflected on the work done to launch Canyons, and thanked the teachers, principals, staff and parents for helping create a world-class school district. He pledged to represent his constituents with fidelity until the last day of his term.
Canyons Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor has been honored as an exemplary leader by Sandy City. The city named Taylor as the 2018 Outstanding Local Elected Official of the Year at a recent awards dinner. 

“I am humbled and honored by this award and I thank Sandy city so much,” Taylor said. “But I also need to say I wouldn’t be receiving this award if it wasn’t for all of the dedicated professionals and board members past and present who have served so well in the Canyons District. We are very proud of this District.”

Taylor has served as a member of the Board of Education since 2004, when he was elected to the Jordan School District Board of Education. He was one of the first seven members to serve on the inaugural Canyons Board of Education, and he continues to represent District 6 today. Taylor is a retired educator, a former teacher and principal, and a stalwart champion of the students of Canyons District.

For Sandy City, Taylor is also a reconciling force. “Since his first election in 2004, Sherril Taylor has been a bridge, helping Sandy City and the school district work together for the betterment of the community,” Sandy Deputy Mayor Evelyn Everton said at the awards presentation. “During his time serving as President and Vice President of the Canyons School Board, Sherril has been instrumental in the proposing and approving of two major school bonds which are being used to remodel and reconstruct numerous schools throughout Sandy.”

Canyons District, and Taylor, through his leadership on the Board of Education, also worked with Sandy on the development of the Mount Jordan theater, various redevelopment project areas, and the design and coIMG_0128.JPGnstruction of new homes built by CTEC students on land donated by the city.  

“In my opinion, he has been a steady hand in forming Canyons School District,” Canyons Superintendent Jim Briscoe said at a recent school board meeting. “He’s been there the whole way, setting high expectations and excellence for Canyons School District and he has served outstandingly as the Board President. We have expectations that all of our students will achieve their fullest potential and be college-and career-ready, and that’s amazing.”
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Purchase of Property for Hillcrest High Rebuild

The Board of Education approved the purchase of property at 7230 S. 900 East to increase the parking capacity at Hillcrest High during the scheduled rebuild funded by the voter-approved $283 million bond. Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board the redesign of the campus will improve the traffic flow for the entire campus, but especially to the football stadium and gymnasium. The sale price of the 1.76 acres is $1.5 million, which is less than the appraised value. Board member Mont Millerberg advocated for the purchase of the land to enhance the safety of the access points to the high school. 

County Boundary Change

Salt Lake and Utah counties have agreed to a change in their boundaries that will impact student enrollment in Canyons District. The change was necessary to remedy a jurisdictional problem created by the fact that the county line previously cut through several Draper-area properties. Under the redrawn line, Salt Lake County will exchange some vacant land for a residentially-zoned area that has been slated for development. Because Canyons District’s boundaries are contiguous with Salt Lake County’s boundaries, the District expects to eventually inherit about 175 new homes. 

Sixth-Grade Math Curriculum

To boost student achievement, a curriculum committee of math teachers is recommending that Canyons adopt a new sixth-grade math curriculum: Illustrative Mathematics. An open source educational resource developed by leading researchers, Illustrative Mathematics is available digitally for free, with exception to student workbooks that can be purchased for $22.50 apiece. This particular platform is more rigorous and aligns with state standards and evidenced-based instructional practices, explained Instructional Supports Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward. The Board will vote on the proposal at a future meeting. If approved, the new curriculum would be implemented in time for the 2018-2019 school year.

Cell Tower

The Board held a first reading of a proposal for a micro cell tower at Ridgecrest Elementary that would generate $350 per month in annual revenues for the school.  The tower was unanimously approved by the school’s School Community Council, which recommended it be approved by the Board. It would be placed atop a 20-foot light pole in Ridgecrest’s parking lot in compliance with Cottonwood Heights City ordinances. The Board will vote on the matter at a future meeting.

Graduation Rates

More CSD students are taking and passing Advanced Placement exams through which they can earn early college credit. In 2017, 2,737 of CSD’s high school seniors took AP exams, a 56 percent increase from 2010. Pass rates, or the number of students to earn a score of 3,4, or 5 on the exam, rose to 70 percent in 2017. That compares to average pass rates of 67 percent in Utah and 68 percent nationally. Canyons District’s graduation rate also continues to improve. Eighty-six percent of all high school seniors received a diploma in the spring of 2017. That’s up from 85 percent in 2016 and 83 percent in 2014, explained Research and Assessment Director Dr. Hal Sanderson. CSD’s graduation rate tracks the state’s, but such a comparison is complicated by the fact that Canyons has strict graduation requirements. CSD has a 28-credit diploma whereas most districts require 27 credits. Most districts, including CSD, also offer a reduced, 24-credit diploma option.

Patron Comment

Lone Peak parent Nicole Ellis thanked the Board for working quickly to address the cooling system at the elementary school.  In November, she urged the Board to consider fixing the chiller because of the heat in classrooms.

Patron Steve Van Maren asked whether Canyons allowed political signage on its property. He also inquired about the potential purchase of land to accommodate the Hillcrest High rebuild. He urged the Board to make the school’s footprint smaller and reconsider work on the athletic fields. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the majority of the items on the consent agenda, including the minutes of the Board’s Dec. 5, 2017 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; November Financial Reports; December Financial Reports and a LAND Trust Amendment for Oak Hollow Elementary. After some questions, in a separate motion, the Board approved proposed student travel and a proposed minimal tuition increase for preschool students.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on attending farewell receptions for Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini, Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan, and Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore. All three were instrumental in the creation of the District.  He also recognized 1st Board Vice President Nancy Tingey, who has served for the past year as the Utah School Boards Association President.  He said. USBA’s recent conference was a success, thanks to her leadership. 

Wilcox congratulated Mrs. Tingey on her successful year as the USBA President and noted that Mrs. Amber Shill, 2nd Vice President, has earned another leadership position in the Utah High School Activities Association.  He thanked Dr. Hal Sanderson for his presentation on graduation rates and AP take- and pass-rates. He said the first $49 million in bond issuances will be sold tomorrow.  The Board will be updated as soon as the District knows the terms of the sale. 

Board of Education Member Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson thanked Dr. Sanderson for his presentation. He also reported on attending a holiday concert at Indian Hills Middle, which is now housed at the old Crescent View building, and reflected on how nice it will be next year to be in the renovated Indian Hills Middle.  The new IHMS opens in the fall. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold reported on attending the most recent District incident-command meetings. Arnold remarked on the plans being put in place to prevent a hepatitis A outbreak. She also commented on discussions about how to improve communication in an emergency. She also expressed appreciation for Dr. Sanderson’s study-session presentation. Mrs. Arnold also thanked Mrs. Tingey and Mrs. Shill for representing the district on various boards and committees. 

Mrs. Tingey thanked her fellow Board members for the support she’s been extended during her time as USBA president. She reported on attending Brighton, Park Lane and Brookwood School Community Council meetings. She also reported on attending farewell receptions for outgoing mayors. Tingey also congratulated schools on successful completion of emergency drills. 

Mrs. Shill reported on attending the Brighton High SCC meeting at which architects presented preliminary plans for the new school. She invited the public to Open Houses when plans for the new campus are formalized. She congratulated on Tingey on a successful year as the USBA leader.  In addition, she congratulated the CSD schools that were in the top 20 in the state school-grading system.

Mr. Steve Wrigley said he attended Jordan High’s SCC meeting, as well as a speech at Alta High by a Pulitzer Prize winner.  He also discussed the efforts the District is making to provide supports to special-education classrooms.  Wrigley also reported on attending classes at the Utah School Boards Association Conference.

Mr. Mont Millerberg praised the quality of classes and organization of the USBA conference. He expressed appreciation to Hillcrest High Greg Leavitt for his work on the designs for the new high school. He also reported on attending the holiday performing event at Copperview Elementary, the District’s incident-command meetings, and the Student Advisory Council meetings. 

President Sherril Taylor thanked Principal Brian McGill for his dedication to the suicide-prevention efforts at the high school. He congratulated Mrs. Tingey for her successful year as the president of USBA. Taylor said she made USBA better.  He congratulated Mrs. Shill on her position in the Utah High School Activities Association. He expressed appreciation to Board members for their hard work.  He said Canyons is achieving its goal of being a world-class district.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Communications Plan for Bond Election

Communications Director Jeff Haney briefed the Board on a plan to inform Canyons District voters about Canyons District’s proposed $283 million school improvement bond up for a vote in the Nov. 7 general election. The informational push takes advantage of many standing community events planned throughout the District in the months of September and October. Patrons can find information at

Progress Report: Board Vision and Mission 

CSD’s Research and Assessment Director Hal Sanderson updated the Board on progress toward achieving academic goals set out as part of new vision and mission statements for the District. Canyons District’s schools and students are outperforming their peers in neighboring school districts and are incrementally making progress in reaching the achievement goals established by the Board. In some areas, however, progress is so pronounced that the Board discussed possibly raising the bar even higher. Sanderson stressed the importance of focusing on trends as opposed to small one-year dips or spikes in performance. The Board will review operational goals at a future meeting.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

A troop of Cub Scouts who attend Ridgecrest Elementary led the Board and audience in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Ridgecrest Principal Julie Winfree delivered the reverence. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, said Winfree, because on Friday, Sept 8, Ridgecrest celebrates its 50th anniversary. At 50 years of age, the school is 631 students strong with a robust PTA and SCC. Among its special programs, the school boasts a Mandarin Chinese-English Dual-Language Immersion program, a jump rope team, chess club, and the Ridgecrest Marathon Runners. Principal Winfree invited the Board to the school’s birthday celebration, which kicks off at 5 p.m. with games, food trucks, birthday cake and a reveal of the school’s new logo. 

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the consent agenda, including minutes from the Aug. 22 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; and student overnight travel plans.

Patron Comments

 Leslie Johnson, a parent of a Jordan High student spoke in favor of a request on the consent agenda to move a Jordan High sporting event from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16.

Kellie Simmons believes there’s broad support for the proposed 2017 school improvement bond, but voiced concern about rumors circulating about some of the projects.

Canyons Education Association President Erika Bradshaw introduced several of her colleagues who, as a group, stood to thank the Board for their support. “Our working environment is our students’ learning environment, so we appreciate your willingness to hear our voices and support teachers,” she said. 

Board Recognitions

The Board recognized two groups of student athletes and the Canyons District Transportation team.

•    Brighton High tennis champion Redd Owen: Redd Owen is an example of the power of perseverance. He lost his first set at the 5A boys tennis state tournament in May, but the Brighton freshman turned it around, took the second set, and then just kept going. He pulled off 11 straight wins and found himself in the championship match against a formidable opponent from Lone Peak. Owen didn’t hesitate — he kept his rival scrambling on the court until he sealed his fate. Owen won 6-3, 6-4. 

•    Corner Canyon’s championship girls golf team: The success of Corner Canyon’s girls golf team continues to rise as it claimed a second title as 4A state champions at a tournament in May. The Chargers made their school proud by capturing its second state title in the school’s 4-year history with a winning score of 658, beating their competition, rival Alta, by 17 points.

•    CSD’s Transportation Department: Canyons’ Transportation Department has a gold-standard when it comes to safety. After an extensive check, the Utah Highway Patrol gave Canyons’ 164 buses a Safety Gold Medal once hazard lights, windshield wipers, defrosters, headlights and exit doors were found to be working properly. The accomplishment is no small feat as Transportation technicians are tasked with maintaining the fleet and making sure that bus brake-pads, tire treads, coolant lines and exhaust pipes — to name a few —are in tip top shape.

Approval of CAB-West property sale

The Board of Education unanimously approved the sale of District property at 9150 S. 500 West. The property was listed on the open market. The highest offer received was from Synergy Development, located in Park City, for $9.6 million. Synergy has a 120-day due diligence period prior to closure, which could occur as soon as December. Under the purchase agreement, CSD may rent the building and maintenance compound for up to 18 months, if need be. The administration is reviewing cost-neutral options to relocate the CSD departments housed at CAB-West. Synergy plans to work with Sandy City in constructing a industrial complex. Depending on the scope, the project could generate up to $500,000 in ongoing property tax revenue for CSD. Up to 700 jobs could be created.   

A Farewell

Board Chairman Sherril Taylor recognized Makayla Hopkins who is leaving her intern post in CSD’s External Affairs Department to pursue a college degree at Brigham Young University-Idaho. He wished her well with her future endeavors and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.   

Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports 

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe remarked on the passing of Hillcrest Coach Cazzie Brown and said it was gratifying seeing students from throughout the valley come together to celebrate Coach Brown’s contributions and life. The students really drove the remembrance events, he said, which is a testament to their spirit and the lasting influence of Coach Brown. Dr. Briscoe commended the Board for establishing high standards for theDistrict and for holding schools accountable for attaining them. In closing, he remarked how excited he is to see the enthusiasm at CSD’s back-to-school events. He also spoke to dispel rumors about the 2017 school improvement bond, stressing there are no plans to build a swimming pool at any of CSD’s high schools.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said the 2017 bond proposal was warmly received by the Sandy City Council.  He and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards presented information earlier in the night to the City Council. 

Board Reports

Board President Sherril Taylor voiced appreciation for Coach Cazzie Brown and his enduring legacy. Even though he was with us for a short time, he left a huge impact, Taylor said. He also thanked teachers and administrators for a near-flawless start to the school year, which doesn’t happen by accident. Finally, he thanked administrators and Board members for all they do to support CSD’s schools and youth within the District.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey expressed condolences to Coach Cazzie Brown’s family. She attended back-to-school events at Park Lane and Brookwood and couldn’t help but imagine how much learning and development will take place by the end of the school year. She also participated in Kindergarten College-Ready Day at Brookwood to see the Class of 2030 take the college-ready pledge.

Amber Shill said she was able to attend the red-carpet back-to-school events at Butler Elementary and Butler Middle schools. She remarked on how Butler’s new Principal Jeff Nalwalker already knew many of the students, because he spent the summer hosting open houses where kids could come get popsicles and eyeglasses for safely enjoying the solar eclipse. As the Finance Committee Chair for the Utah High School Activities Association, she encouraged patrons to check the UHSAA website for information on budget hearings and meeting minutes. She also was elected to serve on the Realignment Committee. She concluded that her heart goes out to Cazzie Brown’s family and the Hillcrest community.

Clareen Arnold thanked the administration, schools and parents for making the first day of school positive and inspiring, remarking on all the preparation that goes into CSD’s red-carpet welcomes and Kindergarten College-Readiness Day. 

Chad Iverson said he’s been able to attend a few soccer matches and cross country meets. He thanked coaches for the huge impact they have on young people, specifically mentioning the far-reaching influence of Coach Cazzie Brown. He thanked the administration for taking time to update the Board on academic measures and emphasized the importance of ACT scores as an indicator of college- and career-readiness. Colleges and universities don’t ask for SAGE scores on college applications, they ask about the ACT. He urges Utah lawmakers and the Utah State Board of Education to reevaluate SAGE. 

Mont Millerberg also remarked on feeling a spirit of excitement within the District and said he’s eager to see momentum continue with the proposed bond measure. Underscoring the need for the bond, he said, are the unbearably high temperatures in the classrooms at Union Middle and Midvalley Elementary. He attended the first day of kindergarten at East Midvale and Midvale elementary schools, which he said, is more fun than it should be. He concluded by expressing condolences to Coach Cazzie Brown’s family, noting that his loss was a big blow to the community.

Steve Wrigley said he appreciated being able to spend time at White City Days sharing information about the proposed 2017 school-improvement bond. He had a chance to celebrate the new buddy bench at Willow Canyon Elementary. He also attended Coach Brown’s celebration of life at Hillcrest High, and noted the profound influence he had.
Approval of Negotiated Agreement with Canyons Education Association

The Board of Education unanimously voted to approve a negotiated agreement with the Canyons Education Association for 2017-2018 school year. The agreement contains a small adjustment to the Conversion Placement Table approved at a prior Board meeting. The new, single-lane salary schedule represents the largest pay hike in the District’s history, bumping the starting-teacher salary by more than $5,000 to $40,500, while also funding raises for mid-career and veteran educators. Every licensed employee will see no less than a 4 percent jump, significantly improving their lifetime earnings and retirement payments. As part of the agreement, the District will cover 83.7 percent of the 11.33 percent hike in health insurance premiums that takes effect in January 2018. One Personal Leave Day will be converted back to a Sick Leave Day. Also, under a policy change, the provisional status of experienced transfer teachers may be shortened if they have:
  • Successfully taught for at least three consecutive years in an accredited school or district
  • Completed at least one year of provisional service with Canyons District
  • Successfully met the criteria outlined in GCOA-Evaluation of Instructional Staff (Licensed)
  • Been recommended by their principal/supervisor for a Provisional Status Exception
  • Received approval by the Director of Human Resources
The Board read the following statement into the minutes: 

“Tonight, the Canyons Board of Education voted to approve the tentative negotiated agreement for 2017-2018 with the Canyon Education Association. We take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks for the licensed educators in Canyons School District. With this agreement, and with the previously announced salary structure that gives no less than a 4 percent salary increase to every teacher in Canyons District, the Board of Education decidedly shows in word and deed how much this community values education. We have said it before and we will say it again: Teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions. With the intention of bringing the best and brightest to Canyons District classrooms, and to give teachers a chance to earn more over the length of their careers, the Board of Education moved singularly and decisively to make an important and positive financial impact in the lives of our teachers. Day in and day out, the men and women who lead classrooms in Canyons District are making good on the promise of our nation — that every child has a right to a free, appropriate education. President John F. Kennedy once said, ‘Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.’ The Board of Education can send no clearer message than this: We honor and respect our teachers. We thank them for their care, creativity, and commitment to ensuring that every student in Canyons District graduates college and career-ready.”

Budget Update

With the expiration of a 7-year-old school-district funding equalization law, Canyons District’s property tax rate will be auto-adjusted for the 2017-2018 school year, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board of Education. Even though the tax rate is being auto-adjusted, CSD’s goal is to keep the 2017-2018 tax rate lower or the same as the 2016-2017 rate, he said. The Administration will, in adherence to state law, post a tax notice in Utah’s major daily newspapers. The Board will adopt a revised FY17 budget and original FY18 budget at its June 13 meeting following a public hearing. At least 15 days prior to that meeting, the budgets will be posted to the District’s website.

Proposed Reorganization 

A fiscally neutral reorganization is being proposed to consolidate oversight of two departments that support teachers in the classroom: Instructional Supports and Education Technology. The proposed changes are occasioned by the resignation of Education Technology Director Dr. Darren Draper, who is leaving CSD for another job opportunity. After consulting with Draper, and meeting with his staff, it was decided that aligning the Education Technology Specialists with Instructional Specialists would create operational efficiencies and synergies and improve communication, explained Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie. Under the plan, Education Technology Specialists would move under the umbrella of Instructional Supports, and an administrative position would be added to shoulder the additional supervisory burden. In addition, four teacher positions would be elevated to provide more support to academic and technology coaches. The administration of Canyons Virtual High School would be assigned to CTEC Principal Ken Spurlock.

Policy Update

Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen briefed the Board on a proposed policy change in the handling of unpaid school-nutrition meal charges.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

Willow Canyon Scout Troops No. 838 and No. 541 led the audience in the pledge of allegiance, and Willow Canyon Principal Marilyn Williams conducted the reverence. Teachers at Willow Canyon embody a can-do attitude; more than 15 have met level-one certification for using technology in the classroom, she said. The school has several enrichment programs, including a choir and fine arts program. Students also participate in CSD’s annual storytelling festival and “Monster Math” program. “Every student successful is our goal,” William said. 

Patron Comments 

Canyons Education Association President Jen Buttars announced that the association has ratified a tentative negotiated agreement with the District for teacher pay and benefits. “We appreciate the nearly $11.5M investment in teacher salaries and believe that the Board has truly demonstrated a commitment to not only recruit, but also retain educators,” she said. “We also appreciate the Board’s willingness to examine issues such as insurance premiums. provisional status of experienced teachers, personal and sick leave, easier access to payroll codes, and the number of assessments being given to students.” 

Big Cottonwood Canyon resident Tom Fendler addressed the Board about the proposal to eliminate the bus route in the canyon. He urged the Board to keep the route. Karin Peterson also told the Board it would be a hardship for her if the Board eliminated the route. Deborah Miles, also a resident in the canyon and parents of a student at Butler Elementary, urged the Board to keep the route. Eric Railsbeck also spoke in favor of keeping the route.  CVHS administrative assistant Julie Mayo also addressed the Board, reporting on some of the tasks that need to be completed by CVHS employees.   

Bond Discussion

Board members discussed their thoughts about the projects that could be considered for completion on a future bond issuance. This fall, both a new Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary schools will open. Both schools have been completed with proceeds from a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. Crews have started to work on the renovations at Indian Hills Middle, the 13th and final project promised to voters when the bond was approved. 

Bus Route

The Board voted to table a proposal to cancel a hazardous bus route up Big Cottonwood Canyon while they take into consideration patron comments and concerns. Board members asked the Administration to explore the possibility of using a smaller bus or van to transport students. The Board will continue to study the matter at future meetings.


The Board of Education recognized the accomplishments of students in Career- and Technical-Education programs who won first place in their respective competitions. They also recognized Altara Elementary teacher Joani Richardson, who received a 2017 Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education; Jonathan Hale, a teacher at Sprucewood and Jordan Valley schools, who received a Sorensen Award for Excellence in Arts Education, and Betty Shaw, the outgoing Region 17 PTA Director.  National PTA Reflections winners — Oakdale Elementary’s Sarah Baros, for photography; Copperview’s Tuesday Harris, for literature; and Draper Elementary’s Alyssa Meadows, for music — also were honored.    

Easement for Trail Near Edgemont Elementary

The Board of Education considered a request from Salt Lake County for an easement to build a trail along Edgemont Elementary School’s property line. The county successfully passed the Zoo, Arts, and Parks (ZAP) tax at the November 2016 election, and as part of its ZAP plan, wants to construct a walking trail through White City, CSD’s Budget Administrator Leon Wilcox explained. The trail would run along Edgemont Elementary and would require an easement from the District. Board members expressed concern about the possible need for a fence to safeguard students, and Board President Sherril H. Taylor asked the Administration to explore the possibility of a land exchange with the county. Wilcox said these stipulations could be added to the easement agreement along with language to require the county to maintain the trail and repair any damage to District property incurred during construction. Also included would be language requiring the trail to be relocated if Edgemont is rebuilt at a future date. The easement will be brought to the Board for approval at a later meeting. 

Remarks by Elected Representatives

The Board of Education heard remarks from Utah Rep. Bruce Cutler, R-Murray, and Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper.

Consent Agenda

With exception to one school’s overnight travel plan, the Board approved all items on the consent agenda, including, hires and terminations, purchasing bids, student overnight travel plans; and April financial reports.

Counseling Update

Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Coordinator Tori Gillett updated the Board on services provided by the school counseling programs. She told the Board the counselors are aligning data projects with the school-improvement plans of the schools. The projects also focused on attendance, behavior and course understanding. Highlights of the CSD counseling efforts include the launch of counseling services at Diamond Ridge and HYPE courses for counselors. The counselors also continue their efforts to increase the number of students who submit a viable college application during the Utah College Application Week. 

Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Jim Briscoe thanked Shaw for her service to CSD as the Region 17 PTA President. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox commended Dr. Darren Draper for his work in Canyons District. Wilcox said Draper was one of the first people he met when Wilcox started working for CSD in 2009.  He honored CSD Energy Specialist Chris Eppler for being honored by Gov. Gary Herbert for his work in helping conserve energy in our facilities.

Board Reports

Mrs. Clareen Arnold reported on negotiations with CSD employees.  She appreciates the negotiating teams for working hard on behalf of the District’s employees. She also commended teachers who were honored during the Teacher of the Year ceremonies. She looks forward to the Retirees Banquet on May 25.

Mr. Chad Iverson reported on watching Alta and Corner Canyon student-athletes compete in the Region 7 track meet. He also will be attending the Indian Hills Middle end-of-year band concert. He also reflected on the accomplishments of the educators honored during the Teacher of the Year announcement ceremony. He said one of his former teachers is the father of one our Teachers of the Year. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg enjoyed the Teacher of the Year presentation. He thanked the teachers who “go to the battle line” every day in our schools. He also reported on attending the Thursday, April 27 Canyons Education Foundation Spring Gala. He expressed appreciation for the support in the community for the Foundation. 

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending the Sacred Images mural unveiling at Corner Canyon High. She reported on attending the Brighton and Butler Middle’s SCC meetings, and thanked District staff for their work on the Teacher of the Year ceremonies and the Foundation’s gala. She attended fifth-grade DARE graduation at Bella Vista Elementary. She thanked Betty Shaw and Dr. Draper for their service to Canyons District. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey mentioned attending the Latinos in Action celebration and congratulated the LIA students who were recognized for their achievements. She mentioned she was able to participate in the electronic bidding during the Foundation’s spring gala. She was able to buy a charcoal painting done by a student during the event. She thanked Shaw for her service in the Region 17 PTA.

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on attending the Foundation’s Spring Gala.  He also recognized our special education department’s excellent services. 

President Taylor thanked Shaw for her voluntarism. He also thanked the Office of Public Communication for organizing Recognitions. He reported on Communities that Care group to which he belongs. Taylor also reported on attending Alta High’s Awards Ceremony. He expressed appreciation for Principal McGill’s efforts at Alta High, the various administrators for working hard throughout the year, the Canyons Virtual High School staff, and Mr. Steve Van Maren, a resident who often attends CSD meetings. 
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