Thursday, 18 May 2017 17:41

Board Meeting Summary, May 16, 2017

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.

Recognitions

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. 
The Board of Education on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 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 the April 25, 2017 meeting of the Board of Education. 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. It’s a big investment and tangible proof of how much the CSD community values education, says Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor.

"We have said it before and we will say it again: Teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions," he said. "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."

CEA President Jen Buttars also said the association appreciates "the nearly $11.5 million investment in teacher salaries and believes that the Board has truly demonstrated a commitment to not only recruit, but also retain educators."

"The CEA believes that (the Board's) commitment to listening to the concerns of educators, recognizing professional judgement and attending to salary, benefit and working condition concerns, allows educators to focus on their
efficacy for the benefit of all Canyons School District students," she said.

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

Amber Shill, a Canyons District Board member with deep roots in civic involvement, has been selected to serve on the newly-reorganized Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) Board of Trustees.

Her re-appointment—this will be her third year on the Board—was announced May 4 as part of a reorganization to reduce the Board in size from 30 members to 16. She was previously a member-at-large, and will now represent 5A schools.

Mrs. Shill will bring some continuity to Utah’s official sanctioning body for high school sports, music, theatre, and speech and debate. She served on the subcommittee that negotiated the new athlete transfer rule with the Utah State Board of Education and was a member of the panel that hired the organization’s three new assistant directors.

“I’m excited to continue to serve,” she said, noting, “Students are my No. 1 priority.”amberboard.jpg

Since 1927, UHSAA has led the development of education-based interscholastic activities in the sports and arts under the belief that they are essential to the high school experience.

Mrs. Shill was a vocal supporter of the recent Board vote to sanction lacrosse as Utah’s 11th official prep sport. Advocates had been seeking a sanction for nearly a decade, which they say will expand opportunities for students already playing in club programs, and will open the sport to students who have no other means to participate except through high school.

“Boys and girls will have another opportunity to participate and excel in another sport,” Mrs. Shill told the Deseret News.

Mrs. Shill was elected to the Canyons Board of Education in November 2014, and is the Second Vice President. Her roll-up-the-sleeves style of leadership has endeared her to the District 2 community she represents, which covers most of Cottonwood Heights.

Mrs. Shill and her husband have four children who attend or have graduated from the Brighton feeder system. She graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance.

Her more than 17 years of civic involvement includes volunteering in Cub Scouts, leading youth groups, and serving as a Salt Lake County Precinct Delegate. She has volunteered in schools, and led multiple districtwide committees, School Community Councils and the PTA’s at Bella Vista Elementary, Butler Middle and Brighton High School. Most recently, she served as the School Community Council Chair at Brighton High from 2012-2014.
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 17:05

Board Meeting Summary, March 7, 2017

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

Administrative Appointments

Assistant Superintendents Dr. Kathryn McCarrie and Dr. Bob Dowdle announced the Board-approved leadership appointments for the coming school year. 
  • BJ Weller, currently the Principal of Canyon View Elementary, is the new Director of the Department of Responsive Services.  
  • Kierstin Draper, Principal of Oakdale Elementary, will become Principal of Canyon View Elementary
  • Lori Jones, currently Principal of Sprucewood Elementary, will become Principal of Oakdale Elementary. 
  • Colleen Smith, currently Principal of Parkside Elementary in the Murray City School District, will become Principal of Sprucwood. 
  • Christy Waddell, who now is the Principal of Butler Elementary, will become Principal at Draper Elementary. She replaces Piper Riddle, who has accepted a principal’s post in the Wasatch School District.
  • Jeff Nalwalker, currently Principal at Midvalley Elementary, will become Principal at Butler Elementary.
  • Tamra Baker, currently Director of Student Support Services, will become Principal at Midvalley Elementary.
  • Brandee Burgham, a teacher at Fort Herriman Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle. She will assume the role previously held by Kerry Schroeppel, who is returning to the classroom to teach. 
  • Randall Saltz, now an Achievement Coach at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Draper Park Middle School. The school qualifies for another AP because of high enrollment figures. 

Legislative Update

CSD’s Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board of Education on talks surrounding SB80, a school-funding equalization proposal. The bill appears to have stalled, though conversations about how to adequately fund schools continue. An early iteration of the bill would have cost CSD up to $1.5 million if approved. Among funding proposals to gain more traction is a Senate- and House-approved measure that would provide salary bonuses to teachers in Title I schools, Edwards said. Lawmakers also have coalesced around a spending plan that calls for a 4 percent increase per pupil funding and contains ongoing funding for growth, teacher supplies and offsets for teacher licensing fees. Edwards also briefed the Board on SB240, which, among other things, would allow School Community Councils to bypass local Boards of Education and approach the Utah Board of Education to become a charter school.

Policy Update

CSD Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen described proposed policy updates, including language to clarify that paid release time for jury duty is only available for benefit-eligible employees. Also proposed under a first reading is an update to bring CSD’s Family Medical Leave policy in line with federal law, and a policy that would require CSD employees who are elected or appointed to a public office to perform their elected duties on their own time while on leave from work. Christensen also proposes striking obsolete language from policies having to do with employee suggestions and lump sum payments. Board members will further discuss the proposed changes at their next meeting.

Proposed Bus Route Changes

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle discussed the possibility of eliminating a bus route that serves students who reside in Big Cottonwood Canyon and attend Butler Elementary, Butler Middle and Brighton High. It’s a dangerous route; this year alone there have been two slide-offs and a collision with a deer, Dowdle said. Parents have expressed frustration over delays in service caused by inclement weather and the inability to communicate with drivers once the bus is deep in the canyon. Current ridership ranges between 1-10 students, and CSD must pay the $28,000 annual cost of providing transportation for these students, because under state law, bus routes catering to fewer than 10 students don’t receive state funding. The route is a bit of anomaly. CSD does not send buses up Little Cottonwood Canyon, up to Suncrest or to South Mountain. The District reimburses families for mileage to bring students from Suncrest.   

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

Members of Draper Park Middle School’s Scout Troop 1219 posted the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Draper Park Middle Principal Mary Anderson reported on developments at her school, the only middle school in Utah to score in the top 10 in SAGE formative assessments in math, science and English language arts. The school benefits from high parental involvement, she says, and offers a rich variety of academic programs, including French and Mandarin Chinese, and award-winning jazz, choral and orchestra programs. Among its after-school offerings are debate club, service fair, math and science clubs, a new National Jr. Honors Society chapter, and a Vikings Scholar program modeled after Utah’s Sterling Scholar program for high school seniors. Starting tonight and running through Saturday is a student performance of “The Lion King Jr.”  

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, which included the minutes from the Feb. 21, 2017 meeting of the Board; a hire and termination report; approval of purchasing bids; approval of student overnight travel; approval of a date change in the 2018-2019 calendar; a 2017-2018 meeting schedule for the Board of Education; approval of the Director of Responses Services position; and approval of new administrative appointments.


Recognitions

The Board of Education honored students, teachers and an administrator for accomplishments. Those recognized included Shaun Stockwell, a 4A heavyweight wrestler from Corner Canyon High; boys basketball player Ammon Savage, an Academic All-State recipient who attends Corner Canyon;  Brighton High 5A champion swimmers Jack Binder, Rachel Butler, Anna Hibbard, Brooke Van Conklin, and Ava Binder; CSD Dual Language Immersion Coordinator Ofelia Wade for earning a Lifetime Achievement Award; You Yin-Yao, a teacher at Draper Elementary who was named the International Language Teacher of the Year, and Debbie Beninati, a Sandy Elementary music specialist who has been named Utah Music Educator of the Year.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Report

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe mentioned the District’s receipt of the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. He congratulated Business Administrator Leon Wilcox and his team for achieving this accomplishment for three consecutive years. He mentioned the robotics fundraiser held at Alta High on Friday night, and encouraged the community to support CSD’s five traditional FIRST Robotics competition on Saturday, March 11.   

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked the Canyons Technical Education Center students who staffed the Canyons District booth at District Day on the Hill. He expressed condolences to the families and friends of three students who recently died, as well as the loved ones of Mike Huish, an employee in the Information Technology Department, who died as a result of complications from surgery. 

Board Member Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson also expressed his condolences for those in the CSD community who recently passed away. He reported on attending Crescent Elementary’s spelling bee. He said he enjoys the level of intensity and pressure at such academic competitions. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey expressed her condolences to the loved ones of those who passed away. She appreciated the support shown by staff members for students who are experiencing difficult emotions. She congratulated Wilcox and his team, and thanked the Utah legislators for increases to the Weighted-Pupil Unit, the main funding formula for public schools. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on visits to schools in his district and his attendance at the policy-committee meeting and the arts consortium meeting.  He also attended Human Resource’s “Flip the Interview” recruiting event and the Alta High robotics event at the school. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg congratulated Wilcox’s department for winning the CAFR award.  He said the honors show the District’s finances are well under control. He thanked External Affairs Director Charlie Evans and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards for their work during the legislative session.  He also mentioned the work that goes into providing a secure environment, especially when faced with an emergency situation. 

President Sherril Taylor thanked all the teachers for their hard work and dedication on behalf of students. He also expressed appreciation for District Office administration and staff.
Canyons District is pleased to announce new leadership appointments, which were approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The appointments are for the coming school year.  The appointments are: 

BJ Weller, currently the Principal of Canyon View Elementary, is the new Director of the Department of Responsive Services.  

Kierstin Draper, Principal of Oakdale Elementary, will become Principal of Canyon View Elementary

Lori Jones, currently Principal of Sprucewood Elementary, will become Principal of Oakdale Elementary. 

Colleen Smith, currently Principal of Parkside Elementary in the Murray City School District, will become Principal of Sprucwood. 

Christy Waddell, who now is the Principal of Butler Elementary, will become Principal at Draper Elementary.  She replaces Piper Riddle, who is leaving Canyons District for a principal’s post in the Wasatch School District.

Jeff Nalwalker, currently Principal at Midvalley Elementary, will become Principal at Butler Elementary.

Tamra Baker, currently Director of Student Support Services, will become Principal at Midvalley Elementary.

Brandee Burgum, a teacher at Fort Herriman Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle.

Randall Seltz, now an Achievement Coach at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Draper Park Middle School.
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