Due to heavy rain in the immediate forecast, the Midvalley Elementary groundbreaking ceremony has been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 17.

The public is invited to the event, which had previously been scheduled for this Tuesday. As previously planned, it will start with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the ceremony at 6 p.m.

There are a lot of reasons to rebuild Midvalley Elementary. Built in 1957, the school is Canyons District’s oldest campus. It opened the same year as the historic launch of the world’s first unmanned satellite Sputnik, a full decade before dot matrix printers were invented, and at a time when the latest teaching tool was an overhead projector. Cleaning chalkboard erasers was regarded a privilege, and duck-and-cover drills were the staple of school safety plans.

But on Wednesday, April 17, as the community breaks out the shovels and hard hats for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the new school’s construction, Principal Tamra Baker is insistent that “in embracing our future, we honor our past.” 

The modernized building will be safer, more energy-efficient, and better able to support today’s teaching technologies. It’s also being built with Midvale’s growing population in mind to accommodate nearly double the number of students it serves now.

“I can’t tell you how much this rebuild means to our community, to our students, parents, teachers, neighbors and alumni,” says Baker. “Midvalley has a wonderful culture and history, and as a school community, we are going to plant that heart and spirit in every tree, bush and brick. We are really excited about this new building.”

Midvalley is the first elementary school to be rebuilt with proceeds from a $283 million bond approved by voters in November, 2017. It was chosen due to its advanced age, and need for seismic improvements and roof repairs. The new school will be built onsite while students continue to attend the old school.

NJRA Architects designed the new building, and crews with Bud Mahas Construction will start their work this spring. The new school is expected to open for the 2020-2021 school year.

“School staff collaborated on the design, and the architects found a way to bring their vision to life,” says Baker. Skylights and glassed-in walls allow natural light to filter throughout the building. Collaborative space within and outside classrooms will support team-teaching and group learning. The school features a large gymnasium, high-tech media center, and large cafeteria.

No detail has been overlooked. All that’s missing, in fact, is a stand-alone computer lab, which faculty agreed wasn’t necessary, since the school is well on its way to having one computing device for every student in every classroom. “We are high-tech’ing it all the way throughout the building,” Baker says.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Transportation Information


The Board of Education opted to reclassify four bus routes because of recent improvements to pedestrian passageways. As a result, the routes are no longer deemed hazardous and the District-funded transportation will not continue after this school year. The decision comes after a lengthy review of all CSD Hazardous Bus Routes, which cost taxpayers more than $1 million each year to run. The most recent study of these routes, which are inside the state mileage guidelines for transportation services, was done in 2013. Ninety-five of the to-and-from-school Hazardous Route bus lines that Canyons provides to students who would walk to school if they had safer walk- and road-ways near their homes and schools will continue to be funded and operated.

Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum

The CSD Administration proposes the adoption of a new social-emotional learning curriculum, called “Second Step,” which is recommended by the U.S. Department of Education and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). This would be for students ranging in age from kindergarten to eighth grade, according to BJ Weller, Director of Responsive Services. The Board will continue to review the proposal. Members also said they would like to visit a school where the curriculum has been implemented. Weller also answered questions from Board members about the SHARP/Prevention Needs Assessment Survey.

TSSA Framework

The Board of Education began discussions regarding a framework to provide guidelines and processes for schools to develop and execute soon-to-be-required Success Plans, now known as School Improvement Plans, with Teacher and Student Success Act funds. Those monies were allocated during the 2019 General Session of the Utah Legislature with the aim of improving achievement. Canyons District anticipates receiving $4.9 million of the $98.8 million given to Utah schools. Eventually, the District’s decided-upon framework will be submitted to the Utah State Board of Education. Canyons officials may use 25 percent of funding — about $1.2 million — to increase salaries for instruction-related personnel. The plans must be submitted to the Board for approval each year. Ideally, the approval process would be completed by June 30. 

Report on Intervention Supports

Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward updated the Board on the supplemental interventions to aid students who are struggling in reading and mathematics. Dr. Roderick-Landward said Canyons schools can select a combination of the interventions based on student needs, as identified by an array of assessments, school resources, expertise of personnel and cost. Elementary schools provide the interventions as part of instruction during the math and literacy blocks. Secondary schools provide the supports in a reading class or math lab in place of an elective course. Dr. Roderick-Landward also provided information about seven intervention programs that have been piloted this year and are scheduled to be part of schools’ Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports for the coming school year.

Policy Updates

The Board is considering adoption of policies governing student-data governance and the District’s admission of homeless children and youth and unaccompanied minors. The suggested policies comply with state and federal laws. Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen also presented updates to policies regarding open enrollment, school admissions and school moratoriums; parent and family engagement in education; student educational travel; school fees, and secondary school schedule changes. The Board will continue to review the proposed updates and additions to the policy manual.

Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by School Performance Director Mike Sirois. Director of Responsive Services BJ Weller gave the inspirational thought.

Recognitions

The following students, faculty and staff were recognized by the Board of Education for their achievements:
  • Hillcrest High’s Alexander Cheng, winner of the 2019 Science category and General Scholar Award at the Sterling Scholar Awards
  • Alta High students Christian Affleck and Avery Gunnel, Sterling Scholar runners-up in Vocal Performance and Instrumental Music
  • Brighton High’s Caroline Jarman, Sterling Scholar runner-up, Computer Technology
  • Hillcrest High’s Alan Zhao, Ashley Howell, Alana Liu, Sterling Scholar runners-up, Mathematics, Skilled and Technical Sciences, Visual Arts
  • Alta High’s ProStart Culinary Arts Team, first place in a state competition
Patron Comment
  • Parent Brian Williams spoke to the Board about a proposed dress code update. He encouraged the Board to be as specific as possible about the allowed and prohibited standards of dress. He spoke on behalf of about 40 patrons.
  • Parent Travis Stephens encouraged the Board to continue his family’s bus route as a Hazardous Route.
  • Parent Heidi Parker also encouraged the Board to continue her family’s bus route as a Hazardous Route. 
  • Parent Chad Smith urged the Board to make changes to the school-schedule policy. 
Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including approval of the minutes of the Board’s meeting on March 19, 2019; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel; LAND Trust amendments for Sandy and Sprucewood elementary schools; and the cell-phone tower at Corner Canyon High. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe spoke about some of the issues, such as hiring at each school, that should be addressed in the TSAA guidelines. Dr. Briscoe also reported on attending, with the Board as a whole and several administrators, the National School Boards Association Conference in Philadelphia. He also read the Board notes he received from Oakdale Elementary student to whom he read during the school’s Read Across America celebration.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox invited the public to the Tuesday, April 16 groundbreaking at Midvalley Elementary. The event begins at 5:30 p.m.  He also thanked the Board members for their service and robust discussions during the business meeting and study session.

Board Member Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg reported on attending the NSBA conference. He thanked Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen for meeting with teachers and patrons from Midvalley Elementary who had concerns about the proposed dress policy. He expressed appreciation for the civil manner with which the patrons addressed the dress code proposal. 

Mrs. Amanda Oaks also reported on attending the NSBA conference and asked if Board members could schedule a roundtable discussion at which they could share what they had learned. She also thanked her fellow Board members for the respectful dialogue about important issues.

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on reading to Oakdale Elementary students and attending the NSBA conference and the Bridging the Digital Divide launch at Hillcrest High on Tuesday, April 9. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley said the NSBA conference was helpful. He enjoyed the discussion held during the latest Policy Committee meeting. He also attended the Bridging the Digital Divide event at Hillcrest. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold also said she attended the NSBA conference.

Mr. Chad Iverson said he attended a track meet at which Jordan and Alta high student-athletes competed. He also attended the state percussion competition to see Alta High musicians.

President Tingey reported on attending Jordan Valley School’s spring music event, “Dancing Through the Decades.” She thanked the Board for their hard work and looks forward to hearing their thoughts about the NSBA conference.
While film critics around the country continue to debate whether “Green Book” was truly the year’s best picture, students in Canyons District schools have set their sights on becoming the next Steven Spielberg, Alfonso Cuaron, or Spike Lee.   

Some 121 student-created entries from nearly every school in Canyons District, were submitted for the consideration of judges in the 10th annual Canyons District Film Festival, which culminates on Monday, April 15 at the Jordan Commons Megaplex Theater, 9335 State. A red carpet entrance for the nominees in six film categories and the poster-creation contest will precede the glitzy 6 p.m. awards ceremony. 

The awards show is free to the public. Seating is limited so the audience is asked to reserve tickets, which can be obtained on the festival’s website.

Organizers also are hoping that connected-to-Utah stars of all kinds — film, TV, music, politics and literature — will use social media to send wishes of good luck to this year’s entrants and wish the festival a happy anniversary.  

Canyons Education Technology Specialist Katie Blunt, one of the coordinators of the District’s festival, made a call for the social media messages during an interview on ABC4 on Monday, April 8. 

“We wanted to make this 10th anniversary year extra special,” Blunt told anchor Emily Clark, “So we actually have a social media challenge …to get as many people as we can in Utah to wish our students luck” at the film festival.

Some of the best good-luck videos sent via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram may be shown during the awards ceremony at which the winners’ films will be shown.  Some of those films, organizers say, were filmed on cell phones.  The festival is one more way to urge students to use their phones in an educational way, not just to text friends or scroll through Instagram.

“Those phones have powerful cameras on them now,” Blunt said. “We encourage students to use those tools, either their own or some we have at school, to create films … It is exciting to see their creative side come out with this technology, instead of just getting ‘phone neck.’”

The film festival encourages students to think creatively and critically, Blunt said.  For the students who produced a film as a group, the project also helped hone communication skills. 

“There’s a lot to it,” she said.  “More than you would expect.”   

More than 300 students and teachers worked on films that have been entered the following categories:  short film, documentary, animation, public service announcemen t, newscast, and teacher film.  The top pick of a poster contest also will be announced at the ceremony.  The winning entry will be used as the publicity poster for the 2020 Canyons District Film Festival.  The nominated films can be seen on the festival's YouTube channel.
Canyons School District offers a rich variety of summer learning opportunities for students of all ages. From week-long camps that expose young children to the arts and sciences in a fun, relaxed atmosphere to online courses that allow high school students to get a head-start earning credits toward graduation, there's something for practically everyone — and at affordable prices. Individual schools also host workshops and camps. Following is a sampling of offerings. For more opportunities, check with your neighborhood schools.

Summer Semester
We get it. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to take advantage of all the learning opportunities available in high school. But through Canyons District’s Summer Semester, it’s possible for students to get a jump on their studies or free up time in their class schedule for more electives. Available this year from June 10 to June 27 are three courses that high school students are required to take in order to graduate: Exploring Computer Science, Financial Literacy, and the PE course Participation Skills and Techniques. The cost is $70 per half-credit class. Classes are taught in a blended-learning format, or through a mix of online and face-to-face classes, which are held at Mt. Jordan Middle School, 9351 S. Mountaineer Lane in Sandy. Registration opens on Monday, April 15 and runs through May 24. Spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and fill up quickly. Beginning April 15, class times, registration and payment information will be available at http://canyonsrevrak.net.

Summer Camps
Boom! Wow! Superheroes now! Amp up your superpowers in a cartooning camp. Build a robot, become a mad scientisty, learn to code, or solve crimes in a secret agent lab. Canyons District “Community Education” summer camps are much more than fun and games. They offer students a chance to tinker and dream, build friendships and social skills, and cultivate a love for lifelong learning. Weekly camps exist for students, ages five to 14, and run from June through early August. Registration is open now and camps are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. Weekly camp information and registration can be found at entrada.revtrak.net under “Community Education.” To view the Community Education Summer Camp catalog visit canyonsdistrict.org.

Learn to Code in Six Weeks
Interested in a career in computer science? Looking for a way to advance your studies this summer and acquire skills that will make you more employable? Apply for one of the limited spots in Canyons District's free "Learn to Code" program. In just six weeks, fromcode June 10 to July 19, participating students in grades 8-12 will learn to code in HTML, CSS, Javascript and React. The program, which is taught at Jordan High by industry experts, is even open to students who are graduating this spring. The estimated value of the training is about $4,000 and spots in the first-come, first-served program fill up fast. Interested in learning more? For registration information, visit https://www.ctsutah.com/.

Jordan High Robotics
The Jordan High Robotics squad is excited to offer two summer camps for students over the age of nine. Campers will get hands-on experience designing, building and coding a robot. No prior knowledge in robotics is required. Campers will learn essential design principles, such as, how mechanical and electrical systems work, and how to problem-solve in order to get their robot to accomplish tasks. On day four, we will have a competition, which parents are encouraged to attend. It’s a lot of fun to watch the campers work cooperatively to score points in ranking matches, and then move to elimination rounds. The camps are $120 per session, which covers snacks each day as well as a t-shirt. The two camps are June 10-13, and July 29-August 1, from 8 a.m. to noon each day. The camps will be held in the robotics room at Alta High School where we are graciously offered space and materials. Parents must provide transportation. Please address any questions by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Online registration will be available soon. A link will be provided on our website: 6411gravediggers.weebly.com.

Hillcrest High Robotics 
This camp is open to elementary and middle school-age youth interested in robot building and programming. Enrollment comes with a small fee, 90 percent of which helps pay for robot parts and costs associated with traveling to our regional competitions. Parents must provide transportation. For details, including camp dates and tuition and registration information, visit the Husky Robotics Team's website. 

Alta High Robotics
Looking for a fun summer program that builds engineering, science and math skills? Look no further than Alta High’s Robotics Camp. You don’t have to be enrolled at Alta to participate or have any prior knowledge of mechanics or programming. The camp is open to all middle- and high-school-aged students (ages nine and up). Participants in the half-day program (8 a.m. to noon) will learn wiring, programming and manufacturing techniques, and take part in competitions by using their problem-solving to beat their opponents. Two, four-day sessions are being offered in June (24-27) and August (5-8) for $120 per session. The fee covers materials, snacks and a T-shirt.  Parents must provide transportation. For more information, visit the school's robotics website. Questions? Email Ronald Strohm, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brighton High Woodworking
Brighton High is hosting a free, one-day woodworking class where students can learn concepts in design and engineering. The program is great fun for girls and boys in grades 7-10. There are two classes to choose from: June 24 and 25. Each class runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration opens in mid-April. For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/woodclass or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
 
There are a lot of reasons to rebuild Midvalley Elementary.

Built in 1957, the school is Canyons District’s oldest campus. It opened the same year as the historic launch of the world’s first unmanned satellite Sputnik, a full decade before dot matrix printers were invented, and at a time when the latest teaching tool was an overhead projector. Cleaning chalkboard erasers was regarded a privilege, and duck-and-cover drills were the staple of school safety plans.

But on Tuesday, April 16, as the community breaks out the shovels and hard hats for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the new school’s construction, Principal Tamra Baker is insistent that “in embracing our future, we honor our past.” The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with a public reception, followed by a ceremony, which will begin promptly at 6 p.m.

The modernized building will be safer, more energy-efficient, and better able to support today’s teaching technologies. It’s also being built with Midvale’s growing population in mind to accommodate nearly double the number of students it serves now.

MidvalleyRendering“I can’t tell you how much this rebuild means to our community, to our students, parents, teachers, neighbors and alumni,” says Baker. “Midvalley has a wonderful culture and history, and as a school community, we are going to plant that heart and spirit in every tree, bush and brick. We are really excited about this new building.”

Midvalley is the first elementary school to be rebuilt with proceeds from a $283 million bond approved by voters in November, 2017. It was chosen due to its advanced age, and need for seismic improvements and roof repairs. The new school will be built onsite while students continue to attend the old school.

NJRA Architects designed the new building, and crews with Bud Mahas Construction will start their work this spring. The new school is expected to open for the 2020-2021 school year.

“School staff collaborated on the design, and the architects found a way to bring their vision to life,” says Baker. Skylights and glassed-in walls allow natural light to filter throughout the building. Collaborative space within and outside classrooms will support team-teaching and group learning. The school features a large gymnasium, high-tech media center, and large cafeteria.

No detail has been overlooked. All that’s missing, in fact, is a stand-alone computer lab, which faculty agreed wasn’t necessary, since the school is well on its way to having one computing device for every student in every classroom. “We are high-tech’ing it all the way throughout the building,” Baker says.
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