Canyons District is pleased to announce new leadership appointments, which were approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. The appointments are for the coming school year. 

The appointments are: 

Stacy Kurtzhals, currently Principal at Eastmont Middle, will become a Program Administrator in the Special Education Department. 

Charisse Hilton, currently Principal of Brighton High, will become Principal of Eastmont Middle.

Tom Sherwood, currently Principal at Jordan High, will become Principal at Brighton High.

Wendy Dau, currently Principal at Midvale Middle, will become Principal at Jordan High.

Mindy Robison, currently Principal at Crescent Elementary, will become Principal at Midvale Middle.

Camie Lloyd, currently Assistant Principal at Albion Middle, will become Principal at Crescent Elementary.

Steve Bailey, currently Assistant Principal at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Alta High.

Ryan Durrant, currently an administrative intern at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Jordan High.

Sandy LeCheminant, currently an Assistant Principal at Eastmont Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Albion Middle.

Nate Edvalson, currently an administrative intern at Draper Park Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Eastmont Middle.

Shelley Karren, currently an administrative intern at Alta High, will become an Assistant Principal at Union Middle.

Bryan Rudes, currently an administrative intern at Midvale Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle.

Brooke Rauzon, currently an Assistant Principal at Union Middle, will become Assistant Principal at Sandy Elementary.
A two-term member of the Canyons Board of Education who is known for her thoroughness and thoughtfulness has been elected President of the Utah School Boards Association. 

Nancy Tingey, who on Jan. 3, 2017 took the Oath of Office for another four years on the Canyons Board of Education, on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, assumed helm of the organization that advocates for public schools, schoolchildren and teachers. 

As an elected member of CSD’s seven-person governing panel, Tingey, the representative of District 3, doesn’t shy away from rolling up her sleeves and working with various constituencies to tackle difficult tasks and challenges.  

Upon accepting her new role, Tingey said she would focus on “strengthening the important role of USBA in providing resources and support for the members of the USBA, as well as building bridges and trust by working with education policy-makers at the state level and within our respective communities.”

“Together,” she told members of the USBA at the organization’s annual conference at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, “let us move forward in promoting excellence in Utah public education through collaboration and local governance.”

The USBA represents all 41 Utah school districts and the Utah State Board of Education. Members are dedicated to ensuring that every child has access to the education needed to become contributing, productive members of society.
All around Canyons District are familiar faces, especially on the Canyons Board of Education. On Tuesday, Jan. 3, at a special Oath of Office ceremony and reception, well-known education advocates Nancy Tingey, Chad Iverson and Mont Millerberg were sworn into office for four-year terms on Canyons’ governing body.

Tingey, who represents District 3, and Iverson, the Board member for District 7, won re-election after serving for four years.  Millerberg, who served on the inaugural Canyons Board of Education from 2008 to 2012, returns to the represent District 1.15800179_10153940860311580_5795022078091866798_o.jpg

They took their oaths of office in ceremonies conducted by Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen. Drill team dancers from Hillcrest High, the reigning 4A state champs, performed the flag ceremony, and Scott Taylor, managing editor of the Deseret News, was asked to do a special address about the importance of public service. 

It’s been said that “with great power, comes great responsibility,” and nowhere is that more evident than with public schools, which have a profound influence on children and our collective future, Taylor said. 

Remarking on how his own 32-year career can be traced back to early educational experiences, he thanked Board members for their willingness to serve. He also said many of the tenets of journalism, such as the imperative to be transparent, can be applied to public service. He urged the Board members to strive to explain not just the who, what and where of policy and budgeting decisions, but also the why and how.

In their first remarks, the trio of newly sworn-in members thanked their family and friends for their care and support. They also pledged to serve the patrons of Canyons with integrity and fidelity. 

“I want to thank the people of Draper for continuing to put their trust in me. It’s truly an honor to serve,” said Iverson, whose district covers schools in the Draper area. He added that he aims to work with other Board members to increase teacher morale, address enrollment imbalances, and boost student achievement on such a15800534_10153940859776580_3807687661020407362_o.jpgssessments as the ACT, among other issues.

Millerberg told the audience at the ceremony and reception in the Board Chambers of the Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East, that “it’s really, really good to be back on the Canyons Board of Education. "

“It’s been said that the best government is the government that is closest to the people,” he said, “and you honestly don’t get much closer to the people than you do working in the public school system.”

Tingey, who 15896190_10153940859771580_3236991302878019068_o.jpgserves as the Board’s 2nd Vice President, said that “serving on the school board is not so much about giving speeches — but more about rolling up our sleeves and working together to tackle the tasks and challenges that we will face.”
Wednesday, 19 October 2016 22:37

Board Meeting Summary, Oct. 18, 2016

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

Indian Hills Relocation During Construction

The Board of Education voted to formally relocate Indian Hills Middle, 1180 E. Sanders Road, to the former Crescent View Middle building, 11150 Green Ridge Dr., for the 2017-2018 school year. Additionally The Board approved adjusting the transportation boundary to the Crescent View building so more students qualify for transportation services while Indian Hills is being renovated. The renovation of the middle school is being funded by a $250 million bond issuance approved by voters in 2010. This will be final project to be completed with proceeds from the bond.   The District has completed all projects promised to the voters at the time of the bond’s passage.

F1 Visa Update

Office of Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud updated the Board on progress toward obtaining permission to award F-1 visas to foreign students who wish to study at CSD high schools. The District has paid the initial fees, completed all applications, and awaits approval, possibly as early as October or November. If approved, Canyons would join seven Utah school districts that offer F-1 visas.  The other districts are Alpine, Davis, Kane, Nebo, Murray City, Park City, and Provo. Stensrud reminded the Board of the pros and cons of maintaining an F-1 visa program. CSD currently awards J-1 visas to 18 students through Utah’s foreign exchange program. F-1 visas are another path for non-immigrant students to study in the U.S., which gives districts greater flexibility but also requires more hands-on work to administer. There is currently demand for F-1 visas from students who have relatives overseas who would like to study at CSD’s high schools, and from students whose parents had to leave the country but they would like stay in Utah, Stensrud said. Foreign exchange programs provide American students an opportunity to interact with youth from different cultures, and any costs are covered by enrollees who would pay CSD the rough equivalent of Utah’s Weighted Pupil Unit. It does, however, place an administrative burden on school staff and might necessitate hiring a coordinator.

Code to Success

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle spoke to the Board about “Code to Success,” an effort to teach students how to gain valuable computer-coding skills. Students who wish to participate in the proposed June-through-August course, which would be housed at Jordan High, would need to apply for entrance. The Board was asked to spend $27,000 to provide the program to up to 70 students in the summer. That would cover the cost of two teachers to provide 90 hours of instruction. Upon successful completion, students would receive an industry certification that would qualify them for a certain level of employment. The program is sponsored by the Ken Garff Automobile Group, the backers of Keys to Success. The Board will consider the proposal at a future meeting.

Governor Signs Declaration Honoring School Principals

With the flourish of his pen, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a declaration establishing Oct. 17-21 as Principals Week across the Beehive state. As busy as bees, principals in high, middle and elementary schools "serve as educational visionaries, instructional leaders, assessment experts, disciplinarians, community builders, public relations experts, budget analysts, facility managers and much more,” states the declaration. Principals, the governor says, set the academic tone for their schools and work collaboratively with teachers to increase student achievement. The Canyons Board of Education and Administration agree with the governor’s words, and wish to express appreciation for the lengths our principals go to ensure the college- and career-readiness of all our students. The governor's declaration was read into the minutes.

School Upgrades Proposal

Under a second reading, the Board considered more than two dozen small capital projects for the 2017-2018 school year, including a remodel of the Main Office at East Midvale Elementary; the installation of carbon-monoxide detectors at all elementary schools; and roofing and HVAC repairs. Each year, schools submit their construction wish lists, which are ranked by an administrative committee that weighs, among other things, whether the projects are a safety or security imperative, or will meet a legal requirement, said Business Administrator Leon Wilcox. If approved by the Board, the Purchasing Department will begin soliciting bids from February to March 2017 with a goal of having the projects completed the following fall.

Proposed Calendars

Office of Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud presented two proposed calendars for the 2017-2018 academic year.  The calendar committee aimed to create a calendar that, for the ease of parents, would sync important dates and events at high, middle and elementary schools. Option No. 1 proposes to start school one week earlier than in the 2016-2017 school year.  It also provides time for elementary testing both in the fall and the spring; a two-week Winter Recess, and ends at the end of May. Option No. 2 largely mimics the 2016-2017 academic calendar. Per tradition, Brighton High has a separate calendar to accommodate the school’s trimester schedule. 

Consent Calendar

The Board of Education approved the consent calendar, including the approval of minutes from the Board meeting on Oct. 4; employment and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel; September financial reports; 2017 Utah Consolidation Application; and revised 2016-2017 Land Trust Plans for Union Middle School and Silver Mesa and Granite elementary schools. 

New Foundation Board President

The Board of Education ratified the appointment of John Martindale, Managing Partner of Alisa Capital, as the President of the Board of the Canyons Education Foundation. He succeeds Brad Snow, whose four-year leadership was honored during the Recognitions portion of the meeting. The Board also approved new Foundation bylaws and articles of incorporation and received the Foundation’s annual report.

Utah College Application Week

Two current students, Jordan High’s Gloria Equino and Jose Rios, and former Brighton High student Emma Critchlow, spoke in favor of Utah College Application Week, an event held annually to help every Canyons District senior submit a viable college application. The students spoke to the Board about how much UCAW events have positively impacted their lives. For example, Rios said he received a scholarship to attend college and play soccer. Critchlow is now attending Weber State University with money earned from a Foundation scholarship. The Canyons Education Foundation also pledged up to $10,000 to pay the college-application fees for low-income students.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

Jordan High’s drill team presented the colors and led the audience in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance followed by brief remarks by Jordan Principal Tom Sherwood. Praising Jordan High as a socioeconomically diverse and high-achieving school, Sherwood noted that half of the school’s juniors and seniors this year are taking an Advanced Placement course and another 25 percent are taking a concurrent enrollment course for college credit. The school also is home to National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists and was the first school in the district to implement the AVID program.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Remarks

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on attending a job fair at Brighton High. He also urged Board members to attend future job fairs at other CSD high schools. He also told the Board about his recent lunch meeting with PTA and SCC leaders, during which he presented the Board’s recently approved vision and mission statement.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board that 34,017 students are enrolled in CSD, up by 118 from last year. He said the kindergarten enrollment is down 164 students this year, which could be a one-year blip in the counts. Wilcox also mentioned taking dignitaries, including Midvale Mayor Joann Seghini on a tour of the rebuild of Midvale Middle, which is scheduled to open next fall. In addition, he noted that sod turf will soon be installed at the new Butler Elementary. He also mentioned that Open Enrollment for health insurance will start Monday, Oct. 24.  All employees are required to signal whether they want to keep insurance or have insurance elsewhere.

Board of Education Reports

Mr. Robert Green reported on attending the recent Apex Awards and congratulated the winners. 

Mrs. Amber Shill thanked the presenters for explaining their items and following up on previous questions from the Board. She also thanked the team that planned and executed the Apex Awards. She invited the community to Brighton’s final football game of the season.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey asked the Board for an OK for the subcommittee regarding CSD’s vision and mission to reconvene and look at data compiled by Superintendent Briscoe. She thanked Dr. Briscoe for hosting the luncheon with PTA and SCC leaders and for leading a discussion on the newly approved vision and mission statements. She also expressed thanks for those who were honored with Apex Awards. She made special note of the schools that have amended the Land Trust Plans to address school needs. She invited the community to a 7 p.m. Town Hall on Oct. 27 at Albion Middle.

Mr. Steve Wrigley asked the Board to place the vision statement atop the Board meeting agenda with the aim of reminding the Board of the purpose of their work. He also attended the Arts Consortium meeting. He attended the Pathway to Professions conference. He also expressed thanks to those who planned the Apex Awards. 

Mr. Chad Iverson thanked Board members for approving the plan to move Indian Hills students to the old Crescent View Middle during the duration of construction. He attended middle school and high school cross country meets, as well as freshman/sophomore athletic contests. He went the league championship game between Brighton and Alta. He also invited the community to the Alta vs. Corner Canyon rivalry game.

President Sherril H. Taylor commended Canyons principals for their hard work and dedication. He said they deserve the week dedicated to their service. He thanked the officers for protecting the peace at Board meeting.
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 16:04

Board Meeting Summary, Sept. 20, 2016

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

Report: School Grading and SAGE Scores


A majority of Canyons schools, 71 percent, received an A or B this year under Utah’s school grading system, even with last-minute changes to the way the grades were calculated. Had the grading scale not been redrawn, 81 percent of Canyons’ schools would have received a B or higher — and the number of schools to receive an A would have doubled from 2015 to 2016. The recalculation affected 43 percent of CSD’s schools. Teachers and school administrators should be proud of their performance this year, said Dr. Hal Sanderson, Director of Research and Assessment. The grades fail to reflect that most schools’ test scores have risen in English language arts, math and science. So, even if a school’s test scores rose, its grade may have dropped because the target changed. No matter where one chooses to draw the line for an A or B, Canyons District’s achievement is headed in the right direction. By law, if too many (two-thirds) of Utah schools earn an A or B, the Utah State Office of Education must raise by 5 percentage points the cut-off score required for each letter grade. Utah’s school grading system was established by the Legislature, and the first grades to be published were for the 2012-13 school year. Since then, CSD schools have significantly improved, largely driven by a steady rise in SAGE scores. The percentage of CSD students who test as proficient in English, math and science exceeds the state average. That’s true across the board for elementary, middle and high school students. CSD students also outperform their peers on the ACT college entrance exam, and have higher pass rates on Advanced Placement exams for early college credit. Sanderson also talked about a rise in the number of students who opt out of taking SAGE, from 0.8 percent in 2014 to 3.9 percent in 2016. This is below the state average of 5 percent, but it’s a growing concern because it undermines the credibility of SAGE results.
 
Midvale Middle Years Programme Update

The Board of Education was presented with an update on Midvale Middle’s International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. Principal Wendy Dau told the Board the initiative positively impacts both Midvale’s boundary students and the quarter of the student body that attends the school as part of the Supporting Advanced Learners Toward Achievement (SALTA) magnet program. MYP aids the school as they address the socio-economic and academic challenges faced by many students  at the school. For example, 67 percent of enrolled students qualify for free- or reduced-price lunches under the poverty index, and 23 percent who are English Language Learners. Dau said MYP addresses the needs of all students, regardless of their current achievement level or scholastic challenge. Every student, not just those in SALTA, participates and benefits from the academic rigor that is required of a MYP school. The program also provides a global, real-world connection for all students, and a regular opportunity to reflect on their achievement, Dau said. Board member Nancy Tingey said that, through the emphasis on the learner profile, and the extra help given to students to aid them in their pursuit of success, Midvale is building a culture of high expectations for all students. 

Middle School Schedule Committee

Canyons School Performance Director Mike Sirois said the Middle School Schedule Committee has decided on four principles that will guide the development of a new schedule. The new schedule, he said, must promote teamwork and collaboration; maximize quality instructional time; provide time for all students to participate in electives; and have built-in intervention and remediation. What the committee has found, Sirois told the Board, is that it will be a challenge to find one schedule that will meet the various and unique instructional and social needs of all CSD middle schools. Sirois said a proposed schedule could be presented to the Board, as well as faculties and School Community Councils, by late fall. 

Volunteers in CSD Schools

The total number of volunteer hours in CSD schools for the 2015-2016 school year reached 266,275, Volunteer and Partnerships Coordinator Brittani Bailey told the Board. Calculated at a hourly rate of $23.92 an hour, volunteers contributed $6.3 million in work to the District during the academic year. In all, 11,672 community members registered to volunteer in CSD schools. PTA volunteers contributed 124,756 of those hours, said Region 17 PTA Director Betty Shaw. The PTA’s contribution, if calculated in dollar amounts, hit $2.9 million. Shaw and PTA Region 17 Associate Director Tonya Rhodes presented a giant check to the Board and Administration. 

Concurrent Enrollment Program Update

Concurrent enrollment courses do more than give Canyons high school students a jump on college. They help students gain confidence by exposing them to the rigors of college work while still in the familiar setting of high school. They enable students to earn college credit for a fraction of what they would pay in tuition. And they expose students to college admissions, enrollment and registration processes, Career and Technical Education Director Janet Goble told the Board. Each of CSD’s traditional high schools offers concurrent enrollment courses — a total of 106 districtwide. CSD’s high school students together earned nearly 1,000 college credits last year for a combined savings of $1.6 million in college tuition. Some examples of courses offered include, astronomy, college algebra and trigonometry. Also coming soon to Jordan High: a medical innovations emphasis where, on top of regular science courses, students, working with commercial drug and device makers, will learn manufacturing and biomanufacturing principles. The program will be rolled out on Sept. 27 at 9 a.m. at a special event held at Draper-based Edwards Lifesciences. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is scheduled to attend.

Hiring Update

Canyons District recruiters spent more than a month on the road this summer to find high-quality educators to fill Canyons classrooms, working against the clock and a nationwide teacher shortage. The district filled 277 teacher openings with 78 of the new hires coming from outside Utah, said Human Resources Director Steve Dimond. Of those 277 hires, 15 percent were hired under some Alternative Route to Licensure program—compared to 10 percent the year prior. The percentage varies from year to year across different subject areas, Dimond said. To date, Canyons has not hired teachers through Utah’s new Alternative Path to Teaching allowance. Human Resources’ preference is to hire university-trained educators, Dimond says. The reality, however, is that fewer college students are enrolling in educator-training programs, which in the future could leave the district and state unable to meet staffing needs, he added.

Board’s Vision, Mission Statements

The Board of Education continued its discussion regarding proposed Vision and Mission Statements for Canyons District. The Board also reviewed proposed core value and belief statements, and quantifiable indicators of growth based on CSD’s basic tenets of student achievement, innovation, community engagement and customer service. The subcommittee developing the statements will meet again in the coming week. 

Posting of the Colors, Reverence

The colors were posted by Scout Troop 3715, made up of students from Silver Mesa Elementary. Principal Julie Fielding updated the Board on the progress of the school, home to an English-Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program. Upgrades at the school also recently have been completed. Fielding said the PTA and SCC contribute to the positive environment at Silver Mesa. In addition, the school’s SAGE scores are on the rise in English Language Arts, math and science.

Proposed SALTA Testing Fees

A fee proposal for SALTA testing was reviewed by the Board. Canyons' Instructional Supports Department proposes charging non-CSD-enrolled students $50 to take the qualifying test for the advanced-learner program. The department also proposes assessing a $25 fee for repeat test-takers. The fee changes were proposed to make the testing process more efficient and save money for other classroom uses. Currently, CSD students can take the test once for free, and non-CSD-enrolled students pay $35. The cost to proctor the test is $90 per student. The Board, seeking the boost the District’s overall enrollment to capture more Weighted Pupil Unit, suggested the administration provide reimbursements to test-takers who were assessed a fee — but only if they enroll in CSD schools after gaining entrance to SALTA. The fee proposal will be brought back to the Board for another reading.

Policy Updates

Under a suspension of the rules, the Board unanimously approved a proposal to remove obsolete and outdated policies. The Board also considered for a second time several policy updates to comply with current employment practices and changes in state policy. These changes will receive a final reading and vote by the Board at its next meeting. CSD Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen discussed options for complying with a new Salt Lake County Health Department rule, which requires school-based employees to produce proof of immunization in the event of a disease outbreak or risk being excluded from school. The Board weighed a policy that would recommend that employees take the necessary steps to collect and store their immunization records. Recognizing that obtaining documentation can be difficult, if not impossible for employees who were immunized many years ago, the Board asked how much it would cost CSD to re-immunize employees who are covered by CSD’s health insurance plan. Assuming every fully-benefitted employee needed to get re-immunized, the cost could exceed $1 million, said Christensen. In the event that an employee is excluded from school, under the proposed policy, they would not be paid. But employees would still be able to draw on any available vacation and sick leave, and normal limits on personal leave would not apply.

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the consent agenda, which included the minutes from the meeting of the Board of Education on Sept. 6, 2016; a list of new hires and the termination report; purchasing bids; proposed student overnight travel; and August financial reports. 

Patron Comment 

Tracy Bennett introduced herself as a candidate for District 7 of the Canyons Board of Education. 

Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, thanked Board members for their service and willingness over the years to collaborate with Utah’s legislature. He also updated the Board on progress with a 10-year public education improvement plan being drafted by a Legislative committee, and he invited the Board to give input prior to the plan’s debut in two months.

Kathleen Riebe, candidate for the District 10 seat on the Utah State Board of Education, invited Canyons patrons to a 6:30 p.m. debate Wednesday, Sept. 28 at Channing Hall, 13515 S. 150 East, Draper. 

Recognitions

Eleven CSD students who were named semi-finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship competition were honored by the Board. 

Board, Administration Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe lauded Dr. Hal Sanderson for his presentation on student achievement. He also commended the Board for reviewing the assessment data and asking insightful questions about the numbers. Dr. Briscoe also thanked the Canyons Education Foundation staff for planning and executing the golf tournament on Monday. The event was held to raise money for student scholarships and classroom-project grants for teachers. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox commended the Instructional Supports Department for receiving a $265,000 grant from STEM Action Center. He also mentioned that Education Technology Director Dr. Darren Draper is actively enhancing our technology plan. CSD also will receive about $100,000 more in Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts money, he said.  He mentioned several facilities located within the District that are up for ZAP funding. 

Mr. Robert Green said he is glad the District is forward-thinking and willing to examine practices in order to streamline and improve. He commended employees and patrons for their hard work.

Mrs. Amber Shill commented on the student assessment data, expressing appreciation there’s a plan to address achievement levels. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey thanked Dr. Sanderson for his presentation on student achievement in Canyons District. She is pleased the District is addressing the reasons for any stagnant or declining scores. Tingey also mentioned the annual School Community Council training, which begins this week, and the Foundation’s successful golf tournament. She also congratulated Cottonwood Heights on the new City Hall. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley thanked Dr. Sanderson for his report. He also mentioned the progress on the Board’s Mission and Vision Statement. He expressed appreciation for Tingey’s involvement in state organizations.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold thanked the teachers who are preparing students for the workplace.  She also urged caution when examining test data, including SAGE, considering many students do not “test well.” 

Mr. Chad Iverson said he’s cheered CSD teams at cross-country meets and soccer games.  He said he also appreciates the volunteers in the WatchDOGS program.  He thanked his campaign opponent, Tracy Bennett, for attending the meeting and voicing her opinion.  He spoke against the proposal to allow student-athletes to transfer with impunity.  Mr. Iverson said he appreciates the fact the state school board is elected by popular vote. He also thanked Dr. Sanderson for his presentation.

President Sherril Taylor looks forward to the renovation of Indian Hills Middle. He said the community is excited for the project. He thanked the Board for their efforts to improve student achievement, innovation, customer service and community engagement. He also thanked Sandy Police for providing security at the Board meeting and in the community.
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