Board Approves Midvalley Elementary Reconstruction Budget

The Board of Education voted to awarded the contract for the reconstruction of Midvalley Elementary to Bud Mahas Construction in an amount not to exceed $21,242,000. The rebuild of Midvalley was one of the projects promised to the public at the November 2017 passage of a tax-rate-neutral $283 million bond. A groundbreaking ceremony has been planned for April 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the school, 217 E. 7800 South. 

Update on 2019 Legislative Session

The Board of Education received a report on the 2019 General Session of the Utah Legislature. External Affairs Director Charlie Evans and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board on education-related bills that may impact the operations or funding of Canyons District. The legislature, which ended at midnight on March 14, approved a 4 percent increase to the Weighted Pupil Unit and $33.8 million for the Teacher and Student Success Act, which requires the Utah State Board of Education to provide rules and Local Education Authorities to provide the framework for the program. Principals, in conjunction with the School Community Council and local stakeholders, would develop and implement the school’s TSSA plan. More money also was allocated to aid mental health, suicide prevention, and at-risk education efforts, and more fully fund transportation, among other items. The legislature also redefined school fees, requiring all fee charges to be listed on a Board-approved fee schedule. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, textbook fees also only can be charged for Advanced Placement and concurrent enrollment courses. A newly passed Senate bill also could require the Canyons Education Foundation Board to participate in state training and be subject to Utah’s Open Meetings Act, and a House Bill updates requirements for school-water testing, which CSD already does. HB375 exempts pre-school teachers from additional background checks beyond the BCI done by the CSD Human Resources Department. A school-safety related bill would require SCCs to have an annual conversation about school safety, and another would fund the creation of a state job that would advise LEAs on security. 

Administrator Evaluations Results

Ninety-seven percent of Canyons District licensed administrators evaluated with the Canyons Leadership and Administrator Support System (CLASS) were rated as highly effective or effective, according to a report given to the Board of Education. The performance tool takes into consideration the achievement of year-long goals and a self-assessment, the demonstration of ethical and high-quality leadership skills, the administrator’s comprehensive plan to improve her or his school, and results of a stakeholder-input survey.  

Changes Suggested for Secondary Parent-Teacher Conferences

A committee tasked with reviewing the efficacy of Parent-Teacher Conferences in Canyons District’s secondary schools is proposing changes to the format to encourage more parent participation, which ranges from 15 percent to 63 percent at Canyons’ middle and high schools. The committee recommends using the 16 hours allotted in the academic calendar for Parent-Teacher Conferences for other events to bring teachers, students, and parents together at the school. For example, the committee suggested using up to three hours on an August Freshman Orientation, in the form of an Open House or a Back-to-School Night. They also suggest holding a noon to 8 p.m. fall-time Parent-Teacher Conference with the first two hours set aside for appointments and the remaining six hours for individual meetings and tutorials with parents about the programs and initiatives at the school and how to use online systems such as Skyward and Canvas. Other ideas include holding a two-hour January Orientation to aid in the registration process and a three-hour third-quarter “reach out” to parents of struggling students. They also urge the District to schedule elementary and secondary Parent-Teacher Conferences on separate weeks. The committee included at least one parent, teacher, and principal from Alta, Jordan, and Butler and Union middle schools, plus Instructional Support Administrator Jesse Henefer, UniServ’s Jennifer Boehme, and Canyons Education Association President Erika Bradshaw. The chairs are School Performance Director Mike Sirois and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle. A working group will continue to review the issue.

Long-Range Planning Committee Proposal

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe is proposing to form a committee that would review enrollment projections, academic program growth and demand, local municipal residential and business growth trends, and school-capacity data to inform decisions regarding future programmatic plans or construction or boundary proposals. 

Executive Session

The Board of Education voted to enter into a closed session for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining; the purchase, exchange or lease of real property; pending or reasonably imminent litigation. 

Recognitions

The following students, faculty and staff were recognized for their achievements: 
  • Corner Canyon High’s boys basketball team, the 5A state champions
  • Corner Canyon High girls hoops standout Kemery Martin, Utah’s girls basketball Gatorade Player of the Year
  • Education Technology Specialist Kelly DuMont, International Society for Technology in Education, Making IT Happen Award
  • Brighton High’s Model United Nations team, first-place distinguished delegation in Research and Preparation, National Model UN competition in New York City

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

The flags of the United State of America and the state of Utah were posted by Midvale Elementary students. Midvale Assistant Principal Jeri Rigby, who delivered the inspirational thought, also told the Board that Midvale’s faculty and staff is grateful to work with some 800 students at the school. She said the work isn’t always easy at the Title I school that is on turnaround status — but it’s always worth it. She said teachers forge strong relationships with students, are dedicated to helping students achieve their academic goals, and seek to improve instructional practices. She said the students at Midvale also are committed to “stepping up” to learn and grow, even with familial and socio-economic challenges.  She thanked the Board for supporting and believing in the Midvale school community. 

Student Advisory Council

The Board of Education expressed appreciation to the members of the 2018-2019 Student Advisory Council, made up of representatives from all five of Canyons traditional high schools.  Three members of the council — Alta’s Noah Ogden, Corner Canyon’s Luke Warnock and Jordan’s Michael Manhard — also reported on what they learned throughout the year. This is the sixth council empaneled to advise the Board of Education on proposals that would affect students. The council, which meets regularly to discuss education-related issues and provide leadership training, is advised by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the minutes of the Board meeting on March 5, 2019; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel; and February Financial Reports. 


Student Fees

The Board of Education is considering new rules governing how students are assessed fees. The current proposal, borne out of legislation and in response an audit that scrutinized how Utah school districts assessed fees, states that all fees would be subject to waiver and that all textbook fees, except for Advanced Placement and Concurrent Enrollment courses, would no longer be allowed. Also included in the proposal: Group fund-raising by groups would be allowed, but students would not be required to participate in the fund-raising, and students who do not raise money could not be denied participation in the event or opportunity. There also would be a maximum fee per activity and a maximum annual aggregate fee per student. The Board will continue to review proposals from the Administration. An addition to the policy manual also is being considered that would stipulate that CSD’s fee policies “shall be designed to limit student expenditures for school-sponsored activities, including expenditures for activities, uniforms, clubs, clinics, travel and subject area and vocational leadership organizations, whether local, state or national.” The Board asked the Administration to solicit feedback from School Community Councils. 

Cell Phone Tower Proposal

Cingular Wireless seeks approval from the Board of Education to lease a space for a cell-tower on a light pole at the Corner Canyon High Stadium. T-Mobile and Verizon share a tower on an adjacent pole at the stadium. The Corner Canyon School Community Council unanimously approved the proposal from Cingular Wireless.  The Board of Education will continue to review the proposal. 

Public Comment

School Program Counseling Specialist Tori Gillett encouraged the Board to increase the counselor-to-student ratios in Canyons District.

Parent and Indian Hills Middle counselor Melissa Jones asked the Board to fund more secondary-school counselors.

Mount Jordan Middle counselor Jacey Wickham urged the Board to fund additional counselors to service students.

Union Middle counselor Lynn Nelson told the Board the school has 420 students to one counselor, which makes it difficult to meet the needs of all students. She urged the Board to fund more counselors, especially for the sixth-grade students. 

Eastmont Middle counselor Julie Taucher gave insight to counseling sixth-grade students and urged the Board to fund more counselors in the middle schools.

Albion Middle counselor Tracy Morris said her school has seen an influx of students seeking social-emotional supports. She encouraged the Board to fund counselors at a ratio of 350 to one student. 

Brighton High counselor Amy Mena encouraged the Board to fund more counselors.

Butler Middle counselor Carolann Heindel asked the Board to fund more school counselors, especially with the increase in anxiety and other social-emotional learning challenges. 

Draper Park Middle counselor Megan Gebhard also asked the Board to fund more counselors. 

Corner Canyon High counselors Misty Jolley and Dina Kohler spoke in favor of increasing the number of counselors in schools, particularly as mental-health issues increase in the schools.

Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Briscoe congratulated Canyons’ finance team for receiving a Certificate in Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International.  The honor is given to districts that uphold the highest standards for financial reporting and accountability as exemplified by their Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).  Canyons has earned the award every year it has been a District.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said an intensive review of CSD’s School Nutrition Program came back with positive marks for Nutrition Services Director Sebasthian Varas and his team.

Board of Education Reports  

Ms. Clareen Arnold thanked Canyons District’s teachers and staff for their hard work. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley encouraged more participation in the annual Alta High colloquium that attracts such high-profile and best-selling authors as Donald L. Miller, who spoke last Saturday at Alta.

Ms. Amber Shill commended Wilcox and his team for working hard to receive the financial-reporting award, thanked patrons for attending the Town Hall meeting she held with President Tingey, and expressed appreciation for the counselors who expressed their viewpoints during the Patron Comment section of the Board meeting.

Mr.  Mont Millerberg thanked the members of the Student Advisory Council for their service, and his fellow members of the Board for the vote to approve the construction budget for Midvalley Elementary. He also reported on attending a Reality Town.

President Nancy Tingey congratulated Wilcox and the District’s business team for their award from ASBO, and noted the hard work and expertise of the External Affairs Department, which represented Canyons during the 2019 General Session of the Utah Legislature.
A five-year enrollment moratorium has been lifted at Corner Canyon High, where a 24-classroom addition funded by the $283 million bond approved by voters in November 2017 is now being constructed. 

The Board of Education on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 voted to allow the school to start accepting Standard Open Enrollment Applications from students who do not live within the boundaries of the school. Because of the moratorium, which prohibited any new out-of-boundary students from attending the school, the school could not keep a waiting list of prospective pupils.

As a result of the Board’s decision, Corner Canyon High will begin taking school-choice applications for the 2019-2020 school year at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 18, 2019. Applications are submitted online.

Corner Canyon High, one of the first projects undertaken by Canyons District with funds from a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010, was built to hold a capacity of 1,862 students.  This does not include the portable classrooms that have been on campus since 2013 to accommodate the overcrowding that was created in 2013 when an unexpected number of private and charter school students decided to leave their schools and enroll at the new CCHS instead. 

Utah school districts can place schools on moratorium status if enrollment figures place the schools above the open-enrollment threshold. State statute defines that as being the greater of 90 percent of maximum school capacity or maximum capacity minus 40 students. 

When the under-construction 24-classroom addition is completed at Corner Canyon High, the school will be at about 90 percent capacity. No other Canyons high school has been on moratorium status, even schools with higher enrollments, and those schools have either accepted school-choice permits or placed applying students on wait lists.  By comparison, Alta High is at about 100 percent capacity, Brighton is at 90 percent, and Jordan and Hillcrest are at about 85 percent capacity.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Enrollment Moratorium Lifted At Corner Canyon High


A five-year enrollment moratorium has been lifted at Corner Canyon High, where a 24-classroom addition is being built as part of the projects promised to the community at passage of the 2017 bond for $283 million. The Board of Education voted to allow the school to start accepting first-come first-served Standard Open Enrollment Applications from students who do not live within the boundaries of the school. Principal Darrell Jensen will identify a date and time in the near future when the school will begin taking the applications. The school and District will advertise this date before applications are taken. Because of the moratorium, which prohibited any new out-of-boundary students from attending the school, the school could not keep a waiting list of prospective pupils. Corner Canyon High, one of the first projects undertaken by Canyons District with funds from a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010, was built to hold a capacity of 1,862 students. This does not include the portable classrooms that have been on campus to accommodate the overcrowding that was created in 2013 when an unexpected number of private and charter school students decided to leave their schools and enroll at the new CCHS instead. Utah school districts can place schools on moratorium status if enrollment figures place the schools above the open-enrollment threshold. State statute defines that as being the greater of 90 percent of maximum school capacity or maximum capacity minus 40 students. As of Feb. 1, Corner Canyon counted 2,222 students in its classrooms and hallways, which is 119 percent of its capacity enrollment.  When the new classroom wing is completed, the capacity of the school will expand to 2,444.

Copperview Elementary Progress Update

Copperview Elementary Principal Christie Webb updated the Board of Education on the progress of the 426-student Midvale-area school. Webb pointed out that Copperview, one of the District’s four Title 1 schools, faces myriad challenges as it seeks to raise levels of achievement.  In 2014, Copperview was named a focus school, a designation given to the lowest-performing 10 percent of Title I schools in the state. A 90-day plan was created with the help of the Utah Education Policy Center, and the school has been working since to increase student-achievement scores. Webb pointed out some socio-economic challenges faced by the school, including 100 percent poverty, a 35 percent chronically absent rate and 11.6 percent of students who are classified as homeless. In addition, 64 percent of Copperview students are English-language learners, and 10 languages total are spoken by students at the school. Among the efforts: Strengthening a culture at the school where teachers feel they are supported and provided the tools necessary to succeed. Some 100 percent of Copperview teachers told UPEC in a survey that they have been able to participate in regular coaching cycles, and 96 percent agree or strongly agree they have been able to participate in professional development that has led to improvement in their instructional practices. In recent DIBELS assessments, the average composite scores for third- and fifth-grade at Copperview are ticking toward benchmark. Webb says the teacher are committed to providing a strong education that will lead students to a bright future. 

CTESS Update

Ninety-five of Canyons District’s teachers in 2018 were rated at effective or highly effective under the District’s evaluation system, CTESS (Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System). Most educators say they find the CTESS review process to be helpful, said Human Resources Director Steve Dimond in an update to the Board. In a survey of CSD teachers performed last spring, 90 percent said they felt the evaluation helped them improve their instruction, and 75 percent agreed CTESS promotes good conversations about positive classroom practices.

Draper Elementary Parking Lot

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board of Education that a civil engineer has been hired to work with the city to design a second access road to Draper Elementary. Construction on a portion of the project could begin this summer, Wilcox said, but design and engineering work, and an interlocal agreement with Draper City, would need to be completed first. Given the time constraints, the work may need to be done in two phases. This is an accelerated timeframe for this project, which was initially scheduled for summer 2020. 

School Fee Information

In response to a legislative audit revealing an inconsistency between Utah school districts in how they assess school fees, new rules are being considered regarding fees. Among the key requirements: All fees would be subject to waiver; textbook fees, except for Advanced Placement and Concurrent Courses, would no longer be allowed; required fund-raising would no longer be allowed, and group fund-raising could occur, but students who didn’t raise money could not be denied access to the opportunity. The Board discussed how the District could cover the costs of future fee waivers. The Board will soon review a proposed fee schedule for the coming year.

Legislative Update

Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board of Education on the progress of education-related bills in the 2019 General Session of the Utah Legislature, which ends at midnight on March 14. The Board discussed concerns about several bills that are wending their way through committees and the Utah Senate and Utah House. Edwards also presented information about the potential impacts of HB441, the sweeping so-called tax reform bill. 

Graduation Ceremonies

Canyons District has planned the commencement exercises for the Class of 2019. Graduation rites on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. The Board also decided which members will speak at each graduation. 
  • Alta High School — June 5, 10 a.m., Utah Community Credit Union Center at Utah Valley University  
  • Brighton High School — June 5, 2 p.m., Maverik Center 
  • Corner Canyon High — June 5, 2 p.m., Utah Community Credit Union Center at Utah Valley University 
  • Hillcrest High School — June 5, 10 a.m., Maverik Center
  • Jordan High School — June 5, 6 p.m., Maverik Center 
  • Diamond Ridge — June 4, 7 p.m., Midvale Middle
  • South Park Academy — June 6, 8 a.m., Timpanogos Correctional Facility 
  • Entrada — June 26, 7 pm., Corner Canyon High
  • Canyons Transitions Academy — June 3, noon, Mount Jordan Middle
Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

The American and state flags were presented by students at Hillcrest High. The reverence was presented by Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt, who was joined by Hillcrest PTSA President Julie Cluff and the School Community Council Chairman Brant Thompson. Cluff said the school has started a PTSA group that has 15 students. She said Hillcrest successfully applied for a $1,000 grant from Google to fund a digital citizenship night at the school. Thompson said the SCC works hard on behalf of the school community. Leavitt said indicators of student success are on the rise at Hillcrest High. For example, he said, the Scholastic Reading Inventory has gone up to 65 percent and math proficiency scores have gone up to 21 percent.  In one year, the number of students on track to graduate has gone up to 75 percent.  He listed several other statistics that show the academic growth of students at Hillcrest High, which is also home to a vaunted International Baccalaureate program. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes of the Feb. 19, 2019 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; and student overnight travel requests. 

Hazardous Route Proposal

In a second reading of the proposal, the Board of Education reviewed the results of a months-long effort to evaluate all Hazardous Bus Routes, which cost the District more than $1 million annually to run. The Administration is recommending that the Board fund the continuation of 95 of the current 101 routes, which are to-and-from-school bus lines that Canyons provides to students who would walk to school if they had a safe pedestrian passages to school. The Administration will now notify the parents of the students who live in the six areas that are scheduled to be discontinued based on the improvements to roads and walkways.  The Board will review the proposal again at the first Board meeting in April. 

Alta High Update

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox presented an update of the first phase of the $53.3 million major renovation at Alta High, one of the projects promised to the public at the November 2017 passage of the $283 bond proposal. Wilcox said the Phase No. 2 bids were solicited from subcontractors from January to Feb. 21. Board awarded the Phase No. 2 construction costs to Hughes General Contractors for an amount not to exceed $19,862,000. 

Policy Update

The Board of Education approved a policy governing student-overnight travel.

Recognitions

The Board of Education honored the following students and employees for their achievements:
  • Alex Cheng, Hillcrest High, Regeneron Science Talent Search award winner, Coca-Cola Scholarship Regional Finalist
  • Emalee Brown, Albion Middle, FACS New Teacher of the Year
  • Corinna Gross, Corner Canyon High, Utah State New Advisor of the Year
Academic All-State Award Winners

Theater
Heidi Abbott, Hillcrest
Saey Kamtekar, Hillcrest
Landon Nipko, Hillcrest
Shyler Naegle,  Corner Canyon
Anna Petersen, Corner Canyon
Caroline Winegar, Jordan

Music 
Samantha Allen, Corner Canyon
 
Girls Swimming
Ryleigh Smith, Hillcrest
Ellie Anderson, Brighton
Rachel Butler, Brighton
Jessica Waldron, Brighton
Samantha Allen, Corner Canyon
Gabriella Bingham, Corner Canyon
Brittany Mackey, Corner Canyon
 
Boys Swimming
Warren McCarthy, Hillcrest
Kevin Curtis, Alta
Nathan Jex, Alta
Connor Patton, Brighton
 
Girls Basketball
Annabelle Warner, Brighton
Megan Astle, Corner Canyon
 
Wrestling
Austin Schaugaard, Jordan

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe congratulated Corner Canyon High’s girls basketball team for finishing in second place in the Utah High School Activities Association’s 5A girls hoops championship. He was impressed with the crowd that supported the Jordan High Beetdiggers and Corner Canyon Chargers in the 5A boys hoops final in the Dee Events Center at Weber State University. He also mentioned Alta High social studies teacher Ricque Ochoa’s daylong colloquium with historian Donald L. Miller on March 16 at Alta High. 

Business Adminstrator Leon Wilcox thanked Canyons teachers for the hard work they put into Parent-Teacher Conferences.  He said it’s a valuable time for parents.  He also said the District had obtained permits to complete some outstanding work at Canyons campuses. 

Board Member Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg mentioned that Tanner Cluff, the Hillcrest boys hoops manager who scored the last basketball at a boys game, is the son of PTSA President Julie Cluff, who presented with Mr. Leavitt.  He attended the Dual Language Immersion Committee meeting and expressed appreciation for the Copperview Elementary team, which does great work in a community that struggles because of socio-economic challenges. 

Mrs. Amanda Oaks attended DLI committee meetings, Joint Legislative Committee meetings at the Utah State Capitol, the new logo and a marquee reveal at Sprucewood Elementary.  She gave a shout-out to teachers who work hard to be prepared for Parent-Teacher Conferences.

Mrs. Amber Shill said she attended Butler Middle School Community Council, the showcase for the Brighton Accadians drill team, and Sandy Peak Awards on behalf of the District. She also read books at Bella Vista for Read Across America Day.  She will be holding a 7-8:30 p.m. Town Hall with Nancy Tingey on March 13 at Butler Middle’s Media Center. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley said he truly enjoyed his recent visits to classes at Midvale Middle and Midvale Elementary. He said he was impressed at the level of engagement of the students and the positive culture of the schools. He reported on the Town Hall he held with President Tingey. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold thanked the employees for helping the District run so smoothly. 

Mr. Chad Iverson on Saturday attended a Winter Percussion Line competition at which Alta High student-musicians finished in second place. He explained that he abstained from the vote on the overnight travel policy because he’s still formulating his philosophy regarding travel and fee restrictions. 

President Tingey thanked the Board members for their representation of the CSD  communities. She applauds the efforts of staff members who excel in their responsibilities, and extended her condolences to those in the “Canyons District family” who have experienced loss of friends and family.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Hazardous Bus Routes


Canyons Transportation Director Jeremy Wardle shared the results of a months-long effort to reevaluate the District’s Hazardous Bus Routes. Hazardous routes refer to busing services that the District provides to students, who, based on their proximity to school, would normally walk were it not for the absence of a safe route. The District currently spends more than $1 million to provide busing to students in 101 hazardous routes, an amount exceeded only by one of five neighboring school districts. An independent evaluator surveyed these routes, taking into account any changes in infrastructure and traffic patterns over the past six years. The evaluator documents access to sidewalks and overpasses, and notes high-traffic areas and dangerous roads crossings, and then gives each route a score. Using the same scoring matrix as used in the past, and a score of 36 as the threshold for declaring a route as hazardous, the evaluator is recommending maintaining 94 Hazardous Routes and discontinuing seven. The Board will review the evaluator’s findings and take up the matter at a future meeting.

Administrative Appointments

The Board of Education approved administrative appointments for the 2019-2020 school year. The appointments are:
  • Kelli Miller, currently Assistant Principal at Brighton High, will become an Assistant Principal at Alta High.
  • Marielle Rawle, an Intern Administrator at Brighton High, will become Assistant Principal at Brighton High.
  • Sara Little, Hillcrest High Assistant Principal, will become Assistant Principal at Corner Canyon High.
  • David Barrett, Assistant Principal at Draper Park Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Corner Canyon High.
  • Quentin Linde, Assistant Principal at Corner Canyon High, will become Assistant Principal at Hillcrest High.
  • Special Assignment Administrator Stacy Kurtzhals will be become Principal of Eastmont Middle.  She replaces Charisse Hilton, who will become a Program Administrator in the CSD Responsive Services Department.
  • Matt Watts, Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle, will become Principal of Mount Jordan Middle. He replaces Cindy Hanson, who will become a Canyons School Performance Director in the central office.
  • Intern Administrator Kristana Price will become Assistant Principal at Draper Park Middle.
  • Taylor Hansen, currently Union Middle Assistant Principal, will become an Eastmont Middle Assistant Principal.
  • Brooke Rauzon, Assistant Principal at Sandy Elementary, will become an Assistant Principal at Eastmont Middle.
  • Courtney Long, an Intern Administrator, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle.
  • Sara Caldwell, a CSD Achievement Coach, will become an Assistant Principal at Mount Jordan Middle.
  • John Hellwig, an Assistant Principal at Mount Jordan Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Union Middle.
  • Human Resources Administrator Sandra Dahl-Houlihan will become Principal at Bella Vista Elementary.
  • Cory Anderson, Principal at Bella Vista Elementary, will become Principal at Sandy Elementary.  He replaces McKay Robinson, who is a School Performance Director in the central office.
  • CSD Achievement Coach Elcena Saline will become Assistant Principal at Sandy Elementary.
  • Nate Edvalson, currently Assistant Principal at Eastmont, will become an Administrator in the Special Education Department.
  • Jordan Valley Principal Mark Donnelly will become a Canyons District Speech Language Pathologist.
  • Stacy Nofsinger, a Teacher Specialist, will become Principal of Jordan Valley School.
  • Intern Administrator Michelle Snarr will become an elementary support administrator assigned to School Performance.

Midvale Elementary Update

Earlier this month, the Utah State Board of Education agreed to allow Midvale Elementary to continue with a restructuring plan aimed at improving student achievement. Coupled with extra social-behavioral supports and programmatic changes, the restructuring is yielding promising results, which Principal Chip Watts detailed for the Board of Education. Winter test results show Midvale students are seeing gains in reading fluency and math with a growing percentage making typical or greater-than-typical growth. Students are attending school more regularly, and teacher retention has also improved with 87 percent of the school’s faculty members returning to teach at the school again next year. The improvements are tied to a number of changes, including allocating more resources to pay for extra teachers, school psychologists and counselors, administrators and staff. The District also has given approval for 100 percent of the students to have free lunches and breakfasts. Teachers are paying particular attention to phonics and phonemic awareness and computational skills. Midvale also has adopted a “two-teacher model,” in which two teachers share a group of students, enabling them to specialize and teach to their strengths. The schedule also opens up more time for English language arts instruction, which is important considering nearly half of Midvale’s students are English language learners.

Water-Quality Issues

A report to the Board of Education detailed the emergency protocols that were recently enacted at Alta High and Altara and Sunrise elementary schools in response to the water-quality issues in Sandy City. On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the District lifted all water restrictions at the trio of the schools after independent water testing at the three locations showed the levels of lead, copper and iron meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines for drinking water. The testing was performed by CSD following the city’s public announcement on Friday, Feb. 15 that elevated levels of lead and copper had been detected in the city’s water system that services the neighborhoods between 10600 South and 11400 South and 700 East and 2000 East. Bottled water had been made available Tuesday at the schools, where the water lines also had been drained over the weekend. Meals also were made off-site and delivered to the schools so little water was required in the cafeterias for food preparation and cleanup. In addition, the District’s annual water-testing program at all CSD schools will begin in the coming days rather than in March, as it had been regularly scheduled.  The schools in Sandy City will be among those tested first. The Board of Education and Administration thanked the CSD Risk Management, Facilities, Nutrition Services, Purchasing and Communications Departments, as well as Principals Brian McGill, Nicole Svee-Magann and Margaret Swanicke, for working on solutions to the water-quality issues in the Sandy community. 

Recognitions

The following students, faculty and staff were recognized for their achievements: 
  • Alex Cheng, senior, Hillcrest High — Regeneron Science Talent Search Award winner, Coca-Cola Scholarship Regional Finalist
  • Brighton High Boys Swim Team — 5A state champions
  • Brighton Coach Todd Etherington —5A Swim Coach of the Year
  • Rachel Butler —5A Girls Swimmer of the Year, state champion in two events
  • Brighton High’s Kristen Reuter and Sandy Elementary’s Jacinda Meranda and Bethany Smith —National Board Certified Teachers
  • Corner Canyon Football Coach Eric Kjar — Recipient of Minuteman trophy, USA Today Utah Coach of the Year
Legislative Update

Canyons District External Affairs Director Charlie Evans and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board of Education on the progress of education-related bills being considered by the Utah Legislature.

Pledge of Allegiance, Posting of the Colors

The colors were posted and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Cub Scout Troop 3575 and Boy Scout Troop 4519. The students attend Sunrise Elementary. Sunrise Principal Margaret Swanicke presented information about the school, including the vibrant father-volunteer group, called Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students), a large and well-organized PTA, and a dedicated and skilled faculty. Swanicke reported that in the past five years, Sunrise student at every grade level and in every tested subject have made double-digit increases on year-end tests.  As a Beverly Taylor Sorensen School, Sunrise also has robust arts programs, she said. 

Patron Comments

Patron Carly Seely spoke to the Board about the hazardous-route study and encouraged the Board to consider a bus for their Draper neighborhood.

Jordan High parent Lori Norris spoke favorably about allowing students groups to travel outside of 425 miles for events, activities and competition. The Board is considering a student travel policy.

Patron Jen Morris, a member of the Draper Elementary School Community Council, spoke about the petition that’s been signed by about 300 Draper residents to reconfigure and improve the parking lot at Draper Elementary.

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, including approval of the minutes from the Feb. 5, 2019 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests, January financial reports; and approval of home-school affidavits. 

Corner Canyon High Moratorium

The Board of Education is considering a proposal to lift a five-year enrollment moratorium at Corner Canyon High, where a 24-classroom addition is being constructed as part of the projects promised to the community as part of the 2017 bond for $283 million. Districts can place schools on moratorium status if enrollment projections place them above the open-enrollment threshold. State statute defines that as being the greater of 90 percent of maximum school capacity or maximum capacity minus 40 students.  When schools are on moratorium status, they do not accept Standard Open Enrollment Applications from out-of-boundary students.  The Board will continue to review the proposal.

Policy Updates

Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen presented proposed changes to policies governing Board-approved Summer Programs; Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems; and Life Dignity Orders. The Board approved the changes to the policies.  The Board also is considering changes to a policy regarding student overnight travel.

Superintendent, Business

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe remarked on attending the final Hillcrest boys’ hoops game to be played in the Arts Hughes Gymnasium before it’s torn down to make way for the school’s rebuild. At the request of President Tingey, the Superintendent reported on the Friday, Feb. 15 make-up day for the Wednesday, Feb. 6 Snow Day.  Enrollment figures show 16 percent of Canyons students did not attend school on the makeup day. He said CTEC and Alta High students represented the District well at the Tuesday, Feb. 19 District Day on the Hill at the State Capitol.  He thanked the District’s external-affairs team for their hard work during the legislative session.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked the Draper Elementary parents for presenting information about the pending improvements to the parking lot. He said the District will soon meet with city officials about the site. He also said the LDS Church is allowing District staff and patrons to park at the ward house during construction of CAB-East.  He thanked Utah Sen. Kathleen Riebe for her support of Canyons District and public education.

Board Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson reported on attending various school events and joked about predicting another Snow Day by the end of the winter season.  

Mrs. Clareen Arnold thanked the custodians for clearing campuses of snow and ice and encouraged participation in Parent-Teacher Conference.

Mr. Steve Wrigley thanked the Office of Public Communication for updating the Board on recent events, including the water-quality issues in Sandy City. 

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending meetings of the Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Utah High School Activities Association Board, and the Brighton High School Community Council.  She said she enjoyed her time at the Utah State Capitol during the 45-day Utah legislative session.

Mrs. Amanda Oaks attended the District DLI committee meeting, SCC meetings for Corner Canyon High and Indian Hills Middle, and the Legislative Day on the Hill.  She thanked Riebe for her attendance and hard work at the legislature.

Mr. Mont Millerberg thanked patrons for coming to Board meeting to discuss important issues. He also remarked on attending the final boys’ basketball game played at the Art Hughes Gymnasium. He also reported on attending the Utah State Board of Education at which the state board discussed Midvale Elementary’s restructure plan for improvement. 

President Nancy Tingey mentioned attending the final girls’ hoops game to be played at Hillcrest’s Art Hughes Gymnasium and Hillcrest’s Renaissance Feast, a fund-raiser for Husky performing arts programs. She also thanked the staff for their work in the past few weeks, be it for the Snow Day or the action plan for the water-quality issues in Sandy City.
If these walls could talk, they would tell stories of edge-of-your-seat wins and losses, drenched-with-sweat practices, the thump-and-blare of the pep band, and the heard-for-miles cheers of generations of Huskies.

While history has been kind to Hillcrest's Art Hughes Gymnasium, the time has come to build new memories in a facility that's being constructed for the generations to come.

A pack of former players, some of whom played on the school's first championship-winning team in 1968, attended the Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 boys hoops game against Kearns High. They were honored at the outset of the game for contributing to the strength of the home of the Huskies and mark the last home game played by the boys team before the more-than-50-year-old gym is torn down to  make way for the new Hillcrest High, which will be built in phases over the next three years. 

Construction crews are already working on the site of the school, which is being built with proceeds from a $283 million bond approved by voters in November 2018.  It’s one of four  construction projects now being done in Canyons District, including a rebuild of Brighton High, a major renovation at Alta High, and a classroom-wing addition at Corner Canyon High. 

At the region game, the former players, who are brothers and friends, shook hands, hugged and re-lived the buzzer-beating shots, off-the-board rebounds, and the bonds built during the hours of practice and game-time play. They talked about the days gone by, when the entire community came to watch the Huskies hit the hardwood.   

“It was a lot of fun to play here,” said Ron Hatch, the 6-foot 4-inch center of the title-holding 1968 squad. “Both sides of the court would be full (of cheering fans.)”

But there was a lot less to do in those days, he says, no Netflix, no Internet, no video games. “People came out to watch basketball. It was different then. It was what everybody did.” 

“The game was different then, too,” he said. “You didn’t worry about who was going to get the  ball. You just went out and played. It was so much fun.” 

George Hughes, the son of the coach after whom the gym is named, recalled the good times had in the gymnasium throughout the years. “When I first entered his gym, I was just in awe,” he said. At the time, the Huskies’ gym was new, shiny, and ready to welcome the community. 

Hughes said his father, who died in 2003, was immensely proud to coach the Huskies, and led the school to state championships, including the school’s first hoops title.

George Hughes said he was thrilled to attend the school while his dad was at the hoops helm, and held up his golden “H” that he earned for his letterman’s jacket.  “I was proud to have gone to this school, to have played for this school.” 

On Tuesday night, the stands were full of cheering students, parents, friends and boosters. The cheer squad jumped and flipped, and the Hillcrest drill team hip-hopped through a half-time routine. While the Huskies did not emerge victorious, they played as strong as their legacy.

On Friday, Feb. 15, the girls' hoops team will take the floor at 7 p.m.  At the sound of the game-ending whistle, an era will end. And the score will be the last one tallied in the stadium where champions have been made.
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