Hard hat? Golden-tipped shovel? The near-completion of 13 major construction projects financed with a $250 million bond passed by CSD voters in 2010? Check, check — and check.

The countdown has begun for the long-awaited rebuild of Indian Hills Middle, the final new-school and school-improvement project promised as part of the 2010 general-obligation bond. Crews have already started work at the Sandy-area site, ‎1180 E. Sanders Road, and construction is expected to take roughly a year.

To the end of celebrating the start of work on the project, the community is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, March 30 at 5:30 p.m. Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor and Principal Doug Graham will speak at the special ceremony at the school. After the ceremonial dirt is turned, refreshments will be served. 

When the project is complete at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, Indian Hills students and teachers will enjoy plenty of natural light throughout the facility, six new classrooms, collaboration spaces wired for the high-tech demands of the 21st century, an expanded kitchen and cafeteria, and spacious hallways and commons areas, among other amenities. 

“The patrons from Indian Hills have been so happy to watch all the building and renovation that has been going on in the District … Now, they are so thrilled that it is their turn,” President Taylor said. A completed Indian Hills, he said, “will be a far better school than it ever was before.” 

Taylor also notes that Canyons has completed every project promised to the Canyons community when the bond gained passage seven years ago. In all, since 2010, the District has provided a new Corner Canyon High; a rebuilt Midvale Elementary; a renovated Albion Middle; seismic improvements to Sandy Elementary; a new Draper Park Middle; a rebuilt Butler Middle; a new Butler Elementary; additions to Brighton and Hillcrest high schools; and a rebuilt Mount Jordan Middle. Crews are now working on a new Alta View Elementary and Midvale Middle.

In addition, CSD has installed air-conditioning in every school that didn’t have it at the time of Canyons’ 2009 founding; added security vestibules at all elementary schools; completed a soccer field, tennis courts and athletic fields near Brighton High; and internal and external upgrades to Alta High.

“We have spent (the bond funds) how we promised you,” Taylor told patrons at a recent meeting of the Canyons Board of Education.  “Everything we promised you has been done.”

During construction, the school community will be housed at the old Crescent View Middle, 11150 S. 300 East. Transportation services will be provided to qualifying Indian Hills students.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 20:36

Board Meeting Summary, March 21, 2017

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

Jordan Feeder Principals Propose Summer AVID Program   


The principals in the Jordan High feeder propose to start a program focusing on helping incoming freshmen transition to high school classes, especially in mathematics and science. A 60-student co-hort, identified through grades and other assessments, would be made up of ninth-graders out of Mount Jordan and Eastmont middle schools. Then, for 20 days in the summer, students would attend four-hour math and science courses. Lunch would be provided, and the program also would include three field trips. Transportation would be provided. Cost of the program would be $30,375. Part of the cost — $8,125 — would be for the AVID math and science curriculum. According to the proposal, a student who successfully completes the summer program also would enter school with already-earned credit. The Board will continue to study the proposal.

Construction Report: Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary

The rebuilds of Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary are progressing as scheduled. Both buildings will be ready to welcome students and teachers this fall. Starting in mid-June, crews will move supplies and equipment into the new buildings and put finishing touches on the interiors and landscaping. The Administration is recommending that Alta View’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and VIP tour be held on Aug. 14, and that Midvale Middle’s grand opening be celebrated on Aug. 7. Also, this summer, crews will get started on a major remodel of Indian Hills Middle. Over the summer, furniture and supplies will have to be moved from Indian Hills to Crescent View Middle, which will serve as the temporary school site for Indian Hills students during the 2017-2018 school year. The Indian Hills and Midvale middle schools and Alta View Elementary projects are being completed with funds from the $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. 

Incident Command Manual Update

Earlier this year, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle assigned a committee to update CSD’s Incident Command Manual, a set of protocols governing the District’s response to emergencies. The review was prompted by a spate of crises at the outset of the 2016-2017 school year. The committee performed a line-by-line review of the manual and identified priorities for the update: 
  • Work with law enforcement agencies and the Division of State Risk Management to simplify and clarify commonly-used emergency terms such as “lockdown” and “shelter-in-place” to eliminate confusion and ensure that schools, police agencies, and families are working with the same definitions.
  • Update and re-design the Incident Command Manual.
  • Create a policy identifying which drills are to be done and reported each month by each CSD school. 
  • Foster a culture of safety, with an emphasis on training.
  • Create a mechanism by which Principals, at their discretion, can transfer incoming calls during an emergency to the Front Desk team.
  • Build a repository of site-specific emergency plans.
  • Meet quarterly to review drill reports, and debrief on emergency responses. 
Committee members are Dowdle; Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray; Communications officers Jeff Haney and Kirsten Stewart; Student Support Services’ Tamra Baker; Hillcrest Assistant Principal Brenda McCann; Union Middle Assistant Principal Taylor Hansen; Willow Canyon Principal Marilyn Williams and state Risk Management’s Jeff Rose.   

Board Member Appointments to Safety Committee

Board members Mont Millerberg and Clareen Arnold have agreed to serve on Canyons District’s Safety Committee, which oversees emergency protocols and crisis response for the District.

Legislative Update

Government Relations Director Charlie Evans updated the Board of Education on education-related bills that were filed in the 2017 General Session of the Utah Legislature. Some 165 bills were tied to the operations of schools, he said, the most we’ve faced since the inception of the District. Highlights include fully-funded growth and a 4 percent increase to the Weighted-Pupil Unit, the state funding formula for public education. The Teacher Supply Budget was funded, and Teacher Licensure Fees also will be paid, he noted. The two bills that demanded most of Evans’ and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards’ time was SB80, which would have siphoned a significant amount of money away from Canyons; and SB255, titled “Funding for Education System Amendments.” Both SB80 and SB255 failed to gain passage. Evans also pointed out that a school-grading bill was approved; a bill that modifies provisions related to the juvenile justice system also was approved; and legislation regarding “Public School Membership in Associations,” which directly addressed the Utah High School Activities Association, was OK’d.  Several other bills also were reviewed for the Board. Information will be sent to departments who may be affected by new legislation.   

Land for Additional Parking at Jordan High

The Board of Education voted to allow Business Administrator Leon Wilcox to engage in negotiations for the purchase of .91 acres at 725 S. State —  the former site of the restaurant — for $1.070,000.  The purchase price is the appraised value of the land.  Up to 126 parking stalls for Jordan High could be built on the land, according to Wilcox. 

Official Welcome to New Administrators  

The Board of Education officially welcomed the administrators who have accepted new roles for the 2017-2018 academic year. The Board of Education approved administrative appointments at previous meetings.

Patron Comments

Canyons Education Association President Jen Buttars expressed appreciation for CSD’s professional approach to contract negotiations. She said the Board cares about teachers, students and classified employees, and it shows in the contract negotiations. As a parent of a Jordan High student, she remarked on the Jordan feeder program that is being proposed.  She also thanked the Board for considering the proposal to purchase land near Jordan High for more parking.

Student Advisory Council Report

The Student Advisory Council presented a report to the Board of Education. This year, the student council discussed, among other things, a recent CSD bell-schedule study, parking issues, and how student leaders can advance change and more effectively serve their communities. They also learned about recent court rulings and how they affect free speech rights in schools. President Taylor commended students for their service and encouraged them to continue to find ways to serve for many years to come.

Action: Policy Updates

The Board unanimously approved under a third reading several policy changes, including an update to bring CSD’s Family Medical Leave policy in line with federal law, and a policy that would require CSD employees who are elected or appointed to a public office to perform their elected duties on their own time while on leave from work. Also approved was a proposal to strike obsolete language from outdated policies having to do with employee suggestions and lump sum payments. The Board approved with one dissenting vote a policy change to clarify rules over paid release time for employees who are called to jury duty or to testify in District-related litigation.

 Employee Exit Survey

Canyons District’s goal is to recruit and retain high-quality employees. Toward that end, the CSD Human Resources Department surveyed employees who have resigned or who plan to retire this year to better understand their reasons for moving on. Most employees are either retiring after long, successful careers or leaving for unavoidable reasons, such as to relocate to another state or raise their families. But some are making a career change or moving to similar positions inside and outside the state, Dimond says. The survey indicates a need to address concerns over workload expectations, financial compensation, employee autonomy and recognition for good work. Employees, however, expressed appreciation for the District’s strong leaders, professional supports and training and collaborative atmosphere.

Pledge and Reverence

Edgemont Elementary Scout Troop 3375 led the Board of Education in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a reverence delivered by Edgemont Principal Cathy Schino.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, which includes the minutes from the March 7 meeting; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; and February financial reports.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Briscoe thanked the Board for staying late to address various issues.  He thanked the Incident Command Manual Update Committee for their hard work.  He also mentioned a fundraising event he attended at which Jordan Valley students were able to connect with a group that helped them with their disabilities.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox also thanked the Board for addressing challenging issues at the meeting. He also thanked legislators for their work during the 2017 General Session of the Utah Legislature. He thanked the Board for supporting a proposal to buy five new buses. With the purchases, all parts of the fleet will be newer than 2000 models. In addition, he congratulated Nancy Webb for being named the top buyer in Utah. He also thanked Director Gary Hansen for his work in the Purchasing Department. 

Board Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson said he attended the Utah Music Educators Festival last Friday to see the Indian Hills band perform.  He also attended the track invitational races at which Alta and Corner Canyon teams competed.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold reported on advancements in arts-education in the District.  She also mentioned the donated props and costumes that are in storage and can be used by schools and patrons. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey expressed thanks Canyons’ delegation of legislators.  She lauded the 4 percent increase to the WPU and the changes in policies that will strengthen efforts for academic achievement. She appreciates the members of School Community Councils who are working hard on their CSIP plans. She thanked the Policy Committee for reviewing and updating the policies in the District’s manual. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on visits to several schools and the discussion at a Town Hall.  He also said he spoke to the Student Advisory Committee. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg said he has enjoyed his first three months as a member of the Board of Education.  He recalled the District’s efforts to hold an active shooter drill five years ago, and thanked the Incident Command Manual Update Committee for their hard work. He mentioned the Canyons Education Foundation’s funding of a $6,300 grant to Jordan High to help robotics students. That grant led to the Jordan team winning FIRST Robotics and advancing to the World Championships. He also said he’s been pleased to see the Student Advisory Committee up and running, and said he’s looking forward to the ribbon-cutting at the new Midvale Middle.

President Sherril Taylor thanked Facilities Director Rick Conger for working so hard on all the bond-funded projects. He also invited the community to Indian Hills’ March 30 groundbreaking. The community, he said, is excited for the start of work on the middle school. He also presented information for planning on an upcoming board retreat. He mentioned the Office of Communications for planning Recognitions, and Dr. Dowdle for overseeing the Student Advisory Council. He thanked the teachers and Education Support Professionals for their hard work and dedication.
A whopping 22 stellar students from Canyons District’s five traditional comprehensive high schools find out tonight if they have been selected as 2017 Sterling Scholars in their respective categories.  Winners in the 55th annual scholarship program sponsored by the Deseret News and KSL-TV Channel 5 will be announced during a ceremony at the LDS Conference Center’s Little Theater, 60 West North Temple.  Students from Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools are in the finals in all but one of the judged categories.  Last year, Canyons students walked away with several awards.   Anthony Cheng, from Hillcrest High, was announced as the top mathematician — and the overall general scholar. Sadie Chidester and Camden Seeborg, both from Corner Canyon, won in the Skilled and Technical Sciences and World Languages categories, respectively.  Here’s a list of Canyons District’s 2017 finalists:

Business and Marketing
Elizabeth Ericksen, Corner Canyon

Computer Technology
Abigail Olsen, Hillcrest
Ryan Dalby, Brighton
Ellek Linton, Corner Canyon

Dance
Caroline Tarbet, Hillcrest
Ashley Jex, Alta
Audrey Memmott, Corner Canyon


English
Nain Christopherson, Jordan
Alexandra Carlile, Hillcrest

Family and Consumer Sciences Education
Carlee Culberson, Jordan

Mathematics
Ben Hiatt, Corner Canyon

Science
Boyd Christiansen, Jordan
Michelle White, Hillcrest

Skilled & Technical Sciences Education
Mary Evans, Hillcrest
Mykell Johnson, Alta

Social Sciences
Eliza Bennett, Jordan

Speech, Theatre Arts, Forensics
Emma Smith, Alta

Visual Arts
Dexter Holmes, Jordan
Meg Warnock, Corner Canyon

Vocal Performance
Kristen Fairbourn, Alta

World Languages
Cade Kartchner, Hillcrest
Julianne Liu, Brighton
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 17:05

Board Meeting Summary, March 7, 2017

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

Administrative Appointments

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

Legislative Update

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

Policy Update

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

Proposed Bus Route Changes

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

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

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

Consent Agenda

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


Recognitions

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

Superintendent, Business Administrator Report

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

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

Board Member Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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