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.
The American Heart Association joined the Canyons Board of Education on Tuesday in lauding the educators and support staff at Corner Canyon High who used CPR and an Automated External Defibrillator to revive a 14-year-old student who had suffered cardiac arrest at school.  

At a Feb. 21, 2017 meeting in the Board Chambers of the Canyons Administration Building-East, the association gave national HeartSaver Hero awards to Corner Canyon High Principal Darrell Jensen, Assistant Principal Christian Cowart, teacher Elisa Posey, school nurse Nancy Purcell and hall monitor Joyce Spencer for their life-saving efforts when student Porter Lewis collapsed during a physical education class. 

Through tears, and with more than a few embraces, Lewis helped hand out the awards, which included special pins that the association bestows only on those whose heroic actions contribute to the “chain of survival” for heart attack victims.

"I just want to say to thanks to everyone who helped save my life," an emotional Lewis said after presenting the honors.  "I am just very grateful to be here." 

On Jan. 10, the school called 911 and rushed to help Lewis when teacher Elisa Posey noticed the 14-year-old student slumping against a way. While Posey cleared the area of other students, Jensen, Cowart, Spencer and Purcell rushed to assist Lewis, who was unconscious and had stopped breathing. The AED was used to revive Lewis, who does not have any known medical conditions. Other emergency actions were taken to aid Lewis before the paramedics arrived at about 10 a.m. to administer care.

The quick actions of the staff and administrators, coupled with training and the immediate availability of an AED may have saved Lewis’ life.

Porter’s survival was as close to a miracle as it gets, explained Marc Watterson, Government Relations Director for the Utah chapter of the American Heart Association. Each year in the U.S., there are approximately 359,400 Emergency Medical Services-assessed cardiac arrests outside of a hospital setting, and on average, fewer than 10 percent of the victims survive, Watterson said.

Defibrillation, along with CPR, is the only way to restore the victim’s heart rhythm to normal in a lot of cases of cardiac arrest. Yet only 17 percent of the nation’s schools and government offices make AED’s available in their facilities.

Canyons placed AEDs at all of its schools four years ago under the direction of Canyons Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray, who maintains them to ensure they’re in working order.  Ray also received an award from the association.

"Tonight was a good example of how much our teachers and staff care," said Board President Sherril H. Taylor.  "Porter is a great young man .. He has a lot left to do in this life — and now he has the chance to do it."  



Thursday, 23 February 2017 00:14

Board Meeting Summary, Feb. 21, 2017

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

American Heart Association Presents HeartSaver Award to CCHS

The American Heart Association recognized Canyons District administrators, educators and support staff who took emergency measures to revive a student who had suffered cardiac arrest during a Jan. 10, 2017 physical education class. The association presented HeartSaver Awards to Corner Canyon High Principal Darrell Jensen, Assistant Principal Christian Cowart, teacher Elisa Posey, school nurse Nancy Purcell and hall monitor Joyce Spencer. A special award of merit also was given to CSD Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray, who spearheaded the District’s efforts to install the AEDs in all CSD schools four years ago. The quick actions of CCHS employees that day, coupled with training and the immediate availability of an Automated External Defibrillator, may have saved the life of 14-year-old Porter Lewis, who also helped present the awards. Lewis’ survival was as close to a miracle as it gets, said Marc Watterson, Government Relations Director for the Utah chapter of the American Heart Association. Each year in the U.S., there are approximately 359,400 Emergency Medical Services-assessed cardiac arrests outside of a hospital setting, and on average, fewer than 10 percent of the victims survive, Watterson said. Defibrillation, along with CPR, is the only way to restore the victim’s heart rhythm to normal in a lot of cases of cardiac arrest. Yet only 17 percent of the nation’s schools and government offices make AED’s available in their facilities. Watterson handed Corner Canyon’s staff special pins that the Heart Association bestows on those whose heroic actions contribute to the “chain of survival” for heart attack victims.

Board Approves Administrative Appointments

The Canyons Board of Education approved a spate of administrative appointments for the 2017-2018 school year.  They are as follows: 

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.

Hillcrest Feeder Initiative Update

The Board of Education heard a proposal by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie to continue a concentrated and aligned effort to boost student achievement across schools in the Hillcrest High feeder system. The initiative, which entails tracking and transitioning Midvale-area students from one school to the next, was launched last summer and is already producing gains in student achievement. Copperview Principal Christy Waddell, Midvale Principal Chip Watts and East Midvale Principal Justin Pitcher explained how elementary school-level instructional coaches funded through the initiative have helped make classroom time more effective. More targeted instruction and collaborative lesson plans are enabling students to progress more quickly, setting them up to succeed in middle school and beyond. Progress is showing in improved test scores at the elementary and secondary levels. Midvale Middle Principal Wendy Dau told the Board that intensive professional development for teachers, coupled with targeted literacy strategies, have produced gains in SAGE scores in English language arts.  Coaching in behavioral interventions designed to encourage positive behavior, instead of discouraging negative behavior, has reduced discipline referrals to the Main Office by 50 percent, she said. The training provided teachers also has improved morale; Midvale Middle’s teacher turnover rate has fallen from 44 percent to 11 percent. The goal of the program is to provide early supports to students who are at-risk of not graduating from high school. This includes a Summer Boot Camp program for ninth-grade students entering Hillcrest High. Of the 74 students to sign up for the inaugural Boot Camp this past summer, 47 completed the program, said Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt. In addition to those students, Hillcrest has targeted another 17 for interventions. Of those 64 students, 19 percent have a grade-point-average of 3.0 or higher, and another 22 percent have a 2.0 or higher. Board members expressed support for the initiative and will address ongoing funding with the next year’s budget. 

Students, Employees Recognized for Achievements

The Board of Education also recognized outstanding students and employees. Honored were:
  • Brighton High students Brayden Stevens, the 5A state wrestling champion at the 152-pound weight class.
  • Corner Canyon High student Shaun Stockwell, the 4A state wrestling champion in the heavyweight division.
  • Hillcrest and Entrada counselor Eric Murdock for being named the School Counseling Educator the Year, as named by the Utah Association of Career and Technical Educators Guidance Division.
  • Brighton’s Georgia Raddon and Jordan’s Nicole Brooks, winners of Jurors’ Awards at the Springville Spring Museum’s Utah All-State Art Show.

Update on Progress at Diamond Ridge High

Student Advocacy and Access Director Karen Sterling and Diamond Ridge High administrator Amy Boettger updated the Board of Education on the progress of CSD’s alternative high school. Enrollment at Diamond Ridge has swelled from 79 to 108 this year, and has a waiting list of 14 students. Enrollment is projected to grow to 125 next fall, with 45 students on the waiting list. The school is helping students toward graduation. In fact, Diamond Ridge’s graduation rate is 77 percent. Grade point averages, as well as scores on assessments, also are on the rise, Sterling told the Board. 

Legislative Update

External Relations Director Charlie Evans updated the Board of Education on talks surrounding SB80, a school-funding equalization proposal. If approved in its current form, CSD stands to lose some $1.5 million. He urged the Board to thank legislators who have made stances against the proposed legislation. He also briefed the Board on SB240, which, among other things, would allow School Community Councils to bypass a Board of Education and approach the Utah State Board of Education to request approval to become a charter school.   

Board Meeting Schedule

The Board of Education reviewed a proposed meeting schedule for 2017-2018. 

Board Approves Policies

The Board of Education approved two policies and declared some policies obsolete. The new policies govern the hiring of employees and the administration of medication to students.

Pledge of Allegiance, Posting of the Colors

Scout Troop 4331, whose members attend Altara Elementary, posted the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Altara Principal Nicole Svee-Magann spoke to the Board about the academic improvements at the school. She also noted that an Altara parent was the driving force behind the District’s implementation of a districtwide no-idle initiative. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Briscoe thanked Board members for their support of the Hillcrest Feeder Initiative. He also expressed appreciation for Board members Nancy Tingey and Amber Shill, who are spending a lot of time at the legislature on behalf of CSD and public education. He also mentioned the work that is being done to update CSD’s policy manual. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox noted that SB80 will be discussed on Capitol Hill later this week. He also recognized Utah State Board of Education Board Member Kathleen Riebe, who attended the meeting. He also mentioned a recent meeting with the Student Advisory Committee, and thanked teachers for their hard work preparing for last week’s Parent-Teacher Conferences. 

Board members

Mr. Chad Iverson reported on attending the Alta vs. Corner Canyon boys basketball game. He commended the schools on maintaining a fierce but friendly rivalry. He encouraged legislators to vote against SB80. He mentioned the bill is sponsored by an elected representative who represents some Canyons District patrons.

Ms. Nancy Tingey commended the faculty and staff who responded to the calls for help when Corner Canyon High student Porter Lewis collapsed and needed emergency medical attention.  She expressed her appreciation to everyone in the “Canyons District family.” 

Ms. Amber Shill reported that she attended a USBA professional development session for presidents and vice presidents of school boards across Utah. She also encouraged patrons to attend District Day at the Hill on Friday in the rotunda at the state Capitol. CSD will have an informational booth, and a brass sextet from Alta High will perform at 12:30 p.m.

Mr. Steve Wrigley said he attended the Sandy Chamber Peak Awards with Mr. Wilcox and Dr. Briscoe. He also has visited Mount Jordan Middle, Eastmont Middle and Bell View, Willow Canyon, and Park Lane elementary schools. He also toured the under-construction Alta View Elementary.  He also thanked Office Max for donating goods to teachers. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg deferred his report and Ms. Clareen Arnold was excused for personal reasons.  

President Sherril H. Taylor recognized the District teachers and staff who go the extra mile for students. The presentation from the American Heart Association reminded him of how far Canyons employees will go to help students. He said he is glad Porter Lewis is recovering and wished him the best in the future. 
Draper Park Middle School woke to a surprise on Valentine’s Day, arriving in the morning to find their lockers adorned with pink, paper hearts — each inscribed with a personalized note of positivity.

It’s a bit like having a secret admirer, or in this case, a whole club of them. The sentiments — ranging from, “You’re inspiring,” and “You’re brave,” to “You should be proud of yourself,” and “You bring out the best in people” — were painstakingly prepared and placed on the lockers by the school’s Service Club. “We gave the students sentence-starters and ideas, but they came up with a lot of their own messages, which ended up being way better than ours,” says Ellie Seaborn, a sixth-grade science teacher who helps run the Service Club with Laura Bitner, Draper Park’s Head Counselor.

Middle school is a time of change, growth and discovery, and Seaborn and Bitner hope one of the discoveries their students make is the joy and reward of community service. For 30 minutes each month, Draper Park Middle Service Club members work on projects that benefit their school, their peers, their neighborhood, and the community at large. IMG_9193.jpg

Since the club’s inception a year ago, students have completed more than a half dozen projects. One activity had the kids making salt-dough egg decorations that they then hand-delivered to residents at the Draper Rehabilitation and Care Center. Residents were thrilled with the gifts, but were especially pleased with the students’ visit.

For another project, club members cut and assembled bingo game kits that were sold at the Festival of Trees, a fundraiser for Primary Children’s Hospital. Students also worked with Catholic Community Services to make blankets and “Welcome” signs for teenage refugees. Sixth-grader Colin Derr especially loved that activity because, he says, “I learned a new skill and got to serve others.”

Some projects, such as an anti-bullying effort undertaken at the school and the Valentine’s Day surprise, take place closer to home. But no matter the project, Service Club members are finding the experience hugely rewarding. “I like giving back to others, not just doing things for myself,” says sixth grade student Isaac Branch. It’s also a great way to meet new friends, says Branch’s classmate Shelia Horman, “I just hate missing it. I like helping people and having fun.”

That "do good, feel good" component of the club has made it successful, too. The club’s first meeting attracted about 40 students, but every month, club members bring more friends into the fold. Now more than 100 students regularly attend the meetings.

As Service Club members filed into a classroom after school on Feb. 13 and began laying 1,600 hearts out on tables in preparation to distribute them, the task seemed daunting. Barely 30 minutes later, sixth grader Colin Derr returned to the room to grab another handful of hearts and was astonished to find the job was complete; affixed to every locker in the school was an uplifting message. Many hands, it seems, make light work — and warm hearts.
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For the second year, Canyons District is embarking on a big idea for little kids.

To provide extra academic options to the community, CSD will again offer Supplemental Hours of Instruction for Kindergarten-age students in the 2017-2018 school year. Students must be 5 years old by Sept. 1, 2017 to participate in the opt-in, tuition-based program.

Students who are accepted into the classes will receive nearly four additional hours of instruction every school day. Enrollees begin and end school at the same time as the school’s first- through fifth-grade students. Click here to see the bell schedules for all Canyons schools.

Canyons District will begin accepting online applications at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The application window will close at 11:59 p.m. on April 15. Computers will be available at Canyons schools for families who do not have computers or Internet connectivity at home. 

The application can be accessed at the bottom of the Frequently Asked Questions page.  Simply click the blue button that says "Start."

Students will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Cost for the program is $2,950 a year, and can be paid in monthly installments, August-May. A 10 percent discount is available for parents and guardians who pay the yearly tuition in full at one time. There also is a one-time, non-refundable registration fee of $100.

Financial-need scholarships also are available for qualifying students.  Parents may apply for the financial assistance at the same time they submit enrollment applications. 

The District plans to offer the classes at Alta View, Altara, Bell View, Bella Vista, Brookwood, Butler, Crescent, Edgemont, Lone Peak, Midvalley, Oakdale, Park Lane, Ridgecrest, Sprucewood, Sunrise, Willow Canyon, Willow Springs elementary schools.  However, the program can only be offered at these sites if at least 20 students have enrolled in the program.   

Children who qualify for transportation services will ride the kindergarten bus with morning-session kindergarten students and will ride home with the afternoon-session kindergarten students. 

Efforts will be made to enroll students at school closest to their homes — but the District cannot guarantee placement at any specific school.  Placement notifications will be made by April 21 for the families who submit applications during the initial application window. 

Questions?  Call 801-826-5045 or send an e-mail message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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