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Wednesday, 06 December 2017 04:22

Board Meeting Summary, Dec. 5, 2017

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

Bond Project Discussion


The Administration discussed a possible construction timeline for the projects to be funded by the $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond voters approved on Nov. 7. Proposed is a two-phase construction schedule. Phase No. 1 would start in summer 2018 with the significant remodel of Alta High and rebuilds of Brighton and Hillcrest high schools. The Alta High project is projected to take two years; both Brighton and Hillcrest would be three-year projects. The three projects are the largest projects on the list. Starting this summer would allow the District to capitalize on lower construction costs and interest rates. According to the proposal, Phase No. 2 would start in summer 2019 with the start of a rebuild at an elementary school. Each summer after that, and until 2022, the District would start one of the promised elementary schools, which would all take roughly 15 months to build. In addition, the rebuild of Union Middle would start in summer 2021 and be complete in time for the 2023-2024 school year. The elementary schools to be rebuilt under the plan include Midvalley, Peruvian Park, and a school in the White City area. A new school also has been promised for west Draper. The Administration is proposing to this summer rebuild front offices at Brookwood, Park Lane and Silver Mesa elementary schools, and natural lighting projects at Brookwood, Canyon View, Crescent, East Midvale, East Sandy, Park Lane, Quail Hollow, Ridgecrest, and Silver Mesa. In the summer of 2019, projects include the new front offices at Granite, Oakdale, and Sunrise and the elementary interior lighting upgrades at Altara, Bell View, Granite, Lone Peak, Oak Hollow, Oakdale, Sunrise, Sprucewood, and Willow Springs. The Board of Education also discussed when crews could be hired to build classrooms to replace portables at Corner Canyon High. The portables at Corner Canyon may be needed at Brighton and Hillcrest while those two schools are being rebuilt onsite. Business Administrator Leon Wilcox also presented information about the small-capital facility projects expected to be started in summers 2018, 2019 and 2020. 

Policy Update

The Board heard updates on policies governing Secondary School Changes and the Student Dress Code. These are just two of the policies being examined by the Policy Committee, which is made up of Board members and CSD administrators. The group, led by Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen, has met two times per month throughout the 2014-2017 school years. In 2017, 144 polices were studied, discussed and referred to the Board to make sure the policy matches practice. 

Dual Language Immersion Program

Instructional Supports Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward updated the Board of Education on the expected high school implementation of Dual Language Immersion Programs. Dr. Roderick-Landward told the Board that planning for DLI in the high schools is challenging. CSD’s plan hinges upon several variables, including student enrollment, state support for the college-bridge programs, and the ability to retain qualified teachers, Dr. Roderick said. If swings in the variables are such that it would not be possible to sustain a quality program, the District may need to readdress the plan at a later date. A list of current and projected sites for DLI in high schools, as well as the year of implementation, can be found on BoardDocs. Based on surveys and intent-to-continue forms from current students in lower grades, interest in secondary Mandarin Chinese, French and Spanish programs is solid. However, additional discussions about the DLI high school offerings will likely need to happen when the official enrollment figures are tallied after registration.

Assessment Audit

Canyons District students spend between 1.7 percent to 2.7 percent of the school year taking tests, according to an internal audit of state- and district-required assessments performed at the request of the Canyons Education Association. By comparison, 27 percent of instruction time is spent learning math, 12 percent is devoted to school lunch, and 4.5 percent is reserved for recess. The results run counter to commonly held concerns about over-testing in schools. The average number of minutes spent by students in testing has increased since 2014. However, this trend will reverse in 2018-2019 as changes in SAGE writing and district language arts exams contribute to a decrease in testing time.

Pledge of Allegiance and Reverence

Midvalley Elementary student Joseph Mesa led the Board in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and Principal Tamra Baker delivered the reverence. She expressed appreciation to the CSD Board, parents and taxpayers for their support of the $283 million bond that will be used to repair and upgrade 27 schools, including Midvalley Elementary, which was first built in 1957. The school is among those slated for a complete rebuild. Baker also expressed gratitude for her PTA, the support of community groups, including the Eagle Scouts, and a grant that will be used to purchased musical instruments. She explained a program geared toward improving student engagement and reducing tardies and absences, and invited the Board to visit the school to see it in action. 

Patron Comment

In regards to the bond projects, Patron Steve Van Maren urged the Board to consider starting the Union Middle rebuild before the Alta High renovation. He also urged the Board to start the elementary school projects in the spring instead of summer months. He also encouraged the Board to continue planning for the future in the southern part of the district, especially with the relocation of the Utah State Prison in Draper.

CEA President Erika Bradshaw thanked Dr. Hal Sanderson, Director of Research and Assessment, for his audit of assessments proctored in CSD classrooms. She also thanked the Instructional Supports Department for responding to the requests of the CEA to re-evaluate how much time is spent on assessments.

Consent Agenda

The Board approved items on the consent agenda, including the minutes from the Nov. 14, 2017 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; the hiring and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; and a LAND Trust amendment for Midvalley Elementary. They also approved an amendment for the Brighton High LAND Trust plan. 

Policy Updates

Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen updated the Board of Education on policies governing the Calendar Committee guidelines; student search and seizure; student attendance; and student records, privacy rights and release of information. The Board voted to accept the updates. 

Academic Calendars

The Board of Education approved the calendar for the 2018-2019 school year. The Board also tentatively approved the alternative calendars for the 2019-2020 school-year calendar, which includes an earlier start date in August and an earlier end date, during the week of Memorial Day Recess.

Reviews and Audits  

The Board of Education voted to accept the 2016-2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and accompanying audits, which were conducted by Squire and Company. The public can access the reports on BoardDocs

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Briscoe thanked Business Administrator Leon Wilcox for the work done on this year’s CAFR and other accompanying audits. He mentioned that the District’s fiscal health led to the AAA bond rating, which will save taxpayers millions. He thanked the School Resource Officers for helping keep campuses safe. Dr. Briscoe also thanked the outgoing mayors of three CSD-area municipalities — Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini, and Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan — for their roles in starting and strengthening Canyons District. He bid all Canyons employees and patrons a happy and safe holiday season.

Mr. Leon Wilcox thanked Board members for reviewing the financial reports and participating in design meetings for the buildings that will be constructed with proceeds from the public-approved bond.  He wished everyone a happy holidays.

Board Member Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg remarked on the innovations of the teachers who received grants from the Canyons Education Foundation. He also thanked the patrons who served on the Friends of the Canyons District Bond advocacy group.  He also thanked his fellow Board members for the civil discourse that surrounded the bond-project discussion.  Mr. Millerberg also reported on his attendance at the audit committee.

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on attending the high school musicals at Brighton, Alta, Jordan, Hillcrest, Corner Canyon and Brighton high schools.  He also said he attended meetings regarding the future of the land on which the Utah State Prison now stands. He wished everyone a happy holiday season. 

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending Hillcrest High’s recent production of “Les Miserables.” Mrs. Shill commended the cast and faculty advisers on the high quality of the production. She also attended the Butler Middle SCC and a UHSAA meeting. Mrs. Shill thanked Dr. Stensrud and the Calendar Committee on creating the calendars for the coming school years.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey thanked the Calendar Committee for their hard work and responsiveness to feedback. She also thanked the business departments of CSD for their work on the financial and accompanying audits. She reported on attending the Common Good Awards. She also reiterated her commitment to encouraging high-quality instruction in classrooms. She wished everyone a happy holidays. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold bid patrons a happy holiday season.

Mr. Chad Iverson attended performing-arts concerts at Indian Hills Middle. He wished Canyons patrons a happy holidays.

President Taylor thanked the members of the Canyons District family for all they do for students.  He acknowledged the hard work that goes into creating a leading District.  He wished every a happy and safe holiday season.
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 16:28

Board Meeting Summary, Nov. 14, 2017

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


Contractors Selected for Bond Projects at Hillcrest, Brighton, Alta


In accordance with all state procurement guidelines, and during a regularly scheduled and appropriately noticed public meeting, the Board of Education on Tuesday chose the general contractors to oversee the construction of new Brighton and Hillcrest high schools and the major renovation at Alta High. An architectural firm also was selected to design the new Union Middle. The four projects are among the 11 major building efforts that will be funded with proceeds from the $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond proposal that was approved by voters on Nov. 7, 2017. Hogan and Associates Construction was awarded the $2,061,500 contract to rebuild Brighton High. Westland Construction was awarded the $2,594,900 contract to rebuild Hillcrest High, and Hughes Construction was awarded the $1,592,860 contract to complete the renovation work, including the addition of a gymnasium and state-of-the-art auditorium, at Alta High. The Board also awarded the $1,237,500 contract to VCBO to design the new Union Middle.  Members of the Board emphasized that no timetable has been set by taking this action, which secures a price for the contractor work. The Board will continue its discussions regarding the project-priority list at an upcoming meeting.  

Bond Information  

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox reminded the Board of Education that a canvass of the vote on the District’s successful bond measure will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in the Board Chambers of Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East. In addition, in a first reading, Wilcox asked the Board to consider the adoption of a resolution authorizing the issuance of up to $49 million in general-obligation bonds and for refunding certain obligations of the District for a cost savings. The resolution does not require the District to issue the bonds. However, it’s the first step CSD must legally take to start the issuance process. 

Recognitions

The Board of Education recognized the following for their achievements:
  • Emilee Astle, Alta High, 5A girls tennis first-singles champion
  • Karli Branch, Corner Canyon High, 5A cross country state champion
  • Georgia Ray, Lindsey Brown, Lydia Stueber, Alta High, artists of CSD’s official holiday card
  • Nicole Brooks, Jordan High; Alana Liu, Hillcrest High; Ben Powell, Corner Canyon High; Camille Verreault, Alta High; and Sage Dumas, Brighton High, student-artists who contributed to CAB-East Art Gallery
The Board also received the Above and Beyond Award for its policies supporting active members of the U.S. Armed Forces and the National Guard.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the items on the Consent Agenda, including the meetings from the Oct. 17, 2017 meeting of the Board; hire and termination reports, student overnight travel plans; the October Financial Reports; LAND Trust plan amendments for Union Middle, and Edgemont and Silver Mesa elementary schools.  

Proposed Academic Calendars

Dr. Floyd Stensrud, Director of the Office of Planning and Enrollment, updated the Board on proposed academic calendars for the 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. This was the second reading of the proposed calendars, which were drafted by CSD’s Calendar Committee, made up of employees and parents. The calendars also were built with input from 1,002 educators who participated in a survey. The proposed calendars can be found on BoardDocs. 

Policy Updates

The Board heard proposals to update policies governing school calendars, student attendance and the release of student records. Also proposed was a policy to allow parents to deny the release of a student’s information to military or college recruiters. 

LAND Trust Spending

School Performance Director Alice Peck updated the Board of Education on LAND Trust reports filed by Canyons schools for review by the state. The reports have been filed in accordance with state law and in alignment with each school’s academic goals.

Union Middle Bell Schedule Change

The Board heard a proposed change to Union Middle’s bell schedule. The school would like to start five minutes earlier than it does now. If approved, the morning bell would ring at 7:50 a.m. instead of 7:55 a.m. There would be no change to the afternoon bell. School would continue let out at 2:50 p.m. The change is mostly cosmetic, and would make it so that classes start and end in five-minute increments. The Board will take up the matter again this summer when it discusses all school bell schedules. 

Pledge of Allegiance

Cub Scout Pack 4433, the members of whom attend Crescent Elementary, posted the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Crescent Principal Camie Lloyd gave the reverence. 

Patron Comment

Lone Peak Parent Nicole Ellis asked the Board to consider upgrading or replacing the school’s HVAC system. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe thanked the community for supporting the bond proposal and expressed appreciation for the District Office staff members, teachers, principals, and administrators who worked hard to disseminate information about the $283 million tax-rate-neutral measure. He congratulated the Board for the successful vote.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked patrons for participating in the vote, regardless of how they voted. He also thanked CSD’s Insurance Department for a successful completion of Health Insurance Open Enrollment.  Wilcox also congratulated student-athletes who participated in fall sports.

Board Member Reports

Mrs. Clareen Arnold, in a spirit of Thanksgiving, expressed gratitude for her peers on the Board and colleagues in the District for their friendship and collegiality. She said she’s grateful for the lessons she’s learned while serving on the Board.  Mrs. Arnold said she’s thankful for the healthy discussions, even debate, among Board members on important issues. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey said she is grateful for the opportunity to serve the community on the Board of Education. She also thanked patrons for participating in the vote on Nov. 7, and considers it a “solemn responsibility” to fulfill the promises made during the election. She also mentioned the Utah State Board of Education School Community Council training, which was hosted by Canyons District, and the Town Halls she has hosted with Mr. Steve Wrigley, Mrs. Amber Shill, and Mrs. Arnold.  She also expressed appreciation to CSD school communities for holding Veteran Day celebrations. 

Mrs. Amber Shill thanked patrons for participating in the Nov. 7 election and reiterated a pledge to be a wise steward of public funds while also providing safe and secure schools for the Canyons community. She enjoyed Brighton High’s production of “Xanadu,” and reported on attending Butler Middle’s Veterans Day assembly and concert for beginning band students. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley thanked the staff involved in disseminating information about the successful bond proposal. He also expressed thanks to patrons who participated in the vote and for the trust the public has placed in the District. He reported on attending the meeting of the Student Advisory Committee and Jordan High’s production of “The Addams Family.”  He also lauded CSD’s recent Utah College Application Week, which encouraged all high school seniors to submit at least one viable college application. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg said he was out of the country at the time of the vote, yet stayed abreast of the vote tallies via the Salt Lake County Clerk’s website.  He believes the District’s bond proposal earned nearly 60 percent of the vote because of the trust CSD has built with patrons. He referred to the completion of all 13 projects promised to the community at the passage of the 2010 bond.  While excited for the plans for the future, he said, “now the real work begins.” He commended the school district for having policies that support National Guardsmen and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Board President Sherril Taylor expressed appreciation for staff members who worked on the bond-information dissemination effort. He also said he was grateful for the patrons who cast ballots on Election Day. He said he respects every vote. He also said he appreciates the Board’s robust discussions about important issues, and thanked the members for representing their constituents.
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 19:36

Board Meeting Summary, Oct. 17, 2017

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

Bond Proposal


The District held the statutorily required reading of previously submitted arguments for and against the proposed $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond measure that will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. The pro/con arguments also can be found on the District’s website and were published in the CSD2U community newsletter sent to all parents of children in the Canyons District.  Business Administrator read the District’s pro arguments. Patron Steve Van Maren read his argument against the bond proposal. 

Calendar Update

Under a new school calendar considered by the Board of Education, Canyons District’s schools would let out for the summer in May, instead of the first week of June. The changes were put forth by CSD’s Calendar Committee, made up of employees and parents and based on a poll of more than 1,000 teachers. If approved, the calendar would take effect with the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers and parents have expressed concern about CSD schools letting out later than those in neighboring districts. The later end date makes it difficult for high school students to compete for summer jobs and for teachers to keep students engaged in learning, explained Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud. The proposed calendar also would eliminate most of the Professional Development days traditionally scheduled on Fridays, thereby alleviating the need for working parents to secure child care. There would be no change in the number of holidays or instructional days. The Board will take up the matter again at an upcoming Board meeting.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including the minutes from the Oct. 3, 2017 meeting of the Board; hire and termination reports; student overnight travel; September financial reports; Utah’s Consolidated Applications for Funding; and a School LAND Trust Amendment for Indian Hills Middle.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

The Brighton High Accadians presented the American flag and the flag of the state of Utah and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood presented the reverence. 

Recognitions

The Board of Education and Administration recognized the following for their achievements: 
  • Corner Canyon High seniors Raili Jenkins and Addie Sepulveda, the 5A first-doubles tennis champions.
  • Corner Canyon High sophomore Emma Heiden and junior Lizzie Simmons, the 5A second-doubles tennis champions
  • Park Lane Elementary teacher Linda Tognoni, the recipient of a $2,000 grant and the winner of the Voya Unsung Hero award.  With the money, she will write a book that will give insight into autism and offer support to other students on the autism spectrum.
  • Midvale Middle teacher Shelley Allen, winner of a grant through the Chevron Fuel Your School program. The grant will pay for technology that will help translate assignments for the 32 English language learners in her class. 

Utah College Application Week

School Counseling Program Specialist Tori Gillett updated the Board on plans to hold the 2017 Utah College Applications Week Nov. 6-10. On average, 86 percent of high school seniors participated in 2016 UCAW events, which are planned to encourage students to submit at least one viable college application. According to the District’s records, 2,328 college applications were submitted by CSD seniors. Gillett also said Utah’s had the largest growth percentage of any state for completion of the Free Application for Federal Students Aid (FAFSA), the process that opens the door to government assistance to attend college. Jordan High, she said, is No. 2 in the state in FAFSA completion among all Utah high schools. FAFSA Completion Nights have been held or are planned at all CSD high schools, including Diamond Ridge High. Following tradition, the Canyons Education Foundation pledged up to $10,000 to help low-income students pay applicable college-application fees.

Patron Comments

Draper Park Middle student Henry Atkin asked the Board to extend the pass times between classes and lunch period so students can have more time to get to class and enjoy lunches. He also asked for more time for exercise during the day.  

Peter Eastham spoke about the Draper Middle School Community Council and the discussions surrounding the school’s schedule. 

Parent Ginger Cavin spoke about Draper Park Middle’s class schedule. She asked the Board to review the established protocol for schools to choose their schedules. She wants to ensure the system is working.  She also expressed concern over the current schedule at the school. 

Draper Park Middle parent Katie Smith also expressed concern about the decision of the school’s SCC to decline to revisit the issue of adopting a new schedule.  She asked the Board to revise the policy to require more parent input. 

Parent Amanda Oaks expressed concern about the six-period semester schedule at Draper Park Middle. 

Draper Park Middle parent Kit Linkous told the Board a parent survey should be done so parents can have a direct voice in the establishment of a school schedule. 

Parent Chad Smith said the input is based about a concern about the process. 

Parent Wendy Smith also expressed concern about the school-schedule process, including the creation of a task force to study the issue and the completion of a parent survey. She expressed concern that the process isn’t being followed.

Sprucewood parent Tess Hortin expressed concern about the Alternative Behavior Support class at the school. She told the Board a long-term plan is needed to address the extreme and at time aggressive behavior of the students in the unit. She asked the Board to provide additional administrative help, extra communications with the parents, and allow parents to be in hallways to offer additional security.

Draper Park Middle parent Mike Neyman encouraged the Board to revisit the school-schedule policy established in January.  He also urged the Board to insist on a parent survey, and said the SCC does not represent parents at Draper Park.

PATRON COMMENT ON THE BOND PROPOSAL

Patron Betty Shaw spoke in favor of the bond proposal that will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. She also noted the proposed projects that would bring in natural light to the schools.

Parent Wendy Davis said she will vote no on principle. She believes that the District should not allocate more money to the new Corner Canyon High, and that boundary changes should be enacted to solve any overcrowding at the school.  She also said the bond election should have been held during an election cycle that would draw the most voters.

Patron Steve Van Maren said he’s against the bond proposal. He said it’s “disingenuous to say” that because rates will not go up property taxes will not go up. 

Patron Sandra Shurtleff said the Board should pay off previous bonds before asking the public to approve additional ones for new school construction and renovations.

Patron Stephanie Yorgason said she will vote against the bond proposal because of the proposed project to add classrooms to replace the portables currently on the Corner Canyon High campus. 

Patron James Shurtleff expressed concern that Brighton High would be moved away from the current location. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Jim Briscoe thanked principals as part of Utah’s Principal Appreciation Week. He commended principals for their hard work and dedication. He also congratulated Business Administrator Leon Wilcox and his team for receiving the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International. He also noted the Foundation’s contributions to UCAW. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox also asked the Board members to review the most current enrollment reports.  Overall, CSD enrollment has dipped about 100 students.  He also reminded employees of health insurance Open Enrollment the last week of October and the first week of November. He also gave an update on the renovation of Indian Hills Middle. Wilcox said the building should be enclosed within the next few weeks so they can work inside

BOARD MEMBER REPORTS  

Mr. Chad Iverson attended the Region 7 cross-country championships, and will be attending the state cross country meet tomorrow in Sugar House Park. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold reported on attending the ribbon-cutting of the new soccer pitch provided to Sandy Elementary by Real Salt Lake, Scheels, and the City of Sandy. She congratulated Wilcox on his team’s award and mentioned the importance of UCAW.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey expressed appreciation for the employees of Canyons District. In her role as the leader of the Utah School Boards Association, she has traveled a lot of school boards across the state. She said so much good work is being done in public schools across Utah. She expressed appreciation to the patrons who gave input about the school-schedule selection process.   

Mrs. Amber Shill thanked principals for their contributions to school communities.

Mr. Steve Wrigley said Canyons District’s principals are “amazing.” He reported on visiting the Willow Canyon SCC meeting.  He also attended the ribbon-cutting at Sandy Elementary.

Mr. Mont Millerberg urged residents to examine the bond proposal. He said schools in low-income areas will receive new schools, just like the ones built in Draper. He also reported on a service project at Midvale Elementary that provided new coats, sweatshirts, jeans and socks to students in need.  He thanked the Assistance League of Salt Lake for their efforts. 

President Sherril Taylor thanked the patrons who addressed the Board.  He also thanked Steve Van Maren for reading his argument against the bond and his rebuttal to the District’s proposal.
When it comes to matters of money, Canyons District is in good hands. For the eighth year running, the District has received a Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International.

The award recognizes CSD’s commitment to the highest standards of school budgeting.

“School business officials are responsible for ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, and that the district budget reflects student priorities and needs,” said ASBO International Executive Director John Musso in a statement. “This award recognizes districts that have made it clear they want students at the center of their fiscal plan and vision.”

Canyons, under the leadership of Business Administrator Leon Wilcox, also routinely earns the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association. The Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is the association’s highest award in government budgeting. It recognizes Canyons’ budget as an outstanding policy document, financial plan, operations guide, and communications device.

Canyons also has maintained a sterling AAA bond rating, which has a bearing on the District’s ability to affordably bond to pay for upgrades to aging school buildings. A high rating is like having perfect credit, which translates to low interest rates and millions in savings to taxpayers.
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 04:13

Board Meeting Summary, Oct. 3, 2017

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


Alta High's Step2theU Program

Last summer, Alta High enrolled its first cohort of juniors in Step2theU, a program that allows students to earn two years of college credit at the University of Utah while still in high school. Forty-six students applied and the program was able accept 36, said Alta High Principal Brian McGill. Grades, academic awards and extracurricular achievements all factored into the review of the applications by an admissions committee. The committee also took into consideration the applicants’ participation in Honors, Advanced Placement or concurrent enrollment courses. The committee also looked for an ability to contribute to and benefit from a culturally and intellectually diverse learning community. So far, 100 percent of the students who started the program last summer have stuck with it, McGill said. “Not one student has dropped out of the program, to date, which is pretty remarkable,” he said. Those who complete the program will graduate with the equivalent of an associate degree for a fraction of what they would pay in college tuition. It’s a life-changer for some of these kids, McGill said. 

Brain Boosters Update

Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward updated the Board of Education on the “Brain Boosters” part of the elementary-school schedule. Two years ago, the Board of Education approved an elementary schedule that sets aside time for students to participate in the arts, physical-education, engineering, technology and media library classes. At the time the schedule was OK’d, the Board directed the Administration to streamline the Brain Boosters curriculum, increase the productivity of IPLC teacher collaboration, and ensure a high level of quality in the Brain Booster classes. Dr. Roderick-Landward said her department has focused on extending grade-level standards with the courses, and, because the classes are mostly led by paraprofessionals, developing 30- to 60-minute interactive lessons with structured instructional sequences. Roderick-Landward said ISD provides professional development on a monthly basis for the instructors who teach the arts, library media, and physical-education classes, and three times annually for engineering and technology. At the school level, she said, Brain Booster teachers and technicians have the support of the building administrator, the Achievement Coach, the Building Leadership Team liaison, and the lead technician. At the District level, there are specialists for arts, library media, Playworks, engineering and technology, as well as a District-based coach.  Board members reported hearing positive feedback about the Brain Booster program.

Policy Reviews 

The Board adopted a Special Education policy as required by state and federal law. Following a thorough review of CSD’s Section 504 Policies and Procedures, the District Administration and the Board of Education’s Policy Committee determined no substantive changes are needed.

Pledge of Allegiance and Reverence

Boy Scout Troop 788 and Cub Scout Pack 3788 posted the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. The reverence was given by Alta View Principal Karen Medlin. The 600 students enrolled at the school hail mostly from White City but also live in other Sandy neighborhoods. The school has a Spanish-English Dual-Language Immersion program, and 28 licensed staff, including teachers from Spain and Mexico, and enjoys a supportive and active community of parents. Medlin thanked the Board and community for her new school building, which was the 12th major construction project completed with proceeds from the $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. 

Student Advisory Council

The 2017-2018 members of the Student Advisory Council were officially introduced. The members are Alta High’s Sydney Pexton and Taylor Wood; Brighton High’s Bradley Sullivan and Sophie Yates; Corner Canyon High’s Hope Broman and Logan Orr; Hillcrest High’s Boston Iacobazzi and Sierra Metzger; and Jordan High’s Conner Tait and Gabby Marz. Members of the council, selected after an application process, meet regularly to advise the Board on proposed policies that could impact students. The first meeting of the council, to be led by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle, is Wednesday at Jordan High.  

Recognitions

The Board of Education recognized the following students and staff for their accomplishments: 
  • Katie Blunt, Education Technology Specialist, who was chosen to be featured on a nationally broadcasted segment for American Graduate Champion Day on Oct. 14. 
  • The 14 Canyons high school seniors who are semifinalists in the National Merit Scholar competition. The students are Alta High’s Nathan L. Brown; Brighton High’s Joshua Brodbeck: Corner Canyon High’s August Burton and Aaron Jackson; Hillcrest High’s Richard Abbott, Bryson Armstrong, Mohammed Khan, Chu Un Kim, Kara Komarnitsky, Madeline Martin, Joshuan Raty, Alexander Sun and Vivek Vankayalapati; and Jordan High’s Daniel Ross.
  • The Board also recognized the CSD Office of Public Communications, which received the Best Communications in a Major Incident Award from the Utah Public Information Officers Association. The award stemmed from Canyons’ efforts to communicate with the Brookwood community after a fatal shooting in June. 
Patron Comment

Draper Park Middle Kelli Davey spoke to the Board about the six-period schedule at the school.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including the approval of minutes from the Sept. 19 meeting of the Board of Education; the hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel; and a Memorandum of Understanding with Cottonwood Height’s Summer Theater Program. 

Bond Proposal

Director of External Affairs Charlie Evans presented information about the effort to inform the public about the District’s $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond proposal that will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. The Friends of the Canyons District Bond, an organization of parents who support the bond proposal, also gave the Board “vote yes” signs for their yards.  The signs were paid for with private funds. Parent Suzanne Walker said residents who want a lawn sign can contact the group at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or through a Facebook page, Friends of the Canyons District Bond.

Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe spoke about the public and personal impact of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. He said he knew people who were the event, and expressed gratitude they were able escape unharmed. However, he also noted the ways in which people pull together in times of a crisis and the many examples of good works, not only in our District but across the nation and world. For an example, he noted a Midvale Middle teacher who applied for a grant to help non-English speakers at the school.  He also pointed out the anti-bullying effort that Alta and Corner Canyon high school students will hold before the upcoming rivalry game.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board that a voter information pamphlet about the bond proposal will be delivered to homes later this week.  He also congratulated East Midvale Elementary for raising to from a D to a B in the state’s school-grading program. He also thanked teachers for working so hard to prepare for Parent Teacher Conferences.

Board Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg also remarked on the press event to announce this year’s round of Chevron “Fuel Your School” teacher grants. The event was held at Midvale Middle where English-language development teacher Shelley Allen demonstrated tablets she was awarded that are able to translate classroom lectures for students in languages ranging from Swahili to Arabic and Chinese. Mr. Millerberg also commended the citizens group of grassroots supporters who have volunteered to help spread word about CSD’s proposed school-improvement bond. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley remarked on the growing lack of civility and social pressures facing school children and the teachers who are working hard to help them achieve. He said he would like the Board to discuss the role of schools in promoting behavioral health and emotional wellness. 

Mrs. Amber Shill attended her Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation meeting and provided them with an update on CSD’s proposed bond. Parks and Recreation has just come off a successful bond election, which is reaping dividends throughout the community, she said. Mrs. Shill also accompanied Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe to a recent Cottonwood Heights City Council meeting during which they discussed the bond measure. She said the council is supportive and eager to see Brighton High rebuilt.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey encouraged School Community Council members to take advantage of the many trainings being offered by the District. She also attended the Cottonwood Heights City Council where Dr. Briscoe presented information on the proposed bond. She also commended the District for providing resources to support the emotional well-being of its students and employees.

Clareen Arnold was excused from the meeting.

Mr. Chad Iverson attended a National Honors Society induction ceremony, as well as sporting events.  He added that he’s excited about the bond proposal and the support that is building across the Canyons community.

Mr. Sherril Taylor thanked Canyons District patrons for all their support over the years. The District wouldn’t be anywhere without the supportive residents, he said.
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