With a sharp chirp of a whistle, the best student runners from all eight of Canyons District middle schools took off running with their eyes on the rolling grassy route in front of them — and their hearts set on being the first to cross the finish line.

Under sunny skies, two boy and girl runners from every grade at every CSD middle school competed on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 at the 10th annual CSD Intramurals Cross Country Championship Meet. They all ran roughly 2 miles around Union Middle School’s campus.

Hundreds of friends and family lined the route to cheer the students as they jostled for position and pushed themselves to high speeds.

At the end of the race, Draper Park Middle captured the first-place trophies for both the girls and boys teams.

In the girls' race, Eastmont finished at No. 2 and Union captured third place.

For the boys, Mount Jordan raced to the second-place spot and Midvale Middle snagged third place.

The overall top boy runners were Mount Jordan’s Diego Lopez, Draper Park’s Grayson Milne and Mount Jordan’s Levi Wilcoxon.   The overall top girl runners were Eastmont’s Sarah Seamons, Draper Park’s Avery Garcia and Draper Park’s Bre Kennard. 

The race is the school year’s first contest for the middle-school intramural athletics program, which was developed to promote healthy lifestyles and gauge interest for future competitive sports programs. Individual winners will be awarded medals and the fastest teams will receive trophies to be displayed at their respective schools.

See Canyons District's Facebook page for a photo gallery of the race.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.
 
Construction of Brighton High

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox presented information about the budget and timeline of Brighton High’s rebuild. While preliminary design work started in September 2017, the work on the project accelerated after the public in November 2017 approved a $283 million bond proposal that would provide the funds for the construction. As work has progressed, Wilcox said, it’s proven challenging to build such a large building — 387,000-square-feet — on the campus’ 36 acres, especially as students continue to attend classes there. Also, construction and labor costs have gone up significantly since the bond election, he said. The cost of materials to complete such a project, including fuel, are sharply on the rise, he said. Board member Nancy Tingey, who has been involved in discussions surrounding the design of the building, said that cuts have been made already, and the investment in the school will affect generations of students. The Board awarded a $103.1 million contract to Hogan Construction for the project. Construction is expected to be done by fall 2021.

Lacrosse Participation

The Board of Education gave an OK to schools in Canyons District who want to field lacrosse teams in the 2019-2020 school year. That is when the Utah High School Activities Association will start to sanction the sport for boys and girls. The vote serves as notice to UHSAA that the District plans to participate and allows schools to begin the process of hiring coaches and reviewing equipment needs. The participation fee is expected to be $70 per player. The budget for 2019-2020 will include the startup and ongoing costs associated with offering the sport to students. 

Calendar Update

Under an already tentatively approved calendar for the 2019-2020 school year, Canyons District’s schools would let out for the summer in May, instead of the first week of June. The Board re-considered the calendar for final approval along with similarly organized calendars for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 years, and for Brighton High, which is under a trimester schedule. An earlier end date would make it easier for high school students to compete for summer jobs, explained Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud. The proposed calendars 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. 

Early Literacy Program

The Board of Education considered a series of literacy goals proposed by the Administration in alignment with new legislation and Utah State Board of Education rules. The intent of the legislation was for 90 percent of all Utah third graders to achieve proficiency in reading by 2020. School Districts are being asked to set incremental milestones toward achieving that goal. State rules also stipulate that the number of students making typical or better progress must increase from 48 to 60 percent. There are consequences for not meeting growth goals, and remediation plans to support Districts that fall short. The Board will take up the matter again at an upcoming meeting. 

Vision and Mission Update 

Research and Assessment Director Dr. Hal Sanderson presented student achievement data to the Board of Education. ACT scores from last year show CSD high school students outpacing their Utah peers in English, math, reading and science—in some areas by as much as 10 percentage points. Additionally, students showed improvement in math, reading and science. Dr. Sanderson also presented data to show progress toward the District’s customer service, community engagement, innovation, and financial accountability goals. Surveys show the vast majority of parents are satisfied with the education and emotional supports provided their students. Volunteer rates are up, as is traffic to the District’s website, demonstrating healthy community engagement. A growing share of teachers are taking advantage of District-sponsored professional development opportunities and technology-in-education certifications. The District has an eight-year track record of 100 percent compliance on annual financial audits and has maintained an Aaa bond rating since 2012.

Utah College Application Week

The Canyons Education Foundation pledged up to $10,000 to help cover the costs of college-application fees for low-income students who participate in the Nov. 6-10 Utah College Application Week. Development Officer Denise Haycock and members of the Foundation Board presented a ceremonial check to the Board of Education for the amount.

Online Mathematics Textbook Proposal

The Board reviewed an online mathematics textbook proposal, including the public input solicited with an online tool. The Board asked the Administration to solicit additional teacher feedback and provide it to the Board at a future meeting. Proposed is Illustrative Mathematics, for seventh- and eighth-grade students, and Mathematics Vision Project, for ninth- through 12th-grade students. The cost to implement both programs is less than if the district opted to maintain the traditional hard-bound mathematics textbooks, and the texts are closely aligned to Utah’s Core State Standards. If the proposal is approved, Canyons would implement the online textbooks in a layered, grade-by-grade rollout, starting with seventh- and eighth-graders in 2019 and advancing to higher grades until fall 2021.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including minutes from Oct. 2, 2018 meeting of the Board; hire and termination reports; an amended version of student overnight travel requests; September financial reports; Utah

grants administration for federal and state programs, at-risk student definition and early literacy goals program goals; updates to Board’s mission and vision 2020 goals; a Memo of Understanding with Alpine District for the transportation of students who live in the Suncrest development. 

Patron Comments

Corner Canyon High teacher Royce Shelley expressed concern about the proposed online mathematics textbook.

Draper Park Middle teacher Amy Valdez spoke to the Board in support of the six-period schedule at the school, saying she thinks it best for student learning. 

Teacher Krista Pippin spoke about the proposal to change schedules at Draper Park Middle. She said the information stating the pros and cons of the sixth-period schedule and the eight-period A/B block doesn’t equally represent both schedules.  She also asked for student-achievement for the schools that have changed schedules.

Hillcrest Parent Jody Koch asked the Board to either provide a practice pool close to the school or provide transportation to swim practice for the members of the swim team. The team practices at the Gene Fullmer Pool at 8015 S. 2200 West.  She cited recent fatal accidents involving Hillcrest students as the main reason for providing the transportation.

Draper Park Middle student Aleigh Stilson spoke to the Board about the District’s dress code, saying it is out of date and sexist. 

Utah State Board of Education member Kathleen Riebe stated her appreciation for the collaborative work that’s being done by the Canyons Board of Education and Administration.

PTA Region 17’s Terri Francis introduced two Girl Scouts who had questions about the Board’s role in local government. 

Policy Update

Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen presented proposed updates to the policy manual. In the Business Meeting, the Board approved a revision to a policy to align with Utah Code for college- and career-readiness plans and outlines a schedule for minimum individual and group conferences for seventh- through 12th-grade students. In study session, the Board heard policy proposal updates that, if approved, would govern a student’s career/transition to work; eye protection at schools; and tax-increment financing project agreements. 

Pledge of Allegiance

Midvale Stake’s Cub Scout Bear Den posted the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Copper View Elementary Principal Christine Webb delivered the reverence.

Recognitions

The following were recognized by the Board of Education for their achievements:
  • Leslie Jewkes, Principal, Peruvian Park Elementary, for the school’s recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School
  • Stephanie Johnston, Hillcrest counselor, Rookie Counselor of the Year, Utah School Counselor Association
  • Emilee Astle, Alta High, 5A state champion in first-singles girls tennis
  • Lizzie Simmons and Emma Heiden, Corner Canyon High, 5A state champions, first-doubles girls tennis
Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Briscoe congratulated Corner Canyon High’s girls soccer team for winning the semifinal game in the 5A tournament. He wished them luck on Friday at Rio Tinto Stadium. He wished the community a nice Fall Recess. 

Wilcox said Canyons’ enrollment figures have gone up 227 students over last year’s figures. According to the reports, Alta High is now the biggest high school in Canyons District with 2,309 students. He also reviewed enrollment trends.  He also reported the Utah State Auditor’s Office will be reviewing CSD’s budget and practices to try to determine the actual costs of educating a child. He also reported on the construction fence that’s been erected for the scheduled expansion of CAB-East.

Board of Education Member Reports  

Mr. Mont MIllerberg reported on attending Peruvian Park’s announcement as a National Blue Ribbon School Award. He also said the SCC training was interesting and entertaining. He commented on the neighborhood meeting for the Midvalley Elementary rebuild, and the grant requests that were made by teachers for Canyons Education Foundation Innovation Grants. He also attended the SCC meeting at Midvale Elementary. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley attended the CTE Career Expo and toured Silver Mesa to see the facility improvements. He also reported on the good feedback about the District he’s receiving as he visits neighborhoods in his area. He requested the Board begin addressing a policy governing use of cell phones in schools. 

Mrs. Amber Shill said she is excited for lacrosse to start in Canyons high schools.   

Mrs. Nancy Tingey mentioned the SCC training and the website that’s available as a resource for SCC members. She thanked the Administration for the work on remodels and rebuilds, especially with the tight budgets given the increasing construction costs. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold is thankful for the robust discussions at the Board meeting about important issues. 

Mr. Chad Iverson asked the Administration to work on a policy regarding students traveling to practice for activities and athletics.  He also has attended Alta’s marching band competitions, the Region 7 cross country meet, and plans to attend the state cross country meet on Wednesday, Oct. 17. 

President Taylor thanked staff members for presenting information in the study session, and expressed appreciation for Wilcox’s work on the budgets to build the new schools. 
The future is bright with young leaders like these.

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, the Board of Education empaneled Canyons’ 2018-2019 Student Advisory Council. This is the sixth year the Board has selected students from all five of Canyons’ traditional high schools to serve in an advisory capacity. 

When the Board of Education debates policies or procedures that could impact students, the members of the school board turn to the Student Advisory Council for input. It’s truly a direct line from the students to the policy-makers in Canyons. 

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle, the adviser for the student group, on Tuesday night introduced the students, who were selected after an application process. Two representatives are chosen from Alta, Brighton Corner Canyon, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools. They will meet six times throughout the school year 

The students are Alta's Brooklyn Bacher and Noah Ogden, Brighton's Ellie Anderson and Ethan Van Drimmelen, Corner Canyon's Josee Haycock and Luke Warnock, Hillcrest's Lizzie Moss and Landon Nipko, and Jordan's Daizha Jake and Michael Manhard. 
The Panthers have clawed their way to the top. Peruvian Park Elementary has been named by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School.

The 2018 recognition, given to only two other Utah schools, was based on the school’s overall academic performance as measured by state assessments. The school celebrated the announcement today at an assembly, during which they watched a video by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and waited patiently to see if their name would appear on the screen. 

When the school's picture popped up, the students and teachers roared in delight. Blue balloons bounced around and confetti was sprayed into the crowd of cheering youngsters.

The prestigious award, earned by 349 public and private schools across the country, affirms the hard work of Peruvian Park’s administration and faculty in building a culture of excellence at the school. In fact, the results of test scores for neighborhood students has nearly doubled, and the students in the magnet SALTA advanced-learner program are achieving at highly-proficient levels.

"We asked you to be brave enough to make goals that would be hard for you," Principal Leslie Jewkes told the students while congratulating them on achieving their goals. She also thanked the "fearless" teachers who committed themselves to collaboration and stellar classroom instruction.

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe also congratulated the students, 30 percent of whom qualify for free- or reduced-price lunches, for earning the coveted national honor. "We are really proud of what you have been able to accomplish and to bring this kind of recognition to our community," he said.

This is the 36th year the federal education department has announced National Blue Ribbon honors for schools that are achieving at high levels or doing strong work in closing the achievement gap. DeVos will honor the winning schools during a ceremony Nov. 7-8 in Washington, D.C.

See the District's Facebook page for a gallery of photos and a video of the cheering children and teachers.
America’s liberties, as delineated in the country’s major founding document, are being celebrated today, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018 for U.S. Constitution Day. 

While the truths in the constitution are held to be self-evident, students across the District are learning first-hand through lessons, games, and even a personal visit to an oath-of-citizenship ceremony in Salt Lake City what it means to take upon the mantle of being an American citizen.

At Midvale Middle, students compared the words of the original constitution to one that was ratified later. Sandy Elementary Sharks talked about the reason for the day on their student-produced morning news show.  Constitution-related trivia also was played at the outset of every period today at Eastmont Middle, and if any Patriot can recite the Preamble to any administrator by Thursday, they can be rewarded with the opportunity to obtain items from the school store.     

But perhaps the most touching event was witnessed by Alta High social-studies and music students.

Alta High students were invited to participate in Monday’s naturalization ceremony at the U.S. District Court. The Salt Lake event is held annually to mark the Sept. 18, 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution, and is an observance that began in 1940 as "I Am an American Day.”

At the touching ceremony, the Hawks’ Madrigals performed patriotic songs, and two seniors, Ricky Wooden and Shannon van Uitert, were chosen to read personal essays about the constitution.

"Mainly," Wooden said of the U.S. Constitution, "it's the one thing that binds us all together." Religion doesn't do that, sports don't do that — "but the constitution does," he said.    

Wooden said it took him about an hour to collect his thoughts and write the essay, which focused on how the document was drafted and how ultimately “it wants us to express our voices.”

The constitution, he said, “certainly gives us responsibilities …So we can protect it, and it can protect us.”   

van Uitert says she hopes the new citizens took her words to heart: "I hope it means as much to them as it means to me." She and her peers, as well as others in the audience, heard touching American-dream stories from new U.S. citizens hailing from Iraq, Mexico, Samoa, Tonga, Brazil, Australia, Africa, Dominican Republic, India, Burma, Ecuador, and Bolivia. 

van Uitert said she wanted to speak directly to the new citizens about how the “rights and privileges” given in the constitution aid citizens in their pursuits of happiness. 

The service in Salt Lake City is one of more than 260 naturalization ceremonies scheduled to be held this week in the United States. This year, America will welcome approximately 45,000 new citizens at the ceremonies.
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