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. 
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..
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 20:50

Board Meeting Summary, Feb. 7, 2017

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

Utah lawmakers have revived debate over an equalization proposal that would redistribute a third of any increase in per- pupil funding based on the health of a school District’s tax base. SB80 creates winners and losers — and Canyons District would be among the biggest losers, not just in total revenue, but on a per-pupil basis, explained External Relations Director Charlie Evans. Assuming lawmakers approve a 3 percent increase this year in the Weighted Pupil Unit, CSD would lose up to $1.5 million. This, coupled with a nationwide teacher shortage, would hinder the District’s ability to recruit and retain teachers, Evans said. The bill has passed the Senate, but may encounter more resistance in the House. Board members expressed gratitude for lawmakers who represent Canyons District communities and have opposed the measure.

Supplemental Hours of Instruction for Kindergarten

The Board of Education approved a proposal to continue the Supplemental Hours of Instruction for Kindergarten in Canyons District schools for the coming school year. The Board also approved a request from Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward to expand number of sites for the program. She will meet with principals to determine where the sites will be located for the 2017-2018 school year. Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board the augmented-kindergarten program is a cost-revenue neutral initiative. 

CTESS Update

Canyons District’s educator evaluation system has come a long way over the past several years as Canyons District has worked to refine it based on feedback from teachers, said Canyons’ Administrator of Evaluation and Leadership Development Sandra Dahl-Houlihan. Evaluation tools have been developed for counselors, Career and Technical Education coordinators, nurses and librarians. A training academy was created to support freshmen teachers; the District offers more than 250 hours of professional development training each year. But more work remains to be done, said Dahl-Houlihan. The District plans to fully digitize teacher evaluations and build evaluation tools for Administrators and other support personnel. To keep the momentum going and meet demand for training, Human Resources Director Stephen Dimond is recommending that the Administrator of Evaluation and Leadership Development position be renewed. The Board will consider the proposal at a future meeting.

CTE Month

Every year in February, a cohort of CSD students are provided an chance to spend time shadowing business professionals then network with their sponsors over lunch. This year, 89 students and 41 companies took part in the job-shadow event, one of several activities planned in February to celebrate Career and Technical Education Month. By partnering with the business community, CTE programs prepare students for the workforce by exposing them to the technologies and job skills they’ll need, CTE Director Janet Goble told the Board of Education. 

Policy Changes

The Board of Education heard proposed updates to outdated policies governing the hiring of employees, and the school-based administration of medications such as Narcan, epinephrine and anti-seizure drugs.

Graduation Assignments

Members of the Board of Education discussed speaking assignments at this spring's commencement exercises for Alta High, Brighton High, Corner Canyon High, Hillcrest High, Jordan High, Jordan Valley, and Diamond Ridge High. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent calendar, which included minutes from the Jan. 17, 2017 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel plans; and membership of the Joint Educator Evaluation Committee.

Recognitions

Five students were recognized for their achievements.  The following students earned Academic All-State Honors for winter sports:  In boys basketball, Ammon Savage, from Corner Canyon High; in girls swimming, Haley Wiese, from Jordan High; in boys swimming, Todd Oldham, from Jordah High and Alvin Tsang, from Hillcrest High.  Jordan's Tiffaney Castillo alsowas recognized for her second-place win in the Utah Senate Visual Arts Scholarship competition. She will receive a $3,000 schiolarship.

Board of Education Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg applauded parents and patrons who participated in last month’s discussion about middle school schedules. He assured patrons the Board hears their concerns and will continue to work toward a resolution. He said he was grateful to be able to participate in CSD’s Job Shadow Day during which students were given the opportunity to test-drive careers. He also commended Union Middle student and teachers for their production of “The Music Man.”

Mrs. Amber Shill said she attended a meeting of the Quail Hollow School Community Council, one of two councils in CSD that had 100 percent attendance at the District’s SCC-training program. She also attended a luncheon with CSD’s Student Advisory Council. At the event, the group discussed whether schools should start earlier or later. Most would prefer to start school later, she said, but agreed that 15 minutes earlier or later wouldn’t make much of a difference.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey said she enjoyed attending a student production of “The Lion King Jr.” at Albion Middle. She also commended Quail Hollow Elementary’s SCC for starting a volunteer tutoring program for grandmothers in the neighborhood surrounding the school. Tingey also thanked Evans, CSD Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards and intern Gavin Howe for representing the District during the General Session of the Utah Legislature.

Mr. Steve Wrigley thanked families for participating in last month’s discussion about middle school schedules.  

Mr. Chad Iverson said he had the opportunity to volunteer as part of Crescent Elementary’s WatchDOG program. He also lauded the Indian Hills Concert Band for being one of just a handful of middle and junior high school bands chosen to perform at a state festival held at the University of Utah.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold remarked on the new display of photographs hanging in the hallways of the Canyons Administration Building-East. She commended the District for its efforts to promote good digital citizenship during the 2nd annual Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship Week. 

President Sherril H. Taylor thanked patrons for continuing to voice their opinions regarding middle school schedules. He asked CSD patrons to follow SB80, which would cost CSD up to $1.5 million.  He urged them to voice their concerns. He thanked the lawmakers representing Canyons communities who have opposed it. He also expressed gratitude for the upcoming work to renovate Indian Hills Middle, one of more than a dozen projects funded with a $250 million bond approved in 2010.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe applauded efforts made by CSD’s schools to teach and model good digital citizenship. He also reported on attending CTE’s Job Shadow Day, and told the Board he would spend time on Capitol Hill in the coming days to speak out against SB80, and represent the District on other education-related bills. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox updated the Board of Education on the progress of Indian Hills’ renovation.  He also commended Education Technology Director Dr. Darren Draper for successfully completing a $600,000 digital-technology grant proposal.
Two electric Canyons athletes have shown on the playing field they know how to win from within. And now Brighton High volleyball phenom Dani Barton and Alta High football standout Josh Davis have been selected by sports-drink giant Gatorade as the Utah Players of the Year in their respective sports. 

Davis, who is mulling scholarship offers from Air Force, Army, Weber State, Southern Utah and others, was presented with the Utah Gatorade Football Player of the Year award at a Hawk home basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Barton, also a member of the 2015 5A state championship girls hoops team, received her accolades shortly after the Bengals’ fifth-place finish at the Utah High School Activities Association’s 5A tournament.

The Canyons Board of Education honored the dynamic duo for their achievements at a Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017 meeting. Bottles of Gatorade in Alta’s and Brighton’s school colors were handed out to the folks in the audience. 

It’s not hyperbole to say Davis and Barton are among the most talented athletes to serve an ace or score a touchdown on Canyons’ athletic fields.  Here’s what Brighton High coach Adam Fernandez told the Deseret News about Barton’s athletic prowess:  “She’s the best female athlete in the state, hands down.  You could give her a ping-pong paddle, and next year she could be your state champ.”

Indeed, Barton’s raw athleticism was apparent in more than one sport. She helped the Bengals win the hoops title as a sophomore, and made the state finals of the 100-meter and 400-meter dash on her first try running track as a junior. She comes from a long line of accomplished athletes: Two of her brothers play college football; her mother, Mikki Kane-Barton is a member of the U.’s Crimson Club Hall of Fame; and her father, Paul Barton played football and baseball at the U.

But inborn talent is nothing without discipline. What sets Barton apart from other outside hitters is her internal drive to improve and her never-quit attitude on the court, says Fernandez who had his eye on Barton from the time she attended the school’s volleyball camp in seventh grade, when she was already playing as well as his varsity team members. She didn’t let her coach down. Barton finished the volleyball season with 418 kills and 71 blocks. She led her team in digs and landed 91 percent of her serves. She is ranked No. 4 in Utah for her accomplishments.

“What I love most about volleyball is it’s more of a mental game,” Barton told Adam Mikulich at KUTV as she was highlighted as the Prep of the Week. “It tests your mental toughness, and I just love being on the team.”

Now, Barton, who graduated from Brighton early to get a jump-start  at the University of Utah, has her eye on her next goal: competing in beach volleyball, which is a sport the U. is adding to its roster in the spring. Of course Barton plans to win, but her dreams go even farther than that. She wants to win at the Olympics. She wants to win at the Olympics. Barton has maintained a 3.70 GPA and has volunteered on behalf of her church and for youth volleyball camps. 

Like Barton, Davis was his school’s go-to guy for leadership. He scored 72 touchdowns and he earned 5,290 rushing yards as a Hawk.  Davis also has been credited with helping to revive Alta’s storied football program, and push his team to the Class 4A semifinals this year. He scored 28 touchdowns in his senior year and finished the season with 2,645 yards, breaking the state single-season record for all-purpose yards and averaging 203.5 yards per game. Davis is so fast he even qualified for the finals of the 100-meter dash at the state track and field championships last spring.

Davis is also a dedicated student, with a GPA of 3.86, and he spends his time volunteering in the community and helping in a retirement home.

Davis is the third Gatorade Utah Football Player of the year to be chosen from Alta in 32 years. Previous winners from Canyons District include Brighton’s Simi Fehoko, who won the 2015-2016 award, and Jordan’s Austin Kafentzis, who won in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015.  Jordan High slugger Colton Shaver won the state award in 2014, the year the ‘Diggers won the 5A state title. 

The coveted Gatorade title is one of many claimed by Davis over the years. The 6-foot, 170-pound running back is a two-time pick for KSL-TV Game Night 4A MVP. This year, he was named to The Tribune’s All-State Team and was dubbed an MVP by the Deseret News. If that wasn’t enough, Davis was hand-picked for the USA TODAY High School Sports' 2016 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Utah Football Team.

While Barton has already committed to the U., Davis plans to make his NCAA selection public at a Feb. 1 National Signing Day breakfast ceremony at Alta High.

Photos: Courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Thursday, 19 January 2017 03:58

Board Meeting Summary, Jan. 17, 2017

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

Middle School Schedule
 
After hearing hours of input from parents, teachers and students, the Board of Education voted to approve the schedules put forward by CSD's middle schools for a one-year trial period. An update is to be given in one year. The Board also asked that a survey be done of parents and teachers to gain feedback, and that for the 2018-2019 school year, a task force be re-convened with parents to explore how schools might provide more electives.  The Board also requested the Administration to seek a waiver from the Utah State Office of Education on implementing Digital Literacy for eighth-graders and the full-year Career and College Awareness class to be taken by sixth-graders.
 
Board Leadership
 
The Board of Education chose Sherril H. Taylor to serve again as the President. Nancy Tingey was elected 1st Vice President and Amber Shill was elected 2nd Vice President.  The terms are for two years.
 
Update on Kindergarten Supplemental Program
 
Last summer, the Board of Education approved a pilot program to provide supplemental hours of instruction for kindergarten-age children. A total of 78 children enrolled in the tuition-based program at Altara, Bell Vista, Brookwood and Oakdale elementary schools. Twenty-four of those children received needs-based scholarships. The program has given teachers time to go into greater depth with their lessons and to meet individual student needs, which has been especially beneficial for at-risk students who have shown the most gains academically, behaviorally and socially, said Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward. But test scores show all students have benefitted and are now better prepared to enter first grade. Because the program is tuition-based, it is cost-neutral to the District. Roderick-Landward is recommending that the program be continued in 2017-2018 at the four pilot schools and expanded to include interested schools with adequate space. Nine schools have expressed interest, and five schools are working with their communities to gauge interest. The Board will take up the issue at a future meeting.
 
High School Advanced Language
 
CSD’s Dual-Language Immersion program is coming of age as the first cohort of students to enroll in the first-grade now advance to high school during the 2017-2018 school year. Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward discussed the results of a survey undertaken to understand how many students plan to continue with their language studies through high school and whether their enrollment is contingent upon being able to attend a specific high school. Based on the findings, the Administration is recommending for the 2017-2018 school year that Alta and Corner Canyon high schools be the sites for Mandarin Chinese and that Jordan be the site for Spanish. More high school sites would be added in the 2018-2019 year as Dual-Language Immersion students who are now enrolled in other feeder systems, such as the Brighton and Hillcrest feeder systems, age into high school. The Board will discuss the recommendations at a future meeting.
 
Hazardous Walking Routes
 
No changes are being recommended this year to CSD’s hazardous walking routes — pathways frequented by students who live within walking distance of their neighborhood school but that are deemed too dangerous for students to safely traverse on foot. Students who use these routes receive bus service that is financed by the District. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle updated the Board on a request to reevaluate a heavily traveled route to Draper Park Middle. A study confirmed the existence of gaps in the sidewalk along 1300 East, which are of concern to parents. The District is working with the city of Draper to upgrade the sidewalk.
 
Graduation Update
 
Canyons District’s graduation rate has risen 3 percent over the past three years with 85 percent of high school seniors earning diplomas in 2016 — up from 82 percent in 2013. All of CSD’s traditional high schools realized gains, except Corner Canyon, which is holding steady and boasts the District’s highest graduation rate of 94 percent, said Director of Research and Assessment Dr. Hal Sanderson. Jordan and Hillcrest show the sharpest three-year gains of 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively. “We are making gains,” especially among Asian and Latino/Hispanic students, said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle. More improvement is needed to boost the graduation rates of economically disadvantaged students and English learners. Among strategies being deployed by the District: Continued support of efforts to boost student achievement within the Hillcrest feeders system; better use of analytic tools to track students who are at-risk of dropping out; a review credit recovery programs and processes; and a refinement of transfer and exit procedures for 11th and 12th grade students. Support efforts to boost student achievement at Hillcrest.
 
Recognitions

Four students and a member of the Board of Education were honored during the Recognitions portion of the meeting. Brighton High’s Dani Barton was honored for being named the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year for volleyball.  She also was the Deseret News’ Ms. Volleyball and the Salt Lake Tribune Player of the Year.  Alta High’s Josh Davis also was recognized for being named the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year for football.  He also was the KSL-TV 4A Football MVP, Salt Lake Tribune All-State Team, and Deseret News MVP.  Midvale Middle students Elizabeth Martin and Danju Zoe Liu were recognized for winning their age categories in the StepUp to Higher Education’s Make Your Mark bookmark contest. Board member Nancy Tingey was recognized for being elected President of the Utah School Boards Association. 
 
Policy Updates
 
The Board of Education approved updates to policies governing employee eligibility for vacation leave time.
 
Patron Comments
 
The following patrons, teachers and students gave public comment:  Holly Neibaur, Katie Smith, Kerstin Olcott, Amanda Oaks, Kit Linkous, Clark Croshaw, Joanne Andrus, Stacie Raddatz, Elaine Lindsay, Ben Brockbank, Victoria Bromfield, Sterling Oaks, Erika Bradshaw, Jen Buttars, Daniel Emrazian, Zoe Smith, Adriana Steck, Alisha Neyman, Hanna Bartnicki, Alexsys Campbell, TJ Neyman, Monett Rupp, Delese Bettinson, Terri Culberson, Tami Knubel, Paul Madsen, Mike Neyman, Randy Madsen, Nicol Druckmiller, Destiny Rockwood, Heather White, Marianne Barrows, Alex Nibley, Kaylie Hayter, Blayke Lynn, Christina Stenten, Natalie Fisher, Krista Pippen, Marilyn Larson, Kim Steenblik, Corrine Harrymen, Maddie Gallardo, Gretchen Hyer, Ben Ellison, Tristan Cooper, Brahams Briggs, Jana White, Laura Rupper, Janene Bijou, Mark Fellows, Alex Schneider, Wendy Smith, Chad Smith, Kathryn Smith, Livvy Smith, Valerie Witzel, Jessica Green, David Christensen, Grant Croshaw

Consent Agenda
 
The Board approved the consent agenda, including purchasing bids, student overnight travel requests, November financial reports, December financial reports, a donation agreement from Real Salt Lake for a mini-pitch at Sandy Elementary, and a Unified Police Department SRO Agreement.
 
Digital Citizenship Resolution
 
The Board approved a Digital Citizenship Resolution.  The resolution declares Feb. 6-10 as Digital Citizenship Week in Canyons District.
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