In 1957 when Midvalley Elementary was built, a piece of candy cost .5 cents, frisbees were all the rage, and most of the area surrounding the school was farmland.

The home of the junior huskies started as an eight-classroom schoolhouse, and every December the Midvale community would decorate the length of the building with ceramic lights and holiday murals, says the school’s Principal Tamra Baker. “They called it Candy Stick Lane. It was like a ZCMI [department store] Christmas.”

Today, the school serves a diverse and growing suburban population, and is in need of an upgrade, which it will soon be getting when it’s rebuilt with proceeds from a $283 million, voter-approved bond — but not before the community gets a chance to say farewell to the schoolhouse that has served them so well.
edgemont.jpg Midvalley is one of two CSD schools turning 60 this year. Edgemont Elementary also is celebrating its diamond jubilee. The home of the Eagles serves White City, which also will be receiving a new school as part of the 2017 bond. Both schools will be hosting birthday celebrations in the coming weeks to which current and former employees and students, parents and the community are invited (see details below).

If walls could talk, these schools would, no doubt, have stories to tell of generations past. They might recall the creation of NASA and ensuing influx of federal funding for science and math instruction triggered by America’s race to space. Maybe they’d exchange anecdotes about the open-classroom designs in vogue during the sixties and seventies, the desegregation movement, the push for the equitable treatment of students with disabilities, and the rise of vocational education.

“I think we’re one of the last schools with a civil defense bomb shelter,” Midvalley’s Baker says. “We still have radiator hemidvalleyflyer.jpgat. The old boiler was called the gray dragon, and when they put in a new one, the custodian named it the little blue mule.”

Facility upgrades may breathe new life into schools and the communities they serve, but they don’t erase the memories of those who have taught and learned there, says Edgemont Principal Cathy Schino.

Come see old friends, pictures and scrapbooks, share some memories, and enjoy some food at these 60th birthday celebrations:

Edgemont Elementary, 1085 E. 9800 South
Enjoy food, auctions, games, and more during the school's 9th Annual Grand Event on Friday, May 18, 5-8 p.m. The school’s annual fundraising will mark the school’s 60th anniversary.

Midvalley Elementary, 217 E. 7800 South
Enjoy food, a piece of birthday cake and student performances while getting a sneak peek at the school's new logo at a birthday celebration held to coincide with Midvalley’s Multicultural Fair on Wednesday, May 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
CSD is launching the 2015-2016 school year with a focus on academic success — and student safety.

Security-door vestibules will be installed in 14 elementary schools beginning this fall. The project, scheduled for a December 2016 completion, will channel visitors into each school's main office, where they will need to sign in and receive a visitors badge before they are able to access to the school.

The project, fast-tracked by the Board of Education last March, provides a welcoming entrance as well as direction for visitors. It allows building administrators to provide additional safety to students, staff, and visitors, and ensures a more energy-efficient entrance for each CSD elementary school. It also reinforces
CSD's current practices, rooted in state law, to require all visitors to sign in and sign out with the school's front office staff.

The $1.5 million project ensures the placement of security vestibules in all 29 elementary schools. The project had been budgeted over a three-year interval, and scheduled for a 2017 completion. The Board in March 2015 voted to advance the completion date to December 2016. Security vestibules have been installed at 13 elementary schools to date. Two more elementary schools – Butler and Alta View – will have security vestibules when those buildings are rebuilt with the $250 million in voter-approved bonds and open in fall 2016 and fall 2017, respectively.

Work will begin in October on the first nine projects, which are: Bella Vista, Canyon View, Quail Hollow, Peruvian Park, East Sandy, Bell View, Edgemont, Willow Canyon and Crescent elementaries. Construction on projects at Ridgecrest, Midvalley, Lone Peak, Sprucewood and Altara elementaries is to begin in spring 2016.
Feeding elementary school kids is a tricky business — especially when it comes to teaching students about nutrition, encouraging physical activity and serving healthy, delicious drinks and meals that even picky eaters won't refuse. But thanks to the efforts of school administrators, lunch managers, and the District's Nutrition Services Department, Canyons students have world-class food to eat in a "smarter lunchroom."

The USDA recently awarded 14 of Canyons District's elementary schools the Bronze Award in the Healthier US Schools Challenge. This designation means that each of these schools not only meets the requirements of the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program, but they also serve a variety of healthy foods that look good, taste good, and emphasize fruits, veggies and whole grains.

Congratulations to Canyons District Nutrition Services and the following elementary schools for their achievements:

Alta View
Bell View
Bella Vista

East Midvale
East Sandy


Quail Hollow
Silver Mesa
Willow Canyon
Every Tuesday after school a group of about 20 students at Midvalley Elementary gather in a room and decompress their day. They chat, color and eat snacks for a bit — and then it’s down to business.

Circle time.

As the kids make their way to the floor, assembling themselves in an oblong circle the size of the classroom, their leader, Judd Hardy, prepares them for the day’s activities. The main goal of this pilot after-school program, called Arts-Kids, is to help children learn to express themselves through a 10-week course of exposure to artists in every genre.

 “I want to create a space where each of you feel super safe,” Hardy tells the kids as he holds a brightly colored, squiggly, fuzzy “talking stick.”

So far, the students have learned about yoga, painting, dancing and expressing their emotions. But it all starts in the circle.

Here, the kids take turns passing around the talking stick and sharing their inner thoughts. The rules are simple: speak up when it’s your turn, listen when it’s not. Discuss your high of the day, your low, and your intention for the rest of the class.

 At first, the responses are just as you’d expect.

 “My high for the day is coming to Arts-Kids,” one girl said. “My low is it rained on me today and I didn’t like getting wet.”

 “My high is playing with my friends,” another said. “My low is I had to do a lot of math.”

 But then the kids start to share experiences that are more serious.

 “I was bullied today,” some of the kids say.

 “I failed a math class.”

The rest of the group listens as each student takes a turn talking. Learning to express thoughts and feelings is paramount to dealing with difficult situations, like bullying, social pressures or problems at home, in a healthy way says Pat Drewry Sanger, executive director and founder of Arts-Kids. The program has been functioning in Park City School District for the last 15 years and on the Ute reservation since 2008.

Arts-Kids is now at Midvalley Elementary School as part of a pilot program. Sanger hopes to expand the program to other schools and reach as many children as possible.  Her inspiration to start the program grew from her experiences working with children as an Advanced Practice Psychiatric-Mental Health Registered Nurse and Child and Adolescent Specialist.

“The focus is to introduce the students to as many different way of self-expression so they can find what speaks to them,” Drewry Sanger said. “We’ve seen kids that didn’t speak in public maybe even start to talk too much. I think Arts-Kids has helped them find some joy in a stressful situation.”

The spotlight is shining bright on four Canyons District schools for their achievements in reading and voluntarism.

East Midvale, Willow Springs, Midvalley, and Sandy elementaries have received special honors from the KSL-TV "Read Today" program. The schools last academic year enlisted 200 volunteer tutors who donated more than 6,100 hours to reading one-on-one to students. The special reading celebration drew some 800 students and their families to the South Towne Expo Center Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 to play games, dance, and receive free books for their accomplishments. The celebration was hosted by KSL-TV anchor Deanie Wimmer, who broadcast live from the event.

Reading proficiency scores increased at all four schools in the 2013-2014 academic year, according to state-required CBM test data, with a whopping 12 percentage-point increase reported between fall 2013 and spring 2014 at Sandy Elementary School.

"Read Today" is sponsored by KSL-TV and supported by AmeriCorps volunteers. The South Towne Expo Center was sponsored by the Salt Lake County Council and Mayor Ben McAdams for the special event.

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