What would you do if you had to break up a fight between inmates?  Or if an inmate was threatening self-harm?  Or asking you to bend rules of the in exchange for a favor? These are all situations that a corrections officer could face upon arriving for the first day of work at a jail. 

Students in the criminal justice program at the Canyons Technical Education Center put their skills and knowledge to the test when they faced simulations of real-life jail incidents that were done by “actors” who were given direction on how to talk and act by local law-enforcement agencies. 

The simulations, held Oct. 10-11, 2019 at CSD’s Crescent View building, 11150 S. 300 East, were eye-opening for students who are in the class and are mulling a career in law-enforcement.

The focus of the exercise was to help the 17- and 18-year-old students see first-hand what kind of situations they would need to handle in the real world of criminal justice.

The groups of students were asked to de-escalate physical and verbal situations between inmates, handle issues that could require medical assistance, and face inmates who are expressing suicidal tendencies. 

 “We’ve never done this kind of a simulation before,” says instructor Edwin Lehauli, “but we want our students to get a pretty good look at what it is like to be a corrections officer.” 

One simulation caught Alta senior Braedyn Sendizik by surprise. He said he wasn’t quite sure how to respond to the actors playing the inmates.  “They kept trying to draw me in — and I got too drawn in instead of shutting it down” and insisting that directives be followed, he said.

“I learned from it,” he said, “and next time I will know better.”

Fellow Alta student Garrett Boland, who is eyeing a career as a lawyer, faced a simulation that required him to get inmates in their cells at the end of a day. “I learned to be aware of just about everything,” he said, noting that his instructor had tipped the class off to manipulation techniques often used by inmates so students would be prepared in the simulations.

“This definitely taught me a lot. It’s a learning experience for sure but it’s also a lot of fun,” Sendizik said. “It’s like the real world. You have be ready for everything.  You have to know what you are walking into.”
Canyons District student-athletes from all five of Canyons’ comprehensive traditional high schools are acing serves and exams, scoring points both on the playing field and in the classroom, and persevering through tough quizzes and race courses.  

Twenty-four students who are vying for athletic victories in volleyball, football, cross country, girls tennis, girls soccer, and boys golf also have won honors for excelling in academics. The following have been named as Academic All-State Award recipients in fall sports sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association.

FOOTBALL
  • Cole Hagen, Corner Canyon 
  • Connor Lewis, Corner Canyon
  • Dallan Nelson, Corner Canyon
  • Randen Grimshaw, Corner Canyon
  • Steve Street, Corner Canyon
  • Jordan Falls, Alta
  • Ty Didericksen, Alta 
  • Blake Yates, Brighton
  • Douglas Smith II, Hillcrest
VOLLEYBALL
  • Emma White, Corner Canyon
  • Lauryn Nichols, Corner Canyon
  • Jessica Pike, Jordan 
  • Elle Wilson, Brighton
BOYS GOLF
  • Quentin Cook, Brighton
GIRLS SOCCER
  • Annika Manwaring, Corner Canyon 
  • Kenli Coon, Corner Canyon 
  • Caroline Murri, Alta 
  • Catherine Schumann, Alta 
  • Courtney Ebeling, Brighton 
  • Dylan Zito, Brighton 
  • Sarah Miller, Hillcrest 
  • Sydney Hurst, Hillcrest 
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY 
  • Camryn Young, Corner Canyon
  • Kate Marler, Brighton
  • Alexandra Paradis, Hillcrest
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
  • Cooper Gardiner, Corner Canyon 
  • Mark Boyle, Corner Canyon 
  • Caylor Willis,Hillcrest 
  • Dallin Moon, Hillcrest
  • Daniel Call, Hillcrest 
  • Nathan Diggins, Hillcrest 
  • Zakia Kirby, Hillcrest
GIRLS TENNIS
  • Grace Poulson, Corner Canyon
  • Mia Affleck, Alta 
  • Laura Lundahl, Brighton
  • Kaitlyn Sterner, Jordan
  • Megan Fernandez,  Jordan 
  • Emily Rimmasch,  Hillcrest 
  • Emily Zhang, Hillcrest
Chemistry is a challenging discipline. There are up to 118 elements to commit to memory and a language to learn for expressing chemical equations, not to mention the math involved.

But Gretchen Carr believes the reason most students find it difficult is they’ve been told it’s difficult. “Chemistry is notoriously hard. But so are a lot of things,” the Jordan High Chemistry teacher says. Trouble is, while some students shrink from challenges and seem devastated by small setbacks, others persevere and view setbacks as part of the learning process, exhibiting what’s become known in education circles as a “growth mindset.” It’s a term coined years ago to describe how some people perceive learning and intelligence as acquirable through hard work, instead of believing we’re born with fixed talents and abilities. It’s also something Carr is striving this year to teach her students along with the Periodic Table and acid-base reactions.

“I find a lot of kids are afraid of failure and they don’t want to go through the learning process of trying it and revising their work, and trying it again and revising it again,” Carr says. “So, I’ve made it a goal to make all students feel more welcome and free to make mistakes without people, including their classmates, coming down on them.”

Teachers have long understood that there’s more to school than reading, writing and arithmetic. So much of what students glean from their time in the classroom, the lunchroom, or interacting with peers has to do with developing the life skills and character traits they’ll need as adults. Increasingly, however, schools are becoming more sophisticated in how they approach these life lessons.  flop2

As students bustle into Carr’s classroom, they’re greeted by a sign that states, “Chemistry is hard. You can do hard things.” It’s Carr’s go-to statement with the going gets tough. Only this year, to help set the tone, she also shared with students a TED talk by Carol Dweck about the power of the word “yet” to reframe feelings of inadequacy.

“Instead of saying, ‘I’m just not good at math or chemistry or sports,’ you say, ‘I’m just not good at chemistry, math or sports…yet,’” Carr explains. It’s a word that can trigger confidence and renewed enthusiasm for learning, and build character-traits, such as the resilience to persist through failure, Dweck and her colleagues have found. The growth mindset, in other words, is teachable, and science is a surprisingly natural starting place.

Iteration is integral to the scientific process, which is an important lesson for students to learn in preparation for college and the knowledge-based careers of the future, believes Carr who has come up with some creative ways for students to comfortably practice observing, experimenting, revising and trying again.

On the second day of school, she tasked teams of students to build Go Karts from a handful of straws, Life Saver candies and some paper and tape. “It was an engineering exercise, and most of the students would call the first running of the Go Karts their great first flop,” she says.

But that’s the point. Initially, students assumed they were racing. But when they learned they would get a chance to improve upon their designs, and were told it was a success if their second design went further than the first — even if by a few inches — that’s when they got excited, Carr says. “Now, when I talk in class and mention the growth mindset, maybe they’ll recognize it’s time to take courage, experiment and not give up.”

Discussing the growth mindset in class is something that happens to be outside Carr’s comfort zone. “I’m no expert in this,” she says. “A psychology or English class seems like more of a forum for teaching this kind of thing.” But she’s feeling pretty positive about the experience and believes it’s making a difference for some students.

It takes some forethought and planning, but doesn’t take anything away from her daily instruction, Carr says. Like any good scientist, she’ll continue observing how different strategies work and make adjustments as needed. “We’ll see how it plays out throughout the year,” Carr says. “I’m sure there are ways I can build on it.”
It’s the parenting dilemma of the digital age: How do we encourage our children to take advantage of all that technology affords while protecting them from the documented dangers of too much screen time? How do we model a healthy use of technology when we, too, fight the allure of smart phones and social media?

At Canyons District, the safe and responsible use of technology — or, good digital citizenship — is promoted every day in our classrooms, and it’s not just about teaching students to safely navigate the Internet. We empower students to put their smartphones, tablets and computers to best use to explore the world, gain knowledge and connect — and we invite parents to participate.

October has been designated Think Safe Month in Canyons District, which kicks off with Digital Citizenship Week, Oct. 14-16. CSD’s Internet safety effort started with School Community Councils, which have been given statutory responsibilities regarding digital citizenship in their respective schools — responsibilities that are now growing to encompass other safety measures. October

The Utah Legislature, through HB213, has asked SCC's to “engage” with school administrators around the topics of school safety. In the coming weeks, principals will invite their Councils to become familiar with the District’s safety protocols, discuss school safety needs, set goals and share highlights from their discussion with the District. To help spark these conversations, the District has prepared an online report detailing all Canyons does in the name of keeping schools welcoming, secure and prepared.

Canyons’ Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards encourages SCC’s to begin reviewing this report now. “The safety and welfare of children is a communitywide effort. Our patrons, parent volunteers and law enforcement agencies are valuable partners in this endeavor and we value their input.”

Lockdowns copySchool safety has always been a topic of discussion — and action — in Canyons District. Some safety measures are obvious, such as the emergency drills schools practice throughout the year. Other safety measures are less obvious, such as the Internet filters used by schools to prevent students from inadvertently accessing inappropriate content online (see infographic below).

In partnership with SCC’s during Digital Citizenship Week, schools will reinforce what it means to behave safely while online and participate responsibly in our digital world through lessons, activities and assemblies. Parents, teachers and students can join the online conversation about Digital Citizenship Week by following the hashtag #usetech4good on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tips also are available on Canyons District’s website for reinforcing these teachings at home. 



DigCitInfo

Canyons District’s alternative high school has launched its first-ever schoolwide donation drive.

Diamond Ridge High, founded in 2015, is using the online platform SuccessFund to gather the donations throughout October. By Oct. 31, the school, which has an enrollment of about 100 students and is housed at the campus of the Canyons Technical Education Center, 825 E. 9085 South, hopes to raise $2,500. 

The money will be used for bus tokens for students who need transportation assistance to and from school. Donated funds also will be used to purchase $5 gift cards to local eateries and businesses for academic and attendance incentives.

Diamond Ridge Principal Amy Boettger says meeting the fund-raising goal would be “more than enough” to get needed transportation passes in the hands of students who struggle to get to school every day because they rely on public transportation. 

Boettger said the gift-cards to nearby fast-food joints would reward positive behaviors such as improved attendance or working hard to complete missing assignments.

“To many of our students, it’s a big deal to be able to treat themselves and a friend after school,” says Boettger. While the number fluctuates each year, she says, typically about half of Diamond Ridge’s student body qualifies for free- and reduced-priced meals at school under the poverty guidelines.  

“We are not asking for a lot, but we’re certainly hoping for support from people in the community, even those who have never had a child at our school,” says Boettger. “We play an important role in Canyons District. Diamond Ridge is the school of choice for students who need a different kind of atmosphere than you would find at a traditional high school, and if we weren’t here, some of these kids might fall through the cracks. In fact, before we launched Diamond Ridge, many of these kids did fall through the cracks. Now, they have a place to go — and we believe in them.  In turn, they start to believe in themselves.”

Click here to help the Raptors roll through  its “rock’tober” fundraising window. SuccessFund, the District-approved forum for CSD schools to run nonproduct fundraisers, makes it easy for anyone to give directly with secure payment processing. Donors can use credit cards, Venmo, Apple Pay, PayPal and Google Pay.  There are no set-up fees for SuccessFund, and neither CSD nor schools are charged consulting, support or monthly subscription fees.  The platform earns its money by charging a small per-transaction fee at checkout.  

“That bus token may make all the difference to a student who is thinking about dropping out because they don’t have transportation. That gift card for increased attendance may inspire another student to keep coming to class,” Boettger said.  “Removing obstacles to attending school — and rewarding positive behaviors that otherwise may go unnoticed — will only serve to encourage students to continue working hard so they can earn that right to walk across the graduation stage.”

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