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

Brighton High Marching Band

The Board of Education approved a proposal by the Brighton Bengals to start a marching band — an idea that is supported by 99 percent of Brighton parents. Brighton High is experiencing a uptick in participation in instrumental music, and Principal Tom Sherwood said the community has responded positively to the performances of the school band at recent public events. To aid in the launch of the new marching band, the Board approved an investment of $296,000 to purchase and maintain instruments, uniforms, and equipment. The band is expected to begin in the 2020-2021 school year. Brighton will join the Alta as the only two schools in Canyons with marching bands. 

The New Canyons District Office

Crews are expected to complete work at the new Canyons District Office by the end of October, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said. The construction of the addition at the District Office at 9361 S. 300 East was funded primarily by the sale of land and a District-owned facility at 9150 S. 500 West. When complete, all but two of  Canyons District’s administrative departments — Facilities Services and Transportation — will be housed at one centrally located campus. Wilcox said carpet is now being installed in the new wing, and the security and fire systems have passed inspection. Work on the parking lot improvements have already started and will continue for the next few months. Patrons and employees will be informed about the opening of the new building through a series of mailers and newsletters. The Office of Public Communications is designing new maps of the new Canyons District Office and also will plan an Open House of the new offices on Oct. 31. As children trick-or-treat, the public and employees can tour the building. Other tours for the Board and school administrators also will be held.   

Brain Booster Update

A survey of Canyons elementary school principals indicates strong support of the Brain Booster program, which provides for technology, physical education or art instruction while classroom teachers plan and collaborate. On average, CSD elementary schools allocate 20 hours to the Brain Boosters. In the survey, principals said media technicians were not allocated enough hours to do both their day-to-day tasks and Brain Booster instruction, and also suggested that salaries for all Brain Booster positions be increased to keep and attract qualified employees. In addition, survey results indicated a need for Brain Booster-teacher training in student-behavior management. School Performance Directors McKay Robinson and Alice Peck will review each schools’ use of the Brain Booster employee hours, address the media technician workload concern, and continue conversations with Beverley Taylor Sorensen arts specialists regarding workload and how to promote more collaboration with classroom teachers.

District Calendar Update

Office of Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud provided an update to the Board about the 2020-2021 school year calendar and the tentative 2021-2022 and 2022-2023  school year calendars. In addition, he said, Presidents Day is the preferred day of teachers for a make-up day in the event of a Snow Day in future years, according to a survey of certificated CSD employees.The second most-popular option is the day after the last scheduled day of the school year, according to the survey. Respondents also suggested having late-start days instead of Snow Days, holding school electronically, or building a Snow Day into the calendar that, if not used, could be a teacher-preparation day. The Board also discussed leaving the policy as is — with Presidents Day as the No. 1 option as a make-up day — with the understanding that an emergency meeting could be held if the Snow Day happens close to or after Presidents Day. 

Student Advisory Council

The Board of Education empaneled the 2019-2020 Student Advisory Council, made up of representatives from all five of Canyons’ traditional high schools. This is the seventh group organized to advise the Board of Education on proposals that would affect students.  The formation of the group also creates a formal link students can access if they have concerns about policies or practices of the schools. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle meets regularly with the council to discuss education-related issues and provide leadership training. 

Recognitions

The following students, faculty and staff were recognized by the Board of Education for their achievements:
  • Butler Elementary Principal Jeff Nalwalker and students Aggy Deagle, Liv Deagle, Evelyn Fisher, Annabelle Cheney for encouraging the District to adopt more eco-friendly lunch trays.
  • Entrada High School’s Stephanie Nicolaides, who was named 2019 Adult Education Educator of the Year by the Utah Association for Adult, Community and Continuing Education.
  • Mike Sirois, School Performance Director and a founding administrator of Canyons District, for his years of service. Sirois is retiring this week.
Long-Range Planning, Meeting Schedule

President Nancy Tingey and Board members Chad Iverson and Mont Millerberg updated the Board on the progress of the District’s Long Range Planning Committee. In particular, the Board discussed the size, acreage, enrollment and condition of White City-area schools Bell View and Edgemont. The public was promised a new White City-area elementary school at the November 2017 passage of a $283 million bond. The Board also discussed Dr. Briscoe’s proposal to hold a Tuesday, Nov. 19 study session to review teacher and parent feedback on a pilot program of Mastery Connect, a software the CSD Instructional Supports Department would like to use to facilitate a standards-based gradebook for elementary schools. In addition, the Board will adjust the Board’s meeting schedule to accommodate a roundtable discussion on Aug. 4, 2020 instead of June 23, 2020.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, which includes hire and termination reports; student overnight travel requests; an interlocal agreement with Sandy City for school resource officers; and a TSSP amendment for Peruvian Park Elementary. 

Pledge of Allegiance, Inspirational thought

The American and the state flags were posted by students at Bella Vista Elementary. Principal Sandra Dahl-Houlihan thanked the Board for the opportunity serve as the instructional leader at the Cottonwood Heights-area school. At Bella Vista, she said, every Tuesday is “Tiger Tuesday,” a time set aside to recognize students for positive behavior. Dahl-Houlihan reports that 14 percent of Bella Vista Tigers receive special education services. Twenty-six percent are low income and 10 percent are English Language Learners, she said. The school also has three preschool classes, two ABS units, and an Supplemental Hours of Kindergarten Instruction class. Dahl-Houlihan said the school enjoys a tremendous amount of community and parent support.

New Housing Complex Issue

The Board of Education continues to review a proposal to include a 120-unit apartment complex at Highland Drive and Traverse Ridge in Draper Elementary's boundaries. The Board asked the Administration to follow applicable state law regarding public notification. 

Policy Updates

The Board approved changes to policies governing fiscal accountability and school fundraisers and the solicitation of schools by vendors. The Board continues to review policies regarding the acceptable use of technology at school, including personal electronic devices.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Report

For National Custodian Day, Superintendent Dr. Briscoe thanked custodial and maintenance employees for all of their efforts. He also lauded the additional staff and Board member work that has been done on various Canyons District committees. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said all 24 classrooms in the new wing at Corner Canyon are open and being used by students and teachers. The portables at the school will soon be removed. The first phase of Draper Elementary’s parking lot is complete, he said.  The next phase will be undertaken in the summer. Wilcox also thanked teachers for their efforts during Parent-Teacher Conferences.

Board of Education Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg said he was touched at the letters of appreciation sent to the Board by several winners of the 2019 Apex Awards. He congratulated Brighton High on its successful proposal to start a marching band, and wished teachers and students good luck as they begin the program. He also thanked the Butler Elementary students who asked CSD to consider using eco-friendly lunchroom trays in Canyons schools. 

Mrs. Amanda Oaks said she enjoyed attending the 10th annual golf tournament of the Canyons Education Foundation. She said she visited the District’s Costume Warehouse, and expressed appreciation to teachers for their work during Parent-Teacher Conferences. She noted the positive impacts of the completion of the Corner Canyon classroom wing and the parking lot at Draper Elementary.

Mr. Steve Wrigley expressed appreciation to his fellow Board members.  He said his service on the Board adds to his life in a positive way.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold remarked on the meetings that have been held to discuss various initiatives, including CTESS. She lauded teachers for their work during Parent-Teacher Conferences, and expressed appreciation for Canyons custodians.

Mr.  Chad Iverson attended football games and cross country meets and asked President Tingey for a future discussion among Board members about coach and adviser compensation. 

President Tingey thanked District specialists for updating the Board on important issues and noted the start of School Community Council training meetings.  The aim is to provide training for every SCC member in Canyons District.

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.”

Help wanted.

A Canyons District program that helps adult special-education students gain the skills necessary to live independently is looking for business partners that would be willing to provide on-site job training for men and women who need just a little extra help to do big things.   

Nate Edvalson, a program administrator in Canyons’ Special Education Department, says business of all kinds and sizes can aid the efforts of the Canyons Transition Academy, which holds classes for students 18- to 22-years-old who have aged-out of the school system but still need more vocational and social-skills training. 

“I can’t say enough good things about the businesses who give our students a chance.  It’s obviously a little more work to hire a person with disabilities,” he says. “The biggest requirement, I think, is understanding and patience. Our students are eager to learn and are excited to take on all kinds of tasks.  They need explicit instruction, and it may take a few times to get it right, but in time our students turn out to be valuable employees.” 

Take, for example, the task of busing tables.  It may seem menial to some employees, he says, but Canyons Transition Academy participants approach the task with enthusiasm because they feel like someone believes in them to do a job that is vital to the restaurant, Edvalson said during a segment on ABC4's "Good Morning Utah."  Students also have been provided work opportunities in such industries as car detailing, tire removal and repair, vehicle repair and maintenance, and food preparation and service, he says.

The academy is grateful for partnerships with such organizations as O.C. Tanner, Walmart, Utah Co-Op, Draper Senior Center, and the Larry H. Miller organization. Some restaurants and public libraries have signed up to participate, and some CTA students work in custodial jobs at Canyons District schools and central offices.

Still, more community partners are needed to provide a wide array of experiences for the students.  Interested business owners can contact Edvalson via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Our students are reliable, excited to work, willing to learn and do any tasks.  The teachers and staff at the Canyons Transition Academy also can work with the students during class on skills the students will need to use at their jobs,” he said.  “The businesses are enriched because of the variety of working staff they will have.  Their commitment to including all parts of the community in their business will be visible to everybody in the community.”
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