Wednesday, 01 July 2015 16:46

Canyons District: Celebrating 7 Years of Educational Excellence

Seven years and counting! On the seventh anniversary of Canyons School District, we offer this heartfelt thanks to our employees and communities for their continued support of and dedication to preparing all students for college and careers. Through our combined efforts, 2015-2016 was a most memorable, noteworthy school year.

The Class of 2016 received a record $34.8 million in college scholarship offers. Sixty-two percent of graduating seniors earned Honors or Advanced diplomas by completing more rigorous coursework than is required to graduate. The district maintained its AAA bond rating and is on time and under budget with construction projects funded with a $250 million bond that voters approved in 2010. In April, we broke ground on a rebuild of Alta View Elementary, and next fall we'll celebrate the grand opening of a new Butler Elementary. On average, Canyons has renovated or opened two new schools every year. All this, and more, was achieved without a single property tax increase. Happy birthday, CSD!

Canyons History


On a brisk, clear day on Nov. 6, 2007,
residents in the southeast corner of the Salt Lake Valley headed to the polls to vote in an election unlike any other. On that day, their votes made history. For the first time in Utah in nearly 100 years, a new school district was on its way.

Canyons District began independent operations on July 1, 2009, and we have kept the revolutionary vision of those voters at the center of all we do. With a laser-like focus on helping every one of our students become college- and career-ready, the District has been breaking barriers and raising the bar.

As administrators, teachers, and employees of the District, we understand the success of our students begins with our own responsibility to strive for a similar rigor in our administrative operations as in our academic programs. In addition to receiving awards for budget excellence in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016, the District successfully campaigned for a $250 million bond to build and renovate schools.  As a result of our sterling financial track record, Canyons District has received the highest possible bond rating from Moody’s Investors Service. We also actively involve members of the community with volunteer programs, and partner with civic and business leaders to elevate our students’ educational experience. 

The symbols of Canyons District are three majestic peaks that rise above our namesake. Yes, the peaks represent the magnificence of the mountains that stand tall above our schools, athletic fields and playgrounds, but they also represent the obstacles that may face us, and our students, and our resolve to rise above them.  Here, we present an overview of Canyons' accomplishments, with an invitation to engage with us on our continued exciting journey to new heights in education.


Screen_Shot_2016-06-30_at_3.57.45_PM.pngCollege-Ready: Canyons struck a first-of-its-kind partnership with the University of Utah to give Alta High students a jump on college. Step2theU willScreen_Shot_2016-06-30_at_4.06.39_PM.png  grant a select cohort of Alta students the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school. By the time the Alta students graduate, they'll have two complete semesters under their belts, sparing them thousands in tuition, fees and other associated costs.  

Healthy Schools: On Earth Day, Canyons became the first school district in Utah to go idle free. "No idling" signs are being placed at all Canyons schools and pledges are being sent home with students, encouraging parents to voluntarily pledge to “turn their key and be idle free.” 

Redrill.jpgcord Scholarships:
 The Class of 2016 earned a record $34.8 million in scholarship offers. Students secured 4 Sterling Scholar awards in Skilled and Technical Sciences, World Languages, Math, and the overall General Sterling Scholar award; a U.S. Presidential Scholarship; two National Merit Scholarships; and a Coca-Cola Scholarship.

State Championships: A star receiver at Brighton High was named Gatorade Utah Player of the Year and was a finalist for the U.S. Army All-American Player of the Year. Numerous students won individual state titles, and three high schools took state in the following sports:STEMdesignation.jpg In the 5A division, Hillcrest High won drill and theatre; and in 4A, Corner Canyons won the girls golf title — that high school's first state championship.

STEM Schools: Draper Park, Mount Jordan and Union became the first middle schools in Utah to receive STEM designations, a reflection of their strong focusin science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

AP Honor Roll:
Canyons is one of five districts in Utah to be named to the prestigious Advanced Placement Honor Roll for high AP test participation and pass rates. 

Winning Employees: Brighton High’s Aaron Hadfield was chosen to receive a $10,000 Huntsman Award for Educational Excellence, and Corner Canyon Principal Mary Bailey was named the Utah High School Principal of the Year.


college ready gradsCollege-Ready Class of 2015 
An estimated 72 percent of graduating seniors earned CSD Honors or Advanced diplomas — the most on record since the Board of Education first awarded the unique college- and career-ready diplomas in 2011.
record scholarshipsRecord Scholarship The Class of 2015 earned more than $30 million in scholarship offers — a record for CSD students. Students secured a record 5 Sterling Scholar awards in Math, Science, Social Science, Visual Arts and Speech/Theater/Forensics; a U.S. Presidential Scholarship; 2 National Merit Scholarships; and a Coca-Cola Scholarship.
six uhsaa champs6 UHSAA State Championships 


Girls Basketball - Brighton
Boys Tennis - Brighton Boys Soccer – Alta
Debate – Hillcrest
Theatre – Hillcrest

Theatre – Corner Canyon
building momentum grndbrkBuilding Momentum 
CSD broke ground on the rebuilding of Butler Elementary and Midvale Middle School and the Board of Education voted to rebuild Alta View Elementary, all to be funded with proceeds from the $250 million bond voters approved in 2010. The newly rebuilt Mount Jordan Middle School will open its doors to students in fall 2015.
Bond Final Issuance 
Canyons District received the highest-possible AAA bond ratings from Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investor services on the sale of the final $42 million in bonds approved by voters in the $250 million bond election of 2010.


briscoe-appoint-thumb• Board names Dr. James Briscoe, Ed.D., as Canyons Superintendent, effective July 1, 2014  cch-kids-thumb• Class of 2014 secures $24.6 million in scholarship offers 
Honors-graduates-thumb• 71% of Class of 2014 earns one of CSD's college and career-ready diplomas • Record 5 students earn perfect ACT scores
• 15 National and state honors for outstanding educators, leaders • I-CANyons standards-based report card implemented in all elementary schools
 • AAA Bond Ratings provided by Moody's and Fitch Ratings agencies  mnt-jornd-brick-thumb• Mount Jordan Middle School construction begins, funded by bond
 • Construction begins on dedicated Brighton High soccer field, adjacent to Butler Middle student-advisory-thumb • Student Advisory Council to the Board of Education created


grade-recon-thumb• Ninth graders joined high schools, and sixth graders moved to middle schools to improve academic achievement and give students support needed to prepare for college and careers.  puzzle-thumb-2013• Middle School Schedule Schools made more time for math and language arts – including extra help and enrichment – and launched Utah's first sixth-grade STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) courses to better prepare students for college and high-demand careers. 
 • New School Boundaries adjusted districtwide to accommodate grade reconfiguration (a result of fewer elementary students and more high school students) and future school enrollment and capacity.  cch-thumb-2013• Corner Canyon High opens
 • Butler Middle School opens  draper-park-mid-thumb• Draper Park Middle School opens
 • Hillcrest High new wing opens  • Brighton High Bengal Building opens
 • National Sunshine Review Gives CSD a Sunny Award for having one of the most transparent government websites in the nation  • Board names Chief Academic Officer Dr. Ginger Rhode as Interim Superintendent


ap-honor-thumb• Canyons is named to the College Board's 2011-2012 Advanced Placement Honor Roll, an honor shared by just 367 school districts nationwide.   boundaries-thumb-2012• Following an extensive community process, the Board of Education finalizes new school boundaries for the 2013-2014 school year.
 mountain-view-park-2012 • In collaboration with Cottonwood Heights City, Canyons welcomes the community to Mountview Park, built on the property of the namesake school closed prior to Canyons’ inception. graduate-thumb-2012 • Board awards Honors and Advanced Diplomas to 62 percent of the Class of 2012.
 midvalley-ribbon-thumb• Canyons opens new Midvale Elementary School. albion-IMG thumb• Canyons opens renovated Albion Middle School 
 • Canyons breaks ground on Crescent View Middle School, rebuilt in Draper and renamed Draper Park Middle School.  


groundbreaking-cch-2011• Canyons breaks ground on Corner Canyon High School in Draper, the first building project to begin under the $250 million bond.  diploma-thumb-2011• Canyons becomes the first school district in Utah to award differentiated diplomas. Canyons’ Advanced and Honors diplomas indicate students completed more rigorous courses, two years of foreign language instruction, and, for the Honors Diploma, earned college-ready benchmark scores on the ACT. These diplomas awarded to 60 percent of Class of 2011.
 • Moody’s Investors Service assigns Canyons the highest possible underlying bond rating of Aaa at the District’s first bond issuance.  • Renovation begins on Albion Middle School, funded by bond.
 sandy-thumb-2011• Seismic upgrades, funded by bond, completed at Sandy Elementary.  groundbreaking-midvale-elementary• Construction begins on Midvale Elementary School, to be rebuilt adjacent to Midvale Middle School.
 cvhs-thumb-2011• Canyons District launches the Canyons Virtual High School.   groundbreaking-buttlermiddle-thumb • Construction begins on to rebuild Butler Middle School, funded by the bond.


medals-01-thumb• Board of Education approves a college- and career-ready academic plan. The plan includes reconfiguring grades to better address students’ academic needs and Utah’s first college- and career-ready diplomas, supported by the Utah System of Higher Education, the Utah Board of Regents, the Utah Technology Council, and the Salt Lake Chamber.  butmid-const-thumb• A facilities assessment identifies $650 million in building needs districtwide.

• Voters approve $250 million bond referendum to start addressing District building needs.
face-to-faith-thumb• Canyons becomes Utah’s first school district to offer Face to Faith to high school students. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation program allows students to video-conference with peers around the world about how faith and belief shape their views on global issues.  • Canyons becomes Utah’s first school district to approve ACT EXPLORE, PLAN and college-entrance tests for all eighth-, 10th- and 11th-grade students, respectively.


july-1-2009-thumbJuly 1 Canyons begins operations as Utah’s first new school district in nearly 100 years. intramurals2009-thumb• Canyons launches its Middle School Intramurals Program.
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