Board Meeting Summary, Aug. 1, 2017
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.
Potential Bond Proposal Discussion
Business Administrator Leon Wilcox updated the Board on the work being done to prepare for a possible general-obligation proposal for the November ballot. Wilcox said that roughly half of the facility needs identified in the 2010 architectural review of all CSD buildings have been addressed. However, there still is a significant amount that remains to be done, even with ongoing work with capital-facility money and completion of 12 of the 13 projects promised to voters at the time of the approval of the $250 million bond in 2010. Wilcox said any debt could layered into the existing outstanding debt. He said the District also is studying ways to make the bond proposal tax-rate-neutral. Possible projects, which would be funded with bond and capital-facility money, include an Alta High remodel; new wings at Corner Canyon High; the construction of a new elementary in west Draper; rebuilds of a White City, Midvalley and Peruvian Park elementary schools, Union Middle, Hillcrest and Brighton high schools; six elementary school office upgrades; and 18 elementary school lighting upgrades. The deadline to vote for a resolution to place a bond-issuance question on the ballot is Aug. 22. The Board also addressed issues surrounding the projects that could be completed with bond money, including ensuring the public is aware of the planned construction.
The new salary schedule approved last spring by our Board of Education has proven effective in Canyons District’s recruitment efforts, according to a report by the Human Resources Department. In April, Board voted for an innovative and progressive salary schedule that boosts the starting salary for a beginning teacher more than $5,000 a year while also providing salary hikes for mid-career and veteran educators. CSD’s Human Resources Director Steve Dimond reported that Canyons District staff recruited at 11 teacher fairs and other recruiting events, such as a “Flip the Interview” night CSD’s District Office. As a result, some 230 licensed employees have already been hired for the 2017-2018 school year. Sixty-two of those educators — 27 percent — are re-locating to CSD from out of state, with help from our re-location stipend program. In addition, 29 — 13 percent — are in an ARL/APT program. As of July 25, CSD had to hire just one school psychologist (which has been offered to a candidate), one speech-language pathologist, two elementary teachers, nine secondary school teachers, and four special-education teaching positions. Dimond also reviewed recent exit-interview results with the Board members.
SAFE Neighborhoods Program
The Board of Education was asked by the United Fire Authority to be a partner in the SAFE (Schools Aid Families in Emergencies) Neighborhoods Program. The aim of the initiative is to provide assistance to citizens at a local school in the event of a major disaster. The fire authority wants to put an emergency kit in every elementary school in Salt Lake Valley. The kit would aid in neighborhood communication, public information, situational awareness, and household reunification in the first 96 hours after a calamity. The fire authority previously met with the Incident Command Manual Update Committee, which is wrapping up a re-write of the District’s emergency-response plan. The Committee, at the request of Board member Mont Millerberg, asked the fire authority to give their presentation to the Board as whole.
The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, which includes approval of the minutes from the Board of Education meeting on July 11; hire and termination reports; student overnight travel requests; and administrative appointments.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie and Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward updated the Board on the District’s multi-tiered system of supports. Dr. Roderick-Landward explained that this framework serves as a roadmap for school-improvement plans. Board President Sherill H. Taylor said the Board would review the information and may ask additional questions at a later meeting.
The Board approved the appointment of Quentin Linde as the new Assistant Principal at Corner Canyon High. A vacancy at the school was created when Scott Wihongi was appointed Principal of Murray High School in the Murray City School District. Linde has been serving as a science teacher at Corner Canyon High. At the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie also introduced new administrators Kenna Sorensen, who is now an administrator in ISD and Dr. Angela Wilkinson; the new Principal at East Sandy.
The Board recognized the achievements of students, faculty and staff in Canyons District. The Board honored Cora Mickelson, 4A state champion girls golfer; Redd Owen, Brighton High’s 5A first-singles tennis champion; Olivia Berhan, winner of a Sandy Young Entrepreneur Contest; Energy Conservation Specialist Chris Eppler, who was named an Energy Pioneer by the Utah Gov. Gary Herbert; Jordan High’s Roberto Jimenez, whose leadership in the program Puertas Abiertas helped win ta Family Engagement Award at the National Family Engagement Summit; Rique Ochoa, the 2017 Utah History Teacher of the Year; and the Hillcrest Husky Strong Academy, for being the reason CSD was named a national District of Distinction by District Administrator Magazine.
Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports
Dr. Briscoe thanked the Board for the discussion surrounding the possible bond election. He also presented information to the Board about the area where the Utah State Prison now sits. He also informed the Board about the Administrator’s Training held today in the Professional Development Center of the Canyons Administration Building-East. He said he’s excited for the start of the school year.
Wilcox said the CSD is finalizing a contract for transportation in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The Facilities Department is working hard to complete projects in schools, he said. He reminded the Board that Alta View’s site work will not be completed until November because crews had to tear down the old school after the new school was constructed.
Mr. Chad Iverson thanked his fellow Board members for the collegiality on the Board. He said he feels comfortable sharing his thoughts and feelings with other Board members.
Mrs. Nancy Tingey said she had the privilege of sitting on the Governor’s Excellence in Education Commission, which is developing a 10-year roadmap for advancing education. The group heard a presentation by Pam Perlich, a demographer at the University of Utah who stressed that while macro data are interesting, it’s neighborhoods that should occupy the focus of policy makers and elected officials. Neighborhood schools are the nexus of communities and Board members are privileged to be able to focus on individual neighborhood schools and the communities they serve.
Mrs. Amber Shill thanked teachers and the administration at Jordan High who recently celebrated completion of a summer academy designed to give entering freshmen a jump on high school.
Mr. Steve Wrigley expressed appreciation for the administration and remarked on how much he looks forward to the start of school. He is proud of the District’s past year of accomplishments, and looks forward to another year.
Mr. Mont Millerberg commended schools for having such a welcoming attitude. He also spoke about how the architecture of the school reflects some of Utah’s most stunningly beautiful assets of Utah, including Delicate Arch. He also remarked on how many teachers were putting in extra hours, outside of their paid contracts, to prepare their classrooms and lesson plans. He said he’s excited for the opening of the new Midvale Middle on Aug. 8.
President Taylor thanked the Board for the rigorous debate and discussion about important items. He mentioned the Board has met a lot over the summer. He said he feels the excitement in the air for the start of school.