The District held the statutorily required reading of previously submitted arguments for and against the proposed $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond measure that will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. The pro/con arguments also can be found on the District’s website and were published in the CSD2U community newsletter sent to all parents of children in the Canyons District. Business Administrator read the District’s pro arguments. Patron Steve Van Maren read his argument against the bond proposal.
Under a new school calendar considered by the Board of Education, Canyons District’s schools would let out for the summer in May, instead of the first week of June. The changes were put forth by CSD’s Calendar Committee, made up of employees and parents and based on a poll of more than 1,000 teachers. If approved, the calendar would take effect with the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers and parents have expressed concern about CSD schools letting out later than those in neighboring districts. The later end date makes it difficult for high school students to compete for summer jobs and for teachers to keep students engaged in learning, explained Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud. The proposed calendar also would eliminate most of the Professional Development days traditionally scheduled on Fridays, thereby alleviating the need for working parents to secure child care. There would be no change in the number of holidays or instructional days. The Board will take up the matter again at an upcoming Board meeting.
The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including the minutes from the Oct. 3, 2017 meeting of the Board; hire and termination reports; student overnight travel; September financial reports; Utah’s Consolidated Applications for Funding; and a School LAND Trust Amendment for Indian Hills Middle.
Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence
The Brighton High Accadians presented the American flag and the flag of the state of Utah and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood presented the reverence.
The Board of Education and Administration recognized the following for their achievements:
- Corner Canyon High seniors Raili Jenkins and Addie Sepulveda, the 5A first-doubles tennis champions.
- Corner Canyon High sophomore Emma Heiden and junior Lizzie Simmons, the 5A second-doubles tennis champions
- Park Lane Elementary teacher Linda Tognoni, the recipient of a $2,000 grant and the winner of the Voya Unsung Hero award. With the money, she will write a book that will give insight into autism and offer support to other students on the autism spectrum.
- Midvale Middle teacher Shelley Allen, winner of a grant through the Chevron Fuel Your School program. The grant will pay for technology that will help translate assignments for the 32 English language learners in her class.
Utah College Application Week
School Counseling Program Specialist Tori Gillett updated the Board on plans to hold the 2017 Utah College Applications Week Nov. 6-10. On average, 86 percent of high school seniors participated in 2016 UCAW events, which are planned to encourage students to submit at least one viable college application. According to the District’s records, 2,328 college applications were submitted by CSD seniors. Gillett also said Utah’s had the largest growth percentage of any state for completion of the Free Application for Federal Students Aid (FAFSA), the process that opens the door to government assistance to attend college. Jordan High, she said, is No. 2 in the state in FAFSA completion among all Utah high schools. FAFSA Completion Nights have been held or are planned at all CSD high schools, including Diamond Ridge High. Following tradition, the Canyons Education Foundation pledged up to $10,000 to help low-income students pay applicable college-application fees.
Draper Park Middle student Henry Atkin asked the Board to extend the pass times between classes and lunch period so students can have more time to get to class and enjoy lunches. He also asked for more time for exercise during the day.
Peter Eastham spoke about the Draper Middle School Community Council and the discussions surrounding the school’s schedule.
Parent Ginger Cavin spoke about Draper Park Middle’s class schedule. She asked the Board to review the established protocol for schools to choose their schedules. She wants to ensure the system is working. She also expressed concern over the current schedule at the school.
Draper Park Middle parent Katie Smith also expressed concern about the decision of the school’s SCC to decline to revisit the issue of adopting a new schedule. She asked the Board to revise the policy to require more parent input.
Parent Amanda Oaks expressed concern about the six-period semester schedule at Draper Park Middle.
Draper Park Middle parent Kit Linkous told the Board a parent survey should be done so parents can have a direct voice in the establishment of a school schedule.
Parent Chad Smith said the input is based about a concern about the process.
Parent Wendy Smith also expressed concern about the school-schedule process, including the creation of a task force to study the issue and the completion of a parent survey. She expressed concern that the process isn’t being followed.
Sprucewood parent Tess Hortin expressed concern about the Alternative Behavior Support class at the school. She told the Board a long-term plan is needed to address the extreme and at time aggressive behavior of the students in the unit. She asked the Board to provide additional administrative help, extra communications with the parents, and allow parents to be in hallways to offer additional security.
Draper Park Middle parent Mike Neyman encouraged the Board to revisit the school-schedule policy established in January. He also urged the Board to insist on a parent survey, and said the SCC does not represent parents at Draper Park.
PATRON COMMENT ON THE BOND PROPOSAL
Patron Betty Shaw spoke in favor of the bond proposal that will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. She also noted the proposed projects that would bring in natural light to the schools.
Parent Wendy Davis said she will vote no on principle. She believes that the District should not allocate more money to the new Corner Canyon High, and that boundary changes should be enacted to solve any overcrowding at the school. She also said the bond election should have been held during an election cycle that would draw the most voters.
Patron Steve Van Maren said he’s against the bond proposal. He said it’s “disingenuous to say” that because rates will not go up property taxes will not go up.
Patron Sandra Shurtleff said the Board should pay off previous bonds before asking the public to approve additional ones for new school construction and renovations.
Patron Stephanie Yorgason said she will vote against the bond proposal because of the proposed project to add classrooms to replace the portables currently on the Corner Canyon High campus.
Patron James Shurtleff expressed concern that Brighton High would be moved away from the current location.
Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports
Superintendent Jim Briscoe thanked principals as part of Utah’s Principal Appreciation Week. He commended principals for their hard work and dedication. He also congratulated Business Administrator Leon Wilcox and his team for receiving the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International. He also noted the Foundation’s contributions to UCAW.
Business Administrator Leon Wilcox also asked the Board members to review the most current enrollment reports. Overall, CSD enrollment has dipped about 100 students. He also reminded employees of health insurance Open Enrollment the last week of October and the first week of November. He also gave an update on the renovation of Indian Hills Middle. Wilcox said the building should be enclosed within the next few weeks so they can work inside
BOARD MEMBER REPORTS
Mr. Chad Iverson attended the Region 7 cross-country championships, and will be attending the state cross country meet tomorrow in Sugar House Park.
Mrs. Clareen Arnold reported on attending the ribbon-cutting of the new soccer pitch provided to Sandy Elementary by Real Salt Lake, Scheels, and the City of Sandy. She congratulated Wilcox on his team’s award and mentioned the importance of UCAW.
Mrs. Nancy Tingey expressed appreciation for the employees of Canyons District. In her role as the leader of the Utah School Boards Association, she has traveled a lot of school boards across the state. She said so much good work is being done in public schools across Utah. She expressed appreciation to the patrons who gave input about the school-schedule selection process.
Mrs. Amber Shill thanked principals for their contributions to school communities.
Mr. Steve Wrigley said Canyons District’s principals are “amazing.” He reported on visiting the Willow Canyon SCC meeting. He also attended the ribbon-cutting at Sandy Elementary.
Mr. Mont Millerberg urged residents to examine the bond proposal. He said schools in low-income areas will receive new schools, just like the ones built in Draper. He also reported on a service project at Midvale Elementary that provided new coats, sweatshirts, jeans and socks to students in need. He thanked the Assistance League of Salt Lake for their efforts.
President Sherril Taylor thanked the patrons who addressed the Board. He also thanked Steve Van Maren for reading his argument against the bond and his rebuttal to the District’s proposal.