Bond Project Timeline to Stay On Track
The Board unanimously voted to stay the course on its Phase 1 bond building schedule, targeting a fall 2013 completion date for the first five projects, by using some of the District’s capital fund balance.
The Board approved a resolution to authorize the issuance of up to $70 million in bonds, as originally planned, to enable the District to break ground on all five Phase 1 projects this summer. The five projects are the rebuild of Midvale Elementary and Butler Middle School; a seismic retrofit for Sandy Elementary, a renovation of Albion Middle School and the building of a new high school in Draper.
Instead of issuing a second round of bonds next spring, the District will use money from the capital fund balance, which is an account dedicated to building projects. The District anticipates issuing additional bonds and beginning the remaining eight projects when assessed valuation improves and when old Jordan debt begins to substantially tail off.
The plan accomplishes several goals. It keeps intact the target fall 2013 completion date for the first five projects. It allows grade reconfiguration to move forward in fall 2013 as part of the District’s college- and career-ready academic plan. It also allows the Board to keep its promise to the public not to raise its debt service levy when voters approved the $250 million bond in June 2010.
Board members noted they have been talking about addressing building issues for the past two years, and praised the plan as a well thought out solution and first step in addressing the District’s $650 million in critical building needs.
Two weeks ago, the Board discussed building schedule options for the first five bond projects after learning property values are expected to decline for the third consecutive year. Declining property values would impact Canyons’ ability to collect sufficient tax revenue from its existing debt service levy to pay for the principal and interest on the total amount of new bonds needed to proceed with its current timeline. The Board had looked at the possibility of delaying projects one year or funding one or two projects at this time.
Public Input on Middle School SALTA Reported
Chief Academic Officer and Deputy Superintendent Ginger Rhode reported public input received about the Midvale Middle School SALTA program, including questions about how changes in SALTA magnet program might impact the International Baccalaureate program at Hillcrest High. Board members discussed input regarding the magnet’s location. Other issues to be discussed include whether students should be able to continue to self-select for the program or be required to take a test first. Dr. Rhode noted middle schools next fall will offer Common Core State Standards curriculum, considered to be more rigorous, as well as introduce Common Core State Standards honors courses to offer more challenging curriculum to advanced learners.
Common Core State Standards Implementation Plan Approved
The Board approved the following timeline for implementation of the Common Core State Standards:
2010-2011: Grades K-6
2011-2012: Grades 7 and 8
2012-2013: Grade 9
2013-14: Grade 10
2014-15: Grade 11
English Language Arts
2011-2012: Grades 7 – 11
2012-2013: Grades K – 6
The State Office of Education’s implementation schedule is different. The state plans to implement the Common Core State Standards in math in grades six and nine next school year, add remaining grades kindergarten through 10th grade in 2012-2013, and Grade 11 in 2013-2014. The state plans a limited implementation of Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts beginning next school year, with full implementation scheduled by 2014-2015.
The Utah State Board of Education last year adopted the Common Core State Standards, developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governors Association, and Achieve, Inc., with support from the National PTA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The standards align with expectations of colleges and the modern workforce , clearly state what students should know and be able to do at each grade level, and give parents and teachers tools to help students stay on the college- and career-ready path.
Rique Ochoa, Alta High social studies teacher, invited the Board to attend an AP History Review with H.W. Brands, noted professor of U.S. History and two-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize, on April 2.
The Board recognized the following staff and students for their artistic, athletic and academic excellence:
District Arts Consortium Chairwoman Sharee Jorgensen
All-State Band and Jazz Band honorees
Girls Basketball Academic All-State honorees
All-State Golf honorees
Music teachers Randal Clark from Jordan High and Debra Wetzel from Oakdale Elementary for presenting at the Utah Music Educators Professional Development Conference
Hillcrest senior Samuel Watson, who earned a perfect 36 composite score on the ACT college entrance test
Butler Middle School eighth-grader Melanie Martins, whose VFW Patriotic Pen Essay was ranked in the top 20 in the nation
State Stock Market Game first-place team winners from Midvale Middle School, and second- and fifth-place team winners from Crescent View Middle School
Candidates for the 2011 Presidential Scholars Program
Kathryn Anderson, District Director of Partnerships and Community Service and recipient of Community Shares Utah’s 2011 Leadership Award
Jordan High parent Kelly Christensen, recipient of the Lt. Governor’s Civic Volunteer of the Year Award
Canyons District Homeless Education Liaison Connie Crosby, named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Utah School Counselors Association
Brighton senior Stephanie Verdoia, 2010-2011 Utah Gatorade Player of the Year for Girls Soccer; 5A State Wrestling champions
5A State Champion Brighton Boys and Girls Swim Teams
5A State Champion Alta High Girls Basketball Team
Alta Parent Shelley Morrison received special honors from Superintendent David Doty for her example of sportsmanship, kindness and civility at the championship girls basketball game.
The Board approved the consent agenda, which includes the Feb. 15 minutes; purchasing bids; volunteer report; and the Common Core State Standards implementation timeline. It also includes student overnight travel for CTE HOSA and CTE FBLA.
Superintendent David Doty praised the work of the District’s bond counsel from George K. Baum & Co. He thanked Assistant to the Superintendent Laura Minson for her work to prepare student and staff recognitions on the Board’s behalf. He also congratulated Brighton Boys Basketball for their advancement in the 5A State Tournament.
Steve Wrigley supports Mr. Ochoa’s invitation. He thanked the volunteers who have donated 87,477 hours to schools in the past six months; attended “All My Sons” play at Jordan High; met with Eastmont and Jordan High CTE teachers and was impressed with their collaboration; the Alta View SALTA program;
Kim Horiuchi thanked Brighton High for hosting Board meeting. She also thanked families and students for coming to Board meeting, and for the a opportunity to recognize their athletic, academic and artistic excellence this evening.
Kevin Cromar praised Alta girls for their Basketball State Championship and Brighton Boys Basketball for advancing in the 5A State Tournament. He also attended Butler Middle honors for Patriotic Pen Essay winner Melanie Martins. He praised the Albion Middle musical and the fact the school renovation will upgrade the sound system. He attended the Brighton High Jazz Night and the Sandy Chamber Winter Festival, where Sue Malone won the Leader in Education Award (Midvale teacher Shelley Allen and Quail Hollow Principal Marilyn Williams were nominees). He noted Utah School Boards Association concerns with a charter school funding bill and a measure to give public education oversight to the governor. He also noted Alta’s high support of the bond, and thanked Mayor Tom Pollard for his efforts.
Paul McCarty said he is pleased with the Board’s decision on the bond projects timeline, which enabled the first step in addressing critical building needs.
Mont Millerberg thanked voters for approving the $250 million bond, and views his work as a Board member as a sacred trust to ensure the money is prudently spent. He attended the Sandy Chamber Winter Festival, and noted the three Leader in Education Award nominees from Canyons each were excellent, and deserved time in the spotlight.
Vice President Sherril Taylor noted the decision on the bond timeline was a historic marker in the Board’s work to improve education students in every corner of the District. He earlier excused the absence of President Tracy Cowdell due to illness.
Board Discusses Bond Projects Timeline in Light of Economic Downturn
The Canyons Board of Education is discussing building schedule options for the first five bond projects after learning property values are expected to decline again this year. This would be the third consecutive year of property value declines, unprecedented in recent memory. Declining property values would impact Canyons’ ability to collect sufficient tax revenue from its existing debt service levy to pay for the principal and interest on the total amount of new bonds needed to proceed with its current timeline. The District also is legally bound to continue its payments on $213 million in old Jordan debt.
The Board noted it promised the public that its debt service levy would not be raised if voters approved the $250 million bond in June 2010, and remain committed to that pledge. In light of the financial projections, the Board discussed possible actions, including delaying all projects one year for a target fall 2014 completion and grade reconfiguration date; funding one or two projects at this time; or staying the course on all five projects in hopes of an economic rebound.
The five projects are: the rebuild of Midvale Elementary and Butler Middle School; a seismic retrofit for Sandy Elementary, a renovation of Albion Middle School and the building of a new high school in Draper. The current timeline would have the first five projects completed by fall 2013 to facilitate grade reconfiguration under the District’s career- and college-ready academic plan.
The Board will vote on the projects’ timeline in its March 1 meeting.
The Board decided not to take action on a proposed resolution to authorize the sale of $70 million in building bonds at this time.
Midvale Elementary Site Plan, New High School Design Approved
The Board voted to build a grades K-5 elementary school on the Midvale Middle School campus. The vote determines the site of the soon-to-be-rebuilt Midvale Elementary School will be on the nearby middle school campus, and allows students to remain in their current elementary school during construction. It also frees up the now vacant Cottonwood Heights Elementary School to be used to house Albion Middle School students during its extensive renovation project. The Board is expected to vote on the timeline of these projects in a March 1 meeting.
The Board also approved the design for the new high school in Draper. The design was adjusted by architects Sandstrom Associates to stay within budget and allow flexibility in academic programming. The design will allow for optional third gym, woodshop and auto shop, as well as other classrooms to be added now or later as needed. The Board also requested a committee be formed to examine career and technical education in Canyons School District.
Preschool Expansion Proposed
Early Childhood Administrator Terri Mitchell presented a proposal to expand preschool options for students in Canyons School District. The proposal follows a federal court case that requires special education preschool classes be integrated with regular-education students. Also, some parents are leaving Canyons for other school districts that offer preschool services. Preschool currently is offered to special education students at five locations, and to regular-education students at Sandy Elementary. Options include status quo; offering preschool at regionally accessible locations and add six classrooms; or putting at least one classroom in each elementary (for details, visit http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/canyons/Board.nsf/Public, and click on Study Session Item 1B). Tuition for non-disabled students largely could fund the program. The Board will discuss the proposal in a future meeting.
Three patrons offered comments to the Board regarding SALTA at Midvale Middle School and career and technical education. Their testimony is posted at http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/canyons/Board.nsf/Public (click on Feb. 15 agenda, then item 4C).
The Board approved the consent agenda, which includes: Feb. 1 minutes; purchasing bids, January financial reports; home school affidavit report; CAB cell tower lease agreement; foreign exchange students, second semester; Professional Development Academy; moratorium status for elementary schools in the 2011-2012 school year; and student overnight travel for Alta High AP Studio Art and Track & Field, CTE DECA, and the SSEP National Conference and Space Shuttle Launch.
The Board met in closed session or the purpose of discussing the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual.
Vice President Sherril Taylor excused President Tracy Scott Cowdell, who was receiving the Outstanding Elected Official Award at Sandy City’s Appreciation Awards Banquet. He thanked Sandy police officers for providing Board security.Steve Wrigley attended Jordan High's concerto night and praised the talent there. He attended the Butler Middle School Town Hall Meeting on the building project, and two SALTA community meetings. He thanked the staff and parents for their attendance and feedback. He visited with the PTA and School Community Council at Oakdale Elementary and served as a substitute crossing guard. He attended an SEOP meeting with his child at Eastmont Middle School, and found it interesting to discuss ACT EXPORE Test data in that context. He also met with the Evidence-Based Learning leaders and received an orientation from them.
The Board recognized the following achievements:
Kelston Howell, Hillcrest High, Student Spaceflight Education Program logo winner
Paul Kirby, Hillcrest High, named Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals
Rebekah Meads, Brighton High, named Second Team 5A All State Volleyball
Kaitlyn Van Hoff, Alta High, named Third Team 5A All State Volleyball
Mark Michels, Alta High, 5A 135-pound All-Star wrestler
Christine Bond, Peruvian Park Elementary teacher, heard the SALTA report, and would like to pare back SALTA offerings to two, fully funded magnet programs for first- through fifth-graders, and expand the number of students accepted into the program if need be.
Julie Vandertoolen, who called herself a soccer mom and volunteer, is concerned about losing soccer fields during the reconstruction of Butler Middle School, saying the fields draw tournaments that draw thousands of students and parents and boost the local economy.
Annaje Vandertoolen, age 8, said she enjoys soccer and has a special "goal dance," which she showed an applauding Board and audience.
Jennifer Kalm, regional commissioner of AYSO soccer, feared losing field space during building construction could compromise the ability to host tournaments and diminish kids' opportunities and tourism dollars to the community.
Jill Shumway, a Cottonwood Heights resident and parent, opposes the idea of building an elementary school near Butler Middle School due to potential safety and bullying problems she said her children experienced at Cottonwood Heights Elementary. She wondered if the Butler Middle School site plan is dependent on bringing an elementary there (CFO Keith Bradford later clarified that it is not).
Chris Palmer, AYSO coach, referee and parent, suggested the Board tear down Cottonwood Heights Elementary now to ensure adequate field space during Butler Middle reconstruction.
Armen Taroian of AYSO fears losing fields during construction could negatively impact area kids' opportunities to gather and socialize with diverse students, and prefers freeing up field space before Butler's reconstruction.
John Van Leeuwen, President of Brighton Little League Football, asked the Board to consider all options for green space during construction, as the league uses the fields from July through November.
Amy Nance, whose children are involved in Brighton football and attend Butler Middle, says she doesn't feel informed as to the Board's site plan proposals. She is concerned about what will happen to field use, and wants to receive more information as the process moves forward.
Mark Hooyer, Cottonwood Heights resident, and coach of AYSO's VIP program for children with disabilities, says the reconstruction of Butler Middle and impact on adjacent fields is a community issue, as the fields are a hive of activity. He wants to minimize construction impacts on the fields.
Carla Hooyer, whose son is involved in AYSO's VIP program for children with disabilities, urged the Board to ease impact on the fields, as VIP participants have extreme difficulty adapting schedule and space changes.
Dani Jarvis, AYSO coach and referee, said she has played on the Cottonwood Heights soccer fields her whole life, and doesn't want to hurt children's opportunities to play during reconstruction. She suggested tearing down Cottonwood Heights Elementary to ensure sufficient field space during construction.
Darren Mansell, who lives near Albion Middle School, asked the Board to use Cottonwood Heights Elementary to house Albion students during their school's extensive remodel.
Mike Peterson, Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center, complimented the Board for adding to green space in the Butler Middle site plan. He asked for continued collaboration on the site plan.
Bill Wurr, a safety commissioner for Region 126 AYSO, urged the Board to keep facilities used by community children in mind as it looks to rebuilding building facilities.
Ian Van Leeuwen, Albion student, said his school overwhelmingly supports moving to Cottonwood Heights Elementary during remodeling.
Suzanne Walker, Midvale PTA President, urged the Board to keep the community informed on the progress of rebuilding plans, and noted community football fields at the middle school would need to be considered during construction.
Two other parents, representing Brighton lacrosse and Butler students, want the Board to minimize impact to the Cottonwood Heights fields during Butler construction, and suggested some neighborhood parks could be opened up for competitive play during construction.
CFO Keith Bradford reminded the Board to maintain frugal spending to stay within budget on bond projects.
Steve Wrigley attended training courses hosted by the Utah School Boards Association, and met with Peruvian Park Elementary teachers, and parents, and was impressed with programs there.
Kim Horiuchi attended the Midvale Middle School play "Once Upon a Mattress" and was impressed with the acting and scenery.
Kevin Cromar attended the Albion Town Hall Meeting and met with new Rep. Derek xx Brown, and invited him to attend town meetings and participate in partnership with district. He attended the intramurals chess tournament, which drew 46 students and several parents, and drew Channel 2 news coverage. He thanked the staff for their efforts on the tournament, and suggested adding Chinese Chess to the intramurals lineup. He cited news articles quoting former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying education must be reformed, and that not changing should be much scarier than change. He suggested moving more quickly in education technology initiatives.
Paul McCarty said he appreciated the Board's action tonight and the work of District staff.
Mont Millerberg praised the Board for putting education first tonight.
Ken Vance, a neighbor of the new high school in Draper, praised the partnership with Draper City and the School District to address residents' traffic concerns regarding the new high school and move the entrance on Golden Pheasant to the east. He said he is happy with the plan presented to the Board tonight.
Elisa Kelson, who lives on Golden Pheasant Drive next to the new high school, thanked the district and architects for working with neighbors to ease traffic concerns and moving the entrance to the east. She asked the Board to approve the proposal presented tonight.
The Board approved the following items on the Consent Agenda: Dec. 7 minutes; December Board Hires and Terminations; 2011-12 Large Capital Improvement Projects; Site Lease Agreement for Bella Vista Elementary; Purchasing Bids; Advanced Diploma Emphasis Proposal; and Student Overnight Travel for Brighton Dance, Student Body Officers and Choir and Band; Hillcrest Cheer; and Jordan Boys Tennis. The Board also approved the 2011-2012 school calendar recommended by the District Calendar Committee.
Dr. Dave Doty praised 37 Hillcrest students earning International Baccalaureate Diplomas who earned 5.4 million combined in scholarship money. He collected Board signatures on a letter of sympathy and support regarding the shooting death of a Millard Public Schools assistant principal in Omaha, Neb. Millard is a fellow member of the National Federation of Urban and Suburban School Districts. Dr. Doty also highlighted the Civility and Community 2011 Initiative in which he is a participant.
Mont Millerberg attended the Hillcrest High staff reunion, and praised the Utah School Boards Association Convention and training sessions. He congratulated Board leadership for their successful election, and thanked the District Calendar Committee for its work.
Paul McCarty, a 37-year educator, said he's never seen a District collaborate with communities as much as Canyons has on the new high school plans. He commended Dr. Doty, Facilities Director Rick Conger, CFO Keith Bradford, and the Communications staff for their work in that regard.
Sherril Taylor thanked District staff and Sandstrom and Associates for excellent outreach to patrons in drafting plans for the new high school.
President Cowdell thanked Sandy Police officers for providing Board Meeting security. He congratulated Board Vice President Taylor for his successful leadership election and the Board for re-electing him as president, saying he was humbled by the Board's trust.
Kevin Cromar attended the USBA convention and was elected delegate at large. He attended the Town Hall meeting for the new Midvale Elementary and the first Face to Faith video conference between Brighton High and a school from India. He also attended: holiday open houses hosted by the Region 17 PTA and Sandy City; the Granite Elementary Christmas Choir concert; a Sandy Elementary event where children received donated Teddy bears; the announcement that Hillcrest students' science project was selected to fly aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour; and a Native American/Veterans honors event. He wants to look into having more elementary schools take recess before lunch as a health measure. He noted Brighton swimmer Amanda Barrett was spotlighted in the Deseret News.
Kim Horiuchi praised ideas presented at the USBA Convention.
Steve Wrigley thanked the voters in District 5 for giving him the opportunity to serve. He promised to listen to constituents. He thanked Board members for reaching out to him and staff for working with him.