The Common Core includes higher-level math concepts in lessons beginning in kindergarten. The idea is to lay a foundation for mathematics understanding and student success. The Common Core also increases rigor for all students and addresses the Canyons' higher-level math achievement gaps. Board members lauded the Common Core because it includes higher-level math concepts beginning in kindergarten and integrates math and science disciplines in a manner that more closely reflects 21st Century learning – and real life.
Dr. Rhode and her staff proposed that new Common Core math standards be implemented in seventh and eighth grades next school year, and in high school grades by 2012-2013. They also proposed that Language Arts Common Core State Standards be implemented in seventh through 12th grades next school year, and in elementary grades in 2012-2013. The Board plans to discuss a number of issues related to Common Core implementation, including textbook adoption, the impact of new standards on gifted education, and the desirability of additional magnet programs, in upcoming meetings.
Meanwhile, Canyons is offering professional development and opportunities for students to catch up or get ahead in efforts to boost career- and college-readiness:
• Students earned 310 original math and science credits in the new Summer Block
• USTAR centers in middle- and high school show students how the disciplines relate to real life
• Full-day kindergarten is offered at Title I schools, and additional student supports are in the works
• Elementaries provide extra help for students in reading and math
• Middle school teachers collaborate to examine student performance and fine tune their approach to ensure students receive the help they need
• All 11th graders will take the ACT this year; all eighth- and 10th-graders are taking the ACT EXPLORE and PLAN tests to better prepare them for college and careers
• Response to Intervention model used to catch students before they fall behind.
Canyons Education Association President Tony Romanello presented the Utah Education Association campaign, "Taxation, Equitable Funding and Education Excellence." The campaign pushes for broad-based tax structures and adequate funding, and encourages investments in research-based school reforms that include educators. It says public education investments bring greater economic returns than equal investments in corporate subsidies or tax cuts. The Board also met in closed session to discuss investigative proceedings regarding allegations of criminal misconduct.
The Board recognized the following students and employees:
National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists: Alta High: Alexander R. Burton, Sean A. Groathouse and Nicole M. Moody; Brighton High: Kevin A. Bryant and Grant B. Taylor; Hillcrest High: Anne C. Ashton, Christina A. Crum, Caitlyn E. Gallagher, Russell P. Johnston, Julianne Linton, Brenton D. Maybe, Katrina E. Mikell, Sangjae Park, Jason J. Rammell, and Samuel B. Watson.
Mackenzie Woolf, Brighton High, last spring received a College-Sponsored National Merit Scholarship
Hillcrest students competing at the July FBLA National Leadership Conference won Second Place in Banking and Financial Systems, Fifth Place in Networking Concepts, Sixth Place in Business Law, and Seventh Place in Business Ethics at the. Participating were seniors Namisha Balagopal (Electronic Career Portfolio), Julianne Linton (Business Ethics), Jason Rammell (Networking Concepts); and alumni Jason Chen (Banking and Financial Systems), Albert Cui (Client Services), Tyler Draper (Banking and Financial Systems), Blake Ellison (Business Law), Brad Marshall (Banking and Financial Systems), and Erin Recanzone (Business Ethics). The FBLA Advisor is Hillcrest Business Department Chair Ed Mondragon.
Paul Winkelman, Hillcrest High School Counselor, received the 2010 Utah Best of State Award for Best Administrator in the Education Category
Alta High teacher Susan Nielsen, was awarded the Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants Champion of the Profession Award
Lane Valum, District School Psychologists Coordinator, was named Psychologist of the Year by the Utah School Psychologists Association
Niloufar Sanatinia, Canyons School Psychologist, received the Utah School Psychologists Association's Barbara Bennett Excellence in Diversity Award
Laurie Fue, Speech-Language Pathologist, was named Educator of the Year by the Brain Injury Association of Utah
Les DeMille, welding instructor at the Canyons Technical Education Center, received a Special Excellence Award from the Utah Education Association.Region 17 PTA leaders presented the Board with a giant "check," indicating volunteers provided more than $1.9 million worth of volunteer hours to Canyons schools in the past year.
The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the Sept. 7, Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 minutes; purchasing bids; Home School Affidavit Report; September financial reports and Board hires and terminations; foreign exchange student enrollment approval; and aligning CSD Special Education Policy Manual to reflect state policy changes in Least Restrictive Behavior Intervention Guidelines. The Board also approved overnight travel for Alta High Academic Decathlon, Theatre, Baseball, Wrestling, Cross Country, and Band/Orchestra; Brighton High Model United Nations and Baseball teams; Hillcrest High Debate, Drill Team, and Performing Arts Department; Jordan High Choir/Band/Orchestra and Drill Team; and CTE FBLA.
The Board approved the Utah Consolidated Application, which Canyons submits to the state to receive funding for programs including Title I, Indian Education and Homeless Education, Special Education and K-3 special money. Dr. Rhode detailed plans to use the money to improve academic achievement.
The Board unanimously voted to limit individual Board Reports to five minutes, and urged Board Members to focus on education issues during comment time.
Betty Shaw, Region 17 PTA Vice President, urged the Board to issue a statement opposing efforts to create partisan elections for state and local school boards. Board elections currently are nonpartisan. She also thanked the Board for honoring her late son with a donation to the Boy Scouts of America.
Board President Tracy Cowdell said he was pleased that partisanship has not been an issue on the Board, which focuses on children and education policy matters. He said the Board would take Mrs. Shaw's request under advisement.
Superintendent David Doty attended the 5A Girls State Tennis Tournament last week, and praised the performance of individual Brighton athletes, many of whom have received Academic All State honors. He wished well participants in the 5A State Cross Country Championships. He attended the 5A Girls State Soccer quarterfinals, and noted that Brighton advanced to the State Title round. He praised the success of the Middle Schools Intramurals Cross Country Meet, in which participation increased this year by about 20 percent to 145 students. He praised Hillcrest High's Drama students for their overall win at the High School Shakespearean Competition, and Canyons Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray and Communications Director Jennifer Toomer-Cook for their response to the stolen bus incident Thursday. Dr. Doty's first Spanish column in El Observador was published this month, and will be a monthly feature in the Spanish-language newspaper. He also attended the Salt Lake Chamber's screening of the education-reform documentary "Waiting for Superman." He said it was unfortunate teachers associations took a hit in the film, and feels fortunate to have a collaborative relationship with the CEA.
CFO Keith Bradford said architects are starting to draft plans to rebuild schools. He said work started on Butler Middle School plans today, and will start Wednesday for Sandy and Midvale elementaries, and next week on the new high school in Draper. Architects are meeting with District and school representatives, as well as high school principals regarding plans for the new high school. Meetings will continue weekly until designs are drafted for public input at Town Hall meetings, which will be scheduled the week before Thanksgiving for the new high school.
Ellen Wallace attended the Utah School Boards Association's Board of Directors meeting last week. She said the USBA state convention is Jan. 6 – 8, 2011, and meetings for new board members and superintendents are Dec. 3 and 4. She agrees with Mrs. Shaw that school board races should remain nonpartisan. She also suggested the District, as it offers summer educational opportunities for students, petition lawmakers to keep per-student funding for students who graduate early.
Kim Horiuchi attended the National Federation of Urban and Suburban School Districts conference in Topeka last week. There, she presented "Grease-Free Lunches, Ultimate Frisbee, and Skiing with the Superintendent: Innovative Approaches to Student Fitness from Utah's Newest School District" with Board Member Kevin Cromar, Executive Director of K-16 Student Achievement in Elementary Schools Trenton Goble, and Ms. Toomer-Cook. She said the presentation was well received by attendees and attracted local TV news coverage. She also learned about First Lady Michelle Obama's obesity prevention program, and toured the Brown v. Board of Education museum, hosted by the daughter of the plaintiff in the landmark education case.
President Cowdell thanked Mr. Romanello and Ms. Roderick-Landward and Dr. Pettersson for their presentations. He also thanked the IT team for its help at Board meetings.
Sherril Taylor, a member of the Utah High School Activities Association Board of Trustees, provided a UHSAA realignment update, saying the most recent proposal would classify 24 schools in 5A, and Hillcrest High as a 4A school.
Paul McCarty thanked Mr. Romanello for his presentation, saying he hoped it would be presented to the Legislature. He requested a Boundary Steering Committee update.
Mont Millerberg expressed gratitude for community support of the Canyons School District Education Foundation's Inaugural Golf Tournament; for adjusted health benefits that cover colonoscopies; for the hard work of principals, who he visited during Prinicipals Week; and community involvement in designing schools. He also agreed school board elections should remain nonpartisan.
The Board unanimously approved contracts with the following architects for the first five projects of the $250 million bond voters approved last June:
Midvale Elementary School Replacement: NJRA Architects
Sandy Elementary School Seismic Upgrade: MHTN Architects
Albion Middle School Renovation: FFKR Architects
Butler Middle School Replacement: VCBO Architects
New High School in Draper: Sandstrom Associates
In all, 23 architectural firms responded to Canyons' request for Statement of Interest and Qualifications in regards to the bond projects. An Architect Review Committee, established at the Board's direction, examined firms' proposals and toured 14 schools before bringing recommendations to the Board for tentative approval last month. The Board plans to hold community meetings to learn what the public would like to see in their new schools in the coming weeks.
The Board narrowed discussion topics for future study sessions, and tentatively agreed to devote the Oct. 19 study session to the Canyons Academic Plan, including SALTA, assessments, and the Common Core State Standards. Other future study session topics could include middle school matters, Title I school issues, and Board governance policies. Staff will place the topics into common themes, and bring them back to the Board for further discussion and prioritization. The Board also firmed up its its inaugural awards banquet, in which it will recognize the Canyons teachers, employees and volunteer of the year, as well as honor elected and city officials and media and business partners who were integral in the District's creation and success. The banquet will be Nov. 16.
Board Forwards Bond Projects, Authorizes Negotiations With Architects
The Board authorized the Administration to enter into contract negotiations with the following architects so that work can begin on the first five projects of the $250 million bond voters approved last June:
Midvale Elementary School Replacement NJRA Architects
Sandy Elementary School Seismic Upgrade MHTN Architects
Albion Middle School Renovation FFKR Architects
Butler Middle School Replacement VCBO Architects
New High School in Draper Sandstrom Associates
In all, 23 architectural firms responded to Canyons’ request for Statement of Interest and Qualifications posted on BidSync. An Architect Review Committee, established at the Board’s direction, carefully examined firms’ proposals and toured 14 schools before bringing recommendations to the Board for approval. After contracts are negotiated the Board plans to hold community meetings to learn what the public would like to see in their new schools.
Boundary Steering Committee Gets Underway
The Canyons Board of Education has approved a Boundary Steering Committee to examine school boundaries districtwide and address issues outlined by the 2009 Enrollment and Facilities Task Force. The steering committee will recommend potential boundary changes to the Board for implementation in the 2013-2014 school year. Its meetings begin Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, and are open to the public.
The Steering Committee comes as part of the Board’s commitment to community engagement, and forwards the grade reconfiguration portion of its career- and college-ready Academic Plan. The Academic Plan includes reconfiguring grades to create grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 schools; upgrading facilities and building a new high school in Draper with a $250 million voter-approved bond; and optional career- and college-ready diplomas.
The 26-member Boundary Steering Committee is broadly representative of the district, and includes 16 parents, two school secretaries, three teachers, three principals, District Transportation Director Ken Spurlock and District Facilities Director Rick Conger. It also includes four, non-voting support staff members from the District Office.
“We appreciate the community members’ willingness to sit on this committee and their commitment to the work that lies ahead,” Board President Tracy Scott Cowdell said. “I look forward to seeing the results of their hard work.”
The steering committee follows the work of the parent-led Enrollment and Facilities Task Force, and will address a number of issues, including: elimination of pocket busing, or the practice of busing students from crowded schools in the south to less full schools outside of their neighborhoods; delineation of high school feeder systems; maximization of existing school facilities; and restoration of balance to middle school enrollments.
The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the Aug. 17 minutes; purchasing bids; the home school affidavit report; August financial reports; and Board hires and terminations. The Board also approved overnight travel for Brighton Swimming, Boys Basketball and Cross Country; Hillcrest Baseball, Cross Country, Concert and Jazz Band; Jordan Cross Country and Volleyball; and Canyons District Skills USA, DECA, FBLA and HOSA participants. It also approved a 504 Policy, which sets guidelines for providing necessary health care services and other accommodations for students with special needs and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in accordance with state and federal law.
Suzanna Briggs of East Sandy Elementary thanked the Board for new computers in the computer lab, but questioned why the old computers were surplused when they could be better used in the classroom. Board President Tracy Scott Cowdell said the District Administration would look into the matter.
Jeff Williams, parent of a Butler Middle School student, asked what the process would be for rebuilding the school, and whether he could participate in a committee to examine proposals. President Cowdell said the Board has every intention to seek and obtain parent and stakeholder feedback.
Jodie Crowder, East Sandy Elementary teacher, expressed concerns about instructional time devoted to the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
Dr. Doty reminded the Board of the Sept. 30 Utah School Boards Association regional meeting. He forwarded Utah High School Activities Association data on extracurricular activities participation in Utah and the UHSAA’s timeline to implement a new realignment process. He also informed the Board about recommendations developed by the Governor’s Education Commission and Commission to Optimize State Government. He also has been frequently visiting schools, and working with bond counsel to plan for the issuance of the first series of bonds.
CFO Keith Bradford reported on touring schools of bidding architectural firms, and read the architects authorized to begin negotiations with the District. He said the next step is to negotiate a contract according to state rules and schedule community meetings to receive input on the proposals.
Mont Millerberg thanked the community for its overwhelming support of the Inaugural Golf Tournament, set for Thursday, Sept. 30 at Wasatch Mountain State Park. The tournament has sold out. He also praised Midvale Middle School’s Constitution Day activities and students’ understanding of the Constitution.
Paul McCarty relayed research contained in a Washington Post article printed in the Deseret News that noted the key in education – to borrow from the real estate adage of location, location, location – is motivation, motivation, motivation. He praised the work of District public relations, Dr. Doty’s leadership, and communication of Board tenets of student achievement, customer service, innovation and community engagement to illustrate Canyons is following practices backed by research.
Vice President Sherril Taylor thanked the UHSAA for its realignment work.
President Cowdell lauded Board Room sound system improvements and the IT staff. He thanked the Administration for reaching out to Jordan School District during the fire in Herriman. He congratulated retiring Jordan Superintendent Barry Newbold, with whom he worked as a former Jordan Board of Education member. President Cowdell praised Dr. Newbold as a good superintendent and person, recognized his role in Canyons successes, and said he would be missed.
Kevin Cromar thanked Vice President Taylor and Mr. Millerberg for their work in the UHSAA realignment action. He attended the beet-topping ceremony at Jordan High, and the Face to Faith program introduction and school community council meeting at Brighton High, which he toured and then praised for posting Utah’s third-highest pass rate on Advanced Placement exams. He attended former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s luncheon address sponsored by Parents for Choice in Education, and disagreed with some of the presentation and the proposal to grade schools in Utah. He praised Canyons’ inclusivity of immigrant and Spanish-speaking students, and said altering the 14th Amendment would be unwise.
Kim Horiuchi attended Mr. Bush’s luncheon address where she said she found several good ideas, including extending scholarships to first-generation college students. She also wished Dr. Newbold well in his retirement. She said she was grateful for the chance to work with Dr. Newbold as a former Jordan Board of Education member, and praised him for his impact on Utah children.
Ellen Wallace, who was president of the Jordan Board of Education when Dr. Newbold was hired as superintendent, also praised Dr. Newbold for his service to Jordan School District. She said he set a new direction for the District, and served with great enthusiasm. She called his retirement a loss for Jordan District, and noted it was a pleasure to serve with him.
Study, Closed Session
The Board discussed the process surrounding the distribution of federal education jobs money, which Superintendent Doty, in response to Legislative leaders, suggested using to avoid class-size increases in light of a projected $15 million budget shortfall. Board Member Kevin Cromar suggested reversing furlough days this year; others said the furloughs were well thought out and good policy. The Board will discuss and solidify its plans for the money once it comes through. The Board also received a report on the Inaugural Golf Tournament discussed an inaugural Board of Education awards banquet to honor community contributions to Canyons School District, and future study sessions and meetings. The Board met in closed session to discuss the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual.
Canyons to Create Boundary Steering Committee
The Board gave the green light to create a Boundary Steering Committee. The committee will examine school boundaries and address issues outlined by the 2009 Enrollment and Facilities Task Force. The committee will recommend potential boundary changes to the Board for implementation in the 2013-2014 school year.
The 26-member Boundary Steering Committee will include broad community representation and examine school boundaries districtwide. It will consist of 16 parents, four from each of the four high school areas (two from elementary schools and one each from middle and high schools); two school secretaries, three teachers and three principals representing elementary and secondary schools; and District Transportation Director Ken Spurlock and Facilities Director Rick Conger. The committee will be supported by four, non-voting District administrators.
The steering committee will follow up on the work of the Enrollment and Facilities Task Force, which met from April to September 2009. The task force, which consisted of parents representing every Canyons school, recommended school boundaries be examined districtwide to address a number of issues, including ending pocket busing (busing students from crowded schools in the south to less full schools outside of their neighborhoods); cleaning up high school feeder systems; maximizing current building use; and balancing middle school enrollments.
The Steering Committee comes as part of the Board’s commitment to community engagement, and forwards its career- and college-ready Academic Plan. The Academic Plan includes optional career- and college-ready diplomas; reconfiguring grades to create k-5, 6-8 and 9-12 schools; and upgrading facilities and building a new high school in Draper with a $250 million voter-approved bond to support students in their preparation for college and the workforce.
The Board is expected to vote to officially create the committee, and give the committee additional guiding principles, on Sept. 21.
Facility Upgrade Bids Dubbed ‘Exciting’
Architectural firms are submitting “innovative” and “exciting” bids on the first five projects of the $250 million bond voters approved last June, CFO Keith Bradford said. A District committee will do site visits before forwarding its recommendations, possibly as early as Sept. 21.
Customer Service Call Center Deemed Successful
Superintendent David Doty reported the District’s temporary customer service call center took more than 2,000 inquiries from the community in the first two weeks of school. He commended Communications Associate Director Jeff Haney and Staff Assistant Laura Minson for their leadership.
Midvale Middle School Receives New Assistant Principal
The Board approved the appointment of Kelly Tauteoli as the new assistant principal of Midvale Middle School. Ms. Tauteoli, who has been working as an assistant principal at Joel P. Jensen Middle School in Jordan District, is fluent in Spanish and is a former youth-in-custody teacher. She replaces Christine Waddell, who was appointed principal of Butler Elementary School earlier this month.
Board Expands Public, In-Depth Study Sessions
The Board will boost the time it spends studying policy matters as a way to improve education for Canyons students. The Board generally wants to reserve the first Tuesday of the month for study sessions, beginning at 5 p.m., and schedule study sessions and business meetings the third Tuesday of the month. The Board noted it would, however, schedule business meetings the first Tuesday of the month as needed. Study sessions and business meetings are open to the public. Study sessions typically include more in-depth discussions, while business meetings include discussion and official action.
The Board approved the Consent Agenda, including the Aug. 3 minutes, purchasing bids, home school affidavit report, July financial reports, and an administrative appointment. It also approved student overnight travel for the Canyons School District FCCLA.
Superintendent David Doty said he is concerned about the affect of road construction on traffic during the first few weeks of school, and wants to get the word out to parents to expect delays and leave early to get to school on time. He reported on the employee forums offered earlier in the day to welcome back school staff and unify employees around career- and college-ready goals. He noted a committee is poised to present the Utah High School Activities Association with recommendations on reclassification and region realignment; Board Vice President Sherril Taylor said he believes the recommendations come in part due to issues brought to the fore by Hillcrest High School and Dr. Doty.
CFO and General Counsel Keith Bradford said he would like architects who are bidding on five school projects under the recently passed $250 million bond to present to the Board next month.
Ellen Wallace thanked the Administration for its employee forum earlier in the day.
Kim Horiuchi reported on the Utah School Boards Association Delegate Assembly, where the group ratified priorities for the 2011 Legislative Session. She said USBA’s platform has moved toward bolstering the state’s Capital Outlay Foundation Program rather than capital equalization between districts. She also urged the Governor and Legislature to accept the $101 million from the federal government to help public schoolteachers keep their jobs. She said the money could save up to 1,500 school jobs at a time of nearly 10 percent unemployment in Utah and prevent a jump in class size. She also said that the sum, to which Utahns contributed, would benefit another state if Utah turns it down. She suggested the Board take a formal position on accepting the funds.
Kevin Cromar is impressed with the District Arts Consortium’s efforts to expand orchestra programs. He praised the employee forum, and compared Dr. Doty to Horace Mann, founder of the common school, and was reminded of the importance of treating each other with respect as conveyed in the Broadway play “Wicked,” which he viewed in New York this summer. He described Canyons’ first year as well executed and miraculous. He praised the fact Canyons eighth-, 10th- and 11th-graders will take the ACT Explore, Plan and college entrance tests, respectively, this school year. He also talked about bond voting trends by Board precinct.
Study, Closed Session
The Board was briefed on first day of school activities, including implementation of a customer-service call center, “Red Carpet” events at Title I schools, and administrators offering support at schools. Amber Roderick-Landward, Executive Director of Evidence-Based Learning Instruction and Innovation in Elementary Schools, said some schools’ math books are on back order, but resources needed to begin teaching were found online and made available to teachers. Facilities Director Rick Conger briefed the Board on ongoing construction projects and his employees’ focus on school grounds. The Board also met in closed session to discuss the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual.