Board Meeting Summary

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 generally will meet Wednesdays from 4 – 5 p.m. at the Canyons Administration Building, 9150 S. 500 West, in Sandy. Agendas will be posted online. Public input will be taken at Town Hall Meetings and via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.

Board Action

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.

Patron Comments

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.

Superintendent’s Report

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 Report

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.

Board Reports

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.

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