The Board of Education on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 unanimously voted to approve a negotiated agreement with the Canyons Education Association for 2017-2018 school year.

The agreement contains a small adjustment to the Conversion Placement Table approved at the April 25, 2017 meeting of the Board of Education. The new, single-lane salary schedule represents the largest pay hike in the District’s history, bumping the starting-teacher salary by more than $5,000 to $40,500, while also funding raises for mid-career and veteran educators. Every licensed employee will see no less than a 4 percent jump, significantly improving their lifetime earnings and retirement payments. It’s a big investment and tangible proof of how much the CSD community values education, says Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor.

"We have said it before and we will say it again: Teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions," he said. "With the intention of bringing the best and brightest to Canyons District classrooms, and to give teachers a chance to earn more over the length of their careers, the Board of Education moved singularly and decisively to make an important and positive financial impact in the lives of our teachers."

CEA President Jen Buttars also said the association appreciates "the nearly $11.5 million investment in teacher salaries and believes that the Board has truly demonstrated a commitment to not only recruit, but also retain educators."

"The CEA believes that (the Board's) commitment to listening to the concerns of educators, recognizing professional judgement and attending to salary, benefit and working condition concerns, allows educators to focus on their
efficacy for the benefit of all Canyons School District students," she said.

As part of the agreement, the District will cover 83.7 percent of the 11.33 percent hike in health insurance premiums that takes effect in January 2018. One Personal Leave Day will be converted back to a Sick Leave Day. Also, under a policy change, the provisional status of experienced transfer teachers may be shortened if they have:
  • Successfully taught for at least three consecutive years in an accredited school or district
  • Completed at least one year of provisional service with Canyons District
  • Successfully met the criteria outlined in GCOA-Evaluation of Instructional Staff (Licensed)
  • Been recommended by their principal/supervisor for a Provisional Status Exception
  • Received approval by the Director of Human Resources

Amber Shill, a Canyons District Board member with deep roots in civic involvement, has been selected to serve on the newly-reorganized Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) Board of Trustees.

Her re-appointment—this will be her third year on the Board—was announced May 4 as part of a reorganization to reduce the Board in size from 30 members to 16. She was previously a member-at-large, and will now represent 5A schools.

Mrs. Shill will bring some continuity to Utah’s official sanctioning body for high school sports, music, theatre, and speech and debate. She served on the subcommittee that negotiated the new athlete transfer rule with the Utah State Board of Education and was a member of the panel that hired the organization’s three new assistant directors.

“I’m excited to continue to serve,” she said, noting, “Students are my No. 1 priority.”amberboard.jpg

Since 1927, UHSAA has led the development of education-based interscholastic activities in the sports and arts under the belief that they are essential to the high school experience.

Mrs. Shill was a vocal supporter of the recent Board vote to sanction lacrosse as Utah’s 11th official prep sport. Advocates had been seeking a sanction for nearly a decade, which they say will expand opportunities for students already playing in club programs, and will open the sport to students who have no other means to participate except through high school.

“Boys and girls will have another opportunity to participate and excel in another sport,” Mrs. Shill told the Deseret News.

Mrs. Shill was elected to the Canyons Board of Education in November 2014, and is the Second Vice President. Her roll-up-the-sleeves style of leadership has endeared her to the District 2 community she represents, which covers most of Cottonwood Heights.

Mrs. Shill and her husband have four children who attend or have graduated from the Brighton feeder system. She graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance.

Her more than 17 years of civic involvement includes volunteering in Cub Scouts, leading youth groups, and serving as a Salt Lake County Precinct Delegate. She has volunteered in schools, and led multiple districtwide committees, School Community Councils and the PTA’s at Bella Vista Elementary, Butler Middle and Brighton High School. Most recently, she served as the School Community Council Chair at Brighton High from 2012-2014.
Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking the corresponding agenda items.

Administrative Appointments

Assistant Superintendents Dr. Kathryn McCarrie and Dr. Bob Dowdle announced the Board-approved leadership appointments for the coming school year. 
  • BJ Weller, currently the Principal of Canyon View Elementary, is the new Director of the Department of Responsive Services.  
  • Kierstin Draper, Principal of Oakdale Elementary, will become Principal of Canyon View Elementary
  • Lori Jones, currently Principal of Sprucewood Elementary, will become Principal of Oakdale Elementary. 
  • Colleen Smith, currently Principal of Parkside Elementary in the Murray City School District, will become Principal of Sprucwood. 
  • Christy Waddell, who now is the Principal of Butler Elementary, will become Principal at Draper Elementary. She replaces Piper Riddle, who has accepted a principal’s post in the Wasatch School District.
  • Jeff Nalwalker, currently Principal at Midvalley Elementary, will become Principal at Butler Elementary.
  • Tamra Baker, currently Director of Student Support Services, will become Principal at Midvalley Elementary.
  • Brandee Burgham, a teacher at Fort Herriman Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle. She will assume the role previously held by Kerry Schroeppel, who is returning to the classroom to teach. 
  • Randall Saltz, now an Achievement Coach at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Draper Park Middle School. The school qualifies for another AP because of high enrollment figures. 

Legislative Update

CSD’s Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board of Education on talks surrounding SB80, a school-funding equalization proposal. The bill appears to have stalled, though conversations about how to adequately fund schools continue. An early iteration of the bill would have cost CSD up to $1.5 million if approved. Among funding proposals to gain more traction is a Senate- and House-approved measure that would provide salary bonuses to teachers in Title I schools, Edwards said. Lawmakers also have coalesced around a spending plan that calls for a 4 percent increase per pupil funding and contains ongoing funding for growth, teacher supplies and offsets for teacher licensing fees. Edwards also briefed the Board on SB240, which, among other things, would allow School Community Councils to bypass local Boards of Education and approach the Utah Board of Education to become a charter school.

Policy Update

CSD Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen described proposed policy updates, including language to clarify that paid release time for jury duty is only available for benefit-eligible employees. Also proposed under a first reading is an update to bring CSD’s Family Medical Leave policy in line with federal law, and a policy that would require CSD employees who are elected or appointed to a public office to perform their elected duties on their own time while on leave from work. Christensen also proposes striking obsolete language from policies having to do with employee suggestions and lump sum payments. Board members will further discuss the proposed changes at their next meeting.

Proposed Bus Route Changes

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle discussed the possibility of eliminating a bus route that serves students who reside in Big Cottonwood Canyon and attend Butler Elementary, Butler Middle and Brighton High. It’s a dangerous route; this year alone there have been two slide-offs and a collision with a deer, Dowdle said. Parents have expressed frustration over delays in service caused by inclement weather and the inability to communicate with drivers once the bus is deep in the canyon. Current ridership ranges between 1-10 students, and CSD must pay the $28,000 annual cost of providing transportation for these students, because under state law, bus routes catering to fewer than 10 students don’t receive state funding. The route is a bit of anomaly. CSD does not send buses up Little Cottonwood Canyon, up to Suncrest or to South Mountain. The District reimburses families for mileage to bring students from Suncrest.   

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

Members of Draper Park Middle School’s Scout Troop 1219 posted the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Draper Park Middle Principal Mary Anderson reported on developments at her school, the only middle school in Utah to score in the top 10 in SAGE formative assessments in math, science and English language arts. The school benefits from high parental involvement, she says, and offers a rich variety of academic programs, including French and Mandarin Chinese, and award-winning jazz, choral and orchestra programs. Among its after-school offerings are debate club, service fair, math and science clubs, a new National Jr. Honors Society chapter, and a Vikings Scholar program modeled after Utah’s Sterling Scholar program for high school seniors. Starting tonight and running through Saturday is a student performance of “The Lion King Jr.”  

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, which included the minutes from the Feb. 21, 2017 meeting of the Board; a hire and termination report; approval of purchasing bids; approval of student overnight travel; approval of a date change in the 2018-2019 calendar; a 2017-2018 meeting schedule for the Board of Education; approval of the Director of Responses Services position; and approval of new administrative appointments.


Recognitions

The Board of Education honored students, teachers and an administrator for accomplishments. Those recognized included Shaun Stockwell, a 4A heavyweight wrestler from Corner Canyon High; boys basketball player Ammon Savage, an Academic All-State recipient who attends Corner Canyon;  Brighton High 5A champion swimmers Jack Binder, Rachel Butler, Anna Hibbard, Brooke Van Conklin, and Ava Binder; CSD Dual Language Immersion Coordinator Ofelia Wade for earning a Lifetime Achievement Award; You Yin-Yao, a teacher at Draper Elementary who was named the International Language Teacher of the Year, and Debbie Beninati, a Sandy Elementary music specialist who has been named Utah Music Educator of the Year.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Report

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe mentioned the District’s receipt of the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. He congratulated Business Administrator Leon Wilcox and his team for achieving this accomplishment for three consecutive years. He mentioned the robotics fundraiser held at Alta High on Friday night, and encouraged the community to support CSD’s five traditional FIRST Robotics competition on Saturday, March 11.   

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked the Canyons Technical Education Center students who staffed the Canyons District booth at District Day on the Hill. He expressed condolences to the families and friends of three students who recently died, as well as the loved ones of Mike Huish, an employee in the Information Technology Department, who died as a result of complications from surgery. 

Board Member Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson also expressed his condolences for those in the CSD community who recently passed away. He reported on attending Crescent Elementary’s spelling bee. He said he enjoys the level of intensity and pressure at such academic competitions. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey expressed her condolences to the loved ones of those who passed away. She appreciated the support shown by staff members for students who are experiencing difficult emotions. She congratulated Wilcox and his team, and thanked the Utah legislators for increases to the Weighted-Pupil Unit, the main funding formula for public schools. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on visits to schools in his district and his attendance at the policy-committee meeting and the arts consortium meeting.  He also attended Human Resource’s “Flip the Interview” recruiting event and the Alta High robotics event at the school. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg congratulated Wilcox’s department for winning the CAFR award.  He said the honors show the District’s finances are well under control. He thanked External Affairs Director Charlie Evans and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards for their work during the legislative session.  He also mentioned the work that goes into providing a secure environment, especially when faced with an emergency situation. 

President Sherril Taylor thanked all the teachers for their hard work and dedication on behalf of students. He also expressed appreciation for District Office administration and staff.
Canyons District is pleased to announce new leadership appointments, which were approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The appointments are for the coming school year.  The appointments are: 

BJ Weller, currently the Principal of Canyon View Elementary, is the new Director of the Department of Responsive Services.  

Kierstin Draper, Principal of Oakdale Elementary, will become Principal of Canyon View Elementary

Lori Jones, currently Principal of Sprucewood Elementary, will become Principal of Oakdale Elementary. 

Colleen Smith, currently Principal of Parkside Elementary in the Murray City School District, will become Principal of Sprucwood. 

Christy Waddell, who now is the Principal of Butler Elementary, will become Principal at Draper Elementary.  She replaces Piper Riddle, who is leaving Canyons District for a principal’s post in the Wasatch School District.

Jeff Nalwalker, currently Principal at Midvalley Elementary, will become Principal at Butler Elementary.

Tamra Baker, currently Director of Student Support Services, will become Principal at Midvalley Elementary.

Brandee Burgum, a teacher at Fort Herriman Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle.

Randall Seltz, now an Achievement Coach at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Draper Park Middle School.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking the corresponding agenda items.

Middle School Schedule
 
After hearing hours of input from parents, teachers and students, the Board of Education voted to approve the schedules put forward by CSD's middle schools for a one-year trial period. An update is to be given in one year. The Board also asked that a survey be done of parents and teachers to gain feedback, and that for the 2018-2019 school year, a task force be re-convened with parents to explore how schools might provide more electives.  The Board also requested the Administration to seek a waiver from the Utah State Office of Education on implementing Digital Literacy for eighth-graders and the full-year Career and College Awareness class to be taken by sixth-graders.
 
Board Leadership
 
The Board of Education chose Sherril H. Taylor to serve again as the President. Nancy Tingey was elected 1st Vice President and Amber Shill was elected 2nd Vice President.  The terms are for two years.
 
Update on Kindergarten Supplemental Program
 
Last summer, the Board of Education approved a pilot program to provide supplemental hours of instruction for kindergarten-age children. A total of 78 children enrolled in the tuition-based program at Altara, Bell Vista, Brookwood and Oakdale elementary schools. Twenty-four of those children received needs-based scholarships. The program has given teachers time to go into greater depth with their lessons and to meet individual student needs, which has been especially beneficial for at-risk students who have shown the most gains academically, behaviorally and socially, said Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward. But test scores show all students have benefitted and are now better prepared to enter first grade. Because the program is tuition-based, it is cost-neutral to the District. Roderick-Landward is recommending that the program be continued in 2017-2018 at the four pilot schools and expanded to include interested schools with adequate space. Nine schools have expressed interest, and five schools are working with their communities to gauge interest. The Board will take up the issue at a future meeting.
 
High School Advanced Language
 
CSD’s Dual-Language Immersion program is coming of age as the first cohort of students to enroll in the first-grade now advance to high school during the 2017-2018 school year. Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward discussed the results of a survey undertaken to understand how many students plan to continue with their language studies through high school and whether their enrollment is contingent upon being able to attend a specific high school. Based on the findings, the Administration is recommending for the 2017-2018 school year that Alta and Corner Canyon high schools be the sites for Mandarin Chinese and that Jordan be the site for Spanish. More high school sites would be added in the 2018-2019 year as Dual-Language Immersion students who are now enrolled in other feeder systems, such as the Brighton and Hillcrest feeder systems, age into high school. The Board will discuss the recommendations at a future meeting.
 
Hazardous Walking Routes
 
No changes are being recommended this year to CSD’s hazardous walking routes — pathways frequented by students who live within walking distance of their neighborhood school but that are deemed too dangerous for students to safely traverse on foot. Students who use these routes receive bus service that is financed by the District. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle updated the Board on a request to reevaluate a heavily traveled route to Draper Park Middle. A study confirmed the existence of gaps in the sidewalk along 1300 East, which are of concern to parents. The District is working with the city of Draper to upgrade the sidewalk.
 
Graduation Update
 
Canyons District’s graduation rate has risen 3 percent over the past three years with 85 percent of high school seniors earning diplomas in 2016 — up from 82 percent in 2013. All of CSD’s traditional high schools realized gains, except Corner Canyon, which is holding steady and boasts the District’s highest graduation rate of 94 percent, said Director of Research and Assessment Dr. Hal Sanderson. Jordan and Hillcrest show the sharpest three-year gains of 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively. “We are making gains,” especially among Asian and Latino/Hispanic students, said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle. More improvement is needed to boost the graduation rates of economically disadvantaged students and English learners. Among strategies being deployed by the District: Continued support of efforts to boost student achievement within the Hillcrest feeders system; better use of analytic tools to track students who are at-risk of dropping out; a review credit recovery programs and processes; and a refinement of transfer and exit procedures for 11th and 12th grade students. Support efforts to boost student achievement at Hillcrest.
 
Recognitions

Four students and a member of the Board of Education were honored during the Recognitions portion of the meeting. Brighton High’s Dani Barton was honored for being named the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year for volleyball.  She also was the Deseret News’ Ms. Volleyball and the Salt Lake Tribune Player of the Year.  Alta High’s Josh Davis also was recognized for being named the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year for football.  He also was the KSL-TV 4A Football MVP, Salt Lake Tribune All-State Team, and Deseret News MVP.  Midvale Middle students Elizabeth Martin and Danju Zoe Liu were recognized for winning their age categories in the StepUp to Higher Education’s Make Your Mark bookmark contest. Board member Nancy Tingey was recognized for being elected President of the Utah School Boards Association. 
 
Policy Updates
 
The Board of Education approved updates to policies governing employee eligibility for vacation leave time.
 
Patron Comments
 
The following patrons, teachers and students gave public comment:  Holly Neibaur, Katie Smith, Kerstin Olcott, Amanda Oaks, Kit Linkous, Clark Croshaw, Joanne Andrus, Stacie Raddatz, Elaine Lindsay, Ben Brockbank, Victoria Bromfield, Sterling Oaks, Erika Bradshaw, Jen Buttars, Daniel Emrazian, Zoe Smith, Adriana Steck, Alisha Neyman, Hanna Bartnicki, Alexsys Campbell, TJ Neyman, Monett Rupp, Delese Bettinson, Terri Culberson, Tami Knubel, Paul Madsen, Mike Neyman, Randy Madsen, Nicol Druckmiller, Destiny Rockwood, Heather White, Marianne Barrows, Alex Nibley, Kaylie Hayter, Blayke Lynn, Christina Stenten, Natalie Fisher, Krista Pippen, Marilyn Larson, Kim Steenblik, Corrine Harrymen, Maddie Gallardo, Gretchen Hyer, Ben Ellison, Tristan Cooper, Brahams Briggs, Jana White, Laura Rupper, Janene Bijou, Mark Fellows, Alex Schneider, Wendy Smith, Chad Smith, Kathryn Smith, Livvy Smith, Valerie Witzel, Jessica Green, David Christensen, Grant Croshaw

Consent Agenda
 
The Board approved the consent agenda, including purchasing bids, student overnight travel requests, November financial reports, December financial reports, a donation agreement from Real Salt Lake for a mini-pitch at Sandy Elementary, and a Unified Police Department SRO Agreement.
 
Digital Citizenship Resolution
 
The Board approved a Digital Citizenship Resolution.  The resolution declares Feb. 6-10 as Digital Citizenship Week in Canyons District.
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