Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Midvale Elementary Comprehensive Restructuring Proposal

Midvale Elementary Principal Chip Watts was joined by a group of teachers to speak in support of the Midvale Elementary Comprehensive Restructuring Proposal, which was drafted to address the Title I school’s failing grade in the state’s school-grading system. The Board of Education approved the $174,978 restructuring plan. The plan calls for a split of Midvale administrative roles so one assistant principal can focus on academics and another on the provision of mental-health and emotional supports.  It also assigns teachers to specific content areas; restructures the schedule to maximize instructional time; and provides financial support for teachers and staff to make visit to student homes. The school also seeks to expand and strengthen the Dual Language Immersion Program. 

Land Sale, Purchase

The Board of Education approved the sale of District-owned land at 11500 S. Lone Peak Parkway for $6,749,099. This 13-acre parcel was previously acquired as a potential site of an elementary school in west Draper. However, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board of Education, the land is not ideal because it’s not located in the part of the District where growth is expected to occur. In addition, he said, there would be limited access points and construction would require significant earthwork to remediate the west slope. To be prepared for expected student growth, though, the Board also voted to purchase 11.7 acres on the west side of the train tracks as a potential site for an elementary school, which was identified as a priority at the time of the November passage of the $283 million bond. The newly purchased land, costing $4,872,000, is at 11900 S. 550 West. The property is adjacent to a five-acre city park and will have more access points for ingress and egress. Building costs also would be lower because not as much earthwork or remediation would be required for construction, Wilcox said.

Recognitions

The Board of Education honored the following for their achievements: 
  • Canyons Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor, who was named 2018 Outstanding Local Elected Official by Sandy City
  • The Bionic Porcupines, made up of students at Butler and Midvale middle schools, Alta High, and the Beehive Science and Technology Academy.  The group won the 2018 Northern Utah State First Lego League
  • Boys and girls basketball players who were named to the Utah High School Activities Association’s Academic All-State roster. The girls hoops players include Brighton High’s Sidney Kaufmann and Macy Raddon, Corner Canyon High’s Hannah Sanderson and Nicole Critchfield and Jordan High’s Peyton Naylor. On the boys’ teams, honorees included Hillcrest’s Bassel Tekarli and Brighton’s Adam Christensen.

Legislative Update

Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board on education-related bills that are being debated in the final days of the 2018 General Session of the Utah Legislature, which ends at midnight on Thursday, March 8. Representatives from Canyons will be at Capitol Hill to monitor discussions and provide information to legislators until the end of the session.

Policy Update

Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen discussed proposed changes to policies governing employees in public office, particularly the state legislature; termination of employment; reporting of child abuse; and release-time classes for religious instruction. These changes have been discussed by the District’s Policy Committee. The Board will review the proposed changes. 

Meeting Schedule for the Board of Education

The Board of Education reviewed a proposed schedule for Board study sessions and business meetings from July 2018 to June 2019.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

The American and state flags were posted by Webelos Pack 3430, the members of which attend Peruvian Park Elementary. The reverence was given by Jenny Dompier, a teacher and administrative intern at Peruvian Park Elementary.  Principal Leslie Jewkes announced Peruvian Park Elementary is being considered as a U.S. Department of Education Blue-Ribbon School. Jewkes said that although Peruvian Park is a site of a SALTA magnet program for advanced learners, the faculty, staff and volunteers have worked hard to build a “one-school” culture.   

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including the minutes of the Feb. 20, 2018 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; and requests for student overnight travel. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Canyons Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe thanked the Board for supporting the Midvale Elementary Comprehensive Restructuring Proposal. Dr. Briscoe reported on attending the FIRST Robotics state competition on the Maverik Center on Friday and Saturday and the final 5A boys basketball game on Saturday at the University of Utah.He congratulated Corner Canyon for their second-place finish in the Utah High School Activities Association tourney. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked Canyons representatives who are working at Capitol Hill during the legislative session. He also thanked the teachers who worked hard to connect with parents during Parent-Teacher Conferences and honored his son’s teacher for being recognized as part of KSL-TV Channel 5’s “Teacher Feature.” 

Board Member Reports

Board First Vice President Mrs. Nancy Tingey remarked on the award won by the Bionic Porcupines and how they were known for being good problem solvers. She encouraged students to focus on being problem solvers instead of always reflecting on what they would “like to be” when they grow up. Mrs. Tingey also commented on attending the unveiling the Sacred Murals project at Brighton High. It’s the fifth such mural to be completed in Canyons District. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley spent some time visiting several high schools and noted how Midvale Elementary’s Dual Language Immersion model might also benefit non-native English speakers at the high school level. He also remarked on how attendance is dropping at Parent-Teacher Conferences and asked whether there might be a better way to conduct them. He also attended the unveiling of Brighton High’s Sacred Images Mural and participated in Dr. Seuss Day at Oakdale Elementary.

Mr. Mont Millerberg expressed appreciation to the Midvale teachers who are invested in the Midvale Elementary school-turnaround plan. He also reported on the changes to the design of the Hillcrest High reconstruction to enhance security measures. He expressed a desire to build schools “as safe as we can make them.” 

Mr. Chad Iverson asked if the Board could engage in a future conversation about the structure of Parent-Teacher Conferences.

President Taylor noted the importance of recognizing student and staff achievements as the Board does at its regular meetings. He also thanked his wife, Pat, for her support since his election to the Board of Education in 2004. He also announced that he will not be seeking re-election in November and encouraged engaged citizens to consider running for the Precinct No. 6 seat on the Board of Education. Taylor, an inaugural member of the Canyons Board of Education, reflected on the work done to launch Canyons, and thanked the teachers, principals, staff and parents for helping create a world-class school district. He pledged to represent his constituents with fidelity until the last day of his term.
Spring into wellness with Canyons School District.

We're teaming up with Healthy Sandy and area businesses to sponsor the District’s 3rd annual Community Wellness Fair on Thursday, March 22 from 4-6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. 

This year's expo-style showcase will feature a clean air demonstration by Breathe Utah — a reminder that Canyons District school campuses are idle-free — and table displays to spotlight local health-oriented businesses, from bike shops and fitness clubs to health care centers, restaurants and grocers.

As has become tradition, Sandy City will bring a fire truck for children to explore. Join us at Mount Jordan Middle School, 9351 S. Mountaineer Lane in Sandy — and get there early so as not to miss out on the giveaways.


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Canyons Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor has been honored as an exemplary leader by Sandy City. The city named Taylor as the 2018 Outstanding Local Elected Official of the Year at a recent awards dinner. 

“I am humbled and honored by this award and I thank Sandy city so much,” Taylor said. “But I also need to say I wouldn’t be receiving this award if it wasn’t for all of the dedicated professionals and board members past and present who have served so well in the Canyons District. We are very proud of this District.”

Taylor has served as a member of the Board of Education since 2004, when he was elected to the Jordan School District Board of Education. He was one of the first seven members to serve on the inaugural Canyons Board of Education, and he continues to represent District 6 today. Taylor is a retired educator, a former teacher and principal, and a stalwart champion of the students of Canyons District.

For Sandy City, Taylor is also a reconciling force. “Since his first election in 2004, Sherril Taylor has been a bridge, helping Sandy City and the school district work together for the betterment of the community,” Sandy Deputy Mayor Evelyn Everton said at the awards presentation. “During his time serving as President and Vice President of the Canyons School Board, Sherril has been instrumental in the proposing and approving of two major school bonds which are being used to remodel and reconstruct numerous schools throughout Sandy.”

Canyons District, and Taylor, through his leadership on the Board of Education, also worked with Sandy on the development of the Mount Jordan theater, various redevelopment project areas, and the design and coIMG_0128.JPGnstruction of new homes built by CTEC students on land donated by the city.  

“In my opinion, he has been a steady hand in forming Canyons School District,” Canyons Superintendent Jim Briscoe said at a recent school board meeting. “He’s been there the whole way, setting high expectations and excellence for Canyons School District and he has served outstandingly as the Board President. We have expectations that all of our students will achieve their fullest potential and be college-and career-ready, and that’s amazing.”
For those who wonder exactly how much water they use on any given day — there’s an app for that.

It was created by a group of mostly middle-school-aged students who are driven by a love of problem-solving and a keen sense of what it means to change the world. In just three years, the group, which calls itself the “Bionic Porcupines III” in First Lego League circles, has won two major awards and created two revolutionary systems to solve major problems. On Feb. 10 the third iteration of the Bionic Porcupines won the 2018 Northern Utah State First Lego League Championship at Weber State for their teamwork and innovative ideas. The Porcupines’ next stop is the First Lego League World Championship in Houston, Texas, in April.

“They are a really talented group,” says their coach Mark Snaufer, who is a parent to team member Eric Snaufer. “All of them, whatever they want to be when they grow up, they are going to be it. They have huge potential.”

The core of the Bionic Porcupines team formed almost three years ago, when Eric Snaufer, and Carter Lechtenberg were fifth-graders at Sunrise Elementary. Noporcupines.jpgw they are in the seventh grade with Eric Snaufer attending Midvale Middle and Lechtenberg enrolled at Butler Middle. Their original teammate Katie Drennan is now in the tenth grade at Alta High, while three other teammates, Allie Drennan, Kassie Holt and Timothy Holt attend the Beehive Science and Technology Academy, a charter school.

The first year the Bionic Porcupines joined First Lego League, they devised a plan to recycle glass at Sunrise Elementary. The second year, the team upped the ante, looking to Utah’s international airport in Salt Lake City for a problem to solve. They created a bionic “scarecrow” out of a battery-powered, portable device with a flapping air tube to scare away birds from the airport’s runways.

The invention earned the group the prestigious President’s Environmental Youth Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to Mark Snaufer, the airport still uses three of the devices to divert migratory birds away from harmful paths.

This year, the group tackled water conservation. “The project is wild to work through,” Mark Snaufer says.

The group began doing preliminary research last summer, visiting the EPA in Denver, Colo. to research issues, then touring Deer Creek reservoir, and talking to Sandy City officials and other water professionals. Each student came up with 10 ideas on how they could solve problems with water consumption, until finally the group decided the best approach was to create an app they call “Water Bank.”

The app uses smart meters installed by Sandy City to monitor how much water a home is using. Data is uploaded to a third-party site once an hour, and the app allows users to examine their own data, but with a fun twist. First, if users decrease their water usage, they can donate the savings on their water bill to a list of charities designated by Sandy City. Second, the app allows homeowners to create simulations to see how a smart sprinkler or other water-wise techniques will affect their water consumption. The app allows users to make a commitment to reduce water usage, and it tracks their progress.

“I’m just amazed at the creativity of the group,” Mark Snaufer says. “It’s exciting to see them have that free-thinking capability and experience.”

The coach, who is a rocket motor engineer for Orbital ATK, estimates his students have invested at least 1,500 hours on their project since August, and they have more to do to prepare for the world championship — including raising the funds to get there. The team established a Go Fund Me page to help with the money, but they’ll be meeting three times a week for hours at a time to finish everything else.

As challenging as the Bionic Porcupines’ project sounds, Snaufer says the one area the students have learned the most is how to speak in front of a crowd.

“This will sound funny, but I think it benefitted them the most for public speaking and for organizing tasks,” he says. “Some of them were a little bit hesitant to speak in public when we started out, but they have all gained a great deal of confidence in speaking in front of people. … That was a huge thing for the team to understand different people communicate differently.”
Be brave, parents. It's time for 'the talk.' To help start conversations about health, wellness and the maturation process, Canyons School District has developed an informational maturation program for fifth-grade students and their parents.

Presentations conducted by professional speakers have been scheduled through the months of March and April. All presentations run from 7-8 p.m. Parents are encouraged to attend these free events with their children, and to choose which dates best fit their schedules, so that they can continue the discussion in their homes.

The aim of the program, which supplants the fifth-grade maturation days that were previously held at each individual school, is to provide consistent, sensitive and approved instruction districtwide.

Parents are advised to leave younger siblings at home.

*Midvale Middle School
  • Tuesday, March 6 — Boys Program featuring Jim Kelly
  • Thursday, March 8 — Girls Program featuring Carrie Ann Kemp

Union Middle School
  • Tuesday, March 13 — Girls Program featuring Carrie Ann Kemp
  • Wednesday, March 14 — Boys Program featuring Jim Kelly

Indian Hills Middle (currently located at Crescent View)
  • Tuesday, March 27 — Boys Program featuring Jim Kelly
  • Thursday, March 29 — Girls Program featuring Carrie Ann Kemp

Butler Middle School
  • Wednesday, April 11 — Girls Program featuring Carrie Ann Kemp
  • Thursday, April 12 — Boys Program featuring Jim Kelly 

*Interpreters for Spanish-speakers will be available at the presentation at Midvale Middle
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