A new era of great heights is on the horizon for the Alta High Hawks. 

A groundbreaking celebration to cheer the start of work on a major two-year renovation at Alta High will be Thursday, June 7. All Alta students, teachers, parents, volunteers, alumni, and boosters are invited to the 5:30 p.m. reception and 6 p.m. ceremony at the school, 11055 S. 1000 East. 

No time has been wasted starting on the major renovation project, which is funded by the $283 million bond voters approved in November. Construction crews have already started site work on the northwest corner of campus where a 1,400-seat performing arts center will be built. By January 2020, the state-of-the-art center is scheduled to be complete and ready for productions.

Crews also will soon begin work on the Hawk Fieldhouse immediately north of the football stadium. By next summer, Alta students in activities ranging from football to marching band will be able to practice on an turf-covered indoor field. The second-level gallery of the fieldhouse, which will have a 30-foot ceiling, also will feature windows facing the football field so guests can watch Friday Night Lights action out of the chilly fall air.

In addition to the new performing arts center, the remodel also calls for the construction of a black box theater where the current auditorium is located. Among other upgrades, several offices will be relocated, the ceiling in the commons area will be raised to about 35 feet, and windows will be added on the front of the building and throughout the entrance to bring in an abundance of natural light. A security vestibule will guide visitors to the Main Office before they can gain access to the hallways. 

A new red, grey and glass façade on the front of the performing arts center will be replicated along the front of the current building, adding to the school’s curb appeal. In addition, a new marquee and electronic sign will be placed at the corner of 11000 South and 100 East to inform the community about Alta High events and student accomplishments. 

The renovation project is being designed by VCBO Architecture. The general contractor is Hughes Construction.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Elementary School Rebuild

The Administration recommends that Midvalley Elementary be selected as the first elementary school completed with funds from the $283 million bond approved by voters in November. The 60-year-old school is the oldest of the buildings that are on the list for reconstruction with funds from the 2017 bond. The school also lacks ADA-compliant restrooms, is not built to seismic standards, has a high Facility Cost Index, and the campus is large enough to simultaneously accommodate construction and school operations in the old building. A new building in Midvale also could help absorb any growth in west Midvale. The District’s bond-construction timetable includes starting work on an elementary school in 2019. The other three elementary schools that will eventually be rebuilt with 2017 bond money are Peruvian Park, a White City-area school, and a new school in west Draper. The Board took the recommendation under advisement.  

Parent-Teacher Conferences

The District is studying how to make Parent-Teacher Conferences more effective at the high school, middle school and elementary school levels. Principals at Canyons school say access to technology has drastically altered the reason for conferences because families can contact teachers via e-mail and have continuous access to student work and grades. In elementary schools, teachers suggested allowing for more than 15 minutes per family. School personnel also suggest that conferences are too early in the school year. Among the proposals for changes at the secondary level included hosting a Parent Night during which parents are given tutorials on the software used by schools to maintain and monitor student grades. Secondary-school principals also suggest asking parents to set up appointments, either via Skype or face-to-face, considering that teachers often sit alone and wait for parents to come to the conferences. The Board asked for School Community Councils to weigh in, and asked the Office of School Performance to spearhead a survey project in every CSD school community. 

Budget Information

For the coming school year, Canyons District’s budgeted expenditures are expected to be $268 million, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board of Education. The proposed budget, which will not require a Truth-in-Taxation hearing, also includes the cost of the recently approved negotiated agreements for salaries and benefits, which make up 88 percent of the budget.  The budget also includes costs related to the completion of the Indian Hills Middle remodel; the start of construction projects funded by 2017 bond proceeds; East Midvale’s roof replacement; carbon monoxide detectors; three transportation bus lifts, the new parking lot at Altara Elementary; flooring and carpet replacement at Crescent Elementary; HVAC-controls upgrade at Lone Peak Elementary; a cooling system at Union Middle; irrigation upgrades at Mount Jordan Middle, and Brookwood and Granite elementary schools; and a Jordan High roof replacement and HVAC upgrades. Wilcox noted the budget is dependent on state funding for enrollment, through the Weighted Pupil Unit. Canyons District hovers at about 34,000 students, and that number is expected to hold steady. The Board will consider adopting the budget on June 12. Then, the Board also will adopt a revised FY18 budget and a tentative FY19 budget. The District is required to hold a public hearing and make the proposed budget available to the public for 15 calendars days before adoption. The certified tax rate, which will impact CSD’s projected revenues, will be made available June 22. 

Cottonwood Heights CDA 

The Board heard a request to extend the Canyon Centre Community Development Area (CDA) agreement that the District entered into in 2012. The redevelopment project to add commercial, residential and parking structures to an area at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon was delayed due to the recession and a legal challenge. The Board will take up the issue at a future meeting pending a review of a cost-benefit analysis.

Recognitions

The Board of Education honored students, faculty and staff for their achievements: 
  • Hillcrest’s Unified Soccer Team, Hillcrest, will compete in the Special Olympics USA Games this summer
  • Debbie Delliskave, Midvale Middle, and Cory Christiansen, Copperview Elementary, earned $4,300 bonuses through the Effective Teachers in High Poverty School Incentive Program   
  • Hunter McKay, Corner Canyon, first place in the DECA competition’s Business Financial Services category
  • Lauren Wilson, Corner Canyon, first place, DECA competition’s Quick-Serve Restaurant Management category
  • Gabrielle Ciet and Eillie Runk, Hillcrest, won first place in the DECA competition’s Hospitality Services category
  • Josie Taylor, Makena Terry, Emily Bluemel, Jordan, won first place in the state DECA competition, and placed in the top 10 at the national DECA competition in the School-Based Enterprise category. 
  • Samantha Brockman, Alta, received first place in the Future Business Leaders of America state competition in the Introduction to Information Technology category
  • Lindsay Bruner, Julia Elmer, Ariana Rhodes, Hillcrest, won first place in the Chapter in Review Portfolio category
  • Mercedes Jensen, Hillcrest, won first place in the Leadership category
  • Ashley Larson, Jordan, won first place at the FCCLA state competition in the Nutrition and Wellness category
  • Luke Kim, Hillcrest, won first place on a Knowledge Test in the Transcultural Healthcare category. Luke completed a 100-question multiple choice written exam with an essay portion covering cultural foundations; health, healing and family
  • Olivia Finlayson, CTEC, won first place in the Physical Therapy category. She completed a 50-question multiple choice written exam, then performed selected skills from a written scenario, including range of motion and ice pack application
  • Sieauna Vigh, Brighton, won first place in the Veterinary Science category. For this award, Vigh completed a 50-question multiple choice written exam, then performed selected skills, including lifting and restraining a dog and identification of companion animal breeds and species
  • Momina Sial, Rushmeen Tariq, Stephen Yu, Hillcrest, won first place tion in the Biomedical Debate category. The team completed a 50-question written exam, followed by a debate on the topic of whether teen use of social media should be limited
  • Jason Wiggins, Mitchel Pike, CTEC, won first place in the 3-D Visualization and Animation category

Policy Discussions  

In Study Session, the Board of Education heard a first reading of changes to policies governing middle-school education requirements; sick leave benefits and retirement; sex education instruction; Human Resource procedures. In the Business Meeting, the Board approved changes to policies governing student immunization; district nurses and mediation administration; vision screening; and home instruction. The Board will continue to review proposed changes to the student attendance policy. Policies also have been deemed obsolete. They include policies on student social events; identification, interventions and post-vention procedures for students; and student pregnancies

Pledge of Allegiance and Reverence

Cub Scouts who attend Park Lane Elementary led the audience in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Principal Justin Jeffery gave the reverence. A native Texan, he said his heart goes out to the students, school employees and families in Santa Fe. He thanked the Administration and Board of Education for proactive steps they’ve take to improve the safety of schools. It’s been said that Park Lane is the best kept secret in Sandy, Jeffery said. The school serves 400 “wonderfully diverse” students and takes seriously the full education of children, from academic advancements to social awareness.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the May 8, 2018 meeting of the Board; hiring and termination reports; purchasing bids; student-overnight travel requests; and April financial reports.  In a separate motion, the Board also approved the elementary and middle school bell schedules for the 2018-2019 school year.

Patron Comment

Riley Cox, seventh-grade student at Albion Middle, asked the Board to help schools provide more elective technology classes. 

Kristen Cox, a parent and current executive director of Utah Governor's Office of Management and Budget, encouraged the Board to provide more technology classes.  She said her son, Riley, conducted all the research for his presentation to the Board of Education.

Draper Park Middle parent Wendy Smith thanked the Board for their service. She urged the Board to consider other school schedules that would provide more time for electives. She voiced a concern that high-quality teachers in elective offerings will leave for other Districts.

Draper Park Middle parent Chad Smith said he worries Canyons District has prioritized science, technology, engineering and mathematics over the arts in Canyons District.  He also said SCC members at his school have expressed concern about the Board’s process for schools to select schedules. He said the Board and District should take oversight, instead of giving each community, through the SCC, a vote on the school schedule. 

Parent and Comcast representative Dan Conger encouraged the Board to invest more in robotics programs.

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe thanked the Canyons District Human Resources department for their work in recruiting and hiring licensed staff. Some 151 teachers have been hired for the coming school year. Twenty-five positions, mostly in Special Education, remain open for the coming school year.   

Wilcox said he appreciated the ideas of the patrons who spoke in favor of expanding STEM offerings in Canyons. He also thanked the school community for a successful school year.

Board Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg noted the Office of Public Communication’s quick response in communicating emergency situations to the Board, Administration and the public. He also commended Wilcox for crafting the District’s tentative budget, and Facilities Director Rick Conger for heading up the facilities-improvement plan. Millerberg reported on attending Special Education Sports Day and Brookwood Elementary’s kindergarten Day. He also attended Union Middle’s production of “Into the Woods,” which included about 250 students

Mr. Steve Wrigley attended the Canyons District Film Festival, the Latinos in Action end-of-year banquet, Special Education field day, and Hillcrest’s production of “Beautiful Game.” 

Ms. Amber Shill reported on attending the tour of Butler Middle of a delegation of dual-language immersion teachers; the RizePoint scholarship reception, Butler Elementary’s “World Night,” Brighton High’s spring sport competitions; Oakdale and Ridgecrest elementary SCC meetings and the LIA banquet and the Park and Recreation Advisory Board.

Ms. Nancy Tingey reported on meeting visiting teachers who were attending a DLI conference and Granite Elementary’s STEAM night.  She lauded staff, teachers, parents and students for working so hard on such enjoyable end-of-year events. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold expressed thanks to the school community for working so hard to make the school year successful.   

Mr. Chad Iverson reported on attending region and state track meets. He said he enjoyed the study session discussion on Parent-Teacher Conference. He remarked on the proposal to extend the Cottonwood Heights CDA, noting that he would still like to see how it would benefit CSD. He said he’s glad CSD continues the tradition of Lagoon Day for eighth-grade students.

President Taylor reported on attending Principals Awards Night at Alta High, and commended Principal Brian McGill for his work in emphasizing academic achievement. This year, 124 students received Advanced Diplomas and 134 students received Honors Diplomas, the unique-to-Canyons college- and career-diplomas. This means the students went beyond the state requirements for a high school diploma. He thanked the Board members and administrators for their hard work, and wished Board members good luck on their commencement addresses.
In 1957 when Midvalley Elementary was built, a piece of candy cost .5 cents, frisbees were all the rage, and most of the area surrounding the school was farmland.

The home of the junior huskies started as an eight-classroom schoolhouse, and every December the Midvale community would decorate the length of the building with ceramic lights and holiday murals, says the school’s Principal Tamra Baker. “They called it Candy Stick Lane. It was like a ZCMI [department store] Christmas.”

Today, the school serves a diverse and growing suburban population, and is in need of an upgrade, which it will soon be getting when it’s rebuilt with proceeds from a $283 million, voter-approved bond — but not before the community gets a chance to say farewell to the schoolhouse that has served them so well.
edgemont.jpg Midvalley is one of two CSD schools turning 60 this year. Edgemont Elementary also is celebrating its diamond jubilee. The home of the Eagles serves White City, which also will be receiving a new school as part of the 2017 bond. Both schools will be hosting birthday celebrations in the coming weeks to which current and former employees and students, parents and the community are invited (see details below).

If walls could talk, these schools would, no doubt, have stories to tell of generations past. They might recall the creation of NASA and ensuing influx of federal funding for science and math instruction triggered by America’s race to space. Maybe they’d exchange anecdotes about the open-classroom designs in vogue during the sixties and seventies, the desegregation movement, the push for the equitable treatment of students with disabilities, and the rise of vocational education.

“I think we’re one of the last schools with a civil defense bomb shelter,” Midvalley’s Baker says. “We still have radiator hemidvalleyflyer.jpgat. The old boiler was called the gray dragon, and when they put in a new one, the custodian named it the little blue mule.”

Facility upgrades may breathe new life into schools and the communities they serve, but they don’t erase the memories of those who have taught and learned there, says Edgemont Principal Cathy Schino.

Come see old friends, pictures and scrapbooks, share some memories, and enjoy some food at these 60th birthday celebrations:

Edgemont Elementary, 1085 E. 9800 South
Enjoy food, auctions, games, and more during the school's 9th Annual Grand Event on Friday, May 18, 5-8 p.m. The school’s annual fundraising will mark the school’s 60th anniversary.

Midvalley Elementary, 217 E. 7800 South
Enjoy food, a piece of birthday cake and student performances while getting a sneak peek at the school's new logo at a birthday celebration held to coincide with Midvalley’s Multicultural Fair on Wednesday, May 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Canyons District knows the invaluable impact our art teachers have on students. From music to a multitude of mediums, art gives a voice to those who can’t speak. It can provide a haven for struggling students and enhance the learning process. 

Two of Canyons’ superstar advocates for the arts have received recognition from the Utah State Office of Education — with support from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation — for their contribution to the arts in Canyons District. Arts Consortium Chair Sharee Jorgensen received the 2018 Sorenson Legacy Award for Excellence in Arts Administration, and Sandy Elementary Music Specialist Debbie Beninati received the 2018 Sorenson Legacy Award for Elementary Music Instruction. 
Sharee_and_her_hand_fused-glass_award.JPG
These educators have been recognized for their willingness to “embrace the arts with excellence in their practice,” according to the Utah State Office of Education.

Jorgensen, CSD’s Fine Arts Specialist, got her start in the classroom teaching middle school and high school band, orchestra, guitar, choir, theater and general music. A decorated educator, she is constantly looking for ways to give back32116505_10155183372271580_7296134139994963968_o.jpg and now serves as Executive Director for the Utah Music Educators Association. “She goes above and beyond her job description, constantly asking what she can do to make our jobs easier,” says Corner Canyon theatre teacher Case Spaulding. “From creating the District costume warehouse to getting set donations….and bringing us treats on our birthdays, she truly cares about each individual person.” 

Beninati models the joys of music for children at Sandy Elementary as a Music Specialist, and when she’s not teaching, she’s advocating for the importance of making comprehensive elementary music education available to all public schools. For her advocacy, Beninati was named Elementary Music Teacher of the Year by the Utah Music Educators Association (UMEA) in 2017. Also, in 2013, the self-described music education “junkie” received the prestigious Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education Award for her work volunteering to head up a 61-student, before-school orchestra at Lone Peak Elementary.

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The goal is in sight!  The last day of school for the 2017-2018 academic year is rapidly approaching — and Real Salt Lake is helping Canyons kick off the summer break.

To celebrate the end of school, as well as the heights of success achieved by the Canyons community over the past nine months, Real Salt Lake is hosting Canyons District Night at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Saturday, June 2 event, featuring a game against Seattle Sounders FC, will be a celebration of students, educators, parents, volunteers and community partners.   

Discount tickets to the 7:30 p.m. game can be purchased by clicking here. The reduced cost — $23 per ticket — is available to the Canyons District community so more people can attend to cheer all of the 2018 Teachers of the Year from every CSD school.

Halftime will be dedicated to honoring the excellence and commitment of the 46 top teachers from all CSD elementary, middle and high schools in Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Midvale, Sandy and the town of Alta. Right after the 35th minute of the game, the teachers will be escorted to the middle of the field at Rio Tinto to be applauded by thousands.

Special recognition will be given to Corner Canyon High’s Amber Rogers, who was announced last month as the District’s 2018 Teacher of the Year. Rogers, who is the department head of Corner Canyon High’s social studies department, is Canyons’ official nominee in the Utah Teacher of the Year competition.  CSD’s top middle school teacher is Midvale Middle’s Lena Wood and the top elementary teacher is Alta View’s Jamie Richardson. 

Each of CSD’s Teachers of the Year were given complimentary tickets for themselves and a guest, courtesy of Real Salt Lake, in appreciation of their service to students and the larger community.
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