Canyons District will begin accepting applications from students wanting to take the test to participate in the SALTA magnet program for the 2014-2015 school year on Sept. 23, 2013.

Parents with students in kindergarten through fourth grade may apply to participate in the program, as well as third-grade students who are currently in the program. Kindergarten students must meet the state standard for kindergarten age to be eligible to take the test to participate in SALTA, which stands for Supporting Advanced Learners Toward Achievement.

The District will accept applications beginning Sept. 23, 2013, until midnight Oct. 25, 2013. Applications must be filed online.

No late applications will be accepted.

Third-grade students who are currently enrolled in the program must be tested for continued eligibility for the program. Testing for all students applying to participate in SALTA will take place over a two-day block and will be about two hours on day one, and three hours on day two.

The testing dates are:
  • Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, and Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013
  • Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, and Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013
Parents may want to consider testing their child for entry into SALTA if their child has an advanced vocabulary, asks many questions, has lots of ideas and is imaginative, or is a strong reader, among other things.

Find out more about Canyons' SALTA program.
A charge of excitement was in the air Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, as students, teachers, parents and patrons joined Canyons District leaders at a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the completion of the new Corner Canyon High School.

The sun shone brightly on the crowd of at least 400 people who gathered to help the Chargers open their new school with the snip of a ceremonial red ribbon.

“It’s been a labor of love for so many people, and it’s been a privilege to work with all of you on this school,” Corner Canyon Principal Mary Bailey told the crowd. “It’s truly an opportunity of a lifetime. Now I can check ‘Open Up A High School’ off my bucket list.”

Construction on Corner Canyon High began in 2011, less than a year after voters approved a $250 million bond to renovate, build or rebuild schools in the District. Completion of the new high school marks the first time a public high school has ever been built in Draper — a historic accomplishment that was not lost on those gathered to celebrate its opening.
Note: To listen to the Board's discussion, please visit BoardDocs and select the agenda item of interest.
 
Bond Issuance Resolution
 
The Board of Education approved a resolution allowing the District to issue up to $60 million in bonds. When issued, the funds will go toward “acquiring land; acquiring, constructing, furnishing and equipping new school facilities; and renovating and improving existing facilities and to pay expenses reasonably incurred in connection with the acquisition and construction of said improvements and the authorization and issuance of the Bonds,” according to the resolution. The bond issuance is part of the $250 million general obligation bond that Canyons voters approved in 2010 to build new schools and renovate, improve or rebuild aging schools. The Board has previously authorized the issuance of $148 million of the voter-approved bond amount.

Future Bond Proposal Discussion

Board member Robert Green led a discussion on the establishment of a 5- to 10-year plan for upgrading facilities. Safety and academic and administrative needs should be taken into consideration while building this plan, he said. He suggested the Board start working on a plan this school year. He’d like to spend time gathering input and prioritizing any projects that could be funded by a potential new bond. Board member Chad Iverson warned the Board that a bond proposal would be a tough sell and wondered if it’s too early to start talking about another bond.

Academic Goals

Green urged the Board to begin discussing specific student achievement goals for the District. He would like to see the Board establish a percentage-increase target in science, mathematics, English and reading. Green also urged the Board to begin talking about setting a goal for the number of students who take and pass Advanced Placement exams. Iverson said that, with input from the Administration, the Board should set three to five academic goals that are attainable. Superintendent Rhode said she would continue discussing this issue with Board members and staff.  

Grade Reconfiguration Update

Interim Superintendent Rhode updated the Board on the plans to reconfigure grades in Canyons District. Rhode told the Board the District had sent to parents and students transportation information. In the mailer, they were told whether they received bus service, and, if so, the bus number, location of the bus stop and the pick-up and drop-off times.  She also said postcards had been mailed to families in Draper Park and Mount Jordan communities to alert them to their new locations.  She said online registration was continuing smoothly, teachers’ books and equipment had been moved to their new schools and the Human Resources Department was completing the hiring for the upcoming year. As of Tuesday, there were only five secondary openings and six elementary openings.

First-Day of School Activities

Assistant Superintendent Kathryn McCarrie said the District had planned orientations Aug. 15-16 for students who are attending middle school and high school for the first time in the 2013-2014 school year. This year, sixth- and seventh-grade students in the middle schools and ninth- and 10th-grade students in the high schools will be new to their respective schools. This is a result of the District-wide grade reconfiguration, which is a key part of CSD’s Board of Education approved academic plan. Starting on Aug. 19, 2013, high schools will serve students in grades 9-12, middle schools will be home to grades 6-8, and elementary schools will educate grade K-5 students. Communications Officer Jeff Haney said that a Back-to-School Call Center already has started for patrons who have questions, and red carpet events being planned for the first day of school.  Pencils with the Canyons District logo also will be given to some students as they arrive at school.
 
Athletic Compliance Update
 
Jamal Willis, the District’s new Coordinator of Athletic and Fundraising Raising Compliance, said his role will be to help schools remain compliant with the regulations of the Utah High School Activities Association. He said his office will provide training to athletic directors, coaches, and student athletes on applicable state and federal laws and District policies governing civil rights, bullying, harassment, discrimination, misconduct and hazing. Willis also told the Board he will work collaboratively with high school administrators, athletic directors, the Canyons Education Foundation and the Chief Financial Officer/Business Administrator to make sure high schools are complying with laws, rules, and policies regarding school-based and booster-club fundraising efforts.  His office also will provide annual training to ensure ongoing compliance.  The Board also urged Willis and McCarrie to look into making sure school logos aren’t being misused by private groups.
 
Construction Update
 
All projects that crews had been working for the upcoming school year have been completed or substantially completed in time for the start of school, said Facilities Director Rick Conger. Conger said the District has either received or expects to receive certificates of occupancy at Canyons’ new schools — Corner Canyon High and Draper Park and Butler middle schools. Draper Park, however, won’t be completely finished by the time school starts. Work still needs to be completed on the auditorium, wood shop and playfields. Furthermore, the new parking lot at Butler, where the old building was built, won’t be ready until later this fall.  Conger told the Board the additions at Brighton and Hillcrest high schools will be ready for the start of school on Aug. 19. Conger also updated the Board on the demolition of Mount Jordan, expected to start in September. Construction on the new Mount Jordan is slated to start in February or March 2014.  Scheduled completion is June 1, 2015.
 
Anti-Discrimination Policy Update

Jeffrey K. Christensen, Policy and Research Coordinator, gave an update on the work done by the District’s Anti-Discrimination Policy Task Force, which was created last year to review District policies governing discrimination and harassment. The task force will continue its work in the coming school year. The Task Force will bring recommendations to the Board as they are completed.
 
Superintendent Search

Board member Kim Horiuchi discussed the progress made in finding a consultant to assist in the search for a new superintendent. The deadline for the request for proposals from consultants who have experience in conducting national searches has been extended two weeks. She said the Board still plans to name a search consultant in September and begin the public-input process on the characteristics the CSD community would like to see in a new leader.  Throughout October meetings will be held to receive comments from parents, patrons, students and employees. The information gathered during this process will influence the job description, to be published in January 2014.  The Board will then interview a pool of finalists. The Board plans to appoint the successful candidate at the first meeting in March.  Dr. Ginger Rhode is acting as the Interim Superintendent. Dr. David Doty, Canyons’ first superintendent, resigned in April to become the leader of an education-reform firm.
 
Board Action
 
The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the June 18 Minutes; Purchasing Bids; Board Hires and Terminations; June Financial Reports; a Home School Affidavit; the approval of a 700 East right-of-way memorandum; the purchase of two building lots for CTEC’s Home Building Program; and the adoption of a resolution allowing the District to issue $60 million in general obligation bonds.  The Board also approved student overnight travel for Hillcrest’s Shakespeare team and Hillcrest’s music department.  The Board also voted to modify the terms of a student appeal.   
 
Superintendent’s Report
 
Dr. Rhode reported on the professional development that has been provided to teachers and administrators. In addition, she said more than 200 administrators attended the fourth annual Leadership Conference, where the featured presenter was Dr. Randy Sprick, director of Teaching Strategies, Inc. and lead consultant for Safe and Civil Schools. The focus of the day was Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports.  She also updated the Board on the District’s efforts to provide short- and long-term housing in the community for foreign Dual-Immersion Language Program teachers.  She thanked Susan Edwards, Community Engagement Coordinator, for her work finding community housing for the educators.
 
Board Reports
 
Green participated in the Healthy Lifestyles Day with District administrators, and said it was fun to socialize with the employees and enjoy a day of bowling.  He and 2nd Vice President Nancy Tingey met with the science and math teams in the Evidence-Based Learning Department, and he said he’s excited for the progress the District is making in science, technology, engineering and math.
 
Kim Horiuchi entered the Butlerville Days parade and heard many people along the parade route thank the District for building the new Butler Middle School.  She saw a lot of familiar faces in the Cottonwood Heights production of “The Music Man,” and reflected on the talent in the community, particularly the students.  She’s looking forward to attending next week’s ribbon-cutting events at Corner Canyon High, Draper Park and Butler middle school. She thanked voters for approving the 2010 bond that is allowing the District to build and renovate schools.
 
Nancy Tingey, who reported on tours of the new Draper Park Middle and Corner Canyon High schools, thanked the administration for welcoming her at the Aug. 1-2 Leadership Conference. She also attended a conference about School Trust Lands that she found very instructive. Tingey reflected on the start of school, saying that it seemed like a “magical time” in the history of Canyons, with the opening of new schools, and the implementation of grade reconfiguration and new boundaries.  She wished everyone a very happy and productive start to the school year.
 
Vice President Steve Wrigley enjoyed the Leadership Conference and appreciates the focus on behavior management. He said the new schools are aesthetically pleasing, conducive to learning, and energy efficient.  Wrigley said Canyons communities are growing excited for the new schools.
 
Iverson expressed thanks for the back-to-school events, especially the Middle School Orientations, which his sixth-grade daughter will attend.
 
President Sherril Taylor thanked the administration and staff for their hard work preparing for the 2013-2014 school year.
 
Closed Session

The Board met in Closed Session for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining; the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual; and the purchase, exchange or lease of real property.
Canyons District is returning to its traditional window for the school open-enrollment process. For the 2014-2015 school year, applications from students to attend a school other than the one assigned to them by geographic boundaries will be taken Dec. 1, 2013 through the third Friday in February 2014.  

Last year, Canyons accepted open-enrollment applications from Aug. 1-Nov. 1. This was a one-time variance to the permit process so the District could ensure proper staffing levels when Canyons schools moved to a new grade structure.

The grade reconfiguration, approved by the Canyons Board of Education in 2010, moves ninth-graders into the high schools, and creates middle schools of sixth- through eighth-grades, and elementary schools of kindergarten through fifth grades. This grade structure will start Aug. 19, when the majority of CSD students return to school. First-grade students return Aug. 20 and kindergarten starts Aug. 26.

Open-enrollment applications can be accessed at any Canyons District school or the Canyons Administration Building, 9150 S. 500 West. Applications should be submitted directly to the school where you would like your child to be enrolled.

When teacher Cody Henrichsen noticed that not many girls were taking his computer programming classes, he decided to do something about it. That’s how Canyons Technical Education Center's “Girls Code” summer program began in 2012, and the tradition continued this July, with high school girls taking a weeklong crash course in computer programming careers.

“For each of the past two years, only one girl enrolled in CTEC’s computer programming course,” said Henrichsen, who has taught computer programming at CTEC for four years. “I looked for opportunities to encourage girls to become involved with computer technology and I thought Girls Code at CTEC would inspire them to have interest in computer programming.”

More than 30 percent of jobs in the field of computing are going unfilled, Henrichsen says. That means computer programmers are in high demand — which is an appealing plight for graduates looking for jobs in a struggling economy.

Last year, 10 girls participated in Girls Code course, which is designed to encourage high school girls to learn about computer science. This year, the girls learned how to use AppInventor and Javascript to program computers. They also took a tour of VPI Technology Group in Draper, an engineering and manufacturing services firm, where they met software engineers, lab technicians, electrical engineers and technical writers.

Each day of the program, female computer programmers spoke to the girls about their experience on the job. “(We) commend Cody for reaching out to teenagers, getting them excited about technology careers and teaching them computer programming,” VPI business development director Jackie Juston said of the short course.

KSL-TV Channel 5 profiles the Girls Code at CTEC program.
Utah Business magazine spotlights Henrichsen's class.

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