Canyons District has created a plan to respond to any students who choose to participate in during-school demonstrations a part of the national conversation on school safety. 

In an effort to support all patrons and students, Canyons maintains a position of neutrality on this issue. That said, CSD believes schools should encourage civil discourse and engagement in the democratic process, as well as recognize the First Amendment rights of students. 

Accordingly, Canyons District schools will neither mandate nor intercede in the actions of students who respectfully participate in the following two national events:

  • A demonstration planned for March 14, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, Fla., shooting
  • A demonstration planned for April 20 to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting
For security purposes, school and District administrators will work with student organizers to identify a safe space for students to express themselves, provide school supervision, and will ask local law enforcement to provide extra security during these two events. 

For students who are not participating, the school day will proceed as normal. Those students will remain supervised by school staff inside the school.   

Standard attendance rules for unexcused absences, truancies and tardies may apply to students who choose to participate in spontaneous demonstrations outside of the March 14 and April 20 dates.

However, the CSD Administration also recognizes that students’ decision whether to participate is best made after students have had the opportunity to discuss the demonstrations and the students’ related feelings with their parents.

Canyons District believes it is important to provide notice about these upcoming national demonstrations to parents so that they can have those conversations with their children and make a joint decision about participation.

In letters sent to parents, principals have encouraged parents to talk with their children about the importance of respectful behavior toward all students, regardless of the other students’ viewpoints or whether they participate in such demonstrations.

This response plan was created to preserve instruction time while providing students with a safe outlet for expressing their viewpoints. 

Questions?  Please send e-mail comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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 presented the Midvale Elementary Comprehensive Restructuring Proposal, which was created to address the Title I school’s failing grade in the state’s school-grading system. Watts said the proposed restructuring plan, which would cost $174,978, would expand the Dual Language Immersion Program at the school; restructure how the administrators work at the school; maximize instructional time; assign teachers to specific content areas; and strengthen relationships between teachers and families. Board member Mont Millerberg, who represents Midvale, urged more parent participation in the restructuring plan. He also asked to be a part of the committee to put into place the improvement blueprint.

Recreation Center Partnership

The Board of Education approved an interlocal agreement with Salt Lake County for improvements to a South Mountain-area recreation center that will serve as the pool for Corner Canyon High swim teams. The center will be funded by the Zoo, Arts and Parks tax approved by voters in November 2016. Canyons will contribute $1.3 million that will fund additional deck space, bleachers and a scoreboard. CSD also will pay an annual $6,000 maintenance and operations fee.  Construction is expected is take two years. However, the Board passed the agreement with one caveat:  The county must strike a line requiring the District to pay a lane fee at the pool. 

Trail System Expansion

The Board considered granting an easement to Salt Lake County that would be used to complete a ZAP-tax-funded pedestrian trail system through Sandy and White City. This easement would run along the west side of Edgemont’s property line. The Board directed the Administration to work with Principal Cathy Schino to present the proposal with Edgemont’s School Community Council and seek input from parents. Feedback from the community would be brought back to the Board for review.

Legislative Update

Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board on progress with key pieces of education-related bills being weighed during the 2018 General Session of the Utah Legislature.  

Graduation Requirements

The Board agreed to allow Canyons District’s high schools to advertise 24-credit diplomas as an option in registration handbooks, provided the handboks include language from the District’s policy manual, which makes clear that the 24-credit diploma is “available for extenuating circumstances upon administrative approval” subject to several guidelines.

Sixth-Grade Math Pathway

Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward described a proposal to update the secondary math pathway to encourage more sixth-grade students to pursue advanced courses through middle and high school. The Board will take up the matter again at a future meeting.

Recognitions

The Board of Education recognized the following students, faculty and staff:
  • Jordan Thomas, Alta High, winner of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Leadership Award from the University of Utah
  • Brayden Stevens, Brighton High, 5A state wrestling champion in the 152-pound weight class
  • Kade Carlson, Corner Canyon High, 5A state wrestling champion in 220-pound weight class
  • Brighton High swimming coach Todd Etherington, Utah High School Activities Association’s 5A Coach of the Year
  • Jack Binder, Brighton High, first place 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard free relay, 5A State Championship
  • Rachel Butler, Brighton High, first place, 200-yard individual medley, 5A State Championship
  • Taua Fitisemanu, Brighton High, member of the 200-yard medley relay, 5A State Championship
  • Chase Miyagishima, Brighton High, member of 200-yard medley relay, 5A State Championship
  • Quentin Tyler, Brighton High, member of 200-yard medley relay, 5A State Championship
  • Eric Wagner, Brighton High, member of 200-yard freestyle relay, 5A State Championship
Career and Technical Education Update

CTE Director Janet Goble updated the Board on technical-education programs in Canyons District. Goble noted the success of the Canyons Technical Education Center’s Diesel Technology Program, which has received a certification from the Associated Equipment Distributors, an international trade association.  Only one other high school in the U.S. has earned this certification. The program has received more than $100,000 from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development as part of an initiative to train more diesel technicians in the state.  She also mentioned the Medical Innovations Pathway program at Jordan High, which trains students for entry-level industry jobs and prepares them for post-secondary education in the medical field.  Goble also announced that CSD has been selected to start working with Salt Lake Community College in an IT Pathways initiative that was announced by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and supported by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.  The aim is to train students for high-demand jobs in the high-tech sector. Firms at Silicone Slopes, including Dell, DOMO, Instructure, Xactware, and Instructure, have committed to providing internship and job-shadow opportunities for students. CSD is the only District in Salt Lake Valley to have been selected for the pilot program. She said 2,500 CSD students are taking computer-science courses, and mentioned apprenticeships, such as the ones provided at Hunt Electric, Inc., for CSD students. In all, she said, 1,756 Canyons students participate in CTE student organizations like DECA, HOSA, and FBLA and 1,685 earned industry credentials.

Pledge of Allegiance, Posting of the Colors

Students at Midvale Middle student officers led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Midvale Middle Principal Mindy Robison gave the reverence, reminding the audience of the importance of setting and achieving goals. She invited the public to visit the new school, which opened this year. Midvale Middle, home to SALTA, Middle Years International Baccalaureate, and Dual Language Immersion programs, has 910 students, and 68 percent of them qualify for free- or reduced-price lunches. Twenty percent are English Language Learners, and the school services many students who are living temporarily at The Road Home homeless shelter in Midvale. Robison lauded her faculty and staff for their dedication to student achievement. 

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the minutes from the meeting of the Board of Education on Feb. 6, 2018; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; January Financial Reports; LAND Trust amendment for Alta High; Digital Citizenship Resolution; and a cell-tower contract at Ridgecrest Elementary. 

Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe congratulated CTE Director Janet Goble and her team on a successful CTE Month. He also congratulated President Sherril Taylor for winning the City of Sandy’s Outstanding Local Elected Official Award. He thanked the Board for spending a significant amount of time during the Board meeting discussing how the District can boost student achievement.  He also told the Board he would follow up on concerns expressed during Patron Comment about CSD’s ABS units. He urged students and teachers to be vigilant to what’s happening on campus so we can keep school communities safe. He also encouraged parents to be aware of what their children are doing, saying, and posting on social media. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox updated the Board on additions to the bus fleet and thanked the Facilities Department for clearing the sidewalks and parking lots after last night’s snow storm.  He noted the District’s efforts to keep students, teachers, principals and staff safe at school. 

Board Member Reports


President Taylor said he accepted the award from Sandy City on behalf of the District and its hard-working employees.  He also thanked Goble and her team for their efforts in CTE. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg congratulated Taylor on his award. He thanked the Board members for their support of the schools in Midvale.

Mr. Steve Wrigley lauded the District for its updated Incident Command Manual and the mental-health supports provided to students. He reported on visits he had with the new Sandy mayor and councilmembers. He thanked Board members Amber Shill and Nancy Tingey for their work on Capitol Hill during the 2018 General Session of the Utah Legislature.

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending the production “Shrek” at Albion Middle.  She also congratulated Taylor for receiving the award, and said she appreciated the robust conversation of board members on difficult topics. She thanked CSD employees for their hard work.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey thanked Board members for their commitment and dedication to the District.  She reported on attending a meeting with the Student Advisory Council, the Albion Middle musical, and the PTA Day on the Hill. She also congratulated Taylor on his award, and expressed thoughts on the importance of safety at schools.   

Mrs. Clareen Arnold says she is thankful for the positive and thorough input given by Board members in discussions about important subjects. She thanked the departments that keep the schools running, and said she looks forward to working on the Emergency Preparedness Committee so CSD can continue to hone emergency plans.

Mr. Chad Iverson also said he prays for the continued safety of our students.
The Canyons Board of Education and Administration grieve for the victims and families affected by Wednesday’s event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. 

Traumatic events such as the incident in Florida are unsettling for everyone, and we want to reassure our communities that Canyons School District has many measures in place to keep kids safe, including regular scenario-based drills.

While we don’t believe there is an immediate threat at any of our schools, the Canyons District security team, including School Resource Officers, are on high alert, and we have asked our principals to be extra vigilant in enforcing our security measures.

We’d like to remind parents that federal data show schools are remarkably safe and getting safer. Schools are the heart of a community, and must often serve as the linchpin of a community’s response to an array of emergencies. This is where a “safety-first” mindset and emergency-preparedness pay off, and why it’s important that all of us be vigilant.

One of the most effective tools in preventing violence is someone reporting it in advance. Utah schools are fortunate to have at their disposal a mobile app called SafeUT, which allows students and parents to anonymously report safety issues, such as instances of bullying, and threatened violence. The tool is an immediate, direct link to school administrators and licensed counselors. If you need it, here is a link to information about SafeUT, including how to download the app onto your phone. 

In addition, counseling supports can be provided if students or parents are feeling anxious or fearful about the safety of our schools. Please contact your neighborhood school if you feel like your child needs counseling services.

Some parents have asked how they can talk to their children about such tragedies. Please feel free to use these tips, which have been provided by our school psychologists as we’ve responded to school-based tragedies. 

  1. Reassure children they are safe
  2. Make time to talk
  3. Keep explanations developmentally appropriate
  4. Review safety procedures
  5. Observe and monitor your child's emotional state
  6. Limit media coverage of these events
  7. Maintain a normal routine

Please rest assured that Canyons District is committed to providing safe schools.  If you have questions, please call the Canyons Administration Building at 801-826-5000 or send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.


Sixth-Grade Mathematics Curriculum 

In an effort to address a mathematics proficiency-level drop from fifth to sixth grades, the Board of Education approved a proposal by the Canyons District Instructional Supports Department to start using a new sixth-grade math curriculum. The program is called “Illustrative Mathematics” and is an open-education resource developed by leading math researchers. Student and teacher materials are available digitally for free or schools can purchase a consumable student workbook for $22.50 per student. The curriculum was selected in accordance with the District’s curriculum-adoption policy

Disciplinary Fines

In the wake of changes in state law that have made it more difficult for schools to refer children to juvenile court for truancy, drug possession, disorderly conduct and other offenses, Responsive Services Director BJ Weller is proposing a new restorative justice model for reinforcing behavioral standards at CSD’s schools. The model would entail imposing fines for various transgressions as a means of encouraging students to show up for restorative programs. For first offenses, the fines would be waived when students participate in whatever intervention program is required. The fines aren’t meant to be punitive. They’re meant to serve as an incentive, explained Weller. The idea behind restorative practices is to hold students accountable for their actions and to use their transgression as a teachable moment for making a plan to ensure the misbehavior doesn’t happen again. But without the enforcement tools previously available through the courts, there is currently no way to hold students accountable. This year, as of Jan. 31, there have been 63 students cited for substance abuse violations, and only a handful of those completed the District’s Early Intervention Program. The Board will take up the matter again at a future meeting. If approved, the fines, which, depending on the nature of the offense range from $25 to $50, would take effect with the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

CTESS Update

Canyons’ Administrator of Evaluation and Leadership Development Sandra Dahl-Houlihan briefed the Board of Education on continued progress to refine the District’s educator-evaluation system.

Digital Citizenship Week Resolution

The Board of Education approved a resolution to continue sponsoring a districtwide Digital Citizenship Week, the intent of which is to empower students to safely navigate the online world and be responsible digital citizens. This year’s Digital Citizenship Week, Feb. 5-9, is CSD’s third.

Legislative Update

External Relations Director Charles Evans updated the Board on progress with key pieces of education-related bills being weighed during the 2018 General Session of the Utah Legislature. 

Cell Tower

The Board held a second reading of a proposal for a micro cell tower at Ridgecrest Elementary. According to the proposal, the tower would generate an additional $350 a month for the school. Ridgecrest’s School Community Council has given an OK to the proposal, which must be approved by the Board of Education. The proposal, presented by Business Administrator Leon Wilcox, calls for the micro tower to be placed atop a 20-foot light pole in Ridgecrest’s parking lot.  The Board will entertain the proposal at a future meeting.

Pledge of Allegiance and Reverence

The Brookwood Elementary Cub Scout Troop 4605 led the audience in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and Principal Corrie Barrett gave the reverence. In updating the Board on the state of Brookwood, Barrett said she could list test scores or talk about programs, but chose instead to share the results of an informal survey of parents, teachers and students. Teachers, she said, love the school because they feel part of a focused team that is striving to make a difference in the lives of students. Parents say they chose Brookwood because of the amazing teachers, parental involvement and programs. Students say they like the activities, kind teachers and inclusive atmosphere. “This is a good school where I get a good education,” said one. “Kids are nice and class is fun.”

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the consent agenda, including minutes of the Board’s Jan. 16, 2018 meeting; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel plans; and new members of the Joint Educator Evaluation Committee.

Arts Education

The Board of Education heard a status update on the health of arts education in Canyons District. CSD Arts Specialist Sharee Jorgensen told the Board that robust arts programs are being provided to students in elementary, middle and high schools. Elementary arts programs reach 14,600 students. This includes the orchestra program, which draws 432 students at 20 locations. In middle school, 123 percent of students participate in an arts-education offering. How is this possible?  Some students take multiple arts class at once, Jorgensen told the Board. Arts courses also reach some 11,677 high school students. In addition, the District enjoys partnerships with the Utah Symphony, Ballet West, the Utah Film Center and the Utah Shakespeare Festival, among other arts organizations. Arts shows and music festivals for students at all levels are being planned for the spring months. 

Recognitions

The Board of Education honored the following students, teachers and staff for their achievements:
  • Albion Middle’s Sandy LeCheminant, Utah Assistant Principal of the Year
  • Eastmont teacher Louis Phillipe Vanier and Jordan Valley Achievement Coach Anne Clyde, who have earned National Board Certified Teacher status. 
  • CTEC Principal Ken Spurlock and teacher Gary Snow, Diesel Technology Program Certification
  • The following CSD Academic All-State student athletes
5A Drill Team
Alexis Kilgore, Corner Canyon

5A Girls Swimming
Olivia Huntzinger, Brighton  
Michaela Page, Brighton  
Ashley Pickford, Corner Canyon 

5A Boys Swimming
Stephen Hood, Alta  
Kevin Metcalf, Jordan

6A Wrestling
Scott Abbott, Hillcrest 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe thanked Jorgensen for her hard work and passion for the arts in Canyons District. He also reported on the Job Shadow Day luncheon, featuring keynote Gail Miller. Dr. Briscoe also thanked the CTE coordinators for working so hard to successfully execute the school-to-careers event.  

Mr. Wilcox attended the recent CTEC Open House, held annually to inform the community about the programs offered at the technical-education center. He also commented on the change in health-insurance providers this year, and said the District would be providing additional information to employees.

Board of Education Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg reported on attending the announcement of LeCheminant as the Utah Assistant Principal of the Year. The ceremony was held in St. George. He also thanked Jorgensen for her work as the coordinator of arts programs in Canyons District

Mr.  Steve Wrigley also expressed appreciation for Jorgensen’s work.  He reported on visiting schools with Utah legislators and attending the CTEC Open House and the Job Shadow Day luncheon at Gardner Village.

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending the Utah High School Activities Association’s State Drill Team Championships.  She congratulated all the teams that competed and mentioned the second-place overall finish in 5A by the Brighton High Accadians. She also said she would be hosting a Town Hall with 1st Vice President Nancy Tingey at Butler Middle. 

Mrs. Tingey reported on attending a conference in Washington, D.C. She said she met with Utah’s elected representatives to discuss education-related issues.  She thanked teachers, students and staff for their wonderful work.  She said she’s looking forward to attending Albion Middle’s musical production. Tingey also will hold a 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 15 Town Hall meeting at Jordan High with Mr. Wrigley.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold thanked Jorgensen for her passion and dedication. 

President Taylor thanked everyone who works hard in CSD to help students achieve — from teachers and custodians to bus drivers to nutrition-service workers. He gave a special shout-out to the secretaries and administrative assistants in offices all across the District. He predicted Canyons District would soon be known as a world-class school district.
Canyons District students are learning how to safely blaze a digital trail. 

Starting today, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, all schools in Canyons District will begin the 3rd annual Digital Citizenship Week, which was started to help students stay safe as they navigate the online world. Special lessons will be taught in classes and morning announcements will feature tips on cyberbullying, online privacy and safety. 

Yes, the Internet is a valuable tool for learning. Every day, 92 percent of teenagers across the United States go online to complete homework assignments, conduct research, and watch tutorials in preparation for exams. But, overwhelmingly, it’s also teens go to make and keep social connections. From Snapchat to Instagram, teens are heavy users of social media. So how can parents make sure their use is responsible? And how can parents guide a pre-teen’s entry into social media? 

Digital Citizenship Week 2018“One of the most important things you can do is sit down with your children before they even begin using social media and set clear ground rules and expectations — and even consequences if those rules are broken,” says Janae Hunt, a Canyons District Education Technology Specialist.

Hunt, who appeared on ABC4 to talk about Digital Citizenship Week, encouraged parents to talk often with their children about the pitfalls of oversharing, teasing and posting too-personal information on social media sites.  Also, think twice before hitting “send” or “enter,” she says.   

“Digital footprints are permanent. A lot of time today, even college admissions boards and employers are looking at your digital trail to see what kind of person you are,” she told ABC4 anchor Emily Clark. “It is important that we are teaching our children to put their best foot forward online.” 

Another idea:  Keep tabs on what your children are posting — and who is part of their “Friends” and “Followers” lists. “Sit down with your kids on a regular basis. Go through those lists. It’s important they are friends with or follow people they know in real life.” 

Should you have your kids’ passwords? “Absolutely,” she says.  Start with an open-door policy and keep it that way: Children should know parents are watching and observing when they post or make comments. They also should know they can go to parents for help if they “see something that makes them uncomfortable.”

CSD’s Internet safety effort started with School Community Councils, which have been given statutory responsibilities regarding digital citizenship in their respective schools. In partnership with SCCs, CSD schools also are planning Parent Information Nights to discuss such issues as the filtering systems used by the District to stop inappropriate content to be accessed at school. Contact your child’s school to find out when and where their event will be held. 

Parents, teachers and students can join the online conversation about Digital Citizenship Week by following the hashtag #usetech4good on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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