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

Administrative Appointments


The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments for the 2018-2019 school year: 
  • Scott Jameson, currently assistant principal at Albion Middle School, promoted to principal of Alta View Elementary, replacing Karen Medlin who is retiring at the end of the school year.
  • Justin Matagi, currently assistant principal at Hillcrest High School, reassigned as assistant principal at Albion Middle School, replacing Jameson.
  • Matt Schelble, currently assistant principal at Brighton High School, reassigned as assistant principal at Hillcrest High School, replacing Matagi.
  • Justin Pitcher, currently principal at East Midvale Elementary School, reassigned as assistant principal at Brighton High School, replacing Schelble.
  • Matt Nelson, currently principal of Viewmont Elementary School in Murray District, hired as principal of East Midvale Elementary School, replacing Pitcher.
  • Kip Carlsen, currently assistant principal at Midvale Middle School, reassigned as assistant principal at Butler Middle School, replacing Jody Wihongi, who is resigning at the end of the school year.
  • Matt Watts, currently assistant principal at Midvale Elementary School, reassigned as assistant principal at Midvale Middle School, replacing Carlsen.
  • Ashley McKinney, currently MTSS Specialist in Canyons District Responsive Services, reassigned as assistant principal at Midvale Elementary School, replacing Watts.
  • David Briggs, currently a school psychologist at Laramie County School District No. 1 in Cheyenne, Wyo., is a new Special Education Program Administrator, replacing Stacy Kurtzhals, who was reassigned as the Elementary Support Administrator.

Advanced Mathematics Pathway

Instructional Supports Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward provided information about a proposed sixth-grade mathematics offering for advanced learners. According to a survey, 67 percent of parents of current fifth-grade students would prefer a summer condensed course, with in-class and online components, over the compacted “zero period” course that is now offered. However, the majority of parents of current sixth-graders like the program with the zero period. Right now, only the fifth-graders who meet established criteria are invited to “test into” the compacted course that is taught during the school year and eventually qualifies participating sixth-grade students to take eighth-grade Honors Math as seventh-graders. Under the new proposal, the option for advanced learning would be available to all sixth-grade students who say they want to participate. If those students can successfully complete the class and score at least an 80 percent on a final examination, they would be able to take the Honors Math class with the eighth graders.  The Board decided to bring the proposal back for a third reading. 

Legislative Update

External Relations Director Charles Evans, Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards, and External Affairs assistant Kendrik Gibson explained highlights from 2018 General Session of the Utah Legislature. Lawmakers approved a 2.5 percent increase in the weighted pupil unit plus funding for growth. Lawmakers also approved a stipend for certain special education teachers, $9 million for at-risk students, $10 million for digital teaching and learning initiatives, and more funding for elementary school counselors. Debate continued over how to bridge funding disparities between school districts, and lawmakers settled on a bill that would generate new funding, instead of re-directing existing streams of property tax revenue. HB239 raises money by freezing the statewide property tax rate, which currently adjusts downward as property values increase. The bill would offset some of the increase with an income tax rollback, and it would shield homeowners on fixed incomes by putting into place a circuit breaker. It also includes a non-binding resolution to increase the gas tax, some of which would be used to fund higher education, thereby reducing the amount of funding they take from the General Education Fund and making more money available for public schools. Evans commended the Board of Education for holding to its policy stance of opposing any equalization bill that would produce winners and losers and take money from CSD classrooms. He also thanked House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, and Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, for their continued support of CSD over the years.

Alta High Renovation

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox and Alta High Principal Brian McGill joined architects in presenting the plans for a major renovation of Alta High to be funded with proceeds from a bond approved by voters in 2017. The upgrades will be completed in phases over two years to allow students to stay in the building. Major improvements include the addition of a field house and performing arts center. Large windows and skylights will be added to bring natural light into the commons area, and a security vestibule will be installed to require visitors to enter the school through the Main Office. Parking will see improvements, with more lighting for safety and 10 additional stalls. Special attention was paid to controlling costs while building the structure to last. There will be an Open House on April 25 at 6 p.m. where community members can get a closer look at the plans. Construction is expected to start this summer.

Recognitions

The following students and employees were recognized by the Board of their achievements:

  • Brighton High teacher Jim Hodges, 20-year award from the National High School Model United Nations Association
  • Brighton High senior Sofia Rahaniotis, Sterling Scholar winner, Speech, Theater Arts and Forensics
  • Alta High senior Addie Wray, Sterling Scholar winner, Vocal Performance
Student Advisory Council

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle thanked the members of the Student Advisory Council for their service. The group is empaneled every year to give students an opportunity to learn leadership skills, instill camaraderie between schools, and provide input on District policies that impact Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon, Hillcrest and Jordan high school campuses. Two representatives from all CSD traditional high schools are chosen to participate. Students said they learned about how the District operates and appreciated having a voice on policies. 

Policy Update

The Board of Education approved updates to policies governing termination of employment-ESP; reporting child abuse; and release-time classes for religious instruction.  The Board will continue to discuss a proposed policy regarding employees in public office.

Trail System Expansion

The Board of Education granted 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.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

Students at Jordan Valley School, Canyons’ school for students with severe disabilities, helped with the Pledge of Allegiance, which was led by former Region 17 PTA Director Betty Shaw. Principal Mark Donnelly updated the Board on the progress of the students at the school on their academics; communication, functional and life skills; and manners. Students stay at Jordan Valley from kindergarten until age 22, at which point they transition to life in the community. He also spoke about two major Jordan Valley events: In December, Jordan Valley holds a Homecoming dance for graduates and current students. Each spring the school performs a musical adapted to the special abilities of the students. This year, the production is “Peter Pan.” 

Patron Comment

Bell View teacher Madaline Chilcutt expressed concern about students who exhibit extreme behaviors at school.  She said special education students, as well as general education students, would benefit from changes in the way the ABS units are overseen.

Bell View teacher Marie Berg addressed the Board about providing supports to students in both general-education and ABS units.

Dwayne Madray spoke about disbanded middle school clubs, especially those for children of color. He encouraged the Board to reconsider the clubs at the middle school level that could help students who may feel disenfranchised. 

Mike Smith spoke to the Board about the student walkouts. Smith disagreed with the District’s decision to provide the students a place to safely demonstrate on March 14. He also expressed disappointment that he received the notification about the demonstration the day before. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including the minutes from the meeting of the Canyons Board of Education on March 6, 2018; purchasing bids; and the Board meeting schedule for 2018-2019.  In separate motions, the Board approved hire and termination reports; student overnight travel requests; and approval of financial reports for February. 


Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on attending the Utah School Boards Association regional meeting at which the education-related bills were reviewed. He congratulated all of the school Teachers of the Year.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked the legislators for providing funding for Utah schools. He also said he appreciated the attendance at the meeting of Jordan Valley and Student Advisory Council students.

Board of Education Member Reports  

Mr. Chad Iverson thanked the Board for delaying a vote on the proposed mathematics program. Iverson indicated he is grateful the Board can have critical conversations about important issues. He thanked the administration and law-enforcement for their hard work in investigating the social-media post that caused emergency protocols to be enacted at Indian Hills Middle last week

Mrs. Nancy Tingey thanked fellow Board members for attending the USBA dinner. She congratulated the students and staff at Jordan Valley on a successful production of “Peter Pan.”

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting. The Draper pool groundbreaking will be July 31 at 10 a.m., she said.  She also said the Utah High School Activities Association Board approved lacrosse for boys and girls in 2020 and reminded the Board that CSD needs to approve its teams. Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood also was elected to a UHSAA board position, she said.

Mr. Mont Millerberg reported on attending the Teacher of the Year announcements at schools in the Midvale area. He stated he is pleased that, in five years, all Canyons high schools will be modern, welcoming, and safe.  He lauded the contributions of the Student Advisory Council.   

Mrs. Clareen Arnold and Mr. Steve Wrigley declined to comment. 

President Taylor thanked the Board for robust conversations about vital issues.
The Board of Education on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 approved the following administrative appointments for the 2018-2019 school year: 
  • Scott Jameson, currently assistant principal at Albion Middle School, promoted to principal of Alta View Elementary, replacing Karen Medlin who is retiring at the end of the school year.
  • Justin Matagi, currently assistant principal at Hillcrest High School, has been reassigned as assistant principal at Albion Middle School, replacing Jameson.
  • Matt Schelble, currently assistant principal at Brighton High School, has been reassigned as assistant principal at Hillcrest High School, replacing Matagi.
  • Justin Pitcher, currently principal at East Midvale Elementary School, has been reassigned as assistant principal at Brighton High School, replacing Schelble.
  • Matt Nelson, currently principal of Viewmont Elementary School in Murray District, is hired as principal of East Midvale Elementary School, replacing Pitcher.
  • Kip Carlsen, currently assistant principal at Midvale Middle School, reassigned as assistant principal at Butler Middle School, replacing Jody Wihongi who is resigning at the end of the school year.
  • Matt Watts, currently assistant principal at Midvale Elementary School, reassigned as assistant principal at Midvale Middle School, replacing Kip Carlsen.
  • Ashley McKinney, currently MTSS Specialist in Canyons District Responsive Services, reassigned as assistant principal at Midvale Elementary School, replacing Matt Watts.
SPECIAL EDUCATION APPOINTMENT
  • David Briggs, currently a school psychologist at Laramie County School District No. 1 in Cheyenne, Wyo., hired as a Special Education Program Administrator, replacing Stacy Kurtzhals, who was reassigned as the Elementary Support Administrator.
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..
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