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The Board of Education on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 unanimously voted to approve a negotiated agreement with the Canyons Education Association for 2017-2018 school year.

The agreement contains a small adjustment to the Conversion Placement Table approved at the April 25, 2017 meeting of the Board of Education. The new, single-lane salary schedule represents the largest pay hike in the District’s history, bumping the starting-teacher salary by more than $5,000 to $40,500, while also funding raises for mid-career and veteran educators. Every licensed employee will see no less than a 4 percent jump, significantly improving their lifetime earnings and retirement payments. It’s a big investment and tangible proof of how much the CSD community values education, says Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor.

"We have said it before and we will say it again: Teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions," he said. "With the intention of bringing the best and brightest to Canyons District classrooms, and to give teachers a chance to earn more over the length of their careers, the Board of Education moved singularly and decisively to make an important and positive financial impact in the lives of our teachers."

CEA President Jen Buttars also said the association appreciates "the nearly $11.5 million investment in teacher salaries and believes that the Board has truly demonstrated a commitment to not only recruit, but also retain educators."

"The CEA believes that (the Board's) commitment to listening to the concerns of educators, recognizing professional judgement and attending to salary, benefit and working condition concerns, allows educators to focus on their
efficacy for the benefit of all Canyons School District students," she said.

As part of the agreement, the District will cover 83.7 percent of the 11.33 percent hike in health insurance premiums that takes effect in January 2018. One Personal Leave Day will be converted back to a Sick Leave Day. Also, under a policy change, the provisional status of experienced transfer teachers may be shortened if they have:
  • Successfully taught for at least three consecutive years in an accredited school or district
  • Completed at least one year of provisional service with Canyons District
  • Successfully met the criteria outlined in GCOA-Evaluation of Instructional Staff (Licensed)
  • Been recommended by their principal/supervisor for a Provisional Status Exception
  • Received approval by the Director of Human Resources

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 14:56

CSD Honors Nine Outstanding Educators

Paraeducators provide behavioral supports, one-on-one tutoring, and the extra instructional time and attention that some students need to thrive. These champions of children support teachers and form a vital communication-link to parents.

Schools simply can't operate effectively without them, and to show our appreciation, Canyons District's Department of Special Education each year honors thebest in the business. Congratulations to the winners of CSD's 2017 Outstanding Paraeducator Awards:

Tessa Marrelli, CTAGary Ren, Jordan Valley
Kelsey Edman, Early Childhood
Carlito Lucero, Accommodated Core Classroom
Lisa Hammer, Academic Behavior Support classroom
Kendra Plant, Extended Core classroom
Bonnie Healy, middle school resource
Julie Mickelsen, elementary resource


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Canyons School District is home to two 2017 National Merit Scholars.

Eric Jackson of Corner Canyon and Brian Johnson of Jordan are among 2,500 high school seniors chosen nationally for the prestigious academic honor.

To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, students had to complete a detailed application with an essay and provide information about extracurricular activities, awards and leadership positions. They were judged by a panel of college admissions officers and high school counselors who looked at students’ academic records, including grades and rigor of the courses they completed.   

But first, students had to score high enough on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Of the 1.6 million American teens who took the test in their junior year, only the top 1 percent, or 16,000, made the cut. That list was then whittled further to 7,500 finalists.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation also awards college-sponsored, merit-based scholarships to deserving students nationwide. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. Among the winners of the first round of college-sponsored awards are three CSD students:

  • Jordan High's Peter Maughan who will be attending the University of Utah
  • Hillcrest High's Alexandra Carlile who will be attending Brigham Young University
  • Brighton High's Emily Hyde who will be attending Brigham Young University
Bon boulot, gong xi and felicitaciones to students throughout Canyons District who are making waves with their language skills. 

On Friday, May 5, 2017, Draper Park Middle students Ariel Harp and McKay Larsen took first place at the Chinese Bridge Language Contest at the University of Maryland. Harp and Larson represented Utah for the first time in the competition, where they competed in the Cultural Performance category. 

Harp also won first place in the Level 4 Speech Contest at the Chinese Language Fair at BYU in April. She was joined by 11 other Draper Park Middle students who received superior and excellent awards at the fair, as well as students from Corner Canyon and Hillcrest high schools and Midvale Middle, who also placed first at the BYU Language Fair.

The students are all part of Canyons Dual-Language Immersion program, which features programs in Mandarin Chinese-English, French-English, and Spanish-English. Parents and their Dual-Language Immersion students in all grade levels are invited to attend a secondary=school information night on Thursday, May 11 at 6 p.m. in the Professional Development Center at Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East.

The purpose of the event is to discuss how students transition from elementary to middle school, and middle school to high school, in the DLI program. Course pathways and descriptions, bridge courses, university collaboration and program locations will also be discussed.

More than 300 DLI students from Alta, Corner Canyon, Brighton, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools recently tested their skills at the BYU Language Fair in Provo on April 20, 2017. Students from Midvale, Mount Jordan and Draper Park Middle also participated in the half-day event that tests language ability in Chinese, French, Spanish, German and Russian.

A group of students at Hillcrest took first place in the Language Bowl at the Spanish Foreign Language Fair at BYU. The students were tested on grammar, geography, history, culture, current events, and vocabulary. The students were asked questions in Spanish and teams of five had 10 minutes to answer the questions and receive points according to their answers. At Corner Canyon, students received superior marks in Show and Tell, Speech and Conversation.

Midvale Middle participated in BYU’s Chinese Language Fair and took first place in the Character Bee portion of the competition. In the Character Bee, students match words, written in Chinese, with their correct definitions. The first team to match 12 words in a row correctly wins. 
When architects of the new Midvale Middle suggested cloistering the library in a quiet corner of the building, the school’s Media Specialist said, “Sorry, but that just won’t do.”

The library, she explained, should be at the center of the school. It should be an open, inviting space for students to hang out with friends, study, check email, or play an educational videogame. It should be a place to collaboratively explore, create, and even make noise — a place where students find common ground in common interests.

The architects agreed, and the communal design ethic they embraced is evident throughout the entire building. The red brick structure, with its art deco embellishes, reflects Midvale’s ethnically diverse and industrial, working class roots, says VCBO Architecture Associate Brian Peterson. “It evokes strength, strength of unity and strength of purpose.”

The building, which opens next fall, was certainly cause for celebration for teachers who got their first look inside on Friday. Upon seeing his spacious and fully-equipped classrooScreen_Shot_2017-05-08_at_12.46.12_PM_copy.jpgm, seventh-grade science teacher John Henrichsen gave Peterson a bear hug. Currently, his students don’t have easy access to a clean-up station. In the new building, it will be within arm’s reach, saving Henrichsen precious instructional time.

If the new building will be more efficient, it will also be more welcoming. Amenities such as, the state-of-the-art auditorium and TV broadcast room, will expose students to a variety of educational experiences at a time when that’s what their fast-developing brains crave. Modern heating, cooling and wiring will make for a more comfortable learning environment adaptable to the latest technologies. Floor-to-ceiling windows will let in natural light, and a student lounge equipped with programmable neon lighting is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

This building will be a resource for the entire community, Peterson said. Its tiered design helps it blend into the surrounding neighborhood, and its fields and multi-use space and catering kitchen will become a gathering place for neighborhood events.

With this fall’s opening of Midvale Middle and Altara Elementary, and next year’s completion of the remodel of Indian Hills Middle, Canyons School District will have fulfilled promises made to voters as part of a $250 million bond approved in 2010. In all, the District will have completed 13 major improvements without raising taxes and while maintaining a ‘AAA’ bond rating.

In the seven years since the bond was passed, Canyons has built a new Corner Canyon High, rebuilt Midvale Elementary, renovated Albion Middle, added seismic improvements to Sandy Elementary, a new Draper Park Middle, rebuilt Butler Middle, a new Butler Elementary, additions to Brighton and Hillcrest high schools, and rebuilt Mount Jordan Middle.

Additionally, the District added air conditioning to every school that did not previously have cooling air; security vestibules at all elementary schools; a soccer field, tennis courts and athletic fields near Brighton high; upgraded Alta High and made other improvements to Canyons facilities.

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