The future is bright with young leaders like these.

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, the Board of Education empaneled Canyons’ 2018-2019 Student Advisory Council. This is the sixth year the Board has selected students from all five of Canyons’ traditional high schools to serve in an advisory capacity. 

When the Board of Education debates policies or procedures that could impact students, the members of the school board turn to the Student Advisory Council for input. It’s truly a direct line from the students to the policy-makers in Canyons. 

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle, the adviser for the student group, on Tuesday night introduced the students, who were selected after an application process. Two representatives are chosen from Alta, Brighton Corner Canyon, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools. They will meet six times throughout the school year 

The students are Alta's Brooklyn Bacher and Noah Ogden, Brighton's Ellie Anderson and Ethan Van Drimmelen, Corner Canyon's Josee Haycock and Luke Warnock, Hillcrest's Lizzie Moss and Landon Nipko, and Jordan's Daizha Jake and Michael Manhard. 
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Vision and Mission Update

Research and Assessment Director Dr. Hal Sanderson presented student achievement data to the Board of Education. With a few exceptions, in recent years, Canyons District kindergarteners, third-, fifth-, eighth- and 11th-grade students have showed improvement or remained at or close to the same proficiency levels in mathematics, English language arts, and science on year-end exams. In 2018, in every subject and at all grades, Canyons District students exceeded the statewide proficiency levels on the Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence exams. Dr. Sanderson also presented information on how CSD’s behavioral supports are impacting student achievement and school climate. 

CAB-East Expansion

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox presented information about a planned expansion of the Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East. The addition would be funded by the sale of Canyons Administration Building-West, 9150 S. 500 West. No funds from the voter-approved bond would be used on the project. Not only will proceeds from the $9.4 million sale almost fully fund the design and construction of office space for the relocating employees, the sale will add an estimated $400,000 to $475,000 in annual tax revenue to the District’s ongoing budget. An expanded CAB-East would allow the Canyons administration to provide a “one-stop shopping” experience for patrons, who would not have to travel between the two central offices to access services. Nearly all of the academic and business departments would be housed at the new CAB-East. Under the proposal, construction of the new administrative space would begin in October and be completed in fall 2019. The Board also awarded the $9.4 million construction contract to the lowest bidder, Copper Valley Construction. 

Budget for Lacrosse Athletic Teams

Canyons is proposing a budget to launch boys and girls prep lacrosse teams in the 2019-2020 school year. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle suggests a $60,000 one-time investment and the addition of $92,000 to cover the District’s year-to-year costs. A $70 participation fee has been proposed to cover the costs of custodians, officials and score-keepers. Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon and Jordan administrations say they intend to field school-sponsored teams next year, which is when the sport will be sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association. A team is unlikely at Hillcrest in 2019-2020 but could be added if there’s interest in future years. All CSD football fields have already been marked for lacrosse games, the Board noted.

Student Advisory Council

Dr. Dowdle introduced the members of the 2018-2019 members of the Student Advisory Council, which is made up of two students from each high school. Council representatives are invited to attend the Board of Education's semi-monthly meetings, discuss issues facing the Board, and provide input to the Board from a student’s perspective. The council is made up of two students from each CSD high school. The students are Alta's Brooklyn Bacher and Noah Ogden, Brighton's Ellie Anderson and Ethan Van Drimmelen, Corner Canyon's Josee Haycock and Luke Warnock, Hillcrest's Lizzie Moss and Landon Nipko, and Jordan's Daizha Jake and Michael Manhard.            

Policy Updates

In the Business Meeting, the Board of Education approved updated policies governing promotion, retention and acceleration of students, and the retirement eligibility for elected positions. In the study session, Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen presented suggested updates to policies governing tax increment financing project agreements and college- and career-readiness plans for students.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

The American flag was posted by the Corner Canyon Charelles Drill Team. The reverence was delivered by Corner Canyon High Principal Darrell Jensen.

Patron Comments

Patron Steve Van Maren asked questions about the proposed CAB-East expansion.  

Parent Jill Liljenquist expressed concern about the lack of a policy regarding smart-phone use during school hours.  She would like an enforceable policy that would address all grades.  

Parent Ashley England spoke about the negative mental-health impacts of social media. She asked the Board for a policy that would support teachers and parents in their efforts to aid student grow and mature.

Sandy Police officer Zak Henricksen, recently assigned to be a School Resource Officer, said he’s been impressed with how Albion and Union middle school administrators work with struggling students. 

Patron Betty Shaw commented on the uptick in student-achievement data and graduation rates in CSD. She thanked the Board for providing opportunity for students, and for setting challenging yet attainable educational goals for schools.

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the Sept. 18, 2018 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; Brookwood Elementary LAND Trust amendment, and an amended request for student overnight travel.

Recognitions

The following were recognized for their achievements:
  • Midvalley Elementary for winning a national PTA grant to fund a Math Night at the school
  • Midvalley student Ashlyn Phillps for being chosen Utah Playworks Junior Coach of the Year
  • The 18 Canyons National Merit Scholar semifinalists: Alta's Abigail Hardy, Joshua Mickelson and Joshua Pomeroy; Brighton's Alex Fankhauser, Sofia Maw, Jenna Rupper; Corner Canyon's Sebastian Lee and Peter Oldham; Hillcrest High's Alex Change, Anthony Grimshaw, Bryan Guo, Saey Kamtekar, Emily Langie, Hongying Liu, Warren McCarthy, Landon Nipko, Eric Yu, and Alan Zhao
Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on meeting with an engineer who is evaluating the hazardous bus routes in the district. He also mentioned tomorrow’s scheduled Career Fair and commended students for volunteering to serve on the Student Advisory Council.

Wilcox told the Board about a planned subdivision in Midvale that could impact school enrollments and boundaries. He also reported that Fitch and Moody’s reaffirmed the District’s Aaa bond rating for the upcoming issuance of $75 million to fund the construction of schools. Only 88 school districts of 15,000 have such a stellar bond rating.

Board Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson reported on attending cross country meets and football games, as well as watching the Alta High Marching Band at events.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold congratulated Peruvian Park Elementary for being named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School. She also thanked the District staff for working hard to prevent the spread of norovirus, and for the plans to expand CAB-East.  She also expressed appreciation for teacher and parents for meeting during Parent-Teacher Conferences. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey commented on the party held at Peruvian Park to celebrate the school’s selection as a National Blue Ribbon School. She also reported on attending the groundbreaking for Pluralsight’s new building. She mentioned the success of the Canyons Education Foundation’s golf tournament and encouraged School Community Council members to attend scheduled trainings. She also noted the suggested improvements to the volunteer program in CSD. 

Mrs. Amber Shill recognized School Performance Director Alice Peck, Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards and Mrs. Tingey for leading CSD’s SCC training. She also noted the new SCC website. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on the work being done on CSD’s Policy Committee and mentioned the state’s efforts to define the portrait of a Utah high school graduate. He congratulated Principal Leslie Jewkes for her achievements at Peruvian Park Elementary. He also attended the groundbreaking of Pluralsight, which he hopes will provide internships to CSD students.

Mr. Mont Millerberg said the Student Advisory Council provides valuable input to the Board. He congratulated Peruvian Park for being named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School, where some of his grandchildren attend school. He congratulated Midvalley Elementary on receiving the national PTA grant, and noted the success of the Canyons Education Foundation Golf Tournament. 

President Sherril H. Taylor, as he heads into his final meetings as a Board member, said he’d like to single out staff members for recognition. He noted School Performance Director Mike Sirois’ efforts to improve the middle schools in CSD, thanked Dr. Dowdle for ensuring the public use of school facilities, and expressed appreciation for Dr. Kathryn McCarrie for leading the curriculum, research, special education and emotional-supports departments of the District. He also thanked Dr. Briscoe, saying the superintendent’s heart is with students, and the Sandy Police Officers for providing security at the meeting.
All of Canyons District’s administrative departments will soon be housed in one centrally-located campus.

Paving the way for the consolidation is the Sept. 28 sale of the District’s western administrative building at 9150 S. 500 West in Sandy, the proceeds of which will be used to expand the Canyons Administration Building at 9361 S. 300 East to provide space for all administrative functions.

The move is a money-maker for the District, says Business Administrator Leon Wilcox. Not only will proceeds from the $9.4 million sale almost fully fund the design and construction of office space for the relocating employees, the sale will add an estimated $400,000 to $475,000 in annual tax revenue to the District’s ongoing budget. “As it is now, the property isn’t generating any property tax revenue. But the Park City-based buyer Synergy Development intends to develop it into an industrial complex, creating 200 to 300 jobs and generating tax revenue,” Wilcox explains.

What’s more, consolidating all central functions will provide patrons of the District with more of a “one-stop shopping” experience, says Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe. “Having two administrative buildings has been confusing for patrons. The synergy of bringing all our departments together to work side-by-side will not only lead to better customer service, it will improve productivity by sparing employees from having to travel between locations, and has the potential to improve communications and make life easier for everyone.” CABeast

The consolidation may also save on electricity, and heating and cooling costs. In addition, the planned construction of an onsite cafeteria will generate revenue for the District and be used to provide low-cost catering for professional trainings and other District-sponsored events.

If all goes as planned, construction of the new administrative space is expected to begin in October and be completed in August, 2019. On Tuesday, Oct. 2, the Board of Education awarded the construction contract to the lowest bidder, Copper Valley Construction. 

Wilcox stresses that this project is completely separate from the school improvement projects made possible through passage of a 2017 bond.

What might the new offices look like? Who will occupy them and when? The Office of Public Communications will publish regular updates on the project and welcomes questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The Panthers have clawed their way to the top. Peruvian Park Elementary has been named by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School.

The 2018 recognition, given to only two other Utah schools, was based on the school’s overall academic performance as measured by state assessments. The school celebrated the announcement today at an assembly, during which they watched a video by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and waited patiently to see if their name would appear on the screen. 

When the school's picture popped up, the students and teachers roared in delight. Blue balloons bounced around and confetti was sprayed into the crowd of cheering youngsters.

The prestigious award, earned by 349 public and private schools across the country, affirms the hard work of Peruvian Park’s administration and faculty in building a culture of excellence at the school. In fact, the results of test scores for neighborhood students has nearly doubled, and the students in the magnet SALTA advanced-learner program are achieving at highly-proficient levels.

"We asked you to be brave enough to make goals that would be hard for you," Principal Leslie Jewkes told the students while congratulating them on achieving their goals. She also thanked the "fearless" teachers who committed themselves to collaboration and stellar classroom instruction.

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe also congratulated the students, 30 percent of whom qualify for free- or reduced-price lunches, for earning the coveted national honor. "We are really proud of what you have been able to accomplish and to bring this kind of recognition to our community," he said.

This is the 36th year the federal education department has announced National Blue Ribbon honors for schools that are achieving at high levels or doing strong work in closing the achievement gap. DeVos will honor the winning schools during a ceremony Nov. 7-8 in Washington, D.C.

See the District's Facebook page for a gallery of photos and a video of the cheering children and teachers.
Did you know that at Canyons District, it's possible to learn two languages at the same time and to graduate from high school fluent in both?

The start of October signals the opening of the window to apply for Canyons District's Dual Language Immersion Programs for the 2019-2020 school year. From Monday, Oct. 8 to Wednesday, Nov. 21, parents and guardians can apply online to have their children learn Spanish, French or Mandarin Chinese.

In addition, parents and guardians who have questions about the programs are invited to a Parent Information Night on Wednesday, Oct. 24. The 6-8 p.m. event will be held in the Professional Development Center at the Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East.

Please note, that students with siblings currently enrolled in a Dual-Language Immersion school must still submit applications by the Nov. 21 deadline. A lottery will be held to determine entrance into the programs if the number of applicants exceeds the 56 seats available per entering class. 

On the application, parents will be asked to list their top three preferred languages and schools. Parents will be notified of their children’s acceptance into a program, or be given a choice of possible programs, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2019.

All programs, except for the one at Midvale Elementary, are for students entering first grade in 2019-2020.

Midvale Elementary’s Spanish-English program operates a bit differently: It starts in kindergarten, and due to the fact that enrollment at the school is at-capacity, it’s only open to students who live inside the school’s boundaries. 

Spanish, however, also is offered at Alta View and Silver Mesa. French is taught at Butler Elementary and Oak Hollow. The schools offering Mandarin are Draper Elementary, Lone Peak, and Ridgecrest.

A model of bilingual instruction dating back to the 1960s, immersion programs are surfacing in classrooms around the globe as an efficient path to proficiency in a world language. Children in dual language immersion programs spend half the day learning core subjects in English and the other half learning in a target language. 

CSD’s first immersion classes opened in 2009, the same year that the District was founded. The District is now home to 19 elementary and secondary school immersion programs. More than 10 percent of CSD’s 34,000 students are now learning a world language through the program, which extends through high school where, if they pass an Advanced Placement exam, students can start taking college-level courses for early college credit.

Questions? Call the Instructional Supports Department at 801-826-5026.
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