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As Alta View students looked out of their classroom windows last year, they saw a strange shape taking place in the corner of the field behind the school.

What looked, at first, like a jumble of beams and blocks was no mystery, however. They knew they were watching the creation of the schoolhouse that would replace the Alta View students had attended since 1963.

The new, 700-student capacity school is the 12th in CSD to be rebuilt or renovated as part of an aggressive plan to upgrade and modernize educational facilities in all corners of the District. The school will open to the public for the first time on Thursday, Aug. 17 at a ribbon-cutting event. The ceremony will start promptly at 6 p.m., followed by an open house tour for students, families, faculty and the community.

The new Alta View has a new address: 917 E. Larkspur Dr., in Sandy. It is the second new facility to open this year; on Tuesday, Aug. 8, Midvale Middle debuted to applause from a crowd of hundreds.

The building will feature a security vestibule that will require all visitors to be seen by school staff before they enter the building, a large commons area filled with natural light and a grand staircase leading to second-floor rooms, a media center, activity room and a computer lab. In addition, the building will be equipped with state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical systems and voice amplification equipment for teachers in the classroom.

With completion of these rebuilds and the remodel underway of Indian Hills Middle, CSD will have fulfilled the $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. It’s a goal achieved without raising taxes, while maintaining CSD’s AAA bond rating, and in keeping with founding vision of the five communities who, in 2007, voted to turn CSD it into an achievement-oriented district of distinction.
As the doors of Midvale Middle officially opened to the public on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, students didn’t just walk toward the school’s entryway — they ran. The energy was palpable as they hurried to see what the new classrooms, auditorium and gymnasium in Canyons District’s newest school looks like.

“Whoever designed this school was a genius,” one student body officer said. From the colorful exterior to the innovative interior, Midvale Middle is full of creativIMG_8494.jpge details that are meant to inspire learners to achieve their greatest potential, says Brian Peterson, lead designer of the school for VCBO Architecture, which worked with Hughes General Contractors to create the building. “Great architecture comes from one single idea, and the idea behind this building is that strength comes through unity of different, beautiful things,” Peterson said. “We designed this school not just for 6th, 7th, 8th grade kids, but for the whole community.”  

Members of the Midvale community, including Midvale Mayor Joann Seghini; City Council members Paul Grover and Paul Hunt; Utah Rep. Bruce Cutler, R-Murray; former Canyons Board of Education member Robert Green; and former Midvale Middle principals Sue Malone, Wendy Dau and Paula Logan, attended the event and took a VIP tour of the building. Canyons Board of Education President Sherril Taylor, Board of Education representatives Amber Shill, Nancy Tingey, Mont Millerberg and Steve Wrigley and members of Canyons' administration, including Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe were also in attendance. 

The building is one of eight new schools built by Canyons District through a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. With the opening of Alta View Elementary on Aug. 17 and next year’s completion of a remodel of Indian Hills Middle, Canyons will have completed 13 major improvements without raising taxes and while maintaining a AAA bond rating.

Midvale Middle was first built in 1955 as a red brick building situated at the heart of a quiet neighborhood. As it sits on its original footprint, the new building features a state-of-the-art auditorium, an energy efficient heating and cooling system, floor-to-ceiling windows, a student lounge, modern media center, courtyards, soccer fields and more. “I’ve lived a long time,” Mayor Seghini told the crowd of hundreds gathered at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “What you have here in this school is a school of the future, not the past. You have a school that has no limits to your future. You have wonderful opportunities here.”

The school will host a back-to-school night on Friday, Aug. 18 for those who were unable to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Parents can meet their students’ teachers from 5-7 p.m. and enjoy a free hot dog from 6-7:30 p.m.

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  • Thursday, 03 August 2017 06:00

    Board Meeting Summary, Aug. 1, 2017

    Board Meeting Summary, Aug. 1, 2017

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

    Potential Bond Proposal Discussion

    Business Administrator Leon Wilcox updated the Board on the work being done to prepare for a possible general-obligation proposal for the November ballot.  Wilcox said that roughly half of the facility needs identified in the 2010 architectural review of all CSD buildings have been addressed. However, there still is a significant amount that remains to be done, even with ongoing work with capital-facility money and completion of 12 of the 13 projects promised to voters at the time of the approval of the $250 million bond in 2010. Wilcox said any debt could layered into the existing outstanding debt. He said the District also is studying ways to make the bond proposal tax-rate-neutral. Possible projects, which would be funded with bond and capital-facility money, include an Alta High remodel; new wings at Corner Canyon High; the construction of a new elementary in west Draper; rebuilds of a White City, Midvalley and Peruvian Park elementary schools, Union Middle, Hillcrest and Brighton high schools; six elementary school office upgrades; and 18 elementary school lighting upgrades. The deadline to vote for a resolution to place a bond-issuance question on the ballot is Aug. 22. The Board also addressed issues surrounding the projects that could be completed with bond money, including ensuring the public is aware of the planned construction.

    Staffing Report

    The new salary schedule approved last spring by our Board of Education has proven effective in Canyons District’s recruitment efforts, according to a report by the Human Resources Department. In April, Board voted for an innovative and progressive salary schedule that boosts the starting salary for a beginning teacher more than $5,000 a year while also providing salary hikes for mid-career and veteran educators. CSD’s Human Resources Director Steve Dimond reported that Canyons District staff recruited at 11 teacher fairs and other recruiting events, such as a “Flip the Interview” night CSD’s District Office. As a result, some 230 licensed employees have already been hired for the 2017-2018 school year. Sixty-two of those educators — 27 percent — are re-locating to CSD from out of state, with help from our re-location stipend program. In addition, 29 — 13 percent — are in an ARL/APT program. As of July 25, CSD had to hire just one school psychologist (which has been offered to a candidate), one speech-language pathologist, two elementary teachers, nine secondary school teachers, and four special-education teaching positions. Dimond also reviewed recent exit-interview results with the Board members. 

    SAFE Neighborhoods Program  

    The Board of Education was asked by the United Fire Authority to be a partner in the SAFE (Schools Aid Families in Emergencies) Neighborhoods Program. The aim of the initiative is to provide assistance to citizens at a local school in the event of a major disaster. The fire authority wants to put an emergency kit in every elementary school in Salt Lake Valley. The kit would aid in neighborhood communication, public information, situational awareness, and household reunification in the first 96 hours after a calamity. The fire authority previously met with the Incident Command Manual Update Committee, which is wrapping up a re-write of the District’s emergency-response plan. The Committee, at the request of Board member Mont Millerberg, asked the fire authority to give their presentation to the Board as whole.

    Consent Agenda

    The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, which includes approval of the minutes from the Board of Education meeting on July 11; hire and termination reports; student overnight travel requests; and administrative appointments.

    Academic Framework

    Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie and Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward updated the Board on the District’s multi-tiered system of supports. Dr. Roderick-Landward explained that this framework serves as a roadmap for school-improvement plans.  Board President Sherill H. Taylor said the Board would review the information and may ask additional questions at a later meeting. 

    Administrative Appointment

    The Board approved the appointment of Quentin Linde as the new Assistant Principal at Corner Canyon High. A vacancy at the school was created when Scott Wihongi was appointed Principal of Murray High School in the Murray City School District.  Linde has been serving as a science teacher at Corner Canyon High. At the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie also introduced new administrators Kenna Sorensen, who is now an administrator in ISD and Dr. Angela Wilkinson; the new Principal at East Sandy.

    Recognitions

    The Board recognized the achievements of students, faculty and staff in Canyons District.  The Board honored Cora Mickelson, 4A state champion girls golfer; Redd Owen, Brighton High’s 5A first-singles tennis champion; Olivia Berhan, winner of a Sandy Young Entrepreneur Contest;  Energy Conservation Specialist Chris Eppler, who was named an Energy Pioneer by the Utah Gov. Gary Herbert; Jordan High’s Roberto Jimenez, whose leadership in the program Puertas Abiertas helped win ta Family Engagement Award at the National Family Engagement Summit; Rique Ochoa, the 2017 Utah History Teacher of the Year; and the Hillcrest Husky Strong Academy, for being the reason CSD was named a national District of Distinction by District Administrator Magazine.

    Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

    Dr. Briscoe thanked the Board for the discussion surrounding the possible bond election. He also presented information to the Board about the area where the Utah State Prison now sits. He also informed the Board about the Administrator’s Training held today in the Professional Development Center of the Canyons Administration Building-East.  He said he’s excited for the start of the school year. 

    Wilcox said the CSD is finalizing a contract for transportation in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The Facilities Department is working hard to complete projects in schools, he said. He reminded the Board that Alta View’s site work will not be completed until November because crews had to tear down the old school after the new school was constructed. 

    Board Reports

    Mr. Chad Iverson thanked his fellow Board members for the collegiality on the Board.  He said he feels comfortable sharing his thoughts and feelings with other Board members.

    Mrs. Nancy Tingey said she had the privilege of sitting on the Governor’s Excellence in Education Commission, which is developing a 10-year roadmap for advancing education. The group heard a presentation by Pam Perlich, a demographer at the University of Utah who stressed that while macro data are interesting, it’s neighborhoods that should occupy the focus of policy makers and elected officials. Neighborhood schools are the nexus of communities and Board members are privileged to be able to focus on individual neighborhood schools and the communities they serve. 

    Mrs. Amber Shill thanked teachers and the administration at Jordan High who recently celebrated completion of a summer academy designed to give entering freshmen a jump on high school.

    Mr. Steve Wrigley expressed appreciation for the administration and remarked on how much he looks forward to the start of school. He is proud of the District’s past year of accomplishments, and looks forward to another year.

    Mr. Mont Millerberg commended schools for having such a welcoming attitude. He also spoke about how the architecture of the school reflects some of Utah’s most stunningly beautiful assets of Utah, including Delicate Arch. He also remarked on how many teachers were putting in extra hours, outside of their paid contracts, to prepare their classrooms and lesson plans. He said he’s excited for the opening of the new Midvale Middle on Aug. 8.

    President Taylor thanked the Board for the rigorous debate and discussion about important items. He mentioned the Board has met a lot over the summer.  He said he feels the excitement in the air for the start of school.
    Rique Ochoa’s approach to teaching is simple: stick with what you love.

    As an Alta High history teacher, Ochoa loves to tell stories. He loves to make history relatable to his students, and he loves to expose them to the experts in his field. That’s what has motivated him to teach for nearly 40 years, coach the debate team and establish a one-of-a-kind colloquium at Alta. It’s also the reason Ochoa has been selected as the Utah History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

    “School has got to be fun,” Ochoa says. “I think one of the greatest mistakes history teachers make is they forget why they liked history in the first place.”

    Ochoa likes to teach his students about World War II by sharing photos of family relatives who served in the war. He shares stories about the Great Depression by describing what his father experienced during that time. When he teaches his students the story of Paul Revere, he tells them about William Dawes and Samuel Prescott, two other riders who went farther than Revere but received none of the acclaim. Ochoa knows his students love details. They love to be able to relate to history. 

    To that end, Ochoa established a Social Studies Colloquium at Alta eight years ago so he could give his students opportunities to learn from other experts on history, from prestigious professors to Pulitzer Prize winners. Next year, Ellen Taylor, who won the Pulitzer Prize twice for history, is on the list of speakers who will come to the school.

    “It’s just incredible,” Ochoa says. “It’s a very unique program and our kids just really get to participate and learn an awful lot more than they would any place else.”

    Ochoa has followed other creative ways to expose his students to experiences they would not otherwise have. When he encountered difficulties getting his students to travel to various debate tournaments that required overnight stay, Ochoa established Canyons District as the host of one of the few available Tournament of Champions qualifying debate locations in the West.

    Ochoa was selected as the Utah History Teacher of the Year by a committee of history educators, education professionals, and former winners of the Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year award. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a non-profit organization dedicated to history education through high school. As the Utah History Teacher of the Year, Ochoa is now eligible to be considered as the National History Teacher of the Year in the fall.

    “Mr. Ochoa has been and continues to be a strong pillar of support for not only our Social Studies Department, but across the spectrum of our school,” Alta Principal Brian McGill said. “Since the inception of Alta High School, Mr. Ochoa has brought … a zest and passion for serving students inside and outside the classroom, serving in such programs as Debate and Academic Decathlon. He is an integral part of Alta High School, and we are fortunate to have him as a part of our faculty. He is most deserving of this high regard and honor."
    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, which opens to the public this fall. Students, their families, and members of the community are invited to a sneak preview of the new school at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and Open House on Tuesday, Aug. 8. A reception starts at 7852 South Pioneer St. Midvale UT at 5:30 p.m. and the ceremony will begin promptly at 6 p.m. 



    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 school was originally built in 1955, and after 60 years of existence in its quiet Midvale neighborhood, it has become a part of the community.

    The new building will be equipped to accommodate 1,100 students on its original footprint. 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. 

    The building’s 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 neighborho19477724_10154412420351580_7460469104461181245_o.jpgod events. 

    With this fall’s opening of Midvale Middle and Alta View 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. 

    A Second Chance to Celebrate: Back-to-School Night

    Out of town for the ribbon-cutting? Don't fret. You'll have a chance to get acquainted with the new school during back-to-school night on Friday, Aug. 18, which doubles as a community celebration co-sponsored by the city of Midvale. Parents will have a chance to meet their students' teachers from 5-7 p.m., and enjoy a free hot dog from 6-7:30 p.m.
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