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Wednesday, 15 November 2017 16:28

Board Meeting Summary, Nov. 14, 2017

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


Contractors Selected for Bond Projects at Hillcrest, Brighton, Alta


In accordance with all state procurement guidelines, and during a regularly scheduled and appropriately noticed public meeting, the Board of Education on Tuesday chose the general contractors to oversee the construction of new Brighton and Hillcrest high schools and the major renovation at Alta High. An architectural firm also was selected to design the new Union Middle. The four projects are among the 11 major building efforts that will be funded with proceeds from the $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond proposal that was approved by voters on Nov. 7, 2017. Hogan and Associates Construction was awarded the $2,061,500 contract to rebuild Brighton High. Westland Construction was awarded the $2,594,900 contract to rebuild Hillcrest High, and Hughes Construction was awarded the $1,592,860 contract to complete the renovation work, including the addition of a gymnasium and state-of-the-art auditorium, at Alta High. The Board also awarded the $1,237,500 contract to VCBO to design the new Union Middle.  Members of the Board emphasized that no timetable has been set by taking this action, which secures a price for the contractor work. The Board will continue its discussions regarding the project-priority list at an upcoming meeting.  

Bond Information  

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox reminded the Board of Education that a canvass of the vote on the District’s successful bond measure will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in the Board Chambers of Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East. In addition, in a first reading, Wilcox asked the Board to consider the adoption of a resolution authorizing the issuance of up to $49 million in general-obligation bonds and for refunding certain obligations of the District for a cost savings. The resolution does not require the District to issue the bonds. However, it’s the first step CSD must legally take to start the issuance process. 

Recognitions

The Board of Education recognized the following for their achievements:
  • Emilee Astle, Alta High, 5A girls tennis first-singles champion
  • Karli Branch, Corner Canyon High, 5A cross country state champion
  • Georgia Ray, Lindsey Brown, Lydia Stueber, Alta High, artists of CSD’s official holiday card
  • Nicole Brooks, Jordan High; Alana Liu, Hillcrest High; Ben Powell, Corner Canyon High; Camille Verreault, Alta High; and Sage Dumas, Brighton High, student-artists who contributed to CAB-East Art Gallery
The Board also received the Above and Beyond Award for its policies supporting active members of the U.S. Armed Forces and the National Guard.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the items on the Consent Agenda, including the meetings from the Oct. 17, 2017 meeting of the Board; hire and termination reports, student overnight travel plans; the October Financial Reports; LAND Trust plan amendments for Union Middle, and Edgemont and Silver Mesa elementary schools.  

Proposed Academic Calendars

Dr. Floyd Stensrud, Director of the Office of Planning and Enrollment, updated the Board on proposed academic calendars for the 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. This was the second reading of the proposed calendars, which were drafted by CSD’s Calendar Committee, made up of employees and parents. The calendars also were built with input from 1,002 educators who participated in a survey. The proposed calendars can be found on BoardDocs. 

Policy Updates

The Board heard proposals to update policies governing school calendars, student attendance and the release of student records. Also proposed was a policy to allow parents to deny the release of a student’s information to military or college recruiters. 

LAND Trust Spending

School Performance Director Alice Peck updated the Board of Education on LAND Trust reports filed by Canyons schools for review by the state. The reports have been filed in accordance with state law and in alignment with each school’s academic goals.

Union Middle Bell Schedule Change

The Board heard a proposed change to Union Middle’s bell schedule. The school would like to start five minutes earlier than it does now. If approved, the morning bell would ring at 7:50 a.m. instead of 7:55 a.m. There would be no change to the afternoon bell. School would continue let out at 2:50 p.m. The change is mostly cosmetic, and would make it so that classes start and end in five-minute increments. The Board will take up the matter again this summer when it discusses all school bell schedules. 

Pledge of Allegiance

Cub Scout Pack 4433, the members of whom attend Crescent Elementary, posted the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Crescent Principal Camie Lloyd gave the reverence. 

Patron Comment

Lone Peak Parent Nicole Ellis asked the Board to consider upgrading or replacing the school’s HVAC system. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe thanked the community for supporting the bond proposal and expressed appreciation for the District Office staff members, teachers, principals, and administrators who worked hard to disseminate information about the $283 million tax-rate-neutral measure. He congratulated the Board for the successful vote.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked patrons for participating in the vote, regardless of how they voted. He also thanked CSD’s Insurance Department for a successful completion of Health Insurance Open Enrollment.  Wilcox also congratulated student-athletes who participated in fall sports.

Board Member Reports

Mrs. Clareen Arnold, in a spirit of Thanksgiving, expressed gratitude for her peers on the Board and colleagues in the District for their friendship and collegiality. She said she’s grateful for the lessons she’s learned while serving on the Board.  Mrs. Arnold said she’s thankful for the healthy discussions, even debate, among Board members on important issues. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey said she is grateful for the opportunity to serve the community on the Board of Education. She also thanked patrons for participating in the vote on Nov. 7, and considers it a “solemn responsibility” to fulfill the promises made during the election. She also mentioned the Utah State Board of Education School Community Council training, which was hosted by Canyons District, and the Town Halls she has hosted with Mr. Steve Wrigley, Mrs. Amber Shill, and Mrs. Arnold.  She also expressed appreciation to CSD school communities for holding Veteran Day celebrations. 

Mrs. Amber Shill thanked patrons for participating in the Nov. 7 election and reiterated a pledge to be a wise steward of public funds while also providing safe and secure schools for the Canyons community. She enjoyed Brighton High’s production of “Xanadu,” and reported on attending Butler Middle’s Veterans Day assembly and concert for beginning band students. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley thanked the staff involved in disseminating information about the successful bond proposal. He also expressed thanks to patrons who participated in the vote and for the trust the public has placed in the District. He reported on attending the meeting of the Student Advisory Committee and Jordan High’s production of “The Addams Family.”  He also lauded CSD’s recent Utah College Application Week, which encouraged all high school seniors to submit at least one viable college application. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg said he was out of the country at the time of the vote, yet stayed abreast of the vote tallies via the Salt Lake County Clerk’s website.  He believes the District’s bond proposal earned nearly 60 percent of the vote because of the trust CSD has built with patrons. He referred to the completion of all 13 projects promised to the community at the passage of the 2010 bond.  While excited for the plans for the future, he said, “now the real work begins.” He commended the school district for having policies that support National Guardsmen and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Board President Sherril Taylor expressed appreciation for staff members who worked on the bond-information dissemination effort. He also said he was grateful for the patrons who cast ballots on Election Day. He said he respects every vote. He also said he appreciates the Board’s robust discussions about important issues, and thanked the members for representing their constituents.
The majority of residents who cast ballots in the 2017 General Election voted in favor of the Canyons Board of Education’s proposal to use proceeds from a $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond to provide modern and safe schools to children in all parts of the District. 

Election results indicate that 57.83 percent voted in favor of the plan, which will result in the completion of 11 major construction projects. This includes total rebuilds of Hillcrest and Brighton high schools and a major renovation of Alta High. Some 42.17 percent voted against the measure. Voter turnout was 48.2 percent, according to the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office.

“We are grateful for those who studied our proposal and voted in favor of working in partnership with us to provide safe and modern schools for the children in our community,” said Board President Sherril H. Taylor. “The vote of confidence in our facility-improvement plan is very much appreciated — but we take it very seriously. As we now turn our attention to the hard work of bringing this plan to life, we also reiterate our pledge to be wise stewards of taxpayer dollars as we continue to build up Canyons together.”  

In addition to the Brighton, Hillcrest and Alta projects, the District will: 
  • Rebuild Union Middle
  • Rebuild Midvalley Elementary
  • Rebuild Peruvian Park Elementary
  • Rebuild a White City-area elementary
  • Replace portables with classrooms at Corner Canyon High
  • Build a new west Draper elementary
  • Remodel offices at Brookwood, Granite, Oakdale, Park Lane, Silver Mesa, and Sunrise elementary schools
  • Install windows and skylights for natural light at Altara, Bell View, Brookwood, Canyon View, Crescent, East Midvale, East Sandy, Granite, Lone Peak, Oakdale, Oak Hollow, Park Lane, Quail Hollow, Ridgecrest, Silver Mesa, Sprucewood, Sunrise, and Willow Springs elementary schools

Approval of the bond measure allows the District to continue addressing needs in aging schools in Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Midvale, Sandy and the town of Alta while also planning for future growth. Since 2010, when residents of Canyons District gave approval for a $250 million tax-rate-neutral bond, Canyons District has completed 12 major construction projects. The 13th project promised to the voters at the time of the 2010 bond’s passage is the renovation of Indian Hills Middle, which is expected to be complete by fall 2018.

Work on the first projects with proceeds from the 2017 bond could start this summer.

The District will keep the public updated on the progress of the projects via the website, bond.canyondistrict.org.
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 04:13

Board Meeting Summary, Oct. 3, 2017

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


Alta High's Step2theU Program

Last summer, Alta High enrolled its first cohort of juniors in Step2theU, a program that allows students to earn two years of college credit at the University of Utah while still in high school. Forty-six students applied and the program was able accept 36, said Alta High Principal Brian McGill. Grades, academic awards and extracurricular achievements all factored into the review of the applications by an admissions committee. The committee also took into consideration the applicants’ participation in Honors, Advanced Placement or concurrent enrollment courses. The committee also looked for an ability to contribute to and benefit from a culturally and intellectually diverse learning community. So far, 100 percent of the students who started the program last summer have stuck with it, McGill said. “Not one student has dropped out of the program, to date, which is pretty remarkable,” he said. Those who complete the program will graduate with the equivalent of an associate degree for a fraction of what they would pay in college tuition. It’s a life-changer for some of these kids, McGill said. 

Brain Boosters Update

Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward updated the Board of Education on the “Brain Boosters” part of the elementary-school schedule. Two years ago, the Board of Education approved an elementary schedule that sets aside time for students to participate in the arts, physical-education, engineering, technology and media library classes. At the time the schedule was OK’d, the Board directed the Administration to streamline the Brain Boosters curriculum, increase the productivity of IPLC teacher collaboration, and ensure a high level of quality in the Brain Booster classes. Dr. Roderick-Landward said her department has focused on extending grade-level standards with the courses, and, because the classes are mostly led by paraprofessionals, developing 30- to 60-minute interactive lessons with structured instructional sequences. Roderick-Landward said ISD provides professional development on a monthly basis for the instructors who teach the arts, library media, and physical-education classes, and three times annually for engineering and technology. At the school level, she said, Brain Booster teachers and technicians have the support of the building administrator, the Achievement Coach, the Building Leadership Team liaison, and the lead technician. At the District level, there are specialists for arts, library media, Playworks, engineering and technology, as well as a District-based coach.  Board members reported hearing positive feedback about the Brain Booster program.

Policy Reviews 

The Board adopted a Special Education policy as required by state and federal law. Following a thorough review of CSD’s Section 504 Policies and Procedures, the District Administration and the Board of Education’s Policy Committee determined no substantive changes are needed.

Pledge of Allegiance and Reverence

Boy Scout Troop 788 and Cub Scout Pack 3788 posted the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. The reverence was given by Alta View Principal Karen Medlin. The 600 students enrolled at the school hail mostly from White City but also live in other Sandy neighborhoods. The school has a Spanish-English Dual-Language Immersion program, and 28 licensed staff, including teachers from Spain and Mexico, and enjoys a supportive and active community of parents. Medlin thanked the Board and community for her new school building, which was the 12th major construction project completed with proceeds from the $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. 

Student Advisory Council

The 2017-2018 members of the Student Advisory Council were officially introduced. The members are Alta High’s Sydney Pexton and Taylor Wood; Brighton High’s Bradley Sullivan and Sophie Yates; Corner Canyon High’s Hope Broman and Logan Orr; Hillcrest High’s Boston Iacobazzi and Sierra Metzger; and Jordan High’s Conner Tait and Gabby Marz. Members of the council, selected after an application process, meet regularly to advise the Board on proposed policies that could impact students. The first meeting of the council, to be led by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle, is Wednesday at Jordan High.  

Recognitions

The Board of Education recognized the following students and staff for their accomplishments: 
  • Katie Blunt, Education Technology Specialist, who was chosen to be featured on a nationally broadcasted segment for American Graduate Champion Day on Oct. 14. 
  • The 14 Canyons high school seniors who are semifinalists in the National Merit Scholar competition. The students are Alta High’s Nathan L. Brown; Brighton High’s Joshua Brodbeck: Corner Canyon High’s August Burton and Aaron Jackson; Hillcrest High’s Richard Abbott, Bryson Armstrong, Mohammed Khan, Chu Un Kim, Kara Komarnitsky, Madeline Martin, Joshuan Raty, Alexander Sun and Vivek Vankayalapati; and Jordan High’s Daniel Ross.
  • The Board also recognized the CSD Office of Public Communications, which received the Best Communications in a Major Incident Award from the Utah Public Information Officers Association. The award stemmed from Canyons’ efforts to communicate with the Brookwood community after a fatal shooting in June. 
Patron Comment

Draper Park Middle Kelli Davey spoke to the Board about the six-period schedule at the school.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including the approval of minutes from the Sept. 19 meeting of the Board of Education; the hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel; and a Memorandum of Understanding with Cottonwood Height’s Summer Theater Program. 

Bond Proposal

Director of External Affairs Charlie Evans presented information about the effort to inform the public about the District’s $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond proposal that will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. The Friends of the Canyons District Bond, an organization of parents who support the bond proposal, also gave the Board “vote yes” signs for their yards.  The signs were paid for with private funds. Parent Suzanne Walker said residents who want a lawn sign can contact the group at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or through a Facebook page, Friends of the Canyons District Bond.

Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe spoke about the public and personal impact of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. He said he knew people who were the event, and expressed gratitude they were able escape unharmed. However, he also noted the ways in which people pull together in times of a crisis and the many examples of good works, not only in our District but across the nation and world. For an example, he noted a Midvale Middle teacher who applied for a grant to help non-English speakers at the school.  He also pointed out the anti-bullying effort that Alta and Corner Canyon high school students will hold before the upcoming rivalry game.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board that a voter information pamphlet about the bond proposal will be delivered to homes later this week.  He also congratulated East Midvale Elementary for raising to from a D to a B in the state’s school-grading program. He also thanked teachers for working so hard to prepare for Parent Teacher Conferences.

Board Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg also remarked on the press event to announce this year’s round of Chevron “Fuel Your School” teacher grants. The event was held at Midvale Middle where English-language development teacher Shelley Allen demonstrated tablets she was awarded that are able to translate classroom lectures for students in languages ranging from Swahili to Arabic and Chinese. Mr. Millerberg also commended the citizens group of grassroots supporters who have volunteered to help spread word about CSD’s proposed school-improvement bond. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley remarked on the growing lack of civility and social pressures facing school children and the teachers who are working hard to help them achieve. He said he would like the Board to discuss the role of schools in promoting behavioral health and emotional wellness. 

Mrs. Amber Shill attended her Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation meeting and provided them with an update on CSD’s proposed bond. Parks and Recreation has just come off a successful bond election, which is reaping dividends throughout the community, she said. Mrs. Shill also accompanied Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe to a recent Cottonwood Heights City Council meeting during which they discussed the bond measure. She said the council is supportive and eager to see Brighton High rebuilt.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey encouraged School Community Council members to take advantage of the many trainings being offered by the District. She also attended the Cottonwood Heights City Council where Dr. Briscoe presented information on the proposed bond. She also commended the District for providing resources to support the emotional well-being of its students and employees.

Clareen Arnold was excused from the meeting.

Mr. Chad Iverson attended a National Honors Society induction ceremony, as well as sporting events.  He added that he’s excited about the bond proposal and the support that is building across the Canyons community.

Mr. Sherril Taylor thanked Canyons District patrons for all their support over the years. The District wouldn’t be anywhere without the supportive residents, he said.
Friday, 22 September 2017 00:43

Board Meeting Summary, Sept. 19, 2017

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

Public Hearing for Bond Proposal


The Board of Education held a public hearing on the $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond proposal. If the majority of residents vote Nov. 7 in favor of the proposal, the District will rebuild Hillcrest and Brighton high schools; significantly renovate Alta High; rebuild Union Middle; rebuild Peruvian Park Elementary, Midvalley Elementary and a White City-area elementary school; replace the portables at Corner Canyon High; build a new west Draper Elementary; build new front offices at six elementary schools; and complete natural-lighting projects at 18 elementary schools.

The following residents addressed the Board during the public hearing: 
  • Corner Canyon High PTSA President Kathryn Myers said she supported the proposal.
  • Patron Steve Van Maren said he does not disagree with addressing the building needs in the District. However, he said he disagrees with the way the finance plan is structured.
  • Darrell Smith, former mayor of Draper, said the bond proposal address both facilty needs and growth. The impact to taxpayers is always a concern, he said, but voiced support for the proposal.  
  • Patron Betty Shaw said that although she doesn’t have any children in schools, she supports the bond so the community’s children are provided the best-possible education. She urged the Board to act now before interest rates and construction costs go up.   
  • Parent Angie Overbaugh said she’s an advocate of the bond proposal. She said the Board was fiscally responsible with the $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. She said the 2017 bond proposal will provide secure and modern schools. New and improved schools also will increase property values, she said
  • Parent Lisanne Pepper told the Board she supports the bond proposal and urged the communities that benefited from the 2010 bond to help provide those same kinds of facilities to other parts of the District. 
  • Region 17 PTA Director Tonya Rhodes said the PTA has taken a position to support the bond.  She read the statement of support. 
  • Teacher and CSD resident Jerry Christensen said he supports the bond proposal.

Progress Report on Board’s Vision and Mission

Research and Assessments Director Dr. Hal Sanderson updated the Board of Education on the Board’s vision and mission. In the Board’s guiding tenet of Community Engagement, in 2016-2017, the District counted 12,672 volunteers who logged 257,380 hours of service. This tally increased from 11,675 volunteers in the previous school year. In addition, 100 percent of CSD principals, 71 percent of School Community Council chairs, and 53 percent of SCC members attended the District-provided professional development for SCCs. In the tenet of Customer Service, 3.7 million people visited the Canyons website and spent an average of 3.2 minutes on each web page visited. Sanderson also reported that, in last year’s Parent Satisfaction Survey, 89 percent of CSD parents responded favorably to the question “I am pleased with how much my child in learning,” and 86 percent agreed with the statement “I am pleased with how this school supports my child’s emotional well-being.” Some 6,816 parents completed the survey.  As for students, of the 858 graduating seniors who responded to the District’s survey, 78 percent said they were satisfied with the quality of education they received in CSD. In last year’s Teacher Satisfaction Survey, of the 887 teachers who responded to the poll, 71 percent said they were satisfied with their jobs in CSD. This is up from 63 percent in 2015-2016. In the tenet of Innovation, 26 percent of teachers have earned level-one certification in the instructional use of technology, which is about halfway to the point the Board would like the District to be in 2019. Last year, 74 percent participated in opt-in district-level professional development, and 25 percent of those were in PD classes for one to 10 hours. Eight percent participated in some 50 hours of PD to enhance their pedagogy. In 2016-2017, at least 92 unique PD opportunities were offered to CSD’s licensed employees. The Board also reviewed and discussed innovative programs that have been launched to positively impact student achievement. Those programs include the Supplemental Hours of Instruction for Kindergarten Students; the Husky Strong Academy; Alta High’s Step2theU; Elementary School Brain Boosters; Dual Language Immersion Programs; Canyons Virtual High School and Diamond Ridge High; and the District’s United Way partnership. In the tenet of Fiscal Accountability, the Board was updated on the District’s AAA bond rating, the 100 percent compliance on the Annual Audit; and the national awards received every year since 2010 for the District’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and budget book. 

Calendar Committee Appointments

Board members Amber Shill and Mont Millerberg have agreed to serve on the District’s Calendar Committee, which crafts and proposes a calendar for every academic year. By policy, the Calendar Committee is made up of teachers, administrators, Education Support Professionals, members of the PTA/PTSA, and School Community Councils or at-large representatives.

Pledge of Allegiance

The colors were posted and Pledge of Allegiance led by Cub Pack 3230, made up of students who attend Quail Hollow Elementary. Quail Hollow Elementary Principal Shad DeMill delivered the reverence.

Recognitions

The Board of Education recognized Midvale Middle students Abigail Slama-Catron and Eric Snaufer, along with two students from the Beehive Science and Technology Academy, Allison Drennan and Timothy Holt. The students won the regional President’s Environmental Youth Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Slama-Catron and Snaufer also advanced in Broadcom Master’s, the nation’s most prestigious science, technology, engineering and math science fair competition. The Board also recognized teachers, students, principals, Achievement Coaches, and administrators for CSD’s above-the-state-average scores on the Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence (SAGE) tests. Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward, Director of Instructional Supports, was applauded for leading the District’s research-based instructional practices since the District’s founding in 2009. 

Report from the Canyons Education Foundation

Canyons Education Foundation Development Officer Laura Barlow reported on the progress of the fundraising arm of the District. Barlow reported that, last year, the annual spring gala raised $50,500, an increase of some $5,000 from the previous year. The golf tournament, held on Monday, raised some $62,000, an increase of more than $7,000 over the previous year.  Funds raised at the event goes directly to students and teachers in the District. She also reported on the new members of the Foundation Board; the creation of partnerships with local businesses to provide growth opportunities for students; and donation drives.  In August, the Foundation partnered with Z104FM to collect school supplies and raise money to help low-income students go back to school with full backpacks. She also updated the Board on the new members of the Foundation, including the CEO of Lone Peak Hospital and the presidents of the Sandy and Draper chambers of commerce. 

Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports

Canyons Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe congratulated the winners of the 2017 Apex Awards. He also thanked the Canyons Education Foundation staff for planning and executing a successful golf tournament. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said that salary increases for teachers were implemented on the Friday, Sept. 15 paychecks. Wilcox also reported on the bond proposal presentation given to the Draper City Council. He also publicly bid his wife a happy anniversary. 

Board Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson and Mrs. Clareen Arnold deferred their comments.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey mentioned her attendance at the SCC and PTA luncheon with Superintendent Briscoe. She expressed gratitude to the parents who volunteer in school-leadership capacities. She also attended the Albion Middle “Fun Run” and Ridgecrest Elementary’s 50th birthday party.  She also thanked Amber Shill, Mont Millerberg and Steve Wrigley for attending a leadership retreat hosted by the Utah School Boards Association.

Mrs. Amber Shill expressed appreciation for the administration for their hard work in overseeing the District. She also attended the Brighton High School Community Council. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on the bond-proposal presentation given to the White City Township Council. He also expressed appreciation for the winners of the 2017 Apex Awards. He also thanked the staff for organizing the event. He also reported on attending the USBA leadership conference. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg reported on the bond-proposal presentation given to the Midvale City Council. He said Mayor JoAnn Seghini offered to write a message to residents in support of the bond proposal. He also reported on meeting with a group that is actively planning for the future of Hillcrest High. He also reported on attending the USBA leadership conference and the CSD Foundation Golf Tournament. 

Board President Sherril H. Taylor thanked staff for planning the Apex Awards.  He also expressed appreciation for the service of Board members. He wished employee Carolyn Larsen a speedy recovery after suffering an injury while working with students. He thanked central-office staff, teachers and Education Support Professionals for keeping the district running smoothly.
Wednesday, 23 August 2017 23:46

Board Meeting Summary, Aug. 22, 2017

Board Meeting Summary, Aug. 22, 2017

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

Bond Proposal


The Canyons Board of Education voted to seek resident approval of a $283 million, tax-rate-neutral bond on the Nov. 7 ballot. The Board also established a list of projects that would be completed with funds from bond issuances. If the bond proposal gains passage, the District will: 
  • Rebuild Hillcrest and Brighton high schools 
  • Rebuild Union Middle School
  • Renovate parts of Alta High School, including the addition of a new auditorium and gymnasium
  • Rebuild Midvalley and Peruvian Park elementary schools 
  • Rebuild a White City-area elementary school
  • Build new classroom wings at Corner Canyon High School
  • Build a new West Draper Elementary School
  • Remodel offices at Brookwood, Granite, Oakdale, Park Lane, Silver Mesa, and Sunrise elementary schools
  • Install windows and skylights for natural lighting at Altara, Bell View, Brookwood, Canyon View, Crescent, East Midvale, East Sandy, Granite, Lone Peak, Oakdale, Oak Hollow, Park Lane, Quail Hollow, Ridgecrest, Silver Mesa, Sprucewood, Sunrise and Willow Springs elementary schools.
Before the vote, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox reviewed the resolution and the language of the proposed ballot. He also reviewed a proposed timeline for construction of the building priorities and the legal requirements to inform the public about the proposal. 

Eric Pfieffer, research director of pollster Dan Jones and Associates, presented survey information to the Board. Of 1,204 Canyons District registered voters polled, 87 percent said the District spent proceeds from the 2010 general-obligation bond somewhat or very well. After hearing the projects under consideration to be completed with a new bond, 75 percent of respondents said they were likely to vote for the bond proposal, according to the survey. The margin of error in the survey is 2.7 percent. 

After the vote, Board President Sherril H. Taylor issued the following statement: “What an exciting time in the history of Canyons District. As work begins in earnest on the 13th and final major construction project promised to our patrons in 2010, we aim to extend our ambitious plan to improve schools across Canyons. Just as we did seven years ago, we have developed a list of construction priorities that will have us turning dirt in every part of Canyons District. While we think our track-record speaks for itself, we reiterate our pledge to provide modern and safe schools for our community while also serving as conscientious stewards of taxpayer dollars. We have built so much momentum since our patrons graciously supported our previous facility-improvement plan, and we have great hopes the community will continue to work with us in in our efforts to build up Canyons together.”

CTESS Update

In response to feedback from teachers and principals, Canyons District’s teacher evaluation system continues to be updated, said Human Resources Administrator of Evaluation and Leadership Sandra Dahl-Houlihan. With these refinements in place, 83 percent of teachers polled in May 2017 strongly agree or agree that CTESS has improved. In 2017, 94 percent of CSD’s career educators, and 86 percent of provisional educators, were rated as effective or highly effective. That’s up from the 93 percent and 83 percent, respectively, who reached effective or highly effective status in 2016. The three-year-old evaluation system remains a work in progress and will continue to undergo improvements, said Dahl-Houlihan. The end goal is for it to be an effective support tool for teachers, and not punitive.

Behavioral Supports Update

Responsive Services Director BJ Weller updated the Board on organizational changes that will make it possible for schools and District personnel to provide needed behavioral supports and respond quickly and uniformly to crises. The changes aim to better align all support professionals toward the common goal of removing barriers to student achievement. They come as schools throughout Utah are determining how to comply with juvenile-justice system reforms that require schools to find new ways to discipline kids without sending them to court. 

Volunteer Report

New Region 17 PTA Director Tonya Rhodes and former President Betty Shaw gave the Board a ceremonial giant check made for the amount of $2,900,783. This figure represents the amount of money the District would have had to pay in salaries if it would have had to pay employees for the 120,940 hours of work done by PTA volunteers.

Board Recognitions

The following were recognized for their achievements:
  • CSD Nutrition Services Director Sebasthian Varas, who was named by the School Nutrition Association as the 2017 Director of the Year for Utah
  • Special Education Programs Administrator and former Eastmont Middle Principal Stacy Kurtzhals, who recently received the Patriot Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Program
  • Corner Canyon High freshman Arial Harp, for winning first place in speech performance at the Chinese Bridge Language Contest at the University of Maryland.

Open Meetings Training

Canyons District’s General Counsel Dan Harper briefed the Board on its responsibilities regarding Open and Public Meetings. The annual training is required by law.

School Community Council Training

Every year, CSD conducts training for new and returning School Community Council members. The trainings give council members an understanding of their statutory responsibilities and help them make the most of their time on their school’s council, explained Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards.  The work of the SCCs also streamline the approval process for school improvement plans, said Alice Peck, a CSD School Performance Director. 

Pledge of Allegiance and Reverence

School Performance Director Joanne Ackermann led the Board and audience in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Communications Director Jeff Haney delivered the reverence.

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the consent agenda, which included minutes from the Aug. 2, 2017 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel plans; July financial reports; and CSD’s participation in the SAFE Neighborhoods Program. 

Patron Comments

Former Region 17 PTA President Betty Shaw thanked volunteers in Canyons Schools. She also expressed appreciation for District’s support during her tenure as the leader of the Parent-Teacher Association. She said the District needs to “keep the ball rolling” with school-improvement efforts. She said she’s 100 percent in favor of a new bond proposal. 

CEA President Erika Bradshaw introduced herself to the Board of Education. Bradshaw says she looks forward to maintaining a positive relationship with the Board and Administration. She also says she’s in favor of the bond proposal.  She noted the vast facility differences between Mount Jordan Middle, where she previously taught, and Hillcrest High, where she teaches now.

Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe said the Board’s support of the bond proposal shows the members are committed to educational excellence. He applauded Z104FM for the radio station’s efforts to collect donations of back-to-school supplies for students in need, and thanked the External Relations team for their work planning the school supply donation drive. CSD joined forces with the radio station as part of its annual back-to-school Gathering for Good fundraising lunch.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked the Board members for their diligence in weighing the bond proposal. He thanked Facilities Director Rick Conger and his team for all the hard work they’ve put in over the summer to ensure CSD’s schools are ready to welcome students at the beginning of the year. Finally, he commended Nutrition Services Director Sebasthian Varas for his award.

Board Member Reports

Steve Wrigley remarked on the huge crowd that attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Alta View Elementary, the 12th project completed with money from the $250 million voter-approved bond. People of all generations came to the event to see the new addition to their community. Wrigley also reported on attending CSD’s New-Teacher Orientation and sat in on a faculty meeting at Eastmont Middle, where enthusiasm is high for the coming school year.

Mrs. Amber Shill said she looks forward to the first day of school and CSD’s traditional Red Carpet Welcomes on the first day of school. She also expressed gratitude for Sixth-Grade –Orientation, which helps new middle schoolers become acclimated to the building.    

Mrs. Nancy Tingey reported on attending a Cottonwood Heights City-sponsored luncheon for the 2017 Teachers of the Year in Cottonwood Heights-area schools.  She remarked on her excitement for the 2017-2018 school year. She wished everyone “a wonderful first day.” Lastly, she thanked her fellow Board members for support of the 2017 bond.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold expressed gratitude for fellow Board member Chad Iverson’s diligence in weighing the bond proposal. She thanked Business Administrator Leon Wilcox and his team for their hard work in preparing information and data on the bond. 

Mr. Chad Iverson commended Board member Clareen Arnold for the unique perspective that she brings to the Board as a career educator. He expressed enthusiasm for the Utah State Board of Education’s willingness to reevaluate year-end testing for high school students. He added that he supports the will of the Board with regard to pursuing a bond.

Board President Sherril Taylor recognized the hard work and diligence of teachers who worked so hard to prepare for the start of school.  He noted the excitement that is felt in the schools for the first-day-of-school celebrations.  He also thanked the police officers for providing security to the community. 
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