Canyons District is pleased to announce new administrative appointments, which were approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.  

Kenna Sorensen, currently the Principal of East Sandy Elementary, will become an administrator in the Instructional Supports Department. This position was created when Dr. Darren Draper, the Director of Education Technology, resigned to accept a position in the Alpine District.

With the move, Sorensen joins the Department of Instructional Supports’ administrative team of Director Dr. Amber-Roderick Landward and Administrator Jesse Henefer in guiding the District’s curriculum and education-technology initiatives

Dr. Angela Wilkinson, currently the Assistant Principal of East Midvale Elementary, has been selected as the new principal of East Sandy, replacing Sorensen.   

Danya Bodell, who is now an Achievement Coach at Brookwood Elementary, is the new Assistant Principal at East Midvale Elementary.
The Canyons Board of Education on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 approved tentative negotiated agreements for the 2017-2018 with the Canyons Education Support Professionals Association and District Administrators. By accepting the tentative agreements, and with the vote to put into place a new salary schedule for licensed educators for the 2017-2018 school year, all employees in the Canyons District will see a boost in compensation in the coming academic year.

For administrators, the District agrees to fully fund increment steps for eligible employees; a 3.25 percent cost of living adjustment to the base of the Administrative Salary Schedule; and a one-time 1.25 percent stipend for the 41 administrators who are at the top step during the 2016-2017 school year. The District also agrees to the recommendations of the District Insurance Advisory Committee regarding the insurance premium increase. The total dollar increase will be 11.3 percent. The District will contribute 83.7 percent of the increase and employees will contribute the remaining 16.3 percent. The administrators also agree to the plan-design changes recommend by the DIAC. The administrators who have a master’s degree plus 30 semester hours in pursuit of additional education will receive a $2,100 stipend, which is 50 percent of the stipend for those with doctorate degrees. Also,administrators must have 240 sick days to be eligible to participate the sick-day redemption program.

For the Education Support Professionals, the District will fully fund increment steps for eligible employees. The District also will fund a 3.25 percent cost of living adjustment to the base of the ESP salary schedule. The District will maintain the same number of working days and hours for current contracted employees. Exceptions would be governed by regular District policy and procedures. The salary schedule changes and increment increase for all ESP employees, regardless of the employee’s contracted day of work, will go into effect July 1, 2017. Changes will be retroactive if negotiations extend past that date. In 2018, there will be an 11.33 percent insurance premium increase, but the District will contribute 83.7 percent and the ESP employees will contribute the remaining 16.3 percent. The District will maintain health premiums with no increase between July 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017.  Also, upon retirement through URS, and based solely upon sick days accrued since July 1, 2009, the District will pay $100 per day for 25 percent of the employee’s accrued, but unused sick leave.

In addition, the negotiated agreement states that salary lane movement for promotions of current employees promoted after Jan. 1 will be given service credit from their previous hire date and eligible for step increments increase.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking the corresponding agenda items.

Budget Proposal

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox presented an overview of the proposed 2017-2018 budget for Canyons District. He said the tentative budget aligns resources with the Board’s stated vision and mission.  The budget proposal aims to increase compensation to recruit and retain excellent teachers and support staff; implement student-behavior programs with Enhanced At-Risk Funds; and maintain current class sizes with a 30-FTE cushion to support teacher teaming and Dual Language Immersion, etc.  The proposed budget includes increases for utilities, supplies, and instructional technology.  Wilcox also told the Board salaries and benefits make up about 87 percent of the General Fund Budget. While insurance costs are expected to go up, the District is planning to cover most of the costs. The state’s funding formula, called the Weighted Pupil Unit, will increase to $3,311. However, the District plans to spend $7,700 per student. Wilcox also mentioned that two current construction projects — the new Alta View Elementary and Midvale Middle — will be complete this year. The costs of the scheduled renovation of Indian Hills Middle also will be seen in the proposed budget. The proposed budget also includes several Capital projects, including roof replacements at Park Lane and Oakdale elementary schools; carpet at Altara, Sunrise and portions of Alta and Brighton; and an ADA upgrade at Lone Peak Elementary. Wilcox also said it’s not expected that school lunch prices will go up.  The Board also has approved a fee schedule that has no increases. The budget proposal is scheduled to be adopted June 13. The Board will be asked to adopt both the revised fiscal year 2017 budget and tentative fiscal year 2018 budget. The budget proposal will be made available for public perusal 15 days before the scheduled adoption. If needed, additional budgetary information will be brought to the Board after June 22 when the certified tax rate is expected to be released. 

LAND Trust Plans

The Board of Education received LAND Trust plans for the schools in the Canyons District. The plans, which are reviewed and approved by members of the Board, include each school's Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. The target approval date for the plans is April 24. 

Supplemental Hours of Instruction

Instructional Supports Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward updated the Board on enrollment progress for CSD's Supplemental Hours of Instruction for Kindergarten program. The District is moving forward with its plan to expand the sites of the tuition-based kindergarten initiative. Dr. Roderick-Landward said a final decision on the program sites is dependent on the number of applications submitted. The goal is begin notifying applications of acceptance to the program by April 21. Cost for the program is $2,950 a year, and can be paid in monthly installments, August-May. Financial-need scholarships also are available for qualifying students.  

Possible Agenda Topics

The Board of Education discussed possible topics for discussion at upcoming Board meetings and retreats. Suggestions for discussion included updates to the elementary-school Brain Booster program; the District’s facilities plan; CSD mental-health supports and services; further examination of the District’s vision and mission; the evaluation tool for the Superintendent and the Business Administrator; and gifted-student education, among other items. 

Policy Update

Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen updated the Board on proposed changes to personnel policies governing salary levels for employees returning to work after a work-related medical accident; health-insurance eligibility; long-term disability; and employee probation.

Pledge of Allegiance and Reverence

A Scout Troop from Bella Vista Elementary led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Bella Vista Principal Cory Anderson remarked on the power of positivity, and applauded his community for coming together to support student achievement. Remarkable things happen every day within Bella Vista classrooms, he said, but a few, such as the Dr. Seuss-centric Read Across America celebration, have garnered media attention this year.


The Board of Education recognized the following students, administrators, and community members:
  • Brighton High student Julianne Liu, who won the Bonnevile Exchange Youth of the Year Award
  • Canyon View Elementary Principal BJ Weller, recipient of the Utah PTA Outstanding School Administrator Award. 
  • Sunrise Head Secretary Wendy Heath, who received the Utah PTA Outstanding Support Staff Award
  • Willow Springs’ Leslie Bruce, who received the Utah PTA Advocacy Award
  • Peter Cannon, a father of a student at Alta View Elementary, for receiving the Utah PTA Involvement Award.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel; the list of school fees for 2017-2018 school year; an amended LAND Trust plan for Alta High; the acceptance of lots from Sandy City on which CTEC construction-management students will build houses. 

Jordan High Feeder Proposal

The Board of Education told the Office of School Performance and Jordan High administrators to move forward with a summer academic program for Beetdigger freshmen. The aim of the program is to help students from Eastmont and Mount Jordan middle schools transition to high school classes, especially in math and science. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on attending the National School Board Association Conference. He also mentioned that Board Vice President Nancy Tingey was formally recognized at the national conference for serving as the President of the Utah School Board Association. He also thanked members of the PTA and other volunteers for their efforts in CSD.  Specifically, he mentioned PTA Region 17 Director Betty Shaw. He also expressed appreciation for Wilcox and his team for their work on the budget proposal.   

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked Sandy City for donating the building lots for our construction-management students. He also thanked the Canyons Human Resources department for tis extensive recruitment efforts.

Reports from the Board of Education  

Mr. Chad Iverson said he attended the regional spelling bee. He also said he’s excited for the Indian Hills Middle groundbreaking on Thursday, April 13. The event will be at 5:30 p.m. at the school. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold said she learned a lot at the NSBA conference and expressed appreciation for being able to attend. She looks forward to the Teacher of the Year reception and announcement ceremony. She also commended those involved in the Jordan High Feeder Program, and thanked Wilcox for preparing a thorough budget proposal. She also thanked Sandy City for the donation of the land for the CTEC students.

Vice President Mrs. Nancy Tingey also reported on her attendance at the NSBA Conference.  She also said she attended some of the school Teacher of the Year reveal parties, and expressed thanks for the donation of the land for the CTEC students. 

Second Vice President Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending the NSBA conference, Canyon View’s PTA meeting, and the announcement of the Teacher of the Year, as well as Weller’s recognition as the PTA Administrator of the Year.  She also attended Granite Elementary’s production of “Schoolhouse Rock.”  She and Mrs. Tingey also will host a Town Hall Thursday, April 20. They will meet with patrons from 7:30-9 p.m. in the media center at Butler Middle. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley also reported on attending the NSBA conference. He said he visited Diamond Ridge High. He said students responded positively to a survey that asked if they enjoyed school and whether they thought the teachers cared about them.  He said students also expressed a desire to graduate from high school. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg reported on attending the Incident Command Manual Update Committee.  He expressed thanks to the staff who are focusing on improving the safety and security of CSD buildings. He also thanked the nearly 12,000 volunteers who work in Canyons schools.

Board President Sherril Taylor said he’s looking forward to the Indian Hills Middle groundbreaking ceremony. He also thanked the Scouts for conducting the Pledge of Allegiance and posting the colors. He also expressed appreciation to members of the Board for representing their constituents and attending so many activities in the District, and the administration for working hard on behalf of students. He also thanked the Sandy Police officers who provided security at the meeting.
Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking the corresponding agenda items.

Jordan Feeder Principals Propose Summer AVID Program   

The principals in the Jordan High feeder propose to start a program focusing on helping incoming freshmen transition to high school classes, especially in mathematics and science. A 60-student co-hort, identified through grades and other assessments, would be made up of ninth-graders out of Mount Jordan and Eastmont middle schools. Then, for 20 days in the summer, students would attend four-hour math and science courses. Lunch would be provided, and the program also would include three field trips. Transportation would be provided. Cost of the program would be $30,375. Part of the cost — $8,125 — would be for the AVID math and science curriculum. According to the proposal, a student who successfully completes the summer program also would enter school with already-earned credit. The Board will continue to study the proposal.

Construction Report: Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary

The rebuilds of Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary are progressing as scheduled. Both buildings will be ready to welcome students and teachers this fall. Starting in mid-June, crews will move supplies and equipment into the new buildings and put finishing touches on the interiors and landscaping. The Administration is recommending that Alta View’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and VIP tour be held on Aug. 14, and that Midvale Middle’s grand opening be celebrated on Aug. 7. Also, this summer, crews will get started on a major remodel of Indian Hills Middle. Over the summer, furniture and supplies will have to be moved from Indian Hills to Crescent View Middle, which will serve as the temporary school site for Indian Hills students during the 2017-2018 school year. The Indian Hills and Midvale middle schools and Alta View Elementary projects are being completed with funds from the $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. 

Incident Command Manual Update

Earlier this year, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle assigned a committee to update CSD’s Incident Command Manual, a set of protocols governing the District’s response to emergencies. The review was prompted by a spate of crises at the outset of the 2016-2017 school year. The committee performed a line-by-line review of the manual and identified priorities for the update: 
  • Work with law enforcement agencies and the Division of State Risk Management to simplify and clarify commonly-used emergency terms such as “lockdown” and “shelter-in-place” to eliminate confusion and ensure that schools, police agencies, and families are working with the same definitions.
  • Update and re-design the Incident Command Manual.
  • Create a policy identifying which drills are to be done and reported each month by each CSD school. 
  • Foster a culture of safety, with an emphasis on training.
  • Create a mechanism by which Principals, at their discretion, can transfer incoming calls during an emergency to the Front Desk team.
  • Build a repository of site-specific emergency plans.
  • Meet quarterly to review drill reports, and debrief on emergency responses. 
Committee members are Dowdle; Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray; Communications officers Jeff Haney and Kirsten Stewart; Student Support Services’ Tamra Baker; Hillcrest Assistant Principal Brenda McCann; Union Middle Assistant Principal Taylor Hansen; Willow Canyon Principal Marilyn Williams and state Risk Management’s Jeff Rose.   

Board Member Appointments to Safety Committee

Board members Mont Millerberg and Clareen Arnold have agreed to serve on Canyons District’s Safety Committee, which oversees emergency protocols and crisis response for the District.

Legislative Update

Government Relations Director Charlie Evans updated the Board of Education on education-related bills that were filed in the 2017 General Session of the Utah Legislature. Some 165 bills were tied to the operations of schools, he said, the most we’ve faced since the inception of the District. Highlights include fully-funded growth and a 4 percent increase to the Weighted-Pupil Unit, the state funding formula for public education. The Teacher Supply Budget was funded, and Teacher Licensure Fees also will be paid, he noted. The two bills that demanded most of Evans’ and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards’ time was SB80, which would have siphoned a significant amount of money away from Canyons; and SB255, titled “Funding for Education System Amendments.” Both SB80 and SB255 failed to gain passage. Evans also pointed out that a school-grading bill was approved; a bill that modifies provisions related to the juvenile justice system also was approved; and legislation regarding “Public School Membership in Associations,” which directly addressed the Utah High School Activities Association, was OK’d.  Several other bills also were reviewed for the Board. Information will be sent to departments who may be affected by new legislation.   

Land for Additional Parking at Jordan High

The Board of Education voted to allow Business Administrator Leon Wilcox to engage in negotiations for the purchase of .91 acres at 725 S. State —  the former site of the restaurant — for $1.070,000.  The purchase price is the appraised value of the land.  Up to 126 parking stalls for Jordan High could be built on the land, according to Wilcox. 

Official Welcome to New Administrators  

The Board of Education officially welcomed the administrators who have accepted new roles for the 2017-2018 academic year. The Board of Education approved administrative appointments at previous meetings.

Patron Comments

Canyons Education Association President Jen Buttars expressed appreciation for CSD’s professional approach to contract negotiations. She said the Board cares about teachers, students and classified employees, and it shows in the contract negotiations. As a parent of a Jordan High student, she remarked on the Jordan feeder program that is being proposed.  She also thanked the Board for considering the proposal to purchase land near Jordan High for more parking.

Student Advisory Council Report

The Student Advisory Council presented a report to the Board of Education. This year, the student council discussed, among other things, a recent CSD bell-schedule study, parking issues, and how student leaders can advance change and more effectively serve their communities. They also learned about recent court rulings and how they affect free speech rights in schools. President Taylor commended students for their service and encouraged them to continue to find ways to serve for many years to come.

Action: Policy Updates

The Board unanimously approved under a third reading several policy changes, including an update to bring CSD’s Family Medical Leave policy in line with federal law, and a policy that would require CSD employees who are elected or appointed to a public office to perform their elected duties on their own time while on leave from work. Also approved was a proposal to strike obsolete language from outdated policies having to do with employee suggestions and lump sum payments. The Board approved with one dissenting vote a policy change to clarify rules over paid release time for employees who are called to jury duty or to testify in District-related litigation.

 Employee Exit Survey

Canyons District’s goal is to recruit and retain high-quality employees. Toward that end, the CSD Human Resources Department surveyed employees who have resigned or who plan to retire this year to better understand their reasons for moving on. Most employees are either retiring after long, successful careers or leaving for unavoidable reasons, such as to relocate to another state or raise their families. But some are making a career change or moving to similar positions inside and outside the state, Dimond says. The survey indicates a need to address concerns over workload expectations, financial compensation, employee autonomy and recognition for good work. Employees, however, expressed appreciation for the District’s strong leaders, professional supports and training and collaborative atmosphere.

Pledge and Reverence

Edgemont Elementary Scout Troop 3375 led the Board of Education in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a reverence delivered by Edgemont Principal Cathy Schino.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, which includes the minutes from the March 7 meeting; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; and February financial reports.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Briscoe thanked the Board for staying late to address various issues.  He thanked the Incident Command Manual Update Committee for their hard work.  He also mentioned a fundraising event he attended at which Jordan Valley students were able to connect with a group that helped them with their disabilities.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox also thanked the Board for addressing challenging issues at the meeting. He also thanked legislators for their work during the 2017 General Session of the Utah Legislature. He thanked the Board for supporting a proposal to buy five new buses. With the purchases, all parts of the fleet will be newer than 2000 models. In addition, he congratulated Nancy Webb for being named the top buyer in Utah. He also thanked Director Gary Hansen for his work in the Purchasing Department. 

Board Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson said he attended the Utah Music Educators Festival last Friday to see the Indian Hills band perform.  He also attended the track invitational races at which Alta and Corner Canyon teams competed.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold reported on advancements in arts-education in the District.  She also mentioned the donated props and costumes that are in storage and can be used by schools and patrons. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey expressed thanks Canyons’ delegation of legislators.  She lauded the 4 percent increase to the WPU and the changes in policies that will strengthen efforts for academic achievement. She appreciates the members of School Community Councils who are working hard on their CSIP plans. She thanked the Policy Committee for reviewing and updating the policies in the District’s manual. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on visits to several schools and the discussion at a Town Hall.  He also said he spoke to the Student Advisory Committee. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg said he has enjoyed his first three months as a member of the Board of Education.  He recalled the District’s efforts to hold an active shooter drill five years ago, and thanked the Incident Command Manual Update Committee for their hard work. He mentioned the Canyons Education Foundation’s funding of a $6,300 grant to Jordan High to help robotics students. That grant led to the Jordan team winning FIRST Robotics and advancing to the World Championships. He also said he’s been pleased to see the Student Advisory Committee up and running, and said he’s looking forward to the ribbon-cutting at the new Midvale Middle.

President Sherril Taylor thanked Facilities Director Rick Conger for working so hard on all the bond-funded projects. He also invited the community to Indian Hills’ March 30 groundbreaking. The community, he said, is excited for the start of work on the middle school. He also presented information for planning on an upcoming board retreat. He mentioned the Office of Communications for planning Recognitions, and Dr. Dowdle for overseeing the Student Advisory Council. He thanked the teachers and Education Support Professionals for their hard work and dedication.
Canyons District is pleased to announce new leadership appointments, which were approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. The appointments are for the coming school year. 

The appointments are: 

Stacy Kurtzhals, currently Principal at Eastmont Middle, will become a Program Administrator in the Special Education Department. 

Charisse Hilton, currently Principal of Brighton High, will become Principal of Eastmont Middle.

Tom Sherwood, currently Principal at Jordan High, will become Principal at Brighton High.

Wendy Dau, currently Principal at Midvale Middle, will become Principal at Jordan High.

Mindy Robison, currently Principal at Crescent Elementary, will become Principal at Midvale Middle.

Camie Lloyd, currently Assistant Principal at Albion Middle, will become Principal at Crescent Elementary.

Steve Bailey, currently Assistant Principal at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Alta High.

Ryan Durant, currently an administrative intern at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Jordan High.

Sandy LeCheminant, currently an Assistant Principal at Eastmont Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Albion Middle.

Nate Edvalson, currently an administrative intern at Draper Park Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Eastmont Middle.

Shelley Karren, currently an administrative intern at Alta High, will become an Assistant Principal at Union Middle.

Bryan Rudes, currently an administrative intern at Midvale Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle.

Brooke Rauzon, currently an Assistant Principal at Union Middle, will become Assistant Principal at Sandy Elementary.
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