Canyons School District is launching a soccer league for ninth- and 10th-graders in efforts to give students more opportunities to get involved in athletics.  The league includes teams from every CSD high school – Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon, Hillcrest and Jordan – and teams from Granite District’s Granger, Kearns and Hunter high schools.

League play kicks off Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 with the 2015 Girls Soccer Tournament. Games are held Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. The tournament runs through Oct. 7. Home CSD games will be held at the fields adjacent to Butler Middle School, 7530 S. 2700 East, and at the temporary home of Midvale Middle School, 11150 S. 300 East.

“The opportunity to kick off a new soccer league for freshman and sophomore students is exciting,” said Jordan High Assistant Principal Roberto Jimenez, who oversees the CSD league. “We think of the league as a developmental program. You don’t need to be an experienced player; you only need the desire to participate.”

The Canyons Board of Education last year voted to provide additional competitive sports opportunities for freshmen and sophomores. Freshman volleyball was offered last year.

The boys soccer league will begin in the spring.
Hats off to the Class of 2015! Seventy-two percent of graduates earned one of Canyons School District's unique college-ready diplomas by challenging themselves with more rigorous coursework. The preliminary numbers represent and all-time high for Canyons District, and a continued upward trend in the number of CSD students earning Advanced and Honors Diplomas.

Canyons is Utah's first school district to award students differentiated diplomas to indicate college- and career-readiness. The Board adopted the Advanced and Honors diplomas in 2010, and first awarded them to the Class of 2011. Since that time, the number of students earning diplomas has climbed from 60 percent of the Class of 2011 to 72 percent of the Class of 2015. Last year, 71 percent of the graduating class earned one of the college-ready diplomas.

In addition to current graduation standards, the Advanced Diploma requires students to complete two credits of world language; credits in more rigorous laboratory sciences and college-prep English in the 12th grade; and competency in Algebra 2.

The Honors Diploma requires students to complete Advanced Diploma requirements and earn College-Readiness Benchmark Scores on the ACT college-entrance exam. The Benchmark Scores are (on a scale of 1-36): 18 in English; 22 in Reading; 22 in Mathematics; and 23 in Science.

The Class of 2015 includes 2,293 graduates. Of them, 40 percent earned the Advanced Diploma, compared to 36 percent of the Class of 2014. Additionally, 32 percent of the Class of 2015 earned the Honors Diploma, compared to 35 percent of the Class of 2014. A slight decline in the number of Honors Diplomas recipients was expected this year. ACT revised College Readiness Benchmark scores in 2013. This is the first CSD graduating class required to meet the new benchmark scores to receive an Honors Diploma.

The data for the Class of 2015 are estimates, and will be solidified in the fall.
Let the reconstruction begin. With the plunge of shovels into the ground, community leaders joined students in the ceremonial "turning of the dirt" to begin the reconstruction of Butler Elementary School. The April 22, 2015 groundbreaking celebration at the school's Cottonwood Heights campus drew a crowd of about 150 students, parents, city leaders and community members to cheer the start of a new era for the school with deep historical roots.

"We're hosting this event for several reasons: First, to celebrate the fact that this day has finally arrived," said Board Member Amber Shill, who represents District 2, which includes the Butler Elementary community. "I have no doubt that many of you wondered if this day would actually ever be realized. But it's here, and Canyons District is proud to announce that it is holding true to its promise to build a new and improved school for the students of Butler Elementary."

The new building's entrance will feature a school bell to pay tribute to the rich history of Butler Elementary, originally constructed as a one-room school house in the 1890s in the historic community of Butlerville. The new school also draws inspiration from the beautiful mountains just outside its doors, with exterior courtyards to be themed after local canyons. Classroom wings also will contain individual themes. The school's 27 classrooms will contain lighting controls, audio-visual equipment, and be fully wired for the high-tech demands of a 21st Century education.

The building also will contain solar shading on all southern-facing windows, and a spacious cafeteria, kitchen and commons area in which students and community members can gather. Classrooms and hallways will feature natural light – a feature that brought cheers from students at the groundbreaking celebration.

"From day one, the focus of the design has been about creating the best learning environment for our students, and a great work environment for our hard-working teachers," Principal Christy Waddell said. "We're proud of this new addition to the Cottonwood Heights community. ... It's exciting to think that in a little more than a year, we'll be in our new school. "

The groundbreaking was followed by a community open house. There, members of the public could view renderings of the new school, designed by VCBO Architecture with input from students, educators and community members. They also could receive information about community access to the campus during construction.

Construction of the new school, to be overseen by Hogan & Associates Construction, begins May 1, 2015. The school will be rebuilt on the Butler Elementary School campus, adjacent to the current building. Students will attend school in the current building during construction. The new school is scheduled to open in fall 2016.

The Butler Elementary reconstruction is financed with proceeds from the $250 million bond that Canyons School District voters approved in 2010. It is one in a series of districtwide bond-funded projects, including the rebuilding of Butler Middle School, completed in 2013, and upgrades at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights.

"Canyons District is dedicated to student achievement, innovation, customer service and community engagement. Today would not be possible without your support," Shill told attendees. "The District has been able to rebuild this school because of your vote of confidence — and especially the Butler community's tireless effort to see a new building in this neighborhood."

The Canyons Board of Education has maintained neutral tax rates as promised to the public during the bond election, and this spring approved the issuance of the final $42 million in bonds. Canyons' AAA Bond Rating has enabled the district to secure low interest rates to save taxpayers money. In 2014, Canyons was able to refinance some of the debt issued by the former Jordan School District to save the district $4.5 million.

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  • Is your child's teacher the Teacher of the Year? Take a look here at our 2015 Canyons School District Teacher of the Year winners, announced in surprise celebrations throughout the District on Friday, April 3.

    2015 Canyons School District Teachers of the Year

    Each of the 46 Canyons Teachers of the Year were nominated by students, parents and colleagues for their dedication to students ages kindergarten through adulthood. Each Teacher of the Year received special school recognitions and prize packages donated by the following CSD Teacher of the Year program sponsors:

    • Anytime Fitness, Sandy
    • Canyons Education Foundation
    • Chick-fil-A, South Towne
    • Costco, Sandy
    • Cowabunga Bay
    • Fabulous Freddy's
    • Farmer's Insurance
    • Get Away Today
    • Horace Mann Insurance
    • Innisbrook
    • Nothing Bundt Cakes
    • Sam's Club, South Jordan
    • Specialized Embroidery
    • Treehouse Athletic Club
    • Utah Olympic Oval
    • Village Baker
    • Whole Foods
    • Woodbury Coloer
    • World's Finest Chocolate

    Each Teacher of the Year will be considered for the Canyons School District Teacher of the Year award. The Canyons Teacher of the Year, who will represent CSD in the Utah Teacher of the Year contest, will be announced at a Board of Education Recognitions Event on Tuesday, April 28, at 7 p.m. the Canyons Support Services Center, 9361 S. 300 East (southeast entrance). The District Teacher of the Year will receive additional recognitions and prizes, including a $1,000 check from the Canyons Education Foundation.

    Congratulations to all 46 Teachers of the Year on their well-deserved recognitions.
    Following recommendations from task force of elementary school teachers, the Canyons Board of Education has approved a new elementary school schedule that will restore early-out Fridays and provide teachers with the tools they need to help ensure success for every student.

    To the cheers and applause of teachers and parents, the Board voted unanimously Tuesday, March 17, 2015 to adopt the proposed schedule as recommended by the Elementary Schedule Task Force. The schedule will be implemented in the 2015-2016  school year.

    Oakdale teacher Elcena Davenport said the schedule will “provide a higher quality education to students of the District,” complete with stronger interventions, preventions, engaging learning experiences, enrichments for advanced learners and supports for struggling learners. “With additional collaboration time, my team and I will be able to do amazing things.”

    The schedule stemmed from a proposal crafted by the Task Force, which included teachers from each of CSD’s 29 elementary schools and Jordan Valley School. The Task Force has met since December to gather information, problem-solve, and receive feedback from colleagues to develop a schedule that fully supports elementary school communities and ensures students are on track to becoming college- and career-ready.  The schedule is supported by 87 percent of elementary school teachers, survey data has shown. Teachers praise the schedule as representative of school needs and being carefully crafted by the professionals who will be making it work.

    The new schedule will give teachers time during the school day to collaborate to ensure each student succeeds. Trained specialists will provide curriculum-based instruction in areas such as physical education, arts or music while teachers meet to collaborate and plan their instructional strategies.

    “It’s not one size fits all,” School Performance Director Alice Peck said. “Schools are going to be able to look at their needs and tailor the schedule to make sure it fits their school.”

    Early-out days will be held on Fridays only. School will not release early on other days during short weeks in which classes are not held on Fridays. During such times, collaboration and planning time for teachers will be adjusted as appropriate.

    Stacey Oppermann, a parent of two Canyons students, told the Board the schedule will provide needed consistency in student, family, and teacher schedules.

    “I think it’s important to listen to our teachers” who recommended the new schedule, she said. “They are the ones who know what our students need and they are the ones that care most about our students, in addition to parents. And they need consistent planning time.”

    The Board’s action allows principals and teachers to begin working to tailor their planning and collaboration time. It also allows the District to study and establish transportation and bell schedules for each school. Details will be firmed up and communicated to parents by the end of this school year.

    The new schedule refines elementary education improvement efforts. The 2014-2015 elementary school schedule was adjusted as part of the 2014-2015 teachers contract approved by the Canyons Education Association and ratified by the Canyons Board of Education. The schedule eliminated early-out Fridays to improve teacher planning and instruction, but it had unintended  consequences for parents and teachers. The Task Force’s recommendations aimed to address issues that arose with this year’s schedule.

    Board members praised the process as inclusive and thorough, collaborative and exciting for teachers, and were pleased with the outcome. Board 2nd Vice President Nancy Tingey called the new elementary schedule “an investment in moving forward student achievement,” and said that schools must ensure focus and accountability on collaboration time. “This is about helping our students to use these elementary years to lay a strong foundation for their educational experience,” she said.

    The Board of Education has been discussing the elementary schedule proposal in public meetings since January, including during a specially scheduled Jan. 28 public Study Session. There, the Task Force recommended the Board adopt the schedule to best meet needs of students and educators. The Board continued its discussions on the proposal in its Feb. 3, Feb. 17, and March 3 Business Meetings.

    “We’re grateful to the Board for approving the schedule, and are excited about the chance for teachers to have the uninterrupted time they need to plan well and provide quality instruction to every student,” School Performance Director  Joanne Ackerman said. 

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