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

Utah College Application Week  

The Canyons Education Foundation continues to support Canyons’ 7th annual Utah College Application Week, a time set aside to encourage every high school senior to complete and submit at least one viable college application. Canyons high schools are holding the UCAW-related events throughout October. The Foundation Board and Development Officer Denise Haycock presented a check for $10,000 to help low-income students pay applicable college-application fees during UCAW, held in collaboration with the Utah System of Higher Education. The CSD Foundation is able to provide this kind of assistance through the generosity of those who support donation drives and events such as the Foundation’s 10th annual golf tournament, held Sept. 18 at Wasatch Mountain State Park, which raised an estimated $80,000. All money raised by the Foundation is used to support the vision and mission of Canyons District.

Utah Tax Reform

Utah Rep. Robert Spendlove, R-Sandy, presented information to the Board of Education on proposed tax reform measures in Utah, which could impact how education is funded. However, allowing income taxes to be spent on anything but education – either K-12 or higher education – would require the voters allow an amendment to the state constitution. Utah legislators studying the state’s revenue structure, now eight decades old, are putting on the table possible avenues to collect funds necessary to operate the government and provide services. Spendlove pointed out that technology has impacted purchasing habits. In turn, that impacts the amount of money governments can collect. For example, goods bought online bypass the system that relies on local stores selling items, charging a tax at the point of purchase, then passing those funds to the state. The Utah Legislature’s Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force recently completed a series of Town Hall meetings around Utah to gather public input how the state collects money through sales, property, and income taxes, as well as other funding mechanisms. Spendlove said Utah leaders are studying how other states are reforming tax structure, and will continue to gather feedback from constituents and local governmental bodies such as school boards.

Dual Language Immersion Policy

Recommendations about the future of District’s Dual Language Immersion programs are expected to be presented to the Board of Education in the next few months, according to Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward, Director of CSD’s Instructional Supports Department. A committee of teachers, administrators, parents, principals, and ISD specialists examining how to build on the strengths of the DLI programs has been busy collecting student participation, enrollment, and achievement data; administering stakeholder surveys; and reviewing costs. Among the findings: attrition increases exponentially at the secondary level; current offerings are not meeting the demand; families are satisfied with their DLI-program experiences; students in DLI programs are meeting learning benchmarks in core areas; and students are meeting language proficiency targets at greater rates in elementary than secondary. The research also showed that DLI start-up costs are significantly higher than any other content or extracurricular activity. Roderick-Landward said the committee’s review has shown needs in five categories: communication, teacher quality, curriculum and resources, impact on the school and language proficiency. The committee, led by Roderick-Landward, also is looking at the impacts to the current overall system and potential costs. 

Small Capital Facilities Update

The Facilities Services Departments seeks to advance small capital facilities projects so work can be started in late spring or immediately after the school year ends. The department proposes to design projects from October to December, solicit bids from December to February, and seek Board of Education approval from February to April. This summer, daylighting projects are scheduled to be done at seven elementary schools. When done, all 18 natural-light projects promised to the public at the passage of the November 2017 bond will have been completed. Work is expected to continue on the parking lot at Draper Elementary and the flooring at Jordan High. In addition, in the coming year, the District would like to replace roofs at the central office and Jordan High, stucco at the central office, and irrigation system at Draper Elementary, a drainage system at Lone Peak Elementary, and relocate the relatively new Midvalley Elementary playground equipment to another school. Midvalley will receive new equipment as part of the school’s rebuild. Possible projects for future years also were presented.

Secondary Parent-Teacher Conference

The Board of Education will work with the District Administration on a survey of School Community Councils and school-based administrators to gauge interest in adopting new structures for Parent-Teacher Conferences at middle schools and high schools. This is in response to the decreasing participating rate in secondary schools. At high schools, the rate dropped from 23.64 percent in 2017 to 22.19 in 2019. Average middle school participation at the fall conference was 53 percent in 2018 and 49.55 percent in 2019. A committee studying how to make the conferences more effective suggests that, instead of solely holding the traditional “open house” model, teachers also be asked to reach out and set up appointments with parents of struggling students. The committee also suggests that schools hold classes to inform parents about the rules, policies, procedures of the school; schedule two compensatory days during the calendar year; plan elementary and secondary fall conferences in separate weeks; and allow flexibility for principals and staff to tailor events according to site needs.

USBA’s Master Board Designation

Board member Mont Millerberg presented information about the Utah School Boards Association’s Master Board Award Program, created to help schools boards become more effective governing bodies and advocates for their constituents and public education. The program, which Board members, Superintendent Briscoe, and Business Administrator Leon Wilcox indicated they would do, is designed for members of school boards to annually complete sections on strategic learning, continuing education, professional improvement, and advanced development.  

Policy Updates

The Board of Education approved updates to the policies and school-level guidelines governing electronic devices at schools and the acceptable use of the technology network. The Board also is considering  an update to the policy and framework governing the Teacher and Student Success Act.


Office of Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud provided an update to the Board about the approved 2020-2021 school year calendar and the tentative 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school year calendars. Survey responses regarding future potential Snow Days were presented, as well.  


The following students and faculty were recognized by the Board of Education for their achievements:
  • Kathy Bitner, Draper Park Middle counselor, who was named Utah Counselor of the Year by the Utah School Counselor Association
  • Students from Brighton, Corner Canyon, Jordan and Hillcrest for being named semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition.
Flag Presentation, Inspirational Thoughts

The Brighton High Accadians presented the American and state flags and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Principal Tom Sherwood spotlighted Brighton High successes, including new AP capstone program, one of eight in the state among Utah public schools.  Brighton, now being rebuilt with funds from the $283 million bond approved by voters in 2017,  also is experiencing success in DLI. The French-English DLI AP pass rate was 83 percent, and the Mandarin Chinese-English pass rate was 63 percent, the second-highest in Utah. He thanked the school community members for their patience and cooperation during the school’s construction, expected to be completed in 2021. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the Oct. 1, 2019 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; September Financial Reports;  2019-2020 Utah Grant Application; TSSP Amendments for Draper, East Midvale and Sunrise elementary schools; approval of new Canyons Foundation Board member and president-elect; and the approval of the interlocal agreement with Unified Police for school resource officers. 

Patron Comment

Parent Patrick Wright expressed concerns about the operations and protocols of a special-education program for students with behavioral issues that is housed at Jordan Valley, Canyons’ school for children with severe disabilities.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe wished the Canyons community a safe and relaxing Fall Recess, Oct. 17-18. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox noted the Oct. 1 enrollment report, which shows CSD has record number of students. Enrollment at most CSD high schools is on the upswing but the District administration is carefully watching the minor decreases at elementary schools. 

Board Member Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg reported on the grant-review process for the Foundation’s Innovation Grants, which are funded with donations earned at events such as the 10th annual golf tournament on Sept. 18. He also thanked staff members for the planning and executing the recent School Community Council trainings. 

Mrs. Amber Shill expressed appreciation to those who helped conduct the SCC trainings.  She attended Monday’s tours of construction sites at Brighton and Hillcrest high schools, projects being completed with funds from the voter-approved $283 million bond.  It’s been a community effort to graciously handle the inconveniences of the construction site, she said.

Mr. Steve Wrigley noted the success of the SCC trainings and the work that is being done in District committees that have been meeting throughout the month.

Mr. Chad Iverson said the enrollment report will be helpful as the Long Range Planning Committee continues to study the needs of the District.  He also reported on a recent Town Hall meeting he held with fellow Board member Amanda Oaks. He also said he attended cross country races, marching band competitions, football games, and musical performances. 

President Nancy Tingey thanked those who participated in SCC trainings. She invited the community to an Oct. 22 Town Hall meeting she is holding with Mr. Wrigley at Eastmont Middle and a Nov. 6 meeting at Albion Middle with Mrs. Shill.  She thanked Cottonwood Heights for honoring the Teacher of the Year in the city’s schools.   
What would you do if you had to break up a fight between inmates?  Or if an inmate was threatening self-harm?  Or asking you to bend rules of the in exchange for a favor? These are all situations that a corrections officer could face upon arriving for the first day of work at a jail. 

Students in the criminal justice program at the Canyons Technical Education Center put their skills and knowledge to the test when they faced simulations of real-life jail incidents that were done by “actors” who were given direction on how to talk and act by local law-enforcement agencies. 

The simulations, held Oct. 10-11, 2019 at CSD’s Crescent View building, 11150 S. 300 East, were eye-opening for students who are in the class and are mulling a career in law-enforcement.

The focus of the exercise was to help the 17- and 18-year-old students see first-hand what kind of situations they would need to handle in the real world of criminal justice.

The groups of students were asked to de-escalate physical and verbal situations between inmates, handle issues that could require medical assistance, and face inmates who are expressing suicidal tendencies. 

 “We’ve never done this kind of a simulation before,” says instructor Edwin Lehauli, “but we want our students to get a pretty good look at what it is like to be a corrections officer.” 

One simulation caught Alta senior Braedyn Sendizik by surprise. He said he wasn’t quite sure how to respond to the actors playing the inmates.  “They kept trying to draw me in — and I got too drawn in instead of shutting it down” and insisting that directives be followed, he said.

“I learned from it,” he said, “and next time I will know better.”

Fellow Alta student Garrett Boland, who is eyeing a career as a lawyer, faced a simulation that required him to get inmates in their cells at the end of a day. “I learned to be aware of just about everything,” he said, noting that his instructor had tipped the class off to manipulation techniques often used by inmates so students would be prepared in the simulations.

“This definitely taught me a lot. It’s a learning experience for sure but it’s also a lot of fun,” Sendizik said. “It’s like the real world. You have be ready for everything.  You have to know what you are walking into.”
Canyons District student-athletes from all five of Canyons’ comprehensive traditional high schools are acing serves and exams, scoring points both on the playing field and in the classroom, and persevering through tough quizzes and race courses.  

Twenty-four students who are vying for athletic victories in volleyball, football, cross country, girls tennis, girls soccer, and boys golf also have won honors for excelling in academics. The following have been named as Academic All-State Award recipients in fall sports sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association.

  • Cole Hagen, Corner Canyon 
  • Connor Lewis, Corner Canyon
  • Dallan Nelson, Corner Canyon
  • Randen Grimshaw, Corner Canyon
  • Steve Street, Corner Canyon
  • Jordan Falls, Alta
  • Ty Didericksen, Alta 
  • Blake Yates, Brighton
  • Douglas Smith II, Hillcrest
  • Emma White, Corner Canyon
  • Lauryn Nichols, Corner Canyon
  • Jessica Pike, Jordan 
  • Elle Wilson, Brighton
  • Quentin Cook, Brighton
  • Annika Manwaring, Corner Canyon 
  • Kenli Coon, Corner Canyon 
  • Caroline Murri, Alta 
  • Catherine Schumann, Alta 
  • Courtney Ebeling, Brighton 
  • Dylan Zito, Brighton 
  • Sarah Miller, Hillcrest 
  • Sydney Hurst, Hillcrest 
  • Camryn Young, Corner Canyon
  • Kate Marler, Brighton
  • Alexandra Paradis, Hillcrest
  • Cooper Gardiner, Corner Canyon 
  • Mark Boyle, Corner Canyon 
  • Caylor Willis,Hillcrest 
  • Dallin Moon, Hillcrest
  • Daniel Call, Hillcrest 
  • Nathan Diggins, Hillcrest 
  • Zakia Kirby, Hillcrest
  • Grace Poulson, Corner Canyon
  • Mia Affleck, Alta 
  • Laura Lundahl, Brighton
  • Kaitlyn Sterner, Jordan
  • Megan Fernandez,  Jordan 
  • Emily Rimmasch,  Hillcrest 
  • Emily Zhang, Hillcrest
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Brighton High Marching Band

The Board of Education approved a proposal by the Brighton Bengals to start a marching band — an idea that is supported by 99 percent of Brighton parents. Brighton High is experiencing a uptick in participation in instrumental music, and Principal Tom Sherwood said the community has responded positively to the performances of the school band at recent public events. To aid in the launch of the new marching band, the Board approved an investment of $296,000 to purchase and maintain instruments, uniforms, and equipment. The band is expected to begin in the 2020-2021 school year. Brighton will join the Alta as the only two schools in Canyons with marching bands. 

The New Canyons District Office

Crews are expected to complete work at the new Canyons District Office by the end of October, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said. The construction of the addition at the District Office at 9361 S. 300 East was funded primarily by the sale of land and a District-owned facility at 9150 S. 500 West. When complete, all but two of  Canyons District’s administrative departments — Facilities Services and Transportation — will be housed at one centrally located campus. Wilcox said carpet is now being installed in the new wing, and the security and fire systems have passed inspection. Work on the parking lot improvements have already started and will continue for the next few months. Patrons and employees will be informed about the opening of the new building through a series of mailers and newsletters. The Office of Public Communications is designing new maps of the new Canyons District Office and also will plan an Open House of the new offices on Oct. 31. As children trick-or-treat, the public and employees can tour the building. Other tours for the Board and school administrators also will be held.   

Brain Booster Update

A survey of Canyons elementary school principals indicates strong support of the Brain Booster program, which provides for technology, physical education or art instruction while classroom teachers plan and collaborate. On average, CSD elementary schools allocate 20 hours to the Brain Boosters. In the survey, principals said media technicians were not allocated enough hours to do both their day-to-day tasks and Brain Booster instruction, and also suggested that salaries for all Brain Booster positions be increased to keep and attract qualified employees. In addition, survey results indicated a need for Brain Booster-teacher training in student-behavior management. School Performance Directors McKay Robinson and Alice Peck will review each schools’ use of the Brain Booster employee hours, address the media technician workload concern, and continue conversations with Beverley Taylor Sorensen arts specialists regarding workload and how to promote more collaboration with classroom teachers.

District Calendar Update

Office of Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud provided an update to the Board about the 2020-2021 school year calendar and the tentative 2021-2022 and 2022-2023  school year calendars. In addition, he said, Presidents Day is the preferred day of teachers for a make-up day in the event of a Snow Day in future years, according to a survey of certificated CSD employees.The second most-popular option is the day after the last scheduled day of the school year, according to the survey. Respondents also suggested having late-start days instead of Snow Days, holding school electronically, or building a Snow Day into the calendar that, if not used, could be a teacher-preparation day. The Board also discussed leaving the policy as is — with Presidents Day as the No. 1 option as a make-up day — with the understanding that an emergency meeting could be held if the Snow Day happens close to or after Presidents Day. 

Student Advisory Council

The Board of Education empaneled the 2019-2020 Student Advisory Council, made up of representatives from all five of Canyons’ traditional high schools. This is the seventh group organized to advise the Board of Education on proposals that would affect students.  The formation of the group also creates a formal link students can access if they have concerns about policies or practices of the schools. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle meets regularly with the council to discuss education-related issues and provide leadership training. 


The following students, faculty and staff were recognized by the Board of Education for their achievements:
  • Butler Elementary Principal Jeff Nalwalker and students Aggy Deagle, Liv Deagle, Evelyn Fisher, Annabelle Cheney for encouraging the District to adopt more eco-friendly lunch trays.
  • Entrada High School’s Stephanie Nicolaides, who was named 2019 Adult Education Educator of the Year by the Utah Association for Adult, Community and Continuing Education.
  • Mike Sirois, School Performance Director and a founding administrator of Canyons District, for his years of service. Sirois is retiring this week.
Long-Range Planning, Meeting Schedule

President Nancy Tingey and Board members Chad Iverson and Mont Millerberg updated the Board on the progress of the District’s Long Range Planning Committee. In particular, the Board discussed the size, acreage, enrollment and condition of White City-area schools Bell View and Edgemont. The public was promised a new White City-area elementary school at the November 2017 passage of a $283 million bond. The Board also discussed Dr. Briscoe’s proposal to hold a Tuesday, Nov. 19 study session to review teacher and parent feedback on a pilot program of Mastery Connect, a software the CSD Instructional Supports Department would like to use to facilitate a standards-based gradebook for elementary schools. In addition, the Board will adjust the Board’s meeting schedule to accommodate a roundtable discussion on Aug. 4, 2020 instead of June 23, 2020.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, which includes hire and termination reports; student overnight travel requests; an interlocal agreement with Sandy City for school resource officers; and a TSSP amendment for Peruvian Park Elementary. 

Pledge of Allegiance, Inspirational thought

The American and the state flags were posted by students at Bella Vista Elementary. Principal Sandra Dahl-Houlihan thanked the Board for the opportunity serve as the instructional leader at the Cottonwood Heights-area school. At Bella Vista, she said, every Tuesday is “Tiger Tuesday,” a time set aside to recognize students for positive behavior. Dahl-Houlihan reports that 14 percent of Bella Vista Tigers receive special education services. Twenty-six percent are low income and 10 percent are English Language Learners, she said. The school also has three preschool classes, two ABS units, and an Supplemental Hours of Kindergarten Instruction class. Dahl-Houlihan said the school enjoys a tremendous amount of community and parent support.

New Housing Complex Issue

The Board of Education continues to review a proposal to include a 120-unit apartment complex at Highland Drive and Traverse Ridge in Draper Elementary's boundaries. The Board asked the Administration to follow applicable state law regarding public notification. 

Policy Updates

The Board approved changes to policies governing fiscal accountability and school fundraisers and the solicitation of schools by vendors. The Board continues to review policies regarding the acceptable use of technology at school, including personal electronic devices.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Report

For National Custodian Day, Superintendent Dr. Briscoe thanked custodial and maintenance employees for all of their efforts. He also lauded the additional staff and Board member work that has been done on various Canyons District committees. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said all 24 classrooms in the new wing at Corner Canyon are open and being used by students and teachers. The portables at the school will soon be removed. The first phase of Draper Elementary’s parking lot is complete, he said.  The next phase will be undertaken in the summer. Wilcox also thanked teachers for their efforts during Parent-Teacher Conferences.

Board of Education Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg said he was touched at the letters of appreciation sent to the Board by several winners of the 2019 Apex Awards. He congratulated Brighton High on its successful proposal to start a marching band, and wished teachers and students good luck as they begin the program. He also thanked the Butler Elementary students who asked CSD to consider using eco-friendly lunchroom trays in Canyons schools. 

Mrs. Amanda Oaks said she enjoyed attending the 10th annual golf tournament of the Canyons Education Foundation. She said she visited the District’s Costume Warehouse, and expressed appreciation to teachers for their work during Parent-Teacher Conferences. She noted the positive impacts of the completion of the Corner Canyon classroom wing and the parking lot at Draper Elementary.

Mr. Steve Wrigley expressed appreciation to his fellow Board members.  He said his service on the Board adds to his life in a positive way.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold remarked on the meetings that have been held to discuss various initiatives, including CTESS. She lauded teachers for their work during Parent-Teacher Conferences, and expressed appreciation for Canyons custodians.

Mr.  Chad Iverson attended football games and cross country meets and asked President Tingey for a future discussion among Board members about coach and adviser compensation. 

President Tingey thanked District specialists for updating the Board on important issues and noted the start of School Community Council training meetings.  The aim is to provide training for every SCC member in Canyons District.

Canyons District’s alternative high school has launched its first-ever schoolwide donation drive.

Diamond Ridge High, founded in 2015, is using the online platform SuccessFund to gather the donations throughout October. By Oct. 31, the school, which has an enrollment of about 100 students and is housed at the campus of the Canyons Technical Education Center, 825 E. 9085 South, hopes to raise $2,500. 

The money will be used for bus tokens for students who need transportation assistance to and from school. Donated funds also will be used to purchase $5 gift cards to local eateries and businesses for academic and attendance incentives.

Diamond Ridge Principal Amy Boettger says meeting the fund-raising goal would be “more than enough” to get needed transportation passes in the hands of students who struggle to get to school every day because they rely on public transportation. 

Boettger said the gift-cards to nearby fast-food joints would reward positive behaviors such as improved attendance or working hard to complete missing assignments.

“To many of our students, it’s a big deal to be able to treat themselves and a friend after school,” says Boettger. While the number fluctuates each year, she says, typically about half of Diamond Ridge’s student body qualifies for free- and reduced-priced meals at school under the poverty guidelines.  

“We are not asking for a lot, but we’re certainly hoping for support from people in the community, even those who have never had a child at our school,” says Boettger. “We play an important role in Canyons District. Diamond Ridge is the school of choice for students who need a different kind of atmosphere than you would find at a traditional high school, and if we weren’t here, some of these kids might fall through the cracks. In fact, before we launched Diamond Ridge, many of these kids did fall through the cracks. Now, they have a place to go — and we believe in them.  In turn, they start to believe in themselves.”

Click here to help the Raptors roll through  its “rock’tober” fundraising window. SuccessFund, the District-approved forum for CSD schools to run nonproduct fundraisers, makes it easy for anyone to give directly with secure payment processing. Donors can use credit cards, Venmo, Apple Pay, PayPal and Google Pay.  There are no set-up fees for SuccessFund, and neither CSD nor schools are charged consulting, support or monthly subscription fees.  The platform earns its money by charging a small per-transaction fee at checkout.  

“That bus token may make all the difference to a student who is thinking about dropping out because they don’t have transportation. That gift card for increased attendance may inspire another student to keep coming to class,” Boettger said.  “Removing obstacles to attending school — and rewarding positive behaviors that otherwise may go unnoticed — will only serve to encourage students to continue working hard so they can earn that right to walk across the graduation stage.”

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