Doors to the newly renovated Indian Hills Middle are opening wide to welcome back the Warriors.   

A major renovation at the school has been completed in time for school to start for the 2018-2019 school year. The entire Canyons District community is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony and Back-to-School Night at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20 at the school, 1180 E. Sanders Road.  

The school’s major upgrade, which required a near-total gutting of the school, is the 13th and final project promised to the public in 2010 when voters approved a $250 million tax-rate-neutral bond.  Since 2010, Canyons has used proceeds from the bond to renovate Albion Middle, and build a new Mount Jordan Middle, Midvale Elementary, Midvale Middle, Corner Canyon High, Draper Park Middle, Butler Middle, Butler Elementary, Alta View, additions to Brighton and Hillcrest high schools, and add seismic upgrades at Sandy Elementary. 

In addition, since its founding a decade ago, CSD has installed air-conditioning in every school that didn’t have it in fall 2009, added security vestibules at all elementary schools and six of eight middle schools; completed a soccer field, tennis courts and athletic fields near Brighton High; and completed internal and external upgrades at Alta High.

Work on the first three projects to be funded by the $283 million bond approved last November —±new Brighton and Hillcrest high schools and a major renovation of Alta High — have already started.  Construction at Alta is expected to take two years, Brighton and Hillcrest will undergo a three-year transformation. Several elementary schools also have new Front Offices and windows and skylights.  

Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor and Principal Doug Graham will speak at the community event at the school. After the ribbon-cutting, refreshments will be served, and students and parents can tour the new building. To mark Back-to-School Night, teachers and staff will be on hand to greet families and answer questions. 

Thanks to the renovation, completed by crews from Hogan Construction, Indian Hills students and teachers will enjoy plenty of natural light throughout the facility, six new classrooms, collaboration spaces wired for the high-tech demands of the 21st century, an expanded kitchen and cafeteria, and spacious hallways and commons areas, among other amenities.  The school also has been built to enhance the safety and security of student and teachers.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Proposed Draper Interlocal Agreements 

Under a second reading, the Board considered a proposal to participate in the Draper South Mountain Community Reinvestment Area (CRA). The tax increment financing would facilitate the redevelopment of land once occupied by a gravel pit into an 800,000-square-foot global headquarters for the technology company Pluralsight. The publicly-traded company is projected to bring 2,464 high-paying jobs to Utah over the next 10 years. The plans call for developing transit-oriented and affordable housing and a TRAX stop. After the 20-year project timeline, the District would receive its full share of the taxable value of the property, which is projected to exceed $1.7 million in tax revenue annually. CSD Business Administrator Leon Wilcox recommended adding a circuit-breaker clause to the proposed tax increment financing agreement, which would permit the District to reduce its participation rate from 70 percent to 50 percent projected increases in the taxable value of the project area are not realized within certain deadlines. The proposed agreement also calls for using a portion of collected funds to provide affordable housing for teachers. Pluralsight also has committed to explore workplace training programs benefitting Canyons District students. The Board will continue to discuss the proposal at a future meeting.

School Safety Communication Plan

The Board of Education reviewed a proposal to start a communications campaign to inform the community about the safety and security initiatives of the Canyons District. The Office of Public Communications was given approval to start work on the campaign. 

CSD Anniversary

The Board of Education provided input on a list of ideas to celebrate the 10th school year and the 10th birthday of Canyons District. 

Midvale Community Aquatic Center

Board member Mont Millerberg gave an update on the discussions regarding a possible multi-government agency partnership on a pool in the Midvale area. The pool could be used as the home of the Hillcrest High swim team.

Recognitions

The following were honored by the Board of Education for their achievements:
  • Hillcrest High’s Unified Soccer Team, gold medal, Special Olympics

Responsive Services Update

Responsive Services Director BJ Weller updated the Board on the changes in his department, which was launched last year to oversee the District’s social-emotional supports for students and the community. In the past year, the department has created a comprehensive school mental-health model, hired 12 additional social-emotional support staff, wrote and received more than $1 million in grants to support the additional counselors and programs. In addition, every elementary received a 25-hour behavior assistant, three social-emotional curriculums were piloted, a case-management team, moved the Canyons Family Center to a more central location, and opened the Canyons Youth Academy. The department also has started a Suicide Prevention Community Group and has responded to dozens of messages submitted through the emergency SafeUT mobile app. 

Policy Update

The Board reviewed proposed updates to policies governing student conduct and discipline, personal security and safety, and student conduct and discipline. State law requires the Board to add proposed abusive conduct to the policies.  Some proposed language also outlines how to report assault and abuse against employees.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the minutes from the Board meeting on July 17, 2018; approval of new hires and terminations; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; request to move two portables to Jordan Valley for storage purposes; access and maintenance agreement with Layton Construction; and modifications to the Brighton High bell schedule

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

Canyons Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robert Dowdle led the audience in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.   Human Resources Director Steve Dimond gave the reverence.

Superintendent’s and Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on meeting with Guidance Counselors and Region 17 PTA representatives, and enjoys the feeling of excitement for the coming school year. He looks forward to the Aug. 9 Brighton High groundbreaking and the Aug. 20 ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate completed renovations to Indian Hills Middle.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board that, as of the day of the meeting, 18,700 students who have registered. That means about 54 percent of CSD has registered for classes for the upcoming school year using the online system. Temporary occupancy has been granted at newly renovated Indian Hills Middle, which will be done in time for the Aug. 20 ribbon-cutting and Back-to-School Night. While the kiva and kitchen made not be completely done in time for the start of school, the CSD Nutrition Services Department will ensure food will be served in the cafeteria. Altara’s parking-lot improvements are scheduled to be done by Monday, Aug. 20.  Wilcox also gave updates on other capital facility projects throughout the District, and thanked the Facilities crews for working so hard to get projects done in time for school to start. 

Board Member Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg said he looks forward to celebrating the District’s 10th school year and 10th anniversary.  He also reported on his involvement in the Draper RDA and Midvale aquatics center and rebuild of Hillcrest High

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on attending two mission- and vision-statement meetings. He also attended an active-shooter training for school administrators, which he says moved us forward in terms of emergency preparedness. He also had an opportunity to attend the completion ceremonies for students who attended summer academies at Jordan and Hillcrest high schools.

Mrs. Amber Shill was able to participate in the Butler Days Parade in Cottonwood Heights. She looks forward to Brighton High’s Aug. 9 groundbreaking, and says it’s exciting to see the plans take shape. She was asked to speak at the Cottonwood Heights Youth Council about public service.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey remarked on also participating in the active-shooter training, the Husky Strong Summer Academy. She says the vision and mission committee is prepared to bring some ideas and full progress report the Board.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold expressed thanks for employees who worked all summer long to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Mr. Chad Iverson toured the newly remodeled Indian Hills with his family and watched the Alta High marching band at various parades.

President Sherril Taylor thanked a Sandy Police Officer for attending the Board meeting. The start of the school year is really exciting, he said, and it doesn’t come together without a lot of hard work.
It won’t be too long until Canyons District school buses are on the road again.

To the end of being prepared for the Wednesday, Aug, 22 first day of school for first- through 12th-grade students in Canyons District, families are urged to review transportation plans for the coming school year. Updated information can be accessed via the e-tool CSD uses to provide information about eligibility and established bus pick-up and drop-off locations.

In particular, parents of middle school students are encouraged to look up the transportation information for the 2018-2019 school year. Utah laws governing transportation funding may affect some Canyons middle-school students.  

Canyons receives funding for busing provided to students enrolled in kindergarten through sixth grade who live at least 1 ½ miles from school and students enrolled in grades seven through 12 who live at least 2 miles from school.  This means that some middle school students who qualified for busing last year may not qualify again this year because they have advanced to the seventh-grade and must live more than 2 miles away from the school to receive the services.

However, Canyons has created a “space-available” permit program to help many students who no longer qualify for busing services. Non-qualifying students may submit a request for transportation services so they can ride with their qualifying siblings or neighbors — if, indeed, there is space on the bus that runs through their neighborhood. The space-available permits are granted on a first-come, first-served, space-available basis. 

The space-available permit requests will be made available to the public on Monday, Aug. 6 at all CSD schools.  The forms must be submitted at the school where the child is enrolled. 

During the first few weeks of the school year, transportation services will not be provided to secondary students who live within a 2-mile radius of their schools, even if they have submitted a space-available permit request.  While this may be an inconvenience for some families, the District needs time to verify the numbers of students who, according to state law, are guaranteed a spot on the bus. 

Families will be notified about whether they have received a space-available bus permit by Monday, Sept. 17. 

Questions?  Please call Canyons District at 801-826-5000 or send an e-mail message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., A representative will be prepared to help you with your questions
While the family is enjoying picnics, water slides, holiday fireworks and popsicles on hot summer days, don’t forget to start making back-to-school plans for your 4-year-old kiddos. 

Canyons continues to accept applications for spots in preschool programs in all parts of the District. For the 2018-2019 school year, tuition-based preschool programs will be held at Altara, Bella Vista, Butler, Edgemont, Jordan Valley, Oakdale, Quail Hollow and Willow Springs elementary schools. 

Interested? Click here to see the application.

Canyons preschools follow a curriculum that lines up with the core standards of learning at the kindergarten level. As a result, children who attend preschool programs in CSD schools have the foundation to meet the challenges of kindergarten. Also, students are paired in classrooms with students who require special-education services so they can serve as peers and role models in language and social skills. 

Cost is $100 per month for students attending two days per week and $200 a month for students attending four days. There’s also a one-time $20 registration fee. Availability for the program in the coming academic year is based on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Morning sessions are from 8:20-10:50 a.m. Afternoon sessions are 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.  

In addition, free school programs are provided at Title I schools. Students who turn 4 years old before Sept. 1, 2018, and live within the boundaries of Midvale, Copperview, Sandy and East Midvale elementary schools can apply to participate.

A lot of learning happens in preschool — but it’s also a lot of fun. Don’t underestimate the power of play when looking for a preschool for your child, says Terri Mitchell, the Programs Administrator in Canyons District’s Early Childhood Department.

“Playtime is amazingly important. It’s one of the best tools that young children have to grow and develop,” Mitchell told ABC4 anchor Emily Clark on “Good Morning Utah.”  

In fact, Mitchell said, research shows strong links between creative and imaginative play and language, physical, cognitive and social development. “In preschool, they are learning foundational skills. They will learn patterning, and the quantity of numbers,” Mitchell said. “They also have the opportunity to learn socially.  It may be the first time that they are away from mom and dad and grandma and grandpa.”
What a year!  In the past 365 days, Canyons District, which was founded on July 1, 2009, continued its drive to provide a world-class education to the children who attend public school in Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Midvale, Sandy and the town of Alta. The 2017-2018 school year — CSD’s ninth academic year — was marked by sky-high achievements, including state-title victories by all five of CSD’s five traditional high schools, the passage of a $283 million bond to build and improve schools, the naming of National Merit Scholars and Sterling Scholars, and an estimated $32 million in scholarship offers for the 2,830 graduates in the Class of 2018.  But that’s just a small-piece-of-cake taste of all that was achieved by CSD students, faculty, staff and supporters. Here’s a look at some of the major achievements of CSD since its last founding-day anniversary: 
  • Nearly 59 percent of voters give approval to CSD is issue up to $283 million in general-obligation bonds to build and improve schools.
  • The newly rebuilt Alta View Elementary welcomed students for first time.
  • Crews near completion of renovation of Indian Hills Middle, the 13th and final project promised to voters at passage of the 2010 $250 million bond.   
  • CSD maintained  a AAA bond rating, resulting in savings to taxpayers
  • Seventy-eight percent of CSD elementary and middle schools received school-grade scores of an A or B, an increase of five percentage points over 2016. The number of elementary and middle schools to earn Cs and Ds fell by six percentage points. 
  • Eighty-three percent of CSD elementary schools and 75 percent of middle schools in CSD were above state average, according to PACE.  Sixty-six percent of elementary schools and 63 percent of middle schools showed higher growth than schools averaged statewide. 
  • Four CSD high schools were recognized for the number of students who take Advanced Placement courses. Brighton High ranked No. 8 out of all Utah high schools for the number of students who take and pass the tests. On the list of the Utah high schools with the highest AP participation rates, Corner Canyon ranked No. 5, Hillcrest No. 8 and Alta No. 10.
  • For the eighth year, CSD received the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association for School Business Officials International and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association. 
  • The Canyons Education Foundation delivered some $104,000 to 16 teachers to fund innovative classroom projects.
  • Edgemont and Midvalley elementary schools celebrated 60th anniversaries.
  • Albion Middle’s Sandy LeCheminant is named Utah Assistant Principal of the Year.
  • Alta High's Rique Ochoa named Utah History Teacher of the Year.
  • Alta and Hillcrest musicans perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 
  • Canyons Education Foundation awards $11,000 in student scholarships at annual Spring Gala.
  • Three CSD students won categories at 56th annual Sterling Scholar competition. 
  • Two Hillcrest students and one Corner Canyon high school student earn National Merit Scholar status. Fourteen students from all five of CSD’s traditional high schools were named semifinalists.
  • CSD student athletes individual and team state championships in cross country, girls tennis, boys tennis, wrestling, girls track and field, swimming, boys soccer, baseball, theater and girls golf. 
  • Hillcrest’s production of “Les Miserables” wins Best Musical at the Utah High School Musical Theater Competition.
  • Groundbreaking events were held to mark start of work on rebuild of Hillcrest High and major renovation at Alta High. Work on a new Brighton High also has started.   
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