It seems like life moves so much faster and forceful than for previous generations, resulting in feelings of angst for many teenagers. While anxiety is typical for students who are growing, maturing and facing challenging peer-pressure issues, an increasing number of students develop anxiety disorders that greatly impact how they can approach day-to-day activities. 

As part of Suicide Awareness Month in September, Canyons District is partnering with the Deseret News to host a free screening of the IndieFlix documentary “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety” for parents and teens. The film addresses what anxiety is — its causes and effects, and what can be done about it.

The 6 p.m. event will be Thursday, Sept. 6 at Jordan High, 95 Beetdigger Blvd.   The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring local mental-health experts, including Canyons District counselors and social workers. 

The documentary raises awareness about anxiety through the stories of such people as gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps, who opens up in the film about suffering from anxiety. 

The producers of the film say they have one goal: to start a global conversation and raise awareness around anxiety. Through candid interviews, they utilize the power of film to tell the stories of many kids and teens who discuss their anxiety and its impacts on their lives and relationships, as well as how they’ve found solutions and hope.

In addition, the documentary provides discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, along with the help, resources and tools available to address the condition.

Click here to reserve your spot at the event.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Proposed Bond Resolution 

The Board of Education discussed the potential issuance of bonds for up to $75 million. Canyons patrons in November voted on a proposal that, in effect, gives the District approval to bond to up to $283 million for new-school construction and building renovations. A proposed bond resolution states the term of the bond payments would be 21 years at a maximum annual interest rate of 5 percent. The Board took the proposal under advisement.  The resolution is scheduled to be considered for approval on Sept. 4. 

Major Improvement Projects

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox presented information about the current and upcoming major construction and renovation projects in Canyons School District. The Board of Education has approved construction bids related to the Alta, Brighton and Hillcrest projects, which were all promised to the public at passage of the 2017 $283 million bond.  Between October and December, the Board will be asked to review bid packages for additional classrooms at Corner Canyon High; an addition to Canyons Administration Building-East; and additional work at Alta, Brighton and Hillcrest high schools. In the spring, the Board is expected to review bid packages for the rebuild at Midvalley Elementary. 

Draper CEA

The Board of Education approved a proposed interlocal tax-increment agreement between the Canyons District and the Draper City RDA for a development inside the South Mountain Community Reinvestment Project Area.

Special Education Update

Canyons District’s Special Education Director Misty Suarez updated the Board on the programs provided to students who qualify for special-education services. Suarez discussed staffing and recruiting, new initiatives, and the change in location for some intensive programs.

New Administrators

The Board of Education met this year’s new administrators. They welcomed Amy Boettger, Principal at Diamond Ridge and Entrada; Mark Mataya, Assistant Principal of Diamond Ridge and Entrada; David Briggs, Special Education Administrator; Colleen Smith, Program Manager in Responsive Services; Beverly Herrmann, Program Administrator at Student Advocacy and Access;  Transportation Director Jeremy Wardle; Sara Allen, the new Assistant Principal at Butler Middle; Ashley McKinney, Assistant Principal at Midvale Elementary;  Matt Nelson, Principal at East Midvale Elementary; Scott Jameson, Principal at Alta View Elementary; and Lori Reynolds, Principal at Sprucewood Elementary. 

Pledge, Reverence

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by School Performance Director Joanne Ackerman.  Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards delivered the Reverence.

Recognitions

The following students, faculty and staff were recognized for their achievements:
  • Redd Owen, Brighton High student, 5A state champion, first-singles boys tennis
  • Brighton High Boys Tennis Team, 5A state champions
  • Mary Hardy, Lone Peak Head Secretary, Think Safe Award
Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including the minutes from the Aug. 7, 2018 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hiring and termination reports, purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; July financial reports; and a letter of support for a Midvale community pool. 

Policy Update

With an affirmative vote, the Board complied with a state law requiring updates to policies governing bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, and retaliation to include abusive conduct.  The policy needed to be updated by Sept. 1. 

Patron Comments

Parent Julie Cluff told the Board she’s concerned about the length of time her children on the bus. She also expressed concern about the District’s special education services, including ensuring schools are appropriately placing special-education students in a “least restrictive environment,” according to federal law. 

Reports by Superintendent, Business Administrator

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe expressed sadness at the passing of a Hillcrest student and the long-term illness of another. He also asked the communities at Alta, Brighton and Hillcrest to be patient with the available parking spaces, which have been reduced with construction on the new buildings. He attended the groundbreaking of Brighton High and the ribbon-cutting at Indian Hills Middle.  He’s excited about the first day of school, and will be traveling the District visiting students, teachers and staff. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked the Facilities Department for working hard on the summer projects.  He also reported on the full roster of bus drivers that have been hired for the school year. Bus drivers recently were given an increase in salary in an effort to attract and retain bus drivers. 

Board of Education Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg reported on attending the Brighton High groundbreaking and the Indian Hills Middle ribbon-cutting event. The updated schools give teachers the ability to enhance instruction and prepare students for college and careers. He said he participated in the Harvest Days Parade in a CSD bus.  He represented the District and the Canyons Education Foundation at the Cottonwood Heights golf tournament. He recognized Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt for personally conducting a tour of the school with alumni and discussing the plans for the future. He also mentioned the Letter of Support the Board approved for a Midvale community pool. 

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending Cottonwood Heights’ annual luncheon for the Teachers of the Year from city-area schools.  She noted the excitement surrounding the construction of a new Brighton. Mrs. Shill also noted that support from the community was evident at the groundbreaking event.  She is excited for the first day of school.

Mr. Chad Iverson noted the energy at the Indian Hills Middle ribbon-cutting. He attended sporting events where CSD student-athletes competed.  He wished the CSD community a safe start to school. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold recognized the special energy surrounding the red carpet welcome events on the first day of school.  She attended the ribbon-cutting event at Indian Hills and the groundbreaking at Brighton High. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey expressed appreciation for the traditions of holding groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremonies for our projects. She also attended the Tools for Schools donation-drive that benefitted children in nine school districts.  She thanked the staff and administration for striving to be leaders in important issues. 

President Sherril Taylor spoke about the excitement surrounding the ribbon-cutting for Indian Hills Middle.  He says he judged the success of the Back-to-School Night by looking at the faces of the kids at the event. The students looked so excited. He also thanked the administration for holding professional development classes to help teachers as they prepare for the school year.  In addition, he lauded the people in the social-emotional support systems that CSD has in place to aid ailing or distressed families and students. 
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
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