The future is bright with young leaders like these.

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, the Board of Education empaneled Canyons’ 2018-2019 Student Advisory Council. This is the sixth year the Board has selected students from all five of Canyons’ traditional high schools to serve in an advisory capacity. 

When the Board of Education debates policies or procedures that could impact students, the members of the school board turn to the Student Advisory Council for input. It’s truly a direct line from the students to the policy-makers in Canyons. 

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle, the adviser for the student group, on Tuesday night introduced the students, who were selected after an application process. Two representatives are chosen from Alta, Brighton Corner Canyon, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools. They will meet six times throughout the school year 

The students are Alta's Brooklyn Bacher and Noah Ogden, Brighton's Ellie Anderson and Ethan Van Drimmelen, Corner Canyon's Josee Haycock and Luke Warnock, Hillcrest's Lizzie Moss and Landon Nipko, and Jordan's Daizha Jake and Michael Manhard. 
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Vision and Mission Update

Research and Assessment Director Dr. Hal Sanderson presented student achievement data to the Board of Education. With a few exceptions, in recent years, Canyons District kindergarteners, third-, fifth-, eighth- and 11th-grade students have showed improvement or remained at or close to the same proficiency levels in mathematics, English language arts, and science on year-end exams. In 2018, in every subject and at all grades, Canyons District students exceeded the statewide proficiency levels on the Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence exams. Dr. Sanderson also presented information on how CSD’s behavioral supports are impacting student achievement and school climate. 

CAB-East Expansion

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox presented information about a planned expansion of the Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East. The addition would be funded by the sale of Canyons Administration Building-West, 9150 S. 500 West. No funds from the voter-approved bond would be used on the project. Not only will proceeds from the $9.4 million sale almost fully fund the design and construction of office space for the relocating employees, the sale will add an estimated $400,000 to $475,000 in annual tax revenue to the District’s ongoing budget. An expanded CAB-East would allow the Canyons administration to provide a “one-stop shopping” experience for patrons, who would not have to travel between the two central offices to access services. Nearly all of the academic and business departments would be housed at the new CAB-East. Under the proposal, construction of the new administrative space would begin in October and be completed in fall 2019. The Board also awarded the $9.4 million construction contract to the lowest bidder, Copper Valley Construction. 

Budget for Lacrosse Athletic Teams

Canyons is proposing a budget to launch boys and girls prep lacrosse teams in the 2019-2020 school year. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle suggests a $60,000 one-time investment and the addition of $92,000 to cover the District’s year-to-year costs. A $70 participation fee has been proposed to cover the costs of custodians, officials and score-keepers. Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon and Jordan administrations say they intend to field school-sponsored teams next year, which is when the sport will be sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association. A team is unlikely at Hillcrest in 2019-2020 but could be added if there’s interest in future years. All CSD football fields have already been marked for lacrosse games, the Board noted.

Student Advisory Council

Dr. Dowdle introduced the members of the 2018-2019 members of the Student Advisory Council, which is made up of two students from each high school. Council representatives are invited to attend the Board of Education's semi-monthly meetings, discuss issues facing the Board, and provide input to the Board from a student’s perspective. The council is made up of two students from each CSD high school. The students are Alta's Brooklyn Bacher and Noah Ogden, Brighton's Ellie Anderson and Ethan Van Drimmelen, Corner Canyon's Josee Haycock and Luke Warnock, Hillcrest's Lizzie Moss and Landon Nipko, and Jordan's Daizha Jake and Michael Manhard.            

Policy Updates

In the Business Meeting, the Board of Education approved updated policies governing promotion, retention and acceleration of students, and the retirement eligibility for elected positions. In the study session, Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen presented suggested updates to policies governing tax increment financing project agreements and college- and career-readiness plans for students.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

The American flag was posted by the Corner Canyon Charelles Drill Team. The reverence was delivered by Corner Canyon High Principal Darrell Jensen.

Patron Comments

Patron Steve Van Maren asked questions about the proposed CAB-East expansion.  

Parent Jill Liljenquist expressed concern about the lack of a policy regarding smart-phone use during school hours.  She would like an enforceable policy that would address all grades.  

Parent Ashley England spoke about the negative mental-health impacts of social media. She asked the Board for a policy that would support teachers and parents in their efforts to aid student grow and mature.

Sandy Police officer Zak Henricksen, recently assigned to be a School Resource Officer, said he’s been impressed with how Albion and Union middle school administrators work with struggling students. 

Patron Betty Shaw commented on the uptick in student-achievement data and graduation rates in CSD. She thanked the Board for providing opportunity for students, and for setting challenging yet attainable educational goals for schools.

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the Sept. 18, 2018 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; Brookwood Elementary LAND Trust amendment, and an amended request for student overnight travel.


The following were recognized for their achievements:
  • Midvalley Elementary for winning a national PTA grant to fund a Math Night at the school
  • Midvalley student Ashlyn Phillps for being chosen Utah Playworks Junior Coach of the Year
  • The 18 Canyons National Merit Scholar semifinalists: Alta's Abigail Hardy, Joshua Mickelson and Joshua Pomeroy; Brighton's Alex Fankhauser, Sofia Maw, Jenna Rupper; Corner Canyon's Sebastian Lee and Peter Oldham; Hillcrest High's Alex Change, Anthony Grimshaw, Bryan Guo, Saey Kamtekar, Emily Langie, Hongying Liu, Warren McCarthy, Landon Nipko, Eric Yu, and Alan Zhao
Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on meeting with an engineer who is evaluating the hazardous bus routes in the district. He also mentioned tomorrow’s scheduled Career Fair and commended students for volunteering to serve on the Student Advisory Council.

Wilcox told the Board about a planned subdivision in Midvale that could impact school enrollments and boundaries. He also reported that Fitch and Moody’s reaffirmed the District’s Aaa bond rating for the upcoming issuance of $75 million to fund the construction of schools. Only 88 school districts of 15,000 have such a stellar bond rating.

Board Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson reported on attending cross country meets and football games, as well as watching the Alta High Marching Band at events.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold congratulated Peruvian Park Elementary for being named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School. She also thanked the District staff for working hard to prevent the spread of norovirus, and for the plans to expand CAB-East.  She also expressed appreciation for teacher and parents for meeting during Parent-Teacher Conferences. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey commented on the party held at Peruvian Park to celebrate the school’s selection as a National Blue Ribbon School. She also reported on attending the groundbreaking for Pluralsight’s new building. She mentioned the success of the Canyons Education Foundation’s golf tournament and encouraged School Community Council members to attend scheduled trainings. She also noted the suggested improvements to the volunteer program in CSD. 

Mrs. Amber Shill recognized School Performance Director Alice Peck, Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards and Mrs. Tingey for leading CSD’s SCC training. She also noted the new SCC website. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on the work being done on CSD’s Policy Committee and mentioned the state’s efforts to define the portrait of a Utah high school graduate. He congratulated Principal Leslie Jewkes for her achievements at Peruvian Park Elementary. He also attended the groundbreaking of Pluralsight, which he hopes will provide internships to CSD students.

Mr. Mont Millerberg said the Student Advisory Council provides valuable input to the Board. He congratulated Peruvian Park for being named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School, where some of his grandchildren attend school. He congratulated Midvalley Elementary on receiving the national PTA grant, and noted the success of the Canyons Education Foundation Golf Tournament. 

President Sherril H. Taylor, as he heads into his final meetings as a Board member, said he’d like to single out staff members for recognition. He noted School Performance Director Mike Sirois’ efforts to improve the middle schools in CSD, thanked Dr. Dowdle for ensuring the public use of school facilities, and expressed appreciation for Dr. Kathryn McCarrie for leading the curriculum, research, special education and emotional-supports departments of the District. He also thanked Dr. Briscoe, saying the superintendent’s heart is with students, and the Sandy Police Officers for providing security at the meeting.
The Panthers have clawed their way to the top. Peruvian Park Elementary has been named by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School.

The 2018 recognition, given to only two other Utah schools, was based on the school’s overall academic performance as measured by state assessments. The school celebrated the announcement today at an assembly, during which they watched a video by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and waited patiently to see if their name would appear on the screen. 

When the school's picture popped up, the students and teachers roared in delight. Blue balloons bounced around and confetti was sprayed into the crowd of cheering youngsters.

The prestigious award, earned by 349 public and private schools across the country, affirms the hard work of Peruvian Park’s administration and faculty in building a culture of excellence at the school. In fact, the results of test scores for neighborhood students has nearly doubled, and the students in the magnet SALTA advanced-learner program are achieving at highly-proficient levels.

"We asked you to be brave enough to make goals that would be hard for you," Principal Leslie Jewkes told the students while congratulating them on achieving their goals. She also thanked the "fearless" teachers who committed themselves to collaboration and stellar classroom instruction.

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe also congratulated the students, 30 percent of whom qualify for free- or reduced-price lunches, for earning the coveted national honor. "We are really proud of what you have been able to accomplish and to bring this kind of recognition to our community," he said.

This is the 36th year the federal education department has announced National Blue Ribbon honors for schools that are achieving at high levels or doing strong work in closing the achievement gap. DeVos will honor the winning schools during a ceremony Nov. 7-8 in Washington, D.C.

See the District's Facebook page for a gallery of photos and a video of the cheering children and teachers.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Online Math Textbook Proposal 

The Board of Education is considering a proposal to implement an online-textbook program for secondary mathematics classes. The proposed textbooks are “Illustrated Mathematics,” published by Open-Up Resources for seventh- and eighth-grade students, and “Mathematics Vision Project,” an open-education resource developed in partnership with the Utah State Board of Education, for ninth- through 12th-grade students. The cost to implement both program is less than if the District opted to maintain the traditional hard-bound mathematics textbooks. The evidence-based programs also are closely aligned to Utah’s core. Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward, Director of Instructional Supports, also told the Board the District is working on a plan to aid students who have limited Internet access at home. The proposal suggests a layered, grade-by-grade implementation from fall 2019 to fall 2021. Teacher professional development would correspond with the implementation by grade. Hard copies would be made available in offices for parents who want to know more. The Board asked Instructional Supports and the Office of Public Communications to inform the public about the proposal and solicit feedback from the community.

Dual Language Immersion Committee Proposed

Dr. Roderick-Landward successfully proposed forming a committee to plan for the future of the District’s Dual Language Immersion Programs. The committee will be made up of members of the Board of Education, parents, principals, teachers, and District DLI team members, and would review enrollment trends, costs, and achievement levels. The goal would be to present a long-term plan to the Board of Education in spring 2019.  Board members Chad Iverson and Mont Millerberg volunteered to serve. 

Policy Update

The Board of Education is considering updates to policies governing the promotion, retention and acceleration of students; and the certification of elected positions as either part-time or full-time for retirement-eligibility purposes. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including the approval of minutes from the Board of Education meeting on Sept. 4, 2018; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student-overnight travel requests; and August Financial Reports. 

Pledge of Allegiance and Reverence

The American and Utah flags were posted by Cub Scout Troop No. 4412, the members of which attend Willow Springs Elementary. Willow Springs Principal Marianne Yule delivered the reverence.

Patron Comment
  • Carly and Trevor Seely, who live in the Rockwell Community in Draper, asked the Board and Administration to review whether their neighborhood could be designated as a hazardous walking route.  She said 11 students are affected. 
  • Parent Jeff Pomeroy, who has children at Sunrise, Indian Hills and Alta high school, said families struggle with the late-start and early-out schedules that vary from school to school. 
  • Parent Jacquelynn Sokol asked the Board and Administration to consider spending time studying some of the ideas expressed in “Better Days 2020,” which marks 150 years since women first voted in Utah.  This also marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe lauded the men and women who were recognized at the 9th annual Apex Awards, the highest honors given in Canyons District.  The awards ceremony was held Tuesday, Sept. 11 at The Gathering Place at Gardner Village. He also said he would attend the Canyons Education Foundation Golf Tournament on Wednesday. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox reported on meeting with administrators and principals about budgets for Canyons’ Title I schools.  He also thanked the Board for presenting the Legacy Award to him at the Apex Awards.

Board of Education Member Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson reported on attending cross-country meets to watch Canyons athletes achieve. He commented on the challenges that families face with the varying late-start and early-out times and days at schools. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold said that early-out and late-start schedules are determined by the available number of buses and drivers.  She congratulated the winners of the 2018 Apex Awards.

Mr. Mont Millerberg mentioned the Canyons Education Foundation’s Golf Tournament scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 19. He said he takes a lot of pride in watching the growth of the Canyons Foundation and the amount of money that is raised to aid students and teachers. He also reported on attending the first day of school activities at Midvalley Elementary. He also attended the Kindergarten College-Ready Day at East Midvale Elementary. He congratulated the 2018 Apex Award winners. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley said he appreciates the culture of recognition that Canyons has embraced. Reflecting on his eight years on the Canyons Board of Education, he is grateful for all the experiences he’s had since being elected. He also noted that, while substituting at schools in other districts, he has often noticed the differences in practices between CSD and other Districts, and commended employees for taking strides to improve the District. 

Mrs. Amber Shill also said the late-start and early-out schedules are determined by transportation. She reported on the annual Superintendent’s back-to-school luncheon with PTA presidents and School Community Council leaders. She congratulated the winners of the 2018 Apex Award winners, and said she attended a Brighton High construction meeting.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey said the late-start and early-out days are used by schools to give teachers time to collaborate and prepare lesson plans without students in the building. She reported on attending the Brighton site meeting and the luncheon with Dr. Briscoe. She also attended the documentary “Angst” about teen anxiety, screened at Jordan High. The event was a partnership between CSD and the Deseret News. She also commented on “Better Days 2020.” 

President Sherril Taylor lauded Board members for their hard work and integrity in their work as CSD’s governing panel. He remarked on how the Board and Administration often operates as a family. Sometimes, families disagree but they always come back together even stronger.  He also mentioned that all Jordan High counselors would receive a personally engraved lead crystal award for winning the 2018 Apex Awards for Student Support Services Professionals of the Year. This is in addition to the one award that can be displayed at the school.
America’s liberties, as delineated in the country’s major founding document, are being celebrated today, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018 for U.S. Constitution Day. 

While the truths in the constitution are held to be self-evident, students across the District are learning first-hand through lessons, games, and even a personal visit to an oath-of-citizenship ceremony in Salt Lake City what it means to take upon the mantle of being an American citizen.

At Midvale Middle, students compared the words of the original constitution to one that was ratified later. Sandy Elementary Sharks talked about the reason for the day on their student-produced morning news show.  Constitution-related trivia also was played at the outset of every period today at Eastmont Middle, and if any Patriot can recite the Preamble to any administrator by Thursday, they can be rewarded with the opportunity to obtain items from the school store.     

But perhaps the most touching event was witnessed by Alta High social-studies and music students.

Alta High students were invited to participate in Monday’s naturalization ceremony at the U.S. District Court. The Salt Lake event is held annually to mark the Sept. 18, 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution, and is an observance that began in 1940 as "I Am an American Day.”

At the touching ceremony, the Hawks’ Madrigals performed patriotic songs, and two seniors, Ricky Wooden and Shannon van Uitert, were chosen to read personal essays about the constitution.

"Mainly," Wooden said of the U.S. Constitution, "it's the one thing that binds us all together." Religion doesn't do that, sports don't do that — "but the constitution does," he said.    

Wooden said it took him about an hour to collect his thoughts and write the essay, which focused on how the document was drafted and how ultimately “it wants us to express our voices.”

The constitution, he said, “certainly gives us responsibilities …So we can protect it, and it can protect us.”   

van Uitert says she hopes the new citizens took her words to heart: "I hope it means as much to them as it means to me." She and her peers, as well as others in the audience, heard touching American-dream stories from new U.S. citizens hailing from Iraq, Mexico, Samoa, Tonga, Brazil, Australia, Africa, Dominican Republic, India, Burma, Ecuador, and Bolivia. 

van Uitert said she wanted to speak directly to the new citizens about how the “rights and privileges” given in the constitution aid citizens in their pursuits of happiness. 

The service in Salt Lake City is one of more than 260 naturalization ceremonies scheduled to be held this week in the United States. This year, America will welcome approximately 45,000 new citizens at the ceremonies.
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