Canyons Distict is expanding its high-tech arsenal in the fight to keep children safe.

Elementary schools are rolling out information to their communities about access to the SafeUT app and website, which is an immediate, direct link to licensed counselors at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute. Starting Wednesday, Aug. 31, all CSD elementary school communities will have access to SafeUT's services. 

Canyons' secondary schools were among the first in Utah to roll out access to the service last year. The response was instantly positive, and students across the District were using it a a resource to receive real-time and confidential responses from a highy trained clinician. 

The app and website, developed as part of a partnership between UNI and the Utah State Office of Education with funds allocated by the Utah Legislature, serves as confidential tip line about such safety issues as suicide, bullying and threats of violence.

"Twenty-four/seven,whether it's summer break, whether it's over Winter Recess, on the weekends, (students) can immediately get access to somebody that can help them," Tamra Baker, Director of Canyons District's Student Support Services, told ABC4 during a recent interview about the roll-out across the District.

Multiple languages are available. This intervention and emotional support also provides follow-up and responses through user-password protection. Users can submit a tip with a picture and/or video, and a user can communicate online or call by phone.

For the community's ease, here are links to places students and parents can dowload the app: Click here for Google Play and click here to find the app in iTunes. 

Utah ranks 5th in the nation for suicide deaths among 10- to 17-year-olds, and bullying is a risk factor, according to the Utah Suicide Prevention Coaltion. Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. In honor of Suicide Awareness Week, September 5-11, here are some tips for talking about bullying courtesy of

Hundreds witnessed history on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016  as the doors to a brand new Butler Elementary opened and generations of students and former students, teachers, parents, and local dignitaries walked into the halls of the state-of-the-art building.

They passed under a replica of the school’s original bell, which hearkens back to Butler’s beginnings in 1877, and passed an originally curated bronze statue of a bobcat, which local residents purchased with donated money to represent the school’s 139-year history, as school leaders and students explored the spaces in which they plan to create their own history.

“We have come so far from the one-room school house that was built in Butlerville so many years ago,” Butler Elementary Principal Christy Waddell told a crowd gathered Thursday night to celebrate a ribbon cutting ceremony in honor of the building’s completion. “Can you imagine what the early settlers of this area would say if they saw our new school?”

The school, which was made possible by a $250 million voter-approved bond in 2010, features nearly 30 classrooms with lighting controls, audio-visual equipment and wiring for high-tech needs; large windows with stunning views of the surrounding mountains; a commons area, gymnasium and recreation room; and a lot of natural light in the classrooms and hallways.

Unique features, such as textured walls and original artwork throughout the school, were highlighted by VCBO Architecture — which designed the school — and completed by Hogan and Associates Construction.

Canyons District leaders, including Canyons Board of Education President Sherril Taylor and members Amber Shill and Nancy Tingey, as well as CSD Superintendent Jim Briscoe, Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvin Cullimore and City Council members Mike Shelton, Mike Peterson and Tee Tyler attended the ceremony with hundreds of parents and students from the community who searched for their assigned classrooms.

The school will be open for the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year, which begins Wednesday, Aug. 24.

“I have no doubt that many of you wondered if the school would be ready on time for the first day of school,” Shill, who represents the area, told the crowd. “Today would not be possible without your support. Thank you so much for your patience while we worked on your new school.”

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  • A new year. A new home. A fresh look. There are a lot of changes in store for Butler Elementary.

    Not only will students be attending classes in a new school building this fall, but when they enter the lobby for the first time, they’ll be greeted by a modernized version of their Bobcat logo. And if ever they need a little academic inspiration, they can pay a visit to the bronze bobcat statue perched in the main hall, which patrons commissioned from a local artist to serve as a reminder of the Butler’s 139-year history. “Our hope is that students can touch the Bobcat in passing as a reminder to work for good grades,” said Debbie Tyler, a member of the “Friends of Butler Elementary” committee that raised $9,500 to pay for the sculpture.

    Students, their families and members of the community are invited to a sneak preview of the new Butler Elementary — and its new logo and statue — at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and Open House on Thursday, Aug. 18. A reception starts at 5:30 p.m., and the ceremony will begin promptly at 6 p.m. 

    First established in 1877, Butler Elementary has “a wonderful history and loyal following” of community members who are eager to see the inside of the new facility, which they’ve watched take shape over the past year, Tyler says. The rebuild was completed with proceeds from a $250 million bond that voters approved in June 2010.

    Of the building’s features, most remarkable of all are its uninterrupted, 360-degree views of the mountain-rimmed Salt Lake Valley. West-facing classrooms look out upon the Oquirrh range, and east-facing rooms offer a close-up of the Wasatch. Look north and it’s possible to spot Mount Olympus. Gaze south and see just past the Point of the Mountain. 

    So it’s fitting that this latest addition to the Canyons District be themed around world-famous canyons. Each learning suite is designated by a color to correspond with renowned hikes in Utah (Buckskin Gulch), California (Kings Canyon), Hawaii (Waimea Canyon), Alaska (Keystone Canyon), Arizona (Antelope Canyon) and Texas (Palo Duro). “It helps with wayfinding. This way any child, no matter what age, can identify with the different areas of the building,” explains Alex Booth, one of the architects at VCBO. 

    The building, with its jutting stairwells that lead to a balcony overlooking the school’s cafeteria was designed to leave students with that top-of-the-world feeling — and artist David Jackson hopes his statue does much the same. “I want kids to be able to walk around it and touch it so that they can relate to it and it becomes a special, cool thing at the school. It should be a way to help develop school pride; I envision kids taking pictures by it or even holding classroom discussions around it.”

    Jackson has been working as a professional artist for more than 40 years. Known for his accurate depictions of wildlife and western landscapes, the Ogden native is often called upon to produce sculptures for colleges and universities. But he says the Butler project has special meaning for him. “I taught high school art for 27 years at Bonneville High in South Ogden,” he says. “And I used to do a lot of artist-in-residence work with elementary-age kids.”

    Jackson’s interest in art began at a young age, and he says his parents recognized his talent and encouraged it. “That’s what good teachers do, whether they’re teaching art, English or math. They recognize kids who have a passion or a talent and look for ways to reinforce them.”

    Perhaps the bobcat will inspire students to follow their passion. “I would say if something brings you joy,” says Jackson, “then pursue it, and practice, practice, practice.”


    ·      Butler Elementary was first established in 1877

    ·      With its rock base, the life-sized bronze bobcat weighs well over 500 pounds

    ·      Since its inception in 2009, Canyons District has completed an average of two construction projects each year.

    Prepare to soar toward a brilliant future, Hawks.

    The Canyons Board of Education on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 embraced a first-of-its-kind partnership with the University of Utah that will give flight to the higher-education aspirations of stellar students attending Alta High School.

    A Memo of Understanding between the first new school district to be created in Utah in a century and the Utah’s flagship institution of the state System of Higher Education was approved during the Board of Education’s business meeting at the Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East.

    The alliance is the U.’s second academic, early-college partnership with a secondary school. However, it is the tier-one, PAC 12 research institution’s first official collaboration with a traditional, comprehensive public high school.

    The Canyons program — called Step2theU — will grant a select cohort of Alta-enrolled students the opportunity to study with University of Utah professors and instructors at the U.’s Sandy Campus. Alta’s administration aims to open the first competitive application process in the coming months. Those selected would need to be prepared to start in summer 2017.

    "The Canyons Board of Education is pleased to provide this innovative program to the students of Alta High,” said Board President Sherril H. Taylor. “We’re honored to forge an early-college partnership with such a prestigious university, and we’re thrilled that our students will be given a chance to get a jump-start on their pursuit of post-secondary education. It also serves as just one more reason that we will continue to focus, even with our youngest students, on the importance of being college- and career-ready.”

    Hawks seeking to become Utes through the program will submit applications during the fall of their junior years. If accepted, the students will be introduced to Step2theU during a summer-block program. Coursework would begin between the students’ junior and senior years, and provide an opportunity for students to finish one semester of college. Then, in the summer months after high school graduation and before the start of their freshman years, the students would take enough general-education coursework to complete another semester.

    In essence, by the time the Alta students reach their first day of school at the U., they would have two complete semesters under their belts.

    “This new partnership with Alta High will allow us to put everything we know about student success into a state-of-the-art, early-college experience,” said Ann Darling, Assistant Vice President of Undergraduate Studies. “We are excited to work with the great administration and staff at Alta High and Canyons School District and to serve their terrific students in their pathway to college.”

    By participating, Principal Brian McGill says, Alta students could possibly save up to $10,000 in tuition, fees and other associated college costs.

    The first-ever cohort would be made up of 30-35 students. The target audience of students would include current Alta students who have solid grade-point averages, as well as involvement in Advanced Placement and concurrent enrollment classes. However, the students who submit applications will be asked to detail their engagement in school extracurriculars, demonstrate leadership and personal engagement with the community, and declare a preference in continuing their studies at the U.

    In addition, McGill said, the program would be heavily marketed to first-generation, minority, and low-income students.

    “Canyons District’s mission is to help foster a culture of college- and career-readiness, and this innovative partnership is a way to further fulfill our commitment to our students and the families that are able to participate in this unique academic venture,” said McGill. “We have a vision at Alta High School to be the first comprehensive high school in Utah to create a new hybrid high school framework that embodies the traditional offerings in academics, arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities, combined with a this newly established early college pathway, in partnership with the University of Utah.”
    Starting this week, all Canyons District parents will be able to access their students’ SAGE test results online. Results will be posted June 16, 2016 to the same Skyward Family Access accounts used for annual online registration. This will ensure that the information is kept secure while making it more immediately accessible to families now that school is out for the summer.

    To access your Skyward account:

    o   Visit

    o   Click on the Skyward link on the menu located on the right side of the screen. 

    o   Choose the Family Access tab on the top left of the new window.

    o   Use your guardian or student username and password to log in to Skyward Family Access.

    o   Click on the “Portfolio” tab to view your child's SAGE results and your child’s report card.

    Need help with Skyward Family Access? Here's a tutorial

    Five CSD schools — Midvale Middle School and Sandy, Copperview, East Midvale, and Midvale elementary schools — have opted to provide parents with paper copies of their children’s SAGE test results. Paper-copy results will be mailed to parents on June 16, the same day they are posted to Skyward Family Access.

    SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence) is a state-mandated, computer adaptive year-end assessment designed to measure student progress against Utah’s educational standards. Information about the test and how to interpret results can be found here.  Should you have further questions, please ask your school leaders or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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