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Two electric Canyons athletes have shown on the playing field they know how to win from within. And now Brighton High volleyball phenom Dani Barton and Alta High football standout Josh Davis have been selected by sports-drink giant Gatorade as the Utah Players of the Year in their respective sports. 

Davis, who is mulling scholarship offers from Air Force, Army, Weber State, Southern Utah and others, was presented with the Utah Gatorade Football Player of the Year award at a Hawk home basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Barton, also a member of the 2015 5A state championship girls hoops team, received her accolades shortly after the Bengals’ fifth-place finish at the Utah High School Activities Association’s 5A tournament.

The Canyons Board of Education honored the dynamic duo for their achievements at a Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017 meeting. Bottles of Gatorade in Alta’s and Brighton’s school colors were handed out to the folks in the audience. 

It’s not hyperbole to say Davis and Barton are among the most talented athletes to serve an ace or score a touchdown on Canyons’ athletic fields.  Here’s what Brighton High coach Adam Fernandez told the Deseret News about Barton’s athletic prowess:  “She’s the best female athlete in the state, hands down.  You could give her a ping-pong paddle, and next year she could be your state champ.”

Indeed, Barton’s raw athleticism was apparent in more than one sport. She helped the Bengals win the hoops title as a sophomore, and made the state finals of the 100-meter and 400-meter dash on her first try running track as a junior. She comes from a long line of accomplished athletes: Two of her brothers play college football; her mother, Mikki Kane-Barton is a member of the U.’s Crimson Club Hall of Fame; and her father, Paul Barton played football and baseball at the U.

But inborn talent is nothing without discipline. What sets Barton apart from other outside hitters is her internal drive to improve and her never-quit attitude on the court, says Fernandez who had his eye on Barton from the time she attended the school’s volleyball camp in seventh grade, when she was already playing as well as his varsity team members. She didn’t let her coach down. Barton finished the volleyball season with 418 kills and 71 blocks. She led her team in digs and landed 91 percent of her serves. She is ranked No. 4 in Utah for her accomplishments.

“What I love most about volleyball is it’s more of a mental game,” Barton told Adam Mikulich at KUTV as she was highlighted as the Prep of the Week. “It tests your mental toughness, and I just love being on the team.”

Now, Barton, who graduated from Brighton early to get a jump-start  at the University of Utah, has her eye on her next goal: competing in beach volleyball, which is a sport the U. is adding to its roster in the spring. Of course Barton plans to win, but her dreams go even farther than that. She wants to win at the Olympics. She wants to win at the Olympics. Barton has maintained a 3.70 GPA and has volunteered on behalf of her church and for youth volleyball camps. 

Like Barton, Davis was his school’s go-to guy for leadership. He scored 72 touchdowns and he earned 5,290 rushing yards as a Hawk.  Davis also has been credited with helping to revive Alta’s storied football program, and push his team to the Class 4A semifinals this year. He scored 28 touchdowns in his senior year and finished the season with 2,645 yards, breaking the state single-season record for all-purpose yards and averaging 203.5 yards per game. Davis is so fast he even qualified for the finals of the 100-meter dash at the state track and field championships last spring.

Davis is also a dedicated student, with a GPA of 3.86, and he spends his time volunteering in the community and helping in a retirement home.

Davis is the third Gatorade Utah Football Player of the year to be chosen from Alta in 32 years. Previous winners from Canyons District include Brighton’s Simi Fehoko, who won the 2015-2016 award, and Jordan’s Austin Kafentzis, who won in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015.  Jordan High slugger Colton Shaver won the state award in 2014, the year the ‘Diggers won the 5A state title. 

The coveted Gatorade title is one of many claimed by Davis over the years. The 6-foot, 170-pound running back is a two-time pick for KSL-TV Game Night 4A MVP. This year, he was named to The Tribune’s All-State Team and was dubbed an MVP by the Deseret News. If that wasn’t enough, Davis was hand-picked for the USA TODAY High School Sports' 2016 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Utah Football Team.

While Barton has already committed to the U., Davis plans to make his NCAA selection public at a Feb. 1 National Signing Day breakfast ceremony at Alta High.

Photos: Courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Thursday, 19 January 2017 03:58

Board Meeting Summary, Jan. 17, 2017

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

Middle School Schedule
 
After hearing hours of input from parents, teachers and students, the Board of Education voted to approve the schedules put forward by CSD's middle schools for a one-year trial period. An update is to be given in one year. The Board also asked that a survey be done of parents and teachers to gain feedback, and that for the 2018-2019 school year, a task force be re-convened with parents to explore how schools might provide more electives.  The Board also requested the Administration to seek a waiver from the Utah State Office of Education on implementing Digital Literacy for eighth-graders and the full-year Career and College Awareness class to be taken by sixth-graders.
 
Board Leadership
 
The Board of Education chose Sherril H. Taylor to serve again as the President. Nancy Tingey was elected 1st Vice President and Amber Shill was elected 2nd Vice President.  The terms are for two years.
 
Update on Kindergarten Supplemental Program
 
Last summer, the Board of Education approved a pilot program to provide supplemental hours of instruction for kindergarten-age children. A total of 78 children enrolled in the tuition-based program at Altara, Bell Vista, Brookwood and Oakdale elementary schools. Twenty-four of those children received needs-based scholarships. The program has given teachers time to go into greater depth with their lessons and to meet individual student needs, which has been especially beneficial for at-risk students who have shown the most gains academically, behaviorally and socially, said Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward. But test scores show all students have benefitted and are now better prepared to enter first grade. Because the program is tuition-based, it is cost-neutral to the District. Roderick-Landward is recommending that the program be continued in 2017-2018 at the four pilot schools and expanded to include interested schools with adequate space. Nine schools have expressed interest, and five schools are working with their communities to gauge interest. The Board will take up the issue at a future meeting.
 
High School Advanced Language
 
CSD’s Dual-Language Immersion program is coming of age as the first cohort of students to enroll in the first-grade now advance to high school during the 2017-2018 school year. Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward discussed the results of a survey undertaken to understand how many students plan to continue with their language studies through high school and whether their enrollment is contingent upon being able to attend a specific high school. Based on the findings, the Administration is recommending for the 2017-2018 school year that Alta and Corner Canyon high schools be the sites for Mandarin Chinese and that Jordan be the site for Spanish. More high school sites would be added in the 2018-2019 year as Dual-Language Immersion students who are now enrolled in other feeder systems, such as the Brighton and Hillcrest feeder systems, age into high school. The Board will discuss the recommendations at a future meeting.
 
Hazardous Walking Routes
 
No changes are being recommended this year to CSD’s hazardous walking routes — pathways frequented by students who live within walking distance of their neighborhood school but that are deemed too dangerous for students to safely traverse on foot. Students who use these routes receive bus service that is financed by the District. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle updated the Board on a request to reevaluate a heavily traveled route to Draper Park Middle. A study confirmed the existence of gaps in the sidewalk along 1300 East, which are of concern to parents. The District is working with the city of Draper to upgrade the sidewalk.
 
Graduation Update
 
Canyons District’s graduation rate has risen 3 percent over the past three years with 85 percent of high school seniors earning diplomas in 2016 — up from 82 percent in 2013. All of CSD’s traditional high schools realized gains, except Corner Canyon, which is holding steady and boasts the District’s highest graduation rate of 94 percent, said Director of Research and Assessment Dr. Hal Sanderson. Jordan and Hillcrest show the sharpest three-year gains of 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively. “We are making gains,” especially among Asian and Latino/Hispanic students, said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle. More improvement is needed to boost the graduation rates of economically disadvantaged students and English learners. Among strategies being deployed by the District: Continued support of efforts to boost student achievement within the Hillcrest feeders system; better use of analytic tools to track students who are at-risk of dropping out; a review credit recovery programs and processes; and a refinement of transfer and exit procedures for 11th and 12th grade students. Support efforts to boost student achievement at Hillcrest.
 
Recognitions

Four students and a member of the Board of Education were honored during the Recognitions portion of the meeting. Brighton High’s Dani Barton was honored for being named the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year for volleyball.  She also was the Deseret News’ Ms. Volleyball and the Salt Lake Tribune Player of the Year.  Alta High’s Josh Davis also was recognized for being named the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year for football.  He also was the KSL-TV 4A Football MVP, Salt Lake Tribune All-State Team, and Deseret News MVP.  Midvale Middle students Elizabeth Martin and Danju Zoe Liu were recognized for winning their age categories in the StepUp to Higher Education’s Make Your Mark bookmark contest. Board member Nancy Tingey was recognized for being elected President of the Utah School Boards Association. 
 
Policy Updates
 
The Board of Education approved updates to policies governing employee eligibility for vacation leave time.
 
Patron Comments
 
The following patrons, teachers and students gave public comment:  Holly Neibaur, Katie Smith, Kerstin Olcott, Amanda Oaks, Kit Linkous, Clark Croshaw, Joanne Andrus, Stacie Raddatz, Elaine Lindsay, Ben Brockbank, Victoria Bromfield, Sterling Oaks, Erika Bradshaw, Jen Buttars, Daniel Emrazian, Zoe Smith, Adriana Steck, Alisha Neyman, Hanna Bartnicki, Alexsys Campbell, TJ Neyman, Monett Rupp, Delese Bettinson, Terri Culberson, Tami Knubel, Paul Madsen, Mike Neyman, Randy Madsen, Nicol Druckmiller, Destiny Rockwood, Heather White, Marianne Barrows, Alex Nibley, Kaylie Hayter, Blayke Lynn, Christina Stenten, Natalie Fisher, Krista Pippen, Marilyn Larson, Kim Steenblik, Corrine Harrymen, Maddie Gallardo, Gretchen Hyer, Ben Ellison, Tristan Cooper, Brahams Briggs, Jana White, Laura Rupper, Janene Bijou, Mark Fellows, Alex Schneider, Wendy Smith, Chad Smith, Kathryn Smith, Livvy Smith, Valerie Witzel, Jessica Green, David Christensen, Grant Croshaw

Consent Agenda
 
The Board approved the consent agenda, including purchasing bids, student overnight travel requests, November financial reports, December financial reports, a donation agreement from Real Salt Lake for a mini-pitch at Sandy Elementary, and a Unified Police Department SRO Agreement.
 
Digital Citizenship Resolution
 
The Board approved a Digital Citizenship Resolution.  The resolution declares Feb. 6-10 as Digital Citizenship Week in Canyons District.
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 22:32

Board Meeting Summary, Dec. 6, 2016

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

Middle School Schedule Update

In order to squeeze two extra core subjects into the middle school day, as required by the Utah State Board of Education, Canyons District must revisit its middle school schedules. On the table are a range of options, from sticking with the current six-period schedule to moving to a seven-period or a 10-period schedule — and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, explained Director of Elementary and Middle Schools Mike Sirois. Following months of review, which involved input from parents, a 35-person task force made up of principals and teachers representing all of CSD’s middle schools has settled on a menu of options that offers individual schools the flexibility to meet their unique needs. The task force’s recommendations were based on guiding principles: support team-teaching and collaboration; maximize instructional time; provide students with educational choices; and allow time for remediation. At issue is the addition of a Digital Literacy course and the expansion of the College and Career-Readiness core to a full year, which limit the amount of time available for students to take electives. While not a binding vote, Board members indicated a willingness to let individual schools decide what works best for their communities. The six-period schedule works well for some schools because it affords time for team-teaching while preserving instruction time and class sizes and still allowing time for one elective in music, the arts or another subject. But for students whose one elective is already eaten up by a world language or remediation course, the six-period schedule leaves no time for another elective. The Board directed schools to submit their preferred schedules to the Administration, which will bring a proposal to the Board for consideration at the Board’s January 17 meeting. The new schedules would take effect with the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Review of Finances

Utah law requires school districts to publish within five months of the close of the fiscal year a complete set of financial statements. Business Administrator Leon Wilcox on Tuesday summarized highlights of the statement for fiscal year 2016:
  • The District retired $16 million of general obligation school building bonds during 2016.
  • Actual revenues were $1.5 million more than budgeted for the General Fund and actual expenditures were $3 million less than the amount budgeted for the fund.
  • The 2010 bond has funded 13 scheduled projects, 10 of which have been completed. The remaining bond projects include the under-construction Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary schools. The Indian Hills Middle project is in the design and planning stages. .
  • The District has been able to strengthen its unassigned general fund balance from $11.2 million in 2010 to $20.6 million in 2016.

Board Vision and Mission Updates

The Board of Education approved a revised mission statement and indicators of achievement regarding the District’s mission.  The motion to approve the changes was made by Robert Green — his final action as a member of the Board. 

Farewell to Green

Members of the Canyons Board of Education honored Robert Green, whose four-year term on the Board ends this month. President Sherril Taylor read a statement that commended Green for his service. "While his input has been valuable on so many levels, we have especially admired and appreciated his advocacy of students in Title I schools," Taylor’s statement said. "Time after time, Robert has reminded us about the needs of this population, and has worked tirelessly to ensure that we were giving the necessary supports to students who need just a little help to do big things." Green's tenure spanned a time of great progress for the District. In the past four years, Canyons has been named to the AP Honor Roll twice; implemented new boundaries to balance enrollment around the District; successfully put into place grade reconfiguration; opened the new Corner Canyon High, Draper Park, Butler, and Mount Jordan middle schools, and Butler Elementary.  The District also has started construction work on a new Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary.  It also was noted that Green helped the Board conduct a national search to hire Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe.

Patron Comments. 


Parent Laura Rupper commented on potential schedule changes in middle schools, and asked the District to present information to parents for feedback and input. She also expressed concern about the trimester schedule at Brighton High. 

Rand Rupper also commented on the middle school schedule. He also voiced concern about the Brighton High trimester schedule. He asked for the involvement of parents in deciding school issues.

Jenni Perkins, a member of the Middle School Schedule Task Force and a music teacher at Albion, commented on potential changes to the middle school schedule.  She addressed concerns about not having enough time with her students and the impact the state-required courses will have on opportunities for students to take electives.

Shelley Allen, a teacher and International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at Midvale Middle, said she served on the Middle School Schedule Task Force.  Allen also said that teachers across the District have been able to give feedback throughout the process of designing proposals for the Board. She encouraged the Board to give options to schools to meet the unique needs of their communities.

Erica Bradshaw, Mount Jordan Middle teacher and Vice President of the Canyons Education Association, expressed appreciation for being able to serve on the task force.  She encouraged the Board to allow respective communities to choose schedules that will best suit the needs of their schools. 

Melinda Colton, chairwoman of the Draper Park Middle School Community Council, encouraged the Board to allow each school to establish its own schedule. 

Andrew Shaffer, teacher at Union Middle, part of the task force, also commented on the middle schools schedule proposals discussed during the Board’s study session.  He said CSD faculties have had a voice in the schedule proposals made to the Board.   

Parent Ladd Johnson also commented on the middle school schedule. He urged the Board to consider the ability of students to be able to take electives. 

Parent Michelle Lowry expressed concerns about some of the socio-economic issues facing Midvale Elementary. She asked the Board for additional support to help address the issues that are inherent with a Title I school.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent calendar, including the minutes from the Nov. 15, 2016 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; student overnight travel; revised LAND Trust plan for Mount Jordan Middle and Granite Elementary; and the acceptance of the 2015-2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. 

Calendars

The Board of Education confirmed a school-year calendar for the 2017-2018 school year, and tentatively approved the school-year calendars for the 2018-2019 as presented the Board. 

Policy Update

The Board of Education approved updates to policies governing substitute staff employment, school volunteers, early retirement for administrators, and phased retirement. 

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Jim Briscoe thanked the Board, District administrators and middle school principals and assistant principals for the productive discussion regarding potential middle school schedules. He expressed his appreciation to Robert Green for his service to the Board, and especially his advocacy of the CSD Title I communities. He also credited Green for CSD’s partnership with the United Way. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked Green for his service to Canyons District. He mentioned Green’s dedication to such projects at the Hillcrest summer academic initiative and the rebuild of Midvale Middle. He also thanked District administrators, teachers, counselors, parents and community partners for their response to the fatal car accident that claimed the lives of two students and injured three others.

Board Member Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson said the tragedy in Draper had a ripple effect throughout the CSD community. The deaths of the two students and injuries of three others reminded many of what is truly important, he said. He expressed appreciation for his opponent in the November election, Tracy Bennett.  He said it was a civil campaign. He also expressed appreciation to Green for his service.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold lauded Mr. Wilcox and his team for receiving recent awards for budgeting and financial reporting.  She also congratulated Jordan Principal Tom Sherwood, a doctoral student at Brigham Young University, for receiving a School Leadership Award from the university’s Educational Leadership and Foundation’s Department.

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on attending CSD’s Arts Consortium meeting, the audit meeting, and a Town Hall for patrons. He said he attended the musicals of all five CSD traditional high schools, and commented on Jordan High’s new Medical Innovations Pathways program. He also remarked on how the community came together in the aftermath of the car accident involving Corner Canyon students.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey said she attended the musicals of all CSD high schools and a lunch for the Brighton feeder system.  She mentioned that the Canyons Symphony Orchestra is scheduled to perform at the January meeting of the Utah School Boards Association. 

Mrs. Amber Shill said she attended the production of “West Side Story” at Corner Canyon High.  She was on the committee that planned the new-member workshop for the Utah School Boards Association. She also remarked on how the fatal accident affected all parts of the District, and how the community seems to band together to give aid to those who need it most.  She mentioned various holiday projects undertaken by schools, including a Festival of Tree entry by Brighton to help a student with cancer. 

Mr. Robert Green also mentioned the tragedy involving Corner Canyon High students.  He said it’s been an honor serving on the Canyons Board of Education. 

Board President Sherril Taylor remembered the Corner Canyon students who passed away in the car accident. He expressed concern for their families and friends.  He also bid a fond farewell to Green, and thanked the Sandy Police for providing security at the meeting.
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 23:57

Board Meeting Summary, Nov. 15, 2016

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


Board Honors Union Middle Faculty, Staff for Quick Actions

The Canyons Board of Education recognized seven educators who played an instrumental role in de-escalating a traumatic incident that occurred at Union Middle on Oct. 25, 2016.  The Board of Education honored Union Middle teachers and staff who, without thought to their own safety, intervened to protect students and mitigate a critical situation that could have been much worse without their action. “You’ve all done so much, not only for the students of Union Middle, but for the entire community,” Canyons Board of Education President Sherril Taylor said in a statement. “If anyone ever wonders if their children are safe in our schools, they need to look no further than your examples. You disarmed the armed, provided aid to the injured, and prevented others from hurting themselves.” Taylor recognized Union Middle Principal Kelly Tauteloi and her staff, including Erin Hemingway, Genny Poll, Ginger Perry, Lynn Nelson, Michelle Erb, Brooke Rauzon and Taylor Hansen.

Principals Gives Update on Plans to Renovate Indian Hills Middle

Principal Doug Graham updated the Board on the upcoming remodel of Indian Hills Middle. At its last meeting, the Board of Education voted to relocate Indian Hills Middle, 1180 E. Sanders Road, to the former Crescent View Middle building, 11150 Green Ridge Dr., during construction. The renovation of the middle school is being funded by a $250 million bond issuance approved by voters in 2010. This will be final project to be completed with proceeds from the bond. Construction should start in spring 2017 and the school is slated to re-open in August 2018. Improvements include a redesign of the parking lot and bus lanes and two major additions to the building. For safety purposes, the administrative area will be moved to the front of the building and a security vestibule, which will require visitors to check in at the Main Office, will be installed. A student commons area will create more open space and allow for more natural sunlight. Among other planned amenities: more windows; a weight room adjacent the gym; a meeting room; updated library; a centralized music area with optimized acoustics; enlarged art classrooms and high-tech, fully functional CTE classrooms.

Review of Data Related to Hillcrest Summer Academic Bootcamp

Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt unveiled data supporting Hillcrest’s Summer Bootcamp program. The 47 students who completed all requirements of the intensive program conducted over the summer months showed progress in the first quarter of the school year. The average grade-point average of those who finished the Unit 1 standards in English arts, mathematics, biology and geography during the summer was 2.57. Those who were invited but didn’t complete the program finished the quarter with an average GPA of 1.84.  For the first quarter, the average GPA for Hillcrest’s freshman class was 2.79.  Seventy-seven percent earned a 2.0 GPA or better.  Last year at this time, 66 percent of Husky ninth-graders earned a 2.0 or better.  Leavitt said parents reported that the Summer Bootcamp was a valuable experience for their children, regardless of whether they completed the program.  Students also reported feeling more confident as they started high school.  In all, bootcamp participants earned an average of 1.75 credits, which means most are on track to graduate. As an incentive to encourage students to give up their free summer time, the United Way paid them stipends for participation. Many of the students used the money to purchase groceries for their family or help pay household bills.

CSD Seeks State Technology Grant Money

Canyons is well underway with a technology pitch that’s required as part of HB277, a multimillion-dollar state grant that can be used to pay for Digital Teaching and Learning.  Dr. Darren Draper, Canyons’ Director of Education Technology, said the District’s most recent 68-page application for three years of grant funding, which would help support the District’s education-technology efforts, was submitted on Nov. 11.  The Utah State Board of Education will review the applications Dec. 1-2 and will award grants on Dec. 31. Draper said CSD, which is seeking about $700,000, aims to improve Canvas, CSDDocs, and Nearpod use in the District; build teacher capacity in their knowledge of technology-facilitated pedagogy; maintain high levels of technology-related professional development. The District also wants to improve technology access and improve its academic use by students and maintain the infrastructure necessary to meet the technology-related needs. Anticipated grant-money spending includes stipends for teachers to earn CSD-specific certifications and convert classes to Canvas; funding for a teacher specialist for summer professional development; and new Chromebook labs in elementary and secondary schools. They also will be eligible for university credit.

Policy Updates

Assistant General Counsel Jeff Christensen updated the Board on proposed changes to District policy. The policies, if approved, would govern professional staff vacations; substitute staff employment; school volunteers; and an early retirement incentive for administrators. Christensen also presented information about a proposed policy regarding phased-in retirement, which the District is required to have and is designed to help address the state’s teacher shortage. Under the proposed policy, which defines phased-in retirement as defined in statute, newly retired employees would be able to continue working for the District on a half-time basis. The retiree would receive a reduced retirement allowance and 50 percent of the retiree’s monthly salary. The Board will continue discussing the proposed policy. During the business meeting, the Board gave approval to changes in policies regarding the Local Professional Improvement Committee; criminal background checks, nondiscrimination; and employee conduct and professionalism. 

Bell Schedule Update

The Office of School Performance has been meeting with School Community Councils to receive feedback on proposed changes to CSD’s bell schedule. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle summarized their feedback. Parents generally appreciated how changing school start and stop times would save money and help the District recruit and retain bus drivers. Piggybacking bus routes would make it possible to offer more fulltime, benefitted positions, and one school — Copperview Elementary — stood out as favoring the idea. But many parents voiced concern about earlier starts for high school students when research suggests teens would benefit from later start times. Some worried about how the changes would affect before- and after-school programs. And some teachers expressed concern about later end-times negatively affecting younger grades due to their limited attention spans. The general consensus of the Board was to not move forward at this time, but urged the Administration to continue to look for other fiscally responsible remedies to the bus-driver shortage.  

Student Advisory Council Empaneled

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle introduced this year’s Student Advisory Council, a panel of high school students who are asked to give feedback to the Board throughout the year. The 10 members are from Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools. They plan to meet in January, February, March and April. 

Patron Comments

Patron Dan Hayes, whose son attends Union Middle, thanked the school’s teachers and staff for their quick thinking and rapid response during the traumatic event on Oct. 25.  Mr. Hayes said his son attends Union Middle. He also expressed concern about student safety at school and asked the Board for information about the District’s security plans.  He also asked questions about the District’s position on the state’s gun laws.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent calendar, including approval of the minutes of the meeting on Oct. 18, 2016; the hiring and termination reports; requests for student overnight travel; October’s financial reports; 18 small-capital facility projects; the start of the Code to Success program; changes to LAND Trust plans at Brookwood Elementary and Jordan High; and the appointment of Hillcrest Assistant Principal Rachel Hill as the new United Way Partnership Facilitator.  Sara Newberry, an administrative intern, will replace Hill in the administration at Hillcrest. 

Proposed Calendars for Future Years

Dr. Floyd Stensrud, the Director of the Office of Planning and Enrollment, presented options for the 2017-2018 academic calendars, per discussions by the District’s Calendar Committee. Option No. 1 is the calendar that was tentatively approved by the Board of Education in 2015.  On this calendar, the first day of school would be Aug. 23, 2017.  The school year would end June 7, 2018.  An eight-day Winter Recess would start Dec. 21, 2017 and extend to Jan. 1, 2018.  Option No. 2 is the Calendar Committee’s preferred calendar.  On this calendar, the first day of school would be Aug. 16, 2017.  The last day of school would be June 1, 2018.  An 11-day Winter Recess would start Dec. 18, 2017 and extend to Jan. 1, 2018.  The Board also discussed the calendar guidelines that are now being reviewed by a policy committee.  The Board also was presented with tentative calendars for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school year. The Board did not take action on those calendars. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe thanked the Union Middle faculty and staff for coalescing during a crisis. He commended all principals, teachers and staff across the District for their efforts to provide safe and welcoming environments for students. He also asked the entire CSD community to be vigilant in the endeavor to maintain safe schools. Dr. Briscoe reported on attending the 4A semi-final football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah. He congratulated the Alta Hawks, which lost a tough game to Springville High, on a stellar season.  He congratulated all the CSD teams who made the playoffs in fall sports.  He also congratulated the students who participate in fine arts.  Jordan High’s fall musical, “Once Upon a Mattress,” he said, was good, and he’s looking forward to attending Alta’s musical, as well. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox discussed the phased-in retirement policy that was presented during the Board’s study session.  He also expressed appreciation for the Insurance Department’s oversight of the annual mandatory health insurance Open Enrollment process.  In all, 2,800 employees were enrolled during a two-week period.  He also said the District is closing on 13 acres in west Draper.  The land, per a Board decision in August, may be the site of a future elementary school. 

Board of Education Reports

Ms. Clareen Arnold reported on attending a committee meeting regarding the District’s fine arts programs. She reflected on a conversation she had with her students, who told her they considered their parents to be heroes.  Her heroes, she said, include her fellow Board members and the educators who are in the classroom every day, working with students. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley said he’s grateful for arts programs in the District. By the end of the fall musical season, he said, he will have seen five productions, including Brighton’s “The Little Mermaid.”  He invited patrons to a Town Hall meeting.  He also mentioned the ongoing construction at Alta View Elementary and Jordan High’s new Medical Innovations Pathways Program. 

Ms. Nancy Tingey also commended student thespians for their work on the fall musicals. She’s attended two and looks forward to seeing others this weekend.  She also welcomed the members of the Student Advisory Council to their roles, and reported on attending the Veterans Day event at Canyon View Elementary.

Ms. Amber Shill reported on attending a visit to Draper Elementary by a delegation from China. She also participated in a visit to Butler Elementary by a French Minister of Education.  Shill, who also attended Brighton High’s production of “The Little Mermaid,” congratulated Canyons District for again being named to the AP Honor Roll, and mentioned Brighton High for finishing in the state’s top 10 for its AP success rate.  As the Board’s representatives on the Utah High School Activities Association, she mentioned the progress of Rule 277409, which addresses student-athlete transfers, among other issues. 

Mr. Robert Green thanked the Union Middle faculty and staff for their response to the Oct. 25 incident on campus. Parents, like himself, are grateful for their actions. He also reported on speaking to students at Peruvian Park Elementary. He also mentioned the Veterans Day events held throughout the District and thanked U.S. soldiers for their service. 

Mr. Taylor thanked Board members for their remarks. He said Canyons District is like a family, and the familial feeling is part of the District’s culture. He thanked all teachers, staff, administrators and parents for their hard work.
Friday, 07 October 2016 16:29

Board Meeting Summary, Oct. 4, 2016

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


School Upgrades Proposal

A remodel of the Main Office at Midvale Elementary, the installation of carbon monoxide detectors at all elementary schools, and roofing and HVAC repairs are among more than two-dozen small capital projects being proposed for the 2017-2018 school year. Each year, schools submit their construction wish lists, which are ranked by an administrative committee that weighs, among other things, whether the projects are a safety or security imperative, or will meet a legal requirement, said Business Administrator Leon Wilcox.  If the Board approves the proposed upgrades at its Oct. 18 meeting, the Purchasing Department will begin soliciting bids from February to March 2017 with a goal of having the projects completed the following fall, said Wilcox.

Indian Hills Renovation

The Board of Education was presented a resolution calling for Indian Hills students to attend classes at the old Crescent View Middle, 11500 S. 300 East, for the 2017-2018 academic year. From April 2017 to August 2018, crews will be working on a substantial remodel of the building, funded by the $250 million bond approved by CSD voters in 2010. The Board also was asked to temporarily change the boundaries so that 481 IHMS students would qualify for busing to the old CVMS.

Priority Schools Progress

Strides are being made toward moving two Title I schools off Improvement Status. Copperview Elementary was designated a Focus school and Midvale Elementary was designated a Turn Around school by the Utah State Office of Education during the 2014-2015 school year due to low performance on year-end scores, explained Student Advocacy and Access Director Karen Sterling. The schools have received grant dollars to support technical assistance from the Utah Education Policy Center, which completed a thorough analysis of the schools’ performance and helped develop plans for boosting student achievement. Midvale Elementary’s performance on SAGE improved by 20 points this year, bringing the school out of Utah’s bottom 3 percent—the threshold for Turn Around status. If Midvale continues to improve and maintains its performance for three years, its Turn Around designation will be lifted. Assistant Principal Chip Matt Watts says home visits and Parent-Teacher Team meetings where educators share homework tips with parents has helped build relationships with families. The school is home to a Family Learning Center where adults can brush up on their English language skills and take free parenting classes. Both Midvale and Copperview partner with the United Way of Greater Salt Lake to make social supports and public aid more easily available to families that need them, thereby removing non-academic barriers to student success. The immediate focus at Copperview has been to address behavior problems that were disrupting the learning environment, said the school’s new principal Christine Webb. Also, coaches are working with teachers to adopt strategies shown to work with English learners.  Early data show growth in SAGES is in line with the rate of growth statewide, Webb said.

Posting of the Colors, Reverence

The colors were posted by a Webelos Scout Troop made up of students from Canyon View Elementary, and Principal BJ Weller updated the Board on academic growth at the school, noting Canyon View received an A this year under Utah’s school grading system. The school has moved to a reverse lunch schedule where recess is held prior to lunch, which Weller says has helped reduce food waste. Weller thanked the Board for their investment to install a security vestibule and fund parking improvements, which have reduced drop off and pick-up times by several minutes. 

Consent Agenda 

The Board approved the consent agenda, with exception of Union Middle’s revised Land Trust Plan, which the Board would like to further discuss. Approved as part of the consent agenda were: minutes from the meeting of the Board of Education on Sept. 20, 2016; new hires and terminations; purchasing bids; proposed student overnight travel; an MOU with Alpine School District on Suncrest busing; and changes to an MOU on employee health care benefit negotiations.  

Board Mission and Vision

The Board approved a new vision and mission statement for Canyons District, which includes core tenets and beliefs and a list of indicators for measuring success. Canyons District’s mission continues to be that all students graduate college- and career-ready. This is supported by the five tenets of student achievement, community engagement, customer service, innovation and fiscal accountability. The vision statement states that “Canyons School District is a public education system dedicated to delivering a high-quality education to students, valuing and rewarding the vital contributions of employees, and helping learners of all ages be prepared for meaningful life opportunities. We value transparency and collaboration in governance. We work together with families and community partners to establish and maintain safe, supportive, and academically challenging school environments which strengthen neighborhoods and communities.” The administration will publish this information on Canyons District’s website and report back to the Board on approved indicators and efforts to implement the framework.

SALTA Testing Fees

The Board approved a new fee proposal for SALTA testing. Non-CSD-enrolled students will now be charged $50 to take the qualifying test for the advanced learner program. Those who enroll in CSD’s SALTA magnet program, however, will be eligible for a full refund. There will continue to be no charge for CSD-enrolled students unless they take repeat tests. Repeat testers will be charged $25, but will be eligible for a refund if they enroll in the SALTA program.

Policies Changes

The Board approved the policy requiring employee to provide proof of immunizations in the event of an outbreak of a communicable disease. The Board also approved a revision to the policy governing a drug- and alcohol-free workplace, making it possible for the District to randomly test drivers of district vehicles for use of drugs and alcohol. The policy about the Support Staff Development Committee was revised for readability, and the Employee Release Time Regulations were revised to maintain one policy for employees.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports 

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe noted that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert visited CSD three times last week to read to third grade students at Midvalley Elementary, promote a new health sciences program, and attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Cottonwood Heights City Hall. Dr. Briscoe also noted that Gov. Herbert has proclaimed Oct. 17-21 Principal’s Week. The Department of School Performance and Office of Public Communications will work on a presentation to celebrate CSD’s principals at the next Board meeting.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox recognized the administrative assistants for principals at each of Canyons District’s five traditional high schools. He also expression for the teachers and their hard work to prepare for last week’s Parent-Teacher Conferences. 

Board Reports

Mr. Robert Green said he visited Midvale Middle, and lauded the middle school’s administration for their efforts. He mentioned the room at the school that holds donations, such as clothing, that can be taken by students who need the aid. 

Mrs. Amber Shill applauded the Department of Instructional Supports for bringing the SALTA fees proposal forward and looking for ways to save taxpayer dollars. She remarked on the success of the ceremony celebrating the new Cottonwood Heights City Hall. She also recognized Board 2nd Vice President Nancy Tingey and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards and School Performance Elementary Director Alice Peck for conducting School Community Council trainings, which have served as a model that’s being replicated throughout the state.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey congratulated Cottonwood Heights on the new City Hall and thanked Brighton High students for participating in last week’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. She expressed gratitude for everyone in the District responsible for all the behind-the-scenes work that seems like it goes unnoticed.

Mr. Steve Wrigley remarked that he feels the District is getting stronger and moving in the right direction. He is pleased to see a new mission and vision statement approved to guide the District in its continued success.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold thanked the teachers for doing all they do for students and to all employees who support them.

Mr. Chad Iverson reserved comment.

President Sherril Taylor looks forward to the renovation of Indian Hills Middle.  He also thanked Kathy Hilton, Corner Canyon High’s administrative assistant, who attended the Board meeting, for her hard work at the school. He thanked the Board for being prepared for meetings, having read the materials and prepared good questions. He also remarked on the new SALTA fee policy, saying its an example of the Board caring about students. It sends a message that the District will open avenues for students to attend our schools. He also thanked the police officers for providing security at the Board meetings. 
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