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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 stopbullying.gov.




Parenting doesn’t come with a book of instructions on how to help families deal with challenging issues like autism, ADHD, and divorce — but the Canyons Family Center can help.

The Canyons Family Center, 8449 S. 150 West, provides help to parents and families in Canyons District by offering counseling, support groups and education classes. All of the Center’s services are offered at no charge.

Starting in January, the center will launch a six-week series of specialty classes aimed at helping parents and children tackle life’s challenges and relieve stress.

The following specialty classes will take place starting Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.:
  • Superheroes children’s group: A class for students in third- through sixth-grades who are diagnosed with high-functioning autism or autism spectrum disorders. Each session provides practice of one social skill through group activities.
  • Relax and manage your stress: A class designed to teach specific and helpful strategies to manage stress and practice mindfulness.
  • Effective parenting: A class for parents and caregivers, designed to give parents positive parenting strategies that have been proven to be successful.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder parenting supports: This support group will give parents strategies to deal with a child diagnosed with high-functioning autism, Asperger’s syndrome, or pervasive developmental disorder.
The following 6:30-8:30 p.m. specialty classes will take place starting Wednesday, Jan. 20:
  • Banana Splits, adivorce class for kids: A class for students in third- through sixth-grades to help aid students in coping with the changes that come from divorce.
  • Parenting the ADHD child: A class for families struggling with parenting children with ADHD.

More information on specialty classes, as well as regularly scheduled 3-week classes regarding anger management, truancy and early development, can be found on the Canyons Family Center web page. To register for a class, please call 801-826-8190.

Without Gary Hansen and the Purchasing Services Department, there would not be any crayons for coloring, computers in the classroom or toilet paper in the bathrooms. In fact, there wouldn’t be any school buildings at all.

Those are just some of the things the Purchasing Services Department obtains for the District — but, really, there isn’t anything in all of Canyons’ schools and buildings that doesn’t include the Purchasing Services Department.

Hansen recently received the 2014 Professional Public Manager of the Year Award for Outstanding Public Service from the Utah Chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing. Also, in honor of National Procurement Month, which takes place in March every year, Gov. Gary Herbert declared March 16-22 as Purchasing Recognition Week.

“I’ve been in procurement now for 25 years, with only the last nine years being in school districts,” Hansen says as he talks about his award. “But the most important thing I like about my job is I get the opportunity on a weekly basis to see that my team and I have made a difference.”

Hansen isn’t one to toot his own horn, but he acknowledges the enormity of overseeing all of the District’s purchases, and making sure that transactions are conducted legally and transparently. For Hansen, that means working all day and many nights and weekends. The stakes are high — not only for the needs of the students and professionals in Canyons District, but for the legal requirements that change frequently and have stiff consequences, including jail time, if they are broken.

“The law tells us exactly what we can do, and it’s different than what we would do in our own personal purchases,” Hansen says. The purpose of the strict laws is to give everyone an opportunity to do business with a government entity that operates on public funds, Hansen says. The process is sometimes lengthy — purchases over $2,000 require an open process that allows vendors to compete for the District’s business.

From July 2014, to March, Hansen’s department has purchased 144,000 crayons, 25,308 rolls of toilet paper and 239,102,070 sheets of paper. The purchasing staff members have helped 1,775 students with travel arrangements, audited $3.3 million in purchasing card transactions and executed over $20 million in construction contracts — all while saving more than $5 million. In the last several years the department has purchased some 26,000 iPads, Chrome books, Apple and PC computers.

“We are here to answer questions and we’re here to support the mission of the District,” Hansen says. “We will get you the right product at the right price at the right time. … Students need to have what students need to have. We can’t be without computers and we can’t be without toilet paper. We make those things happen with transparency.”

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