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
While the family is enjoying picnics, water slides, holiday fireworks and popsicles on hot summer days, don’t forget to start making back-to-school plans for your 4-year-old kiddos. 

Canyons continues to accept applications for spots in preschool programs in all parts of the District. For the 2018-2019 school year, tuition-based preschool programs will be held at Altara, Bella Vista, Butler, Edgemont, Jordan Valley, Oakdale, Quail Hollow and Willow Springs elementary schools. 

Interested? Click here to see the application.

Canyons preschools follow a curriculum that lines up with the core standards of learning at the kindergarten level. As a result, children who attend preschool programs in CSD schools have the foundation to meet the challenges of kindergarten. Also, students are paired in classrooms with students who require special-education services so they can serve as peers and role models in language and social skills. 

Cost is $100 per month for students attending two days per week and $200 a month for students attending four days. There’s also a one-time $20 registration fee. Availability for the program in the coming academic year is based on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Morning sessions are from 8:20-10:50 a.m. Afternoon sessions are 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.  

In addition, free school programs are provided at Title I schools. Students who turn 4 years old before Sept. 1, 2018, and live within the boundaries of Midvale, Copperview, Sandy and East Midvale elementary schools can apply to participate.

A lot of learning happens in preschool — but it’s also a lot of fun. Don’t underestimate the power of play when looking for a preschool for your child, says Terri Mitchell, the Programs Administrator in Canyons District’s Early Childhood Department.

“Playtime is amazingly important. It’s one of the best tools that young children have to grow and develop,” Mitchell told ABC4 anchor Emily Clark on “Good Morning Utah.”  

In fact, Mitchell said, research shows strong links between creative and imaginative play and language, physical, cognitive and social development. “In preschool, they are learning foundational skills. They will learn patterning, and the quantity of numbers,” Mitchell said. “They also have the opportunity to learn socially.  It may be the first time that they are away from mom and dad and grandma and grandpa.”
What a year!  In the past 365 days, Canyons District, which was founded on July 1, 2009, continued its drive to provide a world-class education to the children who attend public school in Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Midvale, Sandy and the town of Alta. The 2017-2018 school year — CSD’s ninth academic year — was marked by sky-high achievements, including state-title victories by all five of CSD’s five traditional high schools, the passage of a $283 million bond to build and improve schools, the naming of National Merit Scholars and Sterling Scholars, and an estimated $32 million in scholarship offers for the 2,830 graduates in the Class of 2018.  But that’s just a small-piece-of-cake taste of all that was achieved by CSD students, faculty, staff and supporters. Here’s a look at some of the major achievements of CSD since its last founding-day anniversary: 
  • Nearly 59 percent of voters give approval to CSD is issue up to $283 million in general-obligation bonds to build and improve schools.
  • The newly rebuilt Alta View Elementary welcomed students for first time.
  • Crews near completion of renovation of Indian Hills Middle, the 13th and final project promised to voters at passage of the 2010 $250 million bond.   
  • CSD maintained  a AAA bond rating, resulting in savings to taxpayers
  • Seventy-eight percent of CSD elementary and middle schools received school-grade scores of an A or B, an increase of five percentage points over 2016. The number of elementary and middle schools to earn Cs and Ds fell by six percentage points. 
  • Eighty-three percent of CSD elementary schools and 75 percent of middle schools in CSD were above state average, according to PACE.  Sixty-six percent of elementary schools and 63 percent of middle schools showed higher growth than schools averaged statewide. 
  • Four CSD high schools were recognized for the number of students who take Advanced Placement courses. Brighton High ranked No. 8 out of all Utah high schools for the number of students who take and pass the tests. On the list of the Utah high schools with the highest AP participation rates, Corner Canyon ranked No. 5, Hillcrest No. 8 and Alta No. 10.
  • For the eighth year, CSD received the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association for School Business Officials International and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association. 
  • The Canyons Education Foundation delivered some $104,000 to 16 teachers to fund innovative classroom projects.
  • Edgemont and Midvalley elementary schools celebrated 60th anniversaries.
  • Albion Middle’s Sandy LeCheminant is named Utah Assistant Principal of the Year.
  • Alta High's Rique Ochoa named Utah History Teacher of the Year.
  • Alta and Hillcrest musicans perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 
  • Canyons Education Foundation awards $11,000 in student scholarships at annual Spring Gala.
  • Three CSD students won categories at 56th annual Sterling Scholar competition. 
  • Two Hillcrest students and one Corner Canyon high school student earn National Merit Scholar status. Fourteen students from all five of CSD’s traditional high schools were named semifinalists.
  • CSD student athletes individual and team state championships in cross country, girls tennis, boys tennis, wrestling, girls track and field, swimming, boys soccer, baseball, theater and girls golf. 
  • Hillcrest’s production of “Les Miserables” wins Best Musical at the Utah High School Musical Theater Competition.
  • Groundbreaking events were held to mark start of work on rebuild of Hillcrest High and major renovation at Alta High. Work on a new Brighton High also has started.   
The Canyons Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments for the 2018-2019 school year: 
  • Colleen Smith, currently the Principal at Sprucewood Elementary, has been hired as a CSD Responsive Services Program Administrator. 
  • Lori Reynolds, currently an Achievement Coach at East Sandy Elementary, has been hired as Principal at Sprucewood Elementary. She replaces Smith.
  • Sara Allen, currently an Achievement Coach at Midvale Middle, will be an Assistant Principal at Butler Middle. She replaces Kip Carlsen, who has accepted a position in the Granite School District. 
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Elementary School Rebuild

The Administration recommends that Midvalley Elementary be selected as the first elementary school completed with funds from the $283 million bond approved by voters in November. The 60-year-old school is the oldest of the buildings that are on the list for reconstruction with funds from the 2017 bond. The school also lacks ADA-compliant restrooms, is not built to seismic standards, has a high Facility Cost Index, and the campus is large enough to simultaneously accommodate construction and school operations in the old building. A new building in Midvale also could help absorb any growth in west Midvale. The District’s bond-construction timetable includes starting work on an elementary school in 2019. The other three elementary schools that will eventually be rebuilt with 2017 bond money are Peruvian Park, a White City-area school, and a new school in west Draper. The Board took the recommendation under advisement.  

Parent-Teacher Conferences

The District is studying how to make Parent-Teacher Conferences more effective at the high school, middle school and elementary school levels. Principals at Canyons school say access to technology has drastically altered the reason for conferences because families can contact teachers via e-mail and have continuous access to student work and grades. In elementary schools, teachers suggested allowing for more than 15 minutes per family. School personnel also suggest that conferences are too early in the school year. Among the proposals for changes at the secondary level included hosting a Parent Night during which parents are given tutorials on the software used by schools to maintain and monitor student grades. Secondary-school principals also suggest asking parents to set up appointments, either via Skype or face-to-face, considering that teachers often sit alone and wait for parents to come to the conferences. The Board asked for School Community Councils to weigh in, and asked the Office of School Performance to spearhead a survey project in every CSD school community. 

Budget Information

For the coming school year, Canyons District’s budgeted expenditures are expected to be $268 million, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board of Education. The proposed budget, which will not require a Truth-in-Taxation hearing, also includes the cost of the recently approved negotiated agreements for salaries and benefits, which make up 88 percent of the budget.  The budget also includes costs related to the completion of the Indian Hills Middle remodel; the start of construction projects funded by 2017 bond proceeds; East Midvale’s roof replacement; carbon monoxide detectors; three transportation bus lifts, the new parking lot at Altara Elementary; flooring and carpet replacement at Crescent Elementary; HVAC-controls upgrade at Lone Peak Elementary; a cooling system at Union Middle; irrigation upgrades at Mount Jordan Middle, and Brookwood and Granite elementary schools; and a Jordan High roof replacement and HVAC upgrades. Wilcox noted the budget is dependent on state funding for enrollment, through the Weighted Pupil Unit. Canyons District hovers at about 34,000 students, and that number is expected to hold steady. The Board will consider adopting the budget on June 12. Then, the Board also will adopt a revised FY18 budget and a tentative FY19 budget. The District is required to hold a public hearing and make the proposed budget available to the public for 15 calendars days before adoption. The certified tax rate, which will impact CSD’s projected revenues, will be made available June 22. 

Cottonwood Heights CDA 

The Board heard a request to extend the Canyon Centre Community Development Area (CDA) agreement that the District entered into in 2012. The redevelopment project to add commercial, residential and parking structures to an area at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon was delayed due to the recession and a legal challenge. The Board will take up the issue at a future meeting pending a review of a cost-benefit analysis.

Recognitions

The Board of Education honored students, faculty and staff for their achievements: 
  • Hillcrest’s Unified Soccer Team, Hillcrest, will compete in the Special Olympics USA Games this summer
  • Debbie Delliskave, Midvale Middle, and Cory Christiansen, Copperview Elementary, earned $4,300 bonuses through the Effective Teachers in High Poverty School Incentive Program   
  • Hunter McKay, Corner Canyon, first place in the DECA competition’s Business Financial Services category
  • Lauren Wilson, Corner Canyon, first place, DECA competition’s Quick-Serve Restaurant Management category
  • Gabrielle Ciet and Eillie Runk, Hillcrest, won first place in the DECA competition’s Hospitality Services category
  • Josie Taylor, Makena Terry, Emily Bluemel, Jordan, won first place in the state DECA competition, and placed in the top 10 at the national DECA competition in the School-Based Enterprise category. 
  • Samantha Brockman, Alta, received first place in the Future Business Leaders of America state competition in the Introduction to Information Technology category
  • Lindsay Bruner, Julia Elmer, Ariana Rhodes, Hillcrest, won first place in the Chapter in Review Portfolio category
  • Mercedes Jensen, Hillcrest, won first place in the Leadership category
  • Ashley Larson, Jordan, won first place at the FCCLA state competition in the Nutrition and Wellness category
  • Luke Kim, Hillcrest, won first place on a Knowledge Test in the Transcultural Healthcare category. Luke completed a 100-question multiple choice written exam with an essay portion covering cultural foundations; health, healing and family
  • Olivia Finlayson, CTEC, won first place in the Physical Therapy category. She completed a 50-question multiple choice written exam, then performed selected skills from a written scenario, including range of motion and ice pack application
  • Sieauna Vigh, Brighton, won first place in the Veterinary Science category. For this award, Vigh completed a 50-question multiple choice written exam, then performed selected skills, including lifting and restraining a dog and identification of companion animal breeds and species
  • Momina Sial, Rushmeen Tariq, Stephen Yu, Hillcrest, won first place tion in the Biomedical Debate category. The team completed a 50-question written exam, followed by a debate on the topic of whether teen use of social media should be limited
  • Jason Wiggins, Mitchel Pike, CTEC, won first place in the 3-D Visualization and Animation category

Policy Discussions  

In Study Session, the Board of Education heard a first reading of changes to policies governing middle-school education requirements; sick leave benefits and retirement; sex education instruction; Human Resource procedures. In the Business Meeting, the Board approved changes to policies governing student immunization; district nurses and mediation administration; vision screening; and home instruction. The Board will continue to review proposed changes to the student attendance policy. Policies also have been deemed obsolete. They include policies on student social events; identification, interventions and post-vention procedures for students; and student pregnancies

Pledge of Allegiance and Reverence

Cub Scouts who attend Park Lane Elementary led the audience in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Principal Justin Jeffery gave the reverence. A native Texan, he said his heart goes out to the students, school employees and families in Santa Fe. He thanked the Administration and Board of Education for proactive steps they’ve take to improve the safety of schools. It’s been said that Park Lane is the best kept secret in Sandy, Jeffery said. The school serves 400 “wonderfully diverse” students and takes seriously the full education of children, from academic advancements to social awareness.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the May 8, 2018 meeting of the Board; hiring and termination reports; purchasing bids; student-overnight travel requests; and April financial reports.  In a separate motion, the Board also approved the elementary and middle school bell schedules for the 2018-2019 school year.

Patron Comment

Riley Cox, seventh-grade student at Albion Middle, asked the Board to help schools provide more elective technology classes. 

Kristen Cox, a parent and current executive director of Utah Governor's Office of Management and Budget, encouraged the Board to provide more technology classes.  She said her son, Riley, conducted all the research for his presentation to the Board of Education.

Draper Park Middle parent Wendy Smith thanked the Board for their service. She urged the Board to consider other school schedules that would provide more time for electives. She voiced a concern that high-quality teachers in elective offerings will leave for other Districts.

Draper Park Middle parent Chad Smith said he worries Canyons District has prioritized science, technology, engineering and mathematics over the arts in Canyons District.  He also said SCC members at his school have expressed concern about the Board’s process for schools to select schedules. He said the Board and District should take oversight, instead of giving each community, through the SCC, a vote on the school schedule. 

Parent and Comcast representative Dan Conger encouraged the Board to invest more in robotics programs.

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe thanked the Canyons District Human Resources department for their work in recruiting and hiring licensed staff. Some 151 teachers have been hired for the coming school year. Twenty-five positions, mostly in Special Education, remain open for the coming school year.   

Wilcox said he appreciated the ideas of the patrons who spoke in favor of expanding STEM offerings in Canyons. He also thanked the school community for a successful school year.

Board Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg noted the Office of Public Communication’s quick response in communicating emergency situations to the Board, Administration and the public. He also commended Wilcox for crafting the District’s tentative budget, and Facilities Director Rick Conger for heading up the facilities-improvement plan. Millerberg reported on attending Special Education Sports Day and Brookwood Elementary’s kindergarten Day. He also attended Union Middle’s production of “Into the Woods,” which included about 250 students

Mr. Steve Wrigley attended the Canyons District Film Festival, the Latinos in Action end-of-year banquet, Special Education field day, and Hillcrest’s production of “Beautiful Game.” 

Ms. Amber Shill reported on attending the tour of Butler Middle of a delegation of dual-language immersion teachers; the RizePoint scholarship reception, Butler Elementary’s “World Night,” Brighton High’s spring sport competitions; Oakdale and Ridgecrest elementary SCC meetings and the LIA banquet and the Park and Recreation Advisory Board.

Ms. Nancy Tingey reported on meeting visiting teachers who were attending a DLI conference and Granite Elementary’s STEAM night.  She lauded staff, teachers, parents and students for working so hard on such enjoyable end-of-year events. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold expressed thanks to the school community for working so hard to make the school year successful.   

Mr. Chad Iverson reported on attending region and state track meets. He said he enjoyed the study session discussion on Parent-Teacher Conference. He remarked on the proposal to extend the Cottonwood Heights CDA, noting that he would still like to see how it would benefit CSD. He said he’s glad CSD continues the tradition of Lagoon Day for eighth-grade students.

President Taylor reported on attending Principals Awards Night at Alta High, and commended Principal Brian McGill for his work in emphasizing academic achievement. This year, 124 students received Advanced Diplomas and 134 students received Honors Diplomas, the unique-to-Canyons college- and career-diplomas. This means the students went beyond the state requirements for a high school diploma. He thanked the Board members and administrators for their hard work, and wished Board members good luck on their commencement addresses.
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