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Two students at Midvale Middle are part of a group that has received the regional President’s Environmental Youth Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Trojans Abigail Slama-Catron and and Eric Snaufer, along with two others from the Beehive Science and Technology Academy, earned the prestigious award for their "Bionic Scarecrow" device, which was created with the aim of keeping birds away from nesting in the wetlands around the Salt Lake International Airport. 

Last Thursday, Acting Deputy Regional Administrator Suzanne Bohan visited the middle school to present the award to Midvale Middle's Slama-Catron and Snaufer and Timothy Holt and Allison Drennan, who previously attended Sunrise Elementary and now attend Beehive Academy. The group of sixth-graders also demonstrated the award-winning project and answered questions from other students about their research and methods.

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe also attended the award presentation and congratulated the students on their ingenuity and dedication.

“These student winners are exemplary leaders, committed to strong environmental stewardship and problem solving,” EPA Acting Deputy Regional Administrator Suzanne Bohan said. “Environmental education cultivates our next generation of leaders by teaching them to apply creativity and innovation to the environmental challenges we face as a nation. I have no doubt that students like these will someday solve some of our most complex and important issues.”

The Environmental Youth Award recognizes outstanding environmental education and stewardship projects from sixth- through 12th-grade students. Students from all 50 states and U.S. territories submit life-changing innovative projects to the EPA for consideration.

The region includes Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Abigail also produced a winning Canyons District Film Festival film on the project.

See the students' appearance on ABC4 "Good Morning Utah" during which they talked about the proejct.

There’s still time to apply for a spot in Canyons District’s innovative program for kindergarten-age students. 

The District continues to take applications for the Supplemental Hours of Instruction classes for the 2017-2018 school year — a groundbreaking early-childhood academic initiative that was recently spotlighted by KSL-TV Channel 5

Students in the classes receive nearly four additional hours of instruction every school day. Enrollees begin and end school at the same time as the school’s first- through fifth-grade students.  This is the second year Canyons has provided this educational opportunity to the community. 

Who is eligible for the opt-in, tuition-based program?  Any student who is 5 years old by Sept. 1, 2017.  

How to apply?  It’s easy — click here to access Frequently Asked Questions and the online application. 

Click here to see the bell schedules for all Canyons schools.

Cost for the program is $2,950 a year, and can be paid in monthly installments, August-May. A 10 percent discount is available for parents and guardians who pay the yearly tuition in full at one time. There also is a one-time, non-refundable registration fee of $100.

Financial-need scholarships also are available for qualifying students. Parents may apply for the financial assistance at the same time they submit enrollment applications. 

The program is dependent on enrollment. The program can only be offered at a school if there are at least 20 students who have signed up. 

The District aims to provide the program at Alta View, Altara, Bell View, Bella Vista, Brookwood, Butler, Crescent, Lone Peak, Midvalley, Oakdale, Park Lane, Ridgecrest, Sprucewood, Sunrise, Quail Hollow and Willow Canyon elementary schools. 

Efforts will be made to enroll students at school closest to their homes — but the District cannot guarantee placement at any specific school.  

Children who qualify for transportation services will ride the kindergarten bus with morning-session kindergarten students and will ride home with the afternoon-session kindergarten students. 

Questions?  Call 801-826-5045 or send an e-mail message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The Board of Education on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 unanimously voted to approve a negotiated agreement with the Canyons Education Association for 2017-2018 school year.

The agreement contains a small adjustment to the Conversion Placement Table approved at the April 25, 2017 meeting of the Board of Education. The new, single-lane salary schedule represents the largest pay hike in the District’s history, bumping the starting-teacher salary by more than $5,000 to $40,500, while also funding raises for mid-career and veteran educators. Every licensed employee will see no less than a 4 percent jump, significantly improving their lifetime earnings and retirement payments. It’s a big investment and tangible proof of how much the CSD community values education, says Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor.

"We have said it before and we will say it again: Teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions," he said. "With the intention of bringing the best and brightest to Canyons District classrooms, and to give teachers a chance to earn more over the length of their careers, the Board of Education moved singularly and decisively to make an important and positive financial impact in the lives of our teachers."

CEA President Jen Buttars also said the association appreciates "the nearly $11.5 million investment in teacher salaries and believes that the Board has truly demonstrated a commitment to not only recruit, but also retain educators."

"The CEA believes that (the Board's) commitment to listening to the concerns of educators, recognizing professional judgement and attending to salary, benefit and working condition concerns, allows educators to focus on their
efficacy for the benefit of all Canyons School District students," she said.

As part of the agreement, the District will cover 83.7 percent of the 11.33 percent hike in health insurance premiums that takes effect in January 2018. One Personal Leave Day will be converted back to a Sick Leave Day. Also, under a policy change, the provisional status of experienced transfer teachers may be shortened if they have:
  • Successfully taught for at least three consecutive years in an accredited school or district
  • Completed at least one year of provisional service with Canyons District
  • Successfully met the criteria outlined in GCOA-Evaluation of Instructional Staff (Licensed)
  • Been recommended by their principal/supervisor for a Provisional Status Exception
  • Received approval by the Director of Human Resources

Bon boulot, gong xi and felicitaciones to students throughout Canyons District who are making waves with their language skills. 

On Friday, May 5, 2017, Draper Park Middle students Ariel Harp and McKay Larsen took first place at the Chinese Bridge Language Contest at the University of Maryland. Harp and Larson represented Utah for the first time in the competition, where they competed in the Cultural Performance category. 

Harp also won first place in the Level 4 Speech Contest at the Chinese Language Fair at BYU in April. She was joined by 11 other Draper Park Middle students who received superior and excellent awards at the fair, as well as students from Corner Canyon and Hillcrest high schools and Midvale Middle, who also placed first at the BYU Language Fair.

The students are all part of Canyons Dual-Language Immersion program, which features programs in Mandarin Chinese-English, French-English, and Spanish-English. Parents and their Dual-Language Immersion students in all grade levels are invited to attend a secondary=school information night on Thursday, May 11 at 6 p.m. in the Professional Development Center at Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East.

The purpose of the event is to discuss how students transition from elementary to middle school, and middle school to high school, in the DLI program. Course pathways and descriptions, bridge courses, university collaboration and program locations will also be discussed.

More than 300 DLI students from Alta, Corner Canyon, Brighton, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools recently tested their skills at the BYU Language Fair in Provo on April 20, 2017. Students from Midvale, Mount Jordan and Draper Park Middle also participated in the half-day event that tests language ability in Chinese, French, Spanish, German and Russian.

A group of students at Hillcrest took first place in the Language Bowl at the Spanish Foreign Language Fair at BYU. The students were tested on grammar, geography, history, culture, current events, and vocabulary. The students were asked questions in Spanish and teams of five had 10 minutes to answer the questions and receive points according to their answers. At Corner Canyon, students received superior marks in Show and Tell, Speech and Conversation.

Midvale Middle participated in BYU’s Chinese Language Fair and took first place in the Character Bee portion of the competition. In the Character Bee, students match words, written in Chinese, with their correct definitions. The first team to match 12 words in a row correctly wins. 
Joani Richardson is the kind of teacher who can breathe new life into words, pull magic from a page, and spark wonder in the eyes of eager-to-learn children. “I love to teach children to love to read,” says Richardson. “I have failed if I have not taught a child to love to read.”

For her dedication to inspiring her first-grade students at Altara Elementary to learn and grow, Richardson, who is beloved by scores of students, parents and fellow educators, has received one of the most prestigious awards given to public-school educators in Utah. 

On Friday, April 28, 2017, in front of cheering Altara Kittyhawks of all ages, Richardson was announced as a winner of a Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education. She’s one of 11 Utahns selected for the honor, which comes with a crystal obelisk and a $10,000 cash prize. The winners — six general education teachers, three administrators, one special-education teacher and a volunteer — are hand-picked by a panel of prominent citizens and educators after a public-nomination process. Awards will be given at a May banquet in Salt Lake.
 
2017 Huntsman Award Winner Joani Richardson

“Every year, our family has the opportunity of going all over the state of Utah,” said Karen Huntsman, the philanthropist and wife of billionaire businessman Jon M. Huntsman Sr., who delivered to the news to Richardson personally at an assembly. “You know what they we are looking for?  Outstanding teachers.” 

At the Friday morning assembly, which was attended by Richardson’s family (some had dialed in via FaceTime on iPhones), Principal Nicole Svee-Magann, Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe and School Performance Director Alice Peck, Huntsman pulled Richardson close and said, “She doesn’t teach for the money,” Huntsman said.  “She teaches for the love of teaching.” 

Svee-Magann is effusive in her praise of Richardson, who has taught for some four decades. The principal calls her a top-notch teacher who doesn’t let anything — not even breast cancer — slow her down. Even while undergoing chemotherapy treatment, she said, Richardson ran last Saturday’s Salt Lake Half-Marathon. 

“Sometimes when we have hard things happen, we have to keep going. We have to keep going forward and making a difference. This good woman is the best example of this that I know,” Huntsman added. “When hard things happen, do you think she forgets her students?  Do you think she forgets her lesson plans?  She does everything because she loves and cares about what she’s doing.  When you think about all the children she’s taught … she has impacted their lives for years and years and years.”

Richardson’s selection extends Canyons District’s streak of being home to a Huntsman award-winner. Last year’s winner from CSD, Brighton High’s Aaron Hadfield, was at Friday’s assembly to surprise Richardson with the news. But he was there in a different capacity — as a volunteer in the WatchDOG program for fathers. Also, his wife, Jody, is the School Community Council chair at Altara and was the driving force behind Richardson’s nomination.

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