Students and teachers at Brighton High on Thursday, March 3 hosted a delegation from France visiting Utah as part of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

The aim of the visit, which was arranged as part of CSD’s innovative involvement in the Face to Faith initiative of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, was to engage in a frank dialogue about how faith and religion contribute to culture and society in France and the United States.

The French diplomats — Ali Dahmani, the director of a mosque; Frederique Neau-Dufour, the director of the European Center of Deported Resistance Members, which is located at a former Nazi concentration camp; and Emmanuel Valency, the rabbi of Bordeaux and southwestern France — told students that, unlike students in America, public-school students in France are prohibited from wearing any garb or jewelry that would signify faith or religion while on campus. For this reason, they said, many religious families in France send their children to private schools.

Dahmani and Valency also explained through the use of an interpreter that anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic sentiment runs rampant in some parts of France. Dahmani said his group is working hard to fight the radicalization of Islam and educate the French nation about “the true face of Islam.” “The problem is,” he said, young adults who have questions about the faith “don’t have adults to turn to (for answers) … Islam is not a religion of violence or hatred. But when they don’t know, they turn to the Internet,” and what they find isn’t always correct or are beliefs espoused by terrorist groups, he said.

Valency said his organization, in an effort to build bridges across faiths, pairs teenagers of different religions on soccer teams. If the players can’t learn to overcome their differences, he says, then the team loses.

The group also told students that far-right political groups are creating a climate where hate speech against minority religions is commonplace — and even accepted in many parts of the country. Neau-Dufour said statements are being uttered in public discourse that “would have never been said in public before.” She also said many French observers of U.S. politics are “shocked” that recent statements made by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump about immigrants and Muslims would strike a chord with American voters.

Trump, she said, reminds many French of the extreme far-right politicians that have recently rolled into power.

Neau-Dufour also noted interest in the gender of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the fact that she’s married to a former president. “For us, it’s surprising that candidates come from the same family,” she said. She also said it was significant for many French when America chose Barack Obama as the first African-American president.

The students in teacher Jodi Ide’s class listened respectfully and intently to the delegation, engaged in dialogue about the differences between France and the United States, and answered questions from the French visitors about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They also asked the visitors what they liked the most about Utah. The answer? The state’s snow-capped mountains.

During the visit, which was attended by Board of Education members Nancy Tingey and Amber Shill, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation retweeted the District’s and school's Twitter coverage of the event.
Yes, we are living in a digital world. Let's work together to make it safe for children and families. This week is Canyons District's first-ever across-the-district Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship Week.

Canyons District is showcasing online safety and digital citizenship so students will know how to securely navigate the Internet at home and at school. 

To mark the week, banners have been posted in hallways across the District, Canyons Education Technology Specialists are scheduled to appear on news shows to give online-safety tips to parents, and important lessons will be taught in class and during morning announcements. Information about the District's Internet-filtering systems also can be found in this month's community newsletter, CSD2U.

The Canyons Board of Education believes this issue to be so important that members are scheduled to vote on a resolution supporting the focus of the week.  In part, the proposed resolution states that the Board pledges to work as “partners with parents and guardians in teaching children principles of digital citizenship.”  

The widespread Internet safety and digital citizenship effort started with School Community Councils, which have been given statutory responsibilities regarding digital citizenship in their respective schools. In recent weeks, SCCs have engaged in robust discussions regarding the curriculum being used in CSD schools to educate children about Internet safety. Councils also have heard reports from staff on CSD’s filters and system settings so children are safeguarded from inappropriate content.

In partnership with SCCs, CSD schools also are planning Parent Information Nights to discuss Internet-safety topics. Contact your child’s school to find out when and where their event will be held. 

Parents, students and teachers also can keep up on the educational and informational activities by following the hashtag #CSDWhiteRibbonWeek on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Canyons District is accepting new-student applications for available spots in the preschool programs at Altara, Butler, Jordan Valley, Quail Hollow and Willow Springs elementary schools.   

In addition to serving students needing special education services free of cost, schools with space for tuition-paying students have morning and afternoon sessions.

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

Students can enroll in a two- or four-days-a-week program. Cost is $70 for two days a week; and $140 for four days a week.

Availability is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Acceptance letters will be mailed the first week of April. Students who are not accepted are placed on a waiting list and parents will be notified when space is available.

The enrollment window for the Title I school preschools doesn’t open until March 1. There is no fee associated with the Title I programs, which are held four days a week. Students must live within the boundaries of the schools to attend the programs, which are held 8:45-11:25 a.m. and 12:40-3:20 p.m.

Questions?  Call the CSD Early Childhood Development Department at 801-826-5112.
From a Wookie to a band of mini-pirates, teams of all shapes and sizes filled the halls of Albion Middle School Saturday, Jan. 16, for a FIRST LEGO League regional competition hosted by Canyons School District.

Students from Salt Lake and Utah counties brought robots, posters, costumes and candy to the school as they nervously waited to present their projects to a host of volunteer judges.

More than 50 volunteers — parents, grandparents, business leaders, teachers and Canyons District employees — recruited by Canyons Education Foundation helped run the event. On average, each volunteer donated about 20 hours of their time to prepare for the competition, but seeing the excitement in students’ faces as they anxiously prepared their robots and slapped high-fives at a job well done made every minute worth it, said Brittani Bailey, partnerships and volunteer coordinator for Canyons Education Foundation.

“If you have an 8-year-old who can build a robot that can throw a ball through a hoop, that’s pretty impressive to me,” Bailey said. “I am blown away by people who show up to volunteer and help these kids.”  

Each FIRST LEGO League team is judged on their ability to demonstrate positive teamwork, explain how they created their robot, propose a solution to solve this year’s theme of trash disposal and make their robot perform specific tasks in a timed setting. The FIRST LEGO League program was created to engage students and inspire an interest in science, technology, engineering and math in students ages 9-14.

Two Canyons District teams — Byte Force from Quail Hollow Elementary, and Ninja Sloths from Mount Jordan Middle — participated at Saturday’s competition at Albion, while other Canyons teams participated at other locations. Byte Force and the Ninja Sloths won’t be advancing to the state championship on Jan. 30 at Utah Valley University — a goal the teams have been working toward since the tournament season began in September — but their efforts were far from a failure.

“The kids on my team got a chance to learn how to problem solve real life examples as a team,” said Kristi Kimble, team leader for the Ninja Sloths and teacher at Mount Jordan. “During the competition they said several times, both to the judges and myself, that they didn’t care if they won anything because they felt like they improved from last year, they were having fun, and they worked hard. They can’t wait to come back again next year.” 

Parents of fifth-graders enrolled in Canyons District's Dual-Language Immersion Programs have been invited to a meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20 to learn about the transition from elementary school to middle school.

At the 6 p.m. event at Mount Jordan Middle, 9351 S. Mountaineer Lane (300 East), the Canyons curriculum team that oversees the dual-language immersion programs also will share information about DLI instruction in secondary schools.

In addition, information will be presented about the online intent-to-continue process parents will be asked to complete in order for their children to continue in the programs. 

At the middle school level, Spanish programs are being provided at Mount Jordan, Union and Midvale; French classes are being taught at Draper Park and Butler; and Mandarin Chinese is being offered at Draper Park, Butler and Indian Hills.

Students who seek to participate in a dual-language immersion program at a school other than the one assigned to them by geographic boundaries should submit an open-enrollment application to the school they wish to attend as soon as possible. Per state law, the Standard Open Enrollment Application forms will be accepted by Canyons schools until Feb. 19. Filling out the permit request does not guarantee placement in the DLI program at that school.  

Questions?  Please call the CSD Instructional Supports Department at 801 826 5045
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