Mount Jordan Middle will be moving into a new, state-of-the-art building in fall 2015, but Principal Molly Hart is making sure her students are getting ready now with education technology and innovative teaching strategies.

"We're preparing to go into a new building, and we needed to make sure we were prepared for a 21st century learning environment," Dr. Hart says as she talks about some exciting changes happening in her school.

Mount Jordan is the first middle school in Canyons District to take AVID, a college-readiness system designed to increase learning and performance, schoolwide. An acronym for Advancement Via Individual Determination, the program has been used at Mount Jordan for three years as an elective class, but this is the first year that AVID techniques are being applied schoolwide as part of a Board of Education initiative, with all of Mount Jordan’s teachers trained in the strategies.

Also new this year, Mount Jordan’s classrooms are equipped with technology at a 1:1 ratio. That means that every classroom now has a set of devices — ranging from iPads and iPod touches to laptops, Chromebooks and traditional computer labs — available to each student to be used as an appropriate classroom tool.

“We assessed our strengths and weaknesses, and we wanted to do better for the students who are at Mount Jordan,” Dr. Hart said. “We felt like putting the tools in their hands that they would use in a college and a career and giving them the strategies they would need for college and a career together would create a fantastic middle school experience.”

The school showed off its innovative learning strategies at the “Mountaineer Showcase” Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.

AVID teaches students a set of strategies — such as how to stay organized, how to plan for upcoming assignments and tests, how to take notes and how to direct their focus — to help them prepare for college or the work force. It is especially geared toward helping students who come from lower-income families who don’t have a role model or relative who went to college to teach them these fundamental habits.

The system has promising results, according to the non-profit program’s Web site. Nationwide, 90 percent of 34,000 seniors who participated in the program in 2013 planned to attend a college or university after high school and 77 percent of the participants took at least one higher-level course such as an AP class. Nearly three-fourths of participants qualified for free- or reduced-price school lunch, according to AVID. At Mount Jordan, Dr. Hart says she has seen an increase in benchmark testing and more students have gone on to take AP courses.

Mount Jordan is located at 11150 S. 300 East in Sandy. The school will move back to its historic address, 9360 S. 300 East, when the newly rebuilt school opens in fall 2015. The building project is funded by a $250 million bond voters approved in 2010.

While colors and other finishing details remain in the works, artist renderings of the new Mount Jordan Middle School have been made available for public view. The renderings were created by MHTN Architects, the architectural firm selected by the Board of Education to design the school following a competitive bid process. Hogan and Associates Construction will oversee the building's construction.

The new Mount Jordan Middle is made possible by a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. The new school will have a state-of-the-art auditorium; a 180-seat lecture hall; hallways and classrooms filled with natural light; an expanded cafeteria and spacious commons area; a gymnasium with two full courts, 14 basketball hoops, large locker rooms, fitness rooms dedicated to dance and strength training, and an elevated indoor running track with a special surface for running; and a performing arts suite for choir and band practices.

Students and staff temporarily have relocated to the former Crescent View Middle, 11150 S. 300 East, while their new school is under construction. The new school is scheduled to open in fall 2015.
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  • With a resounding crash of brick and glass, Canyons District celebrated the start of work on the new Mount Jordan Middle by tearing down one of the school's old walls.

    More than 200 parents, teachers, students and members of the community attended the Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 event. Dignitaries included Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan, members of the Sandy City Council, and Draper Mayor Darrell Smith, who attended the school as a teenager.

    To the cheers of the crowd, Mount Jordan Principal Molly Hart hopped into a giant machine with a claw that was poised to pull down part of the wall to her old office. “Dr. Hart,” Board member Tracy Scott Cowdell said from the microphone, “pull down that wall.” With the flip of a few levers, the first whack was taken at the 59-year-old building. After that first swipe at the building, dignitaries then grabbed golden-painted shovels, donned hard hats and did the ceremonial turning of the dirt on the new building, which is expected to be completed in fall 2015.
    Mark your calendars: The groundbreaking and start-of-demolition ceremony at Mount Jordan Middle School will be Wednesday, Sept. 18.

    Students, teachers, parents and members of the community are invited to the event, which will start at 5:30 p.m. with a social and reception. The ceremony will be at 9360 S. 300 East — the site of the Mount Jordan campus for 59 years.  Crews are starting the project by knocking down the old building.

    The new Mount Jordan Middle is being made possible by a $250 million, tax-rate-neutral bond approved by Canyons voters in 2010. The new school will be approximately 200,000 square feet and built to emphasize such areas as science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).

    Current plans also call for, among other amenities, a gymnasium with an elevated running track, fitness rooms, a lecture hall, a performing arts suite, a spacious commons area and cafeteria, an 180-seat lecture hall, and an abundance of natural light in the hallways and classrooms. The school also will be wired for the high-tech demands of a 21st century education.  

    The new Sandy middle school, scheduled for completion in fall 2015, will be the sixth rebuilt or new school Canyons District has completed since 2009, when CSD became the first new school district to be created in Utah in 100 years.

    While the new school is being built, Mount Jordan students and teachers are being housed at the old Crescent View Middle, 11150 S. 300 East.
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