When the sun rose 10 years ago on a hot August morning, change was in the air.

Bus drivers were heading out on new routes. Nutrition workers were starting from scratch as they planned students’ meals. Principals and teachers were preparing to welcome students back to school with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement.

It was the first day of school, Aug. 26, 2009, in the first school district to be created in Utah in 100 years. It was a day of excitement, electricity—and in all honesty, a little bit of anxiety. It’s a day Canyons School District will never forget. As we celebrate the start of Canyons’ 10th school year, we’re taking stock of the highlights of a decade of educational excellence where, from that first sunrise, the focus has been on student achievement, innovation, community engagement, customer service and fiscal responsibility.

“In the 10 years since Canyons School District opened its doors, a lot has happened,” said Canyons Board of Education President Sherril Taylor, who has served on the board since its creation. “From communities to curriculum—even down to the landscape—there have been many changes. We are proud of what we have accomplished, and we are proud to offer a world-class education to our students. We have come so far, and the best is yet to come for our Canyons District family.”
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Canyons’ tradition of rolling out a red carpet to greet students on the first day of school began 10 years ago on the first day of school. It signified a new beginning, an emphasis on helping every student become college-and career-ready and the idea that student success is the driving motivator in all that Canyons does.

From that time, Canyons has focused energy and resources across the District to bolster students and educators in their endeavors. Key accomplishments from the last decade include:

  • From 2010-2017, Canyons built eight new schools, extensively renovated four schools, and started work on the 13th and final renovation project made possible by a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. Other schools received seismic and other safety upgrades, cooling systems, and other improvements. This was done without raising taxes and while maintaining the District’s AAA bond rating.
  • Since its inception, Canyons has given teachers some kind of compensation increase, a cost-of-living or step increase, or both—even during the Great Recession. In the past two years alone, teacher pay has risen by double digits, including a $5,000 bump in the starting teacher salary.
  • In 2011, Canyons introduced the state’s first differentiated, or Advanced and Honors, diplomas to signal students’ preparedness for college by requiring them to complete more rigorous coursework. In 2018, nearly 65 percent of students who graduated from traditional high school earned Honors or Advanced diplomas. 
  • In 2013, Canyons’ schools were reconfigured to move sixth-graders into middle school and ninth-graders into high school. The change created a more clearly defined four-year path to graduation in high school, and made it possible for middle schools to focus on meeting the needs of 6-8th graders during a time dramatic physical, intellectual and emotional development.
  • In 2015, Canyons created Diamond Ridge High, an alternative school for 16- to 18-year-old students who require a non-traditional setting.
  • In 2016, Hillcrest High launched a summer academy to help freshman excel in their first, make-or-break year and beyond. Students receive four hours of daily instruction in math, science, English and geography, throughout the summer, earning credits and cash incentives sponsored by the United Way of Greater Salt Lake. The nationally-recognized program is helping to bridge the achievement gap at Hillcrest, and has given rise to a similar program at Jordan High.
  • In 2016, a supplemental kindergarten instruction program was introduced to provide extra academic options to the community. With this opt-in, tuition-based program, kindergarteners receive nearly four additional hours of instruction every school day.
  • In 2017, the first cohort of students from Alta High participated in a partnership program between the University of Utah and Canyons District called Step2theU. Students began coursework during the summer of their junior year, and will have two complete semesters of college credit by the time they begin university. 
  • In 2017, voters approved a $283 million bond to rebuild six schools, including Brighton and Hillcrest high schools, build one new elementary school in west Draper, replace portables with classrooms at Corner Canyon high, remodel Alta high, and remodel offices at six elementary schools. The bond also will pay to install windows and skylights for natural lighting at 18 elementary schools.
  • Canyons District’s K-8 students continue to outperform their Utah peers on year-end SAGE tests, in some areas by as many as 13 percentage points.
  • Our high school seniors also outperform their Utah peers, with a higher percentage meeting college-readiness benchmarks on the ACT college entrance exam.
From the first day Canyons became a district on July 1, 2009, teachers, administrators, and the Canyons Board of Education have brought passion, creativity, and a mindset that anything is possible to Canyons’ communities. The last 10 years have been remarkable, but all eyes are on the future. To the passing of a decade and herald the start of another, we’ve unveiled a new District logo, and have planned some community events for later in the year.

“When I first came to Canyons District five years ago I was impressed at how much had been accomplished in a few short years,” CSD’s Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe said. “We have continued putting students first, and working with the community. I think it’s had a huge impact. If we keep working together, there’s no end to what we can do.”
Faculty and staff are gearing up for the 2018-2019 school year—Canyons District’s 10th—with back-to-school nights to welcome parents and ease elementary students back into the rhythms of classroom life and learning.

School starts on Wednesday, Aug. 22 for students in the first through 12th grades. Kindergarteners start on Monday, Aug. 27.

Keep in mind that the bell schedules, or start-and-stop times, vary for each school. A complete list of bell schedules can be found here.

Information about bus routes, where to find the bus stop, and an interactive database to find out if your child is eligible for busing, can be found here. Check here throughout the school year for weekly school breakfast and lunch menus.

For everything else, please visit our A-Z list of parent resources at Canyonsdistrict.org/parents.

Following are the dates and times for schools’ back-to-school nights. Please contact your child’s school with any questions.

Alta View: Tuesday, Aug. 28, 6-7:30 p.m.

Altara: Tuesday, Aug. 28, 6-8 p.m.

Bell View: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 6-7:30 p.m.

Bella Vista: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 5:20-6:30 p.m.

Brookwood: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 3-4 p.m.

Butler: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 4-6 p.m.

Canyon View: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 5-6 p.m.

Copper View: Wednesday, Aug. 22, an open house from 9-10 a.m., and welcome video from 6-7:30 p.m.

Crescent: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 5:30-7 p.m.

Draper: Monday, Aug. 20, 4-6 p.m.

East Midvale: Monday, Aug. 20, 6-7 p.m.

East Sandy: Tuesday, Aug. 28, 6-8 p.m.

Edgemont: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 4-6 p.m.

Granite: Tuesday, Aug. 28, 6:30-8 p.m.

Lone Peak: Tuesday, Aug. 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Midvale: Monday, Aug. 20, 6-8 p.m.

Midvalley: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 3-4 p.m. (family meet-and-treat), and Thursday, Aug. 30, 7-8 p.m. (parent back-to-school night)

Oak Hollow: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 6-7:30 p.m.

Oakdale: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 6-7:30 p.m.

Park Lane: Tuesday, Aug. 28, 6-7:30 p.m.

Peruvian Park: Monday, Aug. 20, 4:30-6 p.m.

Quail Hollow: Tuesday, Aug. 28, 6-7:30 p.m.

Ridgecrest: Monday, Aug. 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Sandy: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2 p.m. (meet your teacher hour), and 3 p.m. (back-to-school and Title I information). Friday, Aug. 25, 2 p.m. (kindergarten orientation and Title I information), Wednesday, Aug. 29, 7:45 a.m. (back-to-school and Title I information)

Silver Mesa: Monday, Aug. 20, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Sprucewood: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 6-7 p.m.

Sunrise: Tuesday, Aug. 28, 5:30-7 p.m.

Willow Canyon: Wednesday, Aug. 22, two 20-minute back-to-school sessions, 8:20-8:55 a.m.

Willow Springs: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Jordan Valley: Thursday, Aug. 23, 5:30-7 p.m.
Doors to the newly renovated Indian Hills Middle are opening wide to welcome back the Warriors.   

A major renovation at the school has been completed in time for school to start for the 2018-2019 school year. The entire Canyons District community is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony and Back-to-School Night at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20 at the school, 1180 E. Sanders Road.  

The school’s major upgrade, which required a near-total gutting of the school, is the 13th and final project promised to the public in 2010 when voters approved a $250 million tax-rate-neutral bond.  Since 2010, Canyons has used proceeds from the bond to renovate Albion Middle, and build a new Mount Jordan Middle, Midvale Elementary, Midvale Middle, Corner Canyon High, Draper Park Middle, Butler Middle, Butler Elementary, Alta View, additions to Brighton and Hillcrest high schools, and add seismic upgrades at Sandy Elementary. 

In addition, since its founding a decade ago, CSD has installed air-conditioning in every school that didn’t have it in fall 2009, added security vestibules at all elementary schools and six of eight middle schools; completed a soccer field, tennis courts and athletic fields near Brighton High; and completed internal and external upgrades at Alta High.

Work on the first three projects to be funded by the $283 million bond approved last November —±new Brighton and Hillcrest high schools and a major renovation of Alta High — have already started.  Construction at Alta is expected to take two years, Brighton and Hillcrest will undergo a three-year transformation. Several elementary schools also have new Front Offices and windows and skylights.  

Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor and Principal Doug Graham will speak at the community event at the school. After the ribbon-cutting, refreshments will be served, and students and parents can tour the new building. To mark Back-to-School Night, teachers and staff will be on hand to greet families and answer questions. 

Thanks to the renovation, completed by crews from Hogan Construction, Indian Hills students and teachers will enjoy plenty of natural light throughout the facility, six new classrooms, collaboration spaces wired for the high-tech demands of the 21st century, an expanded kitchen and cafeteria, and spacious hallways and commons areas, among other amenities.  The school also has been built to enhance the safety and security of student and teachers.
Hundreds braved the early evening heat Thursday to celebrate the beginning of construction on a complete rebuild of Brighton High School. Parents, alumni, members of the Cottonwood Heights City Council, Canyons District administrators, Brighton’s High’s principal, teachers and members of Canyons’ Board of Education came to celebrate this milestone for the Bengal community with a ceremonial turning of dirt. collagebhsgroundbreaking.jpg

But most of all, there were students. From the band and cheer squad who performed the school’s Fight Song to the football players who put away the chairs, Brighton’s students filled the air with cheers in eager anticipation for the remake of their campus. “Any decisions we have made about the design of this new school has been with the students in mind,” Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood said. “The physical, emotional and educational welfare of students will always be at the forefront of our decision making.” 

Brighton High is among three CSD high schools to be rebuilt or remodeled starting this summer with funds from a $283 million bond approved by voters in 2017. The bond will also be used to rebuild three other schools and build one new elementary school in west Draper, as well as school improvement projects. 

After opening its doors in 1969, Brighton is fast approaching its 50th birthday — but a lot has changed in 50 years. “When this school was built, the state-of-the-art technology was black and white TVs,” Sherwood said. MHTN Architects and builders from Hogan and Associates Construction will use modern techniques to build a new school that is equipped to educate students in a modern age. 

The new home of the Bengals will be built in phases over three years, starting with construction of a new auditorium, arts and CTE program spaces, where the existing school sits. Throughout the project, workers will be “building a new school on top of the old school, while still having school,” said Canyons Business Administrator Leon Wilcox.

Space is a premium on the campus, and there will be challenges during the build, most notably limited parking. But Wilcox said when the new school is completed, students and employees will have more parking space than they do now.

Other design features include a line of sight down the hallways for administrators and capabilities to lock down classrooms with the push of a button, in case of emergency. The school will have large windows and skylights to bring natural light into the commons area and classrooms, with an emphasis on small-group collaboration. Efforts to preserve elements of Brighton’s history are under way, including circular design elements that harken back to the school’s beloved circular halls.  

Individuals with ideas on the pieces of Brighton’s heritage they would like to save are invited to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their thoughts and contributions. So many people have fond memories of the school, said Canyons Board of Education 2nd Vice President Amber Shill. “My own family is very attached to this place. As the mother of four children who have graduated from here, or who will soon attend here, I feel privileged to take part in its future.”

Over the past half-century, alumni of Brighton have gone on to be accomplished scholars, athletes, government and industry leaders, artists and contributors to their communities. Canyons School District Vice President Nancy Tingey told the crowd she’s confident many more will join them over the coming years. “With the rebuild of the school, future generations of students will build memories here, too. … Whether your children are involved in sports, whether they have an affinity or math or passion for science, they will find in this school a welcoming place to thrive.”

Members of the community came to show support to the new school. Canyons Superintendent Dr. James Briscoe, Canyons Board of Education President Sherril Taylor, as well as members Steve Wrigley, Clareen Arnold, Mont Millerberg, and Shill and Tingey, who represent the Brighton area and feeder schools, were there, as well as Rep. Marie Poulson, D-Cottonwood Heights, Utah School Board member Katherine Riebe and members of the Canyons Education Foundation.

“None of this would be possible without your support,” Shill told the audience gathered at the school. “This is possible because of those who had the vision to create this school district and the voters who showed confidence and trust in the Board of Education. This trust is not taken lightly.”

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  • Construction crews are busy working on projects throughout the District, and one more elementary school will soon be joining the list. The Canyons Board of Education voted unanimously on July 17 to begin rebuilding Midvalley Elementary as the first of three elementary schools in the District to be rebuilt. 

    NJRA Architects will be designing the new building, and construction is anticipated to begin in April, 2019. The new school is expected to open for the 2020-2021 school year. As part of a $283 million bond approved by voters in 2017, three elementary schools in Canyons district will be rebuilt and a new elementary school in west Draper will be built. Peruvian Park and a White City school will also be rebuilt. 

    Canyons’ administration proposed choosing Midvalley as the first project because it is the oldest of the three buildings, has ADA issues, needs roof repairs, and will be the easiest to build onsite while students are in school during the 2019-2020 school year. Also, it can help absorb growth in west Midvale. 

    Midvalley originally opened in 1957. According to industry standards, an assessment of the school shows that the cost to repair the building exceeds 68 percent of the cost to replace the building. The new school will be built onsite while students continue to attend the old school.
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