Thursday, 18 September 2014 00:00

Adult High School Open House Set for Sept. 24

Are you, or is someone you know, wanting to return to school to earn a high school diploma? Entrada Adult High School  is hosting an open house and barbeque for prospective students Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The event will be held from 4:30 – 7 p.m. at Entrada, 825 E. 9085 South, Sandy.

Entrada Is:
  • Affordable: Tuition costs less than $9 per month.
  • Open to Utah residents 16 years of age and older to earn a high school diploma.
  • Accredited by the same accrediting authority as most other public, private and charter schools.

Questions? Contact the school at (801) 826-6670 or visit
In recognition of the heroes of Sept. 11, 2001 — both those who gave their lives and those who survived — a group of everyday heroes in our own community reached out to help several Canyons District schools as part of the United Way's Day of Caring and September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Employees from Savage, a global company based in Midvale, volunteered their time throughout the school day Thursday at Midvale, Copperview and Sandy elementary schools. They filled deflated sports balls, disinfected door handles, cleaned window sills, read stories to students and played four-square on the playground, among other things. There were no jobs too big or small for the willing volunteers, who accounted for about three-fourths of Savage’s local staff.

At Midvale Elementary alone, 24 volunteers re-stocked 35 outdated emergency kits with flashlights, toilet paper, treats, snacks and medical supplies. Savage provided all of the items for the kits, in addition to the manpower.

“We try to give back to the community at Savage,” said Matt Bollard, a software developer who has volunteered during the United Way’s Day of Caring for eight years.

Savage, a leader in supply-chain management solutions, was announced on Tuesday, Sept. 9, as Canyons’ 2014 Apex Award winner for Business Partner of the Year. Employees of the company have volunteered during the United Way’s Day of Caring at Midvale Elementary for the last three years.

Having volunteers in school has a big impact on students, says Jessica Vidal, assistant principal at Midvale Elementary.

“They love having visitors in the building,” Vidal said. “We thrive on community partnerships. Building and maintaining these partnerships helps not just the children, but the teachers as well. They really feel supported.”

By the time recent graduate Braxton Beers finished his senior year at Alta High School, he had acquired more volunteer hours over the course of his life than he could count.

In his senior year alone, Beers offered thousands of hours of service to the community and his fellow students by fundraising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, helping students with special needs, volunteering at the Utah Food Bank and collecting blankets for the homeless shelter, among other things.

Still, the fact that Beers received the highest recognition in the country for voluntary service came as a surprise when he opened his graduation packet. There, along with his diploma, was the Presidential Volunteer Service Award — a commendation created in 2003 by former president George W. Bush to recognize the contributions volunteers make in their communities.

“It’s a pretty rare award,” Beers said. “I’m very honored by it.”

Volunteer requirements for the award range from 100-250 hours for Beers’ age group. Beers surpassed that threshold by thousands of hours, but to him, it’s not about the time he spends helping others — it’s about making others’ dreams become a reality.

 “Just thinking about it, the hours don’t seem so much like service hours as a goal to try to make those wishes come true,” Beers said.

In addition to helping students with special needs learn science and make arts and crafts as part of a class he took, Beers also helped organize a fundraiser that earned a school record-breaking $30,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

If that weren't enough, Beers also worked as an Alta student body officer, and participated in the Future Business Leaders of America and DECA organizations. The Utah State University-bound student (on a full scholarship) says his high level of involvement kept him busy, but he learned how to prioritize his time to do it all.

 Besides, the time was worth it in the end, Beers says.

“I really like people and I like helping people out,” he says. “Even just talking to them about their problems and just making them happy and seeing them be happy — it’s just a need and a want.”

Canyons District has become known as a hive of volunteer activity. Last year, 12,284 members of the community registered to volunteer in CSD schools. So far this academic year, more than 7,000 adults – and counting – have registered, and gone through the appropriate background checks, to volunteer in CSD schools.

To express appreciation, Canyons District is holding Volunteer Appreciation Week Sept. 15-19. In addition to the activities held at schools to extend thanks to volunteers, the Canyons Board of Education is naming a Canyons District Volunteer of the Year at the by-invitation-only Tuesday, Sept. 9 Apex Awards banquet, and is hosting a Tuesday, Sept. 16 Volunteer Appreciation Reception at the Canyons Support Services Center, 9361 S. 300 East. Also, Superintendent Jim Briscoe has invited PTA/PTSA Presidents and School Community Council Chairpersons to a luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 18.

We’re all wet in Canyons District — for a good cause.

Many principals, students, teachers and parents — and, yes, even Canyons' new Superintendent, Dr. Jim Briscoe — have joined such celebrities as Justin Timberlake, Tim McGraw and Lady Gaga in the ALS Association’s “Ice Bucket Challenge.”  On Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, Dr. Briscoe joined Assistant Superintendent Bob Dowdle and School Performance Directors Mike Sirois, Alice Peck and Joanne Ackerman in completing the challenge.

They called out their counterparts in the Jordan District. Sirois said that the creation of Canyons District six years ago should be "water under the bridge ... or, rather, on top of our heads."  Dr. Briscoe, as a new school district superintendent in Utah, thanked Utah Gov. Gary Herbert for sending warm correpondence upon his arrival to  Canyons District — and then challenged the governor to do the chilly ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. 

The challenge requires the participant to pour a bucket of ice water over her or his head — and challenge others to do the same within 24 hours.  At that point, those who are “called out” can choose either to be soaked with cold water or make a donation to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Videos and photos of people being doused in the challenge, which started July 29, have flooded social media. To date, the campaign has raised an estimated $80 million.

Alta High's Brian McGill volunteered to complete his challenge on live TV.  Principal Charisse Hilton and her crew at Brighton High accepted the challenge from their faculty and staff. PTSA students at Corner Canyon High did the challenge in honor of a student's father who is living with ALS. New Albion Principal Darrell Jensen and his team of administrators did it in front of a screaming middle-school crowd. Members of Union Middle's administrative team were soaked by students during a lunch period — and they called out Mount Jordan's principal and assistant principals. Even Hillcrest High Principal Sue Malone was called out by a member of the Utah State Legislature.

There have been countless other instances of our teachers, students, parents, principals, PTA leaders and District Office administrators doing the challenge to raise awareness and raise funds to help the ALS Association. See our Facebook for videos and photos of many more in CSD who are completing the challenge. 

There’s only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ALS. As a result, ALS is 100 percent fatal. In addition to acclimating to the challenges that come with losing control of voluntary muscle movement, people with the disease progressively lose their ability to eat, speak, walk, and eventually breathe, according to the association.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00

Kindergartners: 'I Will Be College-Ready'

What will students in the Class of 2027 be when they grow up? Doctors, zoo keepers, pilots, judges – even Iron Man.

Canyons School District kindergartners capped their first week of school Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 with a special day dedicated to getting ready for the future. Canyons' Kindergarten College-Ready Day, now in its sixth year, is an opportunity for Canyons District teachers and principals to start talking about college and careers with their youngest students.

Throughout the District, some 2,500 kindergartners in 29 elementary schools engaged in activities and discussions about how college can help them achieve their dreams. Each received a wristband imprinted with the message, "I will be college-ready ... Class of 2027." At Quail Hollow Elementary, students drew pictures of what they want to be when they grow up. Students at Sandy and Park Lane elementaries were greeted by teachers and school leaders wearing academic regalia. Edgemont Elementary students dressed as chefs, firefighters and soldiers or in college logo-emblazoned T-shirts and received "diplomas" and three cheers for college-readiness from the Jordan High School cheer squad.

Canyons District is focused on ensuring all students are college- and career-ready when they graduate high school, and recognizes the importance of expressing this goal early in a child's education. Kindergarten College-Ready Day premiered in 2009, the first academic year for Utah's first voter-created school district in a century.
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