A shutterbug at Jordan High is helping Canyons District send wishes of a picture-perfect yuletide.

A photograph taken by 17-year-old Shellby Carvalho shines bright on the cover of the District’s 10th annual holiday card, which is sent to local legislators, Utah’s members of Congress, and Canyons’ major supporters. 

The star of Carvalho’s photo is her snow-white dog, Cali, a 2-year-old Great Pyrenees and Labrador mix she adopted from the Humane Society of Utah. 

“Because my dog is white, I thought that was a symbol of simplicity and purity, which is what the holiday season is all about,” says Carvalho, who takes Advanced Placement art classes and is the school’s Sterling Scholar candidate in the visual arts category.

“I’m so happy that I was able to make it happen,” she said about the photo shoot, which required stringing up colorful lights well before the holiday season and getting the dog to sit still long enough to snap the shot. She also edited the images and used a photo-enhancement program to complete the design.

Carvalho plans to major in environmental studies at Westminster College next fall.   

This is the fifth year Canyons District has asked students to create artwork for the official holiday card.  Students from Corner Canyon, Brighton, Alta and Jordan Valley School have provided artwork in previous years.
Planning a family trip for the holidays? Hoping to squeeze in a few extra days of vacation the week before or after Winter Recess?

‘Tis the season for reconnecting with faraway friends and family, and the timing of your travel plans can influence the cost of plane tickets and hotel stays. But keep in mind the costs to your children’s education when they miss too much school.

Canyons District’s schools will be open, our teachers will be teaching, and our students will be learning right up until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the start of the winter break on Thursday Dec. 20—and we’ll waste no time starting up again after the New Year.

“When it comes to keeping kids on track academically, every day of instruction counts,” says Canyons District Responsive Services Administrator Colleen Smith who is working with schools to spread awareness of the hazards of absenteeism. “We don’t begrudge students the learning opportunity of traveling to new places. But absences tend to soar around the holidays, and families often don’t realize how quickly they can add up.”

Missing just a few days here and there can contribute to elementary students falling behind in reading, writing and math, a growing body of research shows. For example, four out of five students who miss two days per month, or 10 percent, of kindergarten and first grade are unable to read on-level by the third grade. By the sixth-grade, excessive absenteeism is a warning sign of a student not graduating from high school.

Put simply, too many absences—even excused absences—at any age can harm a student’s chances for academic success, Smith says. This year, Canyons District is encouraging students to “Be Great, Miss Less than Eight,” and schools will be finding creative ways to encourage good attendance habits, and reward students for coming to school every day, on time and ready to learn. 

Think your child’s school has avoided the naughty list? Think again. Last year, 7,111 students districtwide—21 percent—were chronically absent, or missed at least 10 percent of the school year. Zero in on individual schools, and you’ll find instances where as many as 32 percent of the students were chronically absent, says Instructional Specialist Jonathan Stewart, noting there are hotspots of absenteeism in every corner of the District.

Hitting the 10 percent mark is easier to do than it sounds, says Stewart. “That’s the equivalent of skipping just one day every other week.”

A bout with the flu, a midday doctor’s appointment, and extended family vacation can easily put a student over the threshold for the term, Stewart says. “We have had terms (quarters or semesters) where nearly half an entire school was chronically absent.”

And while such spikes may be an anomaly, large numbers of students missing class can affect the pace of instruction for the entire classroom, Stewart says. “It can really slow things down, creating extra work for the teacher and a missed opportunity to advance for the other students.”

What can parents do? Smith says it’s important to set firm expectations early in the school year, and early in a child’s educational career, and to be consistent in enforcing them.

“Sometimes life gets in the way. There will always be unforeseen illnesses and family emergencies—even rare special occasions—that pull kids from school,” Smith says. “But children, even teenagers, take cues from their parents, and it’s important to let them know that in school, work and life, showing up is important. It really comes down to establishing a daily routine, and reinforcing for your children how much you value an education.”

Attendance Tips for Parents
  • Let your children know that you think showing up for school every day is important.
  • Take an interest in your child’s school work and be involved in school activities.
  • Post the school calendar somewhere prominently in the home.
  • Establish a routine and healthy school-night habits, such as getting to bed early and reading before bed, instead of watching TV.
  • Set the morning alarm early enough to provide students ample time to get dressed and eat breakfast.
  • Support your children in getting to school on time: Give them a ride if they’re running late or they miss the bus, or arrange to carpool with other families.
  • Try to schedule doctor and dental appointments after school.
A cup of feedback, a dash of input, and a heaping slice of honesty. That’s what we’re asking for in a survey that is being sent to Canyons District parents about their experiences with their child’s school.

All nine questions on the short survey are vital ingredients in our efforts to make healthy school-to-home connections, sweeten our customer service, and improve our recipe for student success. 

A link to the online survey will be sent Saturday, Nov. 10 to parents and guardians of children in Canyons District schools. It will arrive via email to the contact information provided during the online registration process for the 2018-2019 school year. 

Parent and guardians are asked to check their email accounts for the link.

The District will take input through the online survey until Nov. 30.  Parents who did not receive an email link can call Canyons District’s Help Desk at 801-826-5544 for assistance. 

Parents will be asked to complete a survey for every school where their children are currently enrolled. Questions cover school climate, academic support of children, and whether the school communicates appropriately with the community. 

Parents also can provide comments after responding to every question. The answers are anonymous unless parents identify themselves for a follow-up by school administrators. 

By state law, Canyons District is required to survey parents as part of educators’ evaluations. District and school administrators use the data to address needs, hone processes and recognize improvements.
Canyons District student-athletes are acing tests, quizzes and homework while also scoring big on the playing field.

In addition to the four state championship trophies won already this year in Utah High School Activities Association-sanctioned sports, 26 students from all five of Canyons District’s traditional, comprehensive high schools have earned Academic All-State Honors in fall sports. 

The UHSAA selects students on the basis of their athletic ability and academic proficiency.  

Boys Golf
  • Dylan Ricord — Alta High
Girls Tennis
  • Emilee Astle — Alta High
  • Elizabeth Simmons — Corner Canyon High 
  • Madison Lawlor —  Jordan
Girls Cross Country
  • Emily Liddiard — Hillcrest High
  • Ellie Anderson — Brighton High
  • Karlie Branch — Corner Canyon High
Volleyball
  • McKayla Kimball — Corner Canyon High
Girls Soccer
  • Megan Munger — Brighton High
  • Amelia Munson — Brighton High
  • Kaitlyn Conley — Brighton High
  • Megan Astle – Corner Canyon
  • Gwendelyn Christopherson — Jordan
  • Erika Oldham — Jordan
Boys Cross Country
  • Tavin Forsythe-Barker — Alta High
  • Declan Gleason — Brighton High
  • Joshua Johnson — Brighton High
  • Peter Oldham — Corner Canyon High
  • Michael McCarter — Corner Canyon High
  • Brandon Johnson — Corner Canyon
  • Jeddy Bennett — Jordan High
  • Samuel Bennett — Jordan High

Football
  • Baylor Jeppsen — Corner Canyon High  
  • Caden Johnson — Corner Canyon High
  • Austin Schaurgard — Jordan High
  • John Hillas — Brighton
With a sharp chirp of a whistle, the best student runners from all eight of Canyons District middle schools took off running with their eyes on the rolling grassy route in front of them — and their hearts set on being the first to cross the finish line.

Under sunny skies, two boy and girl runners from every grade at every CSD middle school competed on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 at the 10th annual CSD Intramurals Cross Country Championship Meet. They all ran roughly 2 miles around Union Middle School’s campus.

Hundreds of friends and family lined the route to cheer the students as they jostled for position and pushed themselves to high speeds.

At the end of the race, Draper Park Middle captured the first-place trophies for both the girls and boys teams.

In the girls' race, Eastmont finished at No. 2 and Union captured third place.

For the boys, Mount Jordan raced to the second-place spot and Midvale Middle snagged third place.

The overall top boy runners were Mount Jordan’s Diego Lopez, Draper Park’s Grayson Milne and Mount Jordan’s Levi Wilcoxon.   The overall top girl runners were Eastmont’s Sarah Seamons, Draper Park’s Avery Garcia and Draper Park’s Bre Kennard. 

The race is the school year’s first contest for the middle-school intramural athletics program, which was developed to promote healthy lifestyles and gauge interest for future competitive sports programs. Individual winners will be awarded medals and the fastest teams will receive trophies to be displayed at their respective schools.

See Canyons District's Facebook page for a photo gallery of the race.
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