If these walls could talk, they would tell stories of edge-of-your-seat wins and losses, drenched-with-sweat practices, the thump-and-blare of the pep band, and the heard-for-miles cheers of generations of Huskies.

While history has been kind to Hillcrest's Art Hughes Gymnasium, the time has come to build new memories in a facility that's being constructed for the generations to come.

A pack of former players, some of whom played on the school's first championship-winning team in 1968, attended the Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 boys hoops game against Kearns High. They were honored at the outset of the game for contributing to the strength of the home of the Huskies and mark the last home game played by the boys team before the more-than-50-year-old gym is torn down to  make way for the new Hillcrest High, which will be built in phases over the next three years. 

Construction crews are already working on the site of the school, which is being built with proceeds from a $283 million bond approved by voters in November 2018.  It’s one of four  construction projects now being done in Canyons District, including a rebuild of Brighton High, a major renovation at Alta High, and a classroom-wing addition at Corner Canyon High. 

At the region game, the former players, who are brothers and friends, shook hands, hugged and re-lived the buzzer-beating shots, off-the-board rebounds, and the bonds built during the hours of practice and game-time play. They talked about the days gone by, when the entire community came to watch the Huskies hit the hardwood.   

“It was a lot of fun to play here,” said Ron Hatch, the 6-foot 4-inch center of the title-holding 1968 squad. “Both sides of the court would be full (of cheering fans.)”

But there was a lot less to do in those days, he says, no Netflix, no Internet, no video games. “People came out to watch basketball. It was different then. It was what everybody did.” 

“The game was different then, too,” he said. “You didn’t worry about who was going to get the  ball. You just went out and played. It was so much fun.” 

George Hughes, the son of the coach after whom the gym is named, recalled the good times had in the gymnasium throughout the years. “When I first entered his gym, I was just in awe,” he said. At the time, the Huskies’ gym was new, shiny, and ready to welcome the community. 

Hughes said his father, who died in 2003, was immensely proud to coach the Huskies, and led the school to state championships, including the school’s first hoops title.

George Hughes said he was thrilled to attend the school while his dad was at the hoops helm, and held up his golden “H” that he earned for his letterman’s jacket.  “I was proud to have gone to this school, to have played for this school.” 

On Tuesday night, the stands were full of cheering students, parents, friends and boosters. The cheer squad jumped and flipped, and the Hillcrest drill team hip-hopped through a half-time routine. While the Huskies did not emerge victorious, they played as strong as their legacy.

On Friday, Feb. 15, the girls' hoops team will take the floor at 7 p.m.  At the sound of the game-ending whistle, an era will end. And the score will be the last one tallied in the stadium where champions have been made.
These are the people who are on the front lines at our schools, making sure students are not only guided toward high school graduation but also healthy outlooks on life.

From helping students who are struggling with difficult emotions to building a school schedule that will lead to a high school diploma, our corps of 60 school counselors do so much to aid in the college- and career-readiness of Canyons District students.

Canyons District lauds the dedication of our counselors by recognizing National School Counselor Week, held each year to focus public attention on the contribution of professional school counselors in our elementary, middle and high schools. The week highlights the impact counselors have on a student’s success as they move from grade to grade. 

Like other counseling centers across CSD, Jordan High’s office is a bustling hive of activity, especially as juniors and seniors start to plan for the next steps in their educational journeys. Last year, thanks to the counseling staff, the school finished second among all Utah high schools in completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known FAFSA. Those are the federal forms that must be submitted before students can obtain financial aid for college. For this and other reasons, the Canyons Board of Education honored the 'Digger counseling staff with the Apex Award for Student Support Services Professionals of the Year — one of the highest awards given by the Board.

Jordan High counselor April Sagala says the role of a high school counselor has changed significantly over the years. “Not too long ago, it was OK to say to a student, ‘Just go to college and eventually you will figure out what you want to do,’” she said. 

“But the landscape has changed with the rising cost of college and post-secondary training programs,” she said. “Our aim now is to help students narrow their focus to about five possible majors or careers, and them expose them to those opportunities before they leave high school.” 

However, perhaps the most important task the counselors assume is working with students struggling with suicide ideation and other emotional issues. In her 20 years as a counselor, she has seen anxiety-related issues increase drastically.  In the past, she’d see just a few kids each year who suffered from anxiety. 

“Now, I see kids several times a day who need help with anxiety,” she said. “Students live in a world of high expectations and they don’t think there are room for stumbles.  But life isn’t like that.  We all have bad days, and sometimes life throws us a curve ball.” 

To be sure, Canyons counselors are working hard to meet the social-emotional needs of the students, she said, and the Canyons District Board of Education and Administration continue to provide resources for mental-health supports. 

Segala, who appeared on ABC4 and KUTV 2News on Monday, Feb. 4, to help kick off National School Counseling Week, encouraged parents to work with counselors before student issues become crises. “Toward the end of a grading term, students and their parents often come to us in a bit of a panic, asking what can be done.  It’s usually not the first moment they realized there were issues with grades or missing assignments — but it’s the first time they come to see us,” she said.  “Counselors can work best with parents and students when they are focusing on preventing the crisis and providing supports to students over a longer period of time.”

Kindergarten is a critical year in a child’s education—and to make sure students get off to a strong start, Canyons District has expanded the number of hours some of its kindergartners spend in the classroom.

Starting on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 10 a.m., Canyons District will begin accepting online applications for its Supplemental Hours of Kindergarten Instruction program for the 2019-2020 school year. Students must be 5 years old by Sept. 1, 2019 to participate in the opt-in, tuition-based program.

Space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Phase one of the application window will close at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 2, and computers will be available at Canyons schools for families who do not have Internet connectivity at home.  

Those students who are accepted into the classes will receive nearly four additional hours of instruction every school day. Enrollees begin and end school at the same time as the school’s first- through fifth-grade students. Click here to see the bell schedules for all Canyons schools. 

Now heading into its fourth year, “the program has really taken off,” having grown in the number of students enrolled and the number of schools offering it, says CSD’s Instructional Supports Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward. The program aligns with the District’s half-day kindergarten programs and caters roughly to the same population in terms of student demographics—and initial data shows students are benefitting from extra time in the classroom.

“Students in supplemental kindergarten outperform their regular kindergarten peers in reading and miss fewer school days,” Roderick-Landward says.

The application can be accessed at the bottom of the Frequently Asked Questions page.  Simply click the blue button that says "Start." 

Cost for the program is $2,950 a year, and can be paid in monthly installments, August-May. A 10 percent discount is available for parents and guardians who pay the yearly tuition in full at one time. There also is a one-time, non-refundable registration fee of $100. 

Financial-need scholarships also are available for qualifying students. Parents may apply for the financial assistance at the same time they submit enrollment applications. 

The District plans to offer the classes at the following 17 elementary schools:

•  Alta View
•  Altara
•  Bell View
•  Bella Vista
•  Brookwood
•  Butler
•  Canyon View
•  Crescent
•  Lone Peak
•  Midvalley
•  Oakdale
•  Park Lane
•  Ridgecrest
•  Sprucewood
•  Sunrise
•  Willow Canyon
•  Willow Springs*

Keep in mind, however, the program can only be offered at these sites if at least 20 students have enrolled in the program. Also, because Willow Springs has reached its enrollment capacity and is on moratorium status, their Supplemental Kindergarten program is limited to students who live within the school’s geographic boundaries.

Children who qualify for transportation services will ride the kindergarten bus with morning-session kindergarten students and will ride home with the afternoon-session kindergarten students.  

Efforts will be made to enroll students at the school closest to their homes — but the District cannot guarantee placement at any specific school.  Placement notifications will be made by March 12 for the families who submit applications during phase one of the application window.  

Questions?  Call 801-826-5045 or send an email message to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Calling all Isaac Newtons, Marie Curies and Charles Darwins. Canyons School District is holding its annual science fair in late January and early February, and is in need of adult volunteers to participate as judges.

As judges, science professionals will have the opportunity to memorably impact the lives of some very talented young people. Judges must register online, and are needed to help with the elementary division (5th and 6th grade) and the secondary division (7th – 12th grade).

Hundreds of entries are expected this year. Winners of their age groups will advance to the Regional Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair, where students can win up to $80,000 in scholarships. A select number of students may also be eligible to compete in national and international competitions.

The judging will take place at Crescent View Middle, 11150 Green Ridge Dr, in Sandy. The schedule of events is found below.

Questions? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Elementary Division  (5th & 6th grade students)
January 31:  4-7 p.m.  – Set up and judging
February 1:   5-6 p.m. – Open House
February 1: 6-6:20 p.m. – Awards presentation

Secondary Division (7th – 12th grade Students)
February 3:  4-7 p.m. – Set up and judging
February 4: 5-6 p.m. – Open House
February 4: 6-6:20 p.m. – Awards presentation
Yes, the calendar may tell us that it’s snow-filled January — but it’s not too early to start thinking about where to send your 4-year-old child to preschool when the leaves of the trees start to turn golden in autumn. 

The application window for spots in Canyons District’s tuition-based preschools in the 2019-2020 school year is now open. Parents can click here to apply for high-quality preschool programs at Altara, Bella Vista, Butler, Edgemont, Jordan Valley, Oakdale, Quail Hollow, and Willow Springs elementary schools.

For the Canyons preschools, which follow an evidence-based curriculum the lines up with the core standards of learning at the kindergarten, the cost is $100 per month for students attending two days per week and $200 a month for students attending four days.  There’s also a one-time $20 registration fee.  Availability in the program for the coming academic year is based on a first-come, first-served, space-available basis. 

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

Terri Mitchell, the programs administrator for CSD’s Early Childhood Department, gives this advice to parents who are looking for a preschool for their kiddo:  Pay particular attention to the safety, security, cleanliness and organization of the staff and the school. 

The children should be guided in play, she said, and their social development should be supported.  The staff ratio is important, too. No less than one adult for 10 children. In Canyons’ preschools, we have a higher adult-to-child ratio, she said. 

Parents also should spend some time preparing children for their first time in a classroom. 

“If parents talk to their children about how fun it will be for them to go to school, then the children will be more likely to be excited to go to school,” said Mitchell, who shared more tips during an appearance on ABC4. 

Mitchell tells parents to read books with their children and seek out story times at local libraries.  She also urges parents to show their children photographs of their first day at school and share experiences of what it was like to go to school for the first time. 

“Preschool can be an important part of early childhood development,” she said.  “The time spent at preschool may be the first time that a child is away from her or his mom and dad or grandparents, or without their siblings, for an extended period of time.  The kiddos learn a little bit of independence. They also learn their colors and their ABCs and 1-2-3s, which can help them as they start their kindergarten and first-grade years.”

In Canyons, free school programs also are provided at Title I schools. Students who turn 4 years old before Sept. 1, 2019 and live within the boundaries of Midvale, Copperview, Sandy and East Midvale elementary schools can apply to participate. CSD will being taking applications for spots in those preschools on March 1.
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