At the same time word started to spread about the toxic-water woes in Flint, Mich., Canyons District began stepping up efforts to ensure safe water is flowing in its schools’ drinking fountains and sinks. As a result, the District has nearly two years of records that track the quality of water being consumed by Canyons students, teachers, principals and volunteers.

“It’s a stated goal of the Canyons Board of Education and Administration to build and maintain safe and welcoming learning environments,” said Canyons Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe. “As part of our ongoing efforts to improve and modernize CSD’s learning environments, Canyons also has taken the appropriate yet entirely voluntary steps to ensure the water in our schools is safe to drink and use for food preparation.”

Canyons District was the first school district in Utah to conduct regular, scheduled water testing at all of its schools, including the new projects completed with funds from the $250 million voter-approved bond in 2010. Water testing will continue at the new and renovated schools that will be funded with proceeds from the $283 million bond measure approved by 57 percent of voters on Nov. 7, 2017. Both the measures were tax-rate-neutral. 

Here’s how the testing works: Canyons District’s Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray arrives at the school before 6 a.m. to get a “first draw.” Those are samples of water that are pulled before any water can be used in the building. This is so the District can get a reading of the possible contaminant levels before the pipes are flushed with new, fresh water.

With each sample bottle, Ray caps it, seals it, and takes it to an independent testing agency to be examined. After a few days, CSD learns the milligrams-per-liter levels of iron, copper and lead. If the levels exceed those allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the District immediately notifies parents and teachers and begins a mitigation effort, especially with high levels of lead. Traces of other minerals or metals in the water also may be a signal that the pipes need to be examined. 

“We want students and teachers to know that, through our efforts, they are going into a building that is free from any type of contaminant, be it airborne or in the water” says Ray, who also conducts regular radon-gas testing in Canyons schools. “It’s important to us that   school communities are aware that we conduct these tests and are going to great lengths make sure there is safe drinking water in the schools.

Thanks to Canyons’ water-testing program, the District has been able to identify and mitigate water-quality issues at several schools. For example, filters were installed at Edgemont and East Midvale elementary schools to correct higher-than-the-EPA-guidelines levels of iron, and pipes and fixtures were replaced at Quail Hollow and the old Crescent View Middle when elevated levels of lead were detected.   The results of recent lead testing are posted on the CSD website.

Patrons with questions about the water-testing program can call the Canyons Administration Building-East at 801-826-5000 and ask for CSD's Office of Risk Management.
The majority of residents who cast ballots in the 2017 General Election voted in favor of the Canyons Board of Education’s proposal to use proceeds from a $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond to provide modern and safe schools to children in all parts of the District.

Election results indicate that 57.83 percent voted in favor of the plan, which will result in the completion of 11 major construction projects. This includes total rebuilds of Hillcrest and Brighton high schools and a major renovation of Alta High. Some 42.17 percent voted against the measure. Voter turnout was 48.2 percent, according to the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office.

"We are grateful for those who studied our proposal and voted in favor of working in partnership with us to provide safe and modern schools for the children in our community," said Board President Sherril H. Taylor. "The vote of confidence in our facility-improvement plan is very much appreciated — but we take it very seriously. As we now turn our attention to the hard work of bringing this plan to life, we also reiterate our pledge to be wise stewards of taxpayer dollars as we continue to build up Canyons together."

In addition to the Brighton, Hillcrest and Alta projects, the District will:
  • Rebuild Union Middle
  • Rebuild Midvalley Elementary
  • Rebuild Peruvian Park Elementary
  • Rebuild a White City-area elementary
  • Replace portables with classrooms at Corner Canyon High
  • Build a new west Draper elementary
  • Remodel offices at Brookwood, Granite, Oakdale, Park Lane, Silver Mesa, and Sunrise elementary schools
  • Install windows and skylights for natural light at Altara, Bell View, Brookwood, Canyon View, Crescent, East Midvale, East Sandy, Granite, Lone Peak, Oakdale, Oak Hollow, Park Lane, Quail Hollow, Ridgecrest, Silver Mesa, Sprucewood, Sunrise, and Willow Springs elementary schools

Approval of the bond measure allows the District to continue addressing needs in aging schools in Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Midvale, Sandy and the town of Alta while also planning for future growth. Since 2010, when residents of Canyons District gave approval for a $250 million tax-rate-neutral bond, Canyons District has completed 12 major construction projects. The 13th project promised to the voters at the time of the 2010 bond’s passage is the renovation of Indian Hills Middle, which is expected to be complete by fall 2018.

Work on the first projects with proceeds from the 2017 bond could start this summer.

The District will keep the public updated on the progress of the projects via the website, bond.canyondistrict.org.
For high school seniors, the future is now. Even though the pomp and circumstance of high school graduation is seven months away, the high schools in Canyons District this week are emphasizing the importance of taking the next step in students’ educational journeys. 

From Nov. 6-10, 2017 Canyons District will celebrate its fourth annual Utah College Application Week — five days dedicated to helping students fill out and submit at least one viable application to a college, university or a technical-trade school. 

Although the applying for college can be a serious topic, schools have planned lighthearted events to jump-start every student’s interest in post-secondary education.

Canyons’ high schools will post college-related items on social media; urge participation during assemblies; and play trivia games and treasure hunts. Teachers will decorate their doors with memorabilia from their alma maters, and days have been set aside days for faculty and students to don T-shirts and sweatshirts of favored colleges and universities. 

While CSD’s Utah College Application Week, also called UCAW, is full of fun and games, there’s a serious side, too.  Filling out a college application can be daunting to many students, says Lisa Gardner, a counselor at Hillcrest High. However, during UCAW, counselors and administrators will be on hand to help students every step of the way, she says.    

“We bring every senior into the computer lab where we have counselors available to help them fill out their applications, answer questions, and talk to them about their financial aid options,” Gardner said during a Monday morning interview during ABC4’s “Good Morning Utah.”

“Family support is great,” she told ABC4 morning anchor Brian Carlsen, “but some students need additional support in completing those applications — and we are able to provide that for the students.”   

Gardner also said that many students cannot afford to go to college, so it's so important for each one to complete the FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA is the federal form that students must complete in order to make themselves eligible for federal money used to pay for higher education. By filling it out, she said, students can become eligible for Pell Grants, Work Study Programs, and loans subsidized by the government.  

Canyons has placed a heavy emphasis on competing the FAFSA, holding information nights for parents and students. While all CSD schools are seeing success with this effort, Jordan High was recently recognized as one of the top five schools in the state for FAFSA completion. 

But there’s extra help for Canyons students who may need a little extra help to apply to the college of their dreams. Per tradition, the Canyons Education Foundation has pledged up to $10,000 to help low-income students pay applicable college-application fees.

Utah College Application Week, sponsored by the Utah System of Higher Education’s StepUp to Higher Education campaign,  complements the Canyons Board of Education’s mission to ensure all students are ready for college and careers when they graduate from high school.
Parents of fifth-graders enrolled in Canyons District's Dual-Language Immersion Programs have been invited to a meeting on Monday, Oct. 30 to learn about DLI instruction in middle schools.

The 6 p.m. event will be in the Professional Development Center of the Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East. Canyons curriculum specialists who oversee the District’s dual-language immersion programs

Information about course pathways, high school bridge courses, program locations, and how CSD collaborates with universities will be presented. Other topics slated for discussion include the intent-to-continue process that parents will be asked to complete in order for their children to continue in the program.

At the middle school level, Spanish programs are being provided at Mount Jordan, Union and Midvale; French classes are being taught at Draper Park and Butler; and Mandarin Chinese is being offered at Draper Park, Butler and Indian Hills.

Questions? Please call the CSD Instructional Supports Department at 801 826 5045.
The Draper Park Vikings raided the trophy table at the Canyons District Middle School Intramurals Cross Country Championship Race.

The school dominated the ninth-annual event, held Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, at Union Middle.

First-place overall trophies were awarded to both of the Draper Park Middle boys and girls teams. Students from the Draper-area school took home 11 of the 24 individual trophies. 

Second place went to the Indian Hills girls and Butler boys teams. Third place went to Butler girls and Eastmont boys teams. 

The cross-country race includes the top three male runners and top three female runners in each grade from all eight CSD middle schools.

The event marks the beginning of the 2017-2018 CSD Middle School Intramurals season. Now in its ninth year, the CSD intramurals program offers students competitive athletic and academic events in which everyone is welcome to participate.

This year, students also will participate in chess, 3-on-3 basketball, and soccer.

Individual cross country winners are: 

Boys Individual Results

Top 3 Overall
  • McKay Wells — Draper Park
  • Steve Oler — Draper Park
  • Adam Kohlmann — Butler
Top 8th Grade Boys
  • Steve Oler — Draper Park
  • Adam Kohlmann — Butler
  • Tanner Partridge — Draper Park
Top 7th Grade Boys
  • Andre Engh — Draper Park
  • Brighton Birth — Eastmont (tie)
  • Tyler Goldfine — Mount Jordan (tie)
  • Jacob Tanner — Eastmont
Top 6th Grade Boys
  • McKay Wells — Draper Park
  • Grayson Milne — Draper Park
  • Patrick Toone — Butler 
Boys Team Results
  • Draper Park
  • Indian Hills
  • Butler
Girls Individual Results

Top 3 Overall
  • Caroline Rupper — Butler
  • Breanne Kennard — Draper Park
  • Ella Feinauer — Union

Top 8th Grade Girls
  • Caroline Rupper — Butler 
  • Ella Feinauer — Union
  • Avery Hartey — Draper Park

Top 7th Grade Girls
  • Chelsey Morton — Indian Hills
  • Teya Snowder — Union
  • Blair Walkbilling — Butler
Top 6th Grade Girls
  • Breanne Kennard — Draper Park
  • Sarah Seamons — Eastmont
  • Kelsey Diciana — Draper Park 
Girls Team Results                                                                                                       
  • Draper Park
  • Butler
  • Eastmont
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