For the second year, Canyons District is embarking on a big idea for little kids.

To provide extra academic options to the community, CSD will again offer Supplemental Hours of Instruction for Kindergarten-age students in the 2017-2018 school year. Students must be 5 years old by Sept. 1, 2017 to participate in the opt-in, tuition-based program.

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.

Canyons District will begin accepting online applications at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The application window will close at 11:59 p.m. on April 15. Computers will be available at Canyons schools for families who do not have computers or Internet connectivity at home. 

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

Students will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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 Alta View, Altara, Bell View, Bella Vista, Brookwood, Butler, Crescent, Edgemont, Lone Peak, Midvalley, Oakdale, Park Lane, Ridgecrest, Sprucewood, Sunrise, Willow Canyon, Willow Springs elementary schools.  However, the program can only be offered at these sites if at least 20 students have enrolled in the program.   

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 school closest to their homes — but the District cannot guarantee placement at any specific school.  Placement notifications will be made by April 21 for the families who submit applications during the initial application window. 

Questions?  Call 801-826-5045 or send an e-mail message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Do the winter blues have you down? Would you rather disappear into Victorian England, consider the value of individuality, laugh about society’s pitfalls, pretend you are at the Globe Theatre or spy on the Salem witch trials from the comfort of a high school auditorium? Never fear, Canyons’ students are hard at work on this year’s lineup of Winter-Spring plays — and they’re ready to transport you to your destination of choice.

From “Hamlet” to “Urinetown,” each of Canyons’ high schools — and several middle schools — will be presenting a variety of musicals and plays beginning later this month.

“Our goal is to create a unique version of the world’s most famous play that will cause audiences to realize they can understand Shakespeare,” says the award-winning Hillcrest d16425746_3878946570826_6174560334808074503_n.jpgrama teacher Josh Long. Hillcrest’s production will feature three different versions of Shakespeare’s original script for a streamlined performance, transported into a modern setting, with digital screens surrounding the audience.

Long chose to present “Hamlet” as an additional challenge to his students, who are already four-time Shakespeare Competition champions and four-time State Champions.

Here is a rundown of CSD's theatrical productions:
  • Alta: The Crucible, 7 p.m. Feb. 22-25 @ Alta auditorium
  • Jordan High: Jane Austen’s “Emma,” 7 p.m. March 2-4, 6 @ Jordan auditorium
  • Hillcrest: Hamlet, 7 p.m., March 17-18, 20 @ Hillcrest auditorium
  • Corner Canyon: Urinetown, 7 p.m. May 17-20 @ Corner Canyon auditorium
Middle school performances: 
  • Draper Park Middle: The Lion King Jr. 7:30 p.m. March 7-11
  • Mt. Jordan Middle: Fame! Jr. 7 p.m. May 12, 16-18
Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking the corresponding agenda items.
Legislative Update

Utah lawmakers have revived debate over an equalization proposal that would redistribute a third of any increase in per- pupil funding based on the health of a school District’s tax base. SB80 creates winners and losers — and Canyons District would be among the biggest losers, not just in total revenue, but on a per-pupil basis, explained External Relations Director Charlie Evans. Assuming lawmakers approve a 3 percent increase this year in the Weighted Pupil Unit, CSD would lose up to $1.5 million. This, coupled with a nationwide teacher shortage, would hinder the District’s ability to recruit and retain teachers, Evans said. The bill has passed the Senate, but may encounter more resistance in the House. Board members expressed gratitude for lawmakers who represent Canyons District communities and have opposed the measure.

Supplemental Hours of Instruction for Kindergarten

The Board of Education approved a proposal to continue the Supplemental Hours of Instruction for Kindergarten in Canyons District schools for the coming school year. The Board also approved a request from Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward to expand number of sites for the program. She will meet with principals to determine where the sites will be located for the 2017-2018 school year. Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board the augmented-kindergarten program is a cost-revenue neutral initiative. 

CTESS Update

Canyons District’s educator evaluation system has come a long way over the past several years as Canyons District has worked to refine it based on feedback from teachers, said Canyons’ Administrator of Evaluation and Leadership Development Sandra Dahl-Houlihan. Evaluation tools have been developed for counselors, Career and Technical Education coordinators, nurses and librarians. A training academy was created to support freshmen teachers; the District offers more than 250 hours of professional development training each year. But more work remains to be done, said Dahl-Houlihan. The District plans to fully digitize teacher evaluations and build evaluation tools for Administrators and other support personnel. To keep the momentum going and meet demand for training, Human Resources Director Stephen Dimond is recommending that the Administrator of Evaluation and Leadership Development position be renewed. The Board will consider the proposal at a future meeting.

CTE Month

Every year in February, a cohort of CSD students are provided an chance to spend time shadowing business professionals then network with their sponsors over lunch. This year, 89 students and 41 companies took part in the job-shadow event, one of several activities planned in February to celebrate Career and Technical Education Month. By partnering with the business community, CTE programs prepare students for the workforce by exposing them to the technologies and job skills they’ll need, CTE Director Janet Goble told the Board of Education. 

Policy Changes

The Board of Education heard proposed updates to outdated policies governing the hiring of employees, and the school-based administration of medications such as Narcan, epinephrine and anti-seizure drugs.

Graduation Assignments

Members of the Board of Education discussed speaking assignments at this spring's commencement exercises for Alta High, Brighton High, Corner Canyon High, Hillcrest High, Jordan High, Jordan Valley, and Diamond Ridge High. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent calendar, which included minutes from the Jan. 17, 2017 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel plans; and membership of the Joint Educator Evaluation Committee.


Five students were recognized for their achievements.  The following students earned Academic All-State Honors for winter sports:  In boys basketball, Ammon Savage, from Corner Canyon High; in girls swimming, Haley Wiese, from Jordan High; in boys swimming, Todd Oldham, from Jordah High and Alvin Tsang, from Hillcrest High.  Jordan's Tiffaney Castillo alsowas recognized for her second-place win in the Utah Senate Visual Arts Scholarship competition. She will receive a $3,000 schiolarship.

Board of Education Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg applauded parents and patrons who participated in last month’s discussion about middle school schedules. He assured patrons the Board hears their concerns and will continue to work toward a resolution. He said he was grateful to be able to participate in CSD’s Job Shadow Day during which students were given the opportunity to test-drive careers. He also commended Union Middle student and teachers for their production of “The Music Man.”

Mrs. Amber Shill said she attended a meeting of the Quail Hollow School Community Council, one of two councils in CSD that had 100 percent attendance at the District’s SCC-training program. She also attended a luncheon with CSD’s Student Advisory Council. At the event, the group discussed whether schools should start earlier or later. Most would prefer to start school later, she said, but agreed that 15 minutes earlier or later wouldn’t make much of a difference.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey said she enjoyed attending a student production of “The Lion King Jr.” at Albion Middle. She also commended Quail Hollow Elementary’s SCC for starting a volunteer tutoring program for grandmothers in the neighborhood surrounding the school. Tingey also thanked Evans, CSD Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards and intern Gavin Howe for representing the District during the General Session of the Utah Legislature.

Mr. Steve Wrigley thanked families for participating in last month’s discussion about middle school schedules.  

Mr. Chad Iverson said he had the opportunity to volunteer as part of Crescent Elementary’s WatchDOG program. He also lauded the Indian Hills Concert Band for being one of just a handful of middle and junior high school bands chosen to perform at a state festival held at the University of Utah.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold remarked on the new display of photographs hanging in the hallways of the Canyons Administration Building-East. She commended the District for its efforts to promote good digital citizenship during the 2nd annual Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship Week. 

President Sherril H. Taylor thanked patrons for continuing to voice their opinions regarding middle school schedules. He asked CSD patrons to follow SB80, which would cost CSD up to $1.5 million.  He urged them to voice their concerns. He thanked the lawmakers representing Canyons communities who have opposed it. He also expressed gratitude for the upcoming work to renovate Indian Hills Middle, one of more than a dozen projects funded with a $250 million bond approved in 2010.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe applauded efforts made by CSD’s schools to teach and model good digital citizenship. He also reported on attending CTE’s Job Shadow Day, and told the Board he would spend time on Capitol Hill in the coming days to speak out against SB80, and represent the District on other education-related bills. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox updated the Board of Education on the progress of Indian Hills’ renovation.  He also commended Education Technology Director Dr. Darren Draper for successfully completing a $600,000 digital-technology grant proposal.
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:41

110 CSD Students Advance to Regional Science Fair

What if California were to secede from the United States? Is a Brexit-style “Calexit” even legal? And how might the state’s departure, and the loss of its 55 electoral votes, influence future presidential elections? It’s this last question that piqued the curiosity of Brighton High sophomore Jenna Rupper — and that impressed the judges of Canyons District’s 2017 Science and Engineering Fair.

Rupper is among 110 finalists chosen from a field of about 300 to represent CSD at the Salt Lake Regional and Engineering Fair in March where she’ll compete for tens-of-thousands of dollars in college scholarships. If judges there are equally impressed with her data modeling project exploring the political ramifications of a Calexit, she’ll join a select number of students to advance to the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Like most scientific inquiries, Rupper’s started with a question drawn from observation or experience — in her case, from current affairs. Her favorite school subjects have always been math and science, but over the past few years she’s been intrigued by politics, particularly the data-driven journalism and opinion poll analyses produced by the blogging platform, FiveThirtyEight. “An independent group in California has been talking about withdrawing from the Union, so I looked at past presidential elections dating back to 1992 to see how they might have gone if California wasn’t part of the U.S.”
Because California has more electoral votes than any other state, and has historically supported Democratic candidates, Rupper hypothesized that it’s absence would tip the balance of votes in favor of Republican Presidents. Using historical U.S. Census data and the University of Michigan’s Electoral College calculator, she re-calculated election results with California out of the equation.

Her data modeling produced an average 3 percent shift in electoral votes — not enough to flip any of the Presidential races. “California’s secession could still influence Congressional races and the balance of power in Congress, and it could have economic consequences for the country,” Rupper said. “But concerns about a Presidential shift in power might be overstated.”

If Rupper had more time, she says she’d like to re-run the data to test what would happen if electoral votes were apportioned the same way as Congressional seats.

The Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair will be held March 21-23, 2017 at the University of Utah’s Rice Eccles Stadium. The awards ceremony will be held March 24 at Olympus High School 4055 S 2300 E, Holladay, UT 84124. Here is a full list of CSD’s 70 elementary division and 40 junior and senior division finalists:

Altara Elementary
Hailey Richards
Luciana Bizek
Nora Wetzel
Ruby Gardner

Brookwood Elementary
Eli Baker
Walker Malmstrom
Natalie Morrill

Canyon View Elementary
Erin Chan
Luke Barlow
Jack Baird
Talmage Howe

Crescent Elementary
Mackenzie McKay
Marcus Evans
Taylor Gould

Draper Elementary
Easton Adamson

Granite Elementary
Peyton Seamons
Halle Terry
William Bohmholdt

Oakdale Elementary
Mateo Paul

Park Lane Elementary
Chantel Moore
Riley Roof
Kambri Butcher
Carissa Culberson
Preston Cheney
Mitch Stepan
Spencer Moore
Charlie Wanek
Ty Spillett

Peruvian Park Elementary
Edward Loh
Fiona Zara
Gabriel Williams
Jacob Arens
Katrina Rogecheva
Liliya Barashyan

Quail Hollow Elementary
Eva Chamberlain
Priscilla Smingler

Silver Mesa Elementary
Keyan Olson

Sunrise Elementary
Carson Wood
Elena Parker
Jaden Andrew Aguilon
Logan Bridge
Maryam Bassaid
Nayantara Nair
Nicholas Perrine
Savannah Sierer
Sterling Perry
Zach Tokita 

Albion Middle School
Anegilla Keefer
Anna Mitchell
Cara Cheatham
Chaitrali Samant
Charlie Caten
Adam Liu
Charlie Simmons
Riley Gillespie
Eli Rehmer
Cameron Johns
Mason Young
Erica McDermott
Eryn Huntamer
Fatima Zaidi
Garett George
Dillon Barney
Jayden Olsen
Grace Wong
Ashley Hill
Jared Kimball
Katie Kelly
Ashlyn Thomson
Olivia Vandersteen
Lakshmi Adiga
Lilly Cheatham
Allie Jager
Lindsey Peterson
Madison Goerke
Annabella Franco
Emma Nieporte
Nathan Hunter
Paris Freebairn
Paul Glade
Raunya Barakat
Ski Dalgleish
Vincent Van Leeuwen
Wyatt Rawson
Bryson Petzinger
Cassidy Kenney
Chesney Chin
MaKenzi Thomson
Drew Stevens
Easton Ashworth
Ellie Whitmore
Emily Villanueva
Emmaline Young
Hanna Sasivarevic
Hassan Alabbas
Isabella Grim
Katelyn Simmons
Ashlie Sperry
Maloree West
Mercedes Cole
Naiya Chamberlain
Porter Bach
Andrew Hill
Raegan Rutherford
Reagan Manwaring
Sam Clayton
Sarah Hunter
Sienna Christensen
Zane Wong
Jaron Hansen
Stewart Sonntag

Midvale Middle
Andry Joseph
Danju Zoe Liu
Eric Chen
Joel Larrabee
Matthew Simmons
Luke Cox
Ryan Chen
Warren Ellsworth
Lucas Bolster
Selena Yu
Urah Goh
Abigail GIolas
Wentao Zhang
Eric Snaufer
Abigail Slama-Clatron
Marianne Liu

Brighton High
Jenna Rupper

Hillcrest High
Alan Zhao
Alex Sun
Alexander Cheng
Jaehyun Han
Sai Parsawar
Wensen Zhang
The daily start and end times are commonly referred to as “Bell Schedules.”  A list of the times, which are approved by the Canyons Board of Education, can be found under the Resources tab.  Just move your cursor over the word “Resources.”   Then, click on “Parents and Community.”   The schedules for elementary and secondary schools are listed under “B” for Bell Schedule.  As a rule of thumb, on Fridays, Canyons District elementary schools have “early-out” days and middle schools have “late starts” to give teachers time to plan and collaborate.
If BJ Cox were to affix a moral to his music teaching skills, it would be that hard work pays off.

For two years, the Indian Hills music leader and his students have tried out for the State Junior High Band Festival. Two years in a row, the band didn’t make it — but Cox and his students didn’t give up. Each time the band wasn’t selected, they improved, little by little. Now, Indian Hills’ concert band has been chosen as one of the top 15 bands to perform at the State Junior High Band Festival on March 17 at the University of Utah.

“My expectation of the kids is always to be better than you were the day before,” Cox says. “You always want to be the best you can be, and do the best you can, always, and we always want to be going forward. It’s not perfection on the first day.”

Cox joined Indian Hills four years ago as the school’s music teacher, but his work began even before he set foot in the classroom. At the beginning of the school year, every year, Cox hosts a barbecue for his students, their families, and anyone else in the community who wants to attend. His entire program has 250 people, of which 63 belong to the concert band.

“Not only do we teach them how to play, but we teach them how to think musically,” Cox says. “It isn’t just ‘Mr. Cox’s band program’ here, I believe everyone belongs and everyone has a part.”

Cox’s concert band auditioned to perform in the Utah Music Educators Association State Junior High Band Festival by playing “Kights of Destiny” for a panel of UMEA judges. As winners of the top 15 spot, the students will perform at Libby Gardner Hall on the University of Utah Campus on March 17 — and they’ll have some bragging rights as one of the two school districts from the Salt Lake valley to be participating.

One of the ways Cox has been successful is through his understanding of the power of music for his students. Music helps with brain development, self-confidence, professional experiences and resiliency, he says, so he does all he can to make sure his students receive the best opportunities available.

As a music student, Cox made it a point to learn how to master every instrument his students play — from the drums to the piccolo. He models the best techniques and sounds for every instrument and expects his students to make measured improvements.

On top of that, Cox arranges for professional musicians to regularly visit his classroom to give his students pointers and special mentoring sessions. His efforts have not been in vain. As his students learn, Cox does too. 

“I have had some of the best players in the state and country right here in my room,” Cox said between classes at Indian Hills one recent afternoon. “I ‘ve learned a ton from them.”