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Answer:   On Wednesday, May 4, Canyons is hosting a class called “SCC 101.”  This workshop is for new SCC members or those who want to know more about serving on a community council.  The training will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Professional Development Center of CAB-East.
An across-the-district effort to encourage high school seniors to submit viable college applications is paying off. This year, 91 percent of Canyons District seniors participated in Utah College Application Week, completing at least one application, a substantial increase over the 82 percent application rate of 2015.  Many students completed multiple applications. Also, for the first time, students at CSD’s new Diamond Ridge, CSD’s alternative high school, participated.

Utah has committed to improve its college graduation rate. Currently 40.4 percent of Utahns have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, 2011 U.S. Census data show — which beats the national average. But Utah lawmakers and Gov. Gary Herbert want to boost that to 66 percent by 2020.

Canyons’ college enrollment rate is at nearly 51 percent, says the District’s comprehensive counseling and guidance coordinator Tori Gillett, citing figures for the Class of 2015. That’s up a bit from 49.4 percent in 2014. Gillett says some of the increase is due to an effort by the Canyons Education Foundation to raise money for scholarships and to help defray the cost of college application fees for students who can’t afford them.

Looking ahead, District staff intend to work more closely with technical schools and take a more targeted approach to applications by better matching students with schools that best fit their career goals, Gillett says. The District will also gather more data on the post-secondary planning of students and present more information about the federal Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) program.

Cue the bright lights and roll out the red carpet. Utah screenplay writer, actor and director Craig Clyde will deliver the keynote address at Canyons School District Education Foundation’s 2016 fundraising gala, entertaining guests with tales from his trip to the big screen.

The Salt Lake City resident, and co-owner of the production company Seerstone entertainment, Clyde has a long history in television and film — a career he cultivated after a stint as an English teacher. Clyde has appeared in more than 60 films and television programs as well as numerous stage roles, directed more than 21 features and written dozens of screenplays and some novels. A seven-time winner of the International Telly award in the documentary division, he was nominated for his first Emmy for “Captain Eddy’s Exit,” which he wrote, directed and scored.

And on April 28 at 6:30 p.m., he’ll share the spotlight with another group of celebrities: Canyons’ rising student stars, and the community partners who have stepped up to help them on their path to college and brilliant careers. At the gala event, the Foundation will award five $1,000 “Bright Star” scholarships and one $2,500 “Rising Star” scholarship to graduating high school students who have surmounted great obstacles to achieve academically.

Items will be auctioned to raise money for school programs in science, technology, engineering, environment, arts and mathematics. In addition to hearing Clyde speak, guests will enjoy dinner, live student performances and video highlights of student achievements.

Cost to attend the event is $125 per person. Sponsorship tables may also be purchased. For information, or to buy tickets or a table, call the Foundation at 801-826-5178, or visit it online.

SAVE THE DATE:
April 28, 2016
6:30 p.m.
Corner Canyon High School (12943 S. 700 E., Draper, UT 84020)

More than 200 teachers, parents and dignitaries attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Alta View Elementary under a stellar blue sky Tuesday, April 19 — but the real VIPs of the event were Alta View’s many students who came to celebrate the start of work on their new building.

“This is an incredibly exciting time,” Alta View Principal Karen Medlin told the crowd. “We’re going to be so proud of this new addition to the Canyons District community, and we promise you that it will be a place of learning, a place of knowledge, a place of true human power.”

Senate President Wayne Niederhauser; Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper; members of the White City Township Community Council Kay Dickerson, Paulina Flint and Linda Price; Canyons Board of Education President Sherril Taylor and members Steve Wrigley, Nancy Tingey, Amber Shill; District administrators, school administrators, teachers and parents and neighbors all attended the celebration of beginning construction on the long-awaited building.
According to plans, the new Alta View will be built east of the existing school. Children will attend class in the old facility while the new one is being constructed.

Features of the new Alta View include a security vestibule that will require all visitors to be seen by school staff before entering the building. Plans also call for a large commons area filled with natural light and a grand staircase leading to the second-floor classrooms, the media center, an activity room and a computer lab. On the main floor, classrooms will be flanked by a multipurpose room and the kitchen and cafeteria. 

In addition, state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical systems, including voice-amplification equipment for teachers, will be used in learning spaces throughout the building.

The project is being completed thanks to a $250 million, tax-rate-neutral bond approved by voters in 2010. In the past six years, the District has been able to successfully complete a healthy spate of new-school and renovation projects, including seismic retrofitting at Sandy Elementary, the new Midvale Elementary, Corner Canyon High, a renovation of Albion Middle, the new Butler Middle, the new Draper Park Middle, additions at Brighton and Hillcrest high schools, and the new Mount Jordan Middle. 

Work on the projects promised to the CSD community at the time of the bond’s passage will continue for the next several years.  A new Butler Elementary will open this fall, crews are hard at work on a new Midvale Middle and the design process is underway for a remodel of Indian Hills. The Board of Education on Tuesday, April 12 approved a contract with FFKR to work on the remodel of the Sandy middle school — the final project expected to be completed with funds from the 2010 bond measure.

An impressive line-up of dignitaries — including city leaders and local clergy — came to Wednesday’s groundbreaking for the largest renovation and expansion project in Alta View Hospital’s history.

But the honor of wielding the golden-tipped shovels went to a group of built-to-order bots designed by area high school students, including members of the robotics clubs at Alta, Brighton and Jordan. And, not surprisingly, it was the robots who stole the show as they wheeled down the red carpet, took their assigned places and, on the count of three, turned the first ceremonial shovels of dirt. altabot.jpg

Alta View CEO Bryan Johnson issued the design challenge to symbolize Alta View’s commitment to using technology to improve the patient experience and serve the Sandy community. Innovation in health care, he said, means drawing on the best minds, “skills and creativity of those around us.”

Students had just two weeks to design, build and test their mechanized earth movers. Each had its own flare and features, from the sleek physique of Alta’s bulldozer bot to Jordan High’s menacing serrated “root ripper.” Brighton’s digitized digger was equipped with powerful pneumatic arms. And a digger-dump-truck combo from the neighboring private school, Juan Diego had the advantage of being able to clean up after itself. But all the students’ hard work paid off as the robots performed on cue and with hardly a glitch.

After the event, students were treated to a tour of Alta View’s technology department, and the hospital put $3,500 toward each school's robotics program to propel the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs  by clicking the corresponding agenda items.

Technology Plan Update

Education Technology Director Dr. Darren Draper and Information Technology Director Scot McCombs delivered an update on progress with Canyons’ technology plan. The District’s technological footprint has grown tremendously since the District’s inception in 2009. In the first two years of operation, the number of computers expanded from 10,122 to 11,800, and the District added Wi-Fi, faster connections to the Internet and more than 20 Education Technology Specialists and Field Technicians to train and support personnel in Canyons schools. In 2011, the District created a five-year plan to get more technology into the hands of teachers and help them to use it well. This is still the No. 1 priority, but the plan has expanded to include other objectives, such as making hands-free microphones available to all teachers and creating a Data Dashboard to track student test scores. Today, there are more than 34,000 computer devices districtwide and 80 critical systems in need of support. On any given day, 15,000 students use Canyons’ wireless networks. Surveys show personnel are pleased with the technology and support available, and that the District is making strides in removing barriers to more widespread use. Surveys show a majority of students are using a computer or handheld tablet device daily or weekly at school, and most students and teachers agree that’s the right amount. Thirty-nine percent of students and elementary teachers, and 33 percent of secondary teachers, believe there is more room for technology.  A small number of survey respondents — between one and 7 percent — say the District uses too much. Goals for 2016 include focusing on Canvas, CSDDocs, and the use of blended-instruction Nearpod; building teacher capacity in their knowledge of technology-facilitated pedagogy, eventually expanding technology’s inclusion in the teacher- evaluation system; maintaining high-quantity and -quality levels of technology-related professional development; improving technology access and its academic use by students; and maintaining the infrastructure needed to meet these technology-related needs.

Utah College Application Week

The Board heard an update about the fall’s Utah College Application Week, an across-the-district effort to encourage all high school seniors to submit a viable college application. This year, the completed application rate increased from 82 percent to 91 percent of high school seniors completing at least one application. For the first time, students at Diamond Ridge, CSD’s new alternative high school, participated in UCAW activities. Tori Gillett, the District’s coordinator of comprehensive counseling and guidance, told the Board that 50.7 percent of the Class of 2015 are enrolled in a two- or four-year college for the fall semester. This shows an uptick from 2014, when 49.4 percent enrolled in a college or university. Gillett also expressed thanks for the Canyons Education Foundation’s contribution of $15,000 to help defray the costs of the college-application feeds of students who cannot afford them. She also informed the Board about the various activities planned in CSD schools for Decision Day. Looking ahead, the CSD staff members who plan UCAW each year want to present more information about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), include technical schools in a bigger way, and continue to gather data about the post-secondary planning of CSD students.

Student Advisory Council Report

Members of the Student Advisory Council reported to the Board about the opportunity to serve on the panel. While the students enjoyed learning about the District’s operations, they also gave feedback to Board members about the student experience in CSD. The students suggested more attention be paid to parking lots, especially at Hillcrest and Brighton. There are plenty of spots, they said, but the lots are hard to enter and exit. The students also encouraged the Board to help improve some of the menu items in the cafeteria and allow for more options in the vending machines.  In addition, the student council also gave input on the half-day schedule on the day juniors take the ACT. It’s a wonderful option for the 11th graders, they said, but it makes it difficult for teachers and students to pack a whole day of learning into a half day.  Students gave the similar input about late-start Thursdays. The students also asked for assistance from the Board in helping to loosen Utah High School Activities Association rules governing comportment of student sections, and they also expressed support for standards-based grading.

Board Meeting Schedule

The Board of Education accepted for review a tentative meeting schedule for the 2016-2017 school year.  The proposed schedule includes a regular study session and public business meeting each month, unless otherwise noted, at the Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East. Business meetings will begin at 7:30 p.m. unless the Board decides otherwise. If a change is made, the new time will be noticed appropriately. All dates, times and locations are subject to change at any time, and patrons are encouraged to frequently check the Canyons website for the most recent information.

Online Learning Fees

In 2011, Utah lawmakers created a program that enables high school students to earn graduation credit through completion of publicly funded online courses. At Canyons Virtual High School, which serves thousands statewide, students can earn original or make-up credit at their own pace. However, the program only provides funding for up to six full credits of the eight required in high school — and sometimes students who have fallen behind or are on an accelerated track to graduate desire to take more than six credits. To facilitate their enrollment while recovering the costs, Education Technology Director Dr. Darren Draper proposed for the Board’s consideration a fee schedule. The recommended fees, which range from $109 to $190 per course, are in alignment with the amount of state funding that Canyons receives for these courses. It’s estimated the fees would impact fewer than 10 percent of online students. Fee waivers have always been honored.

LAND Trust Plans

School Performance Director Alice Peck submitted for the Board’s review reports detailing how Canyons schools are spending LAND Trust funds in 2015-2016.

Consent Agenda

The Board voted in favor of the Consent Agenda, which included the approval of the minutes from the March 15 meeting, purchasing bids; student overnight travel; hires and terminations; and LAND Trust Amendments. 

Superintendent and Business Administrator’s Report  

Superintendent Briscoe thanked the members of the Student Advisory Council and wished them well as they graduate and pursue future opportunities. He also welcomed Denise Haycock, who will replace the retiring Gaylene Halvorsen, who has served as the Board of Education secretary and an Administrative Assistant in the Superintendent’s Office since the District’s founding. He also thanked Dr. Draper and McCombs and their departments for working so hard to provide technological assistance to the schools and District Offices. He told the Board he spoke to parents at the Region 17 PTA Spring Training, and reminded the community about the Tuesday, April 26 Teacher of the Year announcement and the Spring Gala of the Canyons Education Foundation. The Foundation's fund-raising event will be Thursday, April 28 at Corner Canyon High. 

Wilcox updated the Board on new year-round schedule of the Midvale overflow shelter of The Road Home. He congratulated Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray, who represented the District at an awards ceremony of the Department of Environmental Quality. CSD was honored for its radon-testing program. He also thanked McCombs and Draper and their departments for their hard work.

Board Comments.

Board member Chad Iverson thanked McCombs and Dr. Draper for their presentation regarding the district’s technology plan. He noted the success of Utah College Application Week and the emphasis on preparing students for college and careers. 

Board 2nd Vice President Nancy Tingey said she attended the unveiling of Alta High’s Sacred Images Mural and Corner Canyon High’s world premiere of a piece of music composed with funds from an Innovation Grant from the Canyons Education Foundation. She also reported on Jordan Valley’s delightful production of “Aladdin,” a tour of The Road Home in Midvale, and Brighton’s “Shark Tank” business-idea competition. 

Board member Amber Shill said that she, too, was impressed with the ideas generated by the students at Brighton’s impressive and first-ever “Shark Tank.”  She thanked the administration for its work in providing the articifical turf at Brighton High, which is now being used by lacrosse teams. Parents of players expressed appreciation for being able to use the field. She additionally reported on her attendance at the National School Boards Association conference, and thanked Dr. Draper and McCombs for the District's technology plan. 

President Taylor expressed condolences to the friends and family of those in the Canyons community who have passed away in recent weeks.
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 14:27

Sacred Images Mural at Alta High School

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Click here to view the short film produced by the Center for Documentary Arts and Expression

Sacred Images: A Vision of Native American Rock Art Artists/Scholars-in-Residence


Alta High School, Sandy, Utah, October 25, 2015-March 21, 2016. This film presents CDEA’s “Sacred Images: A Vision of Native American Rock Art—Artists/Scholars-in-Residence” program. Our four-week residency, involving Native American storyteller Dovie Thomason, archeologist Dr. Kevin Jones, and muralist Ruby Chacon, expanded to five months, when students and faculty decided to create a 24’ long and 8’ high mural, the largest student-generated work this eight-year-old program ever produced. This video describes the initial—and critical—mural design process; students focus on challenges they faced and how they overcame them.
Canyons District parents, principals and students are celebrating educational excellence by honoring a top teacher in each school community. 

Every Canyons school has followed a seven-year tradition of recognizing a Teacher of the Year for outstanding teaching practices, professionalism, and community involvement.  Those teachers were cheered during surprise announcements made in the days before Spring Recess. See the District’s Facebook page for video and photographs of the celebrations. 

The school Teachers of the Year for 2016 received gifts and prizes donated by CSD’s generous business partners. The honored teachers also have been nominated for Canyons District Teacher of the Year, a recognitions that includes cash, prizes, and a nomination for the Utah Teacher of the Year award.

The Board of Education invites the CSD community to the Tuesday, April 26, 2016 special awards ceremony during which the overall District’s Teacher of the Year will be named. The event will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Professional Development Center of the Canyons Administration Building, 9361 S. 300 East. 

Without the expertise and dedication of our amazing teachers, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to prepare the generation of leaders who will leave our schools ready for the rigors and demands of college and the workplace. 

“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities,” President John F. Kennedy was once quoted as saying, “because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”

Now this is music to our ears.

Eight Canyons District students have been selected to play side-by-side with members of the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall on Tuesday, May 17.

The 7 p.m. concert will feature some of the state’s best high school musicians. Cost to attend the event ranges from $6 to $18. The students are:

  • Alta:  Jacob Kilby, acoustic bass; Noah Valentine, violin
  • Hillcrest:  Mitchell Spencer, piano; Michael Zackrison, tuba; Adam Ford, violin
  • Corner Canyon:  Hannah McKay, viola; Kadyn Allen, trumpet
  • Jordan:  Nathan Jensen, French horn


Whether over the Internet or face to face, Anita Leimbach knows how to inspire her students to do their best work. While it may be second nature for most teachers to lead classroom lessons, it takes a special set of instructional skills to inspire students who are learning in virtual environments. Leimbach seems to instinctively know how to do this — and so much more. Since Canyons Virtual High School’s first days, Leimbach, who is known for communicating with students using clear and concise — and yet kind — language, has been a pioneer in developing curriculum for the online classes and helping policies and protocols for the school.  For these reasons, and many more, we congratulate Leimbach for being named the first-ever Teacher of the Year for the Canyons Virtual High School.