Friday, 23 August 2013 16:09

School Breakfast

Welcome back students! We hope you are enjoying your school year so far. Starting school is always a fun time. We just wanted to make you are aware, that not only do we have awesome lunches at our schools, but some schools even have breakfast. So if you are sick of having cereal every day, or if you are running late, come to your school breakfast program and see what is being served. East Midvale is finding creative ways to get you to eat your breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it jumpstarts your brain for learning. So go try some yummy smurf parfaits! They are sure to be a hit.
Friday, 23 August 2013 12:36

Headlines Friday, Aug. 23, 2013

Around Canyons
Live on 2News: For some, back-to-school checklist should include visiti to school nurse

Sandy City gets grant for after-school programs$57,000-for-after-school-programs/

Butler Middle: New school, new principal,-new-principal/

Utah schools soon to get letter grades

Weber State goes door-to-door to improve Ogden schools

Youth volleyball coach accused of assaulting rival coach after game

U. adding veggie valet to campus farmer's market

U. investigating chemical engineering research for fraud

On Bus Tour, Obama seeks to shame colleges into cutting costs

New York ed leader says test scores will rise

School employee helped avert crisis

DNews: College trends in Utah institutions: academic creep

NYTimes OpEd: The Common Core and the common good

My View: Common Core questions

Thursday, 22 August 2013 12:53

Headlines Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013

Around Canyons
Grade Reconfiguration debuts in Canyons

This week's 'Cool School': Corner Canyon High

Teacher of the Year, Golden Apple Awards, and President's Awards for Canyons schools, educators,-earn-recognitions-this-summer/

How did you spend your summer? Canyons girls learned computer coding

Hillcrest's Winkelman offers commentary on final Utahn elininated from So You Think You Can Dance

ACT: Utah students score shy of national average, but highest among full-participation states

Red Carpets not only in Canyons; Granite rolls them out, WVC Mayor gives Granger High kids welcome-back rap

Granite teacher gets national CTE award

New Prosperity 2020 leader named

Poll: Most Americans oppose free education for children of illegal immigrants

Poll: Don't arm teachers; do teach kids social, emotional skills

Do student service requirements decrease voluntarism over time?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 22:42

Bengals Roar Approval Of Bengal Building

Students attending Brighton High School are sure to notice that there’s a welcome addition to their campus. 

Brighton High on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 celebrated the official opening of the new Bengal Building. A ribbon-cutting celebration was held right before the Bengals' first football game of the season, which the team won.  

Principal Charisse Hilton asked Student Body President Mitchel Kenney to do the ribbon-cutting honors with the giant scissors. During the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon, Kenney was surrounded by Hilton, Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore and Canyons Board of Education Members Kim Horiuchi and Nancy Tingey.

The new building houses science and computer labs, classrooms, a dance room, weight room, and other amenities that students have been eagerly anticipating. Brighton football Coach Ryan Bullet told the crowd at the Friday event, which also attracted students, parents and teachers, that the new weight room is one of the best in the state. 

Construction on the building was planned to accommodate an increased number of students attending Brighton High as part of Canyons District’s grade reconfiguration. Beginning this year, ninth graders in the District attend high school; sixth graders attend middle school. Elementary schools are for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

See photographs of the event on our Facebook page.
Smooth Transition to Grade Reconfiguration

Following three years of behind-the-scenes work, Canyons freshmen on Monday made a smooth transition to their first day of school in a high school building, and sixth-graders smoothly began their first academic year in a middle school . Interim Superintendent Dr. Ginger Rhode reported a smooth transition to both Grade Reconfiguration and districtwide boundary changes during Monday's first day of school – massive initiatives that required changes for students and teachers. She said that typical first-day glitches and heavy traffic occurred, but noted that many principals said the first day of school was one of the smoothest they've experienced. She attributed the transition to three years of careful planning and teamwork.

Grade Reconfiguration was approved by the Board of Education in 2010 to provide students with academic opportunities that will better prepare them for college and careers. Grade Reconfiguration created high schools that would serve students grades 9-12; middle schools that would serve grades 6-8 (instead of grades 7-9); and elementary schools that would serve grades K-5. Implemented on Monday with the dawn of the 2013-2014 school year, Grade Reconfiguration is part of the College- and Career-Ready Academic Plan. The Academic Plan also includes Utah's first college- and career-ready diplomas and a $250 million bond, approved by voters in 2010 to create 21st century learning facilities.

For more information or to listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 7D.

Superintendent Search Update

Board Member Kim Horiuchi said the Board has received five responses to the RFP for a superintendent search consultant. She said that a Board committee will examine the responses within the next week and that the committee is on schedule to deliver a recommendation to the full board in September. To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2A.

Student Advisory Council Update

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie and Alta High student Katrina Jones updated the Board on the progress of the Board's Student Advisory Council. The council of 10 consists of two students from each school – one student body officer and one student (a junior or senior), selected in an application process. Each student representative will attend one of the Board's semi-monthly meetings, and bring information back to the council to discuss and provide input to the Board. The council's implementation was created following Board approval and meetings of a task force, which included student leaders, Dr. McCarrie, Brighton Principal Charisse Hilton and Hillcrest Principal Sue Malone. Board Member Tracy Cowdell suggested the Board forward to the student council discussion items to ensure the council can give timely, meaningful feedback to the Board.

To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2B.

Proposed Fiscal Accountability, Student Safety Reporting Policies Discussed

Policy Coordinator Jeff Christensen presented two proposed policies about student safety reporting requirements and fiscal accountability and management.

The proposed student safety reporting policy follows a 2013 state law, which requires a school to notify a parent of safety threats to his or her student, including a threat of suicide and incident of hazing or bullying. Additionally, the bill requires a local school board to adopt a policy regarding the process for notifying parents of certain incidents or threats; and producing a record that verifies that parent was notified of certain incidents or threats. The draft policy, which also contains record-keeping proposals, comes from a district committee that has been studying the new law's requirements and current policy.

Board Vice President Steve Wrigley asked about parent notification procedures for students who are over the age of 18 and other clarifying questions. Christensen said he would bring additional information to the Board for further discussion. For more information please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 7B.

The proposed fiscal accountability and management policy follows a State Board of Education administrative rule, adopted in February 2013, which requires school districts to adopt and implement new policies governing fiscal practices and accountability for funds raised by high schools, athletic teams and booster clubs. Policies must include a district finance committee to develop internal controls, review financial statements at the district and school level, and coordinate with external auditors. Additionally, the policy must govern cash handling, expenditure of public funds, fund-raising procedures at the district and school level, and donations and gifts.

Christensen said he received feedback from the School Performance Office in drafting the policy. Cowdell asked him also to seek feedback from District auditors and the Canyons School District Education Foundation prior to the Board's next meeting. Board members asked other questions, including clarification that the policies did not affect the number of allowed fundraisers in schools. Cowdell said he would like to bring the proposed policy to a Board study session to discuss its nuances and effects on booster club protocols and equity.

For more information or to listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Items 7B and 7C.

Board Action

The Board approved the tentative agreement with the Canyons Education Support Professionals. The tentative agreement includes policy updates and salary increases, including funding of steps on the salary schedule, a 1 percent across-the-board cost of living adjustment, and an additional 1 percent COLA for Step 6. To view the agreement, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 7A.

The Board in Closed Session heard a student appeal. The Board has denied the appeal.

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the Aug. 6 Minutes; Purchasing Bids; Home School Affidavit; and July Financial Reports. The Board also approved Student Overnight Travel for the Alta FCCLA, Brighton Drill Team, Corner Canyon CTE, and Jordan Boys and Girls Cross Country. For more information or to listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 6.

The Board received a report from Communications officers about events surrounding the Aug. 19 first day of school, including ribbon-cutting events at the new Corner Canyon HighDraper Park Middle and Butler Middlered carpet events; the Back-To-School Call Center, which has taken more than 2,700 calls since Aug. 5; and volunteers. To view or listen to the presentation, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 7E.

Patron Comments

Gary Martensen, President of the Canyons Education Support Professionals Association, said he was pleased to have come to a tentative agreement with the Board. He said a CESPA ratification meeting is set for Thursday, and said he believes employees will like the tentative agreement. He also announced that he will no longer be president of the employee association, which he has led for nine years in both the Jordan and Canyons school districts. He said a new president will be elected by the group. He thanked the Board and said he enjoyed working with them.

Cowdell said Martensen was a great asset in efforts to create the new District. He said that Martensen was among Canyons' first employees to be hired, which attracted many other employees to the District. He commended Martensen's service during times of uncertainty, and the relationship he's cultivated with him over the years. He said he enjoyed working with Martensen, and thanked him for all of his hard work.

President Sherril Taylor agreed with Cowdell's remarks.

Horiuchi also thanked Martensen, and acknowledged the fine line he had to walk at times as a leader of the employee association. She said he was an outstanding employee representative and a true leader, and that she will miss working with him in that capacity.

Patron Steve Van Maren offered a point of order on the Board voting to accept the agenda. He asked about policy items 7B and 7C on the agenda, and asked if the proposed policies were up for final approval or first reading. 
President Taylor noted the proposals would be presented tonight on first reading.

Leroy Zitting, who lives near Brighton High, asked the Board to consider allowing him to purchase a 25-foot square parcel of District-owned land adjacent to his property. He noted that the parcel is on the corner of his property on the edge of a hill.

To listen to the comments, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 5.

Board Reports

Horiuchi enjoyed the community excitement she witnessed at the ribbon-cutting celebration at Butler Middle School, which she said never would have been rebuilt without the creation of Canyons School District. She thanked the city of Cottonwood Heights for its support of the District and financial support of the auditorium to ensure a great facility for the school and larger community to use. She attended a Cottonwood Heights City Council meeting this past week, where she updated city leaders about shared interests. She said city leaders were pleased to hear of the Back-to-School Call Center and would forward to the center inquiries regarding schools. She said they also enjoyed hearing about Brighton student leaders visiting incoming freshmen and sophomores at home, and especially the story about the cheerleader who was able to communicate in sign language with a student who was deaf. She said the City Council was impressed by the story and the caliber of students in Canyons schools. She praised a choir performance of Brighton, Alta and Hillcrest students at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, where 250 singers from 10 schools performed under the direction of the Salt Lake Chorale Artists Director Dr. Brady Allred. She looks forward to the grand opening of the Bengal Building on Friday. She will attend the Utah High School Activities Association meeting on Thursday, and invited board members to forward concerns to her to bring to the Board of Trustees.

Tingey said said her son was one of the new Brighton students visited at home by the student officers, and said the visits make a difference to new students. She attended the ribbon-cutting events, which she said were spectacular and inspiring, and seemed to send the message to students in a variety of ways that the community believes in them and that they can achieve. She said the message echoed in every classroom as school began this week, that we believe in our students, we believe that they can achieve, and we will be there to help them.

Wrigley thanked the PTAs and PTSAs districtwide for their help with the start of school. He attended all three ribbon-cutting events and said the enthusiasm at the events was high. After the Butler ribbon cutting, he was impressed with the excitement of the new and veteran teachers, and said he could feel their energy. He attended the Eastmont Middle School orientations, and said that providing the extra days to sixth- and seventh-grade teachers to host the events was a great idea, and great help to parents and students. He attended the Alta View, Edgemont and Bell View red carpet events, and assisted with crowds at Alta View. He attended sophomore orientation at Corner Canyon, and commented on the high energy among staff and students.

Tracy Cowdell said watching plans made by the Board come to fruition in the past week has been a real payday for him. He noted the plans for new buildings were challenging to create, and followed an extensive capital facilities analysis and voter-approved bond. He said to see the plans implemented seamlessly was a rewarding team effort, and that there are more big things to come, including Mount Jordan and Midvale middle school reconstruction plans and upgrades for Indian Hills Middle School. He said implementing such plans requires great fortitude, planning and foresight, requires a strong team effort, and thanked Dr. Rhode and her team and former Superintendent David Doty for their leadership. He said he hopes the Board continues to be visionary and push for excellence.

Chad Iverson thanked the Administration and staff's work in the new schools' opening and grade reconfiguration implementation, which he said was amazing considering so few glitches in the transition, and communicating the changes and implementing the Back-to-School Call Center. He noted that with Corner Canyon High and Draper Park Middle School, 80 percent of Draper students are able to attend schools in the city of Draper, which he said was great for the community of Draper. He said he was impressed to see the Draper community come together for the two schools' ribbon-cutting ceremonies. He said we're gaining traction with the new Board and he'd like to see that continue.

Sherril Taylor said he attended all three ribbon cuttings. He said that the excitement expressed by students reminded him of his career in education, and noted that he told the schools' administrations to cherish their time working with students each day, which was the highlight of his life. He thanked the Administration for its work. He thanked teachers for their preparations every day to educate students, which he said requires a great team like the one we have in Canyons. He thanked all employees who help students in schools, from lunch workers to bus drivers to custodial staff. He said it's great to be able to serve on the Board, and that the Board must never lose sight of fact that it is serving on behalf of the students, so that they can become college- and career-ready.

To listen to the comments, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 9.

Closed Session

The Board met in closed session for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining and the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 12:39

Headlines Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013

Around Canyons
Mom pushes for epipens in every school; Canyons nurse shares lifesaving story

Back-to-school balancing act: Canyons' chief counselor offers advice to parents

Girls Soccer: Brighton trounces Viewmont

Granger High shows off new building

Alpine installs bus cameras to prevent bullying

Trib Talk: Experts call for later school start times for teens

St. George police looking for suspicious men, say schoolchildren not in danger

ACT: Most students not prepared for college

Gunman in custody after firing at Georgia Elementary; no one injured

Poll: Most Americans unaware of Common Core

Trib: Back to school: parents play key role in education success

Letter: Unions not standing up for teachers

pdfI-CANyons Reporte de Calificaciones PF (Preguntas Frecuentes)

1. Why are elementary schools changing their grading and reporting methods?
A critical part of a child's education is determining and communicating to parents whether he or she has mastered concepts taught in class. Yet over time, the grading tools used by schools to determine and communicate student mastery have become imprecise, and frequently include factors outside of academics, including behavior and penalties for late work. As a result, it's become difficult for parents and students to ascertain whether students have in fact mastered the concepts taught. For these reasons, parents, teachers and principals have sought more consistent grading practices and a report card that clearly communicates what students have learned so that they can be successful at the next level.
2. What is the purpose of the report card?
The report card will more clearly communicate student academic achievements, learning skills, and growth over time. It will inform students, parents and guardians about how well students have learned the content and give parents and teachers the tools to better help children succeed.

This report card is designed to communicate:
• Mastery of academic standards in language arts and math,
• Learning skills that support academic success; and
• Growth over time on grade-level benchmarks in language arts and math.
3. What is Standards-Based Grading?
Standards-Based Grading tells parents how well students understand the state academic standards. It measures students' mastery of well-defined course objectives.
4. How does Standards-Based Grading work?
Traditional grading averages all of the work a student has completed in a semester, as well as other subjective factors such as behavior. Standards-Based Grading does not include non-academic factors. It solely focuses on proficiency. Standards-Based Grading considers a student's overall work, as well as his or her most recent work, to more accurately communicate what a student has learned in a semester.
5. Will Standards-Based Grading improve student learning?
Research tells us that Standards-Based Grading helps better identify where children need help so that teachers and parents can improve student learning. It also says that when student failures decrease, student behavior improves, faculty morale is better, and fewer resources have to be spent on remediation.
6. How does Standard-Based reporting differ from traditional letter grades?
The new Standards-Based Grading system will consist of two different reporting areas. The Academic Standards report communicates what standards students have mastered. The Learning Skills report assesses work habits such as cooperation and completing tasks on time.

Standards-based reports tell us what students actually have learned and know. Standards-Based Grading measures students' knowledge of grade-level content over time by reporting the most recent, consistent level of performance.

For example, in traditional grading, the student's performance for the whole quarter would be averaged. This would mean that low, early quiz scores would be averaged with higher scores achieved later in the course, and result in a lower grade. In Standards-Based Grading, a student who reaches mastery would be reported as having mastered the content –- which is the goal of the instruction -- and the grade would reflect his or her current performance level.
In addition, traditional grading often includes other subjective factors like attendance, effort, and attitude, which might influence the grade positively or negatively. In Standards-Based Grading, student mastery and work habits are reported separately in order to give a more accurate report of student progress.
7. How many academic indicators will the report card have?
The I-CANyons report card will have two indicators to report a student's understanding of the content: Mastered, and Not Yet Mastered. Asterisks will be used to let parents know that a skill is not yet ready to be assessed.
8. What is Mastery?
Mastery of the standards is achieved when students demonstrate that they can apply what they've learned consistently over time to support future learning. Mastery can be achieved at any point during the school year. Focusing on students' mastery of grade level standards guarantees all students are provided with a rigorous curriculum. It also ensures that all students are held to high expectations.
9. Why use Mastered and Not Yet Mastered?
Mastered and Not Yet Mastered are clear terms and take the guesswork out of grading. This does not represent "pass or fail" but instead explicitly communicates whether the child has met the year-end standard, or is still working toward mastering the standard.
10. What criteria do teachers use in assigning mastery grades?
Students will demonstrate their skills and understanding through class assessments, assignments and projects, and other measures. Mastery needs to mean the same in every classroom; therefore a guideline has been set. In order to show mastery, a student can demonstrate a standard 80% of the time consistently.
11. When is mastery expected to be reached?
Mastery of the standards is achieved when students demonstrate that they can apply acquired knowledge and skills consistently over time to support future learning. Mastery can be achieved at any point during the school year. We expect students to achieve mastery of the content by the end of the school year.
12. Are all the Utah Core Standards represented on the report card?
No. The report card communicates mastery of English language arts and math. This is because they are the foundational skills students must master in order to be successful in other content areas.
13. Why does the Report Card only focus on English Language Arts and Math?
First, the standards in English language arts and math are prioritized foundational skills that if not mastered will impact a student's success in all other content areas. Second, the English Language Arts and Math standards reflect an interdisciplinary approach to curriculum. For example, they teach students to understand complex text, consolidate information, evaluate information, conduct original research to solve complex problems, and analyze information, solutions and results. The English Language Arts standards emphasize the integration of social studies, science, and technical subjects.
14. "Will students still learn social studies, science, art and other content areas?"
Absolutely. Social studies, science, arts, P.E., and other content areas are critical to a child's education and future success. These content areas are part of the Utah Core Curriculum. Instruction in these content areas will not change, and these subjects will continue to be taught in every classroom.
15. Who has been involved in creating this report card?
In the spring of 2010, a committee of principals, achievement coaches, teachers and representatives from other departments was established. Every school in the District was represented on the committee. Over the course of two years, the committee met to research and create a Standards-Based report card. Last school year, 92 classroom teachers from six schools piloted the report card over two grading periods. These teachers presented the I-CANyons Report card to the Board of Education, which in spring 2013 approved the report card for district wide implementation in the 2013-2014 school year.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 12:47

Headlines Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013

Around Canyons
Canyons District welcomes 33,000 students back to school

Altara Elementary rolls out red carpet for students on first day of school

First day of school: Corner Canyon High School welcomes 1,900 students - many from charter and private schools

East Sandy principal, school nurse offer tips to help kids beat the back-to-school heat

Football: With Jordan, Alta, Brighton, and now Bingham, Region 3 among state's toughest

Kids in need get supplies for school

Utah No. 2 for low student loan debt

Tutoring firms hit hard  by NCLB waivers

GOP delivers on actrivist education agenda in N.C.

Test score plunge fuels Common Core debate

Career Ed to pay $10 million fine to settle placement rates probe,0,6545631.story

WaPo: Free speech for students

Lois Collins: Schools and families can do more to fight bullying

Monday, 19 August 2013 20:33

Win a Bike

Students, have you always wanted to win something, but never have? Well your luck is about to change. This school year we are doing a contest for the student who eats the most days at school will win a bike! Yes a bike! The more times you eat school lunch the better chance you have to win. For additional information contact our office at 801-826-5464. Good luck, and happy eating!