Monday, 22 September 2014 00:00

Headlines Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014

Around Canyons
Hillcrest principal named to National Merit Scholar advisory panel

Live on2News: Start applying for college now, Corner Canyon's Kohler says

Construction underway at Brighton for one of state's few dedicated high school soccer stadiums

Is Beetdigger Kafentzis Utah's best ever?

Jordan's Kafentzis on MaxPrep's National Player of the Year watchlist

Entrada open house today

CSD's Ruiz interviewed for Univision story on attendance and academics

Jordan Girls Soccer recovering after equipment theft

Football: After QB sets record, Jordan falls to Herriman

Football: Brighton blows past Hunter

Girls Soccer: Alta defeats Jordan 1-0

Girls Soccer: Alta beats defending champs Brighton

Football: CCHS offensive lineman Bowen commits to Utah

Football: Beetdigger Kafentzis, Corner Canyon putting up big numbers

Computers for all could cost more than $400 million statewide

Poll: Two-thirds of Utah voters OK with armed teachers

Bingham students walk out over dress code after prom-goers denied entry

Teachers question school district's concealed weapons policy

Judge closes State School Board ballot

Trib: Bingham principal must stop 'slut-shaming' students

Bagley cartoon takes on Bingham dress code flap

WaPo columnist: Why do we think public schools are getting worse, despite evidence to the contrary?

Florez: Legislature must support, not dismantle, public schools
Canyons District is taking applications from students who want to take the test for admittance to the SALTA magnet program.

Applications will be accepted from students in the kindergarten through fourth grades. Third-graders in the program also must take the test. 

The Request for Testing Form for SALTA — which stands for Supporting Advanced Learners Toward Achievement —  will be accessible on the Canyons District website until Thursday, Oct. 30.


•   Testing Block No. 1 — Friday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 15

•   Testing Block No. 2 — Friday, Nov. 21 and Saturday, Nov. 22

Testing locations are at Sunrise and Peruvian Park elementary schools.

Friday, 19 September 2014 00:00

New Brighton High School Soccer Fields

The new Brighton High School soccer fields are currently under construction. We look forward to having them completed and ready for play Fall 2015.

pdfBrighton Soccer Fields
When Barbara Hopkins sets her sights on reaching the Base Camp of Mount Everest, she’ll be taking the hopes and dreams of countless children with her.

Hopkins, a library media coordinator in the Evidence-Based Learning Department, has decided to make her daunting 17-day trek a fund-raising effort for an organization dedicated to increasing literacy rates in third-world countries. 

As she trains for the grueling climb that starts Nov. 4, she’s also pounding the pavement in search of donations to support Room to Read, which works to publish books, train teachers, support girls in their drives to finish secondary school, and establish school and public libraries in all parts of the globe.

Hopkins says this on her blog, which she hopes to update with journal entries and photos during her journey:  “Literacy has always been a passion of mine. Reading came easy to me; I have been in love with books my whole life and I believe my life has been changed by the journey they have engaged me in. I want all children to have the magic and wonder that I have found in books! I also want them to have the numerous opportunities that are made available to them by becoming literate.”

Hopkins’ personal fund-raising goal is $1,000. You can donate on a web page she created with the help of Room to Read. 

“This is about doing something I believe in … It’s also about me giving back,” says Hopkins, who is running in the mornings and hiking every weekend to prepare for her trip.  “Life has taught me that it’s short, and there are some things I want do in life, and that some of those things are hard.  But life has also taught me that I can do hard things.” 

Canyons District will have a voice at the table when the National Merit Scholarship Corp. starts talking with on-the-front-line educators about how it can increase the program’s reach, improve its processes and ensure the integrity of the academic competition well into the future. 

Hillcrest High Principal Sue Malone has accepted an invitation to join the national advisory panel of the prestigious scholarship program. Malone will serve for four years on the National Merit Scholarship Advisory Council, made up of leaders at schools that have a proven academic track record in the yearly contest. Her first meeting as a member of the 12-educator council will be in November in Evanston, Ill.

When officials from the scholarship organization first contacted her by telephone, she worried that the call’s purpose was to question the school’s academics or a student’s application. “I didn’t know what (they) were calling about, to be honest,” she said. “When I finally found out, I was pleasantly surprised.” 

Malone says the National Merit Scholar executives told her “they realize they are not in the schools so they need input from people in the schools,” she said. “They want input so they can make decisions that will meet the needs of students and make the process seamless for students who are involved.” 

Thursday, 18 September 2014 00:00

Adult High School Open House Set for Sept. 24

Are you, or is someone you know, wanting to return to school to earn a high school diploma? Entrada Adult High School  is hosting an open house and barbeque for prospective students Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The event will be held from 4:30 – 7 p.m. at Entrada, 825 E. 9085 South, Sandy.

Entrada Is:
  • Affordable: Tuition costs less than $9 per month.
  • Open to Utah residents 16 years of age and older to earn a high school diploma.
  • Accredited by the same accrediting authority as most other public, private and charter schools.

Questions? Contact the school at (801) 826-6670 or visit
Canyons District appears to be the launching pad for teen scholars who are skyrocketing toward their academic goals.

Eighteen Canyons students have been named as semi-finalists in the 2014-2015 National Merit Scholar competition. The semi-finalists from Canyons District in this school year’s scholarship competition are: 

•   Alta: Sarah Farnsworth, Lauren Hansen

•   Brighton: Lauren Beckstrang, Carson Crandell, Jessica Parker, Hannah Potter, Sierra Rupper, Abigail Ward

•   Corner Canyon: Zachary Talbot, Savannah Tiffany

•   Hillcrest: Carson B. Breivik, Daniel Fang, Peter E. Johnston, John C. Ludlum, Joseph P. Morrell, Bovey Y. Rao, Joseph J. Raty, Amy Zhan

The high-achieving students represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors. They were selected based on their scores on the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. 

The list of finalists will be released in February. Winners of this year’s scholarships will be announced in spring.

Board Salutes Volunteers

The Board marked CSD's Volunteer Appreciation Week by offering its thanks for the work of 12,284 volunteers who generously donated 284,800 hours of volunteer service last school year.

The Board hosted a special reception for volunteers. "It is our honor tonight to share in the radiance of so many outstanding volunteers," Board President Sherril Taylor said. "Your selfless gifts of time and talents truly are what make Canyons District shine."

The Board also received a more than $3 million "check" from the Region 17 PTA Board. The check represents the value of the volunteer service hours donated by PTA members in Canyons School District. The Board also offered special recognitions to its Apex Award winner for Volunteer of the Year: Kathryn Myers, Corner Canyon High School's first-ever PTSA president.

Myers said was honored and humbled by the award. "I don't volunteer for the recognition," she said. "I volunteer because the kids need us adults to be examples in their lives, and it's very important to me that we take care of all the kids."

The Board also received a volunteer report from Partnerships and Volunteer Coordinator Laura Minson. The 12,284 volunteers who registered to help in Canyons last school year represent a 30 percent increase in volunteers from the year prior. The district's volunteer-student ratio is about one volunteer for every three students. Volunteer hours accumulated last academic year are equivalent to $6.4 million in donated service. Volunteers represent businesses, parents, grandparents and neighbors. They help in classrooms and with career events, supervise playgrounds, and conduct other duties to help students and teachers.

Brighton Football Turf to be Discussed

The newly formed Facilities Committee of community members and District leaders will discuss the idea of placing artificial turf at the Brighton High School football field. Board Member Kim Horiuchi asked the Board to look at the feasibility of moving up an examination of the possibility of artificial turf, which was expected to take place in two years. Taylor recommended the Facilities Committee discuss the matter. Superintendent Dr. Briscoe said that while the committee is examining the matter of portables on campuses, he considered this a safety issue that would be appropriate to include in discussions about immediate facility needs with the committee.

To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs  and click Agenda Item 1D.

White City School Building Update

The Board received feedback on the building of a White City area school from Vice President Steve Wrigley. Wrigley, who with Dr. Briscoe and Chief Financial Officer Leon Wilcox met with area school principals and representatives of White City Township, noted that Alta View is the only school officially located within the township, and that Edgemont and Bell View are in Sandy. He said the principals were comfortable with the Board moving forward with a rebuild of Alta View because of its age and condition. Dr. Briscoe noted it would be difficult to consolidate Alta View with other schools because of a geographic boundary presented by a nearby creek. Wilcox noted Alta View could be rebuilt on site. The Board will conduct its second of three readings on the matter in the next meeting. The rebuilt White City area school is slated to open in 2017.

To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs  and click Agenda Item 1C.

Teacher and Administrator Evaluation Policy Approved

The Board approved the Teacher and Administrator Evaluation Policy, which will revise educator evaluation programs to comply with a new state law, following discussions in two previous Board Business Meetings. The law requires Utah school districts to adopt uniform evaluation programs for teachers and licensed administrators. The evaluation systems seek to promote professional practices via professional development, goal-setting, and reflection, and will examine professional performance, student growth and stakeholder input. The evaluation systems were created with feedback from the Canyons Education Association, personnel and the public. The State Office of Education has not yet determined how the components will be weighted in the overall evaluation. Field testing begins this year; full implementation is scheduled for 2015-2016.

Tingey thanked the Administration for soliciting feedback from employees and the Board in creating the policy. Wrigley asked for a report to be given to the Board on the evaluation system's outcomes. To view the policy or listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs  and click Agenda Item 8A.

The Board also approved updating related policies to align with the language of the newly approved evaluation policy. To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs   and click Agenda Item 8B.

Board Action

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the Sept. 2, 2014 Minutes; Purchasing Bids; August Financial Statements; August Hires and Terminations; and the Pharmacy Bid. The Board also approved Student Overnight Travel for the following organizations: Alta Drill Team; Corner Canyon Cheer and Wrestling Club; and CSD Business/FBLA. Wrigley noted the District will save money with the new pharmaceutical company and that the transition for employees will be smooth.
The Board received Utah Open and Public Meetings Act training, conducted by CSD General Counsel Dan Harper. To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs   and click Agenda Item 1A.

The Board approved the school boundary for the under-construction Cobblegate Apartments in Sandy. Students living there will attend East Sandy Elementary School. To view listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs   and click Agenda Item 8C.

The Board discussed undergoing a risk management audit to see if CSD can become even more proactive in this area. To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs   and click Agenda Item 1A.

The board noted that the Corner Canyon School Community Council has met regarding the proposed cell tower, and recommends approval of its placement. The Board will discuss the matter in a future meeting. To view related documents, please visit BoardDocs  and click Agenda Item 8D.

Patron Comments

Brighton High School junior Drew Jensen, who is a captain of the football team, thanked the Board for the new scoreboard, tennis court, soccer field, and Bengal Building. He said he has concerns about the field for limited practice space, which pushes the team to practice on the field of grass, which is difficult to maintain. He said he suffered a knee and femur injury on the grass field.

Brighton senior Osa Masina, also a football team captain, thanked the Board for all that has been done for Brighton facilities. He said he's hoping that artificial turf can be installed for next season.

Michael Moore, Brighton Booster Club member and parent, is supportive of a turf field for the high school, and thanked the Board for its discussion in Study Session. He said the community views the matter as a safety issue, and said students would be safer on an even turf surface.

Board member Tracy Cowdell said that the Board had talked about Brighton getting artificial turf a few years ago, but at the time the school community wanted the outbuilding more. He noted the Board has finite resources. He also noted he was a custodian many years ago who cared for grass fields, and said that the natural field there was very difficult to maintain. He said that what the players were saying is correct.

To listen to the comments, please visit BoardDocs   and click Agenda Item 6.

Superintendent's Report

Dr. Briscoe praised the Canyons School District Education Foundation Golf Tournament, which raised more than $62,000 for classroom innovations. He also thanked the Foundation Board and their volunteer work to make Canyons classrooms even better. He said he hopes to present to the Board with a draft of an agreement with United Way in the near future. He said he met for the first time with the Facilities Committee, which is gathering as much information as possible to come up with good recommendations. He said the policy committee is meeting Wednesday.

Chief Financial Officer's Report

Wilcox corrected his earlier estimate and said that Alta View would save about $15,000 a year in energy costs should it be selected to be rebuilt. He thanked patrons and participants for attending the Facilities Committee meeting last week. He said he hopes good suggestions can come from the work of the committee. He also thanked the people who supported the Canyons Foundation Golf Tournament.

Board Reports

Robert Green attended the Facilities Committee meeting. He said it was interesting to find out portables are at schools including Midvale, East Midvale, Copperview, Sandy, Alta View, Sunrise, Willow Springs, Oak Hollow, Silver Mesa, and Corner Canyon, and look at how much they cost. He said the committee is evaluating a lot of data and will receive much more.

Horiuchi said she enjoyed the Apex Awards, which are in their fifth year. She said they are the Board's highest honors, and is glad the Board started the tradition to recognize champions of public education and the people who serve children in CSD. She said recipients view the award as valuable, and noted a past Apex Award winner for Elected Official of the Year included the award in his campaign billboard. She said she was pleased to sit at the banquet with this year's Apex Winner for Elected Official of the Year, Sen. Pat Jones, and her husband, Dan Jones. She said Sen. Jones is a champion of public education and a voice of reason, particularly in debates about equalization. Also said she also was pleased to give the Legacy Award to former Interim Superintendent Dr. Ginger Rhode. She said she hopes the Apex Awards tradition will continue well into the future.

Second Vice President Nancy Tingey agreed with Horiuchi's assessment of the Apex Awards. She attended the Foundation Golf Tournament, where she rode in a golf cart because she doesn't golf. She thanked everyone for their enthusiastic support. She recognized the work of volunteers, and said that volunteer work has given her some of the most rewarding experiences of her life. She said Myers is right, it is so important for children have adults in their lives. She said the PTA may have given CSD a check for the monetary value of their volunteer service, but said volunteer work is indeed priceless.

Wrigley thanked Jeff Haney and Jennifer Toomer-Cook for the Apex Awards and said he and his wife enjoyed the evening. He thanked the Superintendent for the town hall meetings. He said he's received positive feedback about the effort, and said the work helped set the tone for a great year. He had a positive meeting with White City Township officials who are appreciative of the Board for living up to bond promises. He said the rebuilding of a school will provide an economic boom to the area. He said Alta High School is inviting major speakers to the school and invited other CSD high schools to attend. The first – first is on Sept. 27, featuring a professor that has written an Advanced Placement history book; March 14 features a speaker from Pennsylvania, and March 28, a speaker from Purdue University. He noted other high schools from as far as Cache Valley attend the Alta events, hosted by teacher Rique Ochoa.

Cowdell said CSD has established traditions important to him, including the retirement banquet, the Volunteer Appreciation Week and recognitions night, and the Apex Awards, which he said are meaningful for the Board and award recipients. He also thanked Haney and Toomer-Cook for their work on the Apex Awards and Haney for ensuring the figurative trains run on time. He noted that in his neighborhood, he coordinates a program in which about 30 volunteers read to students a few times a week. He said he has seen the difference that it has made with students there, who are jumping several grade levels because of the work of the volunteers. He said he appreciates the East Sandy community for welcoming students who will be living in the Cobblegate Apartments into their school. He gave final shout out to the volunteers for all they do.

Chad Iverson said he is excited about the Facilities Committee. He said there was great data to share with the Board and rest of public and that he was encouraged by the number of patrons engaged in the process. He said he's also excited to start working with the policy committee. He said that he and Tingey plan to meet Friday to talk with a person about future developments and how Canyons students might benefit from them.

Taylor praised Dr. Briscoe for his work on the community Facilities Committee, established to discuss ways other than portable classroom to address population growth and school enrollments. He particularly liked Dr. Briscoe's creation of a map of the district without lines, which reminded committee members that they are working to come up with solutions for all children, not just those in their neighborhoods. He said gathering together on such tasks creates trust. He suggested Dr. Briscoe and the three board members on the committee compile data to present to the board to maximize the benefit of the patron engagement. He thanked volunteers, who he said bring a great spirit to the schools that benefits students and employees.