To help start conversations about health, wellness and the maturation process, Canyons School District has developed an informational maturation program for fifth-grade students and their parents.

Presentations conducted by professional speakers have been scheduled through the months of February and March. Parents are encouraged to attend these free events with their children, and to choose which dates and locations are most convenient, so that they can continue the discussion in their homes.

The aim of the program, which supplants the fifth-grade maturation days that were previously held at each individual school, is to provide consistent, sensitive and approved instruction districtwide. Parents, please leave younger siblings at home.

Maturation Program for Boys
Presenter Jim Kelly
All sessions from 7-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 23 — Albion Middle
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28 — Draper Park Middle
  • Thursday, March 23 — Mount Jordan Middle
  • Wednesday, March 29 — Eastmont Middle 
Maturation Program for Girls
Presenter Carrie Ann Kemp
All sessions from 7-8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 21 — Albion Middle
  • Wednesday, March 1 — Draper Park Middle
  • Wednesday, March 22 — Mount Jordan Middle
  • Thursday, March 30 — Eastmont Middle
Interpreters for Spanish-speakers will be available at the presentations at Mount Jordan Middle.
She blinded me with science...technology, engineering, arts and math! Nearly 1,000 CSD students, parents and patrons attended Silver Mesa's second annual S.T.E.A.M. night on Tuesday, Jan. 17th. 

The event exposes students to core academic concepts through hands-on activities. Fundamentals of engineering and technology, for example, are taught through Lego building exercises and virtual reality demonstrations. Artistic and literary skills are put to use in video-production exercises. The University of Utah Physics Department's outreach program sponsored some scientific demonstrations, and students showcased their science fair projects, while everyone downed some delicious delectables served up by local food trucks. 

Study after study has shown how exposure to the arts can boost a child's academic success. And while it was once thought that mathematic achievement alone predicted a person's likelihood of pursuing a STEM career, research now underscores the importance of combining math concepts with science. 

“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy," according to the National Science Foundation. "To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”


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Monday, 23 January 2017 18:59

Legislative Highlights 1.23.17

Hillcrest High Choir opens the House session with The Star Spangled Banner and two other musical numbers. Great job!DSC_0738.JPG
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The Internet can be an important and useful instrument in education, but, like any tool, using its technology improperly can be harmful. We have several strategies in Canyons District to help keep our students safe while using the Internet. First, teachers at every CSD school have received specialized training on Internet safety and digital citizenship.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking the corresponding agenda items.

Middle School Schedule
 
After hearing hours of input from parents, teachers and students, the Board of Education voted to approve the schedules put forward by CSD's middle schools for a one-year trial period. An update is to be given in one year. The Board also asked that a survey be done of parents and teachers to gain feedback, and that for the 2018-2019 school year, a task force be re-convened with parents to explore how schools might provide more electives.  The Board also requested the Administration to seek a waiver from the Utah State Office of Education on implementing Digital Literacy for eighth-graders and the full-year Career and College Awareness class to be taken by sixth-graders.
 
Board Leadership
 
The Board of Education chose Sherril H. Taylor to serve again as the President. Nancy Tingey was elected 1st Vice President and Amber Shill was elected 2nd Vice President.  The terms are for two years.
 
Update on Kindergarten Supplemental Program
 
Last summer, the Board of Education approved a pilot program to provide supplemental hours of instruction for kindergarten-age children. A total of 78 children enrolled in the tuition-based program at Altara, Bell Vista, Brookwood and Oakdale elementary schools. Twenty-four of those children received needs-based scholarships. The program has given teachers time to go into greater depth with their lessons and to meet individual student needs, which has been especially beneficial for at-risk students who have shown the most gains academically, behaviorally and socially, said Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward. But test scores show all students have benefitted and are now better prepared to enter first grade. Because the program is tuition-based, it is cost-neutral to the District. Roderick-Landward is recommending that the program be continued in 2017-2018 at the four pilot schools and expanded to include interested schools with adequate space. Nine schools have expressed interest, and five schools are working with their communities to gauge interest. The Board will take up the issue at a future meeting.
 
High School Advanced Language
 
CSD’s Dual-Language Immersion program is coming of age as the first cohort of students to enroll in the first-grade now advance to high school during the 2017-2018 school year. Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward discussed the results of a survey undertaken to understand how many students plan to continue with their language studies through high school and whether their enrollment is contingent upon being able to attend a specific high school. Based on the findings, the Administration is recommending for the 2017-2018 school year that Alta and Corner Canyon high schools be the sites for Mandarin Chinese and that Jordan be the site for Spanish. More high school sites would be added in the 2018-2019 year as Dual-Language Immersion students who are now enrolled in other feeder systems, such as the Brighton and Hillcrest feeder systems, age into high school. The Board will discuss the recommendations at a future meeting.
 
Hazardous Walking Routes
 
No changes are being recommended this year to CSD’s hazardous walking routes — pathways frequented by students who live within walking distance of their neighborhood school but that are deemed too dangerous for students to safely traverse on foot. Students who use these routes receive bus service that is financed by the District. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle updated the Board on a request to reevaluate a heavily traveled route to Draper Park Middle. A study confirmed the existence of gaps in the sidewalk along 1300 East, which are of concern to parents. The District is working with the city of Draper to upgrade the sidewalk.
 
Graduation Update
 
Canyons District’s graduation rate has risen 3 percent over the past three years with 85 percent of high school seniors earning diplomas in 2016 — up from 82 percent in 2013. All of CSD’s traditional high schools realized gains, except Corner Canyon, which is holding steady and boasts the District’s highest graduation rate of 94 percent, said Director of Research and Assessment Dr. Hal Sanderson. Jordan and Hillcrest show the sharpest three-year gains of 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively. “We are making gains,” especially among Asian and Latino/Hispanic students, said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle. More improvement is needed to boost the graduation rates of economically disadvantaged students and English learners. Among strategies being deployed by the District: Continued support of efforts to boost student achievement within the Hillcrest feeders system; better use of analytic tools to track students who are at-risk of dropping out; a review credit recovery programs and processes; and a refinement of transfer and exit procedures for 11th and 12th grade students. Support efforts to boost student achievement at Hillcrest.
 
Recognitions

Four students and a member of the Board of Education were honored during the Recognitions portion of the meeting. Brighton High’s Dani Barton was honored for being named the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year for volleyball.  She also was the Deseret News’ Ms. Volleyball and the Salt Lake Tribune Player of the Year.  Alta High’s Josh Davis also was recognized for being named the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year for football.  He also was the KSL-TV 4A Football MVP, Salt Lake Tribune All-State Team, and Deseret News MVP.  Midvale Middle students Elizabeth Martin and Danju Zoe Liu were recognized for winning their age categories in the StepUp to Higher Education’s Make Your Mark bookmark contest. Board member Nancy Tingey was recognized for being elected President of the Utah School Boards Association. 
 
Policy Updates
 
The Board of Education approved updates to policies governing employee eligibility for vacation leave time.
 
Patron Comments
 
The following patrons, teachers and students gave public comment:  Holly Neibaur, Katie Smith, Kerstin Olcott, Amanda Oaks, Kit Linkous, Clark Croshaw, Joanne Andrus, Stacie Raddatz, Elaine Lindsay, Ben Brockbank, Victoria Bromfield, Sterling Oaks, Erika Bradshaw, Jen Buttars, Daniel Emrazian, Zoe Smith, Adriana Steck, Alisha Neyman, Hanna Bartnicki, Alexsys Campbell, TJ Neyman, Monett Rupp, Delese Bettinson, Terri Culberson, Tami Knubel, Paul Madsen, Mike Neyman, Randy Madsen, Nicol Druckmiller, Destiny Rockwood, Heather White, Marianne Barrows, Alex Nibley, Kaylie Hayter, Blayke Lynn, Christina Stenten, Natalie Fisher, Krista Pippen, Marilyn Larson, Kim Steenblik, Corrine Harrymen, Maddie Gallardo, Gretchen Hyer, Ben Ellison, Tristan Cooper, Brahams Briggs, Jana White, Laura Rupper, Janene Bijou, Mark Fellows, Alex Schneider, Wendy Smith, Chad Smith, Kathryn Smith, Livvy Smith, Valerie Witzel, Jessica Green, David Christensen, Grant Croshaw

Consent Agenda
 
The Board approved the consent agenda, including purchasing bids, student overnight travel requests, November financial reports, December financial reports, a donation agreement from Real Salt Lake for a mini-pitch at Sandy Elementary, and a Unified Police Department SRO Agreement.
 
Digital Citizenship Resolution
 
The Board approved a Digital Citizenship Resolution.  The resolution declares Feb. 6-10 as Digital Citizenship Week in Canyons District.
A two-term member of the Canyons Board of Education who is known for her thoroughness and thoughtfulness has been elected President of the Utah School Boards Association. 

Nancy Tingey, who on Jan. 3, 2017 took the Oath of Office for another four years on the Canyons Board of Education, on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, assumed helm of the organization that advocates for public schools, schoolchildren and teachers. 

As an elected member of CSD’s seven-person governing panel, Tingey, the representative of District 3, doesn’t shy away from rolling up her sleeves and working with various constituencies to tackle difficult tasks and challenges.  

Upon accepting her new role, Tingey said she would focus on “strengthening the important role of USBA in providing resources and support for the members of the USBA, as well as building bridges and trust by working with education policy-makers at the state level and within our respective communities.”

“Together,” she told members of the USBA at the organization’s annual conference at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, “let us move forward in promoting excellence in Utah public education through collaboration and local governance.”

The USBA represents all 41 Utah school districts and the Utah State Board of Education. Members are dedicated to ensuring that every child has access to the education needed to become contributing, productive members of society.
Help is on the way! The Information Technology Department in Canyons District has established a Help Desk to assist teachers, employees, students and guardians with difficulties they experience in Skyward. If you wish to make a change to the information in your account,have forgotten your password, or are having other complications, please contact our Help Desk and they will be happy to assist you. You can reach the Help Desk by calling 801-826-5544 during regular office hours, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.
We all breathe the same air, and we all share in the responsibility to safeguard it from the harmful pollutants emitted by our homes, businesses and vehicles. “That’s what we mean when we say, ‘It’s my air, your air, our air,’” said Dawn Monson of Breathe Utah at an educational assembly at Altara Elementary.

The assembly was organized as part of an Idle-Free Awareness Week sponsored by the school to empower Altara students to make healthy choices, whether that means combining car trips to conserve gas, or walking and biking to school instead of driving, or reducing unnecessary idling. idlingsign.jpg

Canyons is the first school district in Utah to go idle-free at all of its school campuses — an idea that originated with Altara parent Cindy Boyer who was frustrated at seeing exhaust billowing into the air at her children’s school parking lot. Under an initiative approved by the Board of Education, no-idling signs donated by the non-profit Utah Clean Cities were installed at each of CSD’s 43 schools. On Earth Day 2016, campaign launch celebrations were held at several schools where students handed out no-idling pamphlets and window clings encouraging drivers to voluntarily turn “their keys and be idle-free.”

Now, nine months later, Altara is challenging everyone in the school community to examine their driving habits and consider how, with small changes, they might make a difference. Altara students participated in an art contest and wrote clean air essays. Pinwheels representing their clean air dreams were displayed on the lawn outside the school. And at Thursday’s assembly, students presented “thank you” letters to Board of Education members Amber Shill and Steve Wrigley and Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe, expressing their gratitude for the District’s idle-free stance.

Utah Clean Cities Northern Coordinator Tammie Cooper also recognized CSD for paving the way for other districts to follow. 

The vast majority of CSD patrons — more than 80 percent — already power down their engines when parked outside schools, according to a Salt Lake County Health Department survey performed at three CSD schools prior to the district becoming a no idle zone. “We’re doing really well,” said Altara Principal Nicole Svee-Magann. Of the 538 vehicles observed dropping off and picking up students at the three schools, just 19 percent (101) idled for longer than two minutes — the time-limit set by the county’s no-idling ordinance. Their mean idling time was three minutes, ranging from a low of 3 minutes to a high of 35 minutes (one vehicle).

While not a full-blown scientific study, the survey is an approximation of idling outside schools. The obvious presence of observers may have affected the behavior of drivers. In addition, the study was done on a temperate day when drivers wouldn’t necessarily be compelled to leave vehicles running to keep warm or cool. Recent upgrades to CSD’s school parking lots, which were undertaken to improve traffic-flow, may also have positively affected idling rates.

But if no idling is the goal, these data suggest it’s well within reach, said Magann at Thursday’s assembly, which was covered by FOX13, KSL and the Deseret News.

Other ‘Healthy School’s Steps at Altara

  • Altara Elementary is one of a handful of so-called “walking schools” within the Canyons District, which means its students aren’t bused, because they all live within 1.5 miles of the school. To help make walking the easy choice, Altara encourages students to use the Utah Department of Transportation’s “Walking School Bus” app where they can log their walking miles to enter a prize drawing.
  • Altara is the first CSD school to adopt the Utah Department of Health’s School Flag Program, which alerts parents to current air quality conditions so they can make informed decisions to safeguard their children’s health.
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