Every spring, on behalf of the Canyons Board of Education, the Canyons District Administration enters into negotiations with groups that represent the employees to review the terms of compensation and benefits for the following school year. In these negotiations, which have already started for the 2017-2018 school year, licensed teachers are represented by the Canyons Education Association,

Whether you're a parent looking for a fun, intellectually challenging way for your kids to spend their summer, or you're a high school student desiring to get a jump on studies or play catch-up, Canyons School District offers a rich variety of summer learning opportunities for students of all ages. 

Summer Semester Answer for High-Achievers
The spring weather may be teasing us with alternating sunny and snowy days — but summer isn’t too far on the horizon. While most students will be enjoying a summer break, there are many who will be heading back to class. Registration for CSD’s Summer Semester opens April 10 and runs through May 26. Three classes are offered in a blended-learning format: computer technology, financial literacy, and participation skills and techniques. About 40 percent of the coursework can be done online. So, high school students could take their laptop to the pool, and do some homework while they also are enjoying the nice summer weather with friends and family. Of course, it’s helpful if they live close to Mount Jordan Middle in Sandy where the face-to-face classes are being taught. The school is only one block away from a TRAX station so kids from all across the valley can take public transit to the class. Registration and payment for all courses will be submitted through the website. The cost per class is $35 (plus a one-time $25 registration fee). Fee waivers are available for qualifying students.

pdfFind out more about Canyons Summer Semester here

Virtual High School

On the go this summer? No matter. High school students can get a jump on their studies or play catch-up from practically anywhere by enrolling in online courses through Canyons Virtual High School. Registration is open year-round and students can enroll for up to four courses at a time. If replacing courses that would otherwise be taken during the coming school year, CSD students may enroll free-of-charge in up to six full credits. Click here for more information or to register.

Summer Camps

Sing and dance like Belle in “Beauty and the Beast.” Build a rocket and journey into outer space. Become a mad scientist, make jewelry, or program videogames. Canyons District “Community Education” summer camps are much more than fun and games. They offer students a chance to tinker and dream, build friendships and social skills, and cultivate a love for lifelong learning. Weekly camps exist for all grades, from elementary through high school, and run from June through early August. Registration is open now and camps are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Weekly camp information and registration can be found at entrada.revtrak.net under “Community Education.”

Summer School Registration

Hard hat? Golden-tipped shovel? The near-completion of 13 major construction projects financed with a $250 million bond passed by CSD voters in 2010? Check, check — and check.

The countdown has begun for the long-awaited rebuild of Indian Hills Middle, the final new-school and school-improvement project promised as part of the 2010 general-obligation bond. Crews have already started work at the Sandy-area site, ‎1180 E. Sanders Road, and construction is expected to take roughly a year.

To the end of celebrating the start of work on the project, the community is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, March 30 at 5:30 p.m. Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor and Principal Doug Graham will speak at the special ceremony at the school. After the ceremonial dirt is turned, refreshments will be served. 

When the project is complete at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, Indian Hills students and teachers will enjoy plenty of natural light throughout the facility, six new classrooms, collaboration spaces wired for the high-tech demands of the 21st century, an expanded kitchen and cafeteria, and spacious hallways and commons areas, among other amenities. 

“The patrons from Indian Hills have been so happy to watch all the building and renovation that has been going on in the District … Now, they are so thrilled that it is their turn,” President Taylor said. A completed Indian Hills, he said, “will be a far better school than it ever was before.” 

Taylor also notes that Canyons has completed every project promised to the Canyons community when the bond gained passage seven years ago. In all, since 2010, the District has provided a new Corner Canyon High; a rebuilt Midvale Elementary; a renovated Albion Middle; seismic improvements to Sandy Elementary; a new Draper Park Middle; a rebuilt Butler Middle; a new Butler Elementary; additions to Brighton and Hillcrest high schools; and a rebuilt Mount Jordan Middle. Crews are now working on a new Alta View Elementary and Midvale Middle.

In addition, CSD has installed air-conditioning in every school that didn’t have it at the time of Canyons’ 2009 founding; added security vestibules at all elementary schools; completed a soccer field, tennis courts and athletic fields near Brighton High; and internal and external upgrades to Alta High.

“We have spent (the bond funds) how we promised you,” Taylor told patrons at a recent meeting of the Canyons Board of Education.  “Everything we promised you has been done.”

During construction, the school community will be housed at the old Crescent View Middle, 11150 S. 300 East. Transportation services will be provided to qualifying Indian Hills students.
Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking the corresponding agenda items.

Jordan Feeder Principals Propose Summer AVID Program   

The principals in the Jordan High feeder propose to start a program focusing on helping incoming freshmen transition to high school classes, especially in mathematics and science. A 60-student co-hort, identified through grades and other assessments, would be made up of ninth-graders out of Mount Jordan and Eastmont middle schools. Then, for 20 days in the summer, students would attend four-hour math and science courses. Lunch would be provided, and the program also would include three field trips. Transportation would be provided. Cost of the program would be $30,375. Part of the cost — $8,125 — would be for the AVID math and science curriculum. According to the proposal, a student who successfully completes the summer program also would enter school with already-earned credit. The Board will continue to study the proposal.

Construction Report: Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary

The rebuilds of Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary are progressing as scheduled. Both buildings will be ready to welcome students and teachers this fall. Starting in mid-June, crews will move supplies and equipment into the new buildings and put finishing touches on the interiors and landscaping. The Administration is recommending that Alta View’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and VIP tour be held on Aug. 14, and that Midvale Middle’s grand opening be celebrated on Aug. 7. Also, this summer, crews will get started on a major remodel of Indian Hills Middle. Over the summer, furniture and supplies will have to be moved from Indian Hills to Crescent View Middle, which will serve as the temporary school site for Indian Hills students during the 2017-2018 school year. The Indian Hills and Midvale middle schools and Alta View Elementary projects are being completed with funds from the $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. 

Incident Command Manual Update

Earlier this year, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle assigned a committee to update CSD’s Incident Command Manual, a set of protocols governing the District’s response to emergencies. The review was prompted by a spate of crises at the outset of the 2016-2017 school year. The committee performed a line-by-line review of the manual and identified priorities for the update: 
  • Work with law enforcement agencies and the Division of State Risk Management to simplify and clarify commonly-used emergency terms such as “lockdown” and “shelter-in-place” to eliminate confusion and ensure that schools, police agencies, and families are working with the same definitions.
  • Update and re-design the Incident Command Manual.
  • Create a policy identifying which drills are to be done and reported each month by each CSD school. 
  • Foster a culture of safety, with an emphasis on training.
  • Create a mechanism by which Principals, at their discretion, can transfer incoming calls during an emergency to the Front Desk team.
  • Build a repository of site-specific emergency plans.
  • Meet quarterly to review drill reports, and debrief on emergency responses. 
Committee members are Dowdle; Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray; Communications officers Jeff Haney and Kirsten Stewart; Student Support Services’ Tamra Baker; Hillcrest Assistant Principal Brenda McCann; Union Middle Assistant Principal Taylor Hansen; Willow Canyon Principal Marilyn Williams and state Risk Management’s Jeff Rose.   

Board Member Appointments to Safety Committee

Board members Mont Millerberg and Clareen Arnold have agreed to serve on Canyons District’s Safety Committee, which oversees emergency protocols and crisis response for the District.

Legislative Update

Government Relations Director Charlie Evans updated the Board of Education on education-related bills that were filed in the 2017 General Session of the Utah Legislature. Some 165 bills were tied to the operations of schools, he said, the most we’ve faced since the inception of the District. Highlights include fully-funded growth and a 4 percent increase to the Weighted-Pupil Unit, the state funding formula for public education. The Teacher Supply Budget was funded, and Teacher Licensure Fees also will be paid, he noted. The two bills that demanded most of Evans’ and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards’ time was SB80, which would have siphoned a significant amount of money away from Canyons; and SB255, titled “Funding for Education System Amendments.” Both SB80 and SB255 failed to gain passage. Evans also pointed out that a school-grading bill was approved; a bill that modifies provisions related to the juvenile justice system also was approved; and legislation regarding “Public School Membership in Associations,” which directly addressed the Utah High School Activities Association, was OK’d.  Several other bills also were reviewed for the Board. Information will be sent to departments who may be affected by new legislation.   

Land for Additional Parking at Jordan High

The Board of Education voted to allow Business Administrator Leon Wilcox to engage in negotiations for the purchase of .91 acres at 725 S. State —  the former site of the restaurant — for $1.070,000.  The purchase price is the appraised value of the land.  Up to 126 parking stalls for Jordan High could be built on the land, according to Wilcox. 

Official Welcome to New Administrators  

The Board of Education officially welcomed the administrators who have accepted new roles for the 2017-2018 academic year. The Board of Education approved administrative appointments at previous meetings.

Patron Comments

Canyons Education Association President Jen Buttars expressed appreciation for CSD’s professional approach to contract negotiations. She said the Board cares about teachers, students and classified employees, and it shows in the contract negotiations. As a parent of a Jordan High student, she remarked on the Jordan feeder program that is being proposed.  She also thanked the Board for considering the proposal to purchase land near Jordan High for more parking.

Student Advisory Council Report

The Student Advisory Council presented a report to the Board of Education. This year, the student council discussed, among other things, a recent CSD bell-schedule study, parking issues, and how student leaders can advance change and more effectively serve their communities. They also learned about recent court rulings and how they affect free speech rights in schools. President Taylor commended students for their service and encouraged them to continue to find ways to serve for many years to come.

Action: Policy Updates

The Board unanimously approved under a third reading several policy changes, including an update to bring CSD’s Family Medical Leave policy in line with federal law, and a policy that would require CSD employees who are elected or appointed to a public office to perform their elected duties on their own time while on leave from work. Also approved was a proposal to strike obsolete language from outdated policies having to do with employee suggestions and lump sum payments. The Board approved with one dissenting vote a policy change to clarify rules over paid release time for employees who are called to jury duty or to testify in District-related litigation.

 Employee Exit Survey

Canyons District’s goal is to recruit and retain high-quality employees. Toward that end, the CSD Human Resources Department surveyed employees who have resigned or who plan to retire this year to better understand their reasons for moving on. Most employees are either retiring after long, successful careers or leaving for unavoidable reasons, such as to relocate to another state or raise their families. But some are making a career change or moving to similar positions inside and outside the state, Dimond says. The survey indicates a need to address concerns over workload expectations, financial compensation, employee autonomy and recognition for good work. Employees, however, expressed appreciation for the District’s strong leaders, professional supports and training and collaborative atmosphere.

Pledge and Reverence

Edgemont Elementary Scout Troop 3375 led the Board of Education in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a reverence delivered by Edgemont Principal Cathy Schino.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, which includes the minutes from the March 7 meeting; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; and February financial reports.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Briscoe thanked the Board for staying late to address various issues.  He thanked the Incident Command Manual Update Committee for their hard work.  He also mentioned a fundraising event he attended at which Jordan Valley students were able to connect with a group that helped them with their disabilities.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox also thanked the Board for addressing challenging issues at the meeting. He also thanked legislators for their work during the 2017 General Session of the Utah Legislature. He thanked the Board for supporting a proposal to buy five new buses. With the purchases, all parts of the fleet will be newer than 2000 models. In addition, he congratulated Nancy Webb for being named the top buyer in Utah. He also thanked Director Gary Hansen for his work in the Purchasing Department. 

Board Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson said he attended the Utah Music Educators Festival last Friday to see the Indian Hills band perform.  He also attended the track invitational races at which Alta and Corner Canyon teams competed.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold reported on advancements in arts-education in the District.  She also mentioned the donated props and costumes that are in storage and can be used by schools and patrons. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey expressed thanks Canyons’ delegation of legislators.  She lauded the 4 percent increase to the WPU and the changes in policies that will strengthen efforts for academic achievement. She appreciates the members of School Community Councils who are working hard on their CSIP plans. She thanked the Policy Committee for reviewing and updating the policies in the District’s manual. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on visits to several schools and the discussion at a Town Hall.  He also said he spoke to the Student Advisory Committee. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg said he has enjoyed his first three months as a member of the Board of Education.  He recalled the District’s efforts to hold an active shooter drill five years ago, and thanked the Incident Command Manual Update Committee for their hard work. He mentioned the Canyons Education Foundation’s funding of a $6,300 grant to Jordan High to help robotics students. That grant led to the Jordan team winning FIRST Robotics and advancing to the World Championships. He also said he’s been pleased to see the Student Advisory Committee up and running, and said he’s looking forward to the ribbon-cutting at the new Midvale Middle.

President Sherril Taylor thanked Facilities Director Rick Conger for working so hard on all the bond-funded projects. He also invited the community to Indian Hills’ March 30 groundbreaking. The community, he said, is excited for the start of work on the middle school. He also presented information for planning on an upcoming board retreat. He mentioned the Office of Communications for planning Recognitions, and Dr. Dowdle for overseeing the Student Advisory Council. He thanked the teachers and Education Support Professionals for their hard work and dedication.
High school graduation is a rite of passage, a time for celebrating academic achievement, and an opportunity to spotlight our exceptional students and faculty. It’s one of those can’t-miss events, so mark your calendars now!

Canyons School District’s 2017 commencement season kicks off on Thursday, June 1 with ceremonies for: CSD’s alternative high school Diamond Ridge; South Park Academy at the Utah State Prison; and Jordan Valley School for special-needs students.

The District’s five traditional high schools will all perform commencement rites on Tuesday, June 6. Following are the dates and times:

  • Alta High — Tuesday, June 6, 10 a.m., University of Utah Huntsman Center
  • Brighton High — Tuesday, June 6, 2 p.m., Maverik Center
  • Corner Canyon High — Tuesday, June 6, 2 p.m., University of Utah Huntsman Center
  • Hillcrest High — Tuesday, June 6, 10 a.m., Maverik Center
  • Jordan High — Tuesday, June 6, 7 p.m., Jordan High’s stadium (inclement weather may necessitate that the event be moved to the Maverik Center at 6 p.m.) 
  • Diamond Ridge — Thursday, June 1, 7 p.m., Mount Jordan Middle School
  • South Park Academy — Thursday, June 1, 8 a.m., Timpanogos Oquirrh
  • Entrada — Tuesday, June 27, 7 p.m., Jordan High School
  • Jordan Valley — Thursday, June 1, 11 a.m., Jordan Valley School
Mishele Mitchell has never thought of herself as an “athlete.”

She wasn’t involved in sports as a kid; only recently did the single, working mother of three take up running as a way to squeeze some exercise into her busy day. “I never dreamed of running the Boston Marathon, or even thought it was possible,” says Canyons School District’s Facilities Scheduler.

But in less than a month, on April 17, 2017, Mitchell will lace up her shoes and join the 30,000 other runners who managed to beat Boston’s strict qualifying times. The 26.2-mile race is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and considered to be the highpoint of many an amateur running career.

Mitchell qualified after completing her second full marathon, the 2016 Revel Big Cottonwood, with an average seven minute-per-mile finish — an achievement, she says, “proves anything is possible if you work hard and put in the effort.” Over the next 28 days, she’ll be chronicling her “road to Boston” on her Instagram (mrunner131_) account.run2.jpg

Mitchell’s fitness philosophy is best described as baby steps. Recalling her first 5K race, she says, “I was afraid to register because I didn’t think I would finish. I decided to just run with the group anyway and see how far I got.” Much to her surprise, she finished that 5k and countless more races, working her way up to half–marathons and then her first full marathon in 2006. 

Each week, she sets a goal to run a little farther and faster. Running is now a rejuvenating outlet that Mitchell can’t imagine living without. “It’s my therapy,” she says.

This doesn’t mean training has gotten any easier. On most days, she has to wake at 4 a.m. to get her miles in before the start of work at 7 a.m. “I’ve had to push for every part of the training that has gone into this,” she says.

Even so, she’s managed to make a convert out of her 12-year-old daughter, Emma who has set her sites on running a marathon one day. Having road buddies “helps you stay motivated and accountable,” she says. And as one of Canyons District’s “Living Leaders,” a committee of health-conscious employees who sponsor school and workplace activities to promote wellness, Mitchell hopes her “road to Boston” brings even more converts into the fitness fold. 

“If I can help one person get moving and start making healthy fitness goals, it will make the journey that much sweeter,” she says.

Chromebooks, iPads, Sphero devices, and Makey Makey kits: These are just a few of the digital tools in Ashley Lennox’s classroom.

The fifth-grade Draper Elementary teacher also has been known to put a few analog (even living) devices to use, including, an iguana and yoga balls — masterfully marrying them with the curriculum to make learning fun and encourage students to think, problem-solve and create. But don't let her fun-filled classroom fool you. “She’s an outstanding young educator who combines creativity, technology use, classroom management, and superior teaching skills to create a classroom where all students learn and achieve,” says CSD Educational Technology Specialist Katie Blunt.

For her smart use of new technology, her willingness to collaborate and share tech tips with her peers, and her efforts to promote good digital citizenship, Ashley Lennox was named the 2017 UCET Outstanding Young Educator Award at the March 16 Utah Coalition for Educational Technology Conference. The award was presented during the Opening Session of the conference, which was held at the University of Utah.

Lennox is first in line to embrace new technology, Blunt says. Many of the devices she uses were purchased with grant money that she personally applied for and won.

Yet she’s generous with her time and resources, forever sharing students' accomplishments, tech tips, and teaching ideas on social media to promote the cooperative development and effective use of technology.

Lennox, M.Ed., is a certified NASA teacher with endorsements in educational technology, reading, and teaching English as a second language. The leader of Draper’s "Techniteer Troupe,” she brings together students interested in the use of technology and gives them opportunities to code, and complete engineering challenges.

She’s not one to let high-tech resources rest idle, Blunt says. “When entering her classroom, what becomes instantly obvious is the passion Ashley has for teaching and learning and the love she has for her students. She motivates, encourages, and inspires.”C7DJ5tVVoAEqhQL.jpg
She’s a shrewd negotiator with an eye for detail — a purchasing agent who takes seriously her charge to safeguard precious education funds, and not only as a Senior Buyer for Canyons School District.

For her leadership role in the Utah Cooperative for Acquiring Resources Efficiently (UCARE) — a purchasing cooperative of 16 school districts — CSD’s Nancy Webb was named Utah Buyer of the Year. The March 14 announcement by the Utah Chapter of the NIGP, or Institute for Public Procurement, coincides with Purchasing Month, which runs through March. 

UCARE was created to give smaller school districts greater bargaining power with food (school lunch) suppliers, and Webb was tasked three years ago with overseeing it. She examined the contract — valued at about $22 million — to make sure it was current with state and federal law, and based on feedback from member districts who, at the time, were dissatisfied, recommended that it be re-bid.

“Nancy Webb is one of the most detailed and passionate purchasing managers that I have ever dealt with. [She] is truly always looking for the best interest of UCARE [while] keeping the overall goal of everyone involved in the co-op at the forefront and making very tough decisions that are not always the most popular at the time,” says Cosme Padilla Jr., Vice President of Sales for Sysco Intermountain, Inc. “I have to say that she has pushed us to be a better organization by demanding what is in the best interest of UCARE.”

Colleagues describe Webb as a generous mentor whose door is always open. She’s committed to fairness and upholding ethical standards, which is why she is entrusted with some of Canyons District’s more complex purchases: employee health benefits, financial advisory services and a merchant account service for secondary schools. “Her negotiating skills have saved taxpayers thousands of dollars,” says Canyons CFO Leon Wilcox.

As word of UCARE's success has spread, two new school districts have joined the cooperative, which has proved to be a valuable resource for smaller, rural districts that don't have dedicated purchasing agents on staff. UCARE is being expanded expanded this year to handle bids for small kitchen equipment, and there's talk of also adding uniforms and cleaning supplies.
Talk about an auspicious start to Jordan High’s robotics career: The Beetdiggers in their inaugural year outwitted dozens of teams from seven states and Canada to win the 2017 Utah Regional FIRST Robotics competition.

Each of Canyons District’s five traditional high schools fielded a team at the University of Utah-sponsored contest, which was held at the Maverik Center in West Valley City. Three — Alta, Hillcrest and Jordan — advanced to the finals where teams form alliances and compete in single elimination rounds until a champion emerges.

Alta was highest-ranked among CSD schools coming out of the qualifying matches with a sixth-place finish. But it was Jordan High’s three-team alliance that claimed victory. The team now advances to the April 19 World Championships in Houston.machien.jpg

In addition to winning the regional crown, Jordan claimed the All-Star Rookie Award. Hillcrest won the Spirit Award and Alta won the Quality Award.

Takenviroshot.jpging cues from the Steampunk subculture, this year’s “FIRST Steamworks” competition called for robots that were both futuristic and retro in design. Teams raced to launch balls (fuel cells) into a mock steam boiler with the goal of building enough fuel to operate a simulated steam-powered airship. The remote-controlled robots also had to haul enough giant gears to the airships to operate the ships’ propellers.

Each round ended as human players, who were stationed atop the airships, turned cranks to engage the gear-driven propellers and lower ropes to hoist their robots aboard.

The two-day competition marked the culmination of a six-week design-build period where student teams engineered, programmed and tested their bots. It’s an exercise in teamwork, which, as the "Steampunk" theme suggests, involves science, technology, engineering, art, and math (S.T.E.A.M.).

Per District policy, CSD’s weeklong Spring Break occurs during the first full week of April. This year, schools are closed from April 3-7, with class resuming the following Monday. Spring Recess is one of several holidays stipulated by Calendar Committee Guidelines created to provide consistency in scheduling and help families plan.