Thursday, 18 September 2014 00:00

Adult High School Open House 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 Canyons School District Education Foundation Golf Tournament 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 Canyons School District Education Foundation Golf Tournament 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 Canyons School District Education Foundation Golf Tournament 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 Canyons School District Education Foundation Golf Tournament 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 Canyons School District Education Foundation Golf Tournament 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 Canyons School District Education Foundation Golf Tournament 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 Canyons School District Education Foundation Golf Tournament 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 Canyons School District Education Foundation Golf Tournament 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.
Monday, 15 September 2014 00:00

Thank You, Volunteers

Hats off to Canyons’ volunteers. In the 2013-2014 school year, the District welcomed 12,284 registered volunteers  – or more than one volunteer for every three students districtwide. These men and women generously donated 284,800 hours of service – an average of 23 service hours per person – to the students of Canyons district, be it in helping them learn to read, building stage sets for the school play, or chaperoning school events. 

The District’s third annual Volunteer Appreciation Week is Sept. 15-1, 2014. In addition to local school recognitions, Canyons volunteers have been invited to a Board of Education reception and recognitions event on Tuesday, Sept. 16, from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Canyons Support Services Center, 9361 S. 300 East (southeast entrance).

To the parents, grandparents, community members and local businesses who signed up to lend a hand: We salute you.

How can you join the volunteer team? Sign up here.

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Monday, 15 September 2014 00:00

Headlines Monday, Sept. 15, 2014

Around Canyons
Football: 'Diggers earn easy win in Colorado

Football: Jordan High's Kafentzis racking up state, national records; Corner Canyon, Alta finish in top 3 in biking competition

Girls Soccer: Brighton shocks Jordan 4-0

How many students are in each class? Teachers tell their stories

Taylorsville parents split over whether teachers should be able to carry guns in schools

Judge: State must put on ballot two committee-rejected candidates for State School Board

Report: Lunch worker violated policy in school lunch fiasco

U. creates scholarship fund for tribe

SLCC names new president

SLCC opens stem resource center

Trib: Gun accident shows dangers of firearms on campuses

Friday, 12 September 2014 00:00

New Mount Jordan Middle School

The new Mount Jordan Middle school is well underway and will be ready for the 2015-2016 school year. It will be a beautiful school with Open spaces, Natural light and Space for the future. We are excited for the completion of this project.
In recognition of the heroes of Sept. 11, 2001 — both those who gave their lives and those who survived — a group of everyday heroes in our own community reached out to help several Canyons District schools as part of the United Way's Day of Caring and September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Employees from Savage, a global company based in Midvale, volunteered their time throughout the school day Thursday at Midvale, Copperview and Sandy elementary schools. They filled deflated sports balls, disinfected door handles, cleaned window sills, read stories to students and played four-square on the playground, among other things. There were no jobs too big or small for the willing volunteers, who accounted for about three-fourths of Savage’s local staff.

At Midvale Elementary alone, 24 volunteers re-stocked 35 outdated emergency kits with flashlights, toilet paper, treats, snacks and medical supplies. Savage provided all of the items for the kits, in addition to the manpower.

“We try to give back to the community at Savage,” said Matt Bollard, a software developer who has volunteered during the United Way’s Day of Caring for eight years.

Savage, a leader in supply-chain management solutions, was announced on Tuesday, Sept. 9, as Canyons’ 2014 Apex Award winner for Business Partner of the Year. Employees of the company have volunteered during the United Way’s Day of Caring at Midvale Elementary for the last three years.

Having volunteers in school has a big impact on students, says Jessica Vidal, assistant principal at Midvale Elementary.

“They love having visitors in the building,” Vidal said. “We thrive on community partnerships. Building and maintaining these partnerships helps not just the children, but the teachers as well. They really feel supported.”

Dr. Ginger Rhode is simply unforgettable. She’s disarmingly charming, wickedly funny and uncommonly kind. And she also has one of the most respected minds in Utah public education. Dr. Rhode’s final year of service to schoolchildren was spent as the top leader of Canyons District, the first new school district to be created in the state in nearly a century. It was the capstone of a noted career that spanned 35 years and included such historic work as being the architect of Canyons District’s academic plan, which resulted in the state’s first-ever college- and career-ready diplomas, and the implementation of a districtwide grade reconfiguration that was designed to streamline every student’s pathway to becoming ready for college and careers.
Dr. Rhode, CSD’s first-ever Deputy Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer, also has been a teacher, a principal, an adjunct professor, and a nationally known author. But to those around her, she’s a mentor, advisor, confidante and friend.  For her vision, leadership, and relentless drive for excellence, the Canyons Board of Education is pleased to present Dr. Ginger Rhode with its highest honor, the 2014 Apex Legacy Award.