Monday, 31 August 2015 21:48

Headlines Monday, Aug. 31, 2015

Around Canyons
SAGE results are out, and CSD has 15 schools ranked in the top 25 in test performance:  

Granite Elementary ranked second among Utah elementary schools in science

Granite Elementary ranked third in Utah in English language arts

Brookwood Elementary ranked fourth among Utah elementary schools in science

Granite Elementary ranked fifth among Utah elementary schools in math

Draper Park Middle ranked fifth among Utah middle schools in science

Draper Park also ranked fifth among Utah middle schools in English language arts

Sunrise Elementary ranks sixth among Utah elementary schools in science

Sunrise Elementary ranks seventh among Utah elementary schools in language arts

Willow Springs ranks 10th in Utah elementary school language arts performance

Sunrise Elementary ranks 16th in math among Utah elementary schools

Albion ranks 17th among Utah middle schools in English language arts

Brighton High is No. 19 among Utah high schools in language arts scores

Draper Elementary is ranked No. 22 in Utah elementary school math performance

Albion math performance ranks No. 22 among Utah middle schools

Peruvian Park's English language arts performance ranked 23rd among Utah elementary schools

Two Canyons District elementary schools — Granite and Sunrise elementaries — were ranked in Utah’s top 25 highest-performing schools in all three subject areas of the 2015 statewide SAGE exam, with Granite Elementary ranked among Utah’s top five highest-performing schools.

Overall,  CSD schools appear 15 times in Utah’s Top 25 rankings of elementary, middle and high school student performance on the SAGE math, science, and English language arts exams, as published in the Deseret News on Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. The News created top 25 lists for each school level (elementary, middle and high school) and tested subject.

From a districtwide perspective, CSD students overall showed growth in 20 of 25 tests administered over the past two years, and outperformed the state in 22 of 26 tests administered this year. This is the first year CSD administered the Math 3 test to high school students.

“We are pleased with the overall performance of Canyons students on the SAGE exams. We especially wish to congratulate our schools that have been ranked as among Utah’s best, as well as all of our teachers and school administrators for focusing on continued improvement in student achievement,” Canyons Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe said. “That said, we know that we still have work to do. The Administration is examining student SAGE performance in greater depth to determine how the data can be used improve student achievement across the board.”

In the Deseret News report, Granite Elementary was ranked in Utah’s top five highest-performing schools in all SAGE subjects tested. Granite ranked No. 5 in math with 78.8 percent proficiency; No. 3 in English language arts with 78.8 percent proficiency; and No. 2 in science with 80.3 percent proficiency.  The Salt Lake Tribune also listed Granite Elementary in the top 5 of all Utah schools’ performance in all three subject areas.

Sunrise Elementary was ranked No. 16 in math with 73 percent proficiency; No. 7 in English language arts with 72.5 percent proficiency; and No. 6 in science with 76.8 percent proficiency.

Among middle schools, CSD’s Draper Park ranked No. 5 in English language arts  with 62.8 percent proficiency and No. 5 in science with 73 percent proficiency.

Also breaking Utah’s top 10 are Brookwood Elementary, ranked No. 4 in science in science with 77.1  percent proficiency; and Willow Springs Elementary ranked No. 10 in English language arts in English language arts with 70.9 percent proficiency.

Albion Middle also appeared twice in Utah’s middle school rankings, as No. 22 in math and No. 17 in English language arts.

Other CSD schools appearing in the top 25 highest-performing schools are:
While students and teachers have returned to the days of homework and quizzes, a Canyons Board of Education-appointed Facilities Committee continues to study such issues as enrollment projections, building capacities, and school boundaries.

The committee, made up of parents and school leaders from all parts of Canyons District, met for the first time of the school year on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015.  The group has been meeting since the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year to give recommendations to the Board of Education on the short- and long-term school -facility needs in Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Sandy, Midvale and the town of Alta.

While the committee is discussing issues that impact all parts of Canyons District, members have focused quite a bit of attention on the current and possible future enrollment at Corner Canyon High and Willow Springs Elementary, which have all been placed on "moratorium status" because of high enrollment numbers. This means the schools will only enroll students students who live within the assigned geographic boundaries. 

The committee remains dedicated to a thorough examination of the issues, says Canyons Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe.  No recommendation on any issue has been formalized or forwarded to the Board of Education for consideration.  

“It’s important to the members of this committee to be thorough and thoughtful in their review of all pertinent information,” said Dr. Briscoe. 

According to Dr. Briscoe, one of the established processes for the committee is to arrive at consensus before making an official recommendation to the Board of Education, which is the final arbiter regarding Canyons school boundaries. 

“While we have not yet arrived at that point,” Dr. Bricsoe says, “I believe we are engaging in important discussions about enrollments, new housing developments, and promising ideas of how to handle future growth of the District.” 

Comments and input from parents and patrons of Canyons District can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What do Bell View Elementary kindergartners want to be when they grow up? College ready!

“I will be college ready!” was the resounding cheer at the Sandy school as the Class of 2028 celebrated Kindergarten College-Ready Day on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. Now in its seventh year in Canyons School District, Kindergarten College-Ready Day gives CSD teachers and principals the opportunity to talk about college and careers with their youngest students. Some 2,500 kindergartners in 29 CSD elementary schools capped their first week of school by engaging in activities and discussions about how college can help them achieve their dreams. Each kindergartner also received a wristband imprinted with the message, "I will be college-ready ... Class of 2028."

Bell View’s morning kindergarten classes were greeted by their teachers, Colleen Eldridge and Laura Wally, who sported University of Utah and Utah State University shirts to show their college pride. The teachers talked about the symbols of their colleges, and told students that going to college helped them to achieve their dreams of becoming school teachers. The kindergartners sported vests depicting an array of careers, from an astronaut to a forest ranger, and presented their occupations to the class while they cheered, “I will be college-ready!” Students applauded Eldridge and Principal Christine Webb as they unfurled for the kindergartners their own college-ready banner. Students next week will place their painted thumbprints and signatures on the banner to display their college-ready pledge in the school’s halls.  

Canyons District is focused on ensuring all students are college- and career-ready when they graduate from high school, and recognizes the importance of expressing this goal early in a child's education. Kindergarten College-Ready Day premiered in 2009, the first academic year for Utah's first voter-created school district in a century.  The Canyons Board of Education in February 2010 approved an academic plan that introduced Utah’s first college- and career-ready diplomas.

How can parents help young children start thinking about and preparing for college? Here are a few tips:
  • When you ask your child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” follow up with the question, “Where do you want to go to college?”
  • Visit college campuses.
  • Teach organization and good homework habits.
  • Remind kids that mistakes are a valuable part of learning.
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  • Brighton High on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015 roared into the 2015 gridiron season with a home-game 23-14 win against Herriman — on the school’s new artificial turf.

    The Canyons Board of Education and Administration, along with dozens of students, parents and dignitaries in the community, cheered the completion of the new state-of-the-art football field and track at a ribbon-cutting ceremony before the game.

    The captains of the football team and student body president held the large red-handled scissors to snip the ribbon. They were surrounded by Principal Charisse Hilton, Board of Education members Amber Shill and Nancy Tingey, Superintendent Jim Briscoe, and Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, among others. 

    Shill, who represents the neighborhoods surrounding Brighton High, told the crowd the Board members “were proud to be able to provide the turf for the community.”  The $1.5 million project was proposed to the Board by student athletes, boosters and the Brighton School Community Council. 

    The Board voted unanimously in March to fund the field in the capital facilities budget. 

    In previous years, because of a dearth of practice space, the Bengal football team and other BHS athletic squads had to practice on the stadium-field grass, causing holes and divots that were difficult to repair and maintain.

    Not only does the new field look fantastic, with its vibrant orange-and-blue end zones, but the turf will help prevent injuries to the student athletes, Shill said. 

    The completion of the field also means that Canyons District’s five traditional high schools have been equipped with artificial turf on their fields. 

    Brighton alumn Bryan Kehl, who was drafted in 2008 by the New York Giants, spoke at the event and challenged this year's team to bring home the state championship to thank the community for providing the field.

    A former player for the Colorado Rockies baseball organization is sliding into the head baseball coach position at Alta High.

    Jentry Beckstead, a 1998 Alta graduate who has been an assistant coach for the Hawks, recently accepted the top job. Although the season doesn’t start until spring, Beckstead already is mulling his goals for the program and starting to lay the groundwork for a positive relationship with Alta baseball boosters. 

    “I plan to reach out to parents to talk about the direction we want to take the program and where we’d like the program to go,” said Beckstead, who pitched in both the minor and major leagues.

    “I played in every level they had,” he said with a quiet laugh. Beckstead was chosen by the Rockies in the 38th round.

    “When you first sign, when you get drafted, you obviously aren’t ready for the big leagues,” he said.  “So they work with you and let you know the ways they would like things done. You start at the bottom and you work your way up. It was a grind — but it was worth it.”

    Beckstead says the Alta players are hard workers, and sees a willingness to focus on skill refinement. He also says he’s impressed with the level of talent on the team. 

    "As a team, I want to see everyone improve on a daily basis," he said. "In order to do that, you have to be able to play and work together and rely on each other."

    On your mark, get set, go! Canyons School District is preparing to launch its Middle School Intramurals Program, now in its seventh season. Activities planned for the 2015-2016 academic year include cross country, chess, 3-on-3 basketball, and soccer. Activities are open to all students in sixth- through eighth-grades, and culminate with districtwide tournaments.

    The 2015-2016 Middle School Intramurals districtwide tournament schedule is as follows:

    -          Cross Country: Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m., Eastmont Middle

    -          Chess: Jan. 23, Mount Jordan Middle

    -          3-on-3 Basketball: March 22-24, Jordan High

    -          Soccer:  May 12 at Union Middle

    Canyons District kicked off the Middle School Intramurals Program in its inaugural academic year. The program since fall 2009 has offered students competitive athletic and academic events in which everyone is welcome to participate.  Interested students should contact their school’s front office for details.

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