Tuesday, 19 June 2018 12:02

Available Now: 2018 SAGE Test Results

Your child’s SAGE test results are now available online.

Parents and guardians can access their children’s results via their private Skyward Family Access account, the same account used for annual online registration. The portal is a secure site that provides parents more immediate access to their child’s SAGE results once school lets out for the summer.

Some CSD schools may have also provided parents with paper copies of SAGE test results. 

SAGE exams are administered in late spring to all Utah students in grades 3-10, and to high school seniors enrolled in chemistry and physics courses.

SAGE test results are expressed in terms of proficiency. Proficiency means that a student has a strong understanding of challenging content in math, science and English language arts, and that the student is on track to be prepared for college and careers.  The SAGE proficiency levels are expressed in four levels: Highly Proficient; Proficient; Approaching Proficient; and Below Proficient. 

Your student’s performance also will be expressed in a scaled score, as assigned by the Utah State Office of Education. The scaled score will allow you to compare your student’s subject test results from year to year. It also will allow you to compare your student’s subject test results to school district and state averages.

On an individual level, it’s important to remember that SAGE results are among many student performance indicators, including class quizzes and tests, homework assignments, and projects.

Please note: There has been a delay in the receipt of middle school science SAGE scores due to changes in the science standards. State officials are expected to make science scores for grades 6,7, and 8 available in November.

To access Skyward:
  • Click here to access Canyons District’s Skyward portal
  • Click on the Family Access tab
  • Log in to Skyward Family Access with your username and password
  • Click on the SAGE Results tab
If you have questions about your child’s SAGE results, please call the District Office of Research and Assessment at 801-826-5090.  

Need help accessing Skyward? Please call 801-826-5544 for assistance, or Click here for Skyward Family Access login instructions.

To learn more about SAGE, please visit our informational web page.
Did you know there are more jobs in the trades—carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and welding—than there trained Utahns to fill them?

Construction, along with the health and personal care industries, will account for one-third of all new jobs in the U.S. through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of these jobs pay above Utah’s median wage, and through the Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC), it’s possible for students to graduate from high school with the certifications and professional licenses needed to land one.

Such was the prevailing message behind CTEC’s “Connect to the Tech” event on June 18, a free open house showcase of all the Career and Technical Education programs that CTEC has to offer. Middle-school-aged students toured the center on Monday (825 E. 9085 South in Sandy), and were invited to participate in some hands-on learning exercises, from discharging pepper spray at an assailant (criminal justice) to back-boarding someone suspected to have suffered a neck or back injury (emergency responders).

“The cool thing about CTEC is you’re going to earn high school credit and college credit in most of these classes, and for a fraction of the cost of college tuition,” CTE coordinator Benjamin Poulsen told the participants. “One of the things we say is, ‘come start college with us.’”

  • IMG_6523
  • IMG_6517
  • IMG_6516
  • IMG_6515
  • IMG_6514
  • IMG_6506
  • IMG_6504
  • IMG_6497
  • IMG_6493

  • Once seen as an alternative to a college education, training in the skilled trades is now viewed as a good way to get a jump on college, and a career.

    “Last year, most of my students were aspiring electricians, and I had electrical companies offering to pay for their college education,” says CTEC carpentry teacher Tim Kidder, who explained training takes at least two years of college and two years of experience as a journeymen electrician. “They’ll pay for your education and find you work starting at $22 an hour.”

    From there, students can decide to continue with their education and seek a degree in electrical engineering, or launch their careers. Either way, they’re able to land high-paying jobs in interesting fields without accruing lots of college debt. “What an opportunity these kids have, and it’s the same with diesel mechanics, in welding, and in carpentry,” Kidder says.

    CTEC also offers technology-focused programs, including training in the biomedical field, software development, and 3D computer animation. CTEC courses are scheduled throughout the regular school day, and CSD provides students with transportation between their home high schools and the tech center.

    It’s not too late to register for CTEC courses for the 2018-2019 school year, The optimal time to begin thinking about how to fit CTEC classes into school schedules, however, is in the seventh or eighth grades before students register for high school, Poulsen says.

    A full list of programs, and their accompanying certifications and college credit, can be found online or by calling 801-826-6600. But here’s a snapshot:

    CTEC Programs
    Building Construction
    Business Leadership
    Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
    Computer Systems
    Computer Programming
    Criminal Justice
    Digital Media/3D Animation
    Emergency Medical Technician
    Fire Science
    Heavy Duty Mechanics/Diesel
    Medical Assistant
    Medical Forensics
    Nursery Horticulture
    Welding Technician
    Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

    Budget Approved

    Following a public hearing, the Board unanimously approved a financial plan for Canyons District for fiscal year 2018-2019.  The budget does not include a tax increase. The estimated $500 million budget, which is publicly accessible on the Canyons website, reflects the amount collected in property taxes and the basic state support via the $3,395-per-student Weighted Pupil Unit, the state’s education funding formula. This is an increase of $84 — 2.5 percent — over the 2017-2018 WPU of $3,111 per student. The state also is contributing another 1.5 percent WPU increase in flexible allocation. In addition, the budget includes the Midvale Elementary Comprehensive Restructuring Plan; costs of the negotiated agreements with the Canyons Education Association and the Canyons Education Support Professionals Association. Each full-time teacher will receive at least a $2,235 pay increase, plus a $500 bonus in November. Among other operational costs, the budget includes bond funds to pay for the ongoing construction of the new Brighton and Hillcrest high schools and the major renovation of Alta High. Other remodeling projects will be done, as well, with money from the budget. In addition, the Board unanimously approved a revised budget for fiscal year 2017-2018. 

    School Construction

    The Board discussed the priority list of schools to be built with proceeds from the $283 million general-obligation bond approved by voters in November. While construction work has already started at Alta, Hillcrest and Brighton high schools, and an architect has been hired to work on designs for the new Union Middle, the Board has yet to decide which elementary school is next in line to be rebuilt. The Administration is recommending a 2019 start-date for construction on a new Midvalley Elementary. As pledged at the time of the passage of the bond, the other elementary schools to be built with 2017 bond money are Peruvian Park Elementary, a new west Draper elementary, and a White City-area school. 

    Cottonwood Heights CDA 

    The Board heard a request to extend the Canyon Centre Community Development Area agreement into which the District entered in 2012. The redevelopment project to add commercial, residential and parking structures to an area at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon was delayed due to the recession and a legal challenge. An independent review found the current assessed valuation of the project’s budget to be reasonable. The review also determined that the use of funds would provide a public benefit, and that participation in the tax increment financing proposal is justified. The Board will take up the issue at a future meeting pending further review of a cost-benefit analysis.

    Administrative Appointments

    The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments for the 2018-2019 school year: 
    • Colleen Smith, currently the Principal at Sprucewood Elementary, has been hired as a CSD Responsive Services Program Administrator. 
    • Lori Reynolds, currently an Achievement Coach at East Sandy Elementary, has been hired as Principal at Sprucewood Elementary.
    • Sara Allen, currently an Achievement Coach at Midvale Middle, will be an Assistant Principal at Butler Middle. She replaces Kip Carlsen, who has accepted a position in the Granite School District. 
    College- and Career-Readiness Counseling Update

    CSD School Counseling Specialist Tori Gillett reported on efforts to expand coverage of counseling supports for schools. With legislatively approved grant funding and the reallocation of some existing resources, the Department of Responsive Services has improved counselor-to-student ratios in middle school and hired counselors for elementary schools. Counseling teams also have begun basing their intervention goals on known indicators of student achievement, such as attendance, behavior, and course-understanding. These goals are coordinated with School Improvement Plans.

    Walking Route Study

    Sandy City notified the District of plans to add two lanes to 9000 South, a main thoroughfare that some Sandy Elementary, Mount Jordan Middle and Jordan High students must cross in order to get to and from school. Work on the road is expected to be completed before the start of the 2018-2019 school year. To aid students in navigating the 9000 South 300 East intersection, the city has decided to hire two additional crossing guards, bringing the total number of crossing guards at that intersection to four. The District asked a civil engineer to conduct a walking route analysis of the intersection, explained Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robert Dowdle. The engineer’s opinion is that, with the addition of two crossing guards, the expansion of 9000 South will not “impact the hazardous scores.” 

    Public Comment

    Patron Steve Van Maren objected to Information Technology line-items in Capital budget, and encouraged the District to pay for those items out of the General Fund. He also asked the Board to buy school buses with seatbelts. He also asked for more time to review the proposed budget. 

    Brighton High teacher Jonnie Knoble thanked the Board for teacher salary increases.  


    The following students, faculty and staff were honored for the achievements:
    • Midvale Middle’s Abigail Slama-Catron, for being named the state honoree for the Prudential Spirit of the Community Award.
    • Hillcrest High’s Kara Komarnitsky and Madeline Martin and Corner Canyon High’s August Burton, for being named National Merit Scholars. 
    • Corner Canyon High’s girls track team, the 5A state champions
    • Alta High’s boys soccer team, the 5A state champions
    • Jordan High’s baseball team, the 5A state champions

    Consent Agenda

    The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the May 22, 2018 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; requests for student-overnight travel; May financial reports; administrative appointments; and approval of Community Eligibility Provision for free lunch program at four schools.

    Policy Update

    The Board of Education approved policies governing Middle School Education Requirements; Sick Leave Benefits and Retirement; sex education instruction; and Human Resource hiring procedures. The Board also approved a modified student-attendance policy.

    Board Planning

    In the study session, Board President Sherril Taylor asked Board members to provide topics they would like see addressed at an upcoming roundtable.

    Pledge of Allegiance

    School Performance Director Mike Sirois led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. The reverence was delivered by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle.

    Superintendent, Business Administrator Report

    Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe congratulated the achievements of the Class of 2018 and thanked the Board members for their addresses at commencement exercises. He thanked Wilcox and Accounting Director Gary Warwood for their work on the proposed and revised budgets for the upcoming and previous school year. He looks forward to attending a Wednesday department meeting for Facilities.

    Leon Wilcox reported on bid openings for and progress on the first several projects being completed with funds from the $283 million bond — the remodel of Alta High and rebuilds of Brighton and Hillcrest high schools.

    Board Member Reports

    Chad Iverson attended the end-of-year band a percussion concert for Indian Hills Middle and Alta High’s and Corner Canyon High’s graduation ceremonies. He also attended the groundbreaking for the renovation of Alta High.

    Clareen Arnold also attended the Alta High groundbreaking and says it’s exciting to see we’re moving forward. She commended Business Administrator Leon Wilcox for making the complex task of budgeting look easy. She also attended the Retirees Banquet. She spoke at the Diamond Ridge High graduation ceremony and loved hearing students’ humbling stories. She applauded all the staff members who work hard all summer behind the scenes to clean, fix and prepare schools.

    Nancy Tingey agrees graduation is a reward and the groundbreakings are exciting. She was able to attend the Brighton and Jordan High commencement ceremonies. This year, she took special note of the smiles of the graduates as they crossed the stage.

    Amber Shill attended the Butler Middle band concert and Hillcrest High International Baccalaureate graduation ceremony. She visited the “Harry Potter”-themed escape room at Eastmont Middle and spoke at the Canyons Transitions Academy and South Park Academy commencement ceremonies. She met with Brighton students regarding the upcoming rebuild. Finally, she commended Business Administrator Leon Wilcox for his work on the budget.

    Steve Wrigley thanked the External Relations staff who prepare the Retirees Banquet. He was able to hand a diploma this year to his son at Jordan High’s commencement ceremony. Five of his children have graduated from CSD schools and have thrived from the schooling they’ve received over the years. 

    Sherril Taylor is thankful for all those who contribute to CSD’s college- and career-ready mission. He also thanked his fellow Board members for their service and the Communications team for all the extra hours they put in throughout the year. 
    The Canyons Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments for the 2018-2019 school year: 
    • Colleen Smith, currently the Principal at Sprucewood Elementary, has been hired as a CSD Responsive Services Program Administrator. 
    • Lori Reynolds, currently an Achievement Coach at East Sandy Elementary, has been hired as Principal at Sprucewood Elementary. She replaces Smith.
    • Sara Allen, currently an Achievement Coach at Midvale Middle, will be an Assistant Principal at Butler Middle. She replaces Kip Carlsen, who has accepted a position in the Granite School District. 
    For Principal Brian McGill, the long-awaited renovation of Alta High is personal.

    Twenty-seven years ago, he walked the same halls that his students walk today — and he’s thrilled to see how the new additions will add to the culture and climate of the school. "Even as a student, one of the things I loved the most about this school is the sense of tradition and a drive for excellence,” McGill said at a June 7 groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction. “It’s a place that doesn’t settle for second best, whether it’s in the arts, academics or on the athletic field. This is A-Town! It’s how it’s always been — and how it will always be."

    To officially kick off construction, McGill, in front of a cheering crowd gathered for the groundbreaking celebration, hopped in a massive earth-mover and pulled some levers to make a giant steel claw scoop up and dump a bucket of sand. 

    Joining McGill in celebrating the improvement project were members of the Hawks’ student council, drum line, color guard, and cheerleading squad. Also in attendance were parents, alumni, teachers, members of the Canyons Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe, other District administrators, Sandy Mayor Kurt Bradburn, Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, Rep. Robert Spendlove, R-Sandy, and Canyons Education Foundation Board Members Suzanne Harrison and Greg Summerhays.

    Alta is among the first of several improvement projects to be completed with funds from a 2017 voter-approved bond. Work also starts this summer on rebuilds of Hillcrest and Brighton high schools. A groundbreaking for the Hillcrest project was held on May 31, and a celebration for the beginning of the Brighton project will take place at the school on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 5:30 p.m.

    “With all of our schools, special care is taken to involve students, parents, teachers and the broader community in the planning process,” remarked Board President Sherril H. Taylor. “We take pride in building schools that reflect the communities they serve and that serve those communities well.”

    The Alta High remodel will be completed in phases over two years so as to allow students to stay inside the building. “This is going to be a complex project to do,” said Canyons District’s Business Administrator Leon Wilcox, expressing appreciation for careful attention that VCBO Architects and Hughes Construction have given the project. “We’re basically building a school on top of a school, while holding school. That’s quite a challenge and these guys are going to do it while making sure everything is safe for all involved.”

    Among major additions to take shape during the first phase of construction are a new field house and 1,400-seat Performing Arts Center, which will be configured to capitalize on mountain views. A new commons area will be a space where students can gather to make new traditions. The ceiling of the commons area will be lifted to 35 feet, and the new open space will be illuminated by natural light. Traffic flow will be improved, making it easier for students, employees, and visitors to safely enter and exit the campus. 

    “From day one, the focus of the design has been about creating the best learning environment for our students and a great work environment for teachers,” McGill said. “I hope you’re as thrilled as I am with the plans for the school, which will stand as a testament to our community’s investment in education for at least the next 40 years.”

    See more on Facebook or the Alta High groundbreaking photo album.

  • IMG_8859
  • IMG_8866
  • IMG_8874
  • IMG_8885
  • IMG_8893
  • IMG_8901
  • IMG_8905
  • IMG_8913
  • IMG_8920
  • IMG_8727
  • IMG_8747
  • IMG_8748
  • IMG_8768
  • IMG_8775
  • IMG_8776
  • IMG_8789
  • IMG_8805
  • IMG_8808
  • IMG_8818
  • IMG_8827
  • IMG_8838
  • IMG_8842
  • IMG_8851
  • IMG_8855
  • IMG_8723
  • IMG_8737
  • IMG_8743
  • IMG_8748
  • IMG_8754
  • IMG_8964
  • IMG_8983
  • IMG_8997
  • IMG_9102
  • IMG_8691
  • IMG_8664
  • IMG_8700
  • Hope and possibility took center stage as Canyons School District sent another class of high school graduates into the world. At commencement ceremonies filled with “pomp and circumstance,” we encourage students to embrace the unknown as they take leave of family and friends to find their tomorrows. Congratulations Class of 2018. As Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon told graduates of Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, “We have no idea what the future holds, and that’s okay. Don’t think about what you want to do. Think about why you want to do it and the rest will figure itself out.” Take heart, be well, stay curious, work hard, and do good.

    Alta High School
    34510281_10155238439146580_8085652740790812672_o.jpgThe location of this year’s graduation rites for Alta High — the University of Utah — was a natural fit. The first co-hort of students accepted into Alta’s Step2theU early-college program was among the students who walked across the stage to receive their diplomas Tuesday at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Alta Principal Brian McGill heralded the future Utes’ accomplishments, noting that the co-hort not only finished their high school studies but have also completed two years of university-level studies. “Due to this exclusive agreement Alta has with the U., they have been able to shave two years off of their time in college,” he said. McGill also recounted the other achievements of the Class of 2018: Big wins by the robotics teams, nearly $40,000 raised for charity, performances at Carnegie Hall, and even a back-to-back state title win by the boys soccer team. In all, McGill said, this year’s senior class received $6 million in scholarship offers — besting last year’s tally by some $1 million. He urged the students to never forget what they have learned in their four years at Alta as they make their way in the world. He challenged them to remain kind, civil, compassionate, humble and to strive to make human connections. Senior Class Historian Sydnee Pexton told her fellow graduates she “appreciated the fact that we have tried to be kind.” The Hawks were committed to building an inclusive environment where everyone was welcomed and celebrated. She recounted a family member’s concern that Alta’s traditions of excellence would falter when the school’s student population was split at the opening of a cross-town rival school. That hasn’t happened. “Alta wasn’t just strong. Alta was made stronger,” she said. “We have the power to do great things, and I am confident we will. Because we are Hawks — and that’s what we do.” Student speaker Nathan Brown recounted freshman orientation four years ago when the Alta High Class of 2018 officially met for the first time. “Day after day, we made connections that would become bonds,” he said. “You are a light. Never forget that. Wherever you go, remember you have a home at Alta High.” Canyons Board of Education member Chad Iverson congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments and encouraged them to “spend their time wisely.” In the past few weeks, he said, students have turned in final assignments, cleaned out lockers, and attended class for the last time with friends they’ve known since kindergarten. “So, what’s the next step? What are you going to do tomorrow, the next day, and the day after that? How will you go confidently into the direction of your dreams?” He also exhorted the Hawks to make the most of every moment. “Graduates, in your journeys, take pride in what you’ve done, and have faith in what you will be able achieve. May you forever remember the power of what you’ve learned at Alta High School,” he said. “In return, we promise to never forget you and all you’ve contributed to this school, this community, and Canyons School District.”
    See more on Facebook or visit the Alta High School photo album.

    Brighton High School
    Brighton_Icon.jpgWhen it comes to high school graduation, there’s a lot to think about. Thoughts of getting to the arena on time, picking out the right shoes and pinning the mortarboard on just so were practically buzzing in the air at Brighton’s graduation ceremony on Tuesday, but there was one universal anthem that seemed to be on everyone’s mind: change. Brighton’s class of 2018 is in for some big changes, but in the spirit of the school’s graduation theme, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” as spoken by Ghandi, these Bengals are ready to face the future. “We made it to graduation and this means change,” Brighton graduate Kathryn Cunningham told the audience gathered for the graduation ceremony. “Change can be scary. But many of us have faced challenges over the past four years. We may not have had the same circumstances, but we all made it to the same place.” Assistant Superintendent Bob Dowdle; Canyons Board of Education members Nancy Tingey and Amber Shill, who represent the Brighton area; Cottonwood Heights Mayor Mike Peterson, and other District administrators and leaders from Brighton attended the ceremony at the Maverik Center on Tuesday, June 5. The Bengals’ class of 2018 has crossed the finish line with gusto, with 36 seniors graduating with perfect 4.0 grade point averages — the highest number out of the school’s 49 previous graduations. Students received 211 scholarships ranging from $200 to $500,000, totaling just under $7.2 million in all. Thanks to their hard work and focus on doing their best, 174 students received honors diplomas, and 188 received advanced diplomas in recognition of their dedication to a higher academic rigor. Now the graduates will face the next phase of challenges in their lives as they go on to seek further education, employment and other paths toward success. Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood gave the seniors some advice as they considered the changes they are about to experience. “It’s never too late to be who you want to be,” he told the audience. “I hope you make the best of it. If you need to make changes, make them. Be a better student, better worker, better citizen.” Always look forward, set goals, make plans, and let past experiences propel you forward, Tingey told the group just before they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. “I am confident you will change the world and I look forward to that world,” Tingey said.
    See more on Facebook or visit the Brighton High School photo Album

    Canyons Transition Academy
    CTA_Icon.jpg“Once you have tasted flight,” Leonardo da Vinci is reported to have said, “you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” After years of hard work, and with the caring guidance of their teachers, eight high-soaring students are taking flight from Canyons Transition Academy (CTA) this year. Some, like Curtis Haycock, who works at Walmart, and Marie Yukie, who has a paid internship at Deseret Industries, have already landed jobs. Others have set their sights on volunteering, such as, Therese Roa who hopes to put her take-charge talents to work at the Humane Society. A few are moving into apartments with close friends or picking up new hobbies. And while there are those who are undecided about their immediate plans — you can be sure they’re celebrating their achievements. The mission of CTA is to prepare students with developmental disabilities to live independent lives. “During your time at CTA, you have grown individually as you’ve demonstrated your abilities at school, in the community and in the workplace,” said Canyons Board of Education member Amber Shill told the students at a June 6 commencement ceremony. “You should be proud.” Shill thanked parents for their support, commended teachers for “their magical work,” and challenged students to do the best they can to bring their unique gifts to the world. In the words of the immortal Dr. Seuss: “You’ll be on our way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.” #WeAreCanyons #StudentAchievement
    See more on Facebook or visit the CTA photo album.

    Corner Canyon High School
    9196203327870730240_o.jpgThe celebratory mood of Corner Canyon High’s commencement rites turned somber when Principal Darrell Jensen announced the school would give posthumous diplomas to two students who perished in a car crash. The parents of Ethan Fraga and Lexie Fenton were welcomed to the stage at the Jon M. Huntsman Center at the University of Utah to accept the diplomas on behalf of their children, whose November 2016 deaths rocked the tight Charger community. In praising the accomplishments of the Class of 2018 — “the most decorated class in school history,” Jensen says — the principal also proffered that perhaps the most important trait of this year’s senior class “is the sense of resilience they have shown.” The loss of the two much-liked classmates was difficult to overcome, he said, but they honored the memory of their friends by making connections, building relationships, and dedicating themselves to excellence. “We lost two amazing friends,” said Senior Class President Hannah Sanderson. “We were able to help each other get through it together.” This year’s graduating class are champions in so many ways. They took honors in band, choir, orchestra and theater, among others events and activities. Senior August Burton was named a National Merit Scholar, every athletic team made the state playoffs, and the girls golf team and the girls track team won 5A state championship trophies. This year, the Chargers raised $58,000 for charity and seniors earned some $6.5 million in scholarships — and other offers are still trickling in, Jensen said, also adding that the school was named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top five high schools in Utah. “You, as a Class of 2018, have left a legacy of accomplishments. No one is doubting your ability to succeed. In fact, we are counting on it,” he said. Senior Emily Arthur, who has been accepted to Utah State University’s Aggies Elevated program for students with intellectual disabilities, received a standing ovation after her remarks. She urged fellow graduates to never let anyone limit their potential. “It is time to dream a new dream” said Arthur, who has Down syndrome. “The sky is the limit.” The path to graduation hasn’t always been easy, said student speaker Hannah Trudo. However, she said, the tough times have turned the forward-looking seniors into a strong, capable generation. “We have survived the storms of our youth.” Now that the Chargers of 2018 have reached the touchstone of high school graduation, “it is our turn to go into the world and make our mark …. It is our turn to change the world,” said Tyler Miller. “High school is awkward,” he said. “But it gave me a home. It gave me a place to belong.”
    See more on Facebook or visit the Corner Canyon High photo album.

    Diamond Ridge High School

    Diamond_Ridge_Icon_01.jpgThere is an art to finding peace in disorder, a trick to remaining positive in the face of overwhelming negativity — and it’s as simple as choosing to buckle-down and get the job done. “Guess what you did? Guess what choice you made?” asked Canyons District Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe while addressing the graduates of Diamond Ridge High during their commencement ceremony. “You made a choice, a choice to improve yourself and not worry about what everyone else is doing or saying with all their negativity. And in so doing, you learned a valuable skill. You’ve learned what it takes to succeed.” Diamond Ridge with its small class sizes, and tight-knit staff and faculty, is a school of choice — increasingly, the school of choice — for students who yearn for an alternative to the conventional school environment. The school awarded diplomas to 40 students this year, about three times the number to cross the commencement stage in 2016. Students come to Diamond Ridge for different reasons, and face different obstacles to get there — some are the first in their family to graduate and enroll in college — but find unity in fighting for the future they know they deserve. “Pretty much all of us seniors had to give our all this year. Quite a few of us had a lot to do to get caught up, and it seemed pretty impossible,” said graduating senior Calena Slesser, the winner of this year’s Canyons Education Foundation Rising Star Scholarship. “But since we decided to give 100 percent, because we pushed ourselves, here we are graduating.” Slesser, who finished her final quarter with a 4.0 grade point average, enrolled in Diamond Ridge intent upon focusing on school, instead of friends or fun. “But I met some of my best friends here,” she said referring to the school’s tight-knit students and teachers. “Switching here was the best decision I could have made.” Presenting diplomas to the Class of 2018 were Dr. Briscoe, Principal Amy Boettger, Responsive Services Director BJ Weller, Student Advocacy and Access Director Karen Sterling, and Canyons Board of Education members Steve Wrigley and Clareen Arnold who praised graduates for their leadership and willingness to make sacrifices. “You are my perfect example of ‘do or do not, there is no try,’” Clareen said, referring to the Star Wars-themed class motto. “I want you to know that the Canyons Board of Education is very proud of Diamond Ridge. I’ve been here for three years and watched you grow, and I sit here in humble awe knowing what you’ve done, what you’ve gone through, and what you’ve accomplished.” Briscoe urged graduates to keep choosing success. “You already know what it’s like dealing with difficulty. You already know what it’s like when you’re not working as hard as you know you can. …The way you measure success is when people overcome obstacles. That’s how I measure it. Those are the people I want working for me. Because I know that those are the people, like you, who know how to get the job done.”
    See more on Facebook or visit the Diamond Ridge High School photo album.

    Hillcrest High School
    Hillcrest_Icon.jpgHillcrest’s graduating class of 2018 filled the Maverik Center Tuesday, June 5, with the sounds of their Alma Mater. “Though someday we must leave you, our hearts will always thrill to the glory of your beauty on the crest of rolling hills,” they crooned with the crowd of parents, teachers and administrators who attended the celebration. Midvale Mayor Robert Hale and Canyons Board of Education members Steve Wrigley and Mont Millerberg, a Hillcrest alum, sang along as students cheered their way into their final celebration as Huskies. “You have taught me how to learn, how to lead, and how to be Husky strong,” Senior Class President Joshua Jessop told the audience as he reflected on the impact of Hillcrest’s longtime head football coach, Cazzie Brown, who died at the beginning of the school year. “Huskies have learned we can come together and mourn the loss of life and still be strong as one pack.” Hillcrest’s students have reason to grieve, but they also have cause for celebration. The class strengthened their community by donating $14,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, granting three wishes with the funds. Their achievements reflected a higher rigor and dedication that led to the class receiving 153 academic diplomas, and 159 honors diplomas. The school administered 954 Advanced Placement tests, 485 International Baccalaureate tests, and they earned 1,259 in college credits at Salt Lake Community College. The group contributed a combined total of 11,475 service hours to the school, and received scholarship offers in excess of $7.4 million. “Today we stand on the shoulders of generations who have gone before and done hard things,” Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt said. “We need another greatest generation to stand and deliver the next level of dignity the world is crying out for. I wonder if you really see that you are the great hope of the future. If not you, as the saying goes, then who?” As a graduate of Hillcrest’s class of 1968, Millerberg reminded the graduates of the importance of keeping a long-term perspective. He encouraged students to make wise choices that would allow them to enjoy life when they reach retirement age. “Life is short,” he said. “The choices you make will greatly impact your future. Enjoy what you have, enjoy your life. Don’t just survive, but thrive.”
    See more on Facebook or visit the Hillcrest High School photo album.

    Jordan High School
    Jordan_Icon.jpgThe story of Jordan High’s class of 2018 can best be told through several pairs of unusual — but meaningful — shoes. Jordan Principal Wendy Dau brought a bag of boots, slippers and cleats to Tuesday’s ceremony to tell the tale of how far her students have come in their four-year endeavor. First, Dau paid homage to Tom Sherwood, former Jordan High principal, with an old, worn pair of boots to represent the work he invested in the students for three years. Next, she showed dance slippers from the dance and drill team, in recognition of the students’ vision and accomplishments through including members on the team with physical limitations. She held up a pair of cleats signed by the baseball team, and a pair of shoes with piano keys, in memory of a student-wide standing ovation offered at an assembly to a fellow student who plays the piano even though he is blind. “It is up to you to forge a new path as you go into the world,” Dau told the audience. “Wear whatever shoes you want to wear on that journey, your shoes and your Beetdigger heart will tell the story of the incredible journey you will go on.” Superintendent Jim Briscoe, and Canyons Board of Education members Nancy Tingey and Steve Wrigley — whose son was also part of the graduating class at Jordan — distributed the long-awaited diplomas at the event, which took place at the Maverik Center. The story of what this year’s graduating class has accomplished is one for the books. More than half of the class received scholarship offers totaling $4.6 million, 15 students graduated with a 4.0 grade point average, and one student, Daniel Ross, was selected as a National Merit Scholar finalist, which ranks him in the top one percent of all graduating high school students in the country. Together, the class earned 267 honors and advanced diplomas, 10 of which have a bi-literacy seal. In the fall, 82 percent of the class is registered to attend college, and 52 percent of the class has already earned college credits toward their next graduation. “The choice of what to do in life is now up to us,” Senior Class President Micah Paulsen told the audience. “After tonight we have the power to do whatever we want. Wherever we go, I hope we all remember to stay true to ourselves.” Briscoe had practical advice for the students to consider when making that choice. He told students to take care of their health, invest $25 in a mutual fund every month, choose a career that makes them happy and treat others with respect. “Wherever you are in life, take a step back,” Briscoe said. “Take a deep breath. Remind yourself who you are.”
    See more on Facebook or visit the Jordan High School photo album.

    Jordan Valley School

    Jordan_Valley.jpgThe greatest danger in life is not taking the adventure — and a big adventure certainly awaits Jordan Valley School's eight graduates. Aging out of CSD's school for students with severe disabilities means saying goodbye to teachers and therapists with whom these students have worked for many years. It means trading the safe confines of school for new and unfamiliar territory. But Jordan Valley’s students have come this far by persevering to exceed expectations. “It’s been said that ‘there are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle,’” Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg told the graduates at the school’s 2018 commencement ceremony. “Through your perseverance, you are the miracle that has uplifted us. We are made better for just having known you.” As Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe and Special Education Director Misty Suarez awarded students with certificates of completion, Jordan Valley Principal Mark Donnelly shared a few fond and unforgettable memories. From Lucas Russell’s knock-knock jokes — an enduring source of happiness for him and the school’s staff — to Maria Serrano-Lopez’s ability to convey her wishes with a mere squeeze of the hand, “these students have taught us so much,” Donnelly said. “It has been an honor and humbling experience to have been part of their lives.” The Snoez room will never be quite as clean without the diligent attention of Alisha Woodruff, and the hallways will be a little less bright without the contagious laugh and unconditional love of Kennedy Perry. “You’ve brought sunshine into our lives,” Millerberg said. “Now we ask you to go out and bring that gift of light to the world. …May you forever remember what you have learned at Jordan Valley where you will always be remembered.”
    See more on Facebook or visit the Jordan Valley photo album.

    Don't see your school listed here? Check back later to see more coverage and photos.

    We all know teenagers live with their phones in their hands. It can be especially frustrating when your kids won’t stop texting while on a family vacation. But there is an alternative to just taking the phone away. Katie Blunt, an education-technology specialist with the Canyons School District, recently appeared on ABC4Utah and KUTV with tips for how parents can get their kids to actually learn something while using their phones this summer. Among her recommendations — a detailed list of which can be found at the following link — are to encourage kids to record and edit video journals documenting the highlights of family getaways. Did you know there are apps for creating custom geocache challenges and virtual scavenger hunts? There are also plenty of interactive websites that kids can use to find local hiking trails or learn more about a given city or town. Check out this handy website for all kinds of resources and ideas:


    For Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt, the sight of a row of golden-tipped shovels on the school’s soccer field on Thursday was monumental.

    The shovels marked the beginning of a three-year project, made possible by a $283 million bond approved by voters in November that will result in a new building to replace the current, 55-year-old structure. But the implements also reminded Leavitt of the importance of the hard work that goes into gaining an education.

    “These shovels are signs of cultivation,” Leavitt said, "not of money, but of hearts and minds, of generations to come. The culture you’ve built here isn’t in the bricks and the desks, it’s in the community.”

    A crowd of Hillcrest students, parents, and educators gathered at the school to celebrate the old building and mark the beginning of the new project. Also in attendance were members of the Canyons Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe, other District administrators, Midvale Mayor Robert Hale, members of the Midvale city council, Utah State Board of Education member Kathleen Riebe, Sen. Brian Zehnder, R-Cottonwood Heights, and Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy. A group of alumni from the class of 1968, honored guests, including Board member and Husky alumni Mont Millerberg, in lifting the symbolic shovels to mark the beginning of the project.

    “So many people have such great memories of going to school here, myself included,” Millerberg said. “We’re thrilled to be able to build a new school so the next generation of students can build memories here, too.”

    A committee of Hillcrest administrators and District administrators is working with FFKR Architects and Westland Construction to create a new Hillcrest that will meet the demands of a 21st century education without sacrificing elements of the old building that are rooted in tradition, such as the inlaid “H” in the school’s atrium, and the DelMar Schick Stadium. The new school will have a new field house and performing arts complex, a commons area, emphasis on open spaces illuminated by natural light and collaborative spaces for students to gather and create new traditions.

    Hillcrest is among the first of several improvement projects to be completed in with funds from the 2017 bond, including new campuses at Union Middle, Midvalley and Peruvian Park elementary school and Brighton High and other locations. Alta will be remodeled extensively. Celebrations for the beginning of that project will take place at the school on June 7 at 5:30 p.m.

    IMG_1216 2
  • IMG_8366
  • IMG_8381
  • IMG_8416
  • IMG_8434
  • IMG_8437
  • IMG_8582
  • IMG_8623
  • IMG_8636
  • IMG_8654
  • IMG_8658
  • IMG_8674
  • IMG_7397
  • IMG_7410
  • IMG_7413
  • IMG_7454
  • IMG_7471
  • IMG_7503
  • IMG_7506
  • IMG_7512
  • IMG_7519
  • IMG_7530
  • IMG_7633
  • IMG_8324
  • IMG_8357
  • IMG_6986
  • IMG_9232
  • IMG_9662
  • IMG_0682
  • IMG_1216 2
  • IMG_2127
  • IMG_3088
  • IMG_3222
  • IMG_3628
  • IMG_3688
  • IMG_4371
  • IMG_4972
  • A new era of great heights is on the horizon for the Alta High Hawks. 

    A groundbreaking celebration to cheer the start of work on a major two-year renovation at Alta High will be Thursday, June 7. All Alta students, teachers, parents, volunteers, alumni, and boosters are invited to the 5:30 p.m. reception and 6 p.m. ceremony at the school, 11055 S. 1000 East. 

    No time has been wasted starting on the major renovation project, which is funded by the $283 million bond voters approved in November. Construction crews have already started site work on the northwest corner of campus where a 1,400-seat performing arts center will be built. By January 2020, the state-of-the-art center is scheduled to be complete and ready for productions.

    Crews also will soon begin work on the Hawk Fieldhouse immediately north of the football stadium. By next summer, Alta students in activities ranging from football to marching band will be able to practice on an turf-covered indoor field. The second-level gallery of the fieldhouse, which will have a 30-foot ceiling, also will feature windows facing the football field so guests can watch Friday Night Lights action out of the chilly fall air.

    In addition to the new performing arts center, the remodel also calls for the construction of a black box theater where the current auditorium is located. Among other upgrades, several offices will be relocated, the ceiling in the commons area will be raised to about 35 feet, and windows will be added on the front of the building and throughout the entrance to bring in an abundance of natural light. A security vestibule will guide visitors to the Main Office before they can gain access to the hallways. 

    A new red, grey and glass façade on the front of the performing arts center will be replicated along the front of the current building, adding to the school’s curb appeal. In addition, a new marquee and electronic sign will be placed at the corner of 11000 South and 100 East to inform the community about Alta High events and student accomplishments. 

    The renovation project is being designed by VCBO Architecture. The general contractor is Hughes Construction.
    Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

    Elementary School Rebuild

    The Administration recommends that Midvalley Elementary be selected as the first elementary school completed with funds from the $283 million bond approved by voters in November. The 60-year-old school is the oldest of the buildings that are on the list for reconstruction with funds from the 2017 bond. The school also lacks ADA-compliant restrooms, is not built to seismic standards, has a high Facility Cost Index, and the campus is large enough to simultaneously accommodate construction and school operations in the old building. A new building in Midvale also could help absorb any growth in west Midvale. The District’s bond-construction timetable includes starting work on an elementary school in 2019. The other three elementary schools that will eventually be rebuilt with 2017 bond money are Peruvian Park, a White City-area school, and a new school in west Draper. The Board took the recommendation under advisement.  

    Parent-Teacher Conferences

    The District is studying how to make Parent-Teacher Conferences more effective at the high school, middle school and elementary school levels. Principals at Canyons school say access to technology has drastically altered the reason for conferences because families can contact teachers via e-mail and have continuous access to student work and grades. In elementary schools, teachers suggested allowing for more than 15 minutes per family. School personnel also suggest that conferences are too early in the school year. Among the proposals for changes at the secondary level included hosting a Parent Night during which parents are given tutorials on the software used by schools to maintain and monitor student grades. Secondary-school principals also suggest asking parents to set up appointments, either via Skype or face-to-face, considering that teachers often sit alone and wait for parents to come to the conferences. The Board asked for School Community Councils to weigh in, and asked the Office of School Performance to spearhead a survey project in every CSD school community. 

    Budget Information

    For the coming school year, Canyons District’s budgeted expenditures are expected to be $268 million, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board of Education. The proposed budget, which will not require a Truth-in-Taxation hearing, also includes the cost of the recently approved negotiated agreements for salaries and benefits, which make up 88 percent of the budget.  The budget also includes costs related to the completion of the Indian Hills Middle remodel; the start of construction projects funded by 2017 bond proceeds; East Midvale’s roof replacement; carbon monoxide detectors; three transportation bus lifts, the new parking lot at Altara Elementary; flooring and carpet replacement at Crescent Elementary; HVAC-controls upgrade at Lone Peak Elementary; a cooling system at Union Middle; irrigation upgrades at Mount Jordan Middle, and Brookwood and Granite elementary schools; and a Jordan High roof replacement and HVAC upgrades. Wilcox noted the budget is dependent on state funding for enrollment, through the Weighted Pupil Unit. Canyons District hovers at about 34,000 students, and that number is expected to hold steady. The Board will consider adopting the budget on June 12. Then, the Board also will adopt a revised FY18 budget and a tentative FY19 budget. The District is required to hold a public hearing and make the proposed budget available to the public for 15 calendars days before adoption. The certified tax rate, which will impact CSD’s projected revenues, will be made available June 22. 

    Cottonwood Heights CDA 

    The Board heard a request to extend the Canyon Centre Community Development Area (CDA) agreement that the District entered into in 2012. The redevelopment project to add commercial, residential and parking structures to an area at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon was delayed due to the recession and a legal challenge. The Board will take up the issue at a future meeting pending a review of a cost-benefit analysis.


    The Board of Education honored students, faculty and staff for their achievements: 
    • Hillcrest’s Unified Soccer Team, Hillcrest, will compete in the Special Olympics USA Games this summer
    • Debbie Delliskave, Midvale Middle, and Cory Christiansen, Copperview Elementary, earned $4,300 bonuses through the Effective Teachers in High Poverty School Incentive Program   
    • Hunter McKay, Corner Canyon, first place in the DECA competition’s Business Financial Services category
    • Lauren Wilson, Corner Canyon, first place, DECA competition’s Quick-Serve Restaurant Management category
    • Gabrielle Ciet and Eillie Runk, Hillcrest, won first place in the DECA competition’s Hospitality Services category
    • Josie Taylor, Makena Terry, Emily Bluemel, Jordan, won first place in the state DECA competition, and placed in the top 10 at the national DECA competition in the School-Based Enterprise category. 
    • Samantha Brockman, Alta, received first place in the Future Business Leaders of America state competition in the Introduction to Information Technology category
    • Lindsay Bruner, Julia Elmer, Ariana Rhodes, Hillcrest, won first place in the Chapter in Review Portfolio category
    • Mercedes Jensen, Hillcrest, won first place in the Leadership category
    • Ashley Larson, Jordan, won first place at the FCCLA state competition in the Nutrition and Wellness category
    • Luke Kim, Hillcrest, won first place on a Knowledge Test in the Transcultural Healthcare category. Luke completed a 100-question multiple choice written exam with an essay portion covering cultural foundations; health, healing and family
    • Olivia Finlayson, CTEC, won first place in the Physical Therapy category. She completed a 50-question multiple choice written exam, then performed selected skills from a written scenario, including range of motion and ice pack application
    • Sieauna Vigh, Brighton, won first place in the Veterinary Science category. For this award, Vigh completed a 50-question multiple choice written exam, then performed selected skills, including lifting and restraining a dog and identification of companion animal breeds and species
    • Momina Sial, Rushmeen Tariq, Stephen Yu, Hillcrest, won first place tion in the Biomedical Debate category. The team completed a 50-question written exam, followed by a debate on the topic of whether teen use of social media should be limited
    • Jason Wiggins, Mitchel Pike, CTEC, won first place in the 3-D Visualization and Animation category

    Policy Discussions  

    In Study Session, the Board of Education heard a first reading of changes to policies governing middle-school education requirements; sick leave benefits and retirement; sex education instruction; Human Resource procedures. In the Business Meeting, the Board approved changes to policies governing student immunization; district nurses and mediation administration; vision screening; and home instruction. The Board will continue to review proposed changes to the student attendance policy. Policies also have been deemed obsolete. They include policies on student social events; identification, interventions and post-vention procedures for students; and student pregnancies

    Pledge of Allegiance and Reverence

    Cub Scouts who attend Park Lane Elementary led the audience in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Principal Justin Jeffery gave the reverence. A native Texan, he said his heart goes out to the students, school employees and families in Santa Fe. He thanked the Administration and Board of Education for proactive steps they’ve take to improve the safety of schools. It’s been said that Park Lane is the best kept secret in Sandy, Jeffery said. The school serves 400 “wonderfully diverse” students and takes seriously the full education of children, from academic advancements to social awareness.

    Consent Agenda

    The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the May 8, 2018 meeting of the Board; hiring and termination reports; purchasing bids; student-overnight travel requests; and April financial reports.  In a separate motion, the Board also approved the elementary and middle school bell schedules for the 2018-2019 school year.

    Patron Comment

    Riley Cox, seventh-grade student at Albion Middle, asked the Board to help schools provide more elective technology classes. 

    Kristen Cox, a parent and current executive director of Utah Governor's Office of Management and Budget, encouraged the Board to provide more technology classes.  She said her son, Riley, conducted all the research for his presentation to the Board of Education.

    Draper Park Middle parent Wendy Smith thanked the Board for their service. She urged the Board to consider other school schedules that would provide more time for electives. She voiced a concern that high-quality teachers in elective offerings will leave for other Districts.

    Draper Park Middle parent Chad Smith said he worries Canyons District has prioritized science, technology, engineering and mathematics over the arts in Canyons District.  He also said SCC members at his school have expressed concern about the Board’s process for schools to select schedules. He said the Board and District should take oversight, instead of giving each community, through the SCC, a vote on the school schedule. 

    Parent and Comcast representative Dan Conger encouraged the Board to invest more in robotics programs.

    Superintendent Report

    Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe thanked the Canyons District Human Resources department for their work in recruiting and hiring licensed staff. Some 151 teachers have been hired for the coming school year. Twenty-five positions, mostly in Special Education, remain open for the coming school year.   

    Wilcox said he appreciated the ideas of the patrons who spoke in favor of expanding STEM offerings in Canyons. He also thanked the school community for a successful school year.

    Board Reports

    Mr. Mont Millerberg noted the Office of Public Communication’s quick response in communicating emergency situations to the Board, Administration and the public. He also commended Wilcox for crafting the District’s tentative budget, and Facilities Director Rick Conger for heading up the facilities-improvement plan. Millerberg reported on attending Special Education Sports Day and Brookwood Elementary’s kindergarten Day. He also attended Union Middle’s production of “Into the Woods,” which included about 250 students

    Mr. Steve Wrigley attended the Canyons District Film Festival, the Latinos in Action end-of-year banquet, Special Education field day, and Hillcrest’s production of “Beautiful Game.” 

    Ms. Amber Shill reported on attending the tour of Butler Middle of a delegation of dual-language immersion teachers; the RizePoint scholarship reception, Butler Elementary’s “World Night,” Brighton High’s spring sport competitions; Oakdale and Ridgecrest elementary SCC meetings and the LIA banquet and the Park and Recreation Advisory Board.

    Ms. Nancy Tingey reported on meeting visiting teachers who were attending a DLI conference and Granite Elementary’s STEAM night.  She lauded staff, teachers, parents and students for working so hard on such enjoyable end-of-year events. 

    Mrs. Clareen Arnold expressed thanks to the school community for working so hard to make the school year successful.   

    Mr. Chad Iverson reported on attending region and state track meets. He said he enjoyed the study session discussion on Parent-Teacher Conference. He remarked on the proposal to extend the Cottonwood Heights CDA, noting that he would still like to see how it would benefit CSD. He said he’s glad CSD continues the tradition of Lagoon Day for eighth-grade students.

    President Taylor reported on attending Principals Awards Night at Alta High, and commended Principal Brian McGill for his work in emphasizing academic achievement. This year, 124 students received Advanced Diplomas and 134 students received Honors Diplomas, the unique-to-Canyons college- and career-diplomas. This means the students went beyond the state requirements for a high school diploma. He thanked the Board members and administrators for their hard work, and wished Board members good luck on their commencement addresses.