Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00

Headlines Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Around Canyons
CSD home to 7 of Utah's top 25 football prospects

DNews prep football rankings: Brighton No. 3, Jordan No. 4, Corner Canyon No. 15, Alta No. 21

Prep football star from Hawaii to sport Bengal jersey

Corner Canyon's coach Eck talks turf -- the artificial kind -- used by 35 Utah high schools

All eyes on Alta, Corner Canyon in football season openers

Coach Wong back on the sidelines

Expect to see a reboot of Common Core campaign

Higher ed limbo? 4 million have completed 2 years of college, but have no degree or certificate
A nationally known expert on grading, Ken O’Connor, who is known as “The Grade Doctor,” will visit Canyons District on Thursday, July 31 to do a series of workshops.

O’Connor’s daytime workshops will be with Canyons District principals and administrators. His evening workshop will be for parents, patrons and guardians of children in Canyons schools. 

This free public event will be from 7-8 p.m. in the Professional Development Center of the Canyons Support Services Center, 9361 S. 300 East.  

The workshop will assist the Canyons community as schools move forward with discussions about student-achievement data and why grades need to represent a student’s actual level of learning.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 00:00

Headlines Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Around Canyons
Where are the girls in STEM classes? CSD's Hollie Pettersson offers perspectives, research in DNews story

American Legion Auxiliary sends Alta, Corner Canyon, Hillcrest students to Girls State

Corner Canyon music teacher earns prestigious Sorenson arts award

Willow Springs students discover with iPads

Live on 2News: Specialist Grzymkowski talks summertime educational activities

Can one person change the world? See how a recent Hillcrest grad has helped thousands of kids worldwide

Jordan Board approves agreement with cities to prevent district division

Jordan buys out administrator's contract amid split talk
Canyons School District is pleased to announce the 2013-2014 attendance incentive payouts per employee.  The incentive amounts are calculated based on the number of eligible full-time employees and the number of sick, personal and no-pay days taken. The incentive will be included in your paycheck on July 23.

The 2013-2014 payout amounts are as follows:

Employee Group

No Absences

One Absence

Two Absences














*The amount is calculated based on a 40-hour work week.  If an employee worked less, the amount would be prorated according the hours worked.

Summer is for relaxing with a cold drink in one hand and a good book in the other, right?  Not for seven teachers at Draper Park Middle School. .

This group of energetic Canyons teachers hit the pavement in the relay-style, 200-mile Ragnar Relay Series in northern Utah. The Draper Park group, which adopted the name “Team Viking” after the middle school’s mascot, jogged day and night on the roads wending through such picturesque towns as Eden, Liberty and Mountain Green.

In the Ragnar race — known for its runners that often sport crazy costumes and wacky team names — one runner on the team runs at a time. But each runner goes several times, with each leg ranging in length and difficulty. 

The Draper Park team was formed when sixth-grade social studies teacher Kami Ambercrombie sent an e-mail message to all Draper Park faculty and staff, asking if anyone was interested in forming a team to tackle the grueling hills and dirt roads of the Wasatch Back. Those who responded soon found themselves putting in their training miles at the nearby Corner Canyon High, said art teacher Meghan Schott. 

Schott was joined on the team by Ambercrombie; sixth-grade social studies teacher Brook Bergeson; eighth-grade math teacher Tania Kenney; seventh-grade science teacher Rhonda Clark; seventh-grade language arts teacher Whitney Lee; and eighth-grade U.S. history teacher Emily Nancy. Assistant Principal Dave Barrett supported his teachers by volunteering along the race route. 

At the race, “Team Viking” caught the attention of a Deseret News photographer and photos of the bunch appeared on the cover of the Sunday, June 29, 2014 edition of the newspaper.

Schott says that the group “had a blast” running the race.  “It definitely brought us all closer together,” she said, adding that the experience highlighted their respective organizational and communication skills, work ethic and good senses of humor.

“Luckily, since we are middle school teachers we all have these qualities,” she said. “Also, the ability to take naps in a van was key.”

In 2012, the Utah Legislature passed Senate Bill 64, specifying that teacher evaluation must include: 1) documentation of student growth, 2) evidence of instructional quality, and 3) response to stakeholder input. This new law required that the District establish a new evaluation process for teachers and administrators. In fall of 2013 the District’s Joint Education Evaluation Committee (JEEC) established the following priorities for a new evaluation system that complies with state law:
  • Create a growth plan for all teachers, recognizing that in a teacher’s first years they will perform at different levels and rates.
  • Ensure that mentoring and coaching for all teachers offer multiple opportunities for public practice, feedback, and self-reflection.
  • Use multiple reliable and valid measures to make conclusions about a teacher’s potential to be effective throughout their career.
  • Address the importance of a teacher's willingness to apply feedback by incorporating improvement strategies and supports in the district’s educator effectiveness process.
Starting in the 2014-15 school year teachers will participate in an operational field test of the Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System (CTESS). Through this process teachers will implement team and individual learning goals while receiving ongoing feedback about classroom techniques and contributions to teamwork.

CTESS At A Glance

(Click on the standards below)

1) Understand the Utah Effective Teaching Standards and the Canyons Academic Framework

Utah Effective Teaching Standards have been aligned with Canyons Core Expectations

2) Orientation and Notification

Orientation takes place annually. It includes review of:
  • Standards, and framework
  • Student growth
  • Stakeholder input
  • The observation tools
CSD evaluation processes and timeline

3) Self-assessment – Professional Growth Plan

Each educator:
  • Completes a self –assessment by rating themselves on the standards in four domains – Planning, Instructing, Adjusting and Reflecting
  • Creates a professional growth goal and develops a plan for compiling evidence and accomplishing the goal
  • Sends self-assessment to supervisor for review via electronic platform

4) Beginning of the Year Conference

Supervisor reviews self-assessment, professional growth goal and plan, then communicates with each educator in a conference or email about:
  • Acceptance of the goal and plan
  • Suggestions for changes or additions
  • Any further feedback

5) September through May

  • Observations begin 15 calendar days after the orientation.
  • Feedback (face-to-face or electronic) given within 15 days of observation
  • Instructional Priority Observation Protocol (IPOP) used as the universal tool
  • Targeted observation tools provide feedback on specific aspects of best teaching practices (Classroom PBIS, Explicit Instruction, Opportunities to Respond, Explicit Vocabulary Instruction, Scaffolded Instruction, Instructional Rigor and Providing Feedback)
  • Non-provisional teachers observed (IPOP) at least twice for a minimum of 15 minutes each, additional targeted observations as needed
  • Provisional teachers observed (IPOP) twice by November 15th (rating and conference by Dec. 15th) and twice again by March 15th (observations, rating and conference) for a minimum of 15 minutes each, additional targeted observations as needed
  • Educators upload evidence to support progress made on their goal (2-3 pieces of evidence e.g. additional observation data, video reflection, lesson plans tied to observations)

6) Feedback

Additional data gathered on the electronic platform
  • Walk-throughs
  • Outside the classroom observations (collaboration meetings)
  • Lesson plans
  • Interactions with peers and community
  • Feedback (face-to-face or electronic) within 15 days of observation
  • Response to stakeholder input


7) End of the Year Conference

  • Review rankings (student achievement, summative evaluation, stakeholder surveys)
  • Review Professional Growth Plan
  • Review evidence to determine if goals were reached
  • Discuss next steps (pre-plan)


1. What is the purpose of educator evaluation in Canyons?

The purpose of evaluation in Canyons is to prioritize professional growth and support for all educators, retain and promote effective educators, and ensure that every student receives high-quality instruction every day.  With this purpose, the Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System (CTESS) has been developed to increase feedback to educators about instruction and increase the use of public practice applications by Canyons professional educators.

2. Why are we changing the evaluation process for teachers and administrators?

Senate Bill 64, passed by the Utah Legislature and signed into law in 2012 requires three components be included in evaluation of school personnel:  

a) evidence of student growth, 

b) assessment of instructional quality, and 

c) utilization of stakeholder input. 

In preparing to comply with the requirements of the new law, the Canyons Board of Education and the District’s Joint Educator Evaluation Committee (JEEC) recommended a new process for evaluation that better aligns with the purpose of educator evaluation in Canyons.  This required a system other than JPAS.

3. Will JPAS continue in Canyons?

For the 2014-15 school year, the vast majority of Canyons educators will participate in the operational field test of Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System (CTESS).  A few teachers, who have been notified by Human Resources, will be finishing their evaluation cycle with JPAS this year, as well.

4. How will the three required components of evaluation be weighted?

The Utah State Office of Education will assign weights to the following three components:
  • Evidence of student growth
  • Assessment of instructional quality
  • Utilization of stakeholder input?
Their pdftimeline suggests that weighting will be piloted in 2014-15 and final weighting will be determined in 2015-16.

5. What will the evaluation schedule look like from year to year?

The law requires that each career educator receive a rating of effectiveness every year and that provisional educators receive 2 ratings per year.

6. What are the standards for performance included in the CTESS process?

The CTESS process will measure implementation of the Utah Effective Teacher Standards and the Canyons Academic Framework to Support Effective Instruction. This framework incorporates the latest educational research and policy information with Canyons’ program evaluation data to articulate on one page the standards for Canyons educators. Each year the framework is reevaluated by teachers and administrators and adjusted for clarity and to incorporate new knowledge. If you would like a poster of the framework for your classroom, please contact the .

7. How was the Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System (CTESS) process developed?

Over the past year, the District’s Joint Educator Evaluation Committee (JEEC), which includes principals, teachers, and parents (4 of each), studied current policy, research, and reported data about educator evaluation from around the country and made recommendations.  These recommendations were then translated into observation protocols and planning templates.  All administrators, and many teachers and coaches, participated in piloting of the protocols and templates to provide feedback and improve the recommendations.  2014-15 is an operational field test where components of the process will be practiced and refined as needed.

8. What will the Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System (CTESS) process look like?

The CTESS process will include a self-assessment where teachers will prioritize personal goals as they relate to team and school goals. All teachers will be observed while instructing at least 2 times by their supervisor using the Instructional Priorities Observation Protocol (IPOP). Because the standards include actions that take place outside of the classroom, the process will also include documentation of lesson planning and observation of collaboration and teaming. The process is focused on growth and improvement and seeks to provide educators with more actionable feedback than they have received in years past. In addition to information about instructional technique, planning, and collaboration, educators will receive a student growth appraisal and collect stakeholder input.

9. How will student growth be measured?

Following state recommendations there are three ways that student growth will be measured. For tested subjects and grades, the SAGE assessment and median student growth percentile, or MSGP, will be utilized. Tested subjects and grades include:

  1. English language arts grades 3-11
  2. Math grades 3-8 along with Secondary Math I, II, and III
  3. Science grades 4-8 plus Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

For untested subjects and grades, educators will measure student growth through Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) or Rate of Improvement (ROI). For more information on these measures of student growth please view screencasts 4) Student Growth Part 2 and 5) Stakeholder Input.

10. Why and how will student input be collected for the stakeholder input portion of the evaluation process?

Research indicates that well crafted student surveys are reliable and valid predictors of student achievement and valuable sources of feedback to improve teaching. During Spring 2014 many teachers in Canyons volunteered to pilot student surveys. After receiving feedback from teachers, administrators, and students, separate surveys for early elementary, upper elementary, and secondary students were finalized. Each survey has been statistically analyzed to ensure its reliability and validity. The process for collecting surveys has not yet been finalized.

11. During the operational field test, how can teachers provide feedback?

One of the benefits of field-testing is the opportunity to refine and adjust as new information is learned about evaluation and effectiveness. Throughout the year, surveys will be utilized to improve the process. If you have additional questions please send them to .
Monday, 14 July 2014 00:00

Native American Scholarships


  • Accenture American Indian Scholarship
    • Each academic year, Accenture selects students who demonstrate character, personal merit and commitment to the American Indian community locally and/or nationally. Merit is demonstrated through leadership in school, civic and extracurricular activities, academic achievement, and motivation to serve and succeed.
  • American Indian Services Scholarship
    • Please take a moment to complete the application form online if you are interested in receiving scholarship assistance through American Indian Services. Be sure to read the requirements to ensure that you qualify for scholarship support.
  • Chief Manuelito Scholarship
    • The Chief Manuelito Scholarship was established in 1980 to provide scholarships to high achieving Navajo high school graduates. The scholarships are awarded based on ACT/SAT test scores and final high school grade point average (GPA). Students receive $7,000 annually to cover direct educational expenses associated with attending a post-secondary institution.
  • Gates Millennium Scholars
    • The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice.
  • Indian Education-Higher Education Grant Program
    • The Indian Education-Higher Education Grant Program intends to provide financial aid to eligible Indian students to enable them to attend accredited institutions of higher education.


  • American Indian College Fund
    • The American Indian College Fund was established in 1989 to provide scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native students attending tribal colleges, and to fund and create awareness about the community-based accredited tribal colleges and universities that offer students access to knowledge and skills alongside Native culture, language, and values. The American Indian College Fund also provides scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students attending any other accredited public and non-profit private college all across the United States.
  • American Indian Services
    • AIS makes educational opportunities possible for qualifying Native American students who otherwise could not afford it. We provide more than 2300 scholarships annually. Students qualify for participation based on academic merit as well as financial need. The Result: Native American graduates who will lead their tribal communities into a hopeful future.
  • American Indian Graduate Center
    • The American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) is a national private 501(c)(3) non profit headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico providing fellowships to American Indian and Alaska Native graduate students throughout the United States. AIGC offers this list as a courtesy to our peer organizations and students. All information regarding each of the following scholarships is submitted by each program. Please contact each of the following organizations directly with any questions or concerns.
  • Big Future: Paying for College
    • There's money out there to help you pay for college and there's also guidance to help you find scholarships, learn the process of applying for financial aid and discover internships from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion. Enter as much information as possible to find the most matches. Scholarship information is based on the College Board's Annual Survey of Financial Aid Programs.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid
    • Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. At the office of Federal Student Aid, our 1,200 employees help make college education possible for every dedicated mind by providing more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 15 million students paying for college or career school. We are proud to sponsor millions of American minds pursuing their educational dreams.   
  • Finaid: Financial Aid for American Indian Students
    • This page provides information about financial aid for Native American students. In order for a student to be eligible for many Native American scholarships, such as BIA scholarships, the student should be an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe. Otherwise funding will most likely be denied. A Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB) card or document is generally accepted proof of membership in a federally recognized tribe.
  • National Indian Education Association
    • The National Indian Education Association advances comprehensive educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians throughout the United States and advocates for Native students. The association wants to make sure that every Native student knows about other funding opportunities to help them succeed in their academic career by providing a listing of organizations who offer scholarships and internships.
  • Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship & Financial Assistance
    • The Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance serves eligible Navajo people and provides students the opportunity to achieve their educational goals. This opportunity is provided as a privilege with the intent that recipients, upon graduation, will return to the Navajo Nation to apply their learning to benefit the continuing development of the Navajo Nation.
  • Utah Division of Indian Affairs
    • The Utah Division of Indian Affairs promotes positive intergovernmental relations and the government to government relationship between the State of Utah and Utah’s American Indian tribes. A listing of available scholarships is provided to inform community members of potential scholarship opportunities that could financially assist families and students who are pursuing post-secondary education.
  • Utah Futures Career Information System
    • Use Utah Futures Career Information System to learn all you can about how to apply for financial aid and scholarships. Understanding the application process for both will help you get the most out of the online tools that Utah Futures has to offer and get the most funding for your education!