CSD wants to hear from you about a proposed school calendar for the 2016-2017 school year.

This calendar is proposed by a District Calendar Committee of 23 parents, teachers and school employees. The committee is proposing to start and end school one week earlier than shown on the school calendar tentatively approved by the Board last year. The change would allow for an additional week of instruction prior to year-end testing.  Additionally, the committee took into account state law that students attend school 180 days and 990 hours each academic year, and the desire to provide periodic professional development time for teachers and breaks for families.

View Calendar:

The Board of Education would like your feedback on the proposed 2016-2017 academic calendar before its next calendar discussion, scheduled for Nov. 11, 2014. Click on the button below to send us your feedback.

Give Feedback

Public feedback will be accepted through Nov. 9, 2014.
What will the new Butler Elementary provide for students and community members? Plans to rebuild the school as part of the $250 million voter-approved bond are in the works. Architect VCBO is working on site plan concepts at the new school, which would be built on the same campus adjacent to the current footprint, according to the company's presentation to the Canyons Board of Education Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014.

Possible site concepts include "kitchen tables" outside the classrooms for student collaboration and window seats in classrooms. Classroom wings would include a support room for coaching, testing and other support; restrooms; and secure exterior doors to a courtyard area for additional learning opportunities. The building will include a secure vestibule entry.

The new Butler Elementary would be built on a smaller footprint, but have more space than the current school because it would have two levels and be built to hold 800 students – about 200 more than currently attend the school. The idea is to lure some students back to CSD who are attending out-of-district schools on special permits, Canyons CFO Leon Wilcox said.

To listen to VCBO's discussion, visit BoardDocs and click The Oct. 21, 2014 Agenda, Item 2D.
Student Achievement Rising

Student achievement is on the rise in Canyons. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie reported rising test performance data in elementary, middle and high schools, and invited several teachers and teaching teams to explain the improvements. She said that Canyons student achievement is indicative of how hard teachers are working. It also demonstrates the effects of the Board's academic initiatives, including the use of evidence-based research to guide decision-making; high academic standards and a strong curriculum; and grade reconfiguration, the state's first college-ready diplomas, and middle school schedule changes.

  • ACT achievement is rising in all tested subjects and outpacing state averages, with significant gains in English Language Arts. Corner Canyon High School English Language Arts teacher Michelle Ritter attributed the gains to teacher flexibility and collaboration and a comprehensive core curriculum. She said that in her 21 years of teaching, she's never felt such a strong sense of community with colleagues.
  • Rising numbers of high school seniors are earning CSD Advanced and Honors diplomas by taking more challenging courses and, for the Honors Diploma, achieving college-readiness benchmark scores on the ACT. The number of students achieving Advanced and Honors diplomas has risen from 60 percent of the Class of 2011 to 71 percent of the Class of 2014. Numbers of graduates achieving the more challenging Honors Diplomas has risen from 27 percent of the class of 2011 to 35 percent of the class of 2014
  • Middle School SRI scores have shown tremendous gains. The percentage of students achieving at advanced levels has increased four fold, and the number of students scoring at below basic has dropped by more than 60 percent. Dr. McCarrie attributed the gains to ensuring eighth-graders are on track for college-readiness and cross-curricular teaching teams. Butler Middle School sixth-grade teachers said teaming allows customization in core classes; use of student achievement data to help students; and feedback and collaboration among teachers. They said it also gives students a sense of belonging.
  • In Elementary Schools, Reading CBM test performance has gone from 56 percent proficiency in fall 2009 to 69 percent proficiency at the start of this school year, with a goal of 80 percent proficiency by year's end. Math trend are simliar, with proficiency rising from 56 percent in fall 2010 to 75 percent now. Sandy Elementary teacher Bethany Smith said that students are making real-world connections and more fully understanding math

Board Vice President Wrigley thanked Dr. McCarrie for the presentation, and said teachers' work toward academic improvements has represented a monumental task. He said that testing is needed to ensure that students are not left behind and that teachers have tools to help students achieve.

To view the presentation or listen to the discussion, visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 8E.

Board Votes to Rebuild Alta View Elementary

The Board unanimously voted to rebuild Alta View Elementary with proceeds from the $250 million bond voters approved in June 2010. The action followed months of public input from White City township officials, parents, and the principals and School Community Councils at Alta View and neighboring Bell View and Edgemont elementary schools. The bond proposal in 2010 stated that a yet-to-be-determined school in the White City area would be rebuilt with bond proceeds. Alta View was identified for rebuilding largely because of its advanced age and condition. Several parents also encouraged the Board to rebuild the school during the meeting's public comment period. The rebuilt Alta View Elementary is slated to open in 2017.

To listen to the discussion, visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 8B.

College Application Week Coming to Canyons

The Board unanimously approved a proclamation for all CSD high schools to participate in Utah College Application Week Nov. 17-21. During that time, all CSD high school students will complete a college application during the regular school day with the help of counselors, faculty, support professionals and parent volunteers. Utah College Application Week, sponsored by the Utah System of Higher Education's StepUp to Higher Education campaign, complements the Board's mission to ensure that all students are ready for college and careers when they graduate high school.

The Board's action followed endorsements from student leaders from all five CSD high schools, who came to the Board Meeting decked in letter sweaters and T-shirts emblazoned with logos of their favorite colleges and universities. The students said College Application Week will help them, as well as students who may not have thought they could apply to college, start forging plans for the future.

"It sets everyone on an equal playing field ... and lets them take their education to the next level," Jordan High Student Body Officer Bronson Battaglia said of College Application Week. "That's what college is all about."

College Application Week is part of the American College Application Campaign, a national initiative that aims to remove barriers to higher education and increase the number of first-generation and low-income students who pursue a postsecondary education.

"I was the first person in my family to go to college – on either side of my family. I didn't think I had what it takes," said Board Member Tracy Cowdell, who since has earned two undergraduate degrees and a law degree. "Education opened doors, and literally changed my life and my family's life," he said. "I'm glad we're making this a priority. It's what we're all about."

The Board's vote was punctuated by a spontaneous group photo, where dozens of students joined Board members in cheering for their favorite college or university while mugging for cameras.

To view the proclamation or listen to the discussion, visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 8D.

Calendar Proposal Discussed, Public Feedback Sought

The Board wants to receive public input on a proposed change to the tentative 2016-2017 academic calendar. The proposed calendar change will be placed this week on the District website, www.canyonsdistrict.org for public feedback as directed by the Board. The proposal was forwarded by a CSD Calendar Committee of 23 parents, teachers and school employees who took into account the following: state law that students attend 180 days and 990 hours of school each academic year; an aim to end school the week of Memorial Day; and desire to provide periodic professional development time for teachers and breaks for families. The Board is expected to discuss the public input in its Nov. 11 meeting.

Planning and Enrollment Director Ben Lems presented the proposed calendars to the Board. He also reported that the 2015-2016 calendar approved by the Board in fall of 2013 needs no further action, unless the Board decides to modify the elementary calendar to mirror this year's calendar by adding two Professional Development days in lieu of instruction, as allowed this year by the Utah Legislature.

To view the proposed calendars or listen to the discussion, visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2C.

Butler Elementary Reconstruction Progressing

Plans to rebuild Butler Elementary as part of the $250 million voter-approved bond are well in the works. Architect VCBO is working on site plan concepts at the new school, which would be built on the same campus adjacent to the current footprint.

Site concepts include "kitchen tables" outside the classrooms for student collaboration and window seats in classrooms. Classroom wings would include a support room for coaching, testing and other support; restrooms; and secure exterior doors to a courtyard area for additional learning. The building will include a secure vestibule entry. The school would be built on a smaller footprint, but have more space than the current school because it would have two levels and be built to hold 800 students – about 200 more than currently attend the school. The idea is to lure some students back to CSD who are attending out-of-district schools on special permits, Canyons CFO Leon Wilcox said.

To view the presentation or listen to the discussion, visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2D.

JumpRope Pilot Update

The JumpRope gradebook system is being piloted at East Midvale, Midvalley, Silver Mesa and Sunrise elementary schools. Dr. Darren Draper, CSD Education Technology Director, reported that JumpRope is a more user-friendly tool and is able to produce more detailed, easy-to-understand reports about learning standards and student progress. These progress reports will be communicated to parents in I-CANyons Student Reports. CSD's current Skyward Student Information System technology is not as detailed in its grade-book reporting functions.

To view the presentation or listen to the discussion, visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2A.

Board Recognizes 11 for Outstanding Achievements

The Board recognized seven educators, one student, one volunteer, one school nurse and one paraeducator for their achievements. They are:

• Lori Jones, Principal, Sprucewood Elementary: Utah Technology Council Educator of the Year
• Carla Handy: Utah PTA Golden Apple Volunteer Award
• Quinn Linde, Corner Canyon High: Utah PTA Golden Apple, Outstanding Educator
• Robin Collett, Canyons Special Education Director: Utah Parent Center Administrator of the Year
• Laurie Hofstetter, Eastmont Middle: Utah Parent Center Paraeducator of the Year
• Teresa Scheidler-Hildebrand, Canyons District School Nurse: Mary Ito Award
• Chad Fife, Jordan High: American Baseball Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year
• Rebecca Crowley, Butler Middle: 2014 Sorenson Legacy Award, Excellence in Dance
• Sue Malone, Principal, Hillcrest High: National Merit Scholar Advisory Panel
• JoAnn Plant, Hillcrest High: 2014 Family Links Educator of the Year
• Peter Conder, Hillcrest High: 2014 Family Links Student of the Year

Board Action

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the Oct. 7 Minutes; Purchasing Bids; September Financial Reports, Hires and Terminations; the Sandy Elementary Easement; a Cell Tower at Corner Canyon High School; and the Utah Consolidated Application. The Board also approved overnight student travel for Alta Girls Basketball and Softball; Brighton Baseball and Swimming; Corner Canyon AP Art History; Hillcrest Drill Team; and Jordan Band/Choir.

The Board discussed the temporary relocation of Midvale Middle School to the old Crescent View Elementary during its reconstruction with bond funding. Cowdell noted city leaders are supportive of the temporary move during reconstruction. Board President Sherril Taylor said the transportation Office has been working out plans to safely transport Midvale Middle students to the old Crescent View during that time. The Board is expected to vote in the next meeting.

Superintendent Jim Briscoe introduced an agreement to enter a "Promise Partnership" with United Way to help students in Midvale schools. Dr. Briscoe said he was looking forward to the partnership which, if approved by the Board, likely would be in place by next fall, and may require fundraising. Board Member Robert Green thanked General Counsel Dan Harper and Dr. Briscoe for drafting the proposed agreement. The discussion will continue in the next Board Meeting.

Wilcox presented a proposal to ensure Canyons is in line with a new law regarding internal audits. The law requires the District audit committee to monitor internal audit functions and hire an internal audit director, which Wilcox recommends be a contractor who would be secured following an RFP. The committee will audit financial statements with CSD's external auditor, Squire & Company, then present statements to the full Board in December.

Patron Comments

Region 17 PTA President Betty Shaw praised the Board for support of the PTA and for recognizing student and employee achievements in CSD.

Four patrons supported rebuilding Alta View Elementary with bond money because of issues with building codes, safety, nad traffic concerns. They are PTA President Kellie Simmons; Paulina Flint of the White City Township Community Council; Alta View School Community Council Chairwoman Kelly Collinson; and parent Jason Williams.

To listen to the comments, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 6A.

Superintendent's Report

Dr. Briscoe praised McCarrie's academic achievement presentation and the Board and Administration for setting initiatives and bringing about positives change with school leaders and educators. He said the Board has a standard for high expectations, and the data show the results of those expectations and initiatives. He said while there are areas of concern, much progress is being made. He said he would like to have such presentations in each meeting to show progress and what work is left to be done.

CFO's Report

Wilcox reported that the official Oct. 1 headcount showed CSD's enrollment continues to hover around 33,676. He noted highest enrollments by school level: 2,263 students at Hillcrest High, 1,504 students at Draper Park Middle, and 764 students at Willow Springs Elementary. He noted the exciting progress at Mount Jordan Middle rebuilding. With this being college-colors day, he said he wanted to note the score of 35-20 for Utah State, referencing the Brigham Young University football team's loss to the Aggies.

Board Reports

Chad Iverson quipped that he wished the Board Meeting involved wearing college insignia three weeks ago when some thought BYU would beat USU. He said he was excited to see the academic data, and the student presentations showing their excitement about going to college. He said he too has very personal experiences about the importance of education.

Cowdell said it was exciting to see the staff dressed in college-insignia shirts this evening. He thanked the people of Canyons and the Board for the kindness they've shown in the wake of his family member's death last week.

Wrigley said he had the opportunity to visit Peruvian Park Elementary and discuss the importance of School Community Councils. He said a lot of good things are happening with parent involvement, and wants to encourage more SCC presidents to reach out to parents and encourage their participation. He also thanked the Region 17 PTA for hosting its "Meet the Candidates Night."

Second Vice President Nancy Tingey thanked the Administration for providing SCC trainings, and noted the second training is Wednesday evening. She said that meaningful parent, teacher and community engagement plays a part and reflects well in CSD student achievement. She said Gov. Gary Herbert addressed the Utah School Boards Association Board of Directors on which she serves. She said Gov. Herbert discussed the importance of building relationships and communicating with community members, and mentioned a new report card will replace the UCAS state accountability system. She congratulated Brighton Girls Soccer for their outstanding play at the 5A State Semifinals today, where Davis scored in the second overtime to advance to the championships, and noted the team's outstanding record. She also noted the epic football game between Brighton and Jordan last week that Brighton won in triple overtime, and wished all high school teams well.

Kim Horiuchi said made a presentation to the Cottonwood Heights City Council, and noted that architects VCBO had been recognized for work on Butler Middle School as one of the top new schools in the country. She said building design is critical to learning, and that new buildings raise up an entire community. She said she was pleased to tackle many of the building needs with the bond, and hopes the District can address remaining needs. She said it was exciting to see building progress at Butler Elementary and thanked the Board for moving up the construction schedule there. She thanked CSD Arts Consortium Chair Sharee Jorgensen for her work in helping students participate at the state choir concert at Temple Square last week, which involved 630 students statewide and participants from all CSD high schools.

Robert Green said he was looking forward to presenting at Corner Canyon High School's Career Day Wednesday.

President Sherril Taylor said he enjoyed the presentations from Dr. McCarrie and teachers, and noted their enthusiasm for their classroom. He said teachers and support staff in the schools and District offices are appreciated for all their work and cannot be thanked enough.

Closed Session

The Board met in Closed Session for the purposes of discussing the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual; reasonably imminent litigation; and discussing the purchase, exchange, or lease of real property.
The Canyons Board of Education unanimously voted to rebuild Alta View Elementary  with proceeds from the $250 million bond voters approved in June 2010.

The Board action came at its Oct. 21, 2014 Business Meeting, and  followed months of public input from White City township officials, parents, and the principals and School Community Councils at Alta View and neighboring Bell View and Edgemont elementary schools. Alta View was identified as the school to be rebuilt largely because of its advanced age and condition.

The Board's vote allows the process to design the new school to begin. CSD's school design process includes community members, employees and school and District leaders. The rebuilt Alta View Elementary is slated to open in 2017.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 00:00

Canyons School District Pan Sale 2014

The Canyons Pan Sale is back again! The pan sale is a great way to get NEW, high-quality kitchen products at a very low cost. The pan sale will be October 28 & 29, 2014, from 12-6 pm. It will be located in the portables east of the Canyons Support Services Center on 9400 South 300 East. Click here to see the flier for more information.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 00:00

Headlines Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Around Canyons
CSD Library Media Specialist Barb Hopkins to hike Everest to raise money for literacy

Silver Mesa Elementary student petitions for American Girl doll store to locate in Utah

Art collection lives on at Oakdale Elementary

Dads patrol Altara Elementary

5A State Girls Soccer: Brighton falls to Davis after hard-fought 2OT semifinals battle

5A State Girls Soccer: Alta falls to Lone Peak in semifinals

Statewide assembly promotes STEM

Trib Talk: State testing boss discusses SAGE test score delays 

DNews: Stem the dropout rate

DNews: Technology critical, costly

A gridiron standout at Brighton High will dash onto the national athletic stage this January when he suits up to play in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the country’s premiere high school football game. 

During a Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 assembly at the high school, Osa Masina, who was last year’s All-Tribune MVP, received his official invitation and a jersey for the bowl, which will be played in San Antonio’s Alamodome.

“Football, like the Army, provides young Americans with training, discipline and experiences that make them mentally, emotionally, and physically strong.  It takes a special person to be a soldier, just as it takes a special athlete to be selected as a U.S. Army All-American,” U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joe Schaffner said during the assembly.

“U.S. Army All-Americans not only possess these strengths of a soldier, they live the Army values:  loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage,” Schaffner said.  “They are dedicated, motivated and know how to be a member of a team, as well as a leader.” 

Students, parents, patrons and Bengal supporters packed Brighton's gym to witness the official invitation and jersey presentation for Masina, the 6-foot, 4-inch, 233-pound outside linebacker who is listed as a five-star recruit on Scout.com.    

Masina spoke briefly at the event, expressing thanks to his parents, coaches and his “brothers” on the Bengal football team, which has a 27-8 record with Masina as a starting player.  “I love Brighton High,” he said, “and I wouldn’t trade (this time) for anything in the world.” 

The Jan. 3 bowl, which will be broadcast on NBC, pits the country’s best 90 prep players in a classic east versus west matchup.  Last year’s bowl, its 14th anniversary, drew a crowd of some 40,000 fans for the second year in a row.

As a result of Masina being selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, BHS head coach Ryan Bullett is invited to travel to San Antonio and attend the U.S. Army Coaches Academy, an elite three-day learning experience that focuses on leadership, football and physical development.  The invited coaches also attend the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Awards Show and the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.   

One of Masina’s best characteristics as a player, Bullett said, is that “he doesn’t care who gets the credit.” To Masina, the coach said, it’s about being committed to the progress of the team as a whole. 

For 14 years, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has served as the pre-eminent launching pad for America’s future college and NFL stars. In all, 274 former bowl players have been selected in the NFL draft, including 69 first-round selections and one overall No. 1 pick.

International Honors for Silver Mesa Elementary

Felicitaciones, Silver Mesa Elementary. The Canyons District Spanish Dual-Language Immersion school received the prestigious International Spanish Academies designation during the International Conference on Immersion Education in Salt Lake City last week.

“It is quite an honor to be designated an ISA school,” Silver Mesa Principal Julie Fielding said. “Our teachers are amazing and are well-deserving of this recognition.”

ISA is an international cooperative educational project between schools in the U.S. and Canada and the Ministry of Education and Science of Spain. It aims to develop quality bilingual education programs promoting high academic standards for all children, provide multicultural education, and foster international relations and understanding.

The program identifies, recognizes and provides resources to enhance the efforts of exemplary programs dedicated to teaching Spanish language and culture. The Embassy of Spain supports these exemplary ISA programs through specialized visiting teachers, conversation assistants and providing professional development opportunities for educators, as well as study abroad opportunities for educators and students alike.

“Our students, whether they are in the immersion program or not, have the opportunity of learning about the Spanish culture, doing art, practicing greetings, and exploring Spanish holidays and customs.  We are excited and grateful for this distinction for our school.”

Silver Mesa is the second Canyons District school to receive ISA model-school designation. In 2012, ISA recognized Alta View Elementary for excellence in its Spanish-English Dual-Language Immersion Program.  

Both schools hosted visits from the Embassy of Spain’s new Education Counselor, Maria Jose Fabre Gonzalez, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. During the visit, the Counselor, who offices in Washington, D.C., was joined by representatives of the Spanish Embassy in Los Angeles and the Utah State Office of Education. Her tour of the Sandy schools was hosted by Canyons District Spanish Dual-Language Immersion Specialist Ofelia Wade.

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  • Tuesday, 21 October 2014 00:00

    Headlines Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

    Around Canyons
    Live on 2News: How to help kids eat healthy foods? CSD's Sebasthian Varas has tips

    Girls Soccer: Brighton beats American Fork to advance to 5A State Semifinals

    Football: Brighton outlasts Jordan in 3OT thriller

    Football: Corner Canyon remains undefeated following last-minute comeback

    Football: Bengals v. Beetdiggers match the most epic in state history?

    DNews Prep of the Week: Brighton's Robbie Hutchins

    Corner Canyon No. 2, Alta No. 3 in Cycling League race at Snowbasin

    SAGE release delayed; are student reports too complex?

    NCLB deadline approaches, but are our students proficient yet?

    NEA, UEA leaders: Best school reform ideas come from educators