To help youngsters get a jump-start on their education, Canyons District next week will begin accepting applications for limited spots in a program that will provide supplemental hours of instruction for kindergarten-age children.

The application window for this opt-in program, which has been designed to provide additional academic supports past the regular hours of instruction, will open at 9 a.m. on Wedneday, June 1, 2016.  Applications are to be submitted through the CSD website.

The program is open to all CSD students of kindergarten age. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Computers will be available at Canyons schools for families who do not have computers or Internet connectivity at home. 

The yearly fee for the pilot program is $2,950, which can be paid in monthly installments. Needs-based scholarships are available for qualifying students. 

Classes will be offered at Altara, Bella Vista, Brookwood, East Sandy, Edgemont and Oakdale elementary schools, and an effort will be made to enroll students at schools closest to their homes. However, there will be no guarantees for placement at a specific school. 

The kindergarten class will attend school for the same amount of time as the other grades. Click here to see the bell schedules for all Canyons schools.

Questions?  Call 801-826-5045 or send an e-mail message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A power outage has forced the cancellation of school today at Alta High. The decision was made after careful consideration of alternatives, and is largely due to the absence of natural light in the building and inability to effectively conduct classes.

Alta High lost power today at about 8:30 a.m., and the utility company will not be able to fix the issue until after 3 p.m. We regret the inconvenience this may cause families, but please be assured that all students are safe and will remain in the commons area where there is the most natural light until they can either get on a bus or arrange for transportation. Students who live within walking distance also may leave for the day.

The District has notified parents via phone and email. Operators also are on hand to answer any questions they may have at 801-826-5000.



Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking the corresponding agenda items.

Sandy City Redevelopment Proposal

Sandy City seeks permission from the Canyons Board of Education to adopt a tax-increment financing district to spur redevelopment of the core of downtown. The city also seeks to extend by 10 years increment financing on an existing project. Both projects are needed to support a rapidly growing and changing population, said Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan. “We want more high-tech jobs so people can live here, work here and play here.” The city plans to develop an upscale, transit-oriented community on 1,100 acres between TRAX and I-15 and 9000 South and 10600 South. The mixed-use area would include retail, entertainment and office space and easily-accessible amenities. Much of the housing will be apartments and condominiums geared for millennials and empty-nesters, and should not have a huge impact on schools. To help finance the project over 20 years, the District would forgo $23.2 million, but receive back an increment payment of $7.2 million. After 20 years, the District would collect taxes on the full value of the property, which should have increased substantially in value. On the extension, the District would forgo $19 million over 10 years, but receive an increment payment of $7.6 million. The Board will take up the issue again at a future Board meeting.

Portable Classroom Transfers

The Board approved the transfer of portable classrooms to accommodate growth and new programming at Lone Peak Elementary. In lieu of moving portables to Butler and Draper Park middle schools, the Board asks principals to maximize use of existing space and traveling teachers. Recognizing that this poses an inconvenience, the Board approved $2,000 stipends for traveling teachers and a $250 stipend for teachers who will have to share classrooms. Stipends also will be made available in the 2016-2017 school year for Corner Canyon High teachers who share classrooms and travel to their teaching spaces.  

Supplemental Kindergarten

The Board approved the launch of a pilot to offer Supplemental Instructional Hours for Kindergarten students provided that all Canyons District patrons, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay, have an opportunity to apply to enroll. Extended kindergarten will be piloted at six schools in the 2016-17 school year: Altara, Bella Vista, Brookwood, East Sandy, Edgemont and Oakdale. Students will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis and an effort will be made to match students with the school closest to their home. Tuition will be charged — $2,900 per year — but can be paid in monthly installments. Some slots will be reserved for children who meet requirements for fee waivers. The administration is to report back to the Board on student progress and the financial viability of the program three times throughout the year.

Canyons District is home to the first middle schools ever to receive STEM designations — a reflection of their strong focus in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Nineteen schools in Utah received the designation — and Draper Park, Mount Jordan and Union were the only middle schools. Sponsored by the Utah State Office of Education and the STEM Action Center, the designation program was created by the Utah Legislature to define the ingredients for the quality of STEM instruction needed to prepare students for college and 21st Century careers. “The designation serves as an indicator for members of the public who are looking for STEM school experiences in Utah K-12 education,” says the STEM Action Center’s website.

School leaders and curriculum specialists were thrilled to receive the designations. “This is a great honor for Union Middle School," Union Vice Principal Doug Hallenbeck said,"particularly for our science department, which has worked cohesively to attain this prestigious level of recognition. It is well deserved for the tremendous amount of work they do for the students of Union.”

In other STEM news, 23 of CSD’s middle school students received scholarships to attend science- and technology-oriented summer camps. The scholarships were sponsored by RizePoint, a software company that recently re-located to the Canyons District community. The winners were honored at a reception at the company’s headquarters, 2890 Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, on Wednesday, May 18.



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Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking the corresponding agenda items.


Negotiated Agreements


The Board unanimously approved tentative negotiated agreements for 2016-2017 with the Canyons Education Association, the Canyons Association of Education Support Professionals, and District Administrators. The tentative agreement with the Canyons Education Association for the 2016-2017 school year will give certificated employees a .59 percent increase in cost of living, in addition to steps and lanes. The contract will extend one paid day. Additionally, the District has adopted a longevity step for teachers with 25 or more local years of experience. They will receive $1,500. Teachers who have between 20 and 24 local years of experience receive $1,000. The agreement also indicates that a $4,200 Educators Salary Adjustment is not to be withheld from educators who do not pass evaluations. The employee association and District also agreed to share the cost of a 7 percent increase in health insurance premiums.

The tentative negotiated agreement with administrators for 2016-2017 includes fully funded incremental steps for eligible employees. The District also will cover a 1.25 percent increase to the base of the Administrative Salary Schedule. The District will fund a 1.25 percent one-time stipend for those administrators on the top step during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Forty-one administrators qualify for this stipend. The administrators agreed to share the 7 percent hike in health-insurance premiums with the District. 

For the Education Support Professionals, the District will pay for incremental steps for eligible employees. About 93 percent of contracted ESP will receive a step increase. Employees also will receive a 1 percent COLA increase to the base of the ESP salary schedule. Also, upon retirement from URS, the District will pay $100 per day for 25 percent of the employee’s accrued but unused sick leave. The ESP association agreed to share with the District the 7 percent hike in health-insurance premiums. 

CTESS Update

Utah state law requires school districts to evaluate administrators and licensed educators based upon “Effective Teaching Standards,” and specifies that evaluations include evidence of student growth, instructional quality and stakeholder input. In the 2014-2015 school year, teachers participated in a field test of Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System (CTESS). Based on their feedback, many changes were made to the system, which was fully implemented this school year, but remains a work in progress. Administrator of Evaluation and Leadership Sandra Dahl-Houlihan and Human Resources Director Stephen Dimond updated the Board on efforts to refine CTESS to provide teachers with more meaningful feedback, including the creation of data dashboards and a Canyons Teacher Support Academy where educators can attend workshops and plug into supports. The goal of evaluation is to help teachers continuously improve, explained Dimond. Data show 93 percent of Canyons’ career educators are effective or highly effective, and 87 percent of provisional teachers are effective or highly effective. Data also show an increase in the number of highly effective teachers and a decrease in the number of those found ineffective. Responding to ongoing concerns that teachers have about CTESS — particularly, confusion over the competencies that teachers are expected to demonstrate — Board members committed to further discussing CTESS at their summer retreat. Canyons Education Association President Jennifer Buttars voiced support for the system, which she said isn’t perfect — but is getting better. “Hundreds of hours have gone into examining the data and tweaking and improving the process,” she said. “We are really close to getting this done.”

State Representative Comments

Special guest Rep. Bruce Cutler, R-Murray, shared his Legislative priorities and remarked on actions taken during the last Legislative session and areas of focus for next year. Lawmakers this year passed a clean up bill to clarify that rule-making authority rests with the State Board of Education and not the Utah State Office of Education. The bill also stipulates that the auditor who oversees education spending reports to the Board. Cutler pledged to continue to work on Legislation next year to put public charter schools on more equal footing with public schools. He expressed interest in making it easier for business professionals to be hired and licensed as teachers, reasoning that it would help alleviate the shortage of educators skilled in math, science and technical fields. Responding to circling debate over the merits of SAGE testing, Cutler said he’s not opposed to the idea of abandoning the test. But he believes lawmakers need more time to weigh options than a Special Session would afford. Cutler also voiced concern about teacher morale, suggesting educators deserve more pay and respect. Finally, he pledged support for more local control of schools and invited the Board to keep him apprised of instances when state policies go too far.

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, including purchasing bids; student overnight travel; hire and termination reports; finance reports; and LAND Trust plans.


Portable Classroom Transfers

The Board postponed approval of the transfer of portable classrooms to Butler and Draper Park middle schools and Lone Peak Elementary, pending further discussion at the next meeting of the Board of Education.


Budget Update

Fiscal Year 2017 will be the seventh consecutive year without a property tax increase in the Canyons District, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board of Education. For the first time, Canyons will receive money under a Salt Lake County equalization program designed to redistribute funds to growing districts. Canyons had the highest enrollment growth of all county Districts between 2012 and 2015, and will receive $959,000 in fiscal year 2016. Last year, CSD contributed about $2.1 million. The Board is scheduled to adopt a tentative budget at its June 14 meeting, following a public hearing.

Student Fees

The Board voted to extend the existing student fee schedule.  This means there will be no increase in student fees for the 2016-2017 school year.

All Day Kindergarten

A proposal to start a full-day tuition based kindergarten was discussed by the Board of Education. Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward told the Board about the many benefits of full-day kindergarten, including gains on literacy and language measures and outstanding social and behavior development.  While 78 percent of students across the country are enrolled in full-day kindergarten in the U.S., here in Utah, only 8 percent are in full-day kindergarten classes. The Administration proposes starting full-day kindergarten at such pilot locations as Altara, Bella Vista, Brookwood, East Sandy, Edgemont or Oakdale elementary schools. Cost would be $2,950 per year or $295 monthly for 10 months. A 10 percent discount would be given to those who pay in full for the proposed first-come, first-served program. Fee waivers also will be part of the offerings for parents. The Board and Administration continue to dialogue about whether the enrollment preference would be per boundary or open for all students in the District. An application fee would be $35. The suggested timeline for the proposal seeks Board approval, then plans on a two-week open-application window, a notification period for families accepted or denied, a first-payment deadline of Aug. 1, a two-month period to hire and train teachers, a January evaluation and, if successful, consideration for expansion.  The Board, which had questions about access and costs, took the proposal under advisement. 

Academic Framework

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie updated the Board on the District’s academic framework. The evidence-based framework, last updated in July 2014, outlines a comprehensive system to support high-quality and effective instruction that aligns with curriculum, instruction and assessment to improve student achievement. Instructional Supports Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward said CSD has been asked to share the District’s framework with many districts across the country. The framework was developed soon after Canyons became a District and remains a dynamic document that is refined as new information becomes available. Landward said the framework drives professional development. 

Patron Comments

Canyons Education Association President Jen Buttars thanked the member of the CEA negotiating team during the recent contract negotiations  She said 98 percent of the CEA members voted to ratify the contract. She also introduced members of CEA leadership. 

Butler Middle Parent Kami McMaster adressed the Board about an anti-pornography assembly called "Fight the New Drug," which was postponed at the middle school until the coming school year. Before the assembly, she said, parents will first be invited to a meeting to learn more about the topic before it is shown to students. She also invited the Board to attend the event just in case they had any questions about the assembly and its content. 

Chase Dalton spoke on behalf of Yellow Bus Media, which handles the sale and placement of school-bus advertisements. He requested an opportunity to present to the Board during a study session. 

Board Comments

Board member Clareen Arnold reported on her attendance at the arts consortium. She also said it appears Brain Boosters are working well in our elementary schools. 

Board Vice President Steve Wrigley expressed appreciation for Gaylene’s contribution to the creation and operations of Canyons District. He also thanked the negotiating teams for the negotiated agreements. 

Board 2nd Vice President thanked the Canyons Education Foundation for heading up plans for last Thursday’s Spring Gala. She also expressed appreciation to the good work of all employees who focus on the college- and career-readiness of students. She also thanked Gaylene for her work on behalf of the Board of Education.

Board member Robert Green reported on sessions he attended while at the National School Board Association conference.  He thanked the Board and Administration for supporting his family while they grieved a death in the family. Green also said he will miss Halvorsen’s “beaming smile” and “encouraging words.” 

President Taylor thanked members of the administration by name for their work on behalf of the Board and the Administration.  He also expressed thanks to Gaylene for her professionalism. He also welcomed new Board secretary Denise Haycock.  

Superintendent, Business Administrator Comments

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe applauded employee unions for their hard work in negotiating contracts for next year. He noted that it has been a true privilege working with retiring Administrative Assistant and Board secretary Gaylene Halvorsen, and that he wishes her all the best.

Business Adminstrator Leon Wilcox also voiced appreciation for the civility with which contract negotiations were done this year.  He added that he will miss Gaylene Halvorsen and her contributions to the District. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 13:57

Summer Food Service 2016

The Canyons School District announces the sponsorship of the Summer Food Service Program. Free meals will be made available to all children 18 years or younger.

Meals will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. for breakfast and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for lunch and will be available from June 6th thru August 5th, 2016 at Copperview Elementary, East Midvale Elementary, Midvale Elementary, Midvalley Elementary, Sandy Elementary and Union Park, with Union Park serving lunch only.  Beginning June 20th, meals will be served at Hillcrest High School, with breakfast served from 7:30 to 8:00 and lunch from 11:45 to 12:15.  Adults may purchase meals at these sites for the price of $2.00 for breakfast and $3.50 for lunch. Meals will not be available July 4rd and July 25th in observance of the Fourth of July and Pioneer Day Holidays.  No meal service is available on Saturdays or Sundays. 

Click here to see the menus. 

All sites, except Union Park, will serve breakfast and lunch. 

Copperview Elementary 
8449 S 150 W 
Midvale, UT 84047

East Midvale Elementary
6990 S 300 E 
Midvale, UT 84047

Midvalley Elementary
217 E 7800 S 
Midvale, UT 84047

Midvale Elementary 
7830 S Chapel St
Midvale, UT 84047

Sandy Elementary 
8725 S 280 E 
Sandy, UT 84070

*Hillcrest High School
7350 S 900 E
Midvale, Utah 84047

*Hillcrest High School program begins on June 20th, breakfast is served 7:30-8:00, lunch served 11:45-12:15

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.  (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information is available in languages other than English.

To file a complaint alleging discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.  To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.  Submit completed form or letter to USDA by U.S. mail to U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or fax to (202) 690-7442 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
The Board of Education on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 voted to approve tentative negotiated agreements for 2016-2017 with the Canyons Education Association, the Canyons Association of Education Support Professionals, and District Administrators. 

The Board voted unanimously for the tentative negotiated agreements during a Tuesday, May 10 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education.

The tentative agreement with the Canyons Education Association for the 2016-2017 school year will give certificated employees a .59 percent increase in cost of living, in addition to steps and lanes.  The contract will extend one paid day. Additionally, the District has adopted a longevity step for teachers with 25 or more local years of experience.  They will receive $1,500. Teachers who have between 20 and 24 local years of experience receive $1,000. The agreement also indicates that a $4,200 Educators Salary Adjustment is not to be withheld from educators who do not pass evaluations.  The employee association and District also agreed to share the cost of a 7 percent increase in health insurance premiums.

The tentative negotiated agreement with administrators for 2016-2017 includes fully funded incremental steps for eligible employees. The District also will cover a 1.25 percent increase to the base of the Administrative Salary Schedule. The District will fund a 1.25 percent one-time stipend for those administrators on the top step during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Forty-one administrators qualify for this stipend.  The administrators agreed to share the 7 percent hike in health-insurance premiums.

For the Education Support Professionals, the District will pay for incremental steps for eligible employees. About 93 percent of contracted ESP will receive a step increase. Employees also will receive a 1 percent COLA increase to the base of the ESP salary schedule. Also, upon retirement from URS, the District will pay $100 per day for 25 percent of the employee’s accrued but unused sick leave. The ESP association agreed to share the 7 percent hike in health-insurance premiums.

Is attendance high at your child’s school? Do students arrive on time and ready to learn? Are they attentive in class? If so, consider thanking a nurse.

School nurses aren’t just temperature takers, headache soothers, and dispensers of bandages and medicine. When a student’s health is affecting their academic performance, it’s school nurses who intervene. They provide vision screenings and immunizations, organize health fairs, and train school personnel to respond to medical emergencies. They promote healthy food choices, active lifestyles and good hygiene — all while helping students cope with a growing burden of chronic disease and increasingly complex emotional and social problems.

“It’s not a job for a new nurse,” says nursing Team Lead Martee Hawkins. “You have to be able to function autonomously.” Canyons District has eight full-time registered nurses, each responsible for covering five to six schools, or about 5,000 students. Collectively, they boast more than 200 years of nursing experience.

With Wednesday, May 11 being national School Nurses Day, now is the perfect time to thank these champions of child wellness. The impact they have on schools and student achievement may not be obvious to everyone, but it has been well quantified by researchers. Here are just a few examples of the measurable difference school nurses make:

 
They reduce absenteeism
Students seen by a school nurse are less likely to be sent home for an illness or injury than students seen by an unlicensed school employee.

They boost academic performance
Children with chronic health conditions who are provided case management by school nurses perform better in school, as measured by improved grades, attendance and classroom participation.

They save money
Every dollar spent on nursing services saves $2.20 in medical costs and lost productivity for teachers and parents, according to a 2014 study in JAMA Pediatrics

They save lives
In a survey of 1,000 members of the National Association of School Nurses, 68 percent reported managing a life-threatening medical emergency in the last school year.

Anthony Cheng has been making headlines for his academic exploits since 2010, when he took sixth place in the National Geography Bee. The Sandy resident — schooled at Peruvian Park Elementary, Midvale Middle and now Hillcrest High — went on to become the first student in the geography contest’s 25-year history to make it to nationals three times. Since then, he has earned top prizes at regional science fairs and myriad other events.

But even by Cheng’s standards, 2016 has been a banner year. In the past few months, the Hillcrest Husky was named a National Coca-Cola scholar, the mathematics category award-winner and the General Scholar of the Utah Sterling Scholars Program — and now, to top it all off, the honor of being named a National Merit Scholar and recipient of a 2016 Presidential Scholar Awards.

This year’s competition for National Merit Scholarships began in October 2014 when more than 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semi-finalists on a state-representational basis. Only these 16,000 semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition. From that group, 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the "finalist" level of the competition.

The Presidential Scholar Award is just as prestigious. Cheng is among 160 high school seniors nationwide, including four in Utah, chosen by the U.S. Department of Education for its most coveted award. “This year’s class of Presidential Scholars continues a more than 50-year trend of honoring students who have shown excellence in their educational, artistic and civic pursuits,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John King in a May 4 statement.

As prolific as Cheng’s academic accomplishments may be, just as impressive is his focus on community and service. Cheng tutors middle school students and devotes time to studying the environment and climate change.

It’s safe to say that the world better get used to hearing his name. We certainly can’t wait to see what he does next.

Photo Courtesy: Ravell Call/Deseret News.

Teachers are real life superheroes who mentor, motivate and inspire. They bring magic to the mundane and simplify the complex. They help children reveal their own super powers, slipping notes of encouragement into backpacks and phoning parents to celebrate success. They make a difference in the lives of millions of children, every single day, and for that they deserve our deepest respect and gratitude.

Take a little time this week — May 2-6, #‎TeacherAppreciationWeek‬ — to thank an educator who has made a profound difference in your life. Finding the right tokens or words of gratitude doesn't have to be difficult, says Stacey Kratz, a PTA board member from the Canyons School District. Often, the gifts that mean the most are the least elaborate, such as a small treat the teacher likes or something on their classroom wish list. "Teachers often spend their own money on classroom supplies and it seems like dry erase markers and felt tip pens are always in high-demand," Kratz says. As the teacher appreciation chair at Midvale Middle School where a high proportion of students are economically disadvantaged, Kratz makes paper cutouts of stars and then invites students to fill them with messages of gratitude. Some kids spend their entire lunch period filling the stars with personal stories about the difference a teacher has made in their lives, she says. It costs almost nothing, but the sentiments in the hand-written notes are invaluable. As a teacher, knowing you’ve made a difference is the best gift of all.

How else can parents give thanks, besides with gifts? Nothing says “I care” like a helping hand, and schools are almost always in need of volunteers to give spelling tests, score quizzes or prep for hands-on science and art demonstrations, Kratz says. A lot of parents work full time, but there are plenty of tasks that parents can do in the evening at home. The PTA has a program encouraging parents to devote just three hours to classroom volunteering in a school year — an obligation that can easily be met during the lunch hour or early in the morning.

Is it possible to show appreciation year-round, and not just during a single week in the month of May? Sure, says Kratz, and one of the best ways is to be an advocate for teachers and for public schools. Attend your school board meetings, pay attention to education policy debates at the Legislature and speak up. "If you’re a person who can talk from experience about the great things that are happening in Utah’s classrooms, your voice can make a difference," says Kratz. "Just be involved. The more you know about what’s going on in our schools, the more you’re in a position to advocate for them."