Canyons School District has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting — the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting — from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

The award “represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management,” Stephen J. Gauthier, Director of the GFOA Technical Services Center, said in a letter to Canyons Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe. “We hope that your example will encourage other government officials in their efforts to achieve and maintain an appropriate standard of excellence in financial reporting.”

The award lauds the performance of Canyons Business Administrator and CFO Leon Wilcox, and the comprehensive annual financial report he oversaw for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014. The comprehensive financial report was judged by an impartial panel upholding the highest financial reporting standards, including adherence to the spirit of full disclosure to clearly communicate CSD’s financial story to patrons.

The GFOA is a nonprofit, professional organization that includes some 17,500 government financial professionals. The organization has offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Architects working to design the new Alta View Elementary have presented their concepts to the Canyons Board of Education. Representatives of Naylor Wentworth Lund Architects presented their concepts in a Board of Education meeting Sept. 1, 2015. The full presentation can be found on BoardDocs.

Alta View Elementary will be rebuilt on the school’s current campus, where the playground now is situated. The site already has been prepared to allow for continued student learning and safety during construction, with drop-off and playground fencing adjustments in place for the start of the 2015-2016 academic year.

Alta View remains in the design process. Meetings were held last spring with the Alta View community and faculty regarding the new school’s design, and initial concepts were displayed at the school last spring. Alta View Principal Karen Medlin said the concepts have received positive feedback from the community. The new school not only will optimize learning conditions to help students prepare for college and careers, but provide for improved community access via parking and traffic flow, and serve as a community gathering space.  

The Board voted in October 2014 to select Alta View Elementary as the White City school to rebuild with proceeds from the $250 million bond voters approved in June 2010. The action followed months of public input. Groundbreaking on the new school is scheduled for spring 2016. The new school is scheduled to open in fall 2017.

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

Alta View Elementary Rebuilding Concepts Shown

Canyons CEO Leon Wilcox and Naylor Wentworth Lund Architects representatives presented the Board with an update on the new Alta View Elementary School concepts. The school remains in the design process, and concepts are intended to update the Board on the direction so far and receive feedback, Naylor Wentworth Lund Principal Ross Wentworth said. The school will be rebuilt on the same campus, where the playground currently sits. The site already has been prepared with drop-off and fencing adjustments to ensure safety and a place for students to play during construction. Principal Karen Medlin noted the school hosted a spring community meeting and a faculty meeting about the new school’s design, and displayed in the school halls the initial concepts for parents to view last spring. She said feedback has been positive, and lauded concepts that would improve parking and traffic flow. She said the next step is to show the school and neighborhood communities the concepts. Vice President Wrigley noted White City officials are looking forward to having a gathering space in the community.

Teacher Evaluation System Simplified, Demonstrated

Sandra Dahl-Houlihan, Administrator of Evaluation and Leadership, provided an overview and demonstration of the newly simplified Facilities Committee. She said the simplification was aimed at creating a more usable, intuitive tool to help teachers improve their instructional practices. CTESS components are accessible to teachers online. There, teachers see the standards and set goals, as demonstrated by Bell View teacher and Canyons Education Association President Jen Jacobs. Dahl-Houlihan also demonstrated the evaluation pages. She said the tool has been modified to work in all classrooms, be it a science classroom or a special education setting. 

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe noted the system is designed to engage teachers in instructional improvement efforts, and that it includes multiple measures.  Board Members Clareen Arnold and Chad Iverson and Vice President Steve Wrigley had questions about the system and some of the language used in documents. Board Second Vice President Nancy Tingey thanked the team for achieving goals to create a usable tool and simplify the CTESS implementation. Board President Sherril Taylor said that he appreciates the Board’s tough questions, as well as the team’s work. He encouraged Board members who have additional questions to make appointments with the team and alert him to outstanding issues, if any. The Board requested an additional update in the coming months.

Board Approves Parent School Support Organization/Association Policy

Following extensive public input, revisions and discussions in three previous public meetings, the Board unanimously approved the new Parent School Support Organization/Association Policy. The policy provides a process for parents to form a parent-support organization that is different than the one currently recognized in their school. The policy reaffirms the Board’s commitment to parent and community participation in Canyons schools; establishes criteria and consistency for formal group formation; preserves the decision-making process at the local school level; and minimizes disruption. The policy was first presented to the Board and discussed in its July 14 public meeting.

Special Education Sets New Goals

Special Education Director Robin Collett presented the Board with CSD’s work the Utah Program Improvement Planning system, which the Utah State Office of Education uses to evaluate special education programs in Utah school districts. She said CSD is using the system as a tool to help improve instruction and achievement of students receiving special education services, and to set more rigorous and explicit goals for the program. CSD has set goals to improve math scores for students with learning and speech-language disabilities; to better involve parents in the Individualized Education Program process; and to increase graduation rates.

Facilities Committee Information Presented

The Facilities Committee met Aug. 26 to discuss input received from community members in June, Board Member Chad Iverson said. He said the committee at that time wanted information on additional options, and that such options will be discussed on Sept. 26. He said the committee hopes to have recommendations to the Board for an October study session.  

Dr. Briscoe said the committee was created to look at facility use, and that boundaries became part of that discussion. He said slowing the growth at Corner Canyon is a goal, and that doing so would impact Draper residents. He said the committee is looking at a number of options, and stressed that no recommendations have been made. He said the committee is committed to minimizing disruption and crafting viable solutions.

Focus Schools’ Improvement Efforts Presented

Director of Student Advocacy and Access Karen Sterling presented information about CSD’s efforts to improve student achievement at Copperview and Midvale elementaries. Assisting with the effort is Ashley McKinney, Research Associate at the Utah Education Policy Center at the University of Utah. McKinney and her team are conducting focus groups and interviews with teachers and staff to determine underlying issues, and then working with the principals and teachers to write strategic, comprehensive school improvement plans.

President Taylor asked how CSD efforts would be affected if the state’s NCLB waiver were discontinued by the U.S. Department of Education. Sterling said the schools would not fall under turnaround school status under the federal law, and that their improvement work likely would be honored. Vice President Wrigley asked for recommendations on how the Board may be supportive of the efforts with resources.  McKinney said that lesson studies have been found to make an impact in low-performing schools, but time for that requires substitute teacher coverage.  Sterling said efforts to attract and retain quality teachers to Title I schools, as presented by Human Resources Director Steve Dimond at the last meeting, would be helpful as well.  

Academic Year Starts with Ribbon Cuttings, Red Carpets, Kindergarten College-Ready Day

Communications Directors Jennifer Toomer-Cook and Jeff Haney provided a pictorial presentation regarding events surrounding the first days of school, including the Back to School Call Center, which fielded 3,984 phone calls from Aug. 17-28; ribbon-cuttings at Mount Jordan Middle School, and the Brighton High Soccer Field and artificial football turf; Red Carpet Events to welcome students back to CSD elementary and middle schools; news coverage and social media engagement; and Kindergarten College-Ready Day.

Caucuses Coming to CSD Buildings

Director of Government Relations Charlie Evans presented March 27 caucus information to the Board to ensure there are no conflicts with scheduling with Board activities or CSD facilities. He said equal space would be given to the two political parties. Board President Sherril Taylor said it’s important to send the message that CSD values the elections process.

Board Action

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the Aug. 18, 2015 Minutes Purchasing Bids; Student Overnight Travel; Board Hire and Termination Reports; and the CTEC Built Home at 8084 Tapp Lane. The Board approved Student Overnight Travel, which includes proposals for Alta Wrestling, Ballroom, and Baseball; Brighton Instrumental Music/Choir; Corner Canyon Band/Orchestra/Choir, Wrestling, and Cheer; and Jordan Shakespeare Club and Cheerleading.

The Board heard on second reading a proposal to place a new cell tower at Jordan High.

The Board heard a first-reading presentation on draft updates to the Teacher Evaluation Policy to reflect CSD’s current practice. Second Vice President Tingey said the policy reaffirms the Board’s commitment to providing effective educators in all classrooms. Board Member Iverson wondered whether some draft changes are too narrow. The Board will continue its discussions.

Patron Comments

Nan Kennard, a Draper Park Middle parent who represents a group (about 15 of whom came to Board meeting), said that children are attending advanced math learning opportunities in the early mornings at Indian Hills Middle School. She asked that the class be taught at Draper Park, or in the alternative, have the District provide busing for participating students. She said both suggestions would alleviate issues with traffic, efficiency and safety for attendees, and open the advanced learning opportunity to additional students for whom transportation currently is a hardship. President Sherril Taylor said the item would be on the Board Agenda for discussion in two weeks.

Teacher Rebekah Peterson, a teacher at Bell View Elementary, thanked the Board for the planning time granted this year in elementary schools. She said she already feels that the time has helped her to become a better teacher.

Michelle Johnson, a teacher at Draper Elementary, thanked the Board for the new elementary schedule and the Brain Booster periods to allow for productive teacher planning time and have a positive impact on professionals and the climate at her school. She presented feedback she gathered from colleagues, which included teachers saying they feel prepared for the following week, are able to plan more engaging activities, and truly engage in team planning, collaboration, data discussion and reflection without stress. She said teachers also are praising the Brain Boosters technicians and curriculum.   

Anne Benson, Edgemont Elementary teacher who was joined by her colleagues, thanked the Board for the new elementary schedule that allows teachers to collaborate and plan as a team. She said the teachers at her school have noticed a difference in planning and decreased stress. She said they love the Brain Boosters, which are taught by outstanding technicians, and said that morale is up at her school. She thanked the Board for listening to teachers in the creation of the schedule.

Lynne Burns, Silver Mesa Elementary parent, addressed the proposed parent support organization policy. She said the process outlined in the policy is too complicated and creates controversy rather than providing parents with a choice. She said the petition process would not provide sufficient privacy for people signing the petition, who would fear backlash, which she says already has happened at her school.  She also feared for equal opportunity for groups in official school communications.  She asked that the Board remove the petition provision from the policy.

Holly Hendrickson, Silver Mesa parent, said the parent support organization policy proposal does not reflect the original intent to give parents a choice because its requirements are too daunting. She also expressed concerns about privacy in the petitioning process, and preferred a secret ballot process. She also questioned equal access to communication forums for the alternate organization. She asked the Board to delay voting on the policy.

Don Hendrickson said there could be possible legal challenges to the policy, on petition and policy points. He said the petition process outlined in the proposed policy would be unduly burdensome because it would require parents of an alternate organization to gather signatures from 25 percent of the parents, or about 150 signatures at Silver Mesa, when only about 200 parents could be categorized as interested parents at the school. He asked if neighboring districts have similarly restrictive requirements. He also said the policy needs clarification regarding school communications during petitioning and elections periods and use of school property, and submitted written comments to the Board regarding those issues.  

Superintendent Report

Dr. Briscoe thanked the teachers who addressed the Board for their positive feedback about the new elementary schedule. He said their comments show that taking the time to vet ideas in communities pays dividends.  He noted Board work is a tough business to be in and one of high accountability. He said that he is working with Cottonwood Heights City regarding restrooms access near the tennis courts. He said he has met twice with United Way about the new partnership with CSD and is excited about what the future might hold.

CFO Report

Wilcox he has a kindergartner and that knowing that the child’s graduating class is 2028 made him feel old. He said he is part of a task force on charter school funding that is working to craft a recommendation for the next legislative session. He said he’d like to see property tax notices to note that part of district property taxes go to charter schools. 

Board Reports

Board Member Iverson thanked the Administration, particularly Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle and his team, for assembling the ninth- and 10th-grade soccer league  to allow younger students to enjoy athletics and represent their school. He said he hoped additional athletic activities would be created for students. He said he’s also grateful for the District’s Middle School Intramurals program. He noted the Facilities Committee met a week ago, and said that he appreciates the feedback from the community of Draper, where he’s been a resident for nine years. He said he wants to make sure that people have the facts as the process unfolds. He said that the committee is trying to solve the issue of crowding at Corner Canyon High because of academic and curricular concerns at Corner Canyon and Alta High. He said the Board will need to study committee recommendations and make a decision. He also noted that the schools are CSD schools, and that 20 percent of city of Draper, including his children, is not in the Corner Canyon boundary. He said that CSD voters approved a bond as a community and hopes that the community comes together to note that CSD has great schools throughout the District.

Board Member Arnold thanked Dr. Briscoe and his staff for their work all summer to prepare for school to start.  She said she asks a lot of questions in Board meetings with good intentions and to gain clarity, and thanked the staff for their honest and open responses. She attended Mount Jordan’s open house, and noted the positive comments about Dr. Hart and her staff in moving the school during construction. She hopes for flexibility for employees and students this year, and that people will be given time to learn new skills. She said she hopes we all maintain an open heart, caring, and strive for understanding.

Vice President Wrigley was sorry to have missed the Red Carpet events, which he’s enjoyed each year, due to his work schedule. He thanked Dr. Briscoe for carrying out the elementary school schedule changes. He said that his community is talking about how refreshed, focused and energized teachers and students seem to be this year, and said the positive morale is apparent in the schools.

Board Member Amber Shill thanked Haney and Toomer-Cook for their presentation. She said that she has received positive feedback about the new elementary schedule. She attended the Brighton ribbon-cuttings, and noted the incredible turnout of the community. She said she participated in a portion of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports program at Butler elementary, and was able to remind students of appropriate behavior in the cafeteria and continually thought of student opportunities to respond, as noted in Dahl-Houlihan’s presentation. She attended the school carnival at Bella Vista Elementary. She thanked Dr. Briscoe for his leadership and for listening to patrons.

Board Member Robert Green said that he was pleased that the Board approved the agreement with United Way in the last Board meeting, and thanked Dr. Briscoe for his help in seeing it through. He said that he asked some of his community members about possible adjustments to the Hillcrest and Jordan high school boundaries, and that they seemed to be fine with the concept, especially because of the out-of-boundary permit process. He said he and his community are thankful for the District and newly rebuilt schools in the Midvale community. He said Midvale used to have the oldest schools in the District, and that it’s nice to have an emphasis on Midvale schools and improving education throughout the District.

President Taylor thanked Haney and Toomer-Cook for the presentation, and said he looks forward to the Red Carpet Events each year. He said he appreciates the District Office’s work to prepare for school to start. He said every employee in their specific job at the District is important to the education of children, from custodial to child nutrition to the administration. He said CSD is a great district and that we all will keep working to make it even better.


CTESS Cycle Phase 1

CTESS Cycle For Career Educators

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

Utah Effective Teaching Standards have been aligned with Canyons Core Expectations

pdfCSD Academic Framework

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)



FAQs

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. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.
Monday, 31 August 2015 21:48

Headlines Monday, Aug. 31, 2015

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

Granite Elementary ranked second among Utah elementary schools in science
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3379/78/2-Granite-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-science.html

Granite Elementary ranked third in Utah in English language arts
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3377/77/3-Granite-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-language-arts.html

Brookwood Elementary ranked fourth among Utah elementary schools in science
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3379/76/4-Brookwood-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-science.html

Granite Elementary ranked fifth among Utah elementary schools in math
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3376/75/5-Granite-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-mathematics.html

Draper Park Middle ranked fifth among Utah middle schools in science
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3379/48/5-Draper-Park-Middle-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-science.html

Draper Park also ranked fifth among Utah middle schools in English language arts
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3377/49/5-tie-Draper-Park-Middle-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-language-arts.html

Sunrise Elementary ranks sixth among Utah elementary schools in science
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3379/74/6-Sunrise-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-science.html

Sunrise Elementary ranks seventh among Utah elementary schools in language arts
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3377/73/7-Sunrise-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-language-arts.html

Willow Springs ranks 10th in Utah elementary school language arts performance
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3377/70/10-Willow-Springs-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-language-arts.html

Sunrise Elementary ranks 16th in math among Utah elementary schools
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3376/64/16-tie-Sunrise-School-Canyons-District-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-mathematics.html

Albion ranks 17th among Utah middle schools in English language arts
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3377/37/17-Albion-Middle-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-language-arts.html

Brighton High is No. 19 among Utah high schools in language arts scores
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3377/8/19-Brighton-High-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-language-arts.html

Draper Elementary is ranked No. 22 in Utah elementary school math performance
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3376/58/22-Draper-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-mathematics.html

Albion math performance ranks No. 22 among Utah middle schools
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3376/31/22-Albion-Middle-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-mathematics.html

Peruvian Park's English language arts performance ranked 23rd among Utah elementary schools
http://www.deseretnews.com/top/3377/57/23-tie-Peruvian-Park-School-SAGE-scores-2015-Top-Utah-schools-in-language-arts.html














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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can parents help young children start thinking about and preparing for college? Here are a few tips:
  • When you ask your child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” follow up with the question, “Where do you want to go to college?”
  • Visit college campuses.
  • Teach organization and good homework habits.
  • Remind kids that mistakes are a valuable part of learning.
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