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


Board Summary

The Canyons Board of Education on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 approved a new salary schedule that will boost the starting salary for a beginning teacher more than $5,000 a year while also providing salary hikes for mid-career and veteran educators. The new salary schedule pushes the starting salary for a new teacher in Canyons District to $40,500. Also, every licensed employee will see no less than a 4 percent jump, and the average increase will be 6.5 percent after the conversion to the new single-lane salary structure. Members of the Board of Education unanimously voted in favor of passing the salary schedule, which Canyons’ Human Resources Department and Principals can use to attract high-quality candidates for classrooms and special programs. The new salary schedule also continues Canyons District’s commitment to providing professional compensation packages to employees. Every year since CSD’s inception in 2009, and even during the years of the Great Recession, the Board of Education has approved some kind of salary increase for employees. In addition, the new single-lane schedule provides an opportunity for educators to make continuous, positive impacts to their lifetime earnings. The level on which teachers start is based on years of experience and educational level. An explanatory chart can be found on the CSD website. 

Board President Sherril H. Taylor issued this statement on behalf of the Board: “In 2009, we launched an experiment in public education in Utah. On July 1 of that year, Canyons became the first new school district to be created in the state in nearly a century. On that first day, we pledged to focus on student achievement, innovation, customer service, and community engagement. We acknowledged then, as we do now, that education is the key to a successful life. Our teachers are the backbone of our efforts to ensure that every child is college- and career-ready at the time of their high school graduations. Great teachers do so much: They inspire. They encourage. They elevate. They care. Tonight, we are showing in word and deed how much we care. Not only will we be recognizing the commitment and excellence of our Teachers of the Year, we’re also putting into place a competitive salary schedule for all licensed employees in Canyons District. The new salary schedule will increase the starting yearly salary for a first-year teacher more than $5,000 while also providing salary hikes for mid-career and veteran educators. Every licensed employee will see no less than a 4 percent jump, and the average increase will be 6.5 percent. In addition, the new single-lane schedule provides an opportunity for educators to make continuous positive impacts to their lifetime earnings. The Board of Education believes it is important to invest in the District’s people. In turn, our students will benefit. Our classrooms will be led by the best and brightest educators that we can attract and retain, especially in this era of a nationwide teacher shortage. More than that, in Canyons District, we strive to create a sense of unity and common purpose. Yes, it takes a village, and our teachers, with their experience and knowledge, are a vital part of the Canyons District family. After all, teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions. Teachers, on behalf of the Board of Education, I thank you for your commitment in this noble endeavor of educating our children. Yes, you touch the future.  You teach.”

Teacher of the Year

Union Middle teacher Drew Fosse’s creative approach to keeping students motivated and engaged is among the reasons the Board of Education honored him as Canyons’ Teacher of the Year. The history teacher was chosen from a pool of 48 of CSD’s best educators who represent each of Canyons’ schools and programs, including Canyons Virtual High, alternative high school Diamond Ridge and the academy at the Utah State Prison. Each teacher was nominated for their abilities to inspire students and colleagues, lift their fellow educators and collaborate with their school community.  The announcement ceremony was held in the Professional Development Center of the Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East. The two other finalists in this year’s selection process were Stephanie Cobabe, a teacher at East Sandy, and Janice Spencer-Wise, a physics teacher at Brighton High. The Canyons Education Foundation gave a $1,000 cash prize to Fosse. Cobabe received $750 and Spencer-Wise received $500. 

Tentative Agreements with ESP, Administrators

The Canyons Board of Education tentative negotiated agreements for the 2017-2018 school year with the Canyons Education Support Professionals Association and District Administrators. By accepting the tentative agreements, and with the vote to put into place a new salary schedule for licensed educators for the 2017-2018 school year, all employees in the Canyons will see a boost in compensation in the coming academic year.

For administrators, the District agrees to fully fund increment steps for eligible employees; a 3.25 percent cost of living adjustment to the base of the Administrative Salary Schedule; and a one-time 1.25 percent stipend for the 41 administrators who are at the top step during the 2016-2017 school year. The District also agrees to the recommendations of the District Insurance Advisory Committee regarding the insurance premium increase. The total dollar increase will be 11.3 percent. The District will contribute 83.7 percent of the increase and employees will contribute the remaining 16.3 percent. The administrators also agree to the plan-design changes recommend by the DIAC. The administrators who have a master’s degree plus 30 semester hours in pursuit of additional education will receive a $2,100 stipend, which is 50 percent of the stipend for those with doctorate degrees. Also, administrators must have 240 sick days to be eligible to participate the sick-day redemption program.

For the Education Support Professionals, the District will fully fund increment steps for eligible employees. The District also will fund a 3.25 percent cost of living adjustment to the base of the ESP salary schedule. The District will maintain the same number of working days and hours for current contracted employees. Exceptions would be governed by regular District policy and procedures. The salary schedule changes and increment increase for all ESP employees, regardless of the employee’s contracted day of work, will go into effect July 1, 2017. Changes will be retroactive if negotiations extend past that date. In 2018, there will be an 11.33 percent insurance premium increase, but the District will contribute 83.7 percent and the ESP employees will contribute the remaining 16.3 percent. The District will maintain health premiums with no increase between July 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017.  Also, upon retirement through URS, and based solely upon sick days accrued since July 1, 2009, the District will pay $100 per day for 25 percent of the employee’s accrued, but unused sick leave.

In addition, the negotiated agreement states that salary lane movement for promotions of current employees promoted after Jan. 1 will be given service credit from their previous hire date and eligible for step increments increase.

Proposed Bus Route Changes

Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray updated the Board on a proposal to cancel a bus route that serves students who reside in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The plan is to reimburse families for the costs of transporting their children to a pickup area somewhere in the valley at the base of the canyon. Students would then be bused from this area to Butler Elementary, Butler Middle or Brighton High. This falls in line with how the District handles transportation to and from other mountainous areas, including Little Cottonwood Canyon, Suncrest and South Mountain. Because the Big Cottonwood Canyon route services fewer than 10 students, the state only covers 50 percent of the costs. The Utah Division of Risk Management has expressed concern about the route, said Ray who drove it personally on April 10. “There is no room for driver error,” he said, referring to heavy traffic, natural hazards, such as heavy snow and rock slides, and the lack of shoulder space and adequate guard rails. The steep grade requires downhill buses to use their engine breaks the entire length of the road. Though the posted speed limit is 40 miles per hour, large buses can only safely drive at about 15 to 20 miles per hour. This poses a risk as drivers become inpatient and attempt to pass on the windy, two-lane road. Busing will continue through the end of the current school year; any changes, if approved, would take in 2017-2018. The Board will take up the issue at a future meeting, and directed the Administration to notify affected families in advance of any decision. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved items on the consent agenda, including minutes from the April 11, 2017 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel plans; March financial reports; and 2017-2018 School Land Trust Plans, which have been signed by two Board members. 

Policy Update

The Board approved on a third reading, proposed changes to personnel policies governing salary levels for employees returning to work after a work-related medical accident; health-insurance eligibility; long-term disability; and employee probation.
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