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The student voice can be heard loud and clear in the Canyons District.

To the end of creating a direct avenue for student input, the Canyons Board of Education has empaneled a Student Advisory Council made up of representatives from all five of Canyons’ traditional high schools.

This is the fifth year a council of Canyons students has been selected to serve in this capacity.

The members of the council, who were introduced during the meeting of the Board on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, were chosen through an application process.  They will meet at least six times throughout the year for leadership training, discussions with senior staff members of the District, and to give feedback to Board members on proposals that could impact students.   

The 2017-2018 members of the Student Advisory Council are Alta High’s Sydney Pexton and Taylor Wood; Brighton High’s Bradley Sullivan and Sophie Yates; Corner Canyon High’s Hope Broman and Logan Orr; Hillcrest High’s Boston Iacobazzi and Sierra Metzger; and Jordan High’s Conner Tait and Gabby Marz.

Board of Education 1st Vice President Nancy Tingey welcomed the students to their advisory role.  She says the Board looks forward to “sitting down and discussing the things” that are important to the students.  “If you see things that we could do better,” she said, “then don’t hesitate to contact us.” 

The council is facilitated by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle.
The Canyons District Office of Public Communications has received statewide honors for its efforts to communicate with parents, teachers, students and the community at large following a fatal shooting near a Sandy elementary in June.

At the recent annual conference of the Utah Public Information Officers Association, the Canyons public-relations team of Jeff Haney and Kirsten Stewart received the award for the best communications in a major incident. The significant event was the June 6, 2017 domestic-violence situation that occurred blocks away from Brookwood Elementary just moments after classes let out for the day. It was the second-to-last day of school for the year.

The incident resulted in the slayings of a mother and her kindergarten-age child.  The man who police say fired the weapon then committed suicide in the street.

“A fatal shooting in Sandy put intense pressure on the Canyons District communications team,” the state PIO organization said in its presentation of the award. “Yet, they performed with grace and professionalism.”   

Haney and Stewart Immediately put into place the District’s established emergency-communications plan after hearing of the traumatic incident, which was witnessed by throngs of children who were walking home after school. It was also seen parents who were driving their children and neighbors who were outside enjoying the warm spring day. 

While keeping the Board of Education and District administrators apprised of developments, Haney and Stewart quickly crafted and sent notifications to parents, updated the community via social media, issued statements to news reporters, wrote and disseminated talking points for principals and staff, coordinated with law enforcement, and worked with the principal and Crisis Counseling teams to provide appropriate information to parents and employees. The demand for information about the incident continued for about a week.

“This is a well-earned award,” Canyons Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe said.  The response of the communications team “allowed our principals and crisis-response teams to do what was needed to support students and families, instead of being in front of the camera,” he said.
Did you know that at Canyons District, it's possible to learn two languages at the same time and to graduate from high school fluent in both? The start of October signals the opening of the window to apply for Canyons District's Dual Language Immersion Programs for the 2018-2019 school year.

From Monday, Oct. 9 to Wednesday, Nov. 22, parents and guardians can apply online to have their children learn Spanish, French or Mandarin Chinese.

In addition, parents and guardians who have questions about the programs are invited to a Parent Information Night on Wednesday, Nov. 1. The 6-8 p.m. event will be held in the Professional Development Center at Canyons District’s East Administration Building (9361 S. 300 East in Sandy).

Please note, that students with siblings currently enrolled in a Dual-Language Immersion school must still submit applications by the Nov. 22 deadline. A lottery will be held to determine entrance into the programs if the number of applicants exceeds the 56 seats available per entering class. 

On the application, parents will be asked to list their top three preferred languages and schools. Parents will be notified of their children’s acceptance into a program, or be given a choice of possible programs, on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.

All programs, except for the one at Midvale Elementary, are for students entering first grade in 2018-19. The Midvale Spanish-English program is for students entering kindergarten in 2018-2019.

Spanish also is offered at Alta View and Silver Mesa. French is taught at Butler Elementary and Oak Hollow. The schools offering Mandarin are Draper Elementary, Lone Peak, and Ridgecrest.

A model of bilingual instruction dating back to the 1960s, immersion programs are surfacing in classrooms around the globe as an efficient path to proficiency in a world language. Children in dual language immersion programs spend half the day learning core subjects in English and the other half learning in a target language. 

CSD’s first immersion classes opened in 2009, the same year that the District was founded. The District is now home to 17 elementary and secondary school immersion programs. Statewide, nearly 10 percent of all elementary students are learning a world language through the program which extends through high school where, if they've passed an Advanced Placement exam, students can start taking college-level courses for early college credit.

Questions? Call the Instructional Supports Department at 801-826-5026.
It’s the equivalent of the power rankings in prep sports — except it’s for academics. Fourteen students representing all of Canyons District's five traditional high schools have been named semi-finalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship program. 

They join about 16,000 other top scholars who this week advanced in the prestigious competition to vie for 7,500 scholarships worth $32 million. These coveted college recruits were chosen from 1.6 million students at more than 22,000 high schools.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents fewer than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors. The number is proportional to the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. The students and their schools are:  

ALTA HIGH
Nathan L. Brown

BRIGHTON
Joshua R. Brodbeck

CORNER CANYON
August W. Burton
Aaron B. Jackson

HILLCREST
Richard Abbott
Bryson V. Armstrong
Mohammed F. Khan
Chu Un Kim
Kara Komarnitsky
Madeline K. Martin
Joshua S. Raty
Alexander K. Sun
Vivek Vankayalapati

JORDAN
Daniel J. Ross
It’s officially fall in Canyons District — that special time of year when the leaves start to change, the sun sinks out of the sky earlier each day, and the unmistakable sight of campaign signs dot the valley.

As Tuesday, Sept 26 marks National Voter Registration Day, the advent of fall means something new for Canyons students who are 18 — the legal age to vote. This November will be the first time 364 Canyons students will have the opportunity to make a choice in the upcoming election. From mayoral candidates to a $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond proposal by Canyons District, those Canyons students will have their voices heard with their votes this year.

“I plan to register,” said Hillcrest High senior Boston Iacobazzi. “I think it’s just great to have a voice and know you can influence something with your right to vote rather than just experiencing it and not having any say in what’s going on.”

National Voter Registration Day is a national holiday that was first observed in 2012. It is always held on the fourth Tuesday of September. The aim of the holiday is to motivate Americans to register to vote before they miss the deadline and lose eligibility to vote in the election. Individuals can register online, at vote.utah.gov, or by mailing in a voter registration ballot available at city and county offices.

In Salt Lake County this year, the deadline for registering by mail is Oct. 10. Online registration is available until Oct. 31. Voters can request mail-in ballots until Nov. 2. The general election takes place on Nov. 7. 

One item on the ballot this year is a $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond proposed by Canyons District to rebuild and renovate its aging schools.

If voters approve the bond on Nov. 7, the District will rebuild Brighton and Hillcrest high schools; Union Middle; Midvalley and Peruvian Park elementary schools and a White City-area elementary school. The Canyons Board of Education also approved a plan to build a new elementary school in west Draper; renovate a significant part of Alta High, including the addition of a state-of-the-art auditorium and gymnasium; replace portables with classrooms at Corner Canyon High, remodel offices at six elementary schools; and install windows and skylights at 18 elementary schools. 

Canyons’ 18-year-old students have a special insight into the needs of their schools, says Corner Canyon senior Emily Boyce. Boyce says she is excited about making a difference with her vote.

“Unlike the adults that make the decisions, we actually go here and we have classes in portables,” Boyce said. “We actually know what is going on in this school and that could help future classes have a better place.”
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