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Canyons School District students continue to outperform their Utah peers on most of the SAGE tests, in some areas by as many as 13 percentage points.

It’s an encouraging trend, driven by improved scores on most elementary and middle school tests.

“We continue to reap the dividends of major initiatives undertaken over the years,” said CSD’s Research and Assessment Director Hal Sanderson, Ph.D. “The data reflect the quality and hard work of our teachers, as well as the District’s unwavering focus on research-based instructional practices and the high standards embraced by our Board of Education.”

State SAGE results for the 2016-2017 school year are available for all school districts on the Utah State Board of Education website. 

Elementary Schools (3-5) 
In elementary schools, Canyons is well above the state average in all subject areas. The following shows the percentage of elementary students who tested proficient in 2016-2017:

English: CSD (59 percent), state (46 percent)
Math: CSD (62 percent), state (51 percent)
Science: CSD (58 percent), state (49 percent)

Middle Schools (6-8)
In middle schools, Canyons is well above the state average in all subject areas. The following shows the percentage of middle school students who tested proficient in 2016-2017:

English: CSD (53 percent), state (44 percent)
Math: CSD (49 percent), state (44 percent)
Science: CSD (62 percent), state (50 percent)

High Schools
Canyons District's high school scores for the 2016-2017 school year can’t reliably be compared to the state average, because for the first time, CSD’s 11th graders were not required to take the test. They took the ACT college entrance exam, instead.

Utah students took the state-mandated Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence (SAGE) tests for the first time in spring 2014. The tests were designed to measure more challenging state standards in mathematics, English language arts, and science. The SAGE tests are one of many measurements of student achievement. Other test data also show rising student achievement in Canyons School District.

Sanderson credits a number of initiatives, including: moving sixth-graders from elementary school to middle school where they receive more classroom instruction in core subjects; an effort to move teachers out of their silos to work as teams to monitor student progress; extensive professional development (half of all CSD teachers have a master’s degree); and the implementation of daily brain booster classes in art, physical education and STEM give teachers time to collaborate and hone their lesson plans.

“An ambitious construction plan to upgrade and modernize our schools also likely has played a role,” Sanderson says. “Classrooms built in the sixties and seventies with two electrical outlets are not conducive to the computerized demands of 21st century learning.”
Thursday, 07 September 2017 15:54

Board Meeting Summary, Sept. 5, 2017

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

Communications Plan for Bond Election

Communications Director Jeff Haney briefed the Board on a plan to inform Canyons District voters about Canyons District’s proposed $283 million school improvement bond up for a vote in the Nov. 7 general election. The informational push takes advantage of many standing community events planned throughout the District in the months of September and October. Patrons can find information at bond.canyonsdistrict.org.

Progress Report: Board Vision and Mission 

CSD’s Research and Assessment Director Hal Sanderson updated the Board on progress toward achieving academic goals set out as part of new vision and mission statements for the District. Canyons District’s schools and students are outperforming their peers in neighboring school districts and are incrementally making progress in reaching the achievement goals established by the Board. In some areas, however, progress is so pronounced that the Board discussed possibly raising the bar even higher. Sanderson stressed the importance of focusing on trends as opposed to small one-year dips or spikes in performance. The Board will review operational goals at a future meeting.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

A troop of Cub Scouts who attend Ridgecrest Elementary led the Board and audience in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Ridgecrest Principal Julie Winfree delivered the reverence. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, said Winfree, because on Friday, Sept 8, Ridgecrest celebrates its 50th anniversary. At 50 years of age, the school is 631 students strong with a robust PTA and SCC. Among its special programs, the school boasts a Mandarin Chinese-English Dual-Language Immersion program, a jump rope team, chess club, and the Ridgecrest Marathon Runners. Principal Winfree invited the Board to the school’s birthday celebration, which kicks off at 5 p.m. with games, food trucks, birthday cake and a reveal of the school’s new logo. 

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the consent agenda, including minutes from the Aug. 22 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; and student overnight travel plans.

Patron Comments

 Leslie Johnson, a parent of a Jordan High student spoke in favor of a request on the consent agenda to move a Jordan High sporting event from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16.

Kellie Simmons believes there’s broad support for the proposed 2017 school improvement bond, but voiced concern about rumors circulating about some of the projects.

Canyons Education Association President Erika Bradshaw introduced several of her colleagues who, as a group, stood to thank the Board for their support. “Our working environment is our students’ learning environment, so we appreciate your willingness to hear our voices and support teachers,” she said. 

Board Recognitions

The Board recognized two groups of student athletes and the Canyons District Transportation team.

•    Brighton High tennis champion Redd Owen: Redd Owen is an example of the power of perseverance. He lost his first set at the 5A boys tennis state tournament in May, but the Brighton freshman turned it around, took the second set, and then just kept going. He pulled off 11 straight wins and found himself in the championship match against a formidable opponent from Lone Peak. Owen didn’t hesitate — he kept his rival scrambling on the court until he sealed his fate. Owen won 6-3, 6-4. 

•    Corner Canyon’s championship girls golf team: The success of Corner Canyon’s girls golf team continues to rise as it claimed a second title as 4A state champions at a tournament in May. The Chargers made their school proud by capturing its second state title in the school’s 4-year history with a winning score of 658, beating their competition, rival Alta, by 17 points.

•    CSD’s Transportation Department: Canyons’ Transportation Department has a gold-standard when it comes to safety. After an extensive check, the Utah Highway Patrol gave Canyons’ 164 buses a Safety Gold Medal once hazard lights, windshield wipers, defrosters, headlights and exit doors were found to be working properly. The accomplishment is no small feat as Transportation technicians are tasked with maintaining the fleet and making sure that bus brake-pads, tire treads, coolant lines and exhaust pipes — to name a few —are in tip top shape.

Approval of CAB-West property sale

The Board of Education unanimously approved the sale of District property at 9150 S. 500 West. The property was listed on the open market. The highest offer received was from Synergy Development, located in Park City, for $9.6 million. Synergy has a 120-day due diligence period prior to closure, which could occur as soon as December. Under the purchase agreement, CSD may rent the building and maintenance compound for up to 18 months, if need be. The administration is reviewing cost-neutral options to relocate the CSD departments housed at CAB-West. Synergy plans to work with Sandy City in constructing a industrial complex. Depending on the scope, the project could generate up to $500,000 in ongoing property tax revenue for CSD. Up to 700 jobs could be created.   

A Farewell

Board Chairman Sherril Taylor recognized Makayla Hopkins who is leaving her intern post in CSD’s External Affairs Department to pursue a college degree at Brigham Young University-Idaho. He wished her well with her future endeavors and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.   
 

Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports 

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe remarked on the passing of Hillcrest Coach Cazzie Brown and said it was gratifying seeing students from throughout the valley come together to celebrate Coach Brown’s contributions and life. The students really drove the remembrance events, he said, which is a testament to their spirit and the lasting influence of Coach Brown. Dr. Briscoe commended the Board for establishing high standards for theDistrict and for holding schools accountable for attaining them. In closing, he remarked how excited he is to see the enthusiasm at CSD’s back-to-school events. He also spoke to dispel rumors about the 2017 school improvement bond, stressing there are no plans to build a swimming pool at any of CSD’s high schools.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said the 2017 bond proposal was warmly received by the Sandy City Council.  He and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards presented information earlier in the night to the City Council. 

Board Reports

Board President Sherril Taylor voiced appreciation for Coach Cazzie Brown and his enduring legacy. Even though he was with us for a short time, he left a huge impact, Taylor said. He also thanked teachers and administrators for a near-flawless start to the school year, which doesn’t happen by accident. Finally, he thanked administrators and Board members for all they do to support CSD’s schools and youth within the District.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey expressed condolences to Coach Cazzie Brown’s family. She attended back-to-school events at Park Lane and Brookwood and couldn’t help but imagine how much learning and development will take place by the end of the school year. She also participated in Kindergarten College-Ready Day at Brookwood to see the Class of 2030 take the college-ready pledge.

Amber Shill said she was able to attend the red-carpet back-to-school events at Butler Elementary and Butler Middle schools. She remarked on how Butler’s new Principal Jeff Nalwalker already knew many of the students, because he spent the summer hosting open houses where kids could come get popsicles and eyeglasses for safely enjoying the solar eclipse. As the Finance Committee Chair for the Utah High School Activities Association, she encouraged patrons to check the UHSAA website for information on budget hearings and meeting minutes. She also was elected to serve on the Realignment Committee. She concluded that her heart goes out to Cazzie Brown’s family and the Hillcrest community.

Clareen Arnold thanked the administration, schools and parents for making the first day of school positive and inspiring, remarking on all the preparation that goes into CSD’s red-carpet welcomes and Kindergarten College-Readiness Day. 

Chad Iverson said he’s been able to attend a few soccer matches and cross country meets. He thanked coaches for the huge impact they have on young people, specifically mentioning the far-reaching influence of Coach Cazzie Brown. He thanked the administration for taking time to update the Board on academic measures and emphasized the importance of ACT scores as an indicator of college- and career-readiness. Colleges and universities don’t ask for SAGE scores on college applications, they ask about the ACT. He urges Utah lawmakers and the Utah State Board of Education to reevaluate SAGE. 

Mont Millerberg also remarked on feeling a spirit of excitement within the District and said he’s eager to see momentum continue with the proposed bond measure. Underscoring the need for the bond, he said, are the unbearably high temperatures in the classrooms at Union Middle and Midvalley Elementary. He attended the first day of kindergarten at East Midvale and Midvale elementary schools, which he said, is more fun than it should be. He concluded by expressing condolences to Coach Cazzie Brown’s family, noting that his loss was a big blow to the community.

Steve Wrigley said he appreciated being able to spend time at White City Days sharing information about the proposed 2017 school-improvement bond. He had a chance to celebrate the new buddy bench at Willow Canyon Elementary. He also attended Coach Brown’s celebration of life at Hillcrest High, and noted the profound influence he had.
Since its inception in 2009, Canyons District has been unwavering in its support of innovation in the classroom.

With rapid advances in technology, the sky’s the limit, but it takes an innovative teacher to put technology to effective use, says Canyons Education Foundation Director Laura Barlow. “With their training and boots-on-the-ground perspective, teachers know what works and doesn’t work to help students succeed. The seeds of innovation start with them.”

Such was the impetus behind the Foundation’s Innovation grants, which are awarded each year to fuel teachers’ winning ideas for enhancing classroom instruction. Applications for the 2017-2018 round of grants are being accepted now through 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.

All CSD educators are eligible to apply. Applications can be accessed on the Foundation’s website for grants ranging in size between $1,000 and $10,000. Winners will be announced in November.

Barlow says, the awards will be based on the educational merit of the projects that teachers propose. She encourages teachers to be specific about how their project would improve learning outcomes or the learning environment for students.



Last year, the Foundation competitively awarded $100,000 in grants to 12 teachers. The grants brought 3D printing to Royce Shelley’s calculus class at Corner Canyon High, and have enabled Matty Barth’s students to communicate in Spanish with pen pals from around the world.

Two years ago, generous donors made it possible for a Jordan High mathematics teacher to create an after-school “makers” club where students could build the skills they need to realize their dreams of creating liquid superconductors and sending satellites into space. The club morphed into a yearly class, which, when infused with a second Canyons Foundation Innovation Grant, was able to field the Beetdigger’s first robotics team—now, the reigning regional champs.

“We’ve tried for a long time to start FIRST Robotics team, but we didn’t have the funding,” says the team’s advisor Cameo Lutz. “In past years, some of our brightest students have had to compete for neighboring teams.”

For Jordan to win the 2017 Utah FIRST Regional Robotics competition its inaugural year is almost unprecedented, says Lutz. In just two years, her students went from a rag-tag group of rookie tinkerers to the No. 1 robotics team in the region. They outwitted 48 teams from seven states and Canada, most of whom have years of experience and access to hundreds-of-thousands in funding.

“Jordan High’s victory is a perfect example of how money goes from a donor to the Foundation to the teacher to make a measurable difference for students,” says Barlow.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A builder, a baker, or museum curator? An accountant, a barber, or brave fire fighter? How about a doctor, a researcher, or fabulous teacher?

Every year, on the Friday of the first full week of school, Canyons District celebrates Kindergarten College-Readiness Day, a time for our youngest studenkids.jpgts to share their dreams and begin to think about how they might achieve them. Each classroom finds its own way to celebrate. Some invite students to come to school dressed in the fashion of their career of choice. Others host a career-oriented show-and-tell. All students this year received blue bracelets bearing the words, "I will be college-ready. Class of 2030."

As Canyon View kindergarten teacher Carolyn Armstrong remarked to her class, "It's OK to be undecided, to want to do lots of things, or to change your mind." But even at the age 5, she says, it's important for students to begin to understand the pivotal role that education will play in getting them where they want to go.

In Armstrong's class, students' aspirations are limited only by their imaginations. There are a few fire fighters, policemen, teachers, doctors and veterinarians, a future chemist, rockstar, and robotics engineer. And there's Jonathan, who wants to be an inventor so he can invent a star grabber that grabs stars.

"We need all these jobs which is why it's so great that you all want to do different things," Armstrong said.

Students from Canyon View, East Sandy and Sunrise elementary schools celebrate Kindergarten Career and College-Readiness Day

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  • The window for applying to test into Canyons School District’s SALTA magnet program for advanced learners opens early this year.

    Students in kindergarten through the seventh grade can apply online starting Monday, Sept. 11, through midnight on Wednesday, Oct. 4.  No late applications will be accepted.

    SALTA — Supporting Advanced Learners Toward Achievement — serves students who demonstrate significantly high cognitive and academic abilities in comparison to peers. Due to the time-intensive and rigorous nature of the process for determining a student’s fit for the program, parents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the testing requirements well before completing an application.

    Testing will take place in October and November and is a two-day commitment. Results will be distributed in January.  

    Applicants may choose between one of two possible dates per testing block:
    • Testing Block A: Friday, Oct. 13 (after school) and Saturday, Oct. 14 at 9 a.m.
    • Testing Block B: Friday, Oct. 27 (after school) and Saturday, Oct, 28 at 9 a.m.
    Elementary school applicants may choose from one of eight testing locations, and middle schoolers are directed to either Midvale or Mount Jordan for testing.

    Elementary Schools
    Canyon View
    Copperview
    East Midvale
    Midvale
    Peruvian Park
    Sandy
    Sunrise
    Willow Springs

    Middle Schools
    Midvale Middle (Midvale Middle school students only)
    Mount Jordan Middle (all other district middle school students)

    Questions? More information, can be found at csdsalta.weebly.com, or by calling the Instructional Supports Department at 801-826-5044.
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