Board Meeting Summary, Dec. 14, 2021

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

Accreditation

Canyons District has passed a districtwide accreditation — a process that verifies the quality of CSD schools. School Performance Director Cindy Hanson reported that Canyons’ Index of Education Quality, as graded by the accreditation body Cognia, is 320.65 out of a possible 400 points. The average IEQ score given by Cognia over the past five years is about 280. Hanson outlined CSD’s strengths and weaknesses as identified by the accreditation evaluation team. The process began in 2019 with data-gathering and surveying employees and parents. Cognia evaluators recently spent several days learning about CSD, reviewing data, and interviewing parents, students, teachers and administrators. Among the next-step recommendations is to designate a districtwide late-start or early-out to ensure a common planning and collaboration time for teachers at every grade level. Cognia also urged continued work in providing equity in Canyons District and creating SMART goals as part of the strategic-planning process.

 Utah College Application Week

Some 1,473 seniors in Canyons District high schools submitted at least one viable college application during this year’s Utah College Application Week. Tori Gillett, school counseling program specialist, said the majority of CSD graduates apply to attend either Salt Lake Community College or the University of Utah, followed by Utah Valley University and Utah State University. Brighton High senior Sophie Jensen told the Board that the activities during UCAW helped reduce the stress and intimidation of applying for college. Gillett also reported on using some of the $10,000 pledged by the Canyons Education Foundation to pay for the college-application fees of low-income students.

Technology Plan and Digital Citizenship

Canyons District is inching toward having a one-to-one access-to-technology model for all students, CSD Information Technology Director Scot McCombs told the Board of Education. All secondary students — grades six through 12 — can take home Chromebooks every day. In the elementary schools, McCombs said, all students have access to the devices while they are at school. However, even with the progress in providing take-home Chromebooks, approximately 12 percent of the students in Canyons District do not have adequate Internet connectivity at home, according to surveys. To the end of helping students, CSD’s IT department has rolled out hotspots and engaged in a partnership with Comcast to provide subsidized Internet access to families, among other initiatives. With federal Emergency Connectivity Funds, the District plans to purchase 15,000 Chromebooks to replace devices that will not support year-end testing in the 2022-2023 school year and additional funding for hotspots and the partnership with Comcast. McCombs said the IT department, with federal E-rate funding, has upgraded wired and wireless networking for 12 elementary schools and one middle school. With access to technology comes the responsibility of using it appropriately. Instructional Supports Program Administrator Kenna Sorensen outlined the District’s efforts to adhere to HB213, “Safe Technology Utilization and Digital Citizenship.” CSD students and employees receive training on how to act appropriately and remain safe while on the Internet, she said. Each school’s required Digital Citizenship plan also is shared with School Community Councils.

Strategic Planning

Superintendent Rick Robins said committees met in recent weeks. A review of the work done by the groups suggests that student achievement remains a bedrock in Canyons, he said. The workbooks completed by each committee will now be forwarded to the Steering Committee for further discussion and action, Robins reported.

Proposed Curriculum

New curricula are being proposed for implementation beginning in fall 2022. Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward said the 24-step curriculum review process started several years ago. Per practice, the proposed English Language Arts, physics, and chemistry curriculum materials will be available for public review before the Board considers an adoption. The new curriculum materials are proposed to address new state standards or supplant programs that are being discontinued. Print materials may be viewed at schools or the District Office during the review time-period. Notice also will be sent to CSD parents about the proposed curriculum materials.

Recognitions

The following students and employees were recognize for their achievements:

  • Sabah Sial, Hillcrest High graduate, one of 32 Rhodes Scholars this year
  • Makayla Larkins, Corner Canyon High senior, who created the artwork for the official 2021 CSD holiday card
  • Cody Hagen, Corner Canyon High senior, for being named Utah Gatorade Player of the Year
  • CCHS senior Devin Brown and Brighton High senior Lander Barton, for receiving invitations to play in the All-American Bowl in January.
  • Introduced to the Board were Alta High Principal Dr. Brian McGill, CSD’s new Student Services Director; Mr. Ken Rowley, who will succeed McGill as Principal of Alta High; and Matt Wolford, CSD’s new director of facilities, who succeeds the retiring Rick Conger.

Patron Comment

Sixteen patrons commented as part of the Patron Comment portion of the meeting. Recordings of their remarks can be accessed at BoardDocs.

Employee Appreciation

Members of the Board of Education expressed appreciation for every Canyons District employee, even as schools continue to operate in the midst of a global health crisis. While last year was known as the COVID-19 school year, several Board members said that this year is just as challenging if not more so. Recordings of Board member remarks can be accessed at BoardDocs.

Policy Updates

The Board of Education approved an update to a policy governing student health service requirements. The Board will continue to review a policy related to school library media adoption and review and another for curriculum adoption.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the Nov. 30 meeting of the Board; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; and November financial reports.

Pledge of Allegiance, School Report

Principal Doug Graham said the school focuses on encouraging service, both among the student body and in the community. This holiday season, he said, the school collected more than 10,000 items to donate to the Utah Food Bank. The National Junior Honors Society also for six years has joined with student officers to spearhead a fundraiser to garner $10,000 for Make-A-Wish.

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