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Board Meeting Summary, Dec 15, 2020

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

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

All Canyons employees will soon be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins urged all Canyons District employees to respond as soon as possible to a survey emailed Tuesday evening that seeks to gauge interest among employees in upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinics. The responses will determine the number of doses that CSD will order. A robo-call was sent to all CSD employees alerting them to the survey. Responses will be accepted until Friday at 3 p.m. Once medical authorities confirm the delivery of the doses, CSD will announce the exact dates, times, and locations of the vaccination clinics. Logistical planning for the clinics has already started. The Board of Education also reviewed slight modifications to CSD’s COVID-19 reopening plans based on recommendations by state and health authorities regarding mitigation strategies and participation in extracurricular activities. Robins also presented information about a “Test to Return” program.

Learning Schedule

The majority of parents on School Community Councils support the District’s decision to set aside Fridays for teacher preparation and student independent study. That is according to a survey of 233 SCC members that was done to guide a Board discussion on whether the four-day learning schedule should be continued. The Board adopted the schedule in response to educators who said they needed more time to plan, prepare, grade, and reach out to students who were learning at home during COVID-19-related isolation or quarantine. In the survey, many parents indicated that it has helped their child’s learning and strengthened the communication between teachers and families. Parents also said that the independent-learning assignments on Friday were sufficiently engaging. The Board also received feedback from the Student Advisory Council. On average, according to the survey, 21 percent of parents felt that the four-day learning schedule was not of benefit. The Board asked the Administration to provide additional information, including student achievement data, in March. 

Proposed Midvale CDA 

The Board heard a proposal from Midvale City to enter into a community development tax increment agreement to redevelop the city’s historic Main Street. City officials hope to preserve the area’s culture, while creating more space for businesses and housing, by building an arts and entertainment center where people gather, recreate, shop, and dine. The Board will discuss the project at future meetings and asked for an independent evaluator to report on the proposal’s projected tax collections. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the Dec. 1, 2020 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; December financial reports; TSSP and Land Trust Amendments for Sandy Elementary and Draper Park Middle; and LEA-specific licenses.

New Curriculum Proposal

The Board continued to review a proposed new curriculum for third-grade science classes, “Inspire Science,” from McGraw-Hill. Parents can see a hard copy in the lobbies of the District Office, and patrons also can access information on the website. Instructional Supports Program Administrator Kenna Sorensen also provided information on fourth- and fifth-grade curriculum that is also “phenomena-based.” 

Patron Comments

No patrons signed up to address the Board of Education.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Dr. Robins urged those who are struggling with difficult emotions to reach out to teachers, administrators, counselors, and other support staff who are in the schools to provide mental-health aid. With the news of the vaccination clinics, he said, it truly feels like the beginning of the end of the challenging times that COVID-19 has presented.  He expressed appreciate for parents, students, teachers and staff for their hard work, and said he hopes the clinics brings hope to the community. He also urged vigilance to safety precaution as the vaccine is rolled out to communities across the country.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox urged patience and cooperation as CSD works through the details of the vaccination clinics. He noted the postponement of the public-input plan for the Midvale-school boundary proposals. He welcomed Ms. Holly Neibaur to the Board of Education.

Board Member Reports

President Tingey lauded the winners of the 2020 Apex Awards, who are feted in a virtual ceremony that is now available on the CSD YouTube channel. Posters of the winners also were placed on the walls of the Board Chambers on Tuesday afternoon. She also reported on attending the meeting of the Student Advisory Council. She wished the community a wonderful holiday break and said she looks forward to the new year ahead. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg noted the importance of the vaccination clinics and encouraged participation. He said he’s “amazed at the quality of teachers and the quality of people” throughout the District. The Utah School Boards Association will hold a virtual conference in Monday, he said. He wished the community a merry Christmas.

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending the meeting of the Student Advisory Council.  She reminded the Board about upcoming National School Board Association meetings.  She wished the community happy holidays. She wished Mr. Iverson a fond farewell. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley wished all employees a merry Christmas and happy holidays and thanked them for their work. He urged families to reach out to their family members who might be alone during the holidays, either for health or personal reasons. He noted the rapid COVID-19 test program that also allows employees to bring their children to get tested. 

Mrs. Amanda Oaks thanked Iverson for his contributions to the Board and welcomed Neibaur to the Board of Education. She urged the Board and Administration to start thinking about summer school programming to address any COVID-19-related academic slides. She noted the mental-health struggles of families and CSD employees during the pandemic and encouraged school support staff to communicate what services are available.  She also wished the community a happy holidays and merry Christmas, and hopes everyone will be able spend time with loved ones.

Mr. Chad Iverson thanked his Board colleagues for the past eight years that he’s served on the Board of Education. He wished the community a merry Christmas and happy holidays. 

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