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Getting Involved

Board Meeting Summary, Dec. 3, 2019

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

Resolution for the Issuance of Bonds

The Board of Education reviewed a resolution to authorize the issuance of up to $80 million in general-obligation bonds to fund phases of the current construction and renovation projects. The adoption of a resolution would not require the District to issue bonds, but is the first legal step in the issuance process. Under the parameters of the proposed resolution, the District would have to stay within a 21-year repayment term. The interest rate could not exceed 5 percent. The proposal will come back to the Board for possible action on Tuesday, Dec. 17. If the resolution is approved, the District’s finance team will prepare the required legal documents in mid-January. Later that month, the District’s fiscal health will be gauged by rating analysts at Moody’s and Fitch in order to receive a bond rating in time for publicly announcing the bond sale in early February. The proposed bond issuance follows voter approval of a 2017 tax-rate-neutral school improvement bond to rebuild or remodel seven schools, build a new school, and add lighting and office upgrades to dozens more. The District reports the financial health, including the payments on outstanding debt, in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2019 also was presented to the Board for its review. 

Long-Range Planning Committee Report

The Board of Education voted on a financing and construction schedule for the remaining major projects that were promised to the public at the passage of a $283 million bond in November 2017. The Board also gave the Administration approval to move forward on a proposal to consolidate Bell View and Edgemont school communities into one new school to be built on the Edgemont property. To facilitate the plans for the new White City-area elementary, plus rebuilds of Union Middle and Peruvian Park Elementary as well as a new elementary in west Draper, the Board has approved the issuance of up to $35 million in lease-revenue bonds, the use of money from the sale of property, and expenditure of approximately $5 million from the General Fund. The action was necessitated by the 30 to 40 percent unexpected cost increases on the current bond projects, including the rebuilds of Brighton and Hillcrest high schools and the renovation of Alta High. This comes as a result of Utah’s tight labor market and the rising cost of materials, stemming partly because of the tariffs on steel and aluminum. In the Board’s decision, which included a 2021 start date for construction on Union Middle, Peruvian Park, and the new White City-area school, the members also noted that costs are not expected to slow down anytime soon. Business Administrator Leon Wilcox noted that, supposing a 3 percent annual inflation rate, a building estimated to cost $48 million in 2021 would cost $54 million in 2025, or $58.3 million with a 5 percent annual inflation rate. Wilcox also presented ideas for temporary campuses during the construction periods. Wilcox said Union Middle can be built on-site using the existing soccer field. The Canyons Administration will meet with impacted School Community Councils to receive feedback.

Indicators of Growth, Success

A parent satisfaction survey indicates that 90 percent of parents are pleased with how much their children are learning in Canyons District, according to information presented to the Board of Education by CSD Research and Assessment Director Dr. Hal Sanderson. In the same survey, which was sent to parents in the last school year, 83 percent of the respondents said they are pleased with how well schools support their child’s emotional well-being. In separate surveys, he said, 80 percent of the Class of 2019 said they were satisfied with the education they received in Canyons District, and 76 of teachers said they were satisfied with their jobs in the District. Sanderson also reported to the Board that, in the subject of community engagement, 13,140 volunteers worked 171,436 hours in the schools, 77 percent of School Community Council chairs were trained, and 49 percent of SCC members and 93 percent of principals participated in the District’s annual training. Sanderson said CSD departments also are engaged in innovative initiatives. Fifty-three percent of teachers have earned level-one certification in the instructional use of technology and 85 percent of teachers participated in out-of-contract-hours professional development. The Board also received data regarding the District’s outreach and communications efforts and the District’s financial health. 

Academic Measures

Canyons student achievement data show encouraging trends, according to Dr. Sanderson. Chief among the data points is the not-yet-state-certified 90 percent graduation rate for the Class of 2019, which outpaces state and national graduation figures. In addition, the Class of 2019 who took the ACT, the entrance exam most commonly used by U.S. colleges and universities, scored better than their state and national counterparts. The average composite score for the Class of 2019 is 21.5, compared to the Utah score of 20.7 and national score of 20.3. The total number of Advanced Placement tests taken by CSD student increased to 4,637 from 4,368 the previous year, and, in all, 2,927 CSD students took AP tests in 2018-2019. The AP pass rate among CSD test-takers is 71 percent for CSD students, compared to 67 percent statewide and 58 percent nationwide. Dr. Sanderson also said research suggests that solid attendance correlates with higher grades and ACT scores. Researchers also have found that high school and college successes are related to access to rigor in middle school, where an academic  foundation is built; that more math and science parlays into achievement; and that good secondary-school habits — solid grades, consistent attendance, class participation, and organization – are strong predictors that a student will obtain a college degree in four years. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes of the meeting of the Canyons Board of Education from Nov. 12, 2019; the minutes from the meeting of the Board on Nov. 19, 2019; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; the 2018-2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and related audit reports; and a LAND Trust Plan amendments for Brighton High and Canyons View Elementary schools. 


The following students and faculty were recognized for their achievements:

  • Hillcrest High senior Kate Kratz for designing the District’s 2019 holiday card;
  • Dual Language Immersion Coordinator Ofelia Wade for receiving an award from the Spanish government for her efforts to promote DLI.

Curriculum Adoption

Instructional Supports Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward presented information about proposed new curriculum. Parents are provided information about the proposed curriculum on the website and at the Front Desks of the Canyons District Offices. Information about the public process is on the website and has been included in the most recent edition of CSD2U, a direct-mail piece that goes to all CSD parents. PTAs also have received information so they can inform their members at neighborhood schools. 

Patron Comment

  • Patron Suzanna Graff expressed concern about the short timeframe for input about the bond-project reconstruction of elementary schools, particularly Edgemont Elementary, and the temporary housing of school communities during the upcoming construction period. 
  • Alta High senior Abram Berry expressed concern about the on-campus heavy equipment, debris, and air quality during the renovation of the high school. He said there are safety concerns about the construction.  
  • Peruvian Park parent Rick Pearson provided input on the plans to rebuild the school. 

Pledge of Allegiance

The American and state flags were presented by Crescent Elementary students. Teacher Amanda Dee said the school is focusing on engendering a culture of kindness. This year, the Crescent community gathered 1,151 items for the Utah Food Bank. The faculty and staff also are donating fleece blankets to those in need during the holiday season. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on the Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Sydnee Dickson’s listening tour of Canyons District. He also lauded the students, faculty and staff and parents who worked on high school musical productions at Canyons District schools, and mentioned an upcoming lunch of appreciation for the faculty at Union Middle, which returned to regular session on Monday, Dec. 2 after being on split sessions since an Oct. 24 electrical fire.  Dr. Briscoe also congratulated the Corner Canyon High football team for winning the 6A trophy. 

Mr. Leon Wilcox also thanked the Union Middle teachers and staff for their work while clean-up continued after the fire. He also gave a shout out to the CSD Transportation Department for their work in picking up and dropping off fourth-graders for a Utah Symphony performance at Hillcrest High.  

Board of Education Reports

Ms. Amanda Oaks reported on attending Dr. Dickson’s listening tour of CSD schools and programs. She also mentioned Corner Canyon High’s win at the 6A football championship, Hillcrest’s production of “42nd Street,” the newly elected officials luncheon with District Administration, and the work of the District DLI committee. She also noted the Utah Symphony concert, and said it was a wonderful opportunity for students to hear beautiful music.

Ms. Amber Shill thanked Dr. Dickson and State Deputy Superintendent Angie Stallings for visiting Canyons schools and programs, reported on attending SCC meetings at two schools she represents, and congratulated the Chargers on winning the state 6A title.

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on attending a school-safety conference and the Emergency Management Committee meeting. He also attended the listening tour with Dr. Dickson and Stallings. He also reported on the newly elected officials meeting and expressed appreciation to Responsive Services Department for CSD’s ongoing social-emotional learning efforts. 

President Tingey thanked the Board for “covering a lot of ground” during the meeting. She thanked Drs. Dickson and Stallings for spending time in schools, talking to teachers, and visiting with students. She reported on attending four of the five CSD high school musicals this year, and gave kudos to Union Middle for their work during the clean-up from the fire.  She wished the community a warm and wonderful holiday season.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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