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Getting Involved

Board Meeting Summary Feb. 17, 2015

Note: Mp3s and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocsand by clicking the corresponding agenda items.

Midvale Classroom Additions Approved

The Board approved proposed small capital improvements, including $1.4 million to build four classrooms at Midvale Elementary to alleviate the need for so many portables, address the critical needs of students there, and make way for the Midvale Middle reconstruction.

SALTA Middle School Testing Requirement, Program Improvements Approved

The Board approved requiring testing for admittance into the middle school SALTA gifted-education services, much like students are required to do for elementary SALTA programs, and other mechanisms to improve the continuum of gifted and accelerated student services in CSD middle schools. The Board approved the proposals following three public discussions.

The testing requirement will begin in March for students who will be in sixth grade in fall 2015. Students already enrolled in an elementary SALTA program would be exempt. Additionally, Individualized Learning Plans would be implemented for elementary SALTA students who choose not to attend the magnet program at Midvale Middle School. This is aimed at better meeting the needs of the some 40 students each year who choose not to continue gifted education services at Midvale Middle’s magnet program. Also, a committee will be created to address ways to improve the honors curriculum in CSD middle schools for students of high academic ability.

The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme will remain at Midvale Middle, Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe said. Iverson said he’s encouraged to see the ILPs and examination of honors programs.

Alternative High School Designation Proposed

The Board discussed a new designation for an alternative high school in CSD so the District can receive state funding to provide services to the students and count them in the District’s graduation rates. Currently, CSD students needing alternative services leave the District to attend Jordan District’s Valley High School, where some students are not able to enroll, or enroll at CSD’s Entrada Adult High School, located at the Canyons Technical Education Center. As a result, CSD does not receive state funding for those students and they are designated by the state as dropouts. About 150 high school students are enrolled at Entrada now, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robert Dowdle said.

He said redesignating Entrada as an alternative high school would allow CSD to receive $200,000 and $250,000 for those students in the first year. It is also estimated that the District’s graduation rate will increase by 1 percent to 3 percent as a result of the change. Director of Student Advocacy and Access Karen Sterling said there were 400 CSD students last school year attending Valley High in Jordan District.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie said a committee is examining aspects of education delivery for alternative high school students, including guidance counseling, special education, curriculum, instruction, staffing and space needs. Dr. Dowdle said there is room for portable classrooms on the campus. High school students would not be in the same class as adults.

Wrigley said he was pleased to begin this discussion to address the needs of students needing alternative education services. The Board will discuss the idea in the next meeting.

Evaluation Leadership Position Approved

The Board approved creating an administrative position to help implement the Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System (CTESS) and other evaluation systems as mandated by law. Dr. Briscoe said the position is critical to successful implementation and to ensure proper professional development for principals and employees to implement the systems.

Under-Mileage Routes Examined

The Board received an annual report detailing optional bus routes that may not be needed next school year because of city improvements for pedestrian safety, new crossing guards, or the reworking of safe walking routes. Areas with new safety improvements included under-mileage routes serving Granite, Oak Hollow, and Canyon View. The Board opts to spend about $1.3 million every year to create bus routes in areas where students live close enough to school that they don’t qualify for a bus, but that present hazards to students needing to walk to school, such as a lack of sidewalks. Each year, the under-mileage routes, which do not receive state reimbursements, are evaluated to determine whether cities have improved pedestrian safety. Most districts do not cover under-mileage routes for students. The Board will continue its discussions.

Work-Based Learning Update

Ashley Burningham got a jumpstart on her career as a Sandy Police officer when she was a student at Alta High. Through CSD work-based learning programs, she was able to gain law enforcement experience in areas including the crime lab. Today, she’s achieved her dream and works as a police officer.

Burningham’s success story is one of many made possible through CSD Work-Based Learning Initiatives, CTE Coordinator Trish Thomas told the Board. She provided the Board with an update of Work-Based Learning, which she called the career-readiness piece of the Board’s college- and career-ready mission. She noted that students begin exploring career fields in elementary school. Feeder systems are established for all five high schools and assigned a specialist to oversee work-based learning efforts, which include soft skills training, encouraging girls to seek careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields, and career fairs, industry activities, and job shadows. CCI Mechanical’s Jim Woodard, an industry partner and engineering advisory board member for 10 years, said the initiatives help teach soft skills desperately needed in today’s workforce. He also said not all career fields need university degrees, including the skilled trades, which are critically needed. Board Vice President Steve Wrigley praised Thomas’ work.

Draft Policy Changes Introduced

The Board Policy Committee introduced possible changes to a series of policies as part of the Board’s efforts to update CSD’s policy manual, adopted from the old Jordan District before CSD’s first day of operations in 2009. The proposed policy changes will be discussed in a future meeting, and will include adjustments to the Board Audit Committee, Fiscal Accountability, Accounting, and Investment Management and School Community Councils to comply with state law. Board 2nd Vice President Nancy Tingey asked colleagues to provide feedback prior to the next Board Meeting. Superintendent Briscoe noted the policy committee is receiving feedback from affected employees and departments as it drafts its proposals.

School Accountability Update

Research and Assessment Director Dr. Hal Sanderson provided the Board with an overview of the 2014 school accountability reports, including the new PACE reporting system and school grading, implemented last school year. He noted that 83 percent of CSD schools earned A and B grades, up from 60 percent last year. He explained how PACE works, its proficiency goals and measurements as one indicator of student success in English Language Arts, Math and Science, but not other subjects such as social studies, health, P.E., or the arts. He also noted how the state determines growth under a competitive growth model. Educators are encouraged to use the reports to set goals for student achievement and to dialogue with their School Community Councils.

College Application Week Update

Comprehensive Guidance Specialist Torilyn Gillett updated the Board on efforts to ensure high school seniors have access to college. She said 85 percent of CSD seniors applied to college during Utah College Application Week in November. She said efforts now are turned to ensuring students have money to pay for college, and center on encouraging students to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Through FAFSA, students can access $150 billion in grants, low-interest loans, scholarships, and work-study programs to pay for college. Last year, 27 percent of students applied for FAFSA, but more than 50 percent could have qualified for free grants. Letters were sent last month to every high school senior’s parents, and included information on how to apply, web materials, and FAFSA workshops offered at high schools. The goal is have at least 50 percent of CSD students fill out the FAFSA this spring.

Legislative Update

Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards said CSD may be tracking up to 150 bills by the end of the Legislative Session, including bills on charter school replacement funding. This may require CSD funnel an additional $1 million to charter schools next year, CFO Leon Wilcox said. Edwards noted there would be some additional funding in that bill to hold districts harmless next year. She also noted bills on property tax equalization, which would include new money; another bill to require dividing school districts to share the same tax base after the division.

Middle School Team Investment Discussed

The Board discussed a proposal to invest in preserving the collaboration and teaming model in CSD middle schools. School Performance Director Joanne Ackerman and Principals from Mount Jordan and Butler Middle Schools shared their experiences with the Board. Teams are collaborating, engaging in targeted professional development, and working amid interdisciplinary teams to improve education for students. The middle schools need sufficient staffing to preserve the teams so they can optimally address student needs. Middle school achievement has steadily increased under the middle school schedule and teaming model. Teachers currently are working before and after school to ensure students are able to take music and other offerings that may not fit in their schedules.

Elementary Schedule Proposal Discussed

School Performance Director Alice Peck noted that the Canyons Education Association is working with District team about the proposed elementaryschedule to maximize teacher collaboration time during the school day to better address student needs. She said she believes the CEA and CSD are on the same page on what needs to be addressed. She requested Board action on the proposal March 17 to allow adequate time for planning and communication. She there were some unintended consequences to eliminating early-out Fridays this year, including interruptions to collaboration time as set in the current schedule. Ackerman said the proposal will help improve the quality of instructional time for students. Peck said the schedule would allow principals to determine when the planning time is. The schedule, if approved, would be evaluated throughout its implementation.

Student, Employee Achievements Recognized

The Board recognized the following students and employees:

• Janet Goble, Director of Career and Technical Education, elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association for Career and Technical Education
• Dr. Randal Clark, Corner Canyon High Utah High School Activities Association Utah Music Educator of the Year
• Alta View, Bella Vista, Bell View, Copperview, East Midvale, East Sandy, Edgemont, Midvale, Midvalley, Quail Hollow, Sandy, Silver Mesa, Sunrise, Willow Canyon elementaries, Bronze Awards, USDA’s Healthier US Schools Challenge
• Hillcrest’s Peter Johnston, Joseph Morrell, Calvin Yu, and Amy Zhan, Brighton’s Lauren Beckstrand and Sierra Rupper; and Alta’s Sarah Farnsworth, 2015 Presidential Scholar Candidates
• Nyah Arne, Draper Park Middle, Clara in Ballet West’s “The Nutcracker”
• Dexter Holmes, Jordan High, 2015 Canyons District Film Festival Poster Contest winner
• Jacob Roberts, Brighton High, Alternate Delegate, 53rd U.S. Senate Youth Program
• Deanna Nguyen and Jared Sagae, Corner Canyon, 11th Grade Winners, Utah Martin Luther King Jr. Contest
• Corner Canyon Cheer, Silver and Navy Squads, State Cheer Champions
• Peruvian Park’s Fifth-Grade Team (taught by Debbie Alexander and SALTA teacher Halley Kirk), Team Achievement Awards in the Noetic Learning National Math Contest, with National Honor Roll Medal winners Eric Chen, Zoe Liu, Hannah Demke, Selena Yu, Ryan Bartholomew, Will Faerber, Samuel Jackson, Kevin Suhaka; and Honorable Mention winners Calla Anderegg, Nathan Arias, Anika Boyer, Karl Edlund, Walter Fowler, Abigail Giolas, Asim Kablan, Samantha Lewis, Betul Oguz, Brock Person, Megan Peterson, Dylan Robinson, Matthew Simmons, Faith Winkler, and Erin Zhang

Board Action

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, including the Jan. 28 and Feb. 3 Minutes; Purchasing Bids; January Financial Reports; February Hires and Terminations; and the Land Trust Amendment. The Board also approved Student Overnight Travel for Jordan Baseball and CSD FCCLA and HOSA.

The Board asked the administration to slow down on a proposal to gather a group of principals, parents and students to discuss ideas to improve high school scheduling to allow for teacher collaboration and professional development to improve instruction and student achievement. Alta High is piloting a collaboration model now, Dr. Dowdle said. Tingey said the proposal should be more organic and tailored to communities, and President Sherril Taylor said the administration needs to slow down on proposing additional change.

Patron Comments

Parent Samantha Hughes told the Board her son has been injured by other students and asked the Board to enforce its zero tolerance policy against bullying.

Patrons Lisa Kenny of Brighton lacrosse, Rich Jensen, a parent of an injured Brighton football player, and Dan Hayes representing his daughter who plays softball asked that the Board accommodate the athletic, safety and health needs of athletes by placing artificial turf in the Brighton High stadium.

Teacher Becky Bellon said the elementary schedule proposal before the Board will help teachers better meet the needs of students. She said the meetings to learn more about the teacher evaluation system have cut into her planning time. She urged the Board to reach out to teachers and get feedback about the CTESS implementation.

Region 17 PTA Director Betty Shaw said she is receiving positive feedback from teachers about the elementary schedule proposal, and asked the Board to pass it to improve student achievement.

Patron Steve Van Maren invited the Board to a UTA open house to be held Wednesday at Sandy City Hall about a circulator system between Sandy TRAX, South Jordan Frontrunner, and other areas, which could help patrons. He also said Salt Lake County is providing special rec center passes for some patrons.

Superintendent’s Report

Dr. Briscoe thanked the Board for their hard work and time spent to understand challenging issues. He said it’s important to put in that time in December, January and February to give the Administration time to plan and communicate with stakeholders.

CFO’s Report

Wilcox said he appreciates the debate about the Midvale Elementary classroom additions. He said he feels the Board is taking the right course of action. He also said that CSD would have lost $4 million in the budget cuts approved by lawmakers last week, but said it looks like the money will be restored. He’s still watching charter school replacement funding and the per-student funding discussions.

Board Comments

Iverson thanked the Administration for bringing issues before the Board for debate. He thanked the Board for the discussion on the Midvale Elementary classrooms, and agreed it’s OK to be in the small minority that votes against items from time to time. He’s encouraged by Wilcox’s comments about funding. He was discouraged to learn about legislation to allow mayors into closed sessions, especially to evaluate the superintendent. He enjoyed the Crescent Elementary Spelling Bee. He’s looking forward to Wednesday’s constituency meeting, which he’ll host with Taylor.

Clareen Arnold thanked everyone for the robust discussions of late, and said it can’t be easy for administrators to always be on the spot. She said she appreciates the Administration and the comments given by parents, teachers and administrators.

Wrigley agreed with Arnold’s statements, and said a synergy and ownership comes from that process. He toured Mount Jordan and Eastmont and Willow Canyon, the grand tour of CTE programs and will tour special education programs in the upcoming weeks. He thanked the administrators for taking time with him.

Tingey said she’s spent a great deal of time at the Legislature. She said hoped legislation will pass to restrict what parts of board meetings others can participate in, which should help determine who can be allowed in those closed sessions. She will co-host a constituency meeting with Shill and hoped the public would attend. She met on a group with the State Board of Education and said the discussions were interesting. Leon noted that charter school funding from districts is now $15 million statewide would jump to 21 million under a bill being considered, and $6 million would come in temporary replacement funding to districts. Nancy said it’s time to examine public education funding intricacies as a whole. She said she appreciated Susan and Charlie keeping tabs on the Legislature. She’s looking forward to helping students tour the Capitol tomorrow.

Amber Shill visited Willow Springs and attended a teacher collaboration meeting to better learn about the elementary proposal. She said they were doing what the Administration said they were doing, and hoped all in the districts will be doing that. She asked to add to the agenda the Brighton turf for a vote. She said she doesn’t want any other athletes to be hurt due to the condition of the field, and that timing is critical to complete the turf in time for football season. She said it was already on capital outlay presentation to the Board weeks ago, and all schools but Brighton have turf.

Green said he was able to visit East Midvale Elementary, and congratuated Midvale and East Midvale elementaries, Union Middle and Hillcrest for increasing student achievement. He said we are improving as a District, and that’s empowering. He agreed that the Brighton turf issue should remain on the radar for consideration. He also praised Dr. Dowdle and Dr. McCarrie’s efforts and ideas to help students who struggle.

Taylor clarified that agendas are developed with Board leadership, and it’s their goal to recognize the interests of Board members and to address their issues in a timely fashion because they represent thousands of people. He thanked the Board for working diligently here and behind the scenes. He said it’s healthy for people to vote their conscience. He thanked the audience for staying so late, and the employees for their work.

Closed Session

The Board met in Closed Session for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining.

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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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