Getting Involved





Getting Involved

Board Meeting Summary, Feb. 19, 2019

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

Hazardous Bus Routes

Canyons Transportation Director Jeremy Wardle shared the results of a months-long effort to reevaluate the District’s Hazardous Bus Routes. Hazardous routes refer to busing services that the District provides to students, who, based on their proximity to school, would normally walk were it not for the absence of a safe route. The District currently spends more than $1 million to provide busing to students in 101 hazardous routes, an amount exceeded only by one of five neighboring school districts. An independent evaluator surveyed these routes, taking into account any changes in infrastructure and traffic patterns over the past six years. The evaluator documents access to sidewalks and overpasses, and notes high-traffic areas and dangerous roads crossings, and then gives each route a score. Using the same scoring matrix as used in the past, and a score of 36 as the threshold for declaring a route as hazardous, the evaluator is recommending maintaining 94 Hazardous Routes and discontinuing seven. The Board will review the evaluator’s findings and take up the matter at a future meeting.

Administrative Appointments

The Board of Education approved administrative appointments for the 2019-2020 school year. The appointments are:

  • Kelli Miller, currently Assistant Principal at Brighton High, will become an Assistant Principal at Alta High.
  • Marielle Rawle, an Intern Administrator at Brighton High, will become Assistant Principal at Brighton High.
  • Sara Little, Hillcrest High Assistant Principal, will become Assistant Principal at Corner Canyon High.
  • David Barrett, Assistant Principal at Draper Park Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Corner Canyon High.
  • Quentin Linde, Assistant Principal at Corner Canyon High, will become Assistant Principal at Hillcrest High.
  • Special Assignment Administrator Stacy Kurtzhals will be become Principal of Eastmont Middle.  She replaces Charisse Hilton, who will become a Program Administrator in the CSD Responsive Services Department.
  • Matt Watts, Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle, will become Principal of Mount Jordan Middle. He replaces Cindy Hanson, who will become a Canyons School Performance Director in the central office.
  • Intern Administrator Kristana Price will become Assistant Principal at Draper Park Middle.
  • Taylor Hansen, currently Union Middle Assistant Principal, will become an Eastmont Middle Assistant Principal.
  • Brooke Rauzon, Assistant Principal at Sandy Elementary, will become an Assistant Principal at Eastmont Middle.
  • Courtney Long, an Intern Administrator, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle.
  • Sara Caldwell, a CSD Achievement Coach, will become an Assistant Principal at Mount Jordan Middle.
  • John Hellwig, an Assistant Principal at Mount Jordan Middle, will become an Assistant Principal at Union Middle.
  • Human Resources Administrator Sandra Dahl-Houlihan will become Principal at Bella Vista Elementary.
  • Cory Anderson, Principal at Bella Vista Elementary, will become Principal at Sandy Elementary.  He replaces McKay Robinson, who is a School Performance Director in the central office.
  • CSD Achievement Coach Elcena Saline will become Assistant Principal at Sandy Elementary.
  • Nate Edvalson, currently Assistant Principal at Eastmont, will become an Administrator in the Special Education Department.
  • Jordan Valley Principal Mark Donnelly will become a Canyons District Speech Language Pathologist.
  • Stacy Nofsinger, a Teacher Specialist, will become Principal of Jordan Valley School.
  • Intern Administrator Michelle Snarr will become an elementary support administrator assigned to School Performance.

Midvale Elementary Update

Earlier this month, the Utah State Board of Education agreed to allow Midvale Elementary to continue with a restructuring plan aimed at improving student achievement. Coupled with extra social-behavioral supports and programmatic changes, the restructuring is yielding promising results, which Principal Chip Watts detailed for the Board of Education. Winter test results show Midvale students are seeing gains in reading fluency and math with a growing percentage making typical or greater-than-typical growth. Students are attending school more regularly, and teacher retention has also improved with 87 percent of the school’s faculty members returning to teach at the school again next year. The improvements are tied to a number of changes, including allocating more resources to pay for extra teachers, school psychologists and counselors, administrators and staff. The District also has given approval for 100 percent of the students to have free lunches and breakfasts. Teachers are paying particular attention to phonics and phonemic awareness and computational skills. Midvale also has adopted a “two-teacher model,” in which two teachers share a group of students, enabling them to specialize and teach to their strengths. The schedule also opens up more time for English language arts instruction, which is important considering nearly half of Midvale’s students are English language learners.

Water-Quality Issues

A report to the Board of Education detailed the emergency protocols that were recently enacted at Alta High and Altara and Sunrise elementary schools in response to the water-quality issues in Sandy City. On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the District lifted all water restrictions at the trio of the schools after independent water testing at the three locations showed the levels of lead, copper and iron meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines for drinking water. The testing was performed by CSD following the city’s public announcement on Friday, Feb. 15 that elevated levels of lead and copper had been detected in the city’s water system that services the neighborhoods between 10600 South and 11400 South and 700 East and 2000 East. Bottled water had been made available Tuesday at the schools, where the water lines also had been drained over the weekend. Meals also were made off-site and delivered to the schools so little water was required in the cafeterias for food preparation and cleanup. In addition, the District’s annual water-testing program at all CSD schools will begin in the coming days rather than in March, as it had been regularly scheduled.  The schools in Sandy City will be among those tested first. The Board of Education and Administration thanked the CSD Risk Management, Facilities, Nutrition Services, Purchasing and Communications Departments, as well as Principals Brian McGill, Nicole Svee-Magann and Margaret Swanicke, for working on solutions to the water-quality issues in the Sandy community. 


The following students, faculty and staff were recognized for their achievements: 

  • Alex Cheng, senior, Hillcrest High – Regeneron Science Talent Search Award winner, Coca-Cola Scholarship Regional Finalist
  • Brighton High Boys Swim Team – 5A state champions
  • Brighton Coach Todd Etherington –5A Swim Coach of the Year
  • Rachel Butler –5A Girls Swimmer of the Year, state champion in two events
  • Brighton High’s Kristen Reuter and Sandy Elementary’s Jacinda Meranda and Bethany Smith –National Board Certified Teachers
  • Corner Canyon Football Coach Eric Kjar – Recipient of Minuteman trophy, USA Today Utah Coach of the Year

Legislative Update

Canyons District External Affairs Director Charlie Evans and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board of Education on the progress of education-related bills being considered by the Utah Legislature.

Pledge of Allegiance, Posting of the Colors

The colors were posted and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Cub Scout Troop 3575 and Boy Scout Troop 4519. The students attend Sunrise Elementary. Sunrise Principal Margaret Swanicke presented information about the school, including the vibrant father-volunteer group, called Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students), a large and well-organized PTA, and a dedicated and skilled faculty. Swanicke reported that in the past five years, Sunrise student at every grade level and in every tested subject have made double-digit increases on year-end tests.  As a Beverly Taylor Sorensen School, Sunrise also has robust arts programs, she said. 

Patron Comments

Patron Carly Seely spoke to the Board about the hazardous-route study and encouraged the Board to consider a bus for their Draper neighborhood.

Jordan High parent Lori Norris spoke favorably about allowing students groups to travel outside of 425 miles for events, activities and competition. The Board is considering a student travel policy.

Patron Jen Morris, a member of the Draper Elementary School Community Council, spoke about the petition that’s been signed by about 300 Draper residents to reconfigure and improve the parking lot at Draper Elementary.

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, including approval of the minutes from the Feb. 5, 2019 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests, January financial reports; and approval of home-school affidavits. 

Corner Canyon High Moratorium

The Board of Education is considering a proposal to lift a five-year enrollment moratorium at Corner Canyon High, where a 24-classroom addition is being constructed as part of the projects promised to the community as part of the 2017 bond for $283 million. Districts can place schools on moratorium status if enrollment projections place them above the open-enrollment threshold. State statute defines that as being the greater of 90 percent of maximum school capacity or maximum capacity minus 40 students.  When schools are on moratorium status, they do not accept Standard Open Enrollment Applications from out-of-boundary students.  The Board will continue to review the proposal.

Policy Updates

Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen presented proposed changes to policies governing Board-approved Summer Programs; Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems; and Life Dignity Orders. The Board approved the changes to the policies.  The Board also is considering changes to a policy regarding student overnight travel.

Superintendent, Business

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe remarked on attending the final Hillcrest boys’ hoops game to be played in the Arts Hughes Gymnasium before it’s torn down to make way for the school’s rebuild. At the request of President Tingey, the Superintendent reported on the Friday, Feb. 15 make-up day for the Wednesday, Feb. 6 Snow Day.  Enrollment figures show 16 percent of Canyons students did not attend school on the makeup day. He said CTEC and Alta High students represented the District well at the Tuesday, Feb. 19 District Day on the Hill at the State Capitol.  He thanked the District’s external-affairs team for their hard work during the legislative session.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked the Draper Elementary parents for presenting information about the pending improvements to the parking lot. He said the District will soon meet with city officials about the site. He also said the LDS Church is allowing District staff and patrons to park at the ward house during construction of CAB-East.  He thanked Utah Sen. Kathleen Riebe for her support of Canyons District and public education.

Board Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson reported on attending various school events and joked about predicting another Snow Day by the end of the winter season.  

Mrs. Clareen Arnold thanked the custodians for clearing campuses of snow and ice and encouraged participation in Parent-Teacher Conference.

Mr. Steve Wrigley thanked the Office of Public Communication for updating the Board on recent events, including the water-quality issues in Sandy City. 

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending meetings of the Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Utah High School Activities Association Board, and the Brighton High School Community Council.  She said she enjoyed her time at the Utah State Capitol during the 45-day Utah legislative session.

Mrs. Amanda Oaks attended the District DLI committee meeting, SCC meetings for Corner Canyon High and Indian Hills Middle, and the Legislative Day on the Hill.  She thanked Riebe for her attendance and hard work at the legislature.

Mr. Mont Millerberg thanked patrons for coming to Board meeting to discuss important issues. He also remarked on attending the final boys’ basketball game played at the Art Hughes Gymnasium. He also reported on attending the Utah State Board of Education at which the state board discussed Midvale Elementary’s restructure plan for improvement. 

President Nancy Tingey mentioned attending the final girls’ hoops game to be played at Hillcrest’s Art Hughes Gymnasium and Hillcrest’s Renaissance Feast, a fund-raiser for Husky performing arts programs. She also thanked the staff for their work in the past few weeks, be it for the Snow Day or the action plan for the water-quality issues in Sandy City.

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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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