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Board Meeting Summary, July 14, 2020

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

CSD’s Back-to-School Action Plan

The Board of Education approved a COVID-19 Back-to-School Plan. This plan is required by the Utah State Board of Education, which has ordered all Utah public schools to create a plan to return to school safely. Canyons District’s detailed plan, which features the option for parents to decide if their children will be taught in-person or via online formats, was created in accordance with guidelines established by state education officials. Parents can choose their preferred option during Online Registration, which begins July 27. In-person learning would be held Monday through Friday on the previously approved academic calendar. School Performance Director McKay Robinson said the District is not proposing a split or staggered schedule largely because of concerns about equity. About a quarter of Canyons students qualify for free- and reduced-price lunches under the poverty index, and an estimated 20 percent of students do not have a device or connectivity for Internet-based learning to fully participated in online learning. These students need throughout-the-week access to in-person learning and non-academic services to maintain their achievement levels, he said. Extensive cleaning practices for facilities and buses are outlined in the proposed plan, as are the expectations regarding the required use of face coverings in schools and on buses, per the order of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. The plan also addresses how Canyons will pivot to online-learning-only in the event of a widespread closure of schools, the process students and employees follow if they are ill or exposed, and steps schools will take to maximize the use of their entire buildings to promote physical distancing. Robinson also told the Board each school will do a site-specific plan.

Educational Options for CSD Families in Fall 2020

Canyons District’s proposed COVID-19 Back-to-School Action Plan was developed with the end goal of providing a high-quality education in a safe environment for all students in CSD, Superintendent Rick Robins told the Board of Education. The plan, built in accordance with the guidelines as established by the Utah State Board of Education, which has ordered all Utah school districts to be prepared to return to school in the fall, was revised and updated as the District received input from parents, students and employees. The CSD community has indicated that they want to have options. According to the plan, in return, the District will provide three options for parents during this year’s Online Registration: In-person instruction, online learning, and at-home, parent-guided instruction supported by Canyons District educators and specialists. Instructional Supports Department Director Amber Roderick-Landward said parents can choose the option during the Online Registration process, which begins on July 27, 2020. Ninth- through 12th grades students who enroll in the online program can earn core and limited elective credits through already-established CSD online offerings, and elementary and middle school students who enroll in online core classes will be assigned a CSD teacher. Students who are in the online program — facilitated by Canvas, CSD’s common-learning management system — will be considered a part of a CSD neighborhood school through which they can obtain non-academic services and participate in extracurriculars. Those who choose the parent-guided option will remain connected to a local neighborhood school so they will continue to receive school communication and can access such services as curriculum and instruction assistance, counseling, social-emotional supports, nutrition, and activities. Students in the online classes will be following the same curriculum maps as those in in-person classes so the students can move seamlessly between formats. This also will greatly help CSD if the District needs to pivot quickly to distance-learning at every school if state government and health officials order another closure of Utah schools, as was done last spring. Accommodations for students receiving Special Education or English Language Learning services will be worked out with individual families. Students in need who participate in online learning will be provided a device and connectivity to participate fully in remote learning. 

Teacher and ESP Survey

Ninety-eight percent of the 76 percent of teachers who responded to a Canyons District survey said they intended to return to their in-person teaching or working assignment in fall 2020.  Of the respondents, 33 percent said they would be interested in applying for a limited number of instruction positions for online offerings. The survey, administered from July 6-9, drew a 76 percent response rate from CSD educators. In another survey administered over the same time period, 97 percent of CSD Education Support Professionals said they intended to return to their in-person work assignment. The response rate was 32 percent. The goals of these surveys were to learn the intent of these groups to return to work in August and better understand their thoughts and concerns regarding school opening. These brief surveys were developed by CSD’s Human Resources, Communications, and Research and Assessment departments. The teacher survey, which was sent out prior to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s order to require masks in K-12 schools in Utah, was developed in cooperation with the Canyons Education Association. Likely as a result of the timing, more than 30 percent of both licensed personnel and ESP used an open-ended question to mention face-covering concerns ranging from inability of small children to keep them on to health concerns to challenges of ensuring that every child can hear while the masks are on. Fourteen percent of licensed personnel and 14 percent of ESP gave opinions about or asked questions about sick leave policies. 

CEA Negotiated Contract

The Board of Education approved a negotiated contract for the 2020-2021 academic year with the Canyons Education Association. The District will fund an increment level for each certified employee, which translate to a $900 increase for employees on a 186-day contract. In addition, the District will fund a 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment to the certified salary schedule. The COLA will be based on step 20, the midpoint of the salary schedule. As a result, the new starting salary for a teacher in Canyons District will be $50,625. Also, both the CEA and the District wish to encourage ill employees to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why both parties have agreed to place a moratorium on the attendance incentive for the school year. Both parties also agree to a COVID-19 Resignation Window. Licensed employees will have seven calendar days from when the Board of Education approves the return-to-school-plan, and the offer is extended via CSD email and Skylert, to resign with no financial penalty. Employees who need to resign outside the window for COVID-19 related reasons will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Human Resources.

Contract for Education Support Professionals

The Board of Education approved a negotiated contract for the 2020-2021 academic year with the Canyons Educational Support Professionals Association. The District will fully fund increment steps for eligible employees. Employees on Steps Nos. 6,7 and 8 in 2019-2020 will receive a two-step increment increase due to the former Step No. 6 being divided into two different steps beginning in 2020-2021. The District also will fund a 3.25 percent cost of living increase to the base of the Education Support Professional salary schedule. This will be done by adding a 3.25 percent increase to step one with each subsequent step being adjusted as indicated on the salary schedule which is attached. CESPA agrees to maintain the current District insurance premiums and plans for the 2021 insurance year with no premium increase as recommended by the Canyons School District insurance committee. It includes that both a traditional and high-deductible plan be maintained. The CESPA also agrees to suspend the attendance incentive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contract for CSD Administrators

The Board of Education approved a contract with eligible administrators for the 2020-2021 school year.  The District will fully fund increment steps for eligible administrators, a 3.25 percent cost of living increase to the base of the Administrative Salary Schedule, and a 1.25 percent one-time stipend for those administrators on the top step during the 2019-20 school year. Both parties agree to maintain the current District insurance premiums and plans for the 2021 insurance year with no premium increase as recommended by the Canyons School District insurance committee. It includes that both a traditional and high-deductible plan be maintained.

Graduation Report

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle updated the Board on the student responses to whether CSD should hold an official graduation ceremony in August for the Class of 2020. The high schools will plan and execute site-specific celebrations for their respective graduating classes.  

Roundtable Discussion Items

Members of the Board of Education proposed topics they would like on the agenda during a scheduled Roundtable Discussion.

USBA Information

Mont Millerberg, the Board’s representative to the Utah School Boards Association, presented items that could be discussed at the Utah School Boards Association’s Pre-Delegate Assembly.

Patron Comment

Sixteen patrons addressed the Board of Education. Recordings of the comments can be found on BoardDocs.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the June 30, 2020 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; approval of purchasing bids, and June Financial Reports. 


Board of Education Member Reports

Mrs. Clareen Arnold thanked the negotiation teams for working with the employee associations and organizations. She also thanked the Administration for developing the Back-to-School Action Plan. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley thanked the Administration for their work on the return-to-school plan.

Mrs. Amanda Oaks expressed appreciation for those who worked on the return-to-school plan. 

President Tingey thanked the employees who work with dedication and commitment. 

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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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