Board Meeting Summary, June 22, 2021

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

Strategic Plan

While still the youngest school district in Utah, Canyons, which was founded in 2009, has started work on a comprehensive roadmap for growth in the coming decade and beyond. Canyons Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins updated the Board on the progress of CSD’s now-under-development strategic plan, which is being facilitated by Education Elements,  a California-based education consulting company. Anthony Kim,  CEO and founder of Education Elements, said the project kickoff began with brainstorming and a current-state-of-the-District discussion with Board members and key members of the Administration. The work will continue with additional study of data and demographics. Kim also said public meetings will be held throughout the process to gather public input and parent insight.  Board President Nancy Tingey thanked Kim and the Education Elements team for developing the project plan and engaging so thoroughly with Board members and CSD staff. The plan is being created at a “historic time “ for Canyons, Robins said. “We are taking a good look at the position the District is in as we are coming out of the pandemic and all that we have learned and what we would have done different,”  he said. The process allows CSD to examine its strengths as the community works together on a plan to guide Canyons for the next 10 to 15 years, he said. 

School Improvements

Acting as a Local Building Authority, which was created so the District can facilitate lease-revenue bonds to complete upcoming school-construction projects,  the Board of Education voted to approve a proposed issuance of $38 million in lease-revenue bonds. Payment for the bonds will come from the Capital Outlay resources, according to the parameters resolution. A public-hearing on the bonds, which would retire in 21 years, will be July 13 at 7 p.m. The timeline calls for a bond sale on Aug. 10 and a closing on Aug. 24.  Proceeds from the lease-revenue bonds would fund only the construction of the Peruvian Park and Glacier Hills elementary school projects. 

Canyons Online

Superintendent Robins predicted the newly launched Canyons Online will soon become the state’s premier provider of online education. The remarks came as part of an update to the Board on Canyons Online, the program through which high-quality online classes will be provided to third- through 12th-grade CSD students. Licensed teachers with advanced training in the best digital teaching and learning practices will lead classes in core subjects. Arizona State University Prep Digital’s Julie Young told the Board that the aim of the ASUPD, which is partnering with CSD to start up Canyons Online, is to help “remove all of the barriers” to student learning and ease the pathways to higher education. Canyons Online, she said, is an opportunity for CSD create even greater access for students to have high-quality options. Registration is now open for Canyons Online courses.  

Administrative Appointments

The Board of Education approved three administrative appointments for the 2021-2022 school year. Michelle Snarr, now the principal at Edgemont Elementary, will become principal at Willow Canyon Elementary, succeeding the retiring Marilyn Williams. Elcena Saline, now an Assistant Principal at Sandy Elementary, will replace Snarr as Principal at Edgemont. Anne Hansen will become Assistant Principal at Sandy Elementary to replace Saline.

Transportation Routes in Suncrest

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox provided an update on transportation services for the Suncrest area in Draper. Wilcox said safety officials caution against school-bus routes on roads with grades steeper than 6 percent. On Traverse Ridge Road, the climb averages 6.8 percent, and the steepest quarter-mile is 10.4 percent. Wilcox noted that some 200 students in Suncrest technically live in CSD boundaries but attend Alpine District schools. This may be because ASD schedules a bus route up Suncrest Drive, which averages a 5.4 percent grade. The Board asked the Administration to meet with city engineers, State Risk managers, and law enforcement, among others, study whether CSD wants to start providing transportation to the Suncrest neighborhood. 

Evaluation Process

The Board of Education reviewed proposed instruments to evaluate the Superintendent and the Business Administrator. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the minutes of the June 8, 2021 meeting of the Board; purchasing bids; student overnight travel; hire and termination reports; administrative appointments; May financial reports, the annual Fraud Risk Assessment from the Office of the State Auditor; the energy conservation resolution, and Positive Behavior Plans. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Robins thanked the Board and CSD colleagues for the support provided last week while he mourned a family death.

Mr. Wilcox thanked bond counsel and noted the upcoming community-engagement events to celebrate the completion of Alta, Brighton and Hillcrest high construction projects.

Board of Education Member Reports

Mrs. Amber Shill updated the Board on upcoming Utah School Board Association activities, including a Leadership Academy in September. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley noted the upcoming Entrada Graduation, the completion of new schools, and the start of a new school year without COVID-19 protocols. 

Mrs. Holly Neibaur thanked the level of dedication and hard work on complicated issues such as the lease-revenue bond proposal and the strategic plan. She also applauded the performances of Canyons community members and CSD students in a recent Draper production of “Mama Mia.” 

President Tingey noted the benefits of Canyons’ three-week “Summer Boost” program for students who needed a little academic assistance after the COVID-19 year. She thanked the Board, Administration, and CSD teachers and staff for their commitment to students.

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