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Getting Involved

Board Meeting Summary, March 15, 2016

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

Administrative Appointments

As part of the consent agenda, the Board of Education approved administrative appointments for the 2016-2017 school year.

Misty Suarez, currently the Director of Student Services in Salt Lake City School District, will become the new Director of Special Education.  Suarez will succeed Robin Collett. Suarez has 16 years administrative experience, including six years as the principal of Mount Jordan Middle, and is licensed in special education. 

Darrell Jensen, currently principal at Albion Middle, will become principal of Corner Canyon High, replacing Mary Bailey who is retiring. Bailey was the first-ever principal of Corner Canyon High.

Kelli Miller, currently an intern assistant principal at Alta High, will be reassigned as an assistant principal at Brighton High, replacing Cindy Hanson. Hanson is being promoted to principal at Mount Jordan Middle, replacing Dr. Molly Hart, who will become the principal at Albion Middle. 

Mark Mitchell, currently an assistant principal at Hillcrest High, will be reassigned as an assistant principal at Brighton High.

Brenda McCann, currently an assistant principal at Brighton High, will become an assistant principal at Hillcrest High.

Justin Matagi, formerly an assistant principal at Alta High, will return to CSD as an assistant principal at Hillcrest, filling a vacancy on that administrative team.

Bruce Eschler, currently an intern assistant principal at Corner Canyon High, will become an assistant principal at Corner Canyon.

Edy McGee, currently an assistant principal at Indian Hills Middle, will be transferred to a temporary one-year position as an administrator on special assignment. She will assist various administrators in the District Office, which oversees CSD schools, and gather behavioral and school-safety data, among other duties. 

Roger Moody, currently an assistant principal at Butler Middle, will be reassigned as assistant principal at Indian Hills Middle, replacing McGee.

Doug Hallenbeck, currently an assistant principal at Union Middle, will be reassigned as assistant principal at Butler Middle, replacing Moody.

Taylor Hansen, currently an assistant principal at Washington Middle in the Seattle Public School District, will become an assistant principal at Union Middle.

Chanci Loran, currently principal at Copperview Elementary, will become principal of Bell View Elementary.

Christine Webb, currently principal at Bell View Elementary, will replace Loran as principal of Copperview Elementary.

Laurie Steed, currently Assistant Principal at East Midvale Elementary, will be reassigned as assistant principal of Sandy Elementary, replacing Diana Wallace who is retiring.

Angela Wilkinson, currently an administrative intern at Granger Elementary in the Granite School District, will become assistant principal of East Midvale to replace Steed.

Legislative Wrap-Up

With the 2016 Legislative session under wraps, Charlie Evans, Director of External Affairs, provided an update on major bills relevant to public education. Lawmakers approved a 3 percent increase in per student funding for the 2016-2017 school year. In addition, HB277 will make school technology funds available via grants. SB38 was approved, which gives charter schools their own statewide levy. The measure brings greater transparency to property tax notices, because for the first time voters will see how much tax money goes to charter schools. Among the measures that failed to pass was a bill that would have redistributed property tax revenue to low-income schools.

School Construction Update

The District is on time and under budget with a spate of construction projects financed with proceeds from a $250 million bond that voters approved in June 2010. Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said nine of 13 rebuild and refurbishment projects have been completed so far. He also updated the Board on the projects now under construction or in the design stages. 

Reconstruction of Butler Elementary is about half completed, with crews beginning to install sheet rock. New furniture is being ordered and useable furniture from the old building will be moved the first week of June. The old school, immediately adjacent the construction site, is slated to be demolished in July and an open house at the new school is tentatively scheduled for early August.

Midvale Middle is on the rise, Wilcox said. Crews have installed the foundation and plumbing and expect to have the building fully enclosed by fall. Work on the interior will begin in winter with a completion date of August 2017.  

Alta View Elementary has been designed, and is currently out for bidding for sub-contractors. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held April 19.

The design process is underway for a remodel of Indian Hills Middle. The project entails adding classroom space and will be similar in scope to the remodel of Albion Middle. Designs will be brought before the Board in fall along with a resolution to temporarily relocate the school to the Crescent View building in 2017-2018. Construction will begin in spring 2017 with a completion date of August 2018.

CSD’s Preschool Program

Canyons District has experienced growth in its preschool programs, according to Early Childhood Development Administrator Terri Mitchell. Enrollment has surged from 331 in 2010 to today’s count of 629, with nearly 100 applications pending approval based a qualification review, said Mitchell. She also added that programs at Quail Hollow, Butler, and Altara are already full for the coming year. In January, CSD started accepting new-student applications for available spots in the tuition preschool programs, also held at Jordan Valley and Willow Springs elementary schools.  The enrollment window for the Title I school preschools opened on March 1. There is no fee associated with the Title I programs, held at Midvale, East Midvale, Sandy and Copperview, but students must live within the boundaries of those four schools to attend. The Early Childhood staff is made up of Mitchell, teacher specialists, a school psychologist, an Achievement Coach, 16 certified teachers, nine Speech Language Pathologists, 46 instructional assistants.  Mitchell said teachers use an evidence-based curriculum with learning objects that are aligned with the Utah State Core Standards.  They also track students’ progress in math, reading, language, communication, science, technology, social students and social development. The aim, she said, is to see continual improvement as the students advance toward the kindergarten year. 

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which included the minutes of the March 1, 2016 Board meeting; purchasing bids; student overnight travel, hire and termination reports, administrative appointments, and a contract for a utility upgrade at Eastmont Middle.

Board ActionҬ

The Board of Education unanimously approved policies stating the Board’s college- and career-ready philosophy; an acknowledgement of the Board’s statutory authority to establish instruction and graduation requirements; and definitions of CSD’s differentiated diplomas.

Student Advisory Council

Assistant Superintendent Robert Dowdle told the Board about the productive lunch meetings the Administration has held with members of the CSD Student Advisory Council. Speakers at the meetings have included Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox, General Counsel Dan Harper and Board member Nancy Tingey. At the next meeting, to be held March 23 at Jordan High, students will be giving feedback on standards-based grading.  Tingey thanked Dr. Dowdle for advising the students, explaining to the group how the District operates, and soliciting feedback on Canyons’ policies that affect students. Students will attend a future Board meeting to report on their experiences being on the council. 

Board Reports

Board member Clareen Arnold thanked the Policy Committee and Administration for the 24-credit graduation policy so students who are career-bound can take that path. She also thanked the teachers, staff, parents, volunteers and ESP who make the District successful. 

Board 1st Vice President reported on attending the pancake breakfast at Edgemont Elementary.  He also is looking forward to the April 19 groundbreaking at Alta View Elementary, one of the projects being done with proceeds from the $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010.

Board 2nd Vice President Tingey expressed appreciation to the legislators who represent the communities that make up Canyons District.  She noted the collaboration between education organizations and lawmakers during the 2016 Utah legislature.  She also reported enjoying Park Lane’s production of “œJack and the Beanstock,” and thanked the SCC volunteers and administrators who work so hard on school-improvement and LAND Trust plans.  She also expressed appreciation to Cottonwood Heights for supporting Canyons schools and working in cooperation with the District.  She also publicly expressed condolences to the family of Barbara Beckstrom, a Washington County leader in the Utah School Boards Association who recently died of cancer.

President Sherril Taylor expressed appreciation for all employees of the district who work so hard to make things nice for students.  He also is excited about upcoming reconstruction of Indian Hills Middle, another project that will be done with funds from the $250 million bond.  He said the Board will stay on track with the list of projects promised to the public when voters approved the bond in 2010.

Mr. Chad Iverson and Mr. Green said they had no additional comments.

Administration Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe thanked the Board for devoting so much time and energy to updating District policies. He also congratulated Business Administrator Leon Wilcox and his staff for earning a Certificate of Achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association. The award recognizes the quality of CSD’s comprehensive annual financial report, or CAFR, which was judged by a panel to meet the highest reporting standards, demonstrate a constructive spirit of full disclosure and clearly communicate the District’s financial story. Dr. Briscoe said he was able to attend Draper Elementary’s 40th anniversary and remarked on the sense of pride our communities have in Canyons District schools.

Wilcox noted that Canyons has maintained its AAA bond rating “” a rare distinction that saves taxpayers millions of dollars on bond repayments. Only about 70 school districts of 17,000 nationwide boast that high of a rating.  

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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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