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Getting Involved

Board Meeting Summary, March 19, 2019

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

Board Approves Midvalley Elementary Reconstruction Budget

The Board of Education voted to awarded the contract for the reconstruction of Midvalley Elementary to Bud Mahas Construction in an amount not to exceed $21,242,000. The rebuild of Midvalley was one of the projects promised to the public at the November 2017 passage of a tax-rate-neutral $283 million bond. A groundbreaking ceremony has been planned for April 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the school, 217 E. 7800 South. 

Update on 2019 Legislative Session

The Board of Education received a report on the 2019 General Session of the Utah Legislature. External Affairs Director Charlie Evans and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board on education-related bills that may impact the operations or funding of Canyons District. The legislature, which ended at midnight on March 14, approved a 4 percent increase to the Weighted Pupil Unit and $33.8 million for the Teacher and Student Success Act, which requires the Utah State Board of Education to provide rules and Local Education Authorities to provide the framework for the program. Principals, in conjunction with the School Community Council and local stakeholders, would develop and implement the school’s TSSA plan. More money also was allocated to aid mental health, suicide prevention, and at-risk education efforts, and more fully fund transportation, among other items. The legislature also redefined school fees, requiring all fee charges to be listed on a Board-approved fee schedule. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, textbook fees also only can be charged for Advanced Placement and concurrent enrollment courses. A newly passed Senate bill also could require the Canyons Education Foundation Board to participate in state training and be subject to Utah’s Open Meetings Act, and a House Bill updates requirements for school-water testing, which CSD already does. HB375 exempts pre-school teachers from additional background checks beyond the BCI done by the CSD Human Resources Department. A school-safety related bill would require SCCs to have an annual conversation about school safety, and another would fund the creation of a state job that would advise LEAs on security. 

Administrator Evaluations Results

Ninety-seven percent of Canyons District licensed administrators evaluated with the Canyons Leadership and Administrator Support System (CLASS) were rated as highly effective or effective, according to a report given to the Board of Education. The performance tool takes into consideration the achievement of year-long goals and a self-assessment, the demonstration of ethical and high-quality leadership skills, the administrator’s comprehensive plan to improve her or his school, and results of a stakeholder-input survey.  

Changes Suggested for Secondary Parent-Teacher Conferences

A committee tasked with reviewing the efficacy of Parent-Teacher Conferences in Canyons District’s secondary schools is proposing changes to the format to encourage more parent participation, which ranges from 15 percent to 63 percent at Canyons’ middle and high schools. The committee recommends using the 16 hours allotted in the academic calendar for Parent-Teacher Conferences for other events to bring teachers, students, and parents together at the school. For example, the committee suggested using up to three hours on an August Freshman Orientation, in the form of an Open House or a Back-to-School Night. They also suggest holding a noon to 8 p.m. fall-time Parent-Teacher Conference with the first two hours set aside for appointments and the remaining six hours for individual meetings and tutorials with parents about the programs and initiatives at the school and how to use online systems such as Skyward and Canvas. Other ideas include holding a two-hour January Orientation to aid in the registration process and a three-hour third-quarter “reach out” to parents of struggling students. They also urge the District to schedule elementary and secondary Parent-Teacher Conferences on separate weeks. The committee included at least one parent, teacher, and principal from Alta, Jordan, and Butler and Union middle schools, plus Instructional Support Administrator Jesse Henefer, UniServ’s Jennifer Boehme, and Canyons Education Association President Erika Bradshaw. The chairs are School Performance Director Mike Sirois and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle. A working group will continue to review the issue.

Long-Range Planning Committee Proposal

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe is proposing to form a committee that would review enrollment projections, academic program growth and demand, local municipal residential and business growth trends, and school-capacity data to inform decisions regarding future programmatic plans or construction or boundary proposals. 

Executive Session

The Board of Education voted to enter into a closed session for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining; the purchase, exchange or lease of real property; pending or reasonably imminent litigation. 


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

  • Corner Canyon High’s boys basketball team, the 5A state champions
  • Corner Canyon High girls hoops standout Kemery Martin, Utah’s girls basketball Gatorade Player of the Year
  • Education Technology Specialist Kelly DuMont, International Society for Technology in Education, Making IT Happen Award
  • Brighton High’s Model United Nations team, first-place distinguished delegation in Research and Preparation, National Model UN competition in New York City

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

The flags of the United State of America and the state of Utah were posted by Midvale Elementary students. Midvale Assistant Principal Jeri Rigby, who delivered the inspirational thought, also told the Board that Midvale’s faculty and staff is grateful to work with some 800 students at the school. She said the work isn’t always easy at the Title I school that is on turnaround status – but it’s always worth it. She said teachers forge strong relationships with students, are dedicated to helping students achieve their academic goals, and seek to improve instructional practices. She said the students at Midvale also are committed to “stepping up” to learn and grow, even with familial and socio-economic challenges.  She thanked the Board for supporting and believing in the Midvale school community. 

Student Advisory Council

The Board of Education expressed appreciation to the members of the 2018-2019 Student Advisory Council, made up of representatives from all five of Canyons traditional high schools.  Three members of the council – Alta’s Noah Ogden, Corner Canyon’s Luke Warnock and Jordan’s Michael Manhard – also reported on what they learned throughout the year. This is the sixth council empaneled to advise the Board of Education on proposals that would affect students. The council, which meets regularly to discuss education-related issues and provide leadership training, is advised by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the minutes of the Board meeting on March 5, 2019; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel; and February Financial Reports. 

Student Fees

The Board of Education is considering new rules governing how students are assessed fees. The current proposal, borne out of legislation and in response an audit that scrutinized how Utah school districts assessed fees, states that all fees would be subject to waiver and that all textbook fees, except for Advanced Placement and Concurrent Enrollment courses, would no longer be allowed. Also included in the proposal: Group fund-raising by groups would be allowed, but students would not be required to participate in the fund-raising, and students who do not raise money could not be denied participation in the event or opportunity. There also would be a maximum fee per activity and a maximum annual aggregate fee per student. The Board will continue to review proposals from the Administration. An addition to the policy manual also is being considered that would stipulate that CSD’s fee policies “shall be designed to limit student expenditures for school-sponsored activities, including expenditures for activities, uniforms, clubs, clinics, travel and subject area and vocational leadership organizations, whether local, state or national.” The Board asked the Administration to solicit feedback from School Community Councils. 

Cell Phone Tower Proposal

Cingular Wireless seeks approval from the Board of Education to lease a space for a cell-tower on a light pole at the Corner Canyon High Stadium. T-Mobile and Verizon share a tower on an adjacent pole at the stadium. The Corner Canyon School Community Council unanimously approved the proposal from Cingular Wireless.  The Board of Education will continue to review the proposal. 

Public Comment

School Program Counseling Specialist Tori Gillett encouraged the Board to increase the counselor-to-student ratios in Canyons District.

Parent and Indian Hills Middle counselor Melissa Jones asked the Board to fund more secondary-school counselors.

Mount Jordan Middle counselor Jacey Wickham urged the Board to fund additional counselors to service students.

Union Middle counselor Lynn Nelson told the Board the school has 420 students to one counselor, which makes it difficult to meet the needs of all students. She urged the Board to fund more counselors, especially for the sixth-grade students. 

Eastmont Middle counselor Julie Taucher gave insight to counseling sixth-grade students and urged the Board to fund more counselors in the middle schools.

Albion Middle counselor Tracy Morris said her school has seen an influx of students seeking social-emotional supports. She encouraged the Board to fund counselors at a ratio of 350 to one student. 

Brighton High counselor Amy Mena encouraged the Board to fund more counselors.

Butler Middle counselor Carolann Heindel asked the Board to fund more school counselors, especially with the increase in anxiety and other social-emotional learning challenges. 

Draper Park Middle counselor Megan Gebhard also asked the Board to fund more counselors. 

Corner Canyon High counselors Misty Jolley and Dina Kohler spoke in favor of increasing the number of counselors in schools, particularly as mental-health issues increase in the schools.

Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Briscoe congratulated Canyons’ finance team for receiving a Certificate in Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International.  The honor is given to districts that uphold the highest standards for financial reporting and accountability as exemplified by their Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).  Canyons has earned the award every year it has been a District.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said an intensive review of CSD’s School Nutrition Program came back with positive marks for Nutrition Services Director Sebasthian Varas and his team.

Board of Education Reports  

Ms. Clareen Arnold thanked Canyons District’s teachers and staff for their hard work. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley encouraged more participation in the annual Alta High colloquium that attracts such high-profile and best-selling authors as Donald L. Miller, who spoke last Saturday at Alta.

Ms. Amber Shill commended Wilcox and his team for working hard to receive the financial-reporting award, thanked patrons for attending the Town Hall meeting she held with President Tingey, and expressed appreciation for the counselors who expressed their viewpoints during the Patron Comment section of the Board meeting.

Mr.  Mont Millerberg thanked the members of the Student Advisory Council for their service, and his fellow members of the Board for the vote to approve the construction budget for Midvalley Elementary. He also reported on attending a Reality Town.

President Nancy Tingey congratulated Wilcox and the District’s business team for their award from ASBO, and noted the hard work and expertise of the External Affairs Department, which represented Canyons during the 2019 General Session of the Utah Legislature.

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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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