Canyons District's COVID-19 Action Plan, Updates | Read More >

Board Meeting Summary, March 2, 2021

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

Administrative Appointments

The Canyons Board of Education and Administration are pleased to announce the following administrative appointments: 

Wendy Dau, Principal of Jordan High, is named Director of Federal and State Programs in the Equity, Inclusion, and Student Services Department. She replaces the retiring Karen Sterling.

Chanci Loran, currently Principal of Bell View Elementary, will become an Administrator in the Equity, Inclusion, and Student Services Department. She replaces Colleen Smith, who will become Principal of Copperview Elementary, replacing the retiring Jeri Rigby.  

Corner Canyon High Assistant Principal Dr. Bruce Eschler succeeds Dau as Principal of Jordan High. 

Juab School District’s Ken Rowley is a new Assistant Principal at Corner Canyon, succeeding Eschler. 

Alta High Assistant Principal Kelcey Kemp will become Assistant Principal at Jordan High, replacing the retiring Jana Crist.

Union Middle Assistant Principal Shelly Karren will become Assistant Principal at Alta High, replacing Kemp.

Hillcrest teacher specialist Ari Tavo will become Assistant Principal at Hillcrest. 

Draper Park Middle Assistant Principal Jodi Roberts will become an Assistant Principal at Brighton, replacing Mark Mitchell.

Mitchell becomes an Assistant Principal at Draper Park Middle, replacing Roberts.

Midvale Elementary Assistant Principal Ashley McKinney becomes an Assistant Principal at Union Middle, replacing Karren.

Karlie Aardema, who currently works in the CSD Instructional Supports Department, becomes an  Assistant Principal at Indian Hills Middle, replacing Halley Nelson.

Texas educator Divya Nagpal comes to Canyons District as an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle, replacing Bryan Rudes, who is the new Principal of East Sandy Elementary. 

The Responsive Services Department’s Genny Poll becomes Assistant Principal at Butler Middle, replacing Dan Ashbridge, who will become an Assistant Principal at Midvalley Elementary.

Nelson becomes an Assistant Principal at Butler Middle, replacing Sara Allen who is transferred to Ridgecrest Elementary as an Assistant Principal in a one-year position. 

Margaret Swanicke, currently Principal of Sunrise Elementary, becomes Principal of Midvalley Elementary, replacing Tamra Baker, who is the new Principal of Bell View Elementary.

Dr. Angela Wilkinson becomes Principal of Sunrise Elementary, replacing Swanicke.

Midvale Middle Assistant Principal Bryan Rudes becomes Principal at East Sandy, replacing Dr. Wilkinson.

Copperview’s Carolee Mackay becomes the Assistant Principal at Midvale Elementary, replacing McKinney.

Elenoa Pua, now a charter school principal, comes to CSD as Assistant Principal at East Midvale Elementary, replacing Danya Bodell.

Michelle Shimmin becomes the Administrator of Canyons Online.

The Board of Education approved the appointments, effective for the 2021-2022 school year, at the Tuesday, March 2, 2021 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education.

Union Middle Reconstruction

The Board of Education awarded a $57.8 million construction contract to Hughes General Contractors to rebuild Union Middle. The two-story, 218,000-square-foot Union Middle will be designed by VCBO, which won the $2.6 million contract for the architectural work and engineering. The community will celebrate the start of work at the new building in April. The blueprints for the future Union are similar those of Midvale Middle but with modifications to the classroom wings, gymnasium, kitchen, and commons area. Plans also call for a 650-seat auditorium. The projects is expected to be complete in December 2023.

Blended-Learning Schedule

The Board of Education reviewed the blended-learning model that was implemented in October in response to the vast challenges posed by COVID-19, particularly the demands of teaching in multiple modalities. For nearly five months, Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins said, Canyons classes have been held four days a week, with Fridays reserved for planning and preparation for teachers and independent study for students. Supporters of the four-day schedule say teachers still need Fridays to appropriately plan and prepare, reach out to students and parents, and create digital lesson plans. Families also have adjusted their schedules to accommodate the Fridays at home .Proponents of a return to a five-day schedule say teachers are being inoculated, COVID-19 cases are dropping, quarantine rules have changed so fewer students are learning from home, students are missing needed instruction, and the Fridays at home create daycare hardships for families, among other issues. The Board will continue discussing this issue. 

Midvale Middle Update

Midvale Middle Principal Mindy Robison told the Board of Education that the Board’s infusion of funds to pay for four additional personnel, as well as after-school programming, had led to student-achievement growth, even during a COVID-19 year. Robison said the students did not experience a slide in math and actually experienced an uptick in reading-skill attainment. More students are attending school and fewer students also are being referred to the principal’s office for discipline. With the extra educators, multilanguage learners receive more support, and class-sizes in math classes are smaller. In all, 198 different students have attended Midvale Middle’s after-school program. Forty-one percent of the after-school program participants are multi-language learners. Twenty-three percent of the attendees are students enrolled in Supporting Advanced Learners Toward Achievement (SALTA) magnet program.

Health Order

Dances and overnight in-state travel have returned, thanks to a new health order. Superintendent Rick Robins told the Board that the COVID-19-related order, which went into effect Feb. 23, opens the door for schools to plan up to two dances to round out the school year. Canyons District has informed schools and the community about the “Test to Dance” and Test to Travel” protocols for high school students. To attend a school-sponsored dance, student must test negative for COVID-19 at least 48 hours before the event. Schools also will do COVID-19 symptom checks, provide hand-sanitizer, and require masks, Dr. Robins said. To adhere to health protocols, Dr. Robins said, the number of people at the dance cannot exceed 25 percent capacity of the venue. Students also must attend by a school-assigned co-hort. If the event must be held in sessions as a result of the space restrictions, then the venue will be thoroughly cleaned in between each session. To travel, students must test negative with a rapid antigen test at least 48 hours before the activity. Symptom checks for COVID-19 will be done. As in the “Test to Dance,” the traveling participants must have completed any required quarantine or isolation periods prior to the event. Other requirements: Only two students will be allowed to share one room, and no more than two students can occupy one bus seat. Masks also must be worn and hand-sanitizer will be available. Team dinners will be eschewed in favor of grab-and-go meals. Volunteer chaperones associated with the program must adhere to the same testing and safety guidelines. Coaches and other employees are encouraged be tested prior to the event, per state guidelines. The order also makes adjustments to the “Test to Stay” protocols If a school holds a “Test to Stay” event upon reaching a 1 percent COVID-19 case-count, at least 60 percent of the student body needs to participate. If fewer than 60 percent of the students participate, then those who did not test need to learn online for 10 days. Also, if more than 2.5 percent of those who test are positive, then those who choose not to test also must learn online for 10 days, in addition to those who test positive and are asked to isolate for the recommended period of time. 

School Fees

Parents have been provided information about the 2021-2022 proposed fee schedule via Skylert, the District’s website, and CSD social media channels, Director of Accounting, Budgeting and Auditing Gary Warwood said during a presentation on school fees. The Board continues to review the proposed fee schedule. IT Director Scot McCombs also presented information about funding the projected one-to-one computing program through ongoing funds and existing budgets rather than through fees. The Board is expected to vote on the proposed fee schedule on March 16. 

Legislative Update

External Affairs Director Charlie Evans and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board of Education on the proposed bills being considered during the 64th General Session of the Utah Legislature. The legislature is just days away from completing the 45-day session, and Canyons’ representatives have been on Capitol Hill and watching hearings via video to monitor the bills that could impact public education and the school district. The public can subscribe to a daily tracker of education-related bills by going to the Canyons District website. 

Bell Schedule

The Board of Education is considering a bell schedule for the 2021-2022 school year. The proposed schedule would move the start times of Hillcrest and East Midvale about five minutes earlier.  Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said that, when creating routes, the District juggles such issues as a bus driver shortage, the number of available buses, and the total number of students who must be transported. The route coordinators also work hard to make all corresponding runs and routes as efficiently as possible to save time, money and fuel. Board members also discussed the possibility of a study to examine the possibility of pushing back start times. 

Policy Update

The Board of Educated is considering an update to a policy governing employees who are serving in public office. The Board also may deem obsolete policies governing School Community Councils and Special Programs, and kindergarten programs. It’s suggested the policy language is obsolete. 

Patron Comments

Patron Nancy Nickles commented on the testing protocols in order for schools to avoid a pivot to online learning. She questioned whether schools legally can require medical tests in order for students to access an education.

Brighton High teacher Matt Simmonds encouraged Canyons to research and adopt a more inclusive and representative reading list for students.  Student Preston Knight accompanied him during his remarks.

CEA President Erika Bradshaw spoke in favor of maintaining the four-day learning schedule with Fridays set aside for independent learning for students and preparation time for teachers. 

Parent Travis Hannan encouraged the Board to reconsider the schedule that includes the day for online learning.  He says the constant work on a computer has diminished his students’ education. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the minutes from the Feb. 16 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports, purchasing bids; administrative changes; LAND Trust amendments for Willow Canyon Elementary; and requests for student-overnight travel. 

Recognitions

The Board of Education honored faculty, staff and students for their achievements:

  • The Mount Jordan Middle team, led by Principal Dr. Matt Watts, for administering first aid on a student who went into cardiac arrest on Feb. 11. Teacher Ashley Anjewierden, who has EMT training, used the school’s AED and gave CPR to start the student’s heart beating again. Other personnel contributed to saving the student’s life.
  • Jordan High swimmer Alli Rich won a 6A individual state title in the 100 butterfly, and ‘Digger Trent Oldham won the 100 breastroke.
  • Brighton’s Daniel Detjen claimed two  5A individual titles with first-place wins in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.
  • Corner Canyon High wrestlers Kameron Moss, Brigham Bagley and Tyler Vivanco for winning 6A wrestling championships in their weight divisions. 
  • Hillcrest’s Clief Castleton and Corner Canyon High’s Milo Maughan for being named NASA Airborrne Astrophyics Ambassadors.  As part of the ambassador program, Castleton and Maughan will take a flight into the stratosphere.  Only 30 teachers were chosen for the elite designation.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Dr. Robins remarked on the event to celebrate the placement of the final steel beam at the construction site of the new Brighton High. He also applauded Hillcrest High for the stellar production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” 

Wilcox said some general obligations bonds issued in 2011 were refunded at lower interest rate to save taxpayer money. He also thanked the teachers for their work at Parent-Teacher Conferences last week.

Board Member Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg said the closing night of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” marked the end of an amazing era in the auditorium at Hillcrest High. He is so excited to see what the school can do with the new auditorium, which is being erected as part of the school’s rebuild funded with proceeds from the $283 million bond approved by voters in 2017. 

Ms. Amber Shill noted the “topping off” ceremony at Brighton High, the Town Hall held with President Tingey, and working with the governor on education issues as part of her work with CSD and the Utah School Boards Association.

Mrs. Amanda Oaks thanked Superintendent Robins for his work throughout the school year.  She reported on attending “The Little Mermaid” at Alta High’s new Performing Arts Center, and Corner Canyon High’s “Matilda.” She noted the importance of the arts in education. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley also noted the excellence of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at Hillcrest. 

Ms. Holly Neibaur congratulated Hillcrest students on their production of “Hunchback of Notre Dame and the state-tournament wins notched by the Corner Canyon High hoops team, which is headed to the semi-finals. She also thanked Dr. Robins and Equity, Inclusion and Student Services Director BJ Weller for their work on the SHARP survey. A survey will be given to Corner Canyon High students to gauge interest in graduation plans.  

Ms. Clareen Arnold thanked the CSD community for their dedication to schools and education.

President Tingey reported on attending Hillcrest and Corner Canyon musicals, calling them “delightful.”  She thanked the CSD community and the Board for the work done on behalf of students.