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Getting Involved

Board Meeting Summary, March 21, 2017

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

Jordan Feeder Principals Propose Summer AVID Program   

The principals in the Jordan High feeder propose to start a program focusing on helping incoming freshmen transition to high school classes, especially in mathematics and science. A 60-student co-hort, identified through grades and other assessments, would be made up of ninth-graders out of Mount Jordan and Eastmont middle schools. Then, for 20 days in the summer, students would attend four-hour math and science courses. Lunch would be provided, and the program also would include three field trips. Transportation would be provided. Cost of the program would be $30,375. Part of the cost – $8,125 – would be for the AVID math and science curriculum. According to the proposal, a student who successfully completes the summer program also would enter school with already-earned credit. The Board will continue to study the proposal.

Construction Report: Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary

The rebuilds of Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary are progressing as scheduled. Both buildings will be ready to welcome students and teachers this fall. Starting in mid-June, crews will move supplies and equipment into the new buildings and put finishing touches on the interiors and landscaping. The Administration is recommending that Alta View’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and VIP tour be held on Aug. 14, and that Midvale Middle’s grand opening be celebrated on Aug. 7. Also, this summer, crews will get started on a major remodel of Indian Hills Middle. Over the summer, furniture and supplies will have to be moved from Indian Hills to Crescent View Middle, which will serve as the temporary school site for Indian Hills students during the 2017-2018 school year. The Indian Hills and Midvale middle schools and Alta View Elementary projects are being completed with funds from the $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. 

Incident Command Manual Update

Earlier this year, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle assigned a committee to update CSD’s Incident Command Manual, a set of protocols governing the District’s response to emergencies. The review was prompted by a spate of crises at the outset of the 2016-2017 school year. The committee performed a line-by-line review of the manual and identified priorities for the update: 

  • Work with law enforcement agencies and the Division of State Risk Management to simplify and clarify commonly-used emergency terms such as “lockdown” and “shelter-in-place” to eliminate confusion and ensure that schools, police agencies, and families are working with the same definitions.
  • Update and re-design the Incident Command Manual.
  • Create a policy identifying which drills are to be done and reported each month by each CSD school. 
  • Foster a culture of safety, with an emphasis on training.
  • Create a mechanism by which Principals, at their discretion, can transfer incoming calls during an emergency to the Front Desk team.
  • Build a repository of site-specific emergency plans.
  • Meet quarterly to review drill reports, and debrief on emergency responses. 

Committee members are Dowdle; Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray; Communications officers Jeff Haney and Kirsten Stewart; Student Support Services’ Tamra Baker; Hillcrest Assistant Principal Brenda McCann; Union Middle Assistant Principal Taylor Hansen; Willow Canyon Principal Marilyn Williams and state Risk Management’s Jeff Rose.   

Board Member Appointments to Safety Committee

Board members Mont Millerberg and Clareen Arnold have agreed to serve on Canyons District’s Safety Committee, which oversees emergency protocols and crisis response for the District.

Legislative Update

Government Relations Director Charlie Evans updated the Board of Education on education-related bills that were filed in the 2017 General Session of the Utah Legislature. Some 165 bills were tied to the operations of schools, he said, the most we’ve faced since the inception of the District. Highlights include fully-funded growth and a 4 percent increase to the Weighted-Pupil Unit, the state funding formula for public education. The Teacher Supply Budget was funded, and Teacher Licensure Fees also will be paid, he noted. The two bills that demanded most of Evans’ and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards’ time was SB80, which would have siphoned a significant amount of money away from Canyons; and SB255, titled “Funding for Education System Amendments.” Both SB80 and SB255 failed to gain passage. Evans also pointed out that a school-grading bill was approved; a bill that modifies provisions related to the juvenile justice system also was approved; and legislation regarding “Public School Membership in Associations,” which directly addressed the Utah High School Activities Association, was OK’d.  Several other bills also were reviewed for the Board. Information will be sent to departments who may be affected by new legislation.   

Land for Additional Parking at Jordan High

The Board of Education voted to allow Business Administrator Leon Wilcox to engage in negotiations for the purchase of .91 acres at 725 S. State –  the former site of the restaurant – for $1.070,000.  The purchase price is the appraised value of the land.  Up to 126 parking stalls for Jordan High could be built on the land, according to Wilcox. 

Official Welcome to New Administrators  

The Board of Education officially welcomed the administrators who have accepted new roles for the 2017-2018 academic year. The Board of Education approved administrative appointments at previous meetings.

Patron Comments

Canyons Education Association President Jen Buttars expressed appreciation for CSD’s professional approach to contract negotiations. She said the Board cares about teachers, students and classified employees, and it shows in the contract negotiations. As a parent of a Jordan High student, she remarked on the Jordan feeder program that is being proposed.  She also thanked the Board for considering the proposal to purchase land near Jordan High for more parking.

Student Advisory Council Report

The Student Advisory Council presented a report to the Board of Education. This year, the student council discussed, among other things, a recent CSD bell-schedule study, parking issues, and how student leaders can advance change and more effectively serve their communities. They also learned about recent court rulings and how they affect free speech rights in schools. President Taylor commended students for their service and encouraged them to continue to find ways to serve for many years to come.

Action: Policy Updates

The Board unanimously approved under a third reading several policy changes, including an update to bring CSD’s Family Medical Leave policy in line with federal law, and a policy that would require CSD employees who are elected or appointed to a public office to perform their elected duties on their own time while on leave from work. Also approved was a proposal to strike obsolete language from outdated policies having to do with employee suggestions and lump sum payments. The Board approved with one dissenting vote a policy change to clarify rules over paid release time for employees who are called to jury duty or to testify in District-related litigation.

 Employee Exit Survey

Canyons District’s goal is to recruit and retain high-quality employees. Toward that end, the CSD Human Resources Department surveyed employees who have resigned or who plan to retire this year to better understand their reasons for moving on. Most employees are either retiring after long, successful careers or leaving for unavoidable reasons, such as to relocate to another state or raise their families. But some are making a career change or moving to similar positions inside and outside the state, Dimond says. The survey indicates a need to address concerns over workload expectations, financial compensation, employee autonomy and recognition for good work. Employees, however, expressed appreciation for the District’s strong leaders, professional supports and training and collaborative atmosphere.

Pledge and Reverence

Edgemont Elementary Scout Troop 3375 led the Board of Education in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a reverence delivered by Edgemont Principal Cathy Schino.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, which includes the minutes from the March 7 meeting; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; and February financial reports.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Briscoe thanked the Board for staying late to address various issues.  He thanked the Incident Command Manual Update Committee for their hard work.  He also mentioned a fundraising event he attended at which Jordan Valley students were able to connect with a group that helped them with their disabilities.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox also thanked the Board for addressing challenging issues at the meeting. He also thanked legislators for their work during the 2017 General Session of the Utah Legislature. He thanked the Board for supporting a proposal to buy five new buses. With the purchases, all parts of the fleet will be newer than 2000 models. In addition, he congratulated Nancy Webb for being named the top buyer in Utah. He also thanked Director Gary Hansen for his work in the Purchasing Department. 

Board Reports

Mr. Chad Iverson said he attended the Utah Music Educators Festival last Friday to see the Indian Hills band perform.  He also attended the track invitational races at which Alta and Corner Canyon teams competed.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold reported on advancements in arts-education in the District.  She also mentioned the donated props and costumes that are in storage and can be used by schools and patrons. 

Mrs. Nancy Tingey expressed thanks Canyons’ delegation of legislators.  She lauded the 4 percent increase to the WPU and the changes in policies that will strengthen efforts for academic achievement. She appreciates the members of School Community Councils who are working hard on their CSIP plans. She thanked the Policy Committee for reviewing and updating the policies in the District’s manual. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on visits to several schools and the discussion at a Town Hall.  He also said he spoke to the Student Advisory Committee. 

Mr. Mont Millerberg said he has enjoyed his first three months as a member of the Board of Education.  He recalled the District’s efforts to hold an active shooter drill five years ago, and thanked the Incident Command Manual Update Committee for their hard work. He mentioned the Canyons Education Foundation’s funding of a $6,300 grant to Jordan High to help robotics students. That grant led to the Jordan team winning FIRST Robotics and advancing to the World Championships. He also said he’s been pleased to see the Student Advisory Committee up and running, and said he’s looking forward to the ribbon-cutting at the new Midvale Middle.

President Sherril Taylor thanked Facilities Director Rick Conger for working so hard on all the bond-funded projects. He also invited the community to Indian Hills’ March 30 groundbreaking. The community, he said, is excited for the start of work on the middle school. He also presented information for planning on an upcoming board retreat. He mentioned the Office of Communications for planning Recognitions, and Dr. Dowdle for overseeing the Student Advisory Council. He thanked the teachers and Education Support Professionals for their hard work and dedication.

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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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