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Getting Involved

Board Meeting Summary, March 27, 2018

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

Administrative Appointments

The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments for the 2018-2019 school year: 

  • Scott Jameson, currently assistant principal at Albion Middle School, promoted to principal of Alta View Elementary, replacing Karen Medlin who is retiring at the end of the school year.
  • Justin Matagi, currently assistant principal at Hillcrest High School, reassigned as assistant principal at Albion Middle School, replacing Jameson.
  • Matt Schelble, currently assistant principal at Brighton High School, reassigned as assistant principal at Hillcrest High School, replacing Matagi.
  • Justin Pitcher, currently principal at East Midvale Elementary School, reassigned as assistant principal at Brighton High School, replacing Schelble.
  • Matt Nelson, currently principal of Viewmont Elementary School in Murray District, hired as principal of East Midvale Elementary School, replacing Pitcher.
  • Kip Carlsen, currently assistant principal at Midvale Middle School, reassigned as assistant principal at Butler Middle School, replacing Jody Wihongi, who is resigning at the end of the school year.
  • Matt Watts, currently assistant principal at Midvale Elementary School, reassigned as assistant principal at Midvale Middle School, replacing Carlsen.
  • Ashley McKinney, currently MTSS Specialist in Canyons District Responsive Services, reassigned as assistant principal at Midvale Elementary School, replacing Watts.
  • David Briggs, currently a school psychologist at Laramie County School District No. 1 in Cheyenne, Wyo., is a new Special Education Program Administrator, replacing Stacy Kurtzhals, who was reassigned as the Elementary Support Administrator.

Advanced Mathematics Pathway

Instructional Supports Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward provided information about a proposed sixth-grade mathematics offering for advanced learners. According to a survey, 67 percent of parents of current fifth-grade students would prefer a summer condensed course, with in-class and online components, over the compacted “zero period” course that is now offered. However, the majority of parents of current sixth-graders like the program with the zero period. Right now, only the fifth-graders who meet established criteria are invited to “test into” the compacted course that is taught during the school year and eventually qualifies participating sixth-grade students to take eighth-grade Honors Math as seventh-graders. Under the new proposal, the option for advanced learning would be available to all sixth-grade students who say they want to participate. If those students can successfully complete the class and score at least an 80 percent on a final examination, they would be able to take the Honors Math class with the eighth graders.  The Board decided to bring the proposal back for a third reading. 

Legislative Update

External Relations Director Charles Evans, Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards, and External Affairs assistant Kendrik Gibson explained highlights from 2018 General Session of the Utah Legislature. Lawmakers approved a 2.5 percent increase in the weighted pupil unit plus funding for growth. Lawmakers also approved a stipend for certain special education teachers, $9 million for at-risk students, $10 million for digital teaching and learning initiatives, and more funding for elementary school counselors. Debate continued over how to bridge funding disparities between school districts, and lawmakers settled on a bill that would generate new funding, instead of re-directing existing streams of property tax revenue. HB239 raises money by freezing the statewide property tax rate, which currently adjusts downward as property values increase. The bill would offset some of the increase with an income tax rollback, and it would shield homeowners on fixed incomes by putting into place a circuit breaker. It also includes a non-binding resolution to increase the gas tax, some of which would be used to fund higher education, thereby reducing the amount of funding they take from the General Education Fund and making more money available for public schools. Evans commended the Board of Education for holding to its policy stance of opposing any equalization bill that would produce winners and losers and take money from CSD classrooms. He also thanked House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, and Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, for their continued support of CSD over the years.

Alta High Renovation

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox and Alta High Principal Brian McGill joined architects in presenting the plans for a major renovation of Alta High to be funded with proceeds from a bond approved by voters in 2017. The upgrades will be completed in phases over two years to allow students to stay in the building. Major improvements include the addition of a field house and performing arts center. Large windows and skylights will be added to bring natural light into the commons area, and a security vestibule will be installed to require visitors to enter the school through the Main Office. Parking will see improvements, with more lighting for safety and 10 additional stalls. Special attention was paid to controlling costs while building the structure to last. There will be an Open House on April 25 at 6 p.m. where community members can get a closer look at the plans. Construction is expected to start this summer.


The following students and employees were recognized by the Board of their achievements:

  • Brighton High teacher Jim Hodges, 20-year award from the National High School Model United Nations Association
  • Brighton High senior Sofia Rahaniotis, Sterling Scholar winner, Speech, Theater Arts and Forensics
  • Alta High senior Addie Wray, Sterling Scholar winner, Vocal Performance

Student Advisory Council

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bob Dowdle thanked the members of the Student Advisory Council for their service. The group is empaneled every year to give students an opportunity to learn leadership skills, instill camaraderie between schools, and provide input on District policies that impact Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon, Hillcrest and Jordan high school campuses. Two representatives from all CSD traditional high schools are chosen to participate. Students said they learned about how the District operates and appreciated having a voice on policies. 

Policy Update

The Board of Education approved updates to policies governing termination of employment-ESP; reporting child abuse; and release-time classes for religious instruction.  The Board will continue to discuss a proposed policy regarding employees in public office.

Trail System Expansion

The Board of Education granted an easement to Salt Lake County that would be used to complete a ZAP-tax-funded pedestrian trail system through Sandy and White City. This easement would run along the west side of Edgemont’s property line.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

Students at Jordan Valley School, Canyons’ school for students with severe disabilities, helped with the Pledge of Allegiance, which was led by former Region 17 PTA Director Betty Shaw. Principal Mark Donnelly updated the Board on the progress of the students at the school on their academics; communication, functional and life skills; and manners. Students stay at Jordan Valley from kindergarten until age 22, at which point they transition to life in the community. He also spoke about two major Jordan Valley events: In December, Jordan Valley holds a Homecoming dance for graduates and current students. Each spring the school performs a musical adapted to the special abilities of the students. This year, the production is “Peter Pan.” 

Patron Comment

Bell View teacher Madaline Chilcutt expressed concern about students who exhibit extreme behaviors at school.  She said special education students, as well as general education students, would benefit from changes in the way the ABS units are overseen.

Bell View teacher Marie Berg addressed the Board about providing supports to students in both general-education and ABS units.

Dwayne Madray spoke about disbanded middle school clubs, especially those for children of color. He encouraged the Board to reconsider the clubs at the middle school level that could help students who may feel disenfranchised. 

Mike Smith spoke to the Board about the student walkouts. Smith disagreed with the District’s decision to provide the students a place to safely demonstrate on March 14. He also expressed disappointment that he received the notification about the demonstration the day before. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the consent agenda, including the minutes from the meeting of the Canyons Board of Education on March 6, 2018; purchasing bids; and the Board meeting schedule for 2018-2019.  In separate motions, the Board approved hire and termination reports; student overnight travel requests; and approval of financial reports for February. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on attending the Utah School Boards Association regional meeting at which the education-related bills were reviewed. He congratulated all of the school Teachers of the Year.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked the legislators for providing funding for Utah schools. He also said he appreciated the attendance at the meeting of Jordan Valley and Student Advisory Council students.

Board of Education Member Reports  

Mr. Chad Iverson thanked the Board for delaying a vote on the proposed mathematics program. Iverson indicated he is grateful the Board can have critical conversations about important issues. He thanked the administration and law-enforcement for their hard work in investigating the social-media post that caused emergency protocols to be enacted at Indian Hills Middle last week

Mrs. Nancy Tingey thanked fellow Board members for attending the USBA dinner. She congratulated the students and staff at Jordan Valley on a successful production of “Peter Pan.”

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting. The Draper pool groundbreaking will be July 31 at 10 a.m., she said.  She also said the Utah High School Activities Association Board approved lacrosse for boys and girls in 2020 and reminded the Board that CSD needs to approve its teams. Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood also was elected to a UHSAA board position, she said.

Mr. Mont Millerberg reported on attending the Teacher of the Year announcements at schools in the Midvale area. He stated he is pleased that, in five years, all Canyons high schools will be modern, welcoming, and safe.  He lauded the contributions of the Student Advisory Council.   

Mrs. Clareen Arnold and Mr. Steve Wrigley declined to comment. 

President Taylor thanked the Board for robust conversations about vital issues.

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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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