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Board Meeting Summary, March 5, 2019

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

Enrollment Moratorium Lifted At Corner Canyon High

A five-year enrollment moratorium has been lifted at Corner Canyon High, where a 24-classroom addition is being built as part of the projects promised to the community at passage of the 2017 bond for $283 million. The Board of Education voted to allow the school to start accepting first-come first-served Standard Open Enrollment Applications from students who do not live within the boundaries of the school. Principal Darrell Jensen will identify a date and time in the near future when the school will begin taking the applications. The school and District will advertise this date before applications are taken. Because of the moratorium, which prohibited any new out-of-boundary students from attending the school, the school could not keep a waiting list of prospective pupils. Corner Canyon High, one of the first projects undertaken by Canyons District with funds from a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010, was built to hold a capacity of 1,862 students. This does not include the portable classrooms that have been on campus to accommodate the overcrowding that was created in 2013 when an unexpected number of private and charter school students decided to leave their schools and enroll at the new CCHS instead. Utah school districts can place schools on moratorium status if enrollment figures place the schools above the open-enrollment threshold. State statute defines that as being the greater of 90 percent of maximum school capacity or maximum capacity minus 40 students. As of Feb. 1, Corner Canyon counted 2,222 students in its classrooms and hallways, which is 119 percent of its capacity enrollment.  When the new classroom wing is completed, the capacity of the school will expand to 2,444.

Copperview Elementary Progress Update

Copperview Elementary Principal Christie Webb updated the Board of Education on the progress of the 426-student Midvale-area school. Webb pointed out that Copperview, one of the District’s four Title 1 schools, faces myriad challenges as it seeks to raise levels of achievement.  In 2014, Copperview was named a focus school, a designation given to the lowest-performing 10 percent of Title I schools in the state. A 90-day plan was created with the help of the Utah Education Policy Center, and the school has been working since to increase student-achievement scores. Webb pointed out some socio-economic challenges faced by the school, including 100 percent poverty, a 35 percent chronically absent rate and 11.6 percent of students who are classified as homeless. In addition, 64 percent of Copperview students are English-language learners, and 10 languages total are spoken by students at the school. Among the efforts: Strengthening a culture at the school where teachers feel they are supported and provided the tools necessary to succeed. Some 100 percent of Copperview teachers told UPEC in a survey that they have been able to participate in regular coaching cycles, and 96 percent agree or strongly agree they have been able to participate in professional development that has led to improvement in their instructional practices. In recent DIBELS assessments, the average composite scores for third- and fifth-grade at Copperview are ticking toward benchmark. Webb says the teacher are committed to providing a strong education that will lead students to a bright future. 

CTESS Update

Ninety-five of Canyons District’s teachers in 2018 were rated at effective or highly effective under the District’s evaluation system, CTESS (Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System). Most educators say they find the CTESS review process to be helpful, said Human Resources Director Steve Dimond in an update to the Board. In a survey of CSD teachers performed last spring, 90 percent said they felt the evaluation helped them improve their instruction, and 75 percent agreed CTESS promotes good conversations about positive classroom practices.

Draper Elementary Parking Lot

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board of Education that a civil engineer has been hired to work with the city to design a second access road to Draper Elementary. Construction on a portion of the project could begin this summer, Wilcox said, but design and engineering work, and an interlocal agreement with Draper City, would need to be completed first. Given the time constraints, the work may need to be done in two phases. This is an accelerated timeframe for this project, which was initially scheduled for summer 2020. 

School Fee Information

In response to a legislative audit revealing an inconsistency between Utah school districts in how they assess school fees, new rules are being considered regarding fees. Among the key requirements: All fees would be subject to waiver; textbook fees, except for Advanced Placement and Concurrent Courses, would no longer be allowed; required fund-raising would no longer be allowed, and group fund-raising could occur, but students who didn’t raise money could not be denied access to the opportunity. The Board discussed how the District could cover the costs of future fee waivers. The Board will soon review a proposed fee schedule for the coming year.

Legislative Update

Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board of Education on the progress of education-related bills in the 2019 General Session of the Utah Legislature, which ends at midnight on March 14. The Board discussed concerns about several bills that are wending their way through committees and the Utah Senate and Utah House. Edwards also presented information about the potential impacts of HB441, the sweeping so-called tax reform bill. 

Graduation Ceremonies

Canyons District has planned the commencement exercises for the Class of 2019. Graduation rites on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. The Board also decided which members will speak at each graduation. 

  • Alta High School – June 5, 10 a.m., Utah Community Credit Union Center at Utah Valley University  
  • Brighton High School – June 5, 2 p.m., Maverik Center 
  • Corner Canyon High – June 5, 2 p.m., Utah Community Credit Union Center at Utah Valley University 
  • Hillcrest High School – June 5, 10 a.m., Maverik Center
  • Jordan High School – June 5, 6 p.m., Maverik Center 
  • Diamond Ridge – June 4, 7 p.m., Midvale Middle
  • South Park Academy – June 6, 8 a.m., Timpanogos Correctional Facility 
  • Entrada – June 26, 7 pm., Corner Canyon High
  • Canyons Transitions Academy – June 3, noon, Mount Jordan Middle

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

The American and state flags were presented by students at Hillcrest High. The reverence was presented by Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt, who was joined by Hillcrest PTSA President Julie Cluff and the School Community Council Chairman Brant Thompson. Cluff said the school has started a PTSA group that has 15 students. She said Hillcrest successfully applied for a $1,000 grant from Google to fund a digital citizenship night at the school. Thompson said the SCC works hard on behalf of the school community. Leavitt said indicators of student success are on the rise at Hillcrest High. For example, he said, the Scholastic Reading Inventory has gone up to 65 percent and math proficiency scores have gone up to 21 percent.  In one year, the number of students on track to graduate has gone up to 75 percent.  He listed several other statistics that show the academic growth of students at Hillcrest High, which is also home to a vaunted International Baccalaureate program. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes of the Feb. 19, 2019 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; and student overnight travel requests. 

Hazardous Route Proposal

In a second reading of the proposal, the Board of Education reviewed the results of a months-long effort to evaluate all Hazardous Bus Routes, which cost the District more than $1 million annually to run. The Administration is recommending that the Board fund the continuation of 95 of the current 101 routes, which are to-and-from-school bus lines that Canyons provides to students who would walk to school if they had a safe pedestrian passages to school. The Administration will now notify the parents of the students who live in the six areas that are scheduled to be discontinued based on the improvements to roads and walkways.  The Board will review the proposal again at the first Board meeting in April. 

Alta High Update

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox presented an update of the first phase of the $53.3 million major renovation at Alta High, one of the projects promised to the public at the November 2017 passage of the $283 bond proposal. Wilcox said the Phase No. 2 bids were solicited from subcontractors from January to Feb. 21. Board awarded the Phase No. 2 construction costs to Hughes General Contractors for an amount not to exceed $19,862,000. 

Policy Update

The Board of Education approved a policy governing student-overnight travel.


The Board of Education honored the following students and employees for their achievements:

  • Alex Cheng, Hillcrest High, Regeneron Science Talent Search award winner, Coca-Cola Scholarship Regional Finalist
  • Emalee Brown, Albion Middle, FACS New Teacher of the Year
  • Corinna Gross, Corner Canyon High, Utah State New Advisor of the Year

Academic All-State Award Winners

Heidi Abbott, Hillcrest
Saey Kamtekar, Hillcrest
Landon Nipko, Hillcrest
Shyler Naegle,  Corner Canyon
Anna Petersen, Corner Canyon
Caroline Winegar, Jordan

Samantha Allen, Corner Canyon
Girls Swimming
Ryleigh Smith, Hillcrest
Ellie Anderson, Brighton
Rachel Butler, Brighton
Jessica Waldron, Brighton
Samantha Allen, Corner Canyon
Gabriella Bingham, Corner Canyon
Brittany Mackey, Corner Canyon
Boys Swimming
Warren McCarthy, Hillcrest
Kevin Curtis, Alta
Nathan Jex, Alta
Connor Patton, Brighton
Girls Basketball
Annabelle Warner, Brighton
Megan Astle, Corner Canyon
Austin Schaugaard, Jordan

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe congratulated Corner Canyon High’s girls basketball team for finishing in second place in the Utah High School Activities Association’s 5A girls hoops championship. He was impressed with the crowd that supported the Jordan High Beetdiggers and Corner Canyon Chargers in the 5A boys hoops final in the Dee Events Center at Weber State University. He also mentioned Alta High social studies teacher Ricque Ochoa’s daylong colloquium with historian Donald L. Miller on March 16 at Alta High. 

Business Adminstrator Leon Wilcox thanked Canyons teachers for the hard work they put into Parent-Teacher Conferences.  He said it’s a valuable time for parents.  He also said the District had obtained permits to complete some outstanding work at Canyons campuses. 

Board Member Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg mentioned that Tanner Cluff, the Hillcrest boys hoops manager who scored the last basketball at a boys game, is the son of PTSA President Julie Cluff, who presented with Mr. Leavitt.  He attended the Dual Language Immersion Committee meeting and expressed appreciation for the Copperview Elementary team, which does great work in a community that struggles because of socio-economic challenges. 

Mrs. Amanda Oaks attended DLI committee meetings, Joint Legislative Committee meetings at the Utah State Capitol, the new logo and a marquee reveal at Sprucewood Elementary.  She gave a shout-out to teachers who work hard to be prepared for Parent-Teacher Conferences.

Mrs. Amber Shill said she attended Butler Middle School Community Council, the showcase for the Brighton Accadians drill team, and Sandy Peak Awards on behalf of the District. She also read books at Bella Vista for Read Across America Day.  She will be holding a 7-8:30 p.m. Town Hall with Nancy Tingey on March 13 at Butler Middle’s Media Center. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley said he truly enjoyed his recent visits to classes at Midvale Middle and Midvale Elementary. He said he was impressed at the level of engagement of the students and the positive culture of the schools. He reported on the Town Hall he held with President Tingey. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold thanked the employees for helping the District run so smoothly. 

Mr. Chad Iverson on Saturday attended a Winter Percussion Line competition at which Alta High student-musicians finished in second place. He explained that he abstained from the vote on the overnight travel policy because he’s still formulating his philosophy regarding travel and fee restrictions. 

President Tingey thanked the Board members for their representation of the CSD  communities. She applauds the efforts of staff members who excel in their responsibilities, and extended her condolences to those in the “Canyons District family” who have experienced loss of friends and family.

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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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