Board Meeting Summary. Nov. 30, 2021

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

Administrative Appointments

 Ken Rowley was announced as the new principal of Alta High. Rowley, currently Assistant Principal at Corner Canyon High, succeeds Dr. Brian McGill, who will leave his Alta post to become the CSD Director of Student Services. Rowley has been an educator for 26 years, 15 of which were spent as principal of Juab Jr. High. McGill was selected as the new Student Services Director after a competitive selection process. Dr. McGill will start work in the new role in mid-January, which gives him time to coordinate a seamless transition with Rowley. In his new role, Dr. McGill will lead the Canyons District department that was created to provide a system of support for students, including counseling, health and nursing services, school psychology, and behavior interventions, among other areas. Current Responsive Services Department administrator BJ Weller will assist Dr. McGill in planning and executing the department’s mission. McGill also will serve in Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins’ leadership Cabinet. In addition, the Board approved the appointment of Matthew Wolford as the new Facilities Services Director. He succeeds Rick Conger, who has been CSD’s Facilities chief since the District’s founding in 2009.  Wolford is the Director of Facilities and Operations for the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute, a position he has held since 2015. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan. Wolford started his career as an HVAC technician in the U.S. Air Force. He begins the new post after Conger retires on Dec. 31.

Emergency Closure Days

The Board of Education approved a plan for pivoting to a remote learning day to make up lost instructional time in the event of an emergency school closure due to such circumstances as severe weather. Pilot tested last year during a heavy snowstorm on Feb. 17, 2021, moving to remote-learning, instead of dismissing classes, has the benefit of keeping students, parents and employees safe while maintaining continuity of instruction and alleviating the need for families to adjust their schedules to accommodate make-up days, which can disrupt holidays and summer plans. In adopting the remote-learning option, the Board directed the District’s calendar committee to make any necessary adjustments to school calendars.

 Policy Updates

 The Board of Education reviewed proposed changes to the policy governing school library media selection and review. Proposed new language acknowledges that school libraries are accessed on a voluntary and self-selection basis; provides definitions for instructional and library materials; establishes additional criteria for use in library acquisitions and allows patrons to request a list of library titles; and adds school-level and district-level review processes for acquisition and de-selection, or “weeding,” based on specific criteria. The Board also is considering policy updates on student health services and curriculum adoption. Adoption of the proposed policies are scheduled to be considered at the scheduled Board meeting on Dec. 14.

 Strategic Planning

Updates on the process being followed to create a strategic plan were given by Education Elements Senior Design Principal Drew Schantz and Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins. In recent weeks, members of 10 planning teams met to identify issues related to their primary focus and discuss steps forward. Next week, the teams will meet again to examine data, continue their discussions, and finalize proposals and recommendations.

Patron Comment

Eleven patrons addressed the Board of Education. Recordings of their remarks can be accessed on BoardDocs.

Annual Comprehensive Financial Report

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox presented the 2020-2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report. The report, an audit of CSD financial activity from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, lists District fund balances, expenditures, revenue and debt capacity, funding sources, and CSD demographic and socioeconomic information. Wilcox also noted that assessed valuations of taxable properties in CSD have increased 76 percent over a 10-year period.

Small Capital Facilities Projects

Wilcox presented a list of proposed small-capital facilities projects for 2022-2023 and tentative projects for 2024. One of the projects in the coming years is a remodel of the Bell View Elementary building, where Diamond Ridge High classes will be housed after Bell View and Edgemont schools merge to form Glacier Hills Elementary next fall. Wilcox also noted that the District seeks to upgrade the surveillance-camera systems in elementary schools.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes for the Nov. 9, 2021 meeting of the Board; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel; the 2021 Comprehensive Financial Report and related audit reports; administrative appointments; LEA-specific licenses; and LAND Trust and TSSP amendments for Ridgecrest Elementary.

School Highlights

East Sandy Elementary Principal Bryan Rudes told the Board that East Sandy Elementary is one of the most welcoming places he’s ever worked. At the 380-student school, Rudes told the Board, teachers most recently have focused on improving literacy scores on year-end assessments. He noted parent involvement, especially the strong participation in the PTA and the School Community Council.

 Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins congratulated those who were appointed to new positions in Canyons District.  He clarified that no books have been banned in Canyons District. Books were temporarily held in review while the problematic parts of the district’s media acquisition and review policy could be addressed.  He also commented on the work to improve the policy.

Mr. Wilcox noted Mr. Wolford’s appointment, Mr. Conger’s retirement, the completion of the auditoriums at high schools in time for the fall musicals, and the completion of the parking lot at Hillcrest. He expressed sympathy to Transportation Director Jeremy Wardle, whose teenage son recently died in a go-cart accident.

Board of Education Member Reports

 Mrs. Amanda Oaks expressed sympathy for Mr. Wardle’s loss. She also congratulated the casts, crews and orchestras of high school musicals for wonderful performances. She also noted the ongoing strategic planning process.

Mrs. Amber Shill congratulated McGill, Rowley and Wolford on their appointments. She thanked Leon and his team for the clean annual report from auditors. She noted the quality of the theater productions in Canyons high schools. She will attend Brighton’s “Beauty of the Beast” later this week.

Mr. Steve Wrigley noted the work of the Policy Committee on the media center acquisition and review policy. He reported on attending fall musicals at high schools and a trip to see innovations in the Juab School District.

Mrs. Clareen Arnold urged the community to apply for available positions as bus drivers, substitutes, Nutrition Services workers, classroom aides, and more. She urged the community to extend grace to neighbors and colleagues, especially during the holiday season.  She thanked employees and her fellow Board members for their hard work and dedication to the District.

Mr. Mont Millerberg commented on the proposed policies and reported on attending Corner Canyon High’s musical “Newsies” and will attend “Holiday Inn” at Hillcrest.  He thanked the retiring Mr. Conger for his work as Facilities Director.  He expressed sympathy for Mr. Wardle’s loss.

President Tingey said she agreed with her fellow Board members on their remarks.  She thanked patrons for expressing  their viewpoints in a civil manner. She noted the eloquence of the students who spoke during Patron Comment about the updated to the media center acquisition and review policy.

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