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Getting Involved

Board Meeting Summary, Nov. 13, 2018

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

Utah College Application Week

Counseling Coordinator Tori Gillett updated the Board of Education on the events surrounding the 2018 Utah College Application Week, Nov. 5-9, five days dedicated to encouraging CSD high school seniors to submit at least one viable college application. Last week, Gillett said, 1,156 CSD students finished and submitted at least one application to a college or university. Nearly 300 additional students had already sent in an application. Some $5,000 of a $10,000 monetary pledge from the Canyons Education Foundation to help low-income students cover the costs of application fees had been used. In addition, two students from Jordan High’s Latinos in Action program thanked the Board for its support of UCAW. Luis Alvarez, LIA co-president, said he was making his immigrant parents’ dreams come true by setting his sights on attending to college. During UCAW, he applied to Salt Lake Community College and Utah State University. Uritze Juerta, also a daughter of immigrants, said she applied to SLCC, Southern Utah University, and Utah Valley University. Thanks to help from Jordan High’s staff, she was able to finish an application in 30 minutes. UCAW opens the door, she said, for students to start thinking actively about attending college. Gillett also presented information about how CSD middle schools are preparing students to start thinking about post-secondary education.

Turnaround School Update

Turnaround school Midvale Elementary has made progress academically and behaviorally, according to information presented to the Board of Education.The school has been focused on improvements since a beginning-of-the-school-year restructure to improve teaching and learning, increase social-emotional supports, and further engage the community. Midvale Mayor Robert Hales said the partnership with United Way is key to addressing some of the needs in the community that impact education. He also thanked the Board and the Administration for focusing on the academics and the facilities of the schools in the Hillcrest feeder. Midvale Elementary Principal Chip Watts said the attendance, life-trauma and social-emotional needs, which often present barriers to achievement, are addressed by the plan. Discipline referrals are down significantly, he said, and to date, tardies have been reduced by more than 9,000 compared to last year. Ninety-two parent contacts have been made regarding student attendance, and 31 students have received one-on-one chronic absenteeism interventions. Academically, the school, which has made 107 student-home visits, also is seeing increased levels of achievement. By May, he said, 60 percent of Midvale students will have made the expected level of growth or better in reading fluency as measured by the progress assessment called DIBELS.  Midvale students also are expected to meet or exceed growth benchmarks in mathematics, Watts said.  He said the school is excited about the trajectory that’s being seen in student-achievement data.  The Board of Education also was asked to present recommendations by December to the Utah State Board of Education about how Midvale Elementary is addressing its turnaround status.

Mathematics Program Adoption

The Board approved a proposal to adopt Illustrative Mathematics for seventh- and eighth-grade students and Mathematics Vision Project for ninth- through 12th-grade students. The cost to implement both programs is less than if the district opted to maintain the traditional hard-bound mathematics textbooks, and the texts are closely aligned to Utah’s Core State Standards. Canyons will implement the programs in a phased rollout.

Midvale-Schools Partnership

Student Advocacy and Access Director Karen Sterling updated the Board on progress with Canyons District’s Community Schools. The Community Schools model is one that strives to bring multiple resources to bear on the success of students in the Hillcrest High feeder system. The schools partner with non-profit organizations–including the United Way of Greater Salt Lake, Utah Food Bank, PLAYWorks, and Boys and Girls Clubs of South Valley–to link students and their families with community supports, welfare programs, and health and behavioral professionals. Participation numbers serve as important progress indicators:  260 youth are served in afterschool tutoring; more than 150 youth each year are being served in prekindergarten classrooms; 818 youth are involved, on average, in an afterschool summer program annually; more than 500 students take advantage of Care Team supports each year; and 210 youth are seen by a clinical therapist through school-based services. In addition, parent volunteerism has exploded at the Community Schools with 730 parents and caregivers contributing 1,353 hours of volunteer time one school year.

Academic Calendars

Office of Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud presented proposed academic-year calendars for 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022. The Board will consider the proposed calendars in future meetings.

Land TRUST Plans

LAND Trust Plans for the 2017-2018 school year have been finalized, reported Community Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards. All CSD schools were at or below the 10 percent funds-carryover regulation, she said, and the schools also made expected or appropriate growth toward their academic goals as part of their school-improvement plans.

Policy Update

Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen presented proposed updates to the Board on policies governing student dress codes and student automobile use. The Board took the proposals under advisement. The Board also approved updates to policies about Tax Increment Financing Project Agreements, Work-Based Learning Programs, the development and dissemination of questionnaires and surveys, and the use of eye protection.


A Canyons District employee and the following students were recognized by the Board for their achievements:

  • Corner Canyon High’s boys cross country team, the 5A state champions
  • Corner Canyon High’s mountain biking team, first-place state winners
  • Hillcrest High theatre department, the sweepstakes winner at the Utah High School Shakespeare competition
  • Twenty-five student athletes who earned Academic All-State honors
  • CSD’s homeless student liaison Connie Crosby, recipient of the Utah School Counselors Human Rights Award

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the minutes from the Oct. 16, 2018 meeting of the Board; hiring and termination reports; purchasing bids; requests for overnight student travel, and October financial reports.

Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

Girl Scout Troop 2483 presented the American and state of Utah flags and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Butler Elementary Principal Jeff Nalwalker said his deployment as a soldier in Afghanistan gave him a newfound gratitude for the support schools receive in the United States. He said he met a teacher there who had not been paid in several months because of the war. Nalwalker also remarked on his Pac-Man-themed suit, a smaller version of which was worn by a Butler Elementary student for Halloween. He said such students inspire him to work hard every day as an instructional and community leader.  He said the faculty and staff at Butler Elementary, a French-English Dual Language Immersion school, are working hard to gain similar achievement levels as schools with similar student body demographics.   

Patron Comments

President Taylor introduced Amanda Oaks, who won election to District No. 6 on the Board of Education. She succeeds Taylor, who has held the seat since the District’s inception. 

Midvale Middle math department chair Deborah Delliskave spoke in favor of the proposed Illustrative Mathematics program for middle school students. Three other Midvale Middle teachers joined Delliskave at the podium in support of the program.

Patrick Oviatt, a seventh-grader at Midvale Middle who is in Delliskave’s class, spoke in favor of the Illustrative mathematics program. 

Sara Moeinvaziri also is taught by Delliskave at Midvale Middle. She said she never enjoyed mathematics until this year, and said it’s largely because of the mathematics program being taught in the class.

Leydie Reynog, a seventh-grade student at Midvale Middle, spoke in favor of Illustrative Mathematics.

Midvale Middle student Callie Schroeder spoke in favor of the proposed Illustrative Mathematics program.

Edward Loh, a Midvale Middle student, spoke in favor of the proposed Illustrative Mathematics program.

Butler Middle teacher Lisa Boyce, who piloted two units of Illustrative Mathematics, spoke in favor of the program.

Sarah Goodfellow spoke in favor of the District continuing the practice of allowing dual-enrollment in high schools.

Parent Justin Albrecht also spoke in favor of dual-enrollment in Canyons District schools.

Parent Scott Tasker, in response to a question from the Board, responded that he’d been told by an administrative assistant at CSD’s central office that dual-immersion students would no longer be able to be dual-enrolled at high schools. Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe clarified that no proposal is being considered by the Board of Education. 

Midvale Middle student Krithika Parsawar spoke in favor of Illustrative Mathematics.

Resident Paul Godot, who aids the mathematics teachers at Eastmont, spoke in favor of Illustrative Mathematics.

Ten-Year Anniversary Sub-Committee

The Board of Education created a committee f Board and staff members to spearhead the celebration of the District’s 10-year anniversary. Canyons District was founded on July 1, 2009.  

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe said he appreciated the conversation surrounding the adoption of the new mathematics program. He congratulated the high schools for staging successful and entertaining fall musicals. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox reported on the upcoming closing on $75 million in bond issuances to pay for the construction of new schools. He also reminded employees about the $500 bonus they will receive on the second November paycheck.  The bonus is part of the negotiated agreements for the contract year.

Board Members Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg reported on attending meetings at Midvale Middle and Midvale Elementary that gave him previews on the results of the elementary school’s turnaround efforts and the middle school’s use of the Illustrative Math program. He also reported on attending the Canyons Education Foundation’s delivery of Innovation Grants, the USBA regional meeting, and the Student Advisory Council’s meeting. 

Ms. Amber Shill reported on attending an assessment conference in Arizona with middle school principals and the Instructional Supports Department. She attended Brighton High’s production of “The Addams Family,” a speech by the Danish ambassador, a Reality Town activity, and the student advisory council. She thanked the community for the support during the election.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey said she attended Veterans Day activities, a subcontractors meeting for the rebuild of Brighton High, and Brighton and Jordan high fall musicals, “The Addams Family” and “Pirates of Penzance.”

Ms. Clareen Arnold plans to attend “Hairspray” at Hillcrest, and attended “Pirates of Penzance” at Jordan High. She commended schools for holding Veterans Day activities to honor soldiers for their service, and thanked staff for holding Utah College Application Week events.

Mr. Chad Iverson attended the state cross-country meet, marching band competitions, and the Parent Meeting at Draper Park regarding the school schedule. He congratulated Board members on their re-elections, and thanked his Board colleagues for engaging in robust discussions on agenda items. 

President Taylor expressed confidence in Oaks in her new role on the Board. He expressed his admiration for all the members of the Board. He thanked Dr. Roderick-Landward for the mathematics-curriculum proposal presentation and the Sandy Police officers for providing security during Board meeting.

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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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