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Board Meeting Summary Oct. 20, 2015

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

Boundary Proposal Discussed

The Board discussed a proposal to balance high school enrollments, and determined that it would further consider the proposal on third reading in its November meeting. The Board also asked the Administration to clarify its proposal regarding siblings, and provide projections of the number of incoming freshmen who could be grandfathered into the current boundaries.  The November discussion will mark the Board’s third reading of the proposal. The Board typically takes action on third reading.

In its Oct. 6 meeting, the Board voted to narrow the focus of its efforts to balance the future enrollments at Corner Canyon and Alta high schools. The Board approved a motion to slow the growth at Corner Canyon and minimize disruption to students and families currently living within the Corner Canyon boundaries. The action followed Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe’s in-depth report recommendations forwarded by the Facilities Committee, which consists of parents and principals from all parts of Canyons District.

The proposal being discussed by the Board includes the following:

  • Moving a section of the District, which is roughly the area west of State Street, north of 9000 South and south of 8400 South, into the Jordan High boundary;
  • Moving an area, which is south of 11400 South, west of Lone Peak Parkway and north of 12300 South, into the Alta High boundary; and
  • Moving the area roughly the area south of 12300 South, north of 14600 South and west of I-15 into the Alta High boundary.

The Board’s Oct. 6 motion also called for the District Policy Committee to draft, for the Board’s consideration, a policy that would require schools on moratorium status to verify the residence of its students at the time of registration. The motion, if it gains final approval, also would grant an allowance for students living in the areas mentioned in the proposed boundary changes.  The proposal, if adopted, would take effect at the outset of the 2017-2018 school year, giving students, families and schools two full years to prepare.

Dual Immersion High School Site Plans Presented

The Board received a proposal for placement of Dual-Language Immersion (DLI) program opportunities in four high schools to accommodate middle school DLI students who will enter ninth-grade next school year. DLI is a statewide program with a K-16 concept and aim to prepare students for college and career in a second language, CSD Instructional Supports Administrator Jesse Hennefer said. CSD DLI programs in Spanish-English, French-English and Mandarin Chinese-English are offered at six CSD middle schools and eight elementaries. Following a discussion with high school principals and accounting for available space, Hennefer proposed services at Alta, Brighton, Jordan and Hillcrest high schools. The DLI program would include Advanced Placement and college-level coursework. Board President Sherril Taylor asked Board Members to give feedback on the proposal directly to the Administration so planning for next school year could continue.  

Single Calendar Proposed

Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud proposed a single school calendar for all grades–except for Brighton High, which is on a trimester system – for the 2016-2017 school year. Currently, three separate calendars, plus Brighton’s calendar, have been approved by the Board for the 2016-2017 school year. CSD Calendar Committee members felt the current proposal would be more community and family friendly, and cut transportation costs if school breaks occurred at the same time for all grades whenever possible, Dr. Stensrud said. Additionally, all parent teacher conferences would occur on the same week. Board members debated the timing of the September parent-teacher conference. Some elementary early-out days would be offered on days other than Fridays, which would be a change requiring adequate communication with parents, 2nd Vice President Nancy Tingey noted. Dr. Stensrud said the early-out additions were requested by a principal on the committee to ensure teachers had adequate planning time. School start and end dates – Aug. 24 and June 7, respectively – would not change.

Update: Draper City Aquatics Center Proposal

Government Relations Director Charlie Evans updated the Board on a Draper City proposal to create an aquatics facility with Salt Lake County. The facility would contain several pools, including a lap pool that could accommodate high school teams. The city would seek a $1.2 million investment from the District to help build the facility and provide access for student use. A similar project may be proposed in Midvale and Sandy cities as well, Evans said. Wilcox noted CSD high school swim teams currently rent swim space for practices.

Legislative Update

The Board received an update regarding legislative action, including the Charter School Funding Task Force, of which CFO Leon Wilcox is a member. Wilcox said that remaining issues to be discussed by the task force include local replacement funding and weighting of WPUs for charter schools. Two meetings remain. Task force recommendations would be provided to the Legislature for possible action during the 2016 Session.

Community Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards attended the National Conference of State Legislators, and noted that Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, is a national education committee co-chair. She also attended the Joint Legislative Education Conference in Cedar City, where the group discussed developing a common understanding of K-20 competency-based education; a list of actions focused on student results; and strategies to measure results. She said that in many areas of discussion, Canyons School District is leading the way. Board 2nd Vice President Tingey said that the meeting focused on providing a high-quality education for students. Priorities that developed during the meeting included improving professional learning for teachers; engaging in more effective teacher recruitment and retention; revamping teacher compensation systems to reward outcomes; and providing all-day kindergarten opportunities and high-quality preschool for at-risk students.

Evans distributed USBA priorities to the Board for their perusal.

Thank You, Volunteers

In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Week in CSD, the Board received a volunteer report from Volunteers and Partnerships Coordinator Brittani Bailey.  President Taylor also recognized volunteers in the audience.  In the 2014-2015 academic year, 11,676 volunteers donated more  than 173,000 hours of service. That’s equivalent to one volunteer for every three students in CSD, and 15 hours of service per volunteer, Bailey said. Region 17 PTA Director Betty Shaw presented the Board with a giant check for $3.5 million to symbolize the volunteer service donation of PTA members, who last school year contributed 151,363 hours of service.

Board Recognizes Achievements

The Board recognized the following employees, students and community members for outstanding achievements:

  • Manny Kepas, Distinguished High School Business Teacher of the Year, Utah Business Education Association
  • Derek Chandler, Brighton art teacher, Grand Prize, Sargent Art’s “Brighter World Art Contest”
  • Brian McGill, 2015 Milton Bennion Scholar Award, University of Utah Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
  • Chris Eppler and the 2015 CSD Water Conservation Team, Energy Success Story
  • Dale Schlachter, Hillcrest, Perfect ACT score
  • Anna Richey, Corner Canyon, Best Directing, NO BULL Teen Video Awards
  • Rhett Rasmussen, Corner Canyon, 4A State Golf Champion
  • Simi Fehoko, U.S. Army All-American and MaxPreps Preseason Utah MVP
  • Corner Canyon Boys Lacrosse, 4A State Champions
  • Hillcrest, Jordan, Brighton high schools, FIVE STAR Sportsmanship Honors, UHSAA’s Raise the Bar Program
  • Betty Shaw, 2015 Apex Award, Volunteer of the Year

Board Action

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the Oct. 6 Minutes; Purchasing Bids; Hire and Termination Reports; September Financial Reports; Sale of the CTEC Student-Built Home at 8038 Tapp Lane in Midvale; and LAND Trust Amendments. The Board also approved Student Overnight Travel for Corner Canyon Baseball; Hillcrest Dance Company; and Jordan Baseball and Wrestling.

The Board approved updates to the Access to Public Records and Retention policy and the Emergencies and Safety Procedures policy.

The Board approved the Utah Consolidated Application (UCA). The plan is aimed at improving academic outcomes, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathryn McCarrie said. The State Office of Education requires school districts to complete the UCA for federal and state programs and approve budgets that connect funding to academic goals. The programs address at-risk students, teacher quality, English acquisition, students with disabilities, students who are homeless, and after-school programs.  

Policy Updates Proposed

The Board heard a proposal to update three policies as recommended by the Board’s Policy Committee. The proposed update to the Resignation of Employees addresses the timing of resignation and notification to Hunan Resources to ensure seamless educational delivery to students in the event of a mid-year resignation, Policy Coordinator Jeff Christensen reported.  The proposed update to the Drug-Free Workplace policy would ensure alignment with state law and address reporting of substance abuse-related arrests and convictions; suspicions a co-worker is using or possessing illegal drugs or alcohol on school property; and action an administrator may take to address such instances. The proposed update to the Service Animals in Schools policy would reiterate the District’s commitment to equal access to services, activities, and programs, and note that equal access would not be denied due to the legal use of a service animal, and outlines provisions therein.

Patron Comments

Patron Steve Van Maren praised the Administration for focusing on teaching students the scientific method.

Shawn Benjamin Draper resident and GOP delegate, said he was asked by neighbors to address proposed high school boundary changes. He lives in area west of I-15, and noted the area is zoned for commercial development and open space once the prison moves, so neighborhood growth is less likely.  He urged the Board not to exclude the few homes in the area from the opportunity to attend CCHS with their friends and community members. He believes there are alternative solutions, including ways to ensure students attend their assigned high schools.

Draper resident Angie Overbaugh, who is a member of the Facilities Committee, thanked the Board and committee for their time and work to balance high school enrollments. She said she and her neighbors support the Oct. 6 motion approved by the Board to curb future growth.

David Christensen, who lives in same neighborhood as Benjamin, seconded Benjamin’s comments. He said there are not large numbers of students there and that the new development will be commercial in nature, not residential.

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe said he is amazed by the number of parents supporting schools through voluntarism, and noted a correlation between parent support and increased student achievement. He attributed the involvement to helping raise achievement scores. Also thanked the Board Policy Committee, Christensen, and General Counsel Dan Harper for their support of the policy updates and review process. He said while tedious, the policy updates are needed to reflect state and federal laws and practices and philosophies of the Board. He said that he, 2nd Vice President Tingey and Vice President Steve Wrigley attended the National Federation of Urban and Suburban School Districts conference, and noted that the organization pioneered by Utah districts and includes districts from across the country. He said the organization discusses trends and best practices in education. He commended Granite District leaders for serving as exemplary conference hosts. 

CFO Report

Wilcox noted CSD enrollment is up to 33,899 students – an increase of 220 students from last year, according to the Oct. 1 headcount. He said the additional students are kindergartners, but even more so, move-ins and students receiving school choice permits, which he said was testament to the Board, administrators and teachers in CSD. The most significant enrollment increases were reported at Butler and Ridgecrest elementaries, Mount Jordan Middle, and Alta and Corner Canyon high schools. Decreases were seen at Copperview and Crescent elementaries, Eastmont and Midvale middle schools, and Brighton High. He also noted that insurance open enrollment for employees starts Wednesday, Oct. 21. 

Board Reports

Board Member Chad Iverson thanked the Administration for the freshman/sophomore soccer league. He requested detailed Oct. 1 enrollment numbers from Wilcox.

Board Member Clareen Arnold thanked CSD volunteers for all their work, and the employees for volunteering hours by attending Board Meeting tonight. She thanked Sandy City Mayor Tom Dolan for invitations to the play, “Into the Woods,” performed at Mount Jordan Middle School, and the Real Salt Lake Game.

Vice President Wrigley attended opening night “Into the Woods.” He said it was a great production, and noted the performance included the symphony. He said he’s glad the partnership was formed between CSD and Sandy City to share use of the auditorium. He was impressed by the NFUSSD tour of the Granite Technology Center, which was up to date and modern. He suggested revamping CTEC to be more modern a facility as well.

Second Vice President Tingey thanked CSD volunteers. She said she saw many at one of the schools she visited this morning. She attended the NFUSSD conference, and agreed that it was well done. She noted Instructional Supports Director Amber Roderick-Landward and Draper Elementary Principal Piper Riddle were NFUSSD presenters who shared information about the CSD  academic framework, and said she was proud of them and their well-received presentation. She attended a portion of the Utah Education Association conference and heard the governor’s remarks there. She attended the Real Salt Lake game and thanked Sandy City for the hospitality. She noted she and Board Member Shill will host a constituency meeting Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. at Albion Middle School.

Board Member Amber Shill attended at the NFUSSD conference, where she visited three schools and the tech center at Granite District. She said it was exciting, and noted some innovations there. She thanked CSD volunteers for their service.

Board Member Robert Green thanked all the CSD volunteers, whose contributions are beyond measure. He also thanked Mayor Dolan for the Real Salt Lake game invitation.

President Taylor thanked Communications for the Recognitions event and the volunteer recognitions, and said volunteers are critical to District operations. He congratulated Betty Shaw for her Apex Award. He thanked patrons for sharing their thoughts and informing the Board of their views this evening. He said that while not all Boards take patron comment, it’s important to the CSD Board.

Closed Session

The Board met in Closed Session for the purpose of discussing the purchase, exchange, or lease of real property and the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual.

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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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