Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs and by clicking the corresponding agenda items.
Proclamation: CSD’s College Application Week Nov. 16-20
The Board unanimously approved and signed a proclamation to establish Nov. 16-20, 2015 as Utah College Application Week in CSD. During that time, CSD high schools will encourage all high school seniors to apply to at least one college or university during the school day. This will mark the second annual College Application Week in CSD, an initiative in which CSD partners with the Utah System of Higher Education and StepUp Utah. By spring 2015, 91 percent of seniors had applied for college, with some high schools posting as high as 97 percent application rates, thanks to the diligent efforts of high school counselors during and after College Application Week.
During the Board’s Patron Comments time, Hillcrest student Yolizma Lara said College Application Week serves as a valuable resource for high school students and provides needed assistance to first-generation college students. Jordan student Luke Brockbank, Alta student Zac Bunkall, Brighton student Chris Newman and Corner Canyon student Jacob Boyle testified that College Application Week serves as an important reminder for seniors to plan today for their future. The students thanked the Board for their support of the initiative.
Board Narrows Focus to Balance Enrollments
The Board of Education decided to narrow the focus of its efforts to balance the future enrollments at Corner Canyon and Alta high schools. The Board approved a motion, made by Board Vice President Steve Wrigley, that is intended to “slow the growth at Corner Canyon, with as little disruption of students and families currently living within the Corner Canyon boundaries as possible.”
Board of Education President Sherril Taylor also noted that Alta High’s enrollment has increased this year. President Taylor credited the enrollment growth to Alta’s high-quality programs, including a proposed partnership with the University of Utah, and marching band, which is offered in Canyons District only at Alta High.
The Board’s action followed Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe’s in-depth report of the five recommendations made by a Facilities Committee. The committee, made up of parents and principals from all parts of Canyons District, was assembled to give recommendations to the Board of Education on short- and long-term school facility needs districtwide.
Vice President Wrigley’s motion, approved 6-1, instructs the Canyons administration to draft a multi-tiered proposal that includes four of the five Facility Committee recommendations. The proposal would be drafted for the Board to consider on second reading, with possible final adoption, at a Tuesday, Oct. 20 meeting. If adopted by the Board of Education, the new boundaries would take effect at the outset of the 2017-2018 school year, giving students, families and schools two full years to prepare. Wrigley’s motion 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.
Under the approved motion, only these three boundaries would change if the proposal is adopted by the Board. According to Wrigley’s motion, in this proposal, no other areas of the District would be considered for school boundary changes.
The motion also calls for the District to require 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. Those students would be able to stay at the school where they are currently enrolled, and their younger siblings, who would be entering the ninth-grade, would be granted waivers to attend the same high school as their older brother or sister.
Corner Canyon High is currently the only high school in Canyons District on moratorium status.
Science Curriculum Update
Instructional Supports Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward and Administrator Jesse Hennefer updated the Board about changes to the science curriculum, which has resulted in a jump in students taking more rigorous lab-based science courses that can better prepare them for college and careers.
Beginning in the 2013, CSD freshman had the opportunity to register for Biology, Physics or Chemistry in place of Earth Systems in light of a state equity report and discrepancies in college- and career-readiness for student taking earth systems and those taking lab sciences. Hennefer noted that physics aligns with the secondary math core and is no longer calculus-based.
Student test results are promising. For example, CSD ninth-graders taking biology are performing as well as other districts’ honors students, test data show. Nevertheless, there is work to do in overall student performance on the State SAGE science test scores. Changes in the curriculum have resulted in more diverse lab science classrooms, historically filled with honors or advanced learners. Between fall 2009 and spring 2015, CSD schools experienced a 56 percent increase in the number of students enrolled in chemistry and a 170 percent increase in the number of students enrolled in physics, and a 46 percent increase in enrollment in Advanced Placement science courses. Additionally, 85 percent of freshmen are taking biology. The Instructional Supports team has examined professional development offered to, and taken by, CSD teachers, as data show that the more professional development teachers take in the sciences, the better their students perform.
Dr. Roderick-Landward identified areas for improvement, including chemistry and physics standards clarification and hands-on science, experimentation and data analysis. Recommendations include assessing teacher needs, requiring and incentivizing completion of extensive professional development, and hiring a full-time science achievement coach to support high schools. The board engaged in a discussion about the presentation and how rigorous course-taking might translate into higher state test performance and ACT college-entrance test performance. Science specialist Leslie Allen said offering lab science in ninth- and 10th grades ensures students have two years of lab sciences that better prepare them to succeed on the ACT in 11th grade.
International Student F-1 Visa Process Discussed
CSD General Counsel Dan Harper outlined the process required by the Department of Homeland Security for students to obtain a student visa to learn in CSD. The process was brought to the Board’s attention by classmates of a student who wanted to remain at her high school one more year to graduate after her parents returned to their home country following completion of their work visas. Harper said an F1 visa allow students to learn in U.S. public high schools for one year, provided they pay educational costs as tuition, and only can be accepted at a certified school. Jordan District had such certification, but CSD did not renew the certification following its creation. Fees and site visits are required to achieve certification.
The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the Sept. 15 Minutes; Purchasing Bids; Hire and Termination Reports; LAND Trust Plan Amendment for Brookwood Elementary; MOU with Alpine School District on Suncrest Busing; and Purchase Agreement for CTEC Home Lot; and Student Overnight Travel for Brighton Boys and Girls Swimming; Corner Canyon AP Art History and Boys Basketball; Hillcrest AP/IB Art History and Swim Team; and Jordan Dance Company.
The Board discussed the CFO evaluation process, and plan to use same process as outlined in the superintendent’s evaluation. Board members were invited to provide feedback on a working copy of the document.
The Board held the second of three readings regarding proposed updates to the Access to Public Records and Retention and Emergencies and Safety Procedures policies. Policy Coordinator Jeff Christensen said the Emergencies and Safety Procedures policy has been updated to allow the Board to enter into agreements with other agencies in the event of an emergency.
Alta student Zac Bunkall, he said interaction with colleges during the school day is helpful to seniors who have very busy lives. He said college day has helped give information to students about college and careers.
Hillcrest student Yolizma Lara, President of Latinos in Action, said College Application Week serves as a valuable resource for high school students and provides needed assistance to first-generation college students.
Jordan student Luke Brockbank, Jordan Student Body President, thanked the Board for College Application Week. He plans to apply to three colleges. He noted his school had college day to help students see what colleges offer. He said College Application Week helps kids get the knowledge and resources to get started on college applications.
Corner Canyon Senior Class Vice President Jacob Boyle thanked the Board for College Application Week. He said his school also hosted college day where students learned about colleges and could start to direct their future plans.
Brighton senior class officer Chris Newman thanked the Board for College Application Week and college day at his school. He said students are excited to start looking at colleges and planning for the future.
Resident Jason Overbaugh represented the Lone Peak Elementary area communities in regards to the Facility Committee recommendations. He said he read dozens of letters that pleaded with the Board not to redraw boundaries for Corner Canyon. He said letters noted a need for a long-term enrollment plan without seriously disrupting students and families. He said the east bench is landlocked and that there is plenty of undeveloped land west of I-15, which is a more logical area to boundary into Alta High for future growth. He said using the I-15 dividing line is less disruptive and aligns better to the Board’s goals in this process.
Tom Hasleton, Draper resident, said he shares Overbaugh’s sentiments. He illustrated that the majority of the audience were attending the meeting for the Facilities Committee update. He said that he doesn’t want to bus kids away from Corner Canyon and Draper Park Middle schools. He suggested curbing open enrollment at Corner Canyon.
Greg Featherstone, father of Corner Canyon students, also said his neighborhood is landlocked and wants to stay at schools in his Draper community.
Resident Zac Walker noted that a boundary change would create traffic difficulties passing east-to-west in Draper.
Dave Davis, a member of the Facilities Committee, said the committee has been wrestling with this issue for more than a year and spending hours each month looking at enrollment, natural boundaries, and associated issues. He thanked Board members who attended meetings, and the superintendent for his facilitation. He said that while many would prefer to leave boundaries alone, he said the current course is unsustainable. He said Corner Canyon enrollment well exceeds capacity and has 12 portables, three lunch periods and traveling teachers because its boundaries are too big. He said we have to look at the District as a whole, and addressing only the western Corner Canyon boundary isn’t enough to make a difference.
CFO and Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said that new boilers are in place at Midvalley and Peruvian Park elementaries. New classrooms will be ready to hold students at Midvale Elementary after Fall Break to alleviate the need for most portable classrooms there.
Board Member Clareen Arnold thanked members of the Facilities Committee for their work.
Vice President Steve Wrigley thanked the Facilities Committee and the Board for its civil discussion.
Board 2nd Vice President Nancy Tingey attended the Utah School Boards Association’s Leadership Academy. She said she learned a lot there, and that it was rewarding for her to see many of the recommended best practices discussed already have been implemented in CSD. She thanked the Communications and External Relations teams for their work on the Apex Awards, and lauded the Board’s efforts to honor the people who contribute to CSD’s success. She thanked the Canyons Education Foundation for its work to fund teacher innovation grants through the Golf Tournament fundraiser.
Board Member Amber Shill also attended the USBA’s leadership conference where she attended a workshop on building effective teams. She said CSD is building effective teams in many areas. She enjoyed the CSD Foundation’s Golf Tournament fundraiser, and said she is excited for the upcoming awards of teacher innovation grants that the tournament benefits. She attended the SCC member training, which she said gets better every year, and thanked the team who made it possible. She attended the Brighton region tennis event, and noted the Bengals won first place. She wished the Bengals luck at this week’s state tennis tournament. She thanked the Facilities Committee, and said that she’s spent hours reading patron e-mail messages regarding the committee’s work.
President Taylor thanked the Facilities Committee and the Board, and praised Board members for focusing on children’s best interests during challenging discussions.
The Board met in Closed Session for the purpose of discussing pending or reasonably imminent litigation; the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual; and the purchase, exchange, or lease of real property.