Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.
Utah College Application Week
The Canyons Education Foundation continues to support Canyons’ 7th annual Utah College Application Week, a time set aside to encourage every high school senior to complete and submit at least one viable college application. Canyons high schools are holding the UCAW-related events throughout October. The Foundation Board and Development Officer Denise Haycock presented a check for $10,000 to help low-income students pay applicable college-application fees during UCAW, held in collaboration with the Utah System of Higher Education. The CSD Foundation is able to provide this kind of assistance through the generosity of those who support donation drives and events such as the Foundation’s 10th annual golf tournament, held Sept. 18 at Wasatch Mountain State Park, which raised an estimated $80,000. All money raised by the Foundation is used to support the vision and mission of Canyons District.
Utah Tax Reform
Utah Rep. Robert Spendlove, R-Sandy, presented information to the Board of Education on proposed tax reform measures in Utah, which could impact how education is funded. However, allowing income taxes to be spent on anything but education either K-12 or higher education would require the voters allow an amendment to the state constitution. Utah legislators studying the state’s revenue structure, now eight decades old, are putting on the table possible avenues to collect funds necessary to operate the government and provide services. Spendlove pointed out that technology has impacted purchasing habits. In turn, that impacts the amount of money governments can collect. For example, goods bought online bypass the system that relies on local stores selling items, charging a tax at the point of purchase, then passing those funds to the state. The Utah Legislature’s Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force recently completed a series of Town Hall meetings around Utah to gather public input how the state collects money through sales, property, and income taxes, as well as other funding mechanisms. Spendlove said Utah leaders are studying how other states are reforming tax structure, and will continue to gather feedback from constituents and local governmental bodies such as school boards.
Dual Language Immersion Policy
Recommendations about the future of District’s Dual Language Immersion programs are expected to be presented to the Board of Education in the next few months, according to Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward, Director of CSD’s Instructional Supports Department. A committee of teachers, administrators, parents, principals, and ISD specialists examining how to build on the strengths of the DLI programs has been busy collecting student participation, enrollment, and achievement data; administering stakeholder surveys; and reviewing costs. Among the findings: attrition increases exponentially at the secondary level; current offerings are not meeting the demand; families are satisfied with their DLI-program experiences; students in DLI programs are meeting learning benchmarks in core areas; and students are meeting language proficiency targets at greater rates in elementary than secondary. The research also showed that DLI start-up costs are significantly higher than any other content or extracurricular activity. Roderick-Landward said the committee’s review has shown needs in five categories: communication, teacher quality, curriculum and resources, impact on the school and language proficiency. The committee, led by Roderick-Landward, also is looking at the impacts to the current overall system and potential costs.
Small Capital Facilities Update
The Facilities Services Departments seeks to advance small capital facilities projects so work can be started in late spring or immediately after the school year ends. The department proposes to design projects from October to December, solicit bids from December to February, and seek Board of Education approval from February to April. This summer, daylighting projects are scheduled to be done at seven elementary schools. When done, all 18 natural-light projects promised to the public at the passage of the November 2017 bond will have been completed. Work is expected to continue on the parking lot at Draper Elementary and the flooring at Jordan High. In addition, in the coming year, the District would like to replace roofs at the central office and Jordan High, stucco at the central office, and irrigation system at Draper Elementary, a drainage system at Lone Peak Elementary, and relocate the relatively new Midvalley Elementary playground equipment to another school. Midvalley will receive new equipment as part of the school’s rebuild. Possible projects for future years also were presented.
Secondary Parent-Teacher Conference
The Board of Education will work with the District Administration on a survey of School Community Councils and school-based administrators to gauge interest in adopting new structures for Parent-Teacher Conferences at middle schools and high schools. This is in response to the decreasing participating rate in secondary schools. At high schools, the rate dropped from 23.64 percent in 2017 to 22.19 in 2019. Average middle school participation at the fall conference was 53 percent in 2018 and 49.55 percent in 2019. A committee studying how to make the conferences more effective suggests that, instead of solely holding the traditional “open house” model, teachers also be asked to reach out and set up appointments with parents of struggling students. The committee also suggests that schools hold classes to inform parents about the rules, policies, procedures of the school; schedule two compensatory days during the calendar year; plan elementary and secondary fall conferences in separate weeks; and allow flexibility for principals and staff to tailor events according to site needs.
USBA’s Master Board Designation
Board member Mont Millerberg presented information about the Utah School Boards Association’s Master Board Award Program, created to help schools boards become more effective governing bodies and advocates for their constituents and public education. The program, which Board members, Superintendent Briscoe, and Business Administrator Leon Wilcox indicated they would do, is designed for members of school boards to annually complete sections on strategic learning, continuing education, professional improvement, and advanced development.
The Board of Education approved updates to the policies and school-level guidelines governing electronic devices at schools and the acceptable use of the technology network. The Board also is considering an update to the policy and framework governing the Teacher and Student Success Act.
Office of Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud provided an update to the Board about the approved 2020-2021 school year calendar and the tentative 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school year calendars. Survey responses regarding future potential Snow Days were presented, as well.
The following students and faculty were recognized by the Board of Education for their achievements:
- Kathy Bitner, Draper Park Middle counselor, who was named Utah Counselor of the Year by the Utah School Counselor Association
- Students from Brighton, Corner Canyon, Jordan and Hillcrest for being named semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition.
Flag Presentation, Inspirational Thoughts
The Brighton High Accadians presented the American and state flags and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Principal Tom Sherwood spotlighted Brighton High successes, including new AP capstone program, one of eight in the state among Utah public schools. Brighton, now being rebuilt with funds from the $283 million bond approved by voters in 2017, also is experiencing success in DLI. The French-English DLI AP pass rate was 83 percent, and the Mandarin Chinese-English pass rate was 63 percent, the second-highest in Utah. He thanked the school community members for their patience and cooperation during the school’s construction, expected to be completed in 2021.
The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the Oct. 1, 2019 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; September Financial Reports; 2019-2020 Utah Grant Application; TSSP Amendments for Draper, East Midvale and Sunrise elementary schools; approval of new Canyons Foundation Board member and president-elect; and the approval of the interlocal agreement with Unified Police for school resource officers.
Parent Patrick Wright expressed concerns about the operations and protocols of a special-education program for students with behavioral issues that is housed at Jordan Valley, Canyons’ school for children with severe disabilities.
Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports
Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe wished the Canyons community a safe and relaxing Fall Recess, Oct. 17-18.
Business Administrator Leon Wilcox noted the Oct. 1 enrollment report, which shows CSD has record number of students. Enrollment at most CSD high schools is on the upswing but the District administration is carefully watching the minor decreases at elementary schools.
Board Member Reports
Mr. Mont Millerberg reported on the grant-review process for the Foundation’s Innovation Grants, which are funded with donations earned at events such as the 10th annual golf tournament on Sept. 18. He also thanked staff members for the planning and executing the recent School Community Council trainings.
Mrs. Amber Shill expressed appreciation to those who helped conduct the SCC trainings. She attended Monday’s tours of construction sites at Brighton and Hillcrest high schools, projects being completed with funds from the voter-approved $283 million bond. It’s been a community effort to graciously handle the inconveniences of the construction site, she said.
Mr. Steve Wrigley noted the success of the SCC trainings and the work that is being done in District committees that have been meeting throughout the month.
Mr. Chad Iverson said the enrollment report will be helpful as the Long Range Planning Committee continues to study the needs of the District. He also reported on a recent Town Hall meeting he held with fellow Board member Amanda Oaks. He also said he attended cross country races, marching band competitions, football games, and musical performances.
President Nancy Tingey thanked those who participated in SCC trainings. She invited the community to an Oct. 22 Town Hall meeting she is holding with Mr. Wrigley at Eastmont Middle and a Nov. 6 meeting at Albion Middle with Mrs. Shill. She thanked Cottonwood Heights for honoring the Teacher of the Year in the city’s schools.