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Board Meeting Summary, Sept 1, 2020

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

Equity Steering Committee

A steering committee examining equity in Canyons District recommends a comprehensive audit of Canyons educational and operational processes. The equity assessment, which would be conducted as part of CSD’s accreditation, would study the District’s allocation of resources; student access to high quality instruction and academic and social-emotional programs and opportunities; school mascots, traditions, and names; availability of early-learning programs for low-income students; public engagement efforts in high-poverty areas; and the governance of CSD’s vision, mission and policies that support equity. The steering committee also asked to reconfigure of the Student Advisory Council so the Board can regularly meet with Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon, Diamond Ridge, Hillcrest and Jordan high school students, especially those who are under-represented, to discuss matters of equity. The steering committee is made up of Board members Amber Shill, Amanda Oaks and Mont Millerberg, Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins and External Affairs Director Charlie Evans. 

Return to School

Superintendent Robins thanked teachers, principals and staff for the Herculean efforts to start school year in the middle of a pandemic. He also urged all families to complete health evaluations, including temperature checks, every morning. Students and employees should stay home if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms, he said. Dr. Robins also encouraged continued physical distancing wherever feasible, constant hand-washing, and the use of hand-sanitizer throughout the day. The Board also was given a report on the first day of school and the implementation of the Back-to-School Action Plan. President Tingey thanked employees, parents and students for adhering to protocols. Board member Amanda Oaks thanked the Instructional Supports Department preparing all teachers to maintain robust Canvas pages. 

Board Meeting Schedule and Fall Events

The Board of Education reviewed a proposed meeting schedule for 2021-2022 school year.  Proposals also were presented for a one-year change to the Apex Awards, held each year in the fall to honor CSD teachers, administrators, Education Support Professionals, and supporters of Canyons District. The Board also received an update on the School Community Council training and the Wednesday, Sept. 23 Canyons Education Foundation Golf Tournament. Proceeds from the tourney will support CSD’s new initiative to pay for Internet connectivity for students in need. 

Open Meetings Training

General Counsel Dan Harper conducted required training on the state’s Open Meeting Laws.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, which includes minutes from the Aug. 18, 2020 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; and a list of new members of the Board of the Canyons Education Foundation. 

School Highlights and Inspirational Thought

Oakdale Principal Deidre Walbeck says her community sees the world through the “lens of possibilities,” and has adopted the theme “Celebrating What is Right with the World.” The school community, including the students, joined to promote student safety and wellness, putting up positive posters, making videos, and encouraging each other in the hallways.

Patron Comment

Sen .Kathleen Riebe, D-Cottonwood Heights, thanked the District’s legislative team for working so closely with the elected representatives who represent CSD communities at the Utah legislature.

Corner Canyon student Emerald Spencer proposed programs to redistribute food that is uneaten at the school cafeteria. 

Superintendent and Business Administrator Report

Dr. Robins deferred, saying he had already addressed the Board during the meeting. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox reported on how good it was to see students at completed parts of Alta High and the finished Midvalley Elementary. He thanked the staff for their hard work to get ready for the school year. He noted the work of Purchasing Director Gary Hansen and Warehouse Manager Chad Pulsipher for ordering and delivering cleaning supplies and PPE for schools. 

Board Reports

Mrs. Clareen Arnold noted the work of principals, teachers, nutrition service workers, custodians, and secretaries, especially as the environment and decisions changed often. She encouraged adherence to precautions, including health checks, in order for schools to remain open.

Mr. Chad Iverson thanked administrators, teachers and staff for their work to start the school year. 

Mr. Steve Wrigley appreciated the dedication of employees, encouraged a visible award for all workers’ efforts, and thanked Board members for their diligence in representing their constituents.

Mrs. Amber Shill says it’s “wonderful” to have the students back in school and commented on seeing the students wearing their masks. She reported on visiting Cottonwood Heights-area schools before the school year started. 

Mrs. Amanda Oaks thanked Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards for planning the recently lunch meetings for PTA and PTSA presidents and School Community Council leaders.

Mr. Mont MIllerberg noted the grand opening of Midvalley Elementary, which he said was a marvelous addition to the Midvale community. He thanked all employees, from the teachers, bus drivers, and custodians, to the nutrition service, administrators, and School Resource Officers, for launching the school year.

President Tingey noted the Superintendent’s Luncheons for the PTA, PTSA and SCC leaders. She reported on the inventive and innovative approaches she’s seen to education in this unusual time.

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