Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.
Reopening Plans for Canyons District
As a precautionary measure, Corner Canyon High, which has experienced an increase of positive COVID-19 cases, will remain on a hybrid schedule until Friday, Sept. 25. Students will return to in-person Monday-through-Friday learning until at least Monday, Sept. 28. Canyons District also will begin a data dashboard, including rates of community spread, a range of numbers at each school, and the number of students who have been placed on quarantine. This is effort to be transparent and aid in decision-making about precautionary measures at CSD schools where increases have been documented. The Board of Education formed a sub-committee to discuss next steps and also decided to meet on Friday, Sept. 18 to further review the variables that could trigger additional precautionary measures and any action that would need to be taken at a school community as a result of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Nutrition Services Update
In Canyons cafeterias, the most popular menu items are orange chicken, homemade mac and cheese and pizza — all made according to dietary guidelines established by the federal government. During the spring months, said Nutrition Services Director Sebasthian Varas, CSD scaled back the hot-lunch menu as they put together and served healthy and tasty grab-and-go meals to aid families during the COVID-19-related “soft closure” of Utah schools. From March 16 to July 31, Canyons cafeterias served 294,660 lunches, Varas said. During the school shut-down, he said, Canyons schools also served nearly 291,240 breakfasts. This year, the District, which has about 21 percent of students who qualify for free- and reduced-priced meals under the poverty index, started serving free lunches and breakfasts to all students 18 years and younger, regardless of their families’ income levels. The funding for this effort comes from an extension of the federal grant provided to school districts for Seamless Summer Meal programs. Since Sept. 10, when the free-meals started, the District has served 12,036 lunches and 2,570 breakfasts. Before then, an average of 9,313 lunches and 1,488 breakfasts were served. The daily meal counts are slightly lower than in previous years, he said, largely because of the online learning option that reduced in-person student numbers by about 20 percent across the District. Varas also noted that his department also oversees Summer Feed, In-Class Breakfast, and Fresh Fruit programs. Right now, there are about 40 job opportunities in the Canyons Nutrition Services Department.
School Community Councils
Canyons has planned a series of training workshops for members of School Community Councils who this year will help decide how schools will use some $4,284,143 in School LAND Trust funds to aid student learning. The training will be Oct. 1 and Oct. 13, and will provided online, as well.
The councils, made up largely of parents, are required to build a plan that identifies the ways that the LAND Trust and Teacher and Student Success Act funds will support data-driven and evidence-based practices and services at schools. The councils also approve a School Safety Plan, Safe Technology and Digital Citizenship Plan, Electronic Device Plan and a Positive Behavior Plan to address student use of tobacco, alcohol, e-cigarettes, among other things, said Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards, who presented the information to the Board.
The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the approval of minutes from the Sept. 1, 2020 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; August financial reports; the 2021-2022 Board meeting schedule; and a memorandum of understanding with Alpine School District for Suncrest busing.
Multiple policies in CSD reflect the importance of political neutrality in the classroom and maintaining an environment free from private interests or political agendas, said Assistant Legal Counsel Jeff Christensen. The Board of Education asked the Administration to provide a memo about CSD’s political-neutrality focused policies to school administrators so discussions can happen at the school level. The Board of Education also is considering updates to District policy, including minor revisions to the policy that focuses on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Board also is considering changes to policies governing vision screening and budget principals.
Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program
Arts specialist Sharee Jorgensen provided an update to the Board of Education on the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program, a statewide arts integration program that partners with elementary schools to enrich learning through the arts. Through the program, principals hire an arts integration specialist who collaborates with classroom teachers to teach the core curriculum through the arts. Goals for the program at the elementary level in CSD include increasing awareness of the BTS program and its potential to all District stakeholders; growth of the program to strengthen arts integration in schools; and an increase in professional development.
It’s a unique year for the students at Silver Mesa who are working to navigate new health and safety rules along with the rest of their Canyons District peers. But Principal Julie Fielding says the Eagles have happily settled into a rhythm of learning and laughter. “Kindness is Cool” is the motto at Silver Mesa, which enjoys a supportive PTA organization and is home to one of CSD’s Spanish Dual Language Immersion programs. The first cohort to go through the program as first-graders are now juniors in high school, and it’s not uncommon to see DLI alumni return to Silver Mesa to help run educational events. Over the years, the school has welcomed teachers from Spain, Peru, Mexico, Columbia and Brazil. With a determined focus on the positive, members of the student council have brainstormed new ideas for boosting school spirit. While it may not be possible to celebrate Mustache Day from behind face coverings, the students invite the community to join the in showing their spirit this Friday for Unibrow Day.
The following faculty and students were recognized for their achievements:
- Jordan High teacher David Morrill, who has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
- Eastmont Middle teacher Emma Moss, Canyons District’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, for earning top-five finalist in Utah Teacher of the Year selection process.
- Thirteen students from Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon and Hillcrest, for being named semi-finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship program.
Patrons addressed the Board of Education on various issues. Recordings of the remarks can be accessed on BoardDocs.
Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked Varas for presenting information to the Board about Canyons District’s lunch and breakfast programs. Wilcox also thanked lunchroom workers for their efforts not just this fall but during last spring’s “soft closure” of Utah schools. He also thanked the Board and Dr. Robins for their leadership.
Mrs. Clareen Arnold thanked the staff for their hard work and the Board members for their diligence.
Mr. Chad Iverson thanked staff for their feedback on parts of the conversation during Board meeting.
Mr. Steve Wrigley remarked that, despite the overwhelming feelings when faced with an uncertainty of a pandemic, the District has moved forward.
Mrs. Amanda Oaks reported on a tour of the newly renovated Alta High.
Mr. Mont Millerberg asked the Administration to review locker-use policies in secondary schools.
President Tingey said the Board is focused on ensuring every child in CSD gets a good education.