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Getting Involved

Board Meeting Summary, Sept. 3, 2019

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

Update on Canyons Transition Academy

The aim of the Canyons Transition Academy, which was started in 2009 for 18- to 22-year-old special education students, is to help the men and women in the program gain the skills necessary to live independently. Special Education Program Administrator Nate Edvalson told the Board of Education that 62 students are enrolled in the 2019-2020 program, currently housed in the Canyons Administration Building-East. The academy is for students with a certificate of completion from their high school and whose senior class has already graduated. During classes, led by five special education teachers and 24 paraeducators, students learn social-, time- and money-management skills, self-advocacy, home living, and computer technology. In addition, he said, such companies as Wal-Mart, O.C. Tanner and Larry H. Miller Automotive Centers, among several others, partner with the program so students can obtain vocational experience. Edvalson also said a recent Open House for parents was well-attended.  Members of the Board and Special Education staff members engaged in a dialogue about programmatic and facility issues. 

Emergency Preparedness Committee Update

The Board of Education heard a report on the work done by the Emergency Preparedness Committee, chaired by Risk Management Coordinator Kevin Ray. The committee was formed in 2016 to update the District’s Incident Command Manual, which had not been updated since 2011. Since then, the committee has updated the manual, streamlined emergency communications, built plans to respond to emergencies, and created a monthly drill schedule for schools. An awards program for schools that conduct all the required monthly drills also has been created. The major initiatives of the committee for the coming school year include a districtwide implementation of the DIR-S mobile app, a study of locks that should be installed in classroom doors as new schools are built and renovated, and an update to the Incident Command Manual that will include sections regarding support services in the event of a trauma. 

MasteryConnect Pilot

Some 200 teachers have volunteered to learn more about MasteryConnect, a software that could facilitate a standards-based gradebook for elementary schools. According to Instructional Supports Program Administrator Kenna Sorensen, once the teachers participate in a training, they can signal whether they would like to continue in the pilot. The first training will be held on Sept. 5. After teachers receive training, they’ll be asked to use MasteryConnect to track student progress. Information on the pilot would then be provided to parents during the September Parent-Teacher Conferences. On Oct. 1, the Parent Platform would go live. Feedback would be solicited for an another presentation for the Board in November.

Required Trainings

In two separate presentations, the Board of Education was provided required trainings on Utah’s Open Meeting laws and the laws and practices related to Utah’s School Community Councils. Canyons District’s Legal Services Director and General Counsel Daniel Harper presented the information on the open meeting laws and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards provided the information on SCCs.

Pledge of Allegiance, Inspirational Thought

Alta High student leaders presented the American and state flags and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Alta High Principal Dr. Brian McGill thanked the student government for attending and participating in the meeting and expressed appreciation for several of his teachers and mentors who guided him in his academic journey. Alta kicked off the year by winning $500 from the Canyons Education Foundation in a spirit competition against other CSD schools.  He said the money will be used to support Alta’s social-emotional learning initiatives. McGill said 112 students over three co-horts of the unique-to-Alta early-college Step2theU program have saved a combined $1.7 million in university tuition as a result of participation in the classes. The school, which counts about 2,300 students, also has high numbers of student who display college- and career-readiness, he said. The school also closed the gap in the number of minority students who are participating in college-ready activities such as Advanced Placement classes. McGill also said the administration has focused on bolstering the culture and climate of the school so all students feel welcome. McGill ahanked the Board for the renovations and upgrades that are being done at 41-year-old Alta, thanks to the voter-approved $283 million bond. 


The following were recognized by the Board of Education for their achievements: 

  • Josephine Garrett, a student at Draper Park Middle, for winning a National Reflections Award of Merit
  • Brett Rosen, Brighton High soccer coach, for being named by the United Soccer Coaches Association as the Boys Small Public School Coach of the Year
  • David Morrill, a teacher at Jordan High, for being named one of five Utah finalists for the 2019 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Patron Comments

Patron Heather Watson asked the Board to revisit the transportation guidelines and consider extending transportation to secondary students who, as a result of state rules, qualified for busing their sixth-grade years but do not qualify in the seventh grade. She says students in her Union Middle community must cross busy roads and intersections to get to school. 

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the approval of the minutes of the Aug. 20, 2019 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; an interlocal agreement with Salt Lake County for Swimming Pool Usage; approval to move a portable classrooms; and approval of a Board meeting schedule for 2020-2021. 

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe noted that the district continues to work in lockstep with local police agencies in response to emergencies. CSD’s Emergency Preparedness Committee has held debriefing meetings with first responders to talk about what went right and what could be improved in future incidents.  He also reported on last week’s PTA and SCC leader luncheon with the Superintendent and the Kindergarten College-Ready Days held at elementary schools.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox reported on fixes that have been made to faltering air conditioning systems at Alta and Jordan high schools. He also gave Corner Canyon High’s big shout out for the big win on the gridiron against Bingham High, one of the top-ranked teams in Utah. 

Board of Education Reports

Mr. Mont Millerberg reported on attending the PTA and SCC luncheon, the beginning-of-school assembly at Union Middle, and East Midvale’s Kindergarten College-Ready Day.

Mrs. Amanda Oaks also attended the PTA and SCC luncheon, said she cast her ballot for her local SCC, and toured the new classrooms at Corner Canyon. Oaks also attended the CCHS vs. Bingham football game. She commended student-athletes on the Charger wrestling team for helping clean up the grandstands after the football game.  

Mrs. Amber Shill said she and President Tingey met with the Cottonwood Heights Mayor and City Manager to coordinate the work between the city and CSD, attended the Calendar Committee Meeting, and thanked the Superintendent for hosting the luncheon for PTA and SCC leaders. She also attended Friday Night Lights at Brighton High.

Mr. Steve Wrigley thanked the Office for Public Communication and the Risk Management Department for responding to the emergencies and ensuring the Board and leadership is kept abreast of incidents. 

Mrs. Clareen Arnold reported on a presentation that focused on how to reduce stress in students.

Mr. Chad Iverson said he attended several school events and made his annual commentary on the BYU vs. University of Utah football game.

President Tingey expressed appreciation for her fellow Board members and District staff members for their work. She also attended a Kindergarten College-Ready Day where students were asked to “do their very best” every day so they’ll be ready for the rigors of college and the  careers of the future.

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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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