Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items
Operational Capacity Plan
In keeping with changes to Utah law and local coronavirus surveillance, Canyons District has created step-by-step instructions for how and when pandemic-related safety or operational challenges would warrant petitioning state leaders to temporarily move a school to remote learning. Under the new plan, Canyons will continue to closely track rates of COVID-19 cases in schools while also taking into consideration a school’s operational capacity. Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins told the Board of Education that the District will now consider absenteeism rates of students and employees and the ability to find substitute workers to support critical school functions in making decisions. Due to declining case counts and absenteeism of both students and employees, effective immediately, all CSD schools will return to CSD’s “Tier II” status, which means students and employees will be strongly encouraged to wear masks and stay home when they are sick; schools will undergo twice-weekly cleaning and disinfection; document visits by volunteers; and hold shortened assemblies. A school will transition to “Tier III” status if it reaches the COVID-19 case-count thresholds spelled out in HB183 and five percent absenteeism of its employees. After five calendar days in Tier III, additional action will be taken if the school meets three of four conditions: 10 percent of teachers absent; a critical shortage of support staff; average student attendance rate of 70 percent or less; and COVID-19 cases remain at or above the thresholds described in HB183. If the minimum number of conditions are met then the Administration will notify the Canyons Board of Education that the school will be placed in “monitored status” for up to five calendar days. Parents will also be notified and informed of next steps. At the end of five calendar days, if the school remains in diminished operational capacity, the Administration will ask the Board to seek from the state a variance for a remote-learning schedule for three school days or a five-day pause (including holidays, weekends, no-student days, already-established remote learning days). Dr. Robins said CSD has applied the “principal of prudence” in COVID-19-related actions, and proposed to revert the scheduled Remote-Learning Days in the spring back to in-person learning if case counts, substitute requests, and absenteeism continues to go down. Dr. Robins also outlined the expectations for both teachers and students on Remote-Learning Days, as well as the participation rates of students in Remote-Learning Days.
The Board of Education and members of the Administration participated in a review of a draft of the strategic plan. Members of the Board of Education will continue to review suggested edits and additions before deciding on a timeline to present the plan to the public.
Quail Hollow Elementary Principal Shad DeMill said the school is the heart of the community. Parents who once attended Quail Hollow now have children enrolled at the school, DeMill said, adding that many out-of-boundary students seek to attend Quail Hollow and teachers often stay from the outset of their careers until retirement. At Quail Hollow, he said, students do not just engage in core subjects, but learn to be learners, good citizens, and good friends.
One patron addressed the Board as part of the Patron Comment portion of the meeting. Recordings of the patron’s remarks can be accessed at BoardDocs.
The Board was addressed by:
- Parent Chad Smith
The following students and employees were recognized for their achievements:
- Molly Hart, 2020-2021 Outstanding Administrator of the Year, Utah Music Educators Association;
- Student-musicians from six CSD middle and high schools, who earned positions in Utah All-State Bands and Orchestras;
- Alta High teacher Carina Cora Zapata, who is a new National Board Certified Teacher;
- Special Education Director Misty Suarez and HR Administrator Kim Baker for their contributions to Canyons District. They are both retiring this year.
The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including minutes for Jan. 18, 2022 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; approval of new members of the Canyons Education Foundation Board; TSSP and LAND Trust Amendments for Bell View, Oak Hollow, Park Lane, Peruvian Park, Silver Mesa, Midvale Middle, and Mount Jordan.
External Relations Director Charlie Evans and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards presented information about education-related bills wending their way through the 2022 General Session of the 64th Legislature. Bills proposing all-day kindergarten, transparency in curriculum selection and adoption, student fees, and funding, among other topics, were discussed. The Utah legislature will meet in general session until March 4.
Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports
Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said Fitch Ratings has assigned a AAA rating to the refunding of bonds from the 2010 series issued to pay for school-improvement projects. Of 3,500 school districts that are evaluated, he said, only 90 receive a AAA rating, which results in taxpayer savings.
Board of Education Member Reports
Mrs. Holly Neibaur reported on the process to hone the proposed strategic plan and noted the feedback the Board has received about the six-period class schedule at Draper Park Middle.
Mr. Steve Wrigley said he’s proud of the CSD community for the patience, understanding, and hard work as parents, students, and CSD employees worked together to keep schools open as much as possible, even during surges in case counts. He also remarked on the process to create a strategic plan to guide growth in CSD.
Mrs. Amanda Oaks discussed the survey done of middle school students and families regarding interest in arts classes. She also noted the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and innovation. She also mentioned her belief that arts education helps round out a student’s education.
Mr. Mont Millerberg challenged the Board members to sign up for the “2/2/22 in a Tutu” Fun Run to raise money to support Canyons students and teachers. He also remarked on the thorough process to create the strategic plan, as well as the email feedback the Board has received about courses the students will be interested in taking in addition to their core classes. He also asked the Board to study best-practices while examining school schedules.
President Tingey noted CSD’s move to Tier II in CSD’s tiered-response system for COVID-19-related operations because of dropping case counts and absenteeism rates. She also noted how exciting it is to create the strategic plan.