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Getting Involved

Board Summary, June 6, 2023

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

Public Hearing for Annual Budget

Canyons District’s proposed $516 million budget for the 2023-2024 school, which does not call for a tax increase, includes the cost of the recently approved negotiated agreements for salaries and benefits, which make up 88 percent of the budget. In all, according to Business Administrator Leon Wilcox, who presented the tentative budget information during a required public hearing, the cost of the salary and compensation packages for CSD employees in the coming school year is $23.9 million. Under the approved contracts, CSD support staff received a 6.7 percent cost-of-living increase, plus stipends. Canyons teachers and other licensed personnel received a minimum of a $5,635 yearly increase from the previous year, and a beginning teacher in Canyons District will earn $59,350 annually. Also, some 60 percent of general fund expenditures is spent on instruction, Wilcox said. The budget also includes costs related to school-improvement projects, including the completion of the new Union Middle, an expanded Alta High band room; lighting upgrades at Brookwood and Canyon View Elementary; turf replacement at Corner Canyon High; sidewalks at Oakdale; districtwide plumbing, carpeting and electrical improvements; Information Technology equipment; and school equipment. The budget also includes the costs for 32 hours of paid professional development for teachers and full-day kindergarten at all schools, plus payments on lease revenue bonds issued to complete the Glacier Hills and Peruvian Park elementary schools. Wilcox noted the budget is dependent on state funding for enrollment through the Weighted Pupil Unit, which increased 6 percent this year. After the hearing, the Board adopted a revised FY23 budget and the proposed FY24 budget. The Board set the tax rate at the Certified Tax Rate as calculated by the State Tax Commission and authorized any revenue budget adjustments to reflect funds received from the Certified Tax Rate. The Board also set the State Basic Rate at the rate to be determined by Utah School Board of Education, and the debt rate to generate sufficient revenue to pay debt service, but not to exceed 0.001565.

Canyons Transition Academy Location

Administrators of the Canyons Transition Academy, a job-training program for adults overseen by the Special Education Department, propose to move from the basement of the Canyons District Offices to Jordan High. CTA Program Administrator Linda Hall told the Board of Education said the Jordan site would provide each teacher their own classroom, students would have access to a lunchroom and the school is close to the TRAX line. A survey shows parents of CTA students are overwhelmingly in favor of moving out of the basement at the CSD offices.

Hazardous Routes

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox presented updates on hazardous bus routes in the Willow Springs, Lone Peak, and East Midvale school communities. He also told the Board the recent reconstruction of Hillcrest High would slightly impact the geographic boundary from which busing is determined. A hazardous route costs more than $20,000 yearly to service with District funds because by policy the Utah State Office of Education will not reimburse districts for routes that transport elementary-age children who live within a mile and a half from the school assigned to them by geographic boundaries.

The Board asked the Administration to move forward with a decision on the routes. The Board asked the Administration to ensure communications are sent to the families who would be affected.

Strategic Plan

Federal and State Programs Director Wendy Dau updated the Board on the work of the subcommittee focused on the “Access and Opportunity” section of the Strategic Plan. Dau said the group is working on key definitions for advanced learning, studying course and programmatic needs for secondary and elementary schools, access for special education students in special classes, and finalized indicators to measure student progress.

STEM Audit

Canyons District’s Instructional Supports Department conducted an audit to determine the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) opportunities in Canyons schools. To complete the audit, the department sent an eight-item survey to elementary-school principals and Instructional Coaches, and secondary science, math, and CTE department leads, said ISD Program Administrator Jesse Hennefer.  The audit sought to identify the amount of STEM opportunities offered before and after school, the kind and condition of STEM-related equipment in CSD schools, and whether classrooms were appropriately equipped for high-quality STEM instruction. The audit also solicited input about the array of desired professional development in STEM instruction, and asked about grant or ongoing funding teachers and schools receive for STEM programs. Hennefer said CSD will continue to evaluate how the District can provide top-tier STEM and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) programs.

Consent Agenda

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, including modified minutes from the May 23, 2023 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; and Memorandums of Understanding with the Canyons Education Association and the Canyons Education Support Professionals Association.

Patron Comment

The following patrons addressed the Board during Patron Comment. Recordings of their remarks can be accessed on BoardDocs.

  • Aaron Pond
  • Spencer Mears

Policy Update

The Board of Education approved updates to policies governing Board governance; reporting student safety and School Resource Officer agreements; student conduct and disciplinary process; student attendance, and instructional materials.

Superintendent and Business Administrator Reports

Dr. Robins deferred his comments and Mr. Wilcox thanked employees for their work during CSD’s 14th school year. He also noted efforts of Union Middle employees to get ready for the old building’s demolition and the opening of the new school.

Board of Education Reports

Ms. Holly Neibaur noted the Board’s participation in the commencement rites for the Class of 2023, thanked CSD faculty for their work preparing graduates for college and careers, and urged the Board to write thank-you notes to the high school principals.

Mrs. Amanda Oaks reported on the Canyons District Night with Real Salt Lake during which Teachers of the Year were honored during halftime. She also noted the behind-the-scenes work that goes into school operations, including special events such as graduation.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey attended graduation rites, including the completion ceremony of the Canyons Transition Academy. Commencement is the culmination of hard work in high school, she noted, and the beginning of becoming citizens who contribute to the world around them.

Mrs. Karen Pedersen reported on attending Jordan High’s graduation, which included students she once taught at the elementary level. Summer also is a time for teachers to attend professional development, including CSD’s recent Digital Teaching and Learning Summit. She looks forward to the launch of full-day kindergarten at every CSD school in the fall.

Mrs. Amber Shill thanked Wilcox and Accounting Director Danny Davis for their work on the yearly budget process. She congratulated the Class of 2023 and is excited for the students and their futures.

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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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