Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items
Student Discipline Update
Canyons District’s Student Services Department, led by Dr. Brian McGill, has been tasked with addressing the spike in problematic student behaviors, such as defiance, fighting and aggression. It’s uncertain why nearly every school is reporting extreme student-behavior issues, McGill said, but it could be a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the overall impact on children, adults, and families. This could include fear about public health, worry about social tumult and the political divide, and a coronavirus-related loss of social connection and engagement, he said. Additionally, McGill said, his department is working on a fair, equitable, and effective approach to discipline, including out-of-school suspension, that is based in restorative practices—but adheres to Board-approved policy. McGill also is drafting a prospective attendance policy for high schools, which could serve as a model template for middle schools in coming years, as well as a systemic approach to helping students develop the character traits and life skills identified in Utah’s Portrait of a Graduate.
Early-Out or Late-Start Proposal
The Board of Education is considering a proposal to start a districtwide “early-out” or “late-start” schedule one day a week. The schedules would call for a four-hour school day either before or after the teacher work time. Such schedules, according to the proposal, encourage more teacher collaboration and review of student-achievement data; allow more time for planning, communication with parents, and preparation for personalized learning and accommodations; and support the need for updated Canvas pages. Currently, elementary schools get out early and middle schools start late on Fridays. Only one CSD high school, Alta High, has a “late start” day once a week. School Performance Alice Peck said the Administration recommends a systemwide “early out” on Fridays. However, both options were presented to the Board for consideration. Board members will continue to review and discuss the proposal.
Draper Park Class Schedule
An overview of required courses and elective options, plus the projected enrollment and personnel allocation for the coming school year at Draper Park Middle, was presented to the Board of Education. School Performance Director Cindy Hanson gave information about the school’s academic performance, intervention and acceleration supports, and differences between six- and seven-period schedules. Albion, Butler, Midvale, Union and Draper Park have six-period days, as decided by their respective communities, per policy. Mount Jordan, Eastmont, and Indian Hills middle schools have seven-period days. In response to requests to study the Draper Park schedule to allow for more time for electives, especially for the students in the dual-language immersion program, Hanson also gave information about a seven-period modified schedule, as well as an eight-period block schedule.
External Relations Director Charlie Evans and Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards presented a wrap-up on the 2022 General Session of Utah Legislature, which saw dozens of education-related bills. During the session, Evans said, legislators increased the weighted-pupil unit, Utah’s per-student funding mechanism, by 6 percent. Budget highlights, including additional funding for children with disabilities and professional development for teachers, also were noted. He also addressed the last-minute piece of legislation that calls for a prohibition of transgender students from competing in organized high school prep sports. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has said he will veto the bill. One of the bills that addressed school curriculum, HB0374, requires school districts to bolster public-review processes for curriculum materials. A major victory for public education was the defeat of the “Hope Scholarship,” the so-called “voucher bill,” which would have given public funds to private school enterprises.
LAND Trust and TSSP Plans
School Performance Director Alice Peck said the COVID-19 school year hindered the ability of schools to meet the goals established in the LAND Trust and Teacher Student Success Plans. School closures and hiring challenges had a substantial impact, Peck said, adding that several schools were simply unable to spend to less than 10 percent. Nineteen elementary schools, two middle schools and four high schools met at least 50 percent of their goals, she said.
Art Consortium Report
The Board of Education heard results of surveys that attempted to gauge CSD middle and high school student interest in electives, arts electives, and barriers that may prevent students from taking arts courses. Some 28 percent of middle school students said they did not take arts classes because they did not have room in their schedules. The highest interest level was in the visual arts, physical education, and world languages. According to the survey, middle schoolers are least interested in choral music, instrumental music, and dance. A significant number — 19.3 percent — said they did not enroll in arts electives because they “didn’t think they would be good at it.” Some 5.6 said they were worried what their friends would think. The survey of high school students, even though it was a small sample and should be interpreted with care, indicated a lack of interest in choral music, dance, instrumental music, theater/drama, robotics, mathematics, education, and language arts/writing electives. Visual arts, FACS, social studies and world languages topped the subjects of interest, according to the survey. Lora Tuesday-Heathfield, CSD’s program evaluation specialist, said the survey indicated high school students don’t have room in their schedules for arts electives. The students also said in the survey that they are taking another class in the same time period the arts elective is offered. A considerable proportion of high school students — 18.4 percent — also are not taking arts electives for fear of not being good at it. About 4 percent said the fretted about negative feedback from their circle of friends. About 14 percent of both groups say they already take private lessons outside of school. The Board took the survey results under advisement. Arts curriculum specialist Sharee Jorgensen said the Arts Consortium and arts educators will review the results “and have rich conversations” about how the issues can be addressed.
The following patrons addressed the Board during Patron Comment. Recordings of their remarks can be accessed on BoardDocs.
- Employee Elena Seal
- Employee Sharla Arnold
- Employee Cassie Walker
- Employee Belynda Jones
- Parent Stephanie Yrungaray
- Employee John Packard
- Parent Marianne Barrowes
- Parent Vanessa Crowshaw
The following students, faculty and staff were recognized by the Board of Education:
- Tori Gillett, School Counseling Program Specialist, for receiving the Lifetime Achievement from the Utah School Counselors Association
- Kevin Egan, former Jordan High coach and teacher, who won the “Super Fan” award from the Utah High School Activities Association
- Alta View Principal Scott Jameson and Midvale Elementary Assistant Principal Carolee Mackay, who are finalists for Utah Association of Elementary School Principal awards for Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year.
- Jordan High boys swim team, for being named the 5A Academic State Champions by the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including minutes for the business meeting of the Canyons Board of Education on March 1, 2022; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel; February financial reports; approval of TSSP and LAND Trust Amendments for Willow Springs Elementary; and approval of the final 2020-2021 LAND Trust and TSSP reports. The Board approved most of the resources recommended by the sex education instruction committee. The exception was a pamphlet produced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control about sexually transmitted infections and diseases. That supplemental resource was sent back to the Sex Education Instruction Committee for review.
Diversity and Inclusion Training
To adhere to Utah State Board of Education rule 277-328 “Educational Equity in Schools,” CSD seeks to contract with the firm Sunlight Works to provide diversity and inclusion training to Canyons administrators. Topics of the training, which comply with the rule while also aligning with Canyons’ proposed strategic plan, include conflict management, accountability, network building, problem-solving, psychological safety, and inclusive leadership. The District proposes to adopt a “train the trainer” model. This calls for select administrators to take the information to all employees after undergoing training. The Board has taken the proposal under advisement.
The Board of Education announced a return to the study session chambers for work sessions, a practice that had been foregone while COVID-19 restrictions were in place. A livestream is available from the chambers for those who want to participate from remote locations. The Board also discussed calendar items for the coming months.
School Fee Update
The Board of Education continues to review a proposed school-fee schedule for the 2022-2023 academic year. The proposed fee schedule has been placed on every school’s website for public review Under the proposed fee schedule for the coming year, the high school aggregate will remain at $5,000 and the middle school aggregate will remain at $500. Board President Nancy Tingey asked the Office of Public Communications to work with Business Administrator Leon Wilcox and Accounting Director Gary Warwood to notify the public about the proposed fee schedule.
In recognition of National School Social Worker Week, Butler Elementary Principal Jeff Nalwalker said mental-health supports in CSD schools, such as counselors and social workers, are greatly appreciated, especially given the rise in challenging behavior in schools. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the needs for supporting the physical and mental health of students and encouraging the development of such life skills as resiliency, kindness, goal-setting, emotion-regulation, and empathy. Ms. Weaver, the school’s social worker, has made a great impact on the culture and climate of Butler Elementary, he said. Superintendent, Business
Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins extended a special thanks to the social workers and school psychologists during this challenging time. Dr. Robins noted the positive relationship the District has with CEA President Krista Pippin.
Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked teachers for their hard work preparing for Parent-Teacher Conferences.
Board of Education Reports
Mr. Mont Millerberg noted the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms. Clareen Arnold thanked the Administration for their hard work and dedication, especially at the late-hour meetings.
Ms. Amanda Oaks thanked staff for their detailed presentations. She also reported on attending numerous arts activities, including Concerto Night at Corner Canyon High School, the “Arts Fest” at Indian Hills Middle, and stained-glass artists at Lone Peak Elementary, among other events.
Mr. Steve Wrigley thanked the Board and Administration for being thorough with challenging topics and presentations.
Ms. Holly Neibaur noted the preparation level of those who gave presentations at Board meeting.
She also reported on Parent-Teacher Conferences, and noted the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. She highlighted students who contacted her with information about projects they had completed.
Ms. Amber Shill reported on attending the meeting of the Student Advisory Council, a tour of the new Brighton High with Cottonwood Heights officials, and the Brighton High SCC feeder luncheon. She thanked the District’s legislative-affairs team for their work during the 2022 General Session of the Utah Legislature.
President Nancy Tingey reported on visiting a mathematics class and reflected on the math concepts that were learned. She said she caught a glimpse of what it is like to be a teacher.