Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items
Thanks to an infusion of funding from the Utah legislature, Canyons District this fall will offer full-day kindergarten classes at all 28 of its elementary schools. Instructional Supports Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward said the full-day schedule doubles the instructional time in literacy and math for the 5- and 6-year-old students. The schedule also doubles the time set aside for an Oral Language Block, which aids language and social development in a play-centered environment. Dr. Roderick-Landward also noted that 16 students total — or 1 percent — of the families at the 13 CSD schools where free full-day kindergarten is being offered this year has asked for a half-day kindergarten option. Thirteen additional schools offer a tuition-based Supplemental Hours of Instruction for Kindergarten program, and it’s proven so popular that 60 people are on the waitlist. Two schools offer half-day sessions only, she said. Student achievement data show that, in every content area, students in CSD full-day kindergarten outpace their half-day peers. Work is underway in CSD to communicate with families, refund tuition already paid by families for Supplemental Hours of Kindergarten Instruction, re-work bus routes and schedules, plan for extra meals in the cafeteria, and provide professional development for teachers. Dr. Roderick-Landward said parents will be given a half-day option. It’ll be recommended that half-day students attend a morning session, she said, but at any time they may transition to full-day kindergarten. Members of the Board of Education expressed appreciation to legislators for approving the funding for the full-day kindergarten schedule.
Midvale Recreation Center
Midvale City is proposing an interlocal agreement with Canyons District to help build a recreation center that would include a swimming pool. If approved, the center would be built on the Salt Lake County-owned baseball and softball fields directly west of Hillcrest High. Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said that, while the center would primarily be funded through the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks tax, city officials have inquired about a contribution from the District. In return, the Hillcrest swim team could access the pool for practices, Wilcox said. The Husky swim team travels to West Jordan to use the county-owned Gene Fullmer Indoor Pool. In February 2018, the Board approved a $1.3 million contribution, plus a $6,000 maintenance and operations payment, to the construction of a Draper Recreation Center. Now built, the construction provides a practice facility for the Corner Canyon High swim team. Wilcox said that municipalities have been asked to submit possible upcoming ZAP-funded projects. A committee, using a pre-determined selection criteria matrix, will make recommendations to the County’s Council for approval. The County’s Council will than place the ZAP tax proposition on the November 2026 ballot. The Board will continue to review the proposal.
A bell schedule for the 2023-2024 school year was proposed to the Board of Education. Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said the biggest proposed change to the schedule comes as a result of the implementation of full-day kindergarten. The full-day kindergarten schedule will impact our Transportation Department employees, Wilcox said. Twenty-five contracts are being impacted by the two-hour mid-day run, he said. The only other proposed change, Wilcox said, is moving the start- and end-times of Midvalley Elementary back 15 minutes — from 8:25 a.m. to 3 p.m. to 8:40 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. This is requested due to the boundary change effective for the coming school year. The bus will need to complete a run in the East Midvale community before it can get Midvalley for the afternoon route. The Board will vote on the proposed bell schedule in an upcoming meeting.
An update was provided on the progress of the subcommittee working on the “Access and Opportunity” focus area of the Strategic Plan. State and Federal Programs Director Wendy Dau said the committee has established three priorities. The first priority, Dau said, is to meet the needs of all students in our schools. The second priority is to expand the educational opportunities for all students. The third, she said, is to engage parents and communicate opportunities. The subcommittee’s action items, according to Dau, include creating common definitions of advanced learning at each level, collaborating with other districts and charters schools to examine opportunities and determine what is feasible for CSD; compiling an inventory of opportunities and master schedules; forming subcommittees to creation proposals for every level, and planning professional learning opportunities.
Proposed Fee Schedule
The Board of Education approved the fee schedule for CSD schools for the coming school year and the spend plans as found on each school’s website. Community input has been collected since the suggested fee list was released on March 1. For the coming year, the high school aggregate of fees will remain at $5,000 and the middle school aggregate would remain at $500. In all, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said, only one high school student exceeded the total amount due to participation in cheer and cosmetology at the Canyons Technical Education Center.
The Board of Education engaged in a discussion about proxy voting for members who cannot be at an business meeting for personal or professional reasons.
The strong traditions and rich history of Jordan High help make up the foundation upon which the school’s current successes stand, said Jordan High Principal Dr. Bruce Eschler. Escher noted the school’s solid B-grade on the state’s school grading system and rising graduation rates for graduating seniors, in addition to the numerous Career and Technology Education pathways and partnerships with at least four universities and colleges. A new partnership is the planned “Step2theU” early-college program, one of the only partnerships the U. has with a public school. Eschler also mentioned the ‘Digger Madrigals, the singing group that won top awards at the national Shakespeare competition in the fall; the visual arts students who won at the 51st annual Utah All-State High School Art Show, and the Unified Special Olympics teams that qualified to compete in soccer and basketball. Dr. Eschler also listed several of the numerous service projects done by Diggers throughout the year.
The following patrons addressed the Board during Patron Comment. Recordings of their remarks can be accessed on BoardDocs.
- Andrew Morgan
- Cami Shipp
- Kathleen Riebe
The following were recognized for their achievements:
- Corner Canyon High boys basketball team, 6A state champions
- Alta High boys basketball team, 5A state champions
- Brody Kozlowski, Corner Canyon High basketball player, Max Preps Player of the year
- Alta E-sports team, first place, Grand Champions in Super Smash Brothers at the 2023 Ken Garff Esports Spring Celebration
- Alta FIRST Robotics team, winner, Engineering Inspiration Award
- Corner Canyon cheer squad, first place, UniversalCheerleader’s Association’s national competition in Orlando.
- Brighton, Hillcrest, Jordan and Corner Canyon Unified Special Olympics basketball team, qualifiers, state championships
The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including approval of minutes from the Board of Education meeting on March 7, 2023; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; overnight travel requests; February financial reports; an administrative appointment, JUUL settlement, and a policy update governing school-year calendar development.
Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports
Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins thanked Utah lawmakers for supporting full-day kindergarten proposals, Dr. Roderick-Landward and the ISD team for their innovations in curriculum and instruction, and the Access and Opportunity Subcommittee for delving deep into the ways CSD schools provide opportunities to succeed and learn.
Business Administrator Leon Wilcox thanked the legislators for funding full-day kindergarten and the salary increase for educators. He also thanked Dr. Roderick-Landward for setting the stage for across-the-District full-day kindergarten with Canyons’ Supplemental Hours of Kindergarten Instruction. He also reported on attending the Science Festival at Oak Hollow Elementary.
Board of Education Member Reports
Mrs. Holly Neibaur thanked CSD employees for conversations about making inroads with learning, achievement, enrollment, and community engagement, especially the focus areas of the Strategic Plan. She thanked Wilcox, Dau and Special Education Director Nate Edvalson for funding two more years of an Accommodated Core Class at Willow Springs Elementary. She noted a recent news report about Draper Park Middle’s science and technology program, and Canyons’ high-demand STEM-related classes in cyber-security She also reported on attending a legislative breakfast at Corner Canyon High, among other activities.
Mr. Andrew Edtl reported on attending School Community Council meetings at Crescent, Glacier Hills, and Sandy elementary schools. He also visited the Eastmont school community at its temporary location, the Crescent View Middle building. He thanked the teachers who work hard every day, even in challenging situations, such as when student struggle to regulate their emotions. He’s enjoys witness the progress on the Strategic Plan and the excitement that students have for learning and growing.
Mrs. Amanda Oaks, who has been attending faculty meetings of schools in her area, said Draper Elementary has received over 30 students from a nearby charter school, even though schools do not receive state funding if they come this late in the school year. She lauded Program Administrator Charisse Hilton for her work overseeing CSD’s Peer Court, and attended the region jazz festival, Corner Canyon High’s concerto night, the FIRST Robotics competition,
Mr. Mont Millerberg noted Mrs. Oaks’ daughter’s performance at the concerto and the strength of the arts programs. He remarked on the Canyons Strong Employee Recognition program and the good work done without fanfare all across the District. He reported on attending Hillcrest’s production of “The Heart of Robin Hood.” He remarked that public education has something for everyone, and programs in CSD’s public system are as good or better than at private schools.
Mrs. Nancy Tingey attended the Utah School Boards Association regional meeting and noted the inspiring Canyons Strong nominations. She thanked PTAs and SCCs who are working hard to support Canyons schools.
Mrs. Karen Pedersen heralded Canyons’ arts programs, including the Canyons Youth Symphony performance this week. She also noted the engagement of students on the Student Advisory Council, and participated in “Battle of the Books” at Willow Canyon Elementary. She appreciates the open communication with constituents.
President Shill asked Board members to review the calendar of events in their packets for the rest of the school year and the coming school year. She thanked Board members for their work representing their communities.