Getting Involved





Getting Involved

Board Summary, May 9, 2023

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

Employee Contracts

The Board of Education approved the negotiated contract agreements for the 2023-2024 school year for Education Support Professionals, licensed personnel, and administrators. The total cost of the salary and compensation packages for the coming school year is $23.9 million, said Business Administrator Leon Wilcox. The contract for the District’s ESP includes a 6.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment to step one of each lane with each step reflecting an increase. This bump will make the starting base pay for all ESP positions at least $15 per hour. According to the contract, Canyons ESP also will receive a one-time stipend of $500 — pro-rated according to FTE status — for all contracted employees on the top step during the 2022-2023 school year. The stipend will be paid on the Nov. 30 pay date. Hourly employees on the top step for the contract year will receive a $150 one-time stipend to be paid on Nov. 30. Funding from the General Session of the Utah Legislature has made it possible for the District to offer full-day kindergarten at all CSD elementary schools. However, the elimination of mid-day kindergarten routes will impact the number of bus routes. According to the agreement with the District, bus drivers who had an employment contract with benefits in 2022-2023, but may not qualify to have a contract in 2023-2024 due to the loss of the half-day kindergarten routes, will have the opportunity to keep the contract by working the required hours in a different ESP position for a portion of the work day. Salaries for teachers in Canyons District have increased nearly $25,000 over the past eight years. Including the increase for teachers allocated by lawmakers this year, licensed personnel will receive a minimum of a $5,635 yearly increase from the previous year, and a beginning teacher in Canyons District will earn $59,350 annually. Increment levels also went up from $900 to $950, resulting in veteran educators being rewarded financially for their time and experience. For example, under the newly approved salary schedule, a teacher on Level No. 41 would earn $97,350 a year. With the additional 32 hours of state-paid professional development, teachers at the top level will earn $98,626. For those in Administrative positions, the District will fully fund increment steps for eligible administrators, a 5.25 percent cost-of-living increase to the base of the Administrative Salary Schedule, and a 1.25 percent one-time stipend on the administrators on the top step of the salary schedule. Among other policy alternations, the contracts expand maternity leave to include 10 days of additional paid leave for cesarean birth and the requirement to return the succeeding year removed. Parental leave was added and provides up to 10 days of paid leave to a non-gestational parent for the bond and care of a child. Regarding insurance, the District will increase its premiums by $300,000 spread across all plans. There will be no increase to the employee premiums, according to the newly approved contracts, which have been ratified by both the Canyons Education Association and the Canyons Association of the Education Support Professionals.

Budget Update

Canyons’ 2023-2024 tentative budget will be posted for review on May 19 after the District receives updated projected enrollment and property tax figures. Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said the District’s tentative budget will include a legislatively approved 6 percent increase in the weighted pupil unit, the funding mechanism of Utah’s state government. It also will include increases in the Educator Salary Adjustment, Teacher and Student Success Act, and Land Trust funding; increases for students who are struggling, and funding for transportation. The budget also will include the costs for school-improvement projects in Canyons, such as the scheduled-to-open-soon Union Middle, and the bonds used to build the newly opened Peruvian Park and Glacier Hills elementary schools. Wilcox said a budget hearing will be held June 6. By law, a budget needs to be approved by June 30.

Professional Learning Communities

Teachers from Ridgecrest, Midvale Middle and Brighton high presented their experiences collaborating with fellow teachers in Professional Learning Communities. This year, for the first time in Canyons District’s history, all schools release 90 minutes early on Fridays in an established and concerted effort to collaborate on student outcomes. The goals for the year have included re-establishing best practices for Professional Learning Communities, aligning school goals and expectations, establishing school vision and norms, and developing monitoring and evaluation processes and tools. Instructional Supports Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward said teacher-teams have developed a greater understanding of data and how to use it to make instructional adjustments. For the coming year, according to Dr. Roderick-Landward, the goals include helping teachers use PLCs to understand the rigor and skill progressions within content standards, design common assessments, and develop District benchmark assessments. To aid these goals, CSD seeks to use a student assessment management system, called Mastery Connect, to design assessments, track learning, help provide feedback to parents and students about progress, enhance collaboration, and streamline course expectations. If the plans are realized, schools can opt-in to using Mastery Connect in the fall. Professional development would be ongoing, Roderick-Landward said, and District benchmarks could be created during the 2023-2024 school year and loaded into Mastery Connect, which is owned by Instructure, for implementation in the 2024-2025 school year.

Policy Update

The Board of Education is considering updates to policies governing Board governance; reporting student safety and School Resource Officer agreements; student conduct and disciplinary processes; instructional materials; and student attendance. The updates are required as a result of legislation approved during the most-recent legislative session.

School Highlights

Sprucewood Principal Cathy Schino said the elementary school proudly supports arts in education. Through the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program, students of all ages participate in cross-curricular arts instruction. Later this month, the school will host an Arts Night that will feature a performance by the orchestra, the production of the musical “Joust,” and a student-created “museum” of artwork. Schino also said Sprucewood students are building leadership and service-learning skills, resulting in a decrease in office referrals. The principal noted the school’s top-notch phonics instruction and expects stellar results on this year’s assessments. Positive behaviors are celebrated, said Schino, who makes phone calls home to the parents of students who have demonstrated improvement or followed school rules. President Shill thanked Schino for presenting the information, congratulated Sprucewood students for winning awards at the Canyons District Film Festival, and wished the Falcons a fun end to the school year at Sprucewood’s PTA Field Day and PTA Water Day.

Patron Comment

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

  • Krista Pippin and Andy Markus
  • Amy Sybrowsky
  • Spencer Mears
  • Renee Christensen

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the April 25, 2023 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student-overnight travel; the required annual Fraud Risk Assessment; and the Board decision of an open-enrollment permit revocation appeal.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Report

Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins thanked ESP and CEA negotiating teams for the 2023-2024 employment contracts.

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox also thanked the employee negotiated teams and congratulated State and Federal Programs Director Wendy Dau for being named Provo City School District Superintendent.

Board of Education Member Reports

Mrs. Holly Neibaur congratulated Dau, noted the recent arts shows featuring CSD students, and expressed appreciation for educators for Teacher Appreciation Week. She attended Strategic Plan subcommittee meetings, discussed reading the LAND Trust and TSSA plans, and pointed out the integration of arts into core subjects.

Mr. Andrew Edtl said it was a great night to celebrate teachers, administrators, and ESP, especially with the approval of the employment contract for the coming school year.

Mrs. Amanda Oaks reported on attending the Retirees Banquet, arts performances at schools, and asked for participation in a survey asking if the start and end times of high schools and elementary schools should be switched.

Mr. Mont Millerberg congratulated Hillcrest for winning the state 5A championship in drama and reported on attending the senior banquet for Latinos in Action.  He noted a National School Boards Association workshop on managing a school district’s reputation. He also presented information about Utah School Boards Association upcoming events.

Mrs. Nancy Tingey said the end of the school year is an exciting time for students, faculty, staff and parents.

Mrs. Karen Pedersen attended year-end performances and activities, including Willow Canyon Elementary’s volunteer luncheon. More than 60 volunteers attended, she said.

President Shill thanked school nurses for National School Nursing Week, reported on a tour of Career and Technical Education programs at several schools, and presented information about the evaluations of the Superintendent and the Business Administrator.

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Board Meeting Schedule

PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given that the Board of Education for Canyons School District will hold a regular study session and public business meeting at the Canyons District Office building, 9361 S. 300 E., Sandy, UT each month unless otherwise posted. The Board may determine to conduct some business during a study session. All business meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. unless changed by the Board and appropriately posted for the public.

Please note that ALL DATES, TIMES and LOCATIONS listed on this scheduled are TENTATIVE and are subject to change at any time.  Please check this schedule often to be informed of any changes.

Unless otherwise specified, all meetings in the schedule below will take place as the Canyons District Office located at 9361 S. 300 E. in Sandy, Utah.

District Leaders

Dr. Rick Robins


Dr. Rick L. Robins is the superintendent of Canyons School District. Dr. Robins, who was selected by the Canyons Board of Education after a national search, brings 24 years of experience as an educator to his role as the chief executive officer of Utah’s fifth-largest school district. Prior to joining Canyons, Dr. Robins, who earned an Ed.D. from the University of Las Vegas, for six years was Superintendent of the Juab School District, based in Nephi, Utah. While there, Dr. Robins, who also was the Juab High School Principal from 2009-2013, helped oversee efforts to improve the district’s graduation rate to 97 percent, a double-digit increase over a 10-year period. Other innovations he led in Juab included a partnership with Arizona State University for blended-learning opportunities; the launch of a districtwide competency-based personalized learning model driven by a 1:1 technology initiative and standards-based reporting system; and the construction of the STEM-focused West Campus Innovations Center, funded largely through private and corporate sponsorships. Dr. Robins began his career as a history teacher at Copper Hills High in the Jordan School District and has worked as an assistant principal and principal in the Alpine, Nebo and Juab school districts. He was the 2012 Utah High School Principal of the Year for the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2014 earned the Lexington Institute Superintendent Fellowship Award presented to innovative superintendents across the country. Dr. Robins was starting quarterback for the football team at Southern Utah University Thunderbirds from 1991-1995, and in 2013 was inducted into SUU’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He has four children and one grandchild.

Leon Wilcox

Business Administrator and CFO

Leon Wilcox is a seasoned professional with 20 years of governmental accounting experience, with an emphasis on financial reporting, budgeting, and auditing. As Canyons District’ Director of Accounting from 2009-2013, Wilcox was intricately involved with the 2009 division of $1.5 billion in assets of the former Jordan School District, and was responsible for establishing Canyons’ original and subsequent budgets. Wilcox, a certified public accountant who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Utah State University, also has worked nine years in the Granite School District and six years in the State Auditor’s Office.

Supervises:  Accounting and Budget Services, Facilities and Maintenance, Insurance, New Construction Budget, Nutrition Services, Purchasing, Payroll

Dr. Robert M. Dowdle

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and School Performance

Robert Dowdle has a Doctor of Education degree with an emphasis in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah, and more than 31 years of experience as a teacher and educational leader. He began his career at Mount Jordan Middle School, where he taught Earth Science, English and Social Studies. He later taught Advanced Placement Economics, U.S. History and World History at Bingham High School, and served as Principal of Jordan High School and Assistant Principal for Alta High School and Brighton High School. Dowdle has served in the District office for 11 years as Assistant Superintendent. This role has included various leadership responsibilities, including Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Dowdle currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and School Performance.

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!

Specialty Schools

High Schools

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

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