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Getting Involved





Getting Involved

Board Summary, Sept. 5, 2023

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

School Safety Update

Associate Communications Director Kirsten Stewart and Assistant Facilities Director Ryan Jakeman delivered an update on work by the Emergency Management Team (EMT), which regularly reviews and updates CSD’s safety measures to ensure a standardized and districtwide approach to preventing, responding to and recovering from emergencies. With representation from the operational, educational, and communications teams, as well as rotating school representatives, the EMT has conducted three safety audits since convening in 2016 to improve safety protocols. Among improvements this year are measures to align with HB61, the “School Safety Requirements” law, including the appointment of School Safety Specialists, completion of school-based safety assessments, and implementation of the Standard Response Protocol (SRP), a uniform set of evidenced-based responses that can be used in emergencies. Student Wellness Services Director Dr. Brian McGill and Jordan High Principal Dr. Bruce Eschler shared key takeaways from three school safety conferences that 60 CSD employees were able to attend this past year in Las Vegas, Texas, and Salt Lake.

School Community Council training

Canyons Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board on the laws and rules governing School Community Councils. School Community Councils hold elections once a year to fill open seats, and are comprised of parents and school employees, including the principal. Parents make up the majority of the Council, outnumbering employees by at least two. In Canyons, SCC members review school data, identify school needs, establish school goals, and allocate school funds toward accomplishing those goals. Councils consider and address specific safety concerns faced by students and staff in the classroom, on school grounds, and in traveling to and from school. They produce personal electronic device plans for their schools and support programs that empower students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world. Councils may advise the school principal and provide feedback to the Board of Education on other issues. Canyons District provides training each year for SCC members.

Policy Updates

The Board considered policies governing special education services, the issuance of certificates of completion for special education students, and student participation in extra-curricular activities. The Board also discussed a process for Board members to follow when a patron brings an issue to an individual Board member or the full Board.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes for the Board meeting on Aug. 15, 2023; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids, student-overnight travel requests; and an Administrative appointment.

School Highlights

Mt. Jordan Middle Principal Ryan Durant led meeting attendees in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance before sharing some highlights from the home of the Mountaineers. Mt. Jordan began a summer program this year for incoming sixth graders to give them an early start on their transition to secondary school. The school’s goal is to create a positive and safe learning environment while promoting student growth, Durant said. They have an after school program on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays that includes a study hall along with gardening and other activities for students. The school’s commitment to service is reflected in the donations of canned goods collected by students last year.

High-Quality Learning Update

The Board considered High-Quality Learning initiatives being proposed in alignment with the District’s Strategic Plan. Among the initiatives are proposed changes to CSD’s differentiated diplomas, explained Canyons Instructional Supports Department Director Dr. Amber Roderick-Landward. Under the proposed amendments, the Standard Diploma would remain the same. The minimum grade point average for an Advanced Diploma would be elevated to 3.0, up from 2.0, a school attendance requirement would be added, and the World Languages requirement would be dropped. For the Honors Diploma, the minimum grade point average would be elevated to 3.5, up from 3.0, a school attendance requirement would be added, and instead of requiring students to meet an ACT Benchmark standard, candidates would need only participate in the SAT or ACT college entrance exams. Canyons Superintendent also discussed proposed indicators to measure Student Achievement success in implementing the Strategic Plan.

Canyons Transition Academy

The Board considered a proposal to relocate Canyons Transition Academy (CTA) from the District Offices to the Crescent View Building. CTA works with special education students who have aged out of the school system to prepare them with work and life skills to successfully transition to independent living. Relocating would cost $65,000 and provide the fast-growing program more space while limiting noise and distractions for students, explained Special Education Director Nate Edvalson and Administrator Linda Hall. Students would have access to the gym for Unified Sports activities and events and physical education. Having a building to call their own would give students a fresh start and school pride. As part of the relocation, the Hall proposes renaming the program the Life Skills Academy. 

Patron Comment

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

Jeannine Cardenaz

Rachael de Azevedo

Krista Pippin

Sara Lee

Aaron Pond

Betty Shaw

Amy Rosevear


The following were recognized for their achievements:

  • Brighton High filmmakers whose documentaries were aired on PBS Utah as part of the TV station’s Iconic Utah Film Festival.
  • Hillcrest High’s choir, which competed in a virtual audition for the opportunity to share the stage with Foreigner at the band’s Farewell Tour at the USANA Amphitheater.

Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins held off on making comments in acknowledgement of the late hour.

Mr. Wilcox remarked on the successful first day of school at the new Union Middle. There’s still some work to be done on the building. Construction crews hope to have the media center open in mid-September. The band and choral rooms are still another week out. But overall, everyone is excited to be in the building.

Board of Education Reports

Mrs. Karen Pedersen remarked on how much she enjoyed participating in the Red Carpet welcomes on the first day of school. But her favorite back-to-school event was being invited to Jordan High to top and taste sugar beets along with all new Beetdigger students, staff, and faculty. Assistant Superintendent Dr. McKay Robinson also participated.

The start of school is also something that Mrs. Nancy Tingey relishes. She thanked Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins for hosting CSD’s annual lunch with PTA Presidents and School Community Council Chairs (SCC) and looks forward to upcoming SCC trainings. So many people are invested in CSD schools and classrooms, which is one of the great strengths of the public school system and of Canyons, in particular.

Mr. Mont Millerberg complimented the Board for their civility in tackling tough issues. He said he looks forward to the Sept. 6 ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new Union Middle School and thanked Principal Brenda McCann for providing t-shirts to commemorate the event. He expressed appreciation for all the care and attention that has gone into the new building, especially considering materials and labor shortages, and thanked teachers for capably pivoting to remote learning at the start of the year to keep students learning.

Mr. Andrew Edtl thanked the patrons who came to contribute public comment during the Board meeting and who observed the meeting on the CSDtv livestream.

Mrs. Amanda Oaks also spoke of the warm welcome CSD schools provide students on the first day of school. She was able to observe the demolition of the last guard tower of the former site of the Utah State Prison. The Point development that will occupy the site is well on its way and she is excited to see what it will do for the community and economy.

Mrs. Holly Neibaur loved the Red Carpet events and watched news clips of Corner Canyon’s activities. She is grateful for the work being done to promote school safety and high-quality learning, and thanked teachers for their hard work getting schools opened and students back to learning. She is participating on a committee that is updating the Willow Springs Elementary Wildcat logo and is thankful for the leadership of Principal Anne Hansen. 

Mrs. Amber Shill was able to attend the Red Carpet events of three Cottonwood Heights schools. She also attended her first Board of Trustees meeting for the Utah High School Activities Association.

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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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