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Getting Involved


Jordan District Offices

Board Study Session

Social Security Options Discussed
Under federal law, all new governmental entities wishing to participate in Social Security must opt in. The only legal
way to opt in is by an employee vote, to be conducted according to federal regulations. The Board last month
indicated its intent to pursue such a vote, and to work with employee associations to provide neutral information to
help employees make the most informed decision. Today, the Board discussed what might happen to the employer’s
portion of Social Security contributions (6.2 percent of each employee’s salary) if employees vote to stay out of Social
Security. After hearing presentations from Cottonwood Heights City and Utah Retirement Systems, Board
members indicated their desire to contribute the full 6.2 percent to a retirement account for each employee, such as
the 401(k) or 457(b) defined contribution plans offered by URS. Under this scenario, which would be revenue neutral
to the District, employees would keep their portion of Social Security (the 6.2% of salary that is ordinarily
withheld as FICA) to invest or spend at their discretion. The Board did not take a formal vote on the matter, because
this issue is presently the subject of ongoing negotiations with employee groups, and because formal action
cannot be taken in a study session. The board’s next business meeting, where votes may be cast, is June 9. For more
information and updates, please visit

Canyons’ Inaugural Budget Unveiled
The budget remains a work in progress. The operations budget proposal contains $206 million in revenues, including
$15 million in one-time money aimed at helping to plug budgetary holes due to the economic downturn. Proposed
expenditures currently total $198 million. The board will need to weigh whether to adopt spending as proposed, or
further pare back so that deep cuts won’t be necessary a year from now should the economy fail to turn around. The
board also is expected to weigh a proposed increase in school lunch and breakfast prices, which have not changed in
five years, to help cover the steady rise in the cost of food and basic ingredients. For details on the draft budget,
p lease visit Canyons’ BoardDocs site at

Alta High to Implement Teacher Collaboration, Student Help Time
The Board gave the nod to Alta High School to pursue a late start time to allow for teacher collaboration and professional
development twice a week, and individualized student instruction, tutoring and assistance three days a
week. School will start at 7:55 a.m., which is 25 minutes later than the current schedule. Teachers will be available
to assist students Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 7:50 a.m., and participate in collaboration time
Tuesdays and Thursdays. A school survey showed 95 percent of patrons (out of 1,176 responses) and faculty (out of
90 responses) favored the new schedule, which aims to boost student achievement. Alta High administrators will
update the Board with progress reports. Jordan High School offers a similar program.

Board Receives Information on Bonding
The Board heard a presentation about bonding legal requirements and other information. The Board directed administration
to communicate to the Facilities and Enrollment Management Task Force its desire to receive a report
and recommendations from the Task Force by mid-October.
The Board met in closed session to discuss negotiations and personnel matters.

–Jennifer Toomer-Cook

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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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