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Getting Involved

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Proposed Standards-Based Elementary Report Card Discussed

The Board continued Study Session discussions about a proposed standards-based elementary report card aimed at giving parents more precise student achievement information and aligning grading systems with the new state curriculum. Board members asked clarifying questions about the proposal, and heard answers from teachers piloting the report cards and Elementary Evidence-Based Learning Director Amber Roderick-Landward. Board members tentatively agreed they would like to implement a standards-based report card. Remaining issues include whether the report card should have additional grading levels beyond mastery and not yet mastered, and whether implementation next fall should be districtwide or site-based. The Board asked to see models that presented information with graphics and that relayed student performance in up to four levels instead of two. The Board will discuss and vote on the proposal April 16.

The proposal stems from educators’ requests and more than two years of study by a committee of teachers from every school, special education experts and education technology specialists. It is being piloted in 92 classrooms in six Canyons elementary schools. Crescent View Middle School also has implemented a standards-based report card.

To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2A.

Sixth-Grade Busing Options Presented

The Board looked at sixth-grade busing options to ensure compliance with state law and fairness to students when grades reconfigure next fall. The law allows state reimbursement for busing provided to students enrolled in kindergarten through sixth grade who live at least 1-1/2 miles from school, and to students enrolled in grades seven through 12 who live at least 2 miles from school. When grades reconfigure to serve sixth-graders in middle school next fall, some sixth-graders will qualify for busing, but their seventh- and eighth-grade siblings and neighbors will not. Canyons Assistant superintendent Bob Dowdle presented two options: Provide busing based on state law, and allow non-qualifying students to request a permit to ride the bus on a first-come, first-served, space-available basis (to be determined after the first week of school, as is current practice); or create sixth-grade only routes, which is more expensive.

For more information, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2B.

Corner Canyon High Permits Discussed

The Board wants to allow Corner Canyon High students who will attend the school on permit when it opens next fall to remain at the school until they graduate. Corner Canyon will be full due to permits granted and a number of boundary students unexpectedly indicating they would return to Canyons District from area charter and private schools. Last month, the District sent a letter saying permit students will need to indicate in future open enrollment periods whether they intend to continue attending Corner Canyon. Parents have asked for assurance their children will not have to move high schools. Board President Sherril Taylor said students have taken a risk by permitting into the school and wants to honor their permits until they graduate. Kim Horiuchi noted that would result in other school issues related to overcrowding. Parents will receive a communication regarding the Board’s determination.

To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2C.

Fundraising and Athletic Compliance Proposal Previewed

Superintendent David Doty reported on a draft proposal to improve oversight of school fundraising and athletic compliance. The proposal would be aimed at ensuring adherence to State Board of Education and Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) rules and regulations, and providing training and assistance to schools. He will detail the proposal in a future meeting.

To listen to the report, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 8A.

Board Recognitions

The following students, employees and leaders were recognized for outstanding achievements:

  • Jacob White, Alta High, Jazz Band of America
  • Justice Schoenfeld, Hillcrest High, Academic All-State
  • Brianna Francis, Alta High, 5A State Champion, Swimmer of the Year
  • Tyler King, Butler Elementary, U.S. Bowman Recurve Champion
  • Cody Henrichsen, Canyons Technical Education Center computer science teacher, State Board of Education Outstanding Service Recognition
  • Jeff Murry, Canyons Information Technology Consultant, Making IT Happen Award, International Society for Technology in Education
  • Karen Larsen, Brighton High School, Salt Lake Community College Outstanding Concurrent Enrollment Instructor
  • Scott Cowdell, District Custodial Coordinator, Scott Cowdell Park and Sandy City’s Noal Bateman Award
  • Canyons School District and Tyler Toone and Glen Gunnell, Canyons Web team, Sunny Award, National Sunshine Review
  • Board Member Tracy Scott Cowdell, Outstanding Service Award from the City of Sandy
  • Board Member Kim Horiuchi, Award of Appreciation for service on the Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board

Board Action

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, including the March 19 Minutes; student overnight travel for Brighton Boys and Girls Basketball, Hillcrest Utah FIRST Lego League Robotics Team for National Competition, and CTE FCCLA and TSA; and Purchasing Bids. The Board approved the tentative academic calendars for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years. It tabled proposed policy changes in District Calendar development.

For more information, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 7.

Patron Comments

Ten patrons spoke on the proposed standards-based elementary report card. Nine, including Region 17 PTA leadership, spoke in favor of the report card as a long-overdue way to accurately reflect student learning, save teacher time in grading, help teachers become more familiar with the core curriculum, and serve as a tool to help teachers and parents work together to address specific student deficiencies. One spoke against the proposal, saying it looks like a pass/fail model that would do more harm than good, and said she’s rather see student performance expressed on a continuum.

Ken Vance disagreed with the idea of accommodating all Corner Canyon permit holders until graduation when it results in overcrowding. He said permit holders should have to renew annually to prevent setting precedent, portables at a new school and potential loss of lab space to accommodate so many students.

Patron Suzanne Fankhauser and Brighton soccer player Warren Cook asked the Board to create a designated, fenced soccer field for the Brighton soccer team to prevent field damage from overuse that could lead to student injury and otherwise disadvantage the team, ranked best in the state. They were joined by about 20 Brighton soccer team members and supporters.

Board Member Tracy Cowdell met with about a dozen patrons regarding a personnel matter at Jordan High, and said that he and the District Administration would look into the group’s concerns. President Taylor had asked Cowdell to meet privately with the patrons in an adjacent room to uphold Board guidelines barring public comment and discussion about personnel matters.

To listen to patron comments, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 6.

Board Reports

Robert Green congratulated the Hillcrest Robotics Team. He noted his wife has mentioned, when discussing the proposed elementary report card, that Canyons wants to be better than all other districts, and he said he’s glad to be moving in the right direction. He visited Midvale Middle School’s Career Fair, where he talked about his career in engineering, and said he hoped he was able to help kids think about similar careers.

Horiuchi attended the UHSAA meeting this past week. She praised Dr. Doty for is looking at ways to assist schools with athletic compliance and eligibility. She said those issues were central to UHSAA discussions about new bylaws to require teams to forfeit games in which ineligible players participate. She noted the UHSAA also discussed a rate increase in catastrophic insurance for players, which the organization was unsure whether it could afford. She attended a luncheon honoring “super fans” and their dedication to high school activities, and hoped a Canyons fan would be nominated next year so parents could be recognized for their dedication to supporting student athletes.

Steve Wrigley thanked the report card committee, and thanked teachers for their work to help the public view public education in a more positive light.

Chad Iverson thanked the Board for its open discussions. He said he is looking forward to attending the National School Boards Association meeting next week and to learning more about national issues and solutions from other school boards. He said he and Tingey will present a draft board governance document for discussion in the next meeting.

Taylor excused Nancy Tingey, who is out of town. He said District policy on open enrollment states that once a transfer request is granted, students may continue to attend the transfer school until completion. He thanked the Administration, staff and Board for their hard work to represent patrons.

Closed Session

The Board met in Closed Session for the purpose of discussing the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual.

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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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