Butler Elementary Principal Named
The Canyons Board of Education approved the appointment of Christine Waddell as the new principal of Butler Elementary School. Waddell, a National Board Certified Teacher who currently serves as the assistant principal at Midvale Middle School, replaces Laura Finlinson, who resigned to accept the curriculum director position in Jordan School District.
“Face to Faith” Program Planning Approved
Canyons School District will pilot the “Face to Faith” program, run by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Participants in the optional program will learn about the world’s faiths, traditions and beliefs in part by dialoguing with students in nations including India and the United Kingdom. The program aims to promote cultural literacy and respect, and to spark dialogue about global issues. The District is in program-planning stages, which will include meetings with School Community Councils at participating schools — Brighton and Hillcrest high schools and Indian HIlls and Butler middle schools. The program is expected to be offered to students this winter.
ACT Explore, Plan Tests to Boost College- and Career-Readiness
Canyons eighth- and 10th-grade students this fall will take the ACT Explore and Plan tests, respectively, to help ensure they are on an academic path that will prepare them for college and careers. The tests will be offered to all students during the regular school day under a grant from the Utah State Office of Education. Test results are expected to help students and parents select rigorous coursework in high school.
Education Foundation Established
The Board approved articles of incorporation to legally establish the District’s education foundation. The non-profit organization will promote community engagement to support and further the education of children in Canyons schools.
Social Studies Requirements Adjusted
The Board modified the standards for the new Advanced and Honors diplomas by increasing the social studies requirement from 2.5 credits to 3.0 credits. The Board earlier this year adopted the state’s 2.5-credit requirement when it approved the new diplomas. Students at Alta, Brighton, Hillcrest and Jordan high schools were formerly required to complete 3.5 credits of social studies under Jordan School District. The action, which comes following feedback from social studies teachers, aligns with the ACT Recommended Core, and results in an extra .5 credits required for the Advanced Diploma (20.5 core credits will be required) and Honors Diploma (22.5 core credits will be required). The additional half credit would not be specified, allowing students to choose their courses. The requirement forwards Canyons’ college- and career-readiness goals and is similar to that in most Wasatch Front districts.
Canyons is implementing SharePoint, a Microsoft software platform aimed at helping departments, schools and the District Office share information and improve communication, collaboration and project management. SharePoint now contains the District’s Master Calendar; other project management tools will be phased in this fall and in the months to come.
Report Card, Professional Development Updates Issued
The District is working toward creating elementary report cards that better reflect what students are able to do. Professional development activities have continued throughout the summer for achievement coaches and Dual Immersion educators, among others.
The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which included the July 6 minutes, purchasing bids, student overnight travel, board hires and terminations, the June expense report, home school affidavit report, social studies requirement, volunteer report, and Waddell’s appointment.
Butler Middle School P.E. teacher Tom Kilgore wondered if the contract with the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center could be changed to expand pool availability to students.
Canyons Education Association President Tony Romanello thanked the Board for its action on social studies requirements and for dialoguing with teachers. He also praised the administration’s work to make for a great inaugural year.
Region 17 PTA Vice President Betty Shaw thanked the District and staff for supporting PTA and participating in the Post-Convention Training, where some 325 people signed up as volunteers under the District’s new registration process.
Superintendent David Doty reported the summer months have been rejuvenating for staff. He said other districts have been encouraged by Canyons’ successful passage of a $250 million bond. He also has started issuing “Summer Reading Recommendations,” including “The Other Wes Moore” by Wesley Moore, and “The Great Santini” and “The Water Is Wide” by Pat Conroy.
As part of the $250 million bond, the District is taking bids to rebuild or renovate Butler Middle School, Albion Middle School, Midvale Elementary and Sandy Elementary, and to build a new high school in Draper, CFO and General Counsel Keith Bradford said. A committee will review bids and project ideas will be presented to the Board and communities. Patrons also have received tax notices. Canyons’ rate does not require a truth-in-taxation hearing. The District worked with the Utah State Tax Commission to ensure rates and property were properly set and assessed.
Board Member Kevin Cromar said he vacationed in Texas, New York and California following the June 22 bond election. He visited family, read several books, and conducted historical research.
Mont Millerberg asked for data on savings from the District’s four-day summer work week.