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Tuesday, Aug.16, 2011

Copperview, Brookwood Principals, Associate Director of Special Education Welcomed

The Board approved Chanci Loran, currently the Assistant Principal at Copperview Elementary, as the new Principal of Copperview Elementary, to replace Michelle Clark, who retired effective Aug. 1. The Board also welcomed Julie Mootz, assistant principal at Midvale Elementary, as the new principal of Brookwood Elementary, replacing Sharon Okumura, who retired effective Aug. 15. They also congratulated Robin Collett as the new Director of Special Education. She replaces Dr. Kathryn McCarrie, who was named Assistant Superintendent and Chief Performance Officer.

Board Receives Academics, Facilities and Budget Updates

Facilities

Facilities Director Rick Conger updated the Board on the first five projects begun under the $250 million bond voters approved in 2010.

  • Sandy Elementary: Crews were able to start and finish a complex seismic upgrade to the school this summer.
  • New High School: Site and utilities work is underway.
  • Butler Middle School: Site and utilities work have begun on the new school’s site, adjacent to the current building, and construction bids are under final review.
  • Albion Middle School: The demolition portion of the school renovation is expected to be complete by week’s end, and a new roof is to be completed by late fall. The Cottonwood Heights Elementary building is ready to receive students when school starts next week.
  • Midvale Elementary: Site and utility work has started adjacent to Midvale Middle School, where the elementary school will be rebuilt. Crews aim to complete the work in August 2012.  

Other projects:

  • The architect selection process is underway to remodel parts of Brighton and Hillcrest High to accommodate ninth-graders in 2013. Hillcrest also is receiving upgrades to its athletic field.
  • Willow Canyons’ interior upgrade, including the cafeteria, playroom, restrooms and lighting, is expected to be completed by August 2012.
  • Eastmont Middle School’s seismic upgrade and stucco replacement is complete.
  • Jordan High has received an interior plumbing and lighting upgrade. 
  • Playgrounds were upgraded at Alta View, Brookwood, Copperview, Midvalley and Peruvian Park, with the latter two receiving a kindergarten play area.

The District’s facility upgrade program will continue each summer and include five to six schools annually.

Board President Tracy Cowdell said district facilities have never received so much attention, and praised Conger for his efforts. Vice President Sherril Taylor said the children will enjoy the upgrades for years to come.

Academics

Secondary schools are implementing the Common Core State Standards in the 2011-2012 school year. Teachers and the Evidence-Based Learning Office have worked together to select materials, provide training and support to teachers, and create an honors core for seventh- and eighth-grade math. The academic team would like to adjust the math Common Core to implement both grades 10 and 11 standards in 2013 instead of waiting until 2014 to implement grade 11 standards.

The academic team, following a community survey and principal input, also has set four priorities to improve middle schools: Spend more time on English language arts and math; build intervention and enrichment time into the school day; give kids more elective choices; and continue subject- and grade-level collaboration among teachers.

Midvale Middle School teacher Mindy Robison praised the help the District has provided to teachers to implement the new Common Core State Standards, including a math camp and collaboration opportunities.

Board members praised Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ginger Rhode and her staff for their work in implementing these innovations and creating synergy with teachers.

Budget and Finances

The budget book detailing District spending and goals has been issued. Also, as part of the nation’s credit downgrade, bond rating agencies are examining the Aaa ratings of districts in areas with high federal contracts or employment nationwide. Salt Lake is a targeted area. The bond rating agency Moody’s plans to review Canyons’ Aaa rating, but not due to District financial issues.

Patron Comments

Jenny Kallen spoke on behalf of concerned parents in her Crescent Elementary neighborhood regarding bus service to be provided until the District and community can create acceptable walking routes. She asked the District to be sure to provide busing until construction is completed on TRAX or until the boundaries change.

Jill Neilsen of Draper she is concerned about the new high school’s boundaries. She wants to make sure the new boundary keeps students together as they move from elementary to high school to prevent divisions within the community, and asked if the Board would examine putting her neighborhood in the new high school’s boundary rather than in the Jordan High boundary.

Tami Price presented a petition signed by more than 150 people in Draper’s Galena Hills subdivision. The petition asks the Board to include the neighborhood in the new high school’s boundary to remain with their peers from elementary school through high school.

Kelly Ballard, whose children attend Willow Springs, said her family is active in the community and a passionate supporter of the $250 million bond last year. However, she said she felt west Draper was underrepresented on the Boundary Steering Committee, and wants to see discussion of that matter.

Steve Van Maren, a Sandy resident, said he is concerned about the process and record-keeping of playground equipment purchases, and said those things led to confusion about how much money actually was spent.

Tracy Bennett, Alta High parent and chair of the 2009 Facilities and Enrollment Committee, relayed concerns she said she has heard from some of the members of that committee who also served on the Boundary Steering Committee. She said some are concerned the boundary committee didn’t account for some findings of the Enrollment and Facilities Committee, such as coming closer to a true school feeder system. After running out of time, she said she would submit other concerns in writing.

 

Board Action

 

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes purchasing bids; Board

Hires and terminations; June and July financial reports; Foundation Board members; the Cottonwood Heights/Mountview interlocal agreement; the home school affidavit; administrative appointments, and student overnight travel for CTC FCCLA. It also approved the 2011-2012 tentative Board meeting schedule, which includes a meeting on Aug. 30 and Sept. 6. The Board also granted a student appeal subject to the conditions set by the Board in 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; pending or reasonably imminent litigation; collective bargaining; and the purchase, exchange, or lease of real property.

Superintendent’s Report

Dr. Doty praised the work of the academic team. He noted seven schools – Midvale, East Midvale, Sandy, Copperview, Brookwood, Canyon View and Jordan Valley – will hold events on the first day of school Monday in which they will literally roll out the red carpet for students. He said high school football games start Friday, and noted the Butler Middle School groundbreaking is Sept. 8; the District’s Apex Awards ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 13; the Canyons School District Education Foundation’s Golf Tournament fund-raiser is Sept. 19. He also extended sympathy to an employee whose son died in an accident this summer and to the family of a Jordan High student killed in a car accident last week.

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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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