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Getting Involved

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012

Board to Participate in Draper Frontrunner CDA

The Canyons Board of Education voted to participate in the Draper Frontrunner Community Development Project Area (CDA) Plan. The Board’s participation is aimed at growing the tax base to better serve the students of Canyons School District. Under the CDA, Canyons will receive:

  • 30 percent of tax revenue increments on the CDA property during the 20-year life of the CDA
  • $24 million in estimated additional tax revenues during the CDA’s 20-year lifespan than without the CDA:
    • Tax revenues with CDA: $36 million
    • Tax revenues without CDA $9.94 million
  • $2.5 million cash incentive for supporting the CDA before Dec. 31, 2012.
  • $7.5 million in annual tax revenues when the CDA expires in 20 years.

The CDA is a Transit Station Development located on 353 acres at the Front Runner, eBay stop. The CDA includes developing infrastructure and allows the project to include more concentrated density in a development that includes retail, residential, office space, parking structures, and retail. Higher density means more tenants and more tax revenues to benefit students. The District received a $2.5 million incentive. This is because two premiere companies, representing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenues, are seeking to relocate in Utah and will make decisions by Dec. 31 because of uncertainty of tax law changes being negotiated in Washington, D.C. Participating entities include Draper City and special service districts. The Salt Lake County Council was expected to discuss the proposal next week, Draper city officials said.

For more information or to listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Items 2A and 9A.

Assessment Update

Director of Research and Assessment Hal Sanderson offered a glimpse of Canyons student performance on an array of assessments. The assessment results help gauge college-readiness and show how well students know the state core curriculum, how they stack up nationally, and how they perform in the new Utah Comprehensive Accountability System (UCAS). Canyons students exceed state averages on nearly every CRT end-of-level test, but there is room for improvement to ensure all students are prepared for college and careers, Dr. Sanderson said. For more information or to listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2B.

School Safety Drill Report

The School Safety Drill was approved by the Board in November 2011 to help improve school safety by involving students, employees, parents and emergency responders in an Active Shooter Drill. The drill, held in June at Alta High School, involved more than 300 participants. Resulting recommendations include scheduling and taking seriously drills, updated emergency contacts and maps available in each classroom, and emergency procedural information to parents and volunteers. The Utah Division of Risk Management has upheld the drill as a model, and is preparing statewide videos to help others prepare for emergencies and protect students. The Drill is one of several measures used to ensure safety in Canyons schools. Others include emergency management, incident command, school security systems and a 24-hour alarm response team, a fire marshall on staff, and risk management survey that saves the District $100,000 or more per year. For more information or to listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2C.

Board Action

The Board received the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which contains audits of financial statements for last fiscal year. Auditors from Squire & Co. examined the District’s federal and state programs, internal controls, and records from about one-third of Canyons schools. Auditors commended the District for fully funding promises to retirees, and noted the District’s practices are award-worthy. They said the CAFR demonstrated District accountability to the public and contains information that the Board can use to make sound decisions. For more information or to listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 8.

The Board tabled the school calendar for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years for further examination by the Administration and Calendar Committee. The Board approved student overnight travel for Alta Choir, Hillcrest Cheer/Song, and Jordan Cheer and Dance; the Home School Affidavit; November Hires and Terminations; Property Purchase; resolution to accept the Energy Management Plan; an Interlocal Agreement with Cottonwood Heights, and other Interlocal Agreements with Salt Lake County for use of County Swimming Facilities and for County use of District Facilities. The Board also authorized the formation of a Non-Discrimination Policy Task Force. For more information or to listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Items 7A – M.

The Board discussed possible election processes for proposed student Board members, and directed staff to bring the ideas to high school principals for input. For more information or to listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2D.

Board Recognitions

The Board recognized the achievements of four students, eight employees and two teams. They are:

  • Brian Adams, Hillcrest High, Academic All-State, 4A Boys Golf
  • Elisabeth “Bizzy” Phillips, Alta High, 5A Girls Soccer MVP
  • B.J. Cavender, Jordan, Deseret News 5A Football MVP
  • Austin Kafentzis, Jordan, 2012 Utah Gatorade Player of the Year and Deseret News Mr. Football 2012
  • Mackenzie Hyer, Alta, Utah’s Distinguished High School Business & Information Technology Educator
  • Eric Murdock, Karen Brown, Paul Winkelman Mackenzie Snow and Suzanne Oakeson,
  • Hillcrest High, Utah High School Counseling Team Award
  • Dr. Kathryn McCarrie, Assistant Superintendent for School Performance, Utah Association of School Psychologists’ Lifetime Achievement Award,
  • Josh Long, Hillcrest: UHSAA Distinguished Service Award for Theatre Teacher of the Year
  • Hillcrest Theatre: Sweepstakes Award winners, 2012 National High School Shakespeare Competition
  • Jordan High Football, 5A State Football Champions

Patron Comments

Ross Rogers Canyons Education Association President, asked if the calendar could be adjusted to give teachers professional time to put in their grades. Melinda Russell said she and about 20 neighbors didn’t know they would be in a new school boundary and asked the Board to allow students to stay put an extra year. Chase Everton of the Utah Taxpayers Association opposed the proposed CDA. Denice Hyer asked that the Mount Jordan Pool be kept or replaced when the school is rebuilt; Carolyn Buma asked for more transparency and public involvement in District decisions; Robin Cecil and Jared Pearce expressed concern about the public not knowing more about the Draper CDA proposal; Julie Cluff was concerned about the cost of the CDA proposal; Rob Perry, member of the Draper Chamber of Commerce, supported the CDA proposal. For more information or to listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 6.

Superintendent’s Report

Dr. Doty thanked the outgoing Board members for their support over the past four years. He said much has been accomplished in the District, which has been set on a good course.

Board Reports

Paul McCarty, whose Board term ends this month, said he’d like to leave the Board with a quote from his late friend, Stephen Covey: “Leadership is communicating a person’s worth and potential so clearly that they are inspired to see it in themselves.” He said he sees that type of leadership in Dr. Doty, and noted Canyons has come a long way in its first four years. He said he hopes and prays the new Board is able to live Covey’s words.

Kevin Cromar congratulated Board member-elect Nancy Tingey, and said she will do a fine job representing Precinct 3. He said the Board has had its differences, but he feels it is the state’s finest Board with its high caliber of members. He said he’s pleased to see students who once were choosing schools outside of Canyons start to come back, and hoped the new Board would support ongoing projects. He praised the Superintendent’s vision and heart, and said he supports Dr. Doty and wishes him well. He also thanked Board members for their hard work.

Kim Horiuchi thanked Dr. McCarty, Cromar, and Board Member Mont Millerberg for their service and contributions to the District, noting that the building of the District and successes to date are unprecedented. While it’s been difficult at times, all Board members have shown they care. She said the board has been lucky to have Tracy Scott Cowdell as Board President and be able to depend on his expertise. She attended The Will Rogers Follies at Hillcrest, and called the performance spectacular and award-worthy. She also attended the Holiday Concert at Alta High, where all Canyons high school choirs performed. She most enjoyed seeing the outpouring of peer support there.

Tracy Scott Cowdell noted the Swearing-in Ceremony for new Board Members is Jan. 8, 2013, and that Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen will attend. He said the Board will be busy in meetings afterward. He said he will miss his outgoing Board colleagues, noting that even disagreements have yielded outstanding ideas for the District. He also thanked other Board Members and Vice President Sherril Taylor, with whom he has served on Boards of Education for six years, for their contributions to Canyons. He expressed interest in running for Board President again.

Sherril Taylor thanked Cromar, McCarty and Millerberg for their contributions, which he said will not be soon forgotten.

Mont Millerberg said he was proud of the progress seen in Canyons – and his Midvale community – in the past four years. He is proud of the Canyons School District Education Foundation’s formation, the School Safety Drill at Alta, and the new Midvale Elementary School. He said he hopes the Board can keep a pool at Midvale Middle for community use. He said he’s enjoyed the people he’s met and worked with in the past four years. He said Canyons has the best Superintendent in the State of Utah, and called Dr. Doty a visionary. He said Canyons is looked to for leadership statewide. He said he truly believes he has left the District better than he found it, and that his work on the Board has left him better as well.

Steve Wrigley thanked outgoing Board members for their service. He said he will miss Millerberg, whose analysis on issues resulted in Wrigley changing his vote on many occasions. He said he will miss Cromar, who is a good friend whom he respects.

Closed Session

The Board met in Closed Session for the purposes of discussing the purchase, exchange, or lease of real property.

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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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