Family Connections

Getting Involved





Getting Involved

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013

Mount Jordan Middle School Site Plan Discussed

MHTN Architects and IBI Group Inc. presented the Board with several proposed site and concept master plan options for the rebuild of Mount Jordan Middle School, which the Board approved in the list of projects to be funded by the $250 million bond voters passed in June 2010. The proposals include different configurations of the school’s location on the current property and in relation to a potential TRAX development, as well as additional school and district office spaces, playing fields, and aquatic center facilities. Board member Tracy Cowdell noted the options would maximize green space and educational use. Board Member Chad Iverson asked whether the District needs to rebuild the school, and to consider what else the Board could do with the money allotted for the project. The Mount Jordan project is scheduled to be complete in fall 2015 and cost $35 million.

The Board accepted the information and recommended Principal Dr. Molly Hart, joined by Cowdell and Board Member Robert Green, further review the proposals with the architects and School Community Council, receive input and bring recommendations to the Board. To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 1A.

Four Administrative Appointments Ratified

The Board ratified the following administrative appointments, effective on or before March 5, 2013:

– Todd Theobald, principal of Willow Canyon, will become principal of Alta View Elementary. He replaces Valerie Shaw, who accepted a job in another school district.

– Marilyn Williams, Canyons Associate Director of Special Education and former Quail Hollow Elementary Principal, will replace Theobald as Principal of Willow Canyon Elementary.

– Doug Hallenbeck, Assistant Principal of Mount Jordan Middle School, will become an Assistant Principal at Union Middle School. Hallenbeck replaces Patti Bowen, who accepted a job in another school district.

– Kami Anderson, an Achievement Coach at Mount Jordan Middle School, will become Assistant Principal at Mount Jordan Middle School.

Union Middle to Host Dual Immersion

The Board approved locating a middle school English-Spanish Dual-Immersion Language Program at Union Middle School, to begin in fall 2015. The districtwide magnet program had been scheduled to be placed at Albion Middle School. However, Albion’s enrollment has exceeded projections and the school doesn’t have room for the magnet program. Union has room, is located on a public transportation line that can be used by students, and is a feeder school for Silver Mesa Elementary, which also has a Dual-Immersion English-Spanish Dual-Immersion Language Program. The program is projected to enroll 90—200 students.

Materials Needed to Implement New Standards

After working with teachers to help identify their needs, Evidence-Based Learning Director Dr. Hollie Pettersson proposed securing a series of materials, including digital options, that are aligned with the state’s new curriculum standards for middle school and high school students. The rigor of the new Common Core State Standards and Canyons’ focus on college-, career-, and citizenship-readiness for all students requires a shift in instructional practices and adoption and purchase of materials aligned with the new standards. Currently there are neither common materials nor a scope and sequence being used in our secondary schools, which can hinder sharing of experiences between classrooms and schools and fragment professional development efforts. To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 6.

Grade Reconfiguration Update

The Board received a grade reconfiguration update, in which Human Resources Executive Director Steve Dimond said the District would be ready to make the shift to K-5 elementaries, 6-8 middle schools and 9-12 high schools. He said 92 percent of teacher transfer requests were granted, and the District is providing technological, administrative, and professional development support for teachers and administrators so they can make the transition and provide meaningful orientation events for students. To hear the report, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 1C.

Strategic Planning Update

Vice President Steve Wrigley shared his research on strategic planning process, which is aimed at taking the May 2009 framework to the next level. The plan will include strategic goals and priorities and performance objectives, student achievement and the academic plan, performance and fiscal data, and an analysis of what’s working. He recommended the Board annually reexamine the Board’s vision and mission statements. Green agreed to assist Wrigley on drafting the plan. To hear the report, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 1D.

Board Governance Update

Second Vice President Nancy Tingey reported on her work with Iverson to create a Board Governance plan and asked for feedback. She said the goal is to create an atmosphere for Board members that fosters trust and solutions. Board Member Kim Horiuchi expressed concern that some sections were too restrictive. Green suggested the group look into campaign standards. The Board discussed whether to limit time for patron comments to two or three minutes or allow up to up to six minutes for a group. The Board will continue its discussions. To hear the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 1E.

Legislative Update

The Board received a Legislative Update from Chief of Staff Charles Evans. Evans discussed bills that would address the Regents and New Century scholarships; give state education funds directly to schools; equalize school building funds; and accomplish goals of the Prosperity 2020 initiative. To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 1F.

Board Action

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the Feb. 5 Minutes; January Financial Reports; Purchasing Bids, School Calendar Policy; Administrative Appointments; January Hires and Terminations; Membership of the School Discipline (Drug and Alcohol) Task Force; and Home School Affidavit. The Board approved overnight travel for Alta Academic Decathlon. For details, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 5.

Patron Comments

Jenny Updike thanked the Board for the e-mail responses she had received to her written concerns about the scheduled remodel of Mount Jordan Middle School. She urged the Board to reconsider the remodel and instead use the construction funds at other locations. She asked the Board to keep Crescent View open after the new Crescent View opens this fall.

Leslie McAfie, the incoming PTA president of Mount Jordan Middle School, thanked the Board for its plans to remodel the school. She also said the school’s proximity to TRAX is helpful for many students who use the mass-transit service to get to school.

To listen to the comments, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 4.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent David Doty introduced the newly appointed administrators, and noted their professionalism in taking new assignments mid-year. He said the administrative appointments were necessitated by Shaw’s and Bowen’s recent departures. Dr. Doty praised the work of human resources, transportation and academic teams to ensure the District will be ready to reconfigure grades next fall, and shared a complimentary note from a prospective employee who interviewed for a job in Canyons. He commended Brighton for winning the 5A State Championship in both Boys and Girls Swimming.

CFO Report

CFO Keith Bradford noted that Fitch Ratings has upgraded Canyons’ bond rating from AA+ to AAA with a stable outlook. The AAA rating is the highest that an entity can achieve from Fitch Rating. This now matches the AAA rating that we have received from Moody’s Investors Service last August.

Board Reports

Green last week visited Hillcrest High, which he praised as a wonderful academic school with a dedicated principal. He noted the International Baccalaureate Program and robotics program inspiring students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields and beyond. He also praised the Brighton swimmers for their success.

Horiuchi attended the Brighton School Community Council meeting last week, and thanked Facilities Director Rick Conger for his update on the construction of the Bengal Building. She said the community is looking forward to the additional space. She said she will provide Communications with student achievements for Board Recognition next month. She praised the Hillcrest Renaissance Fair, and invited others to attend the outstanding event, which includes a feast and performance.

Tingey congratulated the Brighton swim teams, noting they had secured five and six years’ worth of consecutive state titles.

Wrigley encouraged principals to invite Board members to community activities, and said he would be attending Wednesday’s CTEC Open House. He visited Bell View and Edgemont elementaries, and spoke to a sixth-grade class at Edgemont about the Board of Education. He said students said they were a bit nervous about lockers and getting lost in middle school next year. Wrigley thanked Theobald for his service and said he was pleased that he has been appointed to lead Alta View. He also is pleased to have Williams serve again as a principal.

Iverson attended the Altara kick-off event of Watch D.O.G.S., a program that encourages fathers to get more involved by spending one day a year in the school, classrooms, and patrolling the campus to help teachers and students. He said 300 fathers attended the event.

Taylor thanked Board members for their many hours spent in public service.

Closed Session

The Board held a 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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