Proposed Middle School Class Schedule Receives Initial Support
A draft middle school schedule aimed at creating more time for core academic courses while providing sixth- through eighth-graders the flexibility to participate in a range of elective options received preliminary support from the Board. The proposed schedule is a modified five-class schedule within a school day of 72-minute periods. English Language Arts and mathematics courses will meet daily, and teachers will engage in a 40-minute supplemental-instruction section every other day in the ELA and math courses. The aim of these “intervention and extension” sections is to give extra support for students who struggled to master the concepts from the previous day or, if the students have demonstrated proficiency, to provide additional, in-depth instruction. The reporting period for grading will be 12-week intervals. The schedule, presented by School Performance Director Mike Sirois and Director of Evidence-Based Learning Dr. Hollie Pettersson,
was created with input from principals and teachers. It also follows an nationwide examination of middle school schedules and a 2009 Dan Jones & Associates survey in which the public said they wanted more rigor and instruction in the basics in Canyons middle schools. It would be implemented in fall 2013 when schools are reconfigured to be place ninth-graders in high school and sixth-graders in middle school. For details, please visit http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/canyons/Board.nsf and click Agenda Item 2A.
New High School, Mascot: Corner Canyon Chargers
The Charger is the mascot of the new Corner Canyon High School in Draper.
The Board voted unanimously to select the Chargers from a roster of several potential mascots. The list included Cougars, Diamondbacks, Falcons and Raptors. No other high school in Utah has adopted Chargers as a mascot. Board members noted the alliteration of Corner Canyon Chargers, and that a Charger, a war horse, was selected because it is a prominent animal in Draper and an image of strength that could unify the community. The colors of the new school, which will open in 2013, are navy, silver and white. For more information, please visit http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/canyons/Board.nsf and click Agenda Item 7A.
Board Approves Participation in Canyon Centre CDA Project Area
The Board voted 6-1 to participate in the Canyon Centre CDA Project Area. The area, located at Wasatch Boulevard at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon (site of the old Canyon Racquet Club), would include residential and commercial developments, a public park, trails and public parking. Canyons School District would invest 100 percent of its tax increment for 20 years, but then receive 30 percent as an annual rebate to generate about $12,000 a year for the District through the life of the CDA.
Board Member Kevin Cromar, who cast the dissenting vote, questioned whether the residents of Cottonwood Heights would benefit from the project. Seven community members spoke against the CDA because they said the land was prime real estate that would be developed without the school district’s investment. Board member Kim Horiuchi agreed that the property will be developed, but noted that the development plans without the CDA would include apartments, which are taxed at just 50 percent of the property value, but would contain commercial property that can be taxed at 100 percent of the property value and maximize the district’s investment and future tax revenues. Board members noted the proposal was adjusted to be more palatable to the District with the 30 percent annual rebate. Cottonwood Heights City, the Salt Lake County Council and other taxing entities are supportive of the CDA. For details and to hear the discussion, please visit http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/canyons/Board.nsf and click Agenda Item 2A.
Board Begins Long-Range Capital Planning
The Board began work to prioritize building needs outside of the $250 million bond and a timeline to prudently address them. A 2009-2010 facilities assessment showed Canyons has $642 million in building needs districtwide. The Board looked at options to renovate or rebuild aging buildings, and the possibilities of addressing alternative education, preschool, and early college high school, adult high school, and career and technical education. For details, please visit http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/canyons/Board.nsf and click Agenda Item 2C.
The board approved the consent agenda, which included the Jan. 3 minutes; December financial reports; January hires and terminations, and the home school affidavit. The Board also approved student overnight travel for Alta High Track & Field; Brighton High choir, band and dance; CTE FCCLA; and Jordan High Cheer and Baseball.
Canyons CFO, Accounting Director Recognized
The Board recognized Canyons Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel Keith Bradford and Accounting Director Leon Wilcox for their excellence in budgeting. Their work on the 2011-2012 budget was honored with two international awards: The Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, and the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International. The pair will be inducted into the Canyons Employees Achieve hall of fame.
Heather Lambert, president of the Crescent View Middle School PTSA, thanked the Board for approving air-conditioning for the school.
Dr. Doty thanked Board for its initial support of the proposed middle school schedule proposal. He noted enrollment is growing at Oakdale, Lone Peak and Ridgecrest elementaries, and the number of students permitting out of those schools is shrinking. He praised the schools’ leadership and teachers for their excellence and attracting students to the schools. He also said he hopes the district can capture funding for enrollment growth during the Legislative session.
Steve Wrigley praised the excellent offerings at the USBA conference.
Kim Horiuchi praised Midvale Middle School students for their excellence in creating school play sets, which have been requested by others for rent. She praised D.A.R.E. anti-drug and tobacco messages from Cottonwood Heights Police Chief Robbie Russo and Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore. She noted the Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board elected Salt Lake City Board of Education member Amanda Thorderson to replace Mike Peterson, who served the past two years as chairman, and noted Salt Lake County is pursuing plans for a parks bond. She praised the Utah School Boards Association Conference presentation by Jose Enriquez, founder of Latinos in Action and assistant principal of Mountain View High School in Alpine School District, and noted Latinos in Action is in 58 schools this year, including Canyons schools, and will be in 80 schools in 14 school districts next year.
Kevin Cromar commended Dr. Doty for his continued efforts to visit school faculties and the proposed middle school schedule. He noted the superintendent was speaking for himself, and not on the Board’s behalf, as a panelist at the legislative policy breakfast sponsored by the Exoro Group last week. He said funding for charter and regular public schools is not equal and is the main issue between the two.
Vice President Sherril Taylor thanked Dr. Doty for his and his academic team’s work on the proposed middle school schedule. As a former science teacher, Mr. Taylor said the schedule would have helped immensely in giving more time for effective instruction.
Paul McCarty reported on his visit to the The Road Home overflow shelter in Midvale, and praised the work of Canyons Homeless Liaison Connie Crosby and Dr. Doty for visiting the shelter.
Mont Millerberg said it has been a privilege to serve on the Board nearly four years, and noted the Board has accomplished many things since the District’s inception, and praised the District’s direction. He also lauded Mr. Enriquez for his dedication to Latinos in Action.