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Getting Involved

Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

Bond Project Site Plans Approved

The Board unanimously approved site plans for the following schools being remodeled and rebuilt under the $250 million voter-approved bond:

Midvale Elementary: The Board approved rebuilding Midvale Elementary adjacent to Midvale Middle School , allowing students to stay put during construction and creating a school campus that could better address student needs. However, the Board reserved the option to instead rebuild Midvale Elementary on its current site and house students at the shuttered Cottonwood Heights Elementary should the community overwhelmingly disapprove of the plan.

Possibilities for building next to the middle school are being explored, including a kindergarten- through eighth-grade school. A K-8 school could have longer school days and a rigorous college-prep curriculum — an approach similar to the KIPP Academies, which research shows close achievement gaps. A K-8 school also would mean fewer school transitions for students, and would be built to separate younger from older children. A community recreation center partnership also could be explored. Building a regular elementary by the middle school also is an option. The current Midvale Elementary property could become a site for a new elementary in the future should one be needed to accommodate growth. A Town Hall meeting to receive input on the proposals is planned for Thursday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. at Midvale Elementary School.

Butler Middle: Following 14 different drafts, and several meetings with a “Blue Sky” school-based committee and the School Community Council, the Board approved a Butler Middle School site plan that would rebuild the school adjacent to the current building. The plan addresses community input by adding three acres of contiguous fields and tennis courts accessible to Brighton High; allows Butler students to stay put during construction; and maintains a campus environment with its proximity to the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center. Board members noted they would work with Parks and Recreation to ease impacts on little league football and soccer games during the transition. They also noted their action enables additional community input on how the school should be designed to meet the needs of the community, be they in technology, classroom space, or traffic flow and parking. They invited the public to the first Town Hall Meeting on the building designs, scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Butler Middle School Auditorium.

New High School: Following three Town Hall meetings, a public Open House and last week’s Board discussion, the Board approved the design concept and site plan for the new high school in Draper, expected to open in the fall of 2013. Board members thanked Draper City, Sandstrom Associates architects and patrons for working closely and constructively with the District, and praised the concept’s link to Draper’s cultural heritage.

Albion Middle: The Board voted to move Albion students to Cottonwood Heights Elementary School next school year while the building undergoes extensive renovations, contingent on needs of Midvale Elementary. Mike Sirois, Executive Director of K-16 Student Achievement, Middle Schools, said Albion students, faculty and staff overwhelming voted to support moving to Cottonwood Heights during construction. Costs of moving students or having them stay put during construction is around $3 million regardless of where the students go, considering busing, portables, and building preparations. Delaying construction a few years until Butler Middle opened up would save some money, and cost about $1.8 million. Another community meeting to offer input on the building plans will be scheduled shortly.

SALTA Options Presented; Board Seeks Input

The Board received potential options for housing SALTA programs for advanced students to help the District’s Boundary Steering Committee complete its work, address inequities in class size and staffing, and strengthen educational opportunities offered in Canyons. The District since spring 2009 has been examining ways to provide students with a research-based model for gifted and accelerated learning that is financially sustainable and focused on measurable student achievement outcomes. Since, improved testing protocols have been implemented and configurations at some schools changed to better balance class sizes and staffing ratios. No changes, should any be recommended, would come before the 2013-2014 school year. The Board will continue the discussion in its Feb. 1 meeting.  Community input meetings are scheduled for next week.

Sandy CDA Approved

The Board approved Sandy City’s unique proposed Community Development Agency on the property near 11400 South and State that would create an interlocal agreement to improve the Mount Jordan Middle School campus. The proposed CDA area would include “all-sports store” retailer Scheels, which the city projects would help boost surrounding property values, including Canyons’ old Valley High property. The city will use CDA proceeds to help rebuild and develop the Mount Jordan Middle School campus as part of a revenue-sharing interlocal agreement. Canyons also will keep 25 percent of the new tax revenues generated on the property — or about $3.2 million — in addition to the $2.4 million it currently receives over the life of the 25-year CDA, as well as be able to lease the Valley High property at higher rates. The creative CDA partnership is considered a first in Utah.

Board Action

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes: December Financial Reports: Purchasing Bids; Home School Affidavit Report; the Albion Middle, Butler Middle, new high school and Midvale Elementary site plans; and the 2011 Board Events Calendar. The Board also heard how the District truancy policy complies with state law.


The Board recognized the following achievements:

Kelston Howell, Hillcrest High, Student Spaceflight Education Program logo winner
Paul Kirby, Hillcrest High, named Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals
Rebekah Meads, Brighton High, named Second Team 5A All State Volleyball
Kaitlyn Van Hoff, Alta High, named Third Team 5A All State Volleyball
Mark Michels, Alta High, 5A 135-pound All-Star wrestler

Patron Comments

Christine Bond, Peruvian Park Elementary teacher, heard the SALTA report, and would like to pare back SALTA offerings to two, fully funded magnet programs for first- through fifth-graders, and expand the number of students accepted into the program if need be.

Julie Vandertoolen, who called herself a soccer mom and volunteer, is concerned about losing soccer fields during the reconstruction of Butler Middle School, saying the fields draw tournaments that draw thousands of students and parents and boost the local economy.

Annaje Vandertoolen, age 8, said she enjoys soccer and has a special “goal dance,” which she showed an applauding Board and audience.

Jennifer Kalm, regional commissioner of AYSO soccer, feared losing field space during building construction could compromise the ability to host tournaments and diminish kids’ opportunities and tourism dollars to the community.

Jill Shumway, a Cottonwood Heights resident and parent, opposes the idea of building an elementary school near Butler Middle School due to potential safety and bullying problems she said her children experienced at Cottonwood Heights Elementary. She wondered if the Butler Middle School site plan is dependent on bringing an elementary there (CFO Keith Bradford later clarified that it is not).

Chris Palmer, AYSO coach, referee and parent, suggested the Board tear down Cottonwood Heights Elementary now to ensure adequate field space during Butler Middle reconstruction.

Armen Taroian of AYSO fears losing fields during construction could negatively impact area kids’ opportunities to gather and socialize with diverse students, and prefers freeing up field space before Butler’s reconstruction.

John Van Leeuwen, President of Brighton Little League Football, asked the Board to consider all options for green space during construction, as the league uses the fields from July through November.

Amy Nance, whose children are involved in Brighton football and attend Butler Middle, says she doesn’t feel informed as to the Board’s site plan proposals. She is concerned about what will happen to field use, and wants to receive more information as the process moves forward.

Mark Hooyer, Cottonwood Heights resident, and coach of AYSO’s VIP program for children with disabilities, says the reconstruction of Butler Middle and impact on adjacent fields is a community issue, as the fields are a hive of activity. He wants to minimize construction impacts on the fields.

Carla Hooyer, whose son is involved in AYSO’s VIP program for children with disabilities, urged the Board to ease impact on the fields, as VIP participants have extreme difficulty adapting schedule and space changes.

Dani Jarvis, AYSO coach and referee, said she has played on the Cottonwood Heights soccer fields her whole life, and doesn’t want to hurt children’s opportunities to play during reconstruction. She suggested tearing down Cottonwood Heights Elementary to ensure sufficient field space during construction.

Darren Mansell, who lives near Albion Middle School, asked the Board to use Cottonwood Heights Elementary to house Albion students during their school’s extensive remodel.

Mike Peterson, Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center, complimented the Board for adding to green space in the Butler Middle site plan. He asked for continued collaboration on the site plan.

Bill Wurr, a safety commissioner for Region 126 AYSO, urged the Board to keep facilities used by community children in mind as it looks to rebuilding building facilities.

Ian Van Leeuwen, Albion student, said his school overwhelmingly supports moving to Cottonwood Heights Elementary during remodeling.

Suzanne Walker, Midvale PTA President, urged the Board to keep the community informed on the progress of rebuilding plans, and noted community football fields at the middle school would need to be considered during construction.

Two other parents, representing Brighton lacrosse and Butler students, want the Board to minimize impact to the Cottonwood Heights fields during Butler construction, and suggested some neighborhood parks could be opened up for competitive play during construction.

CFO Report

CFO Keith Bradford reminded the Board to maintain frugal spending to stay within budget on bond projects.

Board Reports

Steve Wrigley attended training courses hosted by the Utah School Boards Association, and met with Peruvian Park Elementary teachers, and parents, and was impressed with programs there.

Kim Horiuchi attended the Midvale Middle School play “Once Upon a Mattress” and was impressed with the acting and scenery.

Kevin Cromar attended the Albion Town Hall Meeting and met with new Rep. Derek xx Brown, and invited him to attend town meetings and participate in partnership with district. He attended the intramurals chess tournament, which drew 46 students and several parents, and drew Channel 2 news coverage. He thanked the staff for their efforts on the tournament, and suggested adding Chinese Chess to the intramurals lineup. He cited news articles quoting former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying education must be reformed, and that not changing should be much scarier than change. He suggested moving more quickly in education technology initiatives.

Paul McCarty said he appreciated the Board’s action tonight and the work of District staff.

Mont Millerberg praised the Board for putting education first tonight.

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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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