Bond Project Timeline to Stay On Track
The Board unanimously voted to stay the course on its Phase 1 bond building schedule, targeting a fall 2013 completion date for the first five projects, by using some of the District’s capital fund balance.
The Board approved a resolution to authorize the issuance of up to $70 million in bonds, as originally planned, to enable the District to break ground on all five Phase 1 projects this summer. The five projects are the rebuild of Midvale Elementary and Butler Middle School; a seismic retrofit for Sandy Elementary, a renovation of Albion Middle School and the building of a new high school in Draper.
Instead of issuing a second round of bonds next spring, the District will use money from the capital fund balance, which is an account dedicated to building projects. The District anticipates issuing additional bonds and beginning the remaining eight projects when assessed valuation improves and when old Jordan debt begins to substantially tail off.
The plan accomplishes several goals. It keeps intact the target fall 2013 completion date for the first five projects. It allows grade reconfiguration to move forward in fall 2013 as part of the District’s college- and career-ready academic plan. It also allows the Board to keep its promise to the public not to raise its debt service levy when voters approved the $250 million bond in June 2010.
Board members noted they have been talking about addressing building issues for the past two years, and praised the plan as a well thought out solution and first step in addressing the District’s $650 million in critical building needs.
Two weeks ago, the Board discussed building schedule options for the first five bond projects after learning property values are expected to decline for the third consecutive year. Declining property values would impact Canyons’ ability to collect sufficient tax revenue from its existing debt service levy to pay for the principal and interest on the total amount of new bonds needed to proceed with its current timeline. The Board had looked at the possibility of delaying projects one year or funding one or two projects at this time.
Public Input on Middle School SALTA Reported
Chief Academic Officer and Deputy Superintendent Ginger Rhode reported public input received about the Midvale Middle School SALTA program, including questions about how changes in SALTA magnet program might impact the International Baccalaureate program at Hillcrest High. Board members discussed input regarding the magnet’s location. Other issues to be discussed include whether students should be able to continue to self-select for the program or be required to take a test first. Dr. Rhode noted middle schools next fall will offer Common Core State Standards curriculum, considered to be more rigorous, as well as introduce Common Core State Standards honors courses to offer more challenging curriculum to advanced learners.
Common Core State Standards Implementation Plan Approved
The Board approved the following timeline for implementation of the Common Core State Standards:
2010-2011: Grades K-6
2011-2012: Grades 7 and 8
2012-2013: Grade 9
2013-14: Grade 10
2014-15: Grade 11
English Language Arts
2011-2012: Grades 7 11
2012-2013: Grades K 6
The State Office of Education’s implementation schedule is different. The state plans to implement the Common Core State Standards in math in grades six and nine next school year, add remaining grades kindergarten through 10th grade in 2012-2013, and Grade 11 in 2013-2014. The state plans a limited implementation of Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts beginning next school year, with full implementation scheduled by 2014-2015.
The Utah State Board of Education last year adopted the Common Core State Standards, developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governors Association, and Achieve, Inc., with support from the National PTA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The standards align with expectations of colleges and the modern workforce , clearly state what students should know and be able to do at each grade level, and give parents and teachers tools to help students stay on the college- and career-ready path.
Rique Ochoa, Alta High social studies teacher, invited the Board to attend an AP History Review with H.W. Brands, noted professor of U.S. History and two-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize, on April 2.
The Board recognized the following staff and students for their artistic, athletic and academic excellence:
District Arts Consortium Chairwoman Sharee Jorgensen
All-State Band and Jazz Band honorees
Girls Basketball Academic All-State honorees
All-State Golf honorees
Music teachers Randal Clark from Jordan High and Debra Wetzel from Oakdale Elementary for presenting at the Utah Music Educators Professional Development Conference
Hillcrest senior Samuel Watson, who earned a perfect 36 composite score on the ACT college entrance test
Butler Middle School eighth-grader Melanie Martins, whose VFW Patriotic Pen Essay was ranked in the top 20 in the nation
State Stock Market Game first-place team winners from Midvale Middle School, and second- and fifth-place team winners from Crescent View Middle School
Candidates for the 2011 Presidential Scholars Program
Kathryn Anderson, District Director of Partnerships and Community Service and recipient of Community Shares Utah’s 2011 Leadership Award
Jordan High parent Kelly Christensen, recipient of the Lt. Governor’s Civic Volunteer of the Year Award
Canyons District Homeless Education Liaison Connie Crosby, named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Utah School Counselors Association
Brighton senior Stephanie Verdoia, 2010-2011 Utah Gatorade Player of the Year for Girls Soccer; 5A State Wrestling champions
5A State Champion Brighton Boys and Girls Swim Teams
5A State Champion Alta High Girls Basketball Team
Alta Parent Shelley Morrison received special honors from Superintendent David Doty for her example of sportsmanship, kindness and civility at the championship girls basketball game.
The Board approved the consent agenda, which includes the Feb. 15 minutes; purchasing bids; volunteer report; and the Common Core State Standards implementation timeline. It also includes student overnight travel for CTE HOSA and CTE FBLA.
Superintendent David Doty praised the work of the District’s bond counsel from George K. Baum & Co. He thanked Assistant to the Superintendent Laura Minson for her work to prepare student and staff recognitions on the Board’s behalf. He also congratulated Brighton Boys Basketball for their advancement in the 5A State Tournament.
Steve Wrigley supports Mr. Ochoa’s invitation. He thanked the volunteers who have donated 87,477 hours to schools in the past six months; attended “All My Sons” play at Jordan High; met with Eastmont and Jordan High CTE teachers and was impressed with their collaboration; the Alta View SALTA program;
Kim Horiuchi thanked Brighton High for hosting Board meeting. She also thanked families and students for coming to Board meeting, and for the a opportunity to recognize their athletic, academic and artistic excellence this evening.
Kevin Cromar praised Alta girls for their Basketball State Championship and Brighton Boys Basketball for advancing in the 5A State Tournament. He also attended Butler Middle honors for Patriotic Pen Essay winner Melanie Martins. He praised the Albion Middle musical and the fact the school renovation will upgrade the sound system. He attended the Brighton High Jazz Night and the Sandy Chamber Winter Festival, where Sue Malone won the Leader in Education Award (Midvale teacher Shelley Allen and Quail Hollow Principal Marilyn Williams were nominees). He noted Utah School Boards Association concerns with a charter school funding bill and a measure to give public education oversight to the governor. He also noted Alta’s high support of the bond, and thanked Mayor Tom Pollard for his efforts.
Paul McCarty said he is pleased with the Board’s decision on the bond projects timeline, which enabled the first step in addressing critical building needs.
Mont Millerberg thanked voters for approving the $250 million bond, and views his work as a Board member as a sacred trust to ensure the money is prudently spent. He attended the Sandy Chamber Winter Festival, and noted the three Leader in Education Award nominees from Canyons each were excellent, and deserved time in the spotlight.
Vice President Sherril Taylor noted the decision on the bond timeline was a historic marker in the Board’s work to improve education students in every corner of the District. He earlier excused the absence of President Tracy Cowdell due to illness.