Board Affirms Mount Jordan Middle Rebuild, Approves Site Plan
The Board voted to approve a site plan for a rebuild of Mount Jordan Middle School. Board members also decided to start work immediately after school is dismissed for the 2012-2013 school year, move the Mount Jordan student body to the old Crescent View Middle School during the transition year, and to have no other debate on whether the District should move forward with plans to rebuild the school.
Of the three proposed site-plan options, the Board selected Option No. 2, which was favored by Mount Jordan Principal Dr. Molly Hart and the School Community Council. The project was identified as a priority when the Board successfully campaigned in 2010 for a $250 million general obligation bond to build and renovate schools. The bond projects, including the rebuild of Mount Jordan, start to address the $650 million in deferred maintenance on Canyons buildings that were identified in a 2009 architectural review of District-owned buildings.
The vote was preceded by discussion on whether the project should be postponed for more study. Board member Chad Iverson voiced concern about the need to rebuild the school, and said the existing capacity could handle the middle school enrollments. He proposed to permanently move the Mount Jordan student body to the old Crescent View. He also urged the Board to consider demolishing Mount Jordan and selling the property. Board member Tracy Scott Cowdell said the Mount Jordan project was promised to the public when the bond was approved, creates opportunity for school choice throughout the District, and has been discussed for several years by the Board and community Task Forces. He also believes that, like the renovated and rebuilt Albion Middle and Midvale Elementary schools, students will return to Mount Jordan when there is a new school with state-of-the-art technology and updated amenities. Board members Sherril Taylor, Steve Wrigley, Nancy Tingey, Robert Green and Kim Horiuchi voted in favor of the motion to continue with plans to rebuild Mount Jordan Middle.
To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 9.
Administrative Appointments Ratified
Canyons District is pleased to announce new leadership appointments. The following have accepted new administrative roles in Canyons District schools, as ratified by the Board:
- Scott Jameson, now serving as Principal at Altara Elementary, will become Assistant Principal at Albion Middle School.
- Kelly Tauteoli, currently Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle, also will move to Albion Middle School.
- Nicole Svee-Magann, currently Assistant Principal at Albion Middle, will become Principal at Altara Elementary.
- Rex Prescott, currently Assistant Principal at Sandy Elementary, will become Principal at Bella Vista Elementary.
- Paula Logan, Principal at Midvale Middle School, will become Principal at Butler Middle School.
- Jesse Henefer, now an Achievement Coach at Midvale Middle, will join Logan at Butler Middle as an Assistant Principal.
- Christian Cowart, now an Assistant Principal at Hillcrest High, will move to Corner Canyon High as an Assistant Principal.
- Marsha Morgan, currently Principal at Butler Middle, will join Cowart as an Assistant Principal at Corner Canyon High.
- Piper Riddle, now a Dual-Immersion Language Program Coordinator in the Evidence-Based Learning Department, will become Principal at Draper Elementary.
- Kenna Sorenson, now Principal at Draper Elementary, will become Principal at East Sandy Elementary. Sorenson replaces the retiring Bill Geist.
- Stacy Kurtzhals, now Assistant Principal at Butler Middle, will become Principal at Eastmont Middle School. She replaces Jan Sterzer, who is retiring.
- Jan Hansen, Assistant Principal at Jordan High, will become an Assistant Principal at Hillcrest High.
- Justin Pitcher, currently Assistant Principal at Midvale Elementary, also will move to Hillcrest High as an Assistant Principal.
- Wendy Dau, who has been a teacher in the Davis School District for 17 years, has been named an Assistant Principal at Jordan High.
- Roberto Jimenez, currently Assistant Principal at Albion Middle, will join Dau at Jordan High as an Assistant Principal.
- Frank Schofield, now Principal at Sunrise Elementary, will become Principal at Midvale Middle.
- Julie Fielding, who has worked in the Evidence-Based Learning Department and as an Achievement Coach, will become an Assistant Principal at Midvale Middle.
- Shawn Walker, who is serving as an administrative intern at Oak Hollow and Willow Springs elementaries, will go to Midvale Elementary as an Assistant Principal.
- Diana Wallace, now Assistant Principal at Lone Peak and Sprucewood elementaries, will become Assistant Principal at Sandy Elementary.
- Margaret Swanicke, a Teacher Specialist for the Murray School District, will become Principal at Sunrise Elementary.
- Leslie Jewkes, a Principal from the Carbon County School District, will become Principal at Peruvian Park Elementary, replacing the retiring Ruth Peters.
- Denis Lyons, Principal at Bella Vista Elementary, will become the new Principal at Quail Hollow Elementary. He replaces Denise Orme, who is retiring.
Canyons Superintendent Dave Doty welcomed them all to their new assignments, effective July 1, 2013. The majority of the new appointments represent promotions for outstanding service or requests by the administrators for new professional challenges and experiences.
Fundraising Protocols Discussed
The Board in Study Session began discussing steps to ensure compliance with an upcoming State Board of Education rule on fundraising protocols and accountability. The aim is to improve current procedures, which were praised by the Utah State Auditor earlier this year, and to ensure those procedures are consistent with the District’s mission of college- and career-readiness for all students and encourage private philanthropic support of innovations regarding that mission. The rule requires local school districts by September 2013 to adopt and implement policies and procedures regarding the management and use of public funds, including those privately donated, received through fundraisers and other gifts, as well as form and implement and audit and finance committee. Superintendent David Doty’s recommendations include updating policy, authorizing the hiring of staff to oversee its implementation, and annual policy training for groups including principals, teachers, coaches, PTAs, and booster clubs. The Board will discuss the matter in upcoming meetings.
New Alta Marching Band Advances
The Board approved the District’s first marching band. Alta High’s Bill Mattingly, who will advise the all-District band, said he’d like to do several summertime parades, including the Days of ’47. He said any student from any high school is welcome in the band. The Board thanked Mattingly for his efforts.
The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the Feb. 19 Minutes; Purchasing Bids; Student Advisory Council Task Force; and Administrative Appointments; and overnight student travel for Brighton Student Government, CTE DECA, and Jordan High Football. The Board also approved the Secondary Curriculum Adoption. For more information, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Items 6 and 8.
Board Test-Drives Data Dashboard
The Board received a demonstration of the Data Dashboard, a collection of each student’s achievement data used by teachers to adjust instruction and effectively target interventions. The Data Dashboard was designed by Canyons professionals as a tool to improve student achievement and ensure all students are prepared for college and career. The District is working to provide the tool to parents.
The Board received an update on the Canyons School District Education Foundation’s activities. Since its 2010 creation, the Foundation has formed business and community partnerships, crafted volunteer online registration, created alumni association lists at Jordan and Hillcrest high schools, raised funds through entities including DonorsChoose, awarded several $10,000 teacher innovation grants, and raised $160,000 this school year for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM). The Foundation is planning an April 25 fund-raising gala to encourage additional support for STEAM curriculum and innovations. The Board also talked about the possibility of placing ads on school buses as an additional fundraising source, and will continue that discussion in a future meeting.
Canyons students need to take more rigorous math and science courses in high school to ensure they meet college-readiness benchmarks on the ACT and are well prepared for the future, student achievement and course-taking data show. Evidence-Based Learning Specialist Leslie Allen reported on efforts to reach that goal. Canyons is providing more hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses through efforts including using state USTAR funding for high school robotics, after-school STEM centers and summer classes; coaching teachers in math and science instruction; and incorporating “design challenges” in new middle school STEAM curriculum. Board Member Robert Green said he would like Canyons to be known for producing highly educated and motivated students in STEM fields and attract businesses to the area.
Board Governance Update
The Board expressed a desire to set aside a large block of time in a future Board study session to discuss Board Governance, and asked members Chad Iverson and Nancy Tingey to complete the draft document for this purpose.
Board Vice President Steve Wrigley and Board Member Robert Green reported they will meet with the Administration in the next week to gather information about the District’s strategic plans now in place. They then will work to address any deficiencies and draft a document for Board discussion.
The Board Recognized the following employees and students for outstanding achievements:
- Bruce Shuck, Crescent View Middle School Counselor, Utah School Counselor Association’s Human Rights Award recipient
- Matt Findlay, Alta High junior, 5A State Wrestling Champion
- Clay Moss, Jordan High junior, 5A State Wrestling Champion
- Marianne Liu, Peruvian Park second-grader, Utah representative at the National Storytelling Festival Showcase
- Brighton Boys and Girls Swim Teams, 5A State Champions
- Long Gutierrez, Brighton senior, 5A State Champion and 5A Swimmer of the Year
- Brighton Swim Coach Todd Etherington, 5A Coach of the Year
Academic All-State Teams:
- Boys’ Basketball: Travis Devasharyee, Brighton
- Girls’ Basketball: Madison Shaw, Hillcrest
- Drill Team: Mckenna Price and Melanie Bergman, Hillcrest
- Boys’ Swimming and Diving: Tyler Pistorius, Alta; Aaron Hsu, Hillcrest
- Girls’ Swimming and Diving: Ashlin Springer and Jordyn Hansen, Alta
- Wrestling: David Vierkant and Michael Neddo, Jordan.
Fourteen patrons and teachers and two students spoke in favor of rebuilding Mount Jordan Middle on its current site. Some said the Board should follow through with its promise to voters during the $250 million bond election in 2010. They said public services don’t halt for neighborhoods who don’t vote in favor of a candidate or ballot measure. Some were concerned about rumors that Mount Jordan might be closed, and said that the school serves a diverse community that won’t be able to access offerings far from home. Some asked the Board to ensure the swimming pool, used by the community and Jordan High Swim Teams, is rebuilt as part of the new school’s site plan. Some said the neighborhoods were rejuvenating, and more than 2,000 home building permits were expected to be issued in 2013.
Three patrons spoke against the rebuilding of Mount Jordan. Some said facts should outweigh emotion, noting voters in Mount Jordan boundaries didn’t support the bond, that enrollments in the school’s boundary were declining, and that enrollments were being bolstered by requiring students in west Draper to take the bus to school up to 7 miles away from home. Some said the rebuilding in an area with declining enrollment could eventually result in the closure of another middle school, and that the Board should sell that and other properties to demonstrate fiscal responsibility.
Patron Joanne Andrus suggested moving Mount Jordan to the current Crescent View Middle School site, and instead using the Mount Jordan property to relocate the Canyons Technical Education Center or Entrada Adult High School.
Resident Steve Van Maren asked for clarification on how many students the District expected to participate in a proposed District marching band, and how many instruments and uniforms would be purchased.
To listen to the comments, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 5A.
Green enjoyed visiting Midvalley Elementary with Principal Jeff Nalwalker and Midvale Middle School with Principal Paula Logan. He is looking forward to visiting Jordan Valley School.
Tingey thanked patrons for coming to hers and Wrigley’s constituency meeting. She thanked Canyons for partnering with Sandy City on the Sandy issues night workshop, “Fight the new drug,” an anti-porn program aimed at teens. She encouraged others to attend a second showing of the workshop March 13 at Alta High School. She participated in Read Across America Day Monday, where she ate green eggs and ham and made hats with students at Granite Elementary. She thanked parents, teachers and school administrators for their work to prepare for Parent-Teacher Conferences this week.
Wrigley thanked the Administration for considering the input of Eastmont patrons in interviewing candidates for the new principal, and said Kurtzhals is an exceptional choice. He also said Jewkes will be a great principal for Peruvian Park Elementary.
Iverson thanked the Board for respectfully expressing their opinions and debating the merits of the Mount Jordan project. He said he respects opinions of others on the Board even though he does not agree with the outcome. He thanked the Board leadership for the opportunity to debate the matter. He again praised the Watch D.O.G.S program and wants to have Altara Elementary Principal Scott Jameson and program participants present to the Board.
Taylor thanked the Administration and Board for their hard work. He said it was a long night, but noted a great deal had been accomplished.