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Getting Involved

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ACT Achievement on the Rise

Canyons student achievement on the ACT test is on the rise. All Canyons 11th graders have been required to take the ACT college-entrance test since 2011. Since that time, the number of test-takers meeting the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks has risen in all subject areas, said Dr. Hal Sanderson, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment. The number of test-takers meeting the benchmarks has risen from 60 percent to 69 percent in English; from 53 percent to 56 percent in reading; from 38 percent to 43 percent in math; and 28 percent to 31 percent in science. Additionally, the number of test-takers achieving all four College Readiness Benchmarks has risen from 22 percent to 24 percent between 2011 and 2013. Canyons’ goal is to have 50 percent of all 11th graders achieve all four of the college-readiness benchmarks by 2015. Dr. Hollie Pettersson, Director of Evidence-Based Learning in Secondary Schools, noted the exceptional growth in the number of Alta High students meeting the English benchmarks. She attributed the growth to Language Arts teachers’ focus on the core standards.

To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 9A.

Policy on Employee Benefit Eligibility Discussed

The Board received a proposal to clarify District policy regarding employee benefit eligibility. The proposal was brought to the Board for two reasons: 1) the enactment of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, which mandates employees working 30 hours or more per week for more than 30 consecutive calendar days must be offered health insurance with affordable premiums; and 2) changes in the Utah State Retirement & Benefit Insurance Act.

To address the Affordable Care Act mandates, Human Resources Director Steve Dimond crafted a proposal that does not require a reduction in force. The proposal would offer health insurance to employees who work at least 30 hours per week. Those employees would pay the full-time premium contribution rate, which would mean a reduction in premium rates for employees working 30-35 hours per week. The proposal also would implement a grandfather clause to create stability for current employees as the Act is implemented. The grandfather clause would allow contracted employees working 20-30 hours per week to continue with current health insurance until the end of benefit plan year 2018. Non-grandfathered, uninsured employees will have access to health insurance through the Federal Health Insurance Exchange.

In regards to the Utah State Retirement & Benefit Insurance Act, HB255 amended URS contribution eligibility requirements for Education Support Professionals (ESP). The Board of Education designates District employees to be eligible for URS benefits as allowed under state law. Beginning July 1, the law states that eligibility will be provided to employees who work 20 hours or more per week and who receive benefits.

The changes in the law do not apply to licensed employees.

To address the URS & Benefit Insurance Act changes, Dimond proposed offering URS, paid leave, health and welfare benefits only to administrators and ESPs who work a minimum of 30 hours per week. The proposal would implement a grandfather clause allowing those employees who work 20-30 hours per week to continue with their current URS benefit. The proposal could result in up to $500,000 annual savings via attrition of grandfathered employees. Additionally, current hourly employees could be offered additional work hours to increase their potential earnings with no budgetary increase due to attrition.

Licensed employees’ URS benefits would remain the same.

Dimond said the idea behind the proposal is to be moral and ethical, and to help Canyons employees. Dimond said his office is looking into how to handle situations requiring long-term substitute teachers, who may, in those cases qualify for healthcare.
Board Member Kim Horiuchi praised the proposal, particularly the grandfather clauses, as well thought out and fair.

To listen to or view the presentation, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2C.

Mount Jordan Supports Proposed

Evidence-Based Learning Director Dr. Hollie Pettersson proposed to the Board implementing a series of supports to help meet students’ needs at Mount Jordan Middle School. The supports include schoolwide implementation of the AVID program’s college-readiness strategies; rigorous curriculum standards; full technology integration to support AVID strategies; and a partnership with higher education — specifically, a lab school with the University of Utah’s Department of Education and Math and Science Education Center. Board members indicated they wanted to further discuss the matter in light of a future budget presentation.

To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 2A.

Board Recognitions

The Board recognized the following students, employees and schools for their outstanding achievements:

Lexi Walker, fifth grade, Peruvian Park Elementary, 2013 Canyons Idol

Mitchell McAffee, Hillcrest High, State Future Business Leaders of America Champion in Cyber Security and Networking Concepts

Laura Thackeray, Brighton High, State Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America Champion in Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation

Ashley Cox, Alta High, State HOSA Champion

Peter Johnston, Hillcrest High, TSA State Champion in Video Game Design, Extemporaneous Speech

David Diaz, Jordan High, DECA State Champion and National Medal Recipient, Automotive Services Role Play

Matthew Davis, Jordan High/CTEC, who earned all 134 Boy Scouts merit badges, an Eagle Scout rank, and 13 palms

Winners of the 2013 Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair:

  • Parker Allred, Indian Hills Middle, second place, plant science
  • Calvin Yu, Hillcrest High, first place, behavior science
  • Alexandra Mullet, Peruvian Park, first place in chemistry, Broadcom Masters Special Award
  • Sahana Kargi, Peruvian Park, first place in plant and earth science, Broadcom Masters Special Award
  • Samuel Li, Hillcrest High, second place in earth and planetary science, US Metric Association Special Award, $1,000 scholarship to Westminster College.
  • Nityam Rathi, Midvale Middle, third place in earth and planetary science, American Meteorology Society Special Award, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Special Award, Nature High Summer Camp Special Award, Stockholm Junior Water Prize
  • Naveen Rathi, Hillcrest High, second place in cellular and molecular biology and a $1,000 scholarship to Westminster College. He also is working with a University of Utah scientist in search for a cure to ovarian cancer.
  • Brandon Cui, Hillcrest High, first place in chemistry, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Grand Champion, Stockholm Junior Water Prize Special Award, $80,000 scholarship to Westminster College
  • Bovey Rao, Hillcrest High, first place in biochemistry, American Society of Engineers Special Award, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Grand Champion, U.S. Department of Education Award, $80,000 scholarship to Westminster College

Hillcrest FIRSTRobotics Team, winner, Rookie All-Star Award, Utah FIRSTRobotics regional competition

Academic All-State:

  • Boys Tennis: Joshua Ulrich, Hillcrest
  • Boys Soccer: Jake Stepan, Jordan; Carter Woolf, Hillcrest
  • Boys Track & Field: Nate and Erik Marchant, Jordan
  • Girls Golf: Tavia Rasmussen, Alta; Madison Shaw, Hillcrest
  • Girls Track and Field: Allison Tolman, Alta; Jessica Lindsay, Jordan

Matthew Coffey, Brighton, 2013 Gatorade Utah Boys Soccer Player of the Year

Draper Elementary, State Creative Pursuits Bowl Champions

Alta Theatre, 5A State Theater Championship; Best Choreography honors, High School Musical Theater Awards

Hillcrest Theatre, 4A State Theatre Championship; Best Ensemble, Utah High School Musical Theater Awards

Jordan High and Alta High School Jazz Bands, received highest possible ratings at the State Jazz Festival

Ocean Commotion, Alta High, Utah PTA Battle of the Bands Champions

Timothy Hui, Midvale Middle, selected to represent Utah in National Do the Write Thing Challenge, essay entered into Library of Congress

Tyler Hill, Crescent View Middle, National Finalist, Do the Write Thing Challenge

Utah PTA Reflections Awards of Merit:

  • Abigail Slama-Catron, Peruvian Park, Literature
  • Hiatt Nebeker, Bella Vista Elementary, Literature
  • Natalie Healy, East Sandy Elementary, Literature
  • Brooklyn Backer, Sunrise Elementary, Photography
  • Garek Fowler, Willow Springs Elementary, Visual Arts
  • Ellie Otis, Ridgecrest Elementary, 3D

Utah PTA Reflections Awards of Excellence:

  • Grace Moore, Oak Hollow Elementary, Visual Arts
  • Brody Gibbs, Sunrise Elementary, 3D

National PTA Reflections Contest Winners:

  • Gracie Otto, Award of Excellence, Dance
  • Benjamin Williams, Award of Merit, Literature

Emily Housley, Jordan High, 2012-13 FCCLA Advisor of the Year

April Humphries, Silver Mesa Elementary, Utah PTA Golden Apple Award Winner

Rich Landward, District Student Support Specialist, recipient of the Clinical Faculty of the Year Award, University of Utah College of Social Work

Albion and Indian Hills middle schools, 2013 National Mix It Up Model Schools, Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance

Board Action

In response to a request from the Draper City Council, the Board agreed to ask the Crescent View Middle School Community Council to hold a special meeting to discuss whether it wants to entertain the idea of changing the name of the school when it relocates to Draper this fall. If the SCC is interested in changing the school’s name, the Board requests that the group forward three options to the Board for consideration. Board Member Chad Iverson said his constituents have told him that an area from about 10600 South to 11600 South historically has been referred to as the Crescent area, and that the name of Crescent View Middle School was intended to reflect the area. The new school will open at 13133 S. 1300 East.

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the April 23 and May 7 Board Meeting Minutes; Purchasing Bids; April Financial Reports; Home School Affidavit; April Hires and Terminations; the 2013-2014 Board Meeting Schedule; the Canyons Incident Command Plan; and Letter of Intent to Enter into a Ground Lease. The Board also approved overnight travel for Alta Cheer and Girls Basketball; Corner Canyon Student Body Officers; Hillcrest Dance, Debate, and Drill; and Jordan High Dance. For details, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 8.

The Board approved a change order for Corner Canyon High School that provides for construction of the originally planned berm and landscaping, as well as three portables on the campus, but no additional parking. Corner Canyon’s parking ratio is 1 space for every 1.67 students, including freshmen who are not old enough to drive. For details, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 8I.

The Board approved the cell tower revenue sharing proposal created by Canyons principals and School Community Council leaders. For more information, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 9B.

The Board agreed to meet on June 4 at 5 p.m. to discuss the superintendent search and Board governance.

Patron Comments

Parent Quinn Silcox said she was frustrated that the Board did not seek parent input before deciding to move the English-Spanish Dual- Immersion Language Program from Albion to Union Middle School in fall 2015. She said the majority of Silver Mesa’s English-Spanish Dual-Immersion Language families had looked forward to attending Albion Middle School. She said she fears the bus ride to Union will take more than an hour each way.

Closed Session

The Board met in Closed Session for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining; the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual; and the purchase, exchange or lease of real property.

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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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