Boundary Options Presented; Public Input Sought
The Board received proposed boundary options from the Boundary Steering Committee released the options for a three-week public input period. The Board last September established the Committee of parents, teachers and administrators to accomplish three goals: create a master plan for elementary, middle and high school boundaries; address enrollment and capacity issues; and pave the way for a new high school and school grade adjustments. The Board received two proposed boundary options each for elementary, middle and high schools. It also received a rationale for each proposal and supporting school enrollment, capacity, and feeder system data. All information presented to the Board has been posted at www.canyonsdistrict.org. The public is invited to give input on the options via an online input form, and at eight public open houses, scheduled for May 4 12.The Committee will weigh input, adjust options where needed, and make recommendations to the Board on May 17.
Board Receives Special Program Location Recommendations
In support of a proposal made by parents and teachers, Chief Academic Officer Ginger Rhode recommends consolidating four elementary SALTA locations to two, one in the north and one in the south, in the 2013-2014 school year. The proposed SALTA locations would be Peruvian Park and Sunrise elementaries, both of which currently house SALTA. She noted the other two current SALTA locations, Alta View and Ridgecrest elementaries, also house Dual Immersion language programs and special education cluster units. On the middle school level, Dr. Rhode recommended leaving SALTA at Midvale Middle and a bus route to serve middle school SALTA students who live in Draper. The recommendations are based on public input gathered last winter on proposed options for gifted and talented program services.
Dr. Rhode also requested adding a cluster classroom at Jordan High next school year and other cluster location adjustments for the 2013-2014 school year in consideration of future space needs. Click here see these and preschool proposals, listed under “Additional Information.”
Silver Mesa Dual Immersion Options Proposed
Dr. Rhode presented four options to resolve community concerns over the Dual Immersion magnet program selection process at Silver Mesa Elementary. Options include: maintaining the current placement, as requested by the principal to maintain program integrity; offering nine, in-boundary students not selected in the second lottery a place at Ridgecrest’s Dual Immersion Chinese Program, and offering similar placement to seven out-of-boundary students at other schools; and placing the nine students in Silver Mesa’s program, increasing class size and adding an aide if needed. The latter option could cut in half the number of regular first-grade classes to one, which several parents say would cause them to attend school elsewhere, Dr. Rhode reported. The options are to be presented to parents at a School Community Council meeting.
Dual Immersion participants are selected by lottery, and about half live outside the school’s boundaries. Due to error, Silver Mesa’s lottery for next school year was conducted a second time. Sixteen students chosen the first time were not selected the second time, though some were accommodated in other Dual Immersion programs. The Board earlier this month asked staff to seek solutions following parent complaints President Tracy Cowdell said the Board will make a decision on the matter in the May 17 meeting.
School Safety Task Force Weighed
The Board of Education discussed creating a School Safety Task Force and whether membership should include a Board member. The task force would be established to study and make recommendations to the Board on issues including safety and security procedures, training, and agency coordination. The Board will put the matter on the Consent Agenda in the next meeting.
The new Canyons Education Foundation is hosting a Foundation Author Night Dinner to help recruit Board members, Development Officer Allison Spencer said. The Foundation also has continued existing scholarships, and funded a trip to the Shuttle Endeavour launch for Hillcrest students, whose science project was selected to fly aboard the shuttle through the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Board members praised Spencer’s efforts, and discussed possible next steps, including hiring a full-time director.
The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the April 5 minutes, purchasing bids, March expense reports, Board hires and terminations, AVID contract, sewer easement for a new high school in Draper, and ratification of a Board decision regarding an employee appeal. The Board also approved overnight student travel for the following groups: Alta Football; Brighton Cheerleaders, Drill Team, and Student Body Officers; CTE FBLA, FCCLA, HOSA, and SkillsUSA; Hillcrest Cheer/Song Squad, Drill Team, and Girls Soccer; and Jordan Boys Basketball and Drill Team. The Board voted to remove from the Consent Agenda the Sandy CDA Agreement to allow more time for examination and the proposed T-Mobile cell tower at Alta High School as a procedural matter. The Board also assigned members to cover commencement exercises.
Tracy Bennett of the Alta School Community Council expressed concerns that a cell tower was on the Consent Agenda when the item had not yet been brought to the SCC or administration as per District policy.
Silver Mesa parent Janna Kimura noted that three other students were not included in the Silver Mesa lottery and should be included in the proposed resolutions. She also wants the District to consider opening a third Dual Immersion class at Silver Mesa.
Robin Cecil, parent of a Silver Mesa Dual Immersion student, said the selection process has divided the community. She is seeking information on how other districts conduct the selection process. Due to the botched lottery and a long waiting list, she wants another section of Dual Immersion.
The Board met in Closed Session to discuss the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual; pending or reasonably imminent litigation; collective bargaining; and the purchase, exchange, or lease of real property.