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Getting Involved

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Corner Canyon Enrollment: Board Reaffirms Policy

Considering potential enrollment growth of students who live within Corner Canyon High’s boundaries, in addition to concerns about space limitations, the Board voted to follow Canyons District policy regarding school-choice permits at Corner Canyon High School. As a result, the out-of-boundary students who have already been approved to attend Corner Canyon on permit may continue to attend the school unless the school’s administration cannot accommodate the students under open-enrollment thresholds. Also, the Board placed Corner Canyon on moratorium status, which means that the school will not accept any additional open-enrollment permit applications, even from siblings of the out-of-boundary students who have been granted enrollment on an approved permit. The Board affirmed plans to landscape the campus according to plan, rather than add more parking spaces, as some community members have feared. The administration can move portables to the grounds should they be needed.

The vote follows an April 29 Town Hall for Corner Canyon parents, hosted by Board Vice President Steve Wrigley and Board Member Chad Iverson at the Board’s direction. The meeting was aimed at receiving community input on whether to honor the already-approved permits until the students graduate or annually review the space available and determine how many permits can be accepted for that year. About 200 community members attended. Board Members indicated they have read hundreds of e-mail messages regarding the issue over the past few weeks.

To listen to the discussion, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 7A.

FY2014 Budget Discussion

Chief Financial Officer Keith Bradford presented information regarding the development of the FY2014 budget. General fund revenues are estimated at $220 million, which is about $2 million more than last year, largely due to a 2 percent increase in the state’s Weighted Pupil Unit and an estimated 5.2 percent decrease in federal funds due to the federal budget sequester. Additionally, the District could realize a savings on expenditures of approximately $2.5 million as a result of the one-time early retirement incentive and $2.8 million as a result of the one-time bonus paid to employees during FY 2013. These savings will be offset by a 7 percent increase in state retirement costs, estimated at $1.8 million. Expenditures for extra staff to assist with grade reconfiguration, textbooks and supplies, achievement coaches, and School Resource Officers and utilities costs are being considered.

The nearly $50 million capital budget proposal includes $33.1 million in bond projects; $8.3 million in small capital projects, including $1.2 million to repair a massive crack in the Jordan High tennis courts, and HVAC upgrades, $1 million to redesign the old auto shop space at Alta High into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classrooms, and $8.5 million for other needs, including technology, buses and school equipment.

The estimate leaves $3.7 million in unbudgeted dollars, which could be considered in the budgeting of other requested programs such as elementary art and music specialists, a schoolwide AVID college-readiness program at Mount Jordan Middle School, a new teacher evaluation system required by law, and contract negotiations that are currently underway with the Canyons Education Association and the Canyons Education Support Professionals Association.

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

Patron Comments

Patron comments centered on Corner Canyon enrollments. Two students who received permits to attend Corner Canyon in 2013-2014 urged the Board to honor the permits throughout their high school years. Two parents urged the Board to remain true to their word to permitting students, and one urged the Board not to make permit promises when future enrollments are uncertain, and to uphold policy instead. Three Corner Canyon neighbors feared the Board would replace planned landscaping with pavement for more parking, a notion the Board later refuted by reaffirming the landscaping plans.

To listen to the comments, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 5A.

Board Action

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which includes the April 16 Minutes; purchasing bids; J1 Status Foreign Exchange Students for 2013-2014; and the adoption and purchase of secondary curricula. The Board approved student overnight travel for Alta Dance, Girls Soccer, Student Body Officers, and Yearbook staff; Brighton Cheer and Wrestling; Corner Canyon Dance and Drill; Hillcrest Drill and International Science and Engineering Fair; and Jordan Drill. For details, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 6.

The Board approved student fee changes to keep up with rising costs in visual and performing arts, middle school education, and digital learning technologies. The new fees will still be lower than those in many neighboring districts. To view the fee schedule, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 7B.

The Board approved a Student Advisory Council to the Board. For more information, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 7C.

The Board discussed recommendations from parents and principals that schools share in cell tower revenues to promote equity districtwide, and will bring back the proposal for a final reading and vote. For details, please visit BoardDocs and click Agenda Item 7D.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent David Doty talked about Corner Canyon enrollments. He said the District has been trying to strike balances in enrollment, school size, and costs. At play were factors including growth projections, returning charter and private school students, boundary realignments, and the state’s open enrollment law. He said he believes the District can accommodate all permit students throughout their high school years, barring unforeseen circumstances. He recommended examining placing portables on site to allow for additional capacity, and recommended the Board adhere to landscape design features created with input from neighbors. He said moratorium status also may allow some additional space in the school over time, and noted that too much interest in the new high school is a good problem to have.

Dr. Doty also thanked the Board for its support of Canyons Night at Real Salt Lake. He said he attended the Monday Native American student recognition event, and thanked the staff for their work to ensure student success.

Board Reports

Robert Green said he met Congressman Jason Chaffetz and invited him to visit Hillcrest. He enjoyed Canyons Night at Real Salt Lake, and the halftime recognitions for Teachers of the Year. He praised teachers for their work. He also enjoyed the Canyons School District Education Foundation’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) gala. He said it was nice to see the Alta robotics team display their work there, and enjoyed the opportunity to drive the CTEC electric car and hear the students say where they are going to college.

Kim Horiuchi attended the Ridgecrest Elementary orchestra and choir concert and commended teachers for their work. She attended the “Bye-Bye, Butler” event, where the community gathered to say goodbye to old middle school building. She said the teachers and staff are excited to move into the new school. She praised the STEAM gala, which helped the Foundation to exceed its $200,000 fundraising goal. She praised the Retirees Banquet and enjoyed learning about the retirees during the recognitions ceremony. She enjoyed seeing the Teachers of the Year and the Canyons traditions formed at the Real Salt Lake game.

Board 2nd Vice President Nancy Tingey praised Canyons Night at Real Salt Lake and the STEAM Gala. She said she became emotional about the recognitions provided at the Retirees Banquets, and was inspired by retirees’ dedication to students. She also attended the Jordan Valley School production of The Little Mermaid, which she called delightful.

Wrigley also praised the Retirees Banquet, and said he and his wife were impressed with the retirees’ accomplishments. He got a haircut at the Canyons Technical Education Center from a student who plans to become a stylist and own a her own company. He also visited Alta High and praised the good things the school is doing, including repurposing auto shop space into STEM classrooms and robotics spaces, and creating an academy program in which Alta will focus on incoming freshmen.

Iverson praised the Retirees Banquet, and enjoyed hearing about the retirees’ lives. He enjoyed Canyons Night at Real Salt Lake. He said he is appreciative of the Board’s discussion about authorizing the use of portables at Corner Canyon. But he said he believes the Board is punting as it relates to the kids, because next spring, there will be 240 kids who will wonder whether they will be in the school or not, and that’s going to happen every year for the next three years. He said the larger discussion before the Board should be about growth and planning.

President Sherril Taylor praised the Retirees Banquet, and thanked the staff for their work to create it.

Closed Session

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

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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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