On a brisk, clear day on Nov. 6, 2007, residents in the southeast corner of the Salt Lake Valley headed to the polls to vote in an election unlike any other. On that day, their votes made history. For the first time in Utah in nearly 100 years, a new school district was on its way — and Canyons District has been making history ever since.
Canyons District began independent operations on July 1, 2009, and we have kept the revolutionary vision of those voters at the center of all we do. With a laser-like focus on helping every one of our students become college- and career-ready, the District has been breaking barriers and raising the bar.
As administrators, teachers, and employees of the District, we understand the success of our students begins with our own responsibility to strive for a similar rigor in our administrative operations as in our academic programs. In addition to receiving awards for budget excellence in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, the District successfully campaigned for a $250 million bond to build and renovate schools. As a result of our sterling financial track record, Canyons District has received the highest possible bond rating from Moody’s Investors Service. We also actively involve members of the community with volunteer programs, and partner with civic and business leaders to elevate our students’ educational experience.
The symbols of Canyons District are three majestic peaks that rise above our namesake. Yes, the peaks represent the magnificence of the mountains that stand tall above our schools, athletic fields and playgrounds, but they also represent the obstacles that may face us, and our students, and our resolve to rise above them. Here, we present an overview of Canyons' accomplishments, with an invitation to engage with us on our continued exciting journey to new heights in education.
July 1 Canyons begins operations as Utah’s first new school district in nearly 100 years.
• Canyons launches its Middle School Intramurals Program.
• Board of Education approves a college- and career-ready academic plan. The plan includes reconfiguring grades to better address students’ academic needs and Utah’s first college- and career-ready diplomas, supported by the Utah System of Higher Education, the Utah Board of Regents, the Utah Technology Council, and the Salt Lake Chamber.
• A facilities assessment identifies $650 million in building needs districtwide.
• Voters approve $250 million bond referendum to start addressing District building needs.
• Canyons becomes Utah’s first school district to offer Face to Faith to high school students. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation program allows students to video-conference with peers around the world about how faith and belief shape their views on global issues.
• Canyons becomes Utah’s first school district to approve ACT EXPLORE, PLAN and college-entrance tests for all eighth-, 10th- and 11th-grade students, respectively.
• Canyons breaks ground on Corner Canyon High School in Draper, the first building project to begin under the $250 million bond.
• Canyons becomes the first school district in Utah to award differentiated diplomas. Canyons’ Advanced and Honors diplomas indicate students completed more rigorous courses, two years of foreign language instruction, and, for the Honors Diploma, earned college-ready benchmark scores on the ACT. These diplomas awarded to 60 percent of Class of 2011.
• Moody’s Investors Service assigns Canyons the highest possible underlying bond rating of Aaa at the District’s first bond issuance.
• Renovation begins on Albion Middle School, funded by bond.
• Seismic upgrades, funded by bond, completed at Sandy Elementary.
• Construction begins on Midvale Elementary School, to be rebuilt adjacent to Midvale Middle School.
• Canyons District launches the Canyons Virtual High School.
• Construction begins on to rebuild Butler Middle School, funded by the bond.
• Canyons is named to the College Board's 2011-2012 Advanced Placement Honor Roll, an honor shared by just 367 school districts nationwide.
• Following an extensive community process, the Board of Education finalizes new school boundaries for the 2013-2014 school year.
• In collaboration with Cottonwood Heights City, Canyons welcomes the community to Mountview Park, built on the property of the namesake school closed prior to Canyons’ inception.
• Board awards Honors and Advanced Diplomas to 62 percent of the Class of 2012.
• Canyons opens new Midvale Elementary School.
• Canyons opens renovated Albion Middle School
• Canyons breaks ground on Crescent View Middle School, rebuilt in Draper and renamed Draper Park Middle School.
• Ninth graders joined high schools, and sixth graders moved to middle schools to improve academic achievement and give students support needed to prepare for college and careers.
• Middle School Schedule Schools made more time for math and language arts – including extra help and enrichment – and launched Utah's first sixth-grade STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) courses to better prepare students for college and high-demand careers.
• New School Boundaries adjusted districtwide to accommodate grade reconfiguration (a result of fewer elementary students and more high school students) and future school enrollment and capacity.
• Corner Canyon High opens
• Butler Middle School opens
• Draper Park Middle School opens
• Hillcrest High new wing opens
• Brighton High Bengal Building opens
• National Sunshine Review Gives CSD a Sunny Award for having one of the most transparent government websites in the nation
• Board names Chief Academic Officer Dr. Ginger Rhode as Interim Superintendent
• Board names Dr. James Briscoe, Ed.D., as Canyons Superintendent, effective July 1, 2014
• Class of 2014 secures $24.6 million in scholarship offers
• 71% of Class of 2014 earns one of CSD's college and career-ready diplomas