It’s difficult to know who has more trepidation about discussing health and the maturation process, pre-teens or their parents.

But while growing up can be hard, talking about it needn’t be. To help you rock “the talk,” Canyons School District has developed an informational maturation program  for fifth-grade students and their parents.

Presentations conducted by the professional speaker Carrie Ann Kemp have been scheduled through the month of March. All parents are encouraged to attend these free events with their children, and to choose which date best fit their schedules, so that they can continue the discussion in their homes.

The aim of the program is to provide consistent, sensitive and approved instruction districtwide. Parents are advised to leave younger siblings at home.

*Midvale Middle
  • Tuesday, March 3 — Girls Program, 7-8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 4 — Boys Program, 7-8 p.m.
Eastmont Middle
  • Tuesday, March 10 — Boys Program, 7-8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 11 — Girls Program, 7-8 p.m.
Butler Middle
  • Wednesday, March 18 — Boys Program, 7-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 19 — Girls Program, 7-8 p.m. 
Indian Hills Middle
  • Wednesday, March 25 — Girls Program, 7-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 26 — Boys Program, 7-8 p.m.
*Interpreters for Spanish-speakers will be available at the presentations at Midvale Middle School.
Affirming Canyons’ commitment to Dual-Language Immersion programs in the coming school year and beyond, the Canyons Board of Education has approved a two-school expansion of the Spanish-English DLI program.

Members of the Board of Education on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 unanimously endorsed a proposal to launch Spanish-English DLI classes at Altara and Midvalley elementary schools in fall 2020. The decision comes after a public-input process to gauge the interest of parents and teachers in both communities.

Altara Principal Nicole Svee-Magann and Midvalley Principal Tamra Baker held meetings with faculty, members of their School Community Councils, and Parent-Teacher Associations to discuss whether the program would be welcome. The feedback from all groups, both say, was overwhelmingly positive.

“Our faculty and community are so excited for this opportunity,” says Svee-Magann.  “We believe that it will strengthen our academics and infuse new energy into our school. We can’t wait to welcome new students to our Altara family.” 

Baker says the Midvalley community is “unified around the common goal of nurturing scholars who are ready for the most rigorous courses.”

“In a community rich with over a dozen languages,” she says, “our Midvalley community embraces the academic excellence that the Spanish DLI program will continue for all of our students, not just those in the DLI program.” 

Canyons District’s central-office staff is working on the tasks that need to be done in order to provide the first- and second-grade DLI classes for the Kittyhawks and Jr. Huskies in the fall. 

The CSD Instructional Supports Department will start the process to hire teachers and conduct a special application window. Children from all parts of Canyons District may apply, but some spots will be reserved for in-boundary children at both schools. 

Children entering first-grade and second-grade in the coming year are eligible to apply for both the Altara and Midvalley programs.   

Canyons expects the demand to exceed the available space at both sites. A lottery will be held to determine the students who are placed. 

Students who have already received a placement in another DLI program or are on the waitlist may apply for these two programs without risking their placement or status on the current waitlist. A family that ends up with two placements as a result of the special lottery can select their placement of choice.

Current first-grade DLI students at any other Canyons school, regardless of the target language, may apply for a placement at Altara or Midvalley. 

Parents who want their children to be considered for a placement in either program can submit an online application March 2-20.  

CSD will begin taking applications via an online portal at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 2.  Parents will be able to access a live link to the portal on the Canyons website on Friday, Feb. 28.   

Placement notifications will be sent electronically to parents on Friday, April 3. Acceptance letters from families will be due Friday, April 17.
Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

Dual Language Immersion

Signaling Canyons’ firm commitment to dual-language immersion programs in the coming school year and beyond, the Board of Education approved a two-school expansion of CSD’s Spanish-English DLI program. After receiving positive feedback on the proposal from the Altara and Midvalley elementary school communities, the Board of Education voted to launch Spanish DLI classes at those two schools in the coming school year. Canyons’ Instructional Supports Department will now start the process to hire teachers and conduct a special springtime lottery to fill the new first- and second-grade DLI classes. The current waitlist for students hoping to get into a Spanish DLI class stands at 93. The waitlist for 2020-2021 is already at 114.

New School Construction Update

The Administration reported on meetings with faculty, staff and parents regarding the plan to consolidate the Bell View and Edgemont school communities in a new building on the Edgemont campus. Business Administrator Leon Wilcox said the feedback on the plans for the new school has been largely positive. Work is scheduled to start in 2021. An architect has already started drafting plans for the as-of-yet-unnamed building, expected to open in fall 2022. In addition, plans are underway to start in 2021 on a rebuild of Peruvian Park Elementary. The District proposes to house 370-student Edgemont and 575-student Peruvian Park school communities at the old Crescent View building during the year-long construction schedules at their new schools. While at the temporary location, both Peruvian Park and Edgemont schools will have a dedicated block of classrooms. Busing logistics are still being discussed.  The Board of Education will continue to review the administration’s proposals.  

Graduation Assignments

The Board of Education decided on speaking assignments for Class of 2020 commencement exercises. Canyons District’s five traditional high schools will hold rites on Thursday, May 28. Ceremonies for special programs and schools will be held on separate dates.

  • Alta High School — May 28, 10 a.m., University of Utah Huntsman Center
  • Brighton High School — May 28, 2 p.m., Maverik Center
  • Corner Canyon High — May 28, 2 p.m., University of Utah Huntsman Center
  • Hillcrest High School — May 28, 9:30 a.m., Maverik Center
  • Jordan High School — May 28, 6:30 p.m., Maverik Center
  • Diamond Ridge High School — May 27, 7 p.m., Midvale Middle School
  • South Park Academy — June 10, 8 a.m., Timpanogos Correctional Facility 
  • Entrada — June 30, 7 p.m., Jordan High School
  • Canyons Transitions Academy — May 26, noon, Canyons Center, Canyons District Office
  • Jordan Valley School — May 22, 11 a.m., Jordan Valley Cafeteria
Career and Technical Education Update

Career and Technical Education is not solely vocational training. In fact, many Canyons CTE students have their eyes on post-secondary education and earned 6,094 concurrent enrollment credits  in CTE courses during the last school year, reported Janet Goble, CSD’s CTE Director and Principal of the Canyons Technical Education Center. Goble also told the Board that CTE students in the Class of 2019 who participated in a sequence of CTE courses earned a 95 percent graduation rate. Still, a major focus is on job training. Earlier this month, she said, 110 students and 50 community partners participated in the annual Job Shadow Day, which gives students an up-close look at life in the workplace. Seventy-three student received professional experience while working as interns, she said, and 764 earned industry-recognized certifications while still in high school. A big part of Canyons’ CTE efforts is centralized at CTEC, which counts 707 students in 13 programs. In all, Goble said, 8,909 students are enrolled in CTE courses. 

School Fee Update

The Board of Education is required to approve a school-fee schedule by April after allowing time for public comment. To meet that deadline, the Board discussed proposed changes to the proposed school-fee schedule for the 2020-2021 school, as presented by CSD’s finance department. Among the proposed changes: increasing the maximum amount from $4,000 to $5,000 and combining the textbook fee with the activity fee. Accounting Director Gary Warwood reminded the Board that schools cannot use one fee to subsidize another fee or waiver and that fees must be equal to or less than the cost of the activity. A second reading for the proposed fee schedule, which is posted on BoardDocs, will be March 3. The proposed fee schedule, which includes new competition, miscellaneous, and travel fees, was created with feedback from principals and issues that came up throughout the year.

School Lunch, Breakfast Prices

The Board of Education is considering slight increases in the price of meals served in CSD cafeterias for the coming school year. In 11 school years, CSD has maintained the same price for school meals, even though the price of food and labor has increased and roughly a quarter of Canyons students qualify for free- and reduced-prices lunches. If approved, the range of meal-price increases would go up 10 cents to 25 cents per meal to help sustain the District’s Nutrition fund balance, which has decreased from $3.1 million in 2017 to $2.7 million in 2019. The balance is projected to decrease to about $2.5 million in 2020, said Business Administrator Leon Wilcox, and the District must have reserves of three months in the account. The department struggles to hire workers with the current wages on the salary schedule. Currently, Canyons charges 90 cents for breakfast and $1.75 for lunch in elementary schools. In middle and high schools, students are charged $1.10 for breakfast and $2 for lunch.


The following faculty and staff were recognized for their achievements:
  • Janet Goble, Canyons’ Career and Technical Education Director and Principal of Canyons Technical Education Center, for being named the CTE Administrator of the Year by the Utah ACTE.
  • Emma Moss, Eastmont Digital Literacy Teacher, for being named the Utah ACTE New Teacher of the Year.
Policy Update

The Board of Education approved a new policy governing private and home school student participation in Statewide Public School Assessments. The Board also is considering a policy regarding LEA-specific Teacher Licensing Requirements.

Legislative Update

Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards updated the Board of Education on education-related bills being debated during the 2020 General Session of the Utah Legislature.

Consent Agenda

The Board of Education voted to approve the Consent Agenda, which includes the minutes from the Jan. 29, 2020 meeting of the Board of Education; the minutes from the Feb. 4, 2020 meeting of the Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; student overnight travel; and January financial reports.   

Pledge of Allegiance, Posting of the Colors

Students from East Midvale Elementary posted the American and Utah flags and led the Pledge of Allegiance. East Midvale’s Community Schools Coordinator Shelley McCall said students were recently asked what they appreciated about living in America as part of the school’s Living Traditions Night. McCall says they received such responses as “I love looking at the mountains,” and “I can choose what I want to be because have good jobs.” The students also wrote about their love of security, safety, freedom, the ability to go to a clean and welcoming school, and access to technology. Principal Matt Nelson said the Living Traditions event, during which families learn about countries around the world, was well-attended by the community. The Title I school also provides after-school youth-development activities, such as sports club, choir, yoga, book club and a Math Olympiad, for the students, he said.

Patron Comment

The following patron signed up to address the Board of Education: 
  • Sprucewood Elementary parent Andrew Morgan commented on the administrative transfer of the current principal at the end of this year. They are concerned about the amount of principal changes at the school in such a short period of time.
  • Edgemont Elementary parent Lance Call commented on the proposed blueprints and layout of the new school.
  • Parent Jim Jensen expressed disappointment that proposals made by the Dual Language Immersion committee were tabled without more discussion. He said committee members feel disrespected because the proposals were not considered.
  • Parent Angie McFarland, whose children are in the DLI program, commented on the proposals now being considered by the Board, including the expansion of the Spanish-English program.  She expressed concern about the expansion without further consideration of the sustainability of the current program.
Superintendent, Business Administrator Reports

For CTE Month, Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe thanked the District’s CTE teachers, coordinators and administrators for building and maintaining strong Career and Technical Education programs. He invited the patrons to District Day on the Hill on Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Utah State Capitol. Canyons will have a booth from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jordan High’s drumline will perform in the Rotunda at 12:40 p.m.  He also explained some issues, such as the use of buildings, will be studied by the Long-Range Planning Committee. 

Business Administrator Leon Wilcox reported on the sale bonds for school construction.  In November 2017, the public gave approval to the District to bond up to $273 million, and the Board recently gave approval for an issuance of up to $80 million. At the sale, he said, the District was able to lock into a 1.73 percent interest rate, which will save taxpayer money in the long-term, he said.

Board of Education Reports

Chad Iverson reported on attending an Alta basketball game to see the student-athletes in action and listen to the pep band.  

Mrs. Clareen Arnold thanked the students, teachers, and parents who attended school on Monday, the makeup day for the Feb. 3 cancellation for extreme weather. She thanked CTE teachers, coordinators and administrator for their work, especially during CTE Month. She expressed appreciation for the Board’s discussion on important topics.

Mr. Steve Wrigley said he’s excited to see the plans for the new White City-area school inch closer to realization. He expressed appreciation for the Student Advisory Council, and the those who worked and attended school on the makeup day on Monday. Wrigley also said the Board will continue to discuss DLI-related issues.

Mrs. Amber Shill reported on attending senior night for the Brighton High boys hoops team.  She noted the Bengal cheerleader who was honored by Utah Attorney General for helping save a person’s life by administering CPR. She attended the Utah School Board Association’s Day on the Hill, and thanked the District’s legislative-affairs team for their work during the 45-day session. She was pleased with the attendance on Monday’s makeup day. She urged continued discussion among Board members about DLI proposals and Calendar Committee options for “Snow Day” makeup days. 

Mrs. Amanda Oaks reported on attending Corner Canyon and Lone Peak School Community Council meetings. She attended the anti-suicide production “Every Brilliant Thing,” performed by a troupe from the Tony Award-winning Shakespeare Festival. She has attended the JLC meetings at the Utah legislature and Corner Canyon High’s Concerto Night. She remarked on the DLI proposals, the need of the Long-Range Planning Committee to examine the DLI suggestions, and proposed a Town Hall to present information.

Mr. Mont Millerberg thanked Mr. Jensen for his service on committees and remarked on McCall’s presentation. He said the Union Middle Design Committee has been formed and will soon go see other newly built schools. He also met with the Salt Lake County Park and Recreation Advisory Committee and started attending a committee that examines transportation in parts of the Salt Lake Valley. 

President Tingey thanked the PTA for the Day on the Hill, held on Tuesday, Feb. 18.  She reported on the Feb. 10 start of the national search for a new Superintendent and encouraged parents and employees to complete the surveys that have been sent to them. She also encouraged participation in the Feb. 25-27 Town Halls.  Information gathered will inform the Board’s discussions about candidates.
From the second star to the right to an enchanted florist with a horrific plant. From a campy roller skate crew to a cursed castle haunted by a doomed prince, Canyons District’s middle schools and high schools are bringing plenty of excitement your way this spring to shake you out of the winter doldrums.

Check your calendars — there are plenty of dates from which to choose — and enjoy one, or all, of these fantastic productions, which are sure to chase all the cobwebs away. All members of the public are invited to attend — don’t miss out!

Feb. 19-22: The Alta Theatre Department will be performing “Our Town” at 7 p.m. Tickets are $9 in advance at or $10 at the door.

Feb. 20-22, 24: Jordan High will be presenting “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the prequel to Peter Pan, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults.

March 6-7: Corner Canyon will be performing the short play, “Check Please,” a funny comedy about awful dates, in the Little Theater on March 6 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and March 7 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at or at the door.

March 11-14: Draper Park Middle will showcase “Xanadu Jr.” Doors to the auditorium open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 6:30 p.m.  

March 19-21: The Hillcrest High Theatre Department presents William Shakespeare’s “Richard II” at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8-10, and will be available at beginning March 1.

March 25-26: Midvale Middle will perform “Cinderella.” Doors to the auditorium open at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 6 p.m. 

March 26-28: Eastmont Middle students will put on a production of “Music Man.” Doors to the auditorium open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m.    

April 22-25: Union Middle students will perform “Once on this Island.” Doors to the auditorium open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. In addition to the evening performances, a Saturday matinee will be held at 2 p.m. on April 25.

May 1-2, 4: Brighton High will present "Where Words Once Were," by Finegan Kruckemeyer at 7 p.m. at Butler Middle School. Tickets are $7.

May 13-16: Corner Canyon will present “Little Shop of Horrors,” the musical, in the auditorium at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance at or $10 at the door.

May 14-16: The Hillcrest High Productions Company presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “A Chorus Line – high school edition” at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8-10 and will be available at beginning May 1.

May 19-21: The drama program at Mount Jordan Middle will produce “Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” promptly at 6:30 p.m.

Ready for takeoff? To be an educator is to have the heart of an adventurer.

After all, learning is adventure. It’s about setting off into the unknown with a question and coming back with more questions. It means pushing past your comfort zone and embracing those magic moments when things don’t work out as planned — and it’s with this spirit that dozens of Canyons District employees are embracing retirement.
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Whether they’re withdrawing from active working life this summer to scuba dive or skydive, write a book, learn an instrument, or perform acts of service, CSD’s retirees are bound for great destinations, and deserve a proper send-off. Per a proud, 11-year tradition, they’ll be feted with fanfare at the District’s by-invitation-only Retirees Banquet on Thursday, May 14. The event is being held at The Gathering Place at Gardner Village starting with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by the program at 6:30 p.m.

Please also join us at Open Houses to bid bon voyage to the amazing teachers, administrators and Education Support Professionals who intend to make this year with CSD their last. To be added to the list below, email the name of the retiree and the date, time and place of the Open House to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Retirement Open House Events
  • An Open House for Ronnie Ellingson will be held Friday Feb. 21, 2:30-4 p.m., in the Human Resources Department at the Canyons District Office.
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