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.
Canyons District preschools are evidence of the power of play.  It may look like the children are just hopping, dancing, singing, coloring and laughing together — but studies have shown that structured play can hone a child's language, math and social skills. 

Jumpstart your child's education by participating in Canyons District's preschool program.  The application window for spots in Canyons' tuition-based preschools in the 2020-2021 school year is now open. 

Parents can click here to apply for high-quality preschool programs at schools across the District.  The CSD preschools, which follow an evidence-based curriculum that line up with the core standards of learning at the kindergarten level, cost $100 per month for students attending two days per week and $200 a month for students attending four days. There’s also a one-time $20 registration fee.

Availability in the program for the coming academic year is based on a first-come, first-served, space-available basis. 

Preschool programs will operate next year Altara, Bella Vista, Edgemont, Jordan Valley, Midvalley, Oakdale, Quail Hollow and Willow Springs schools. 

Morning sessions are from 8:20-10:50 a.m. Afternoon sessions are 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

In CSD, free preschool programs are provided at Title I schools. Students who turn 4 years old before Sept. 1, 2020 and live within the boundaries of Midvale, Copperview, Sandy and East Midvale elementary schools can apply to participate.

CSD will begin taking applications for spots in those preschools on March 1.
Parents of children in Canyons District’s Dual Language Immersion program may be impressed when they hear their kiddos rattling off phrases in a foreign language.

But how can they be sure that their children are gaining proficiency in the language they are studying? 

That will be the topic of discussion at a 6 p.m. meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 22 in the Canyons Center of the Canyons District Offices, 9361 S. 300 East.  

At the “Parent Proficiency Night,” Canyons DLI specialists will discuss what proficiency in a target language looks like. They also will review established performance benchmarks and give tips on how parents can best support their child’s advancement in a global language.

Teachers also will provide examples of classroom activities and assessments.

The goal of the DLI program is to ensure that a DLI students achieve language proficiency that will prepare them to be college- and career-ready in a global society and marketplace. For this purpose, the Utah DLI program has adopted proficiency targets in listening, speaking, reading and writing for every grade level.

More information about Canyons’ DLI program can be found on the District's website. Questions? Please call the CSD Instructional Supports Department at 801-826-5026.
“I touch the future,” once said Christa McAuliffe, the American teacher and Space Shuttle Challenger crew member.  “I teach.”

To honor the stellar teachers who encourage students to seek their dreams and reach for the stars, the Canyons Board of Education and Administration encourage members of the community to submit nominations for the 2020 Canyons Teacher of the Year Award.

Each year, all Canyons schools and programs select one Teacher of the Year through a competitive selection process. The winning educator receives a crystal award from the Canyons Board of Education and gifts from local business partners.  

From that field of school-based honorees, the CSD Administration, after reviewing student achievement data and evaluating instructional practices, choses one overall CSD Teacher of the Year. That teacher, who receives additional prizes from the Canyons Education Foundation and major donors, also becomes Canyons’ nominee for Utah’s Teacher of the Year honors. 

Students, parents, patrons, PTAs, business partners, and Canyons employees are all invited to nominate an educator during the nomination window, which ends Monday, Feb. 3. Click here for the nomination form.  All teachers who have completed at least one year in the classroom are eligible for consideration. She or he also must showcase outstanding teaching practices, professionalism, and involvement in the school community. 

Nomination forms are submitted to the school where the teacher is employed. Each school will have a Teacher of the Year Selection Panel, including the principal, a school employee and a School Community Council member, to consider the nominations from the community and employees.  

From March 30-April 3, schools across the District will announce their respective Teachers of the Year with school celebrations.

The District’s top teacher will be announced at a celebration on Tuesday, April 21.  All school-based Teachers of the Year will be feted at a 7 p.m. catered reception at Midvale Middle, 7852 S. Pioneer. At 7:30 p.m., the Board of Education will host a ceremony in the middle school’s auditorium to announce the overall 2020 Canyons District Teacher of the Year.

The public is invited to the reception and top teacher announcement. 

The 2019 Teacher of the Year was Jessica Beus, a third-grade teacher at Midvale Elementary. 

Videos of all previous winners, who also are given the Apex Award for Teacher of the Year, can be accessed at the Canyons District YouTube channel.
When Jordan Valley PTA President Betty Shaw applied to receive a $1,500 grant from Mountain America Credit Union, she asked all of the school’s teachers to make a wish list of items that could help them in their classrooms.

After Shaw officially received the grant Tuesday at the school in a presentation that included representatives from Mountain America Credit Union, Canyons Director of Special Education Misty Suarez, Principal Stacey Nofsinger, Canyons Education Foundation Development Officer Denise Haycock and PTA Region 17 Associate Director Terri Francis, she was emotional with gratitude. 

“It will do so much good for the school,” Shaw said. “It makes me cry and makes my heart happy because it can do so much good for these students and teachers. If we can help students transition here, what a great life they can have.”

Some of the items on the teachers’ lists included a ball pit, a shelf for a ceramic oven and items that help with sensory development for Jordan Valley’s population of students with severe special needs. Now that the money is certain, Shaw says the school will be able to determine exactly how best to use the funds for things that can’t be funded through federal, state or District money. 

Mountain America offered the grant to PTAs throughout Utah as a way to give back to the community. This year, the credit union distributed 10 grants. 

“In the credit union world, it’s about people helping people,” said Mountain America Credit Union’s Eric Buchanan. “This is a win for everyone. It’s humbling and exhilarating.”

Teachers at Jordan Valley use a wide variety of tools to help their severely disabled students, said Nofsinger.

With students who have such a wide range of special needs, solutions that may help one student with a challenge don’t necessarily help another. Grants like this help teachers expand their resources and add a meaningful contribution to the school.

“It just gave me goosebumps,” Nofsinger said. “Out of the goodness of people’s hearts, they just want these students to experience the most they can. People have a special spot in their heart for this school, and that’s just awesome.” 
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