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.
Pizza ordered? Check. Dip made? Check? Beverages chilling in the fridge? Check, check, and check. Across America, folks are ticking off their to-do lists to be ready for the Sunday, Feb. 2 Super Bowl battle between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

But few Utah families are more excited to catch the game than the Bartons, whose Brighton High graduates have made it big in the sports world. And in professional football, there isn’t a bigger stage than Super Bowl LIV, which is expected to draw more than 90 million television viewers.

Some 100 of Kansas City offensive tackle Jackson Barton’s biggest fans will gather at his parents’ Sandy home to cheer for a big Chiefs win. Among the crowd of fans will be his siblings, including his brother, Cody, who plays for the Seattle Seahawks, and his wife and toddler son, Cohen.

Of course, they are hoping that Jackson, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Indianapolis Colts, will find some playing time for the Chiefs. The team picked him up in mid-November when star Martinas Rankin was put on injured reserve. Jackson Barton became a recruiting prospect by other NFL teams after the Colts cut him from the active roster but continued to use his talents on their practice squad. 

“I never thought I would see one of my kids in the Super Bowl,” says mom Mikki Barton, a fixture in the Brighton High cheering section while her boys Jackson and Cody and daughter Dani dominated the competition in several sports. “It was more of a, ‘Ooh, that would be cool’ thought.  It wasn’t until last year, when (Jackson and Cody) went into the draft. We thought, ‘OK, this is next level.’”

While the family traditionally plans a Super Bowl party, complete with smoked meat and other traditional snacks and sides, this year’s gridiron contest at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., is obviously far more exciting — and personal — for the athletic clan.  Jackson’s playing time is not guaranteed – but the family hopes he’ll get some time on the field during the big game.    

Mikki says she’s spoken with her son, the former University of Utah Ute, every day that he’s been in the Sunshine State to prepare for the match-up. He regales her with tales about the drum-beat of electrifying publicity surrounding the game, which will include a star-studded half-time show featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, and the National Anthem by pop singer Demi Lovato. 

“He says it is amazing,” Mikki Barton said. “He says they treat him really well, and the hype is incredible.” The public-relations blitz of the teams extended to a Barton mention this week on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” during which the host, in his Super Bowl Superlatives comedic bit, showed the 6-foot 7-inch, 302-pound player’s photo with the caption “Most Likely to Be All Five Guys from Five Guys.” 

“That was a complete surprise to him,” she says, adding that she received several texts from folks who saw Fallon’s poke at Jackson’s size. “(Jackson) was the first to send it to me. I wish I would have seen it live.” 

When Jackson calls to chat about the events of the day, she says, he often asks, “What are you doing tonight?”

“I say, ‘Trust me, nothing as interesting as you,’” she said. 

But Jackson Barton isn’t Canyons District’s sole tie to this year’s Super Bowl. Former U. teammate Alex Whittingham, the son of Ute coach Kyle Whittingham, is in his second year as an assistant on the coaching staff.  They didn’t play together while Bengals, but both got their starts wearing blue and orange.
 
If the Chiefs win — as the odds-makers are predicting — it would give Coach Andy Reid something that’s eluded him the length of his career:  A ring.  If the Chiefs win, Mikki Barton is not counting on receiving the gift of a ring from her son. “Oh, no, I just hope that he allows me to hold it,” she laughs. 

Win or lose, Mikki Barton looks forward to having all of her kids back together after the season ends.

  “I am excited for the Super Bowl, but I am excited for him to come home,” she said.  “At the same time, I seriously have to say, ‘We have a kid out there.’ It is so hard to believe.  We are very grateful that he’s been given this opportunity.”
What time is it?  It’s time to see Alta Hawks play Wildcats in a television event that attracts millions of viewers every week. A group of band students at Alta High on Friday flocked to the school’s auditorium to catch themselves in the most-recent episode of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” a trending show on the Disney+ streaming service. 

Cheers erupted during the finale, when the members of the band appeared on the screen. The Alta student-musicians played and danced around the show’s stars, who performed their version of the iconic “We’re All In This Together” tune that was made popular in 2006 by former teen stars Zac Ephron and Vanessa Hudgens in the first “High School Musical.” 

“I was just like, ‘Hey, that’s me!’ That was so cool,” said senior Sarah Rock-Ward, who appeared on-screen several times. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? I am actually on that screen.’  I mean, ‘High School Musical’ was my childhood, and here I am, getting to do this with all of my friends.”

Rock-Ward was among the some 50 students who were hired by Disney to appear as extras in the show. The appearance was arranged by Alta instrumental-musical teacher and marching band adviser Caleb Shabestari, who was contacted in June by Disney casting agents in search of high school-age band students who could quickly learn to play a song for the show’s finale.

Shabestari opened the opportunity to seniors and just-graduated students who had participated in marching band during their time at Alta. It took mere moments to attract a full roster of teenagers excited to be in the “HSM” reboot that is filmed mockumentary-style. 

All Alta students were required to send in a head shot to producers and sign an non-disclosure agreement that prohibited them from publicly discussing their time in front of the camera and in rehearsal.  The students also were paid for their time and talents.   

Ten days later, the cast of Hawks were on set at East High in Salt Lake City, rubbing shoulders with the actors who would reprise the roles of Troy and Gabriella. A 13-hour day of shooting resulted in about three minutes of screen time for the Alta students.    

“It was a fantastic experience for the kids,” says Shabestari, who also was paid for his time advising the students through the process. “They got to see what professional musicians go through.”

Senior Madi Bowles said Alta High students were streaming the show on their phones throughout the day to catch a glimpse of their classmates in Episode 10. Even though she graduates in a few months, she said she’d jump at a chance to appear in another episode.

“I would love to do it again. The show was renewed for another season so I am hoping they will have us back,” she said. “It would be so much fun to do it again.”
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.
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