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Canyons District’s 2010-2011 School Year Reduced By Five Days

Canyons District’s school year will be reduced five days in 2010-2011 to help address a $13 million shortfall that is largely the result of the economic downturn. The move, which includes accompanying unpaid furlough days, is one of several cost-cutting strategies made by the Board of Education in its tentative $198 million budget.

Although far from ideal, the one-time furloughs allow the Board and Administration to make significant strides toward balancing the budget while also safeguarding jobs and protecting the integrity of the District’s academic programs.  

Canyons will save an estimated $700,000 for each furlough day, which will be taken by every employee. In all, the scheduled furloughs, which the District acknowledges represent lost income for employees and instructional time for students, will save $3.5 million.

An 18-member District Calendar Committee, made up of parents, teachers, District Office representatives, school administrators and education support professionals, recommended the following five days for the district-wide furloughs:

  • Monday, Sept. 13, 2010
  • Monday, Nov. 22, 2010
  • Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010
  • Monday, Feb. 14, 2011
  • Friday, March 18, 2011

The Calendar Committee selected the dates because they were the least disruptive to learning and already planned cross-district activities. The dates also are spread throughout the year and adequately balance quarter and trimester schedules. The Board of Education and Administration are working with schools to ensure the 175 instructional days are productive and conducive to student achievement. The State Board of Education has authorized the CSD furlough schedule, which meets a required 963.5 hours of yearly instruction.

The furlough plan is one of several measures the Canyons Board of Education will employ to address its revenue deficit. Canyons District anticipates saving $125,000 in utility costs by closing all its buildings on Fridays throughout the summer. For seven weeks starting June 7, CSD employees will work four 10-hour days.

In addition, the Board of Education in March reduced the annual budget by $1.2 million by reassigning 29 Literacy Facilitators. The facilitators were replaced with 15 Achievement Coaches who will assist with literacy and numeracy instruction. The remaining 14 employees were offered jobs in the classroom that became available through attrition.  

The District also will shift part of its Capital Levy for buildings into the 10 Percent of Basic Levy, which allows CSD about $4.5 million to operate schools. Also eliminated is the Canyons Alternative Middle School, an annual savings of $170,000.

For contract employees, pay will be equally divided among their scheduled number of direct deposits. The paychecks of hourly employees will reflect hours worked.

The Board and Administration understand the furlough schedule may present some challenges to the people who make up Canyons’ school communities. However, in today’s tough economic climate, the furlough plan provides a bridge to fiscal solvency while concurrently preserving jobs. The District is confident that faculty, staff and the families of children in CSD schools will be able to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate these changes to the school year.

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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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