Getting Involved





Getting Involved

Canyons to Promote Regular School Attendance with ‘Show Up’ Challenge

It’s been said that we are creatures of habit, which begs the question: What happens when major life events, such as a pandemic, disrupt daily routines?

For schools, one of the downstream effects of quarantines and virtual schooling was the erosion of habits like showing up to school on time, every day and ready to learn. In some schools across the country, rates of absenteeism reportedly tripled during the health crisis. Even Canyons School District, which prioritized keeping schools open, saw a marked increase in students coming late to school or missing classes.

Canyons School District Student Services Director Dr. Brian McGill

“This was to be expected,” says Student Services Director Brian McGill.  “We were asking people to stay home if they were sick and to undergo COVID testing. Everyone was doing their best to keep up with their studies at school and duties at work while doing their part to keep friends, family, and neighbors healthy and safe.”

What worries McGill is even now that health guidelines have relaxed and schools are operating much as they did before the pandemic, higher-than-average rates of absenteeism persist.

Prior to the pandemic, from Aug. 26-30, 2020, Canyons District’s average attendance rate was 96 percent, which is pretty normal for the start of the school year.  A year later in the throes of the health crisis, the attendance rate during those same three days slipped to 88 percent. This year, even as schools have resumed near-normal operations, it’s at 89 percent.

Canyons is making a concerted effort this year to promote prompt and regular school attendance. When parents registered their children for school, they were encouraged to review “Show Up” attendance pledges at home. With September being School Attendance Awareness Month, schools are also launching attendance challenges with prizes for classrooms and grade levels that show the biggest attendance gains. Individual students will also get to compete for prizes by submitting social media videos and memes describing what showing up means to them, whether it’s at work and school, or for their friends, fellow students, and family. 

“We realize students are still being cautious about staying home when they are sick, and that’s a good thing,” McGill says. “At the same time, we’re really trying to stress the importance of showing up for school. We know academic success goes hand-in-hand with good attendance. We also know that it’s important to build good attendance habits early in the school year, because, as students make friends, connect with teachers, and find success in their classes, the habit becomes self-reinforcing.”

Good habits can be hard to start. But once you get rolling, behavioral research suggests they become part of what you do and who you are. One researcher, University of Southern California psychologist Wendy Wood has estimated that as much as 43 percent of people’s actions are habitual.

“In life we get what we pay attention to,” McGill said. “We are a reflection of our habits, good and bad.”

Did You Know?

  • Just missing 1 or 2 days every few weeks can cause a student to fall behind in reading and math.
  • By the 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a teen may drop out of high school.
  • By the 9th grade, attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
  • Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school and themselves.
  • Even as students grow older and become more independent, families play a key role in making sure they arrive safely to school on time every day.

Schools have staff and resources to help families who are facing health or transportation challenges.

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Board Meeting Schedule

PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given that the Board of Education for Canyons School District will hold a regular study session and public business meeting at the Canyons District Office building, 9361 S. 300 E., Sandy, UT each month unless otherwise posted. The Board may determine to conduct some business during a study session. All business meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. unless changed by the Board and appropriately posted for the public.

Please note that ALL DATES, TIMES and LOCATIONS listed on this scheduled are TENTATIVE and are subject to change at any time.  Please check this schedule often to be informed of any changes.

Unless otherwise specified, all meetings in the schedule below will take place as the Canyons District Office located at 9361 S. 300 E. in Sandy, Utah.

District Leaders

Dr. Rick Robins


Dr. Rick L. Robins is the superintendent of Canyons School District. Dr. Robins, who was selected by the Canyons Board of Education after a national search, brings 24 years of experience as an educator to his role as the chief executive officer of Utah’s fifth-largest school district. Prior to joining Canyons, Dr. Robins, who earned an Ed.D. from the University of Las Vegas, for six years was Superintendent of the Juab School District, based in Nephi, Utah. While there, Dr. Robins, who also was the Juab High School Principal from 2009-2013, helped oversee efforts to improve the district’s graduation rate to 97 percent, a double-digit increase over a 10-year period. Other innovations he led in Juab included a partnership with Arizona State University for blended-learning opportunities; the launch of a districtwide competency-based personalized learning model driven by a 1:1 technology initiative and standards-based reporting system; and the construction of the STEM-focused West Campus Innovations Center, funded largely through private and corporate sponsorships. Dr. Robins began his career as a history teacher at Copper Hills High in the Jordan School District and has worked as an assistant principal and principal in the Alpine, Nebo and Juab school districts. He was the 2012 Utah High School Principal of the Year for the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2014 earned the Lexington Institute Superintendent Fellowship Award presented to innovative superintendents across the country. Dr. Robins was starting quarterback for the football team at Southern Utah University Thunderbirds from 1991-1995, and in 2013 was inducted into SUU’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He has four children and one grandchild.

Leon Wilcox

Business Administrator and CFO

Leon Wilcox is a seasoned professional with 20 years of governmental accounting experience, with an emphasis on financial reporting, budgeting, and auditing. As Canyons District’ Director of Accounting from 2009-2013, Wilcox was intricately involved with the 2009 division of $1.5 billion in assets of the former Jordan School District, and was responsible for establishing Canyons’ original and subsequent budgets. Wilcox, a certified public accountant who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Utah State University, also has worked nine years in the Granite School District and six years in the State Auditor’s Office.

Supervises:  Accounting and Budget Services, Facilities and Maintenance, Insurance, New Construction Budget, Nutrition Services, Purchasing, Payroll

Dr. Robert M. Dowdle

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and School Performance

Robert Dowdle has a Doctor of Education degree with an emphasis in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah, and more than 31 years of experience as a teacher and educational leader. He began his career at Mount Jordan Middle School, where he taught Earth Science, English and Social Studies. He later taught Advanced Placement Economics, U.S. History and World History at Bingham High School, and served as Principal of Jordan High School and Assistant Principal for Alta High School and Brighton High School. Dowdle has served in the District office for 11 years as Assistant Superintendent. This role has included various leadership responsibilities, including Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Dowdle currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and School Performance.

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!

Specialty Schools

High Schools

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Statement

Canyons School District is committed to making this website compliant with the ADA. At this time, we recognize that not all areas of this website may be ADA compliant. We are currently in the process of redesigning and creating new website content to be compliant with the W3C Level Two guidelines. If you are experiencing issues with this website, please contact us here

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