Canyons Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins at the Tuesday, Sept. 21 meeting of the Canyons Board of Education announced an administrative action to suspend the use of the current social-emotional curriculum being used in Canyons District elementary and middle schools.
While reiterating his support of social-emotional learning, Dr. Robins stressed that the plan isn’t to abandon the teaching of crucial life skills and character traits, but to improve upon the curriculum being used in Canyons’ schools.
The current curriculum, called “Second Step” will be on hold until Tuesday, Oct. 5, when Board members and the Administration can fully discuss the issue after it has been appropriately noticed on a public-meeting agenda.
At that Board meeting, the Administration intends to propose a timeline for the creation of Canyons’ own curriculum by in-house instructional experts.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, with the Board’s and Administration’s steadfast commitment to in-person learning, Canyons District has prioritized not only the physical safety of students but also their social and emotional needs,” Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins says. “This past year has brought new challenges with the spread of new COVID-19 variants and shifting health guidance. But our goal of supporting students’ overall wellness has been consistent throughout, and something I continue to wholeheartedly support.”
The philosophy behind social-emotional learning, which is required by Utah State Board of Education rule, is to engender trust, respect, and unity. But the District is finding that the Second Step curriculum, although supported by many, has links to information that may not meet the community’s expectations and needs.
Pending Board approval, Robins hopes to have an in-house social-emotional curriculum completed by the end of winter break or early January.
More information about CSD’s next steps will be made available after decisions are made about the SEL curriculum that will be provided in CSD schools.