School Safety Report
Introduction – Real Talk on School Safety
School safety has always been a topic of discussion — and action — in the Canyons School District. Some measures are obvious, such as security cameras, emergency preparedness drills that schools practice throughout the year and vestibules that require visitors to check-in at the Main Office before entering schools. But much of what we do is invisible. From the Internet filters we use to safeguard students from accessing inappropriate online content to the consistent rules and expectations we enforce to keep our classrooms free from bullying, harassment and discrimination, Canyons District is building safe schools from the inside out.
The Utah Legislature, through HB213, has asked School Community Councils to “engage” with school administrators in addressing school safety and digital citizenship. We invite you to familiarize yourself with the safety protocols encapsulated in this report and join us on this mission to Think Safe toward maintaining schools that are welcoming, secure, and prepared.
At the end of this report is a sample form to guide each school’s Community Council in providing feedback to Canyons District administrators.
In matters of safety, making sure the most accessible and visible areas of a school are protected is key. To that end, Canyons Board of Education fast-tracked the timeline to install vestibules in all elementary and middle schools to provide additional security at the schools’ front entrances. The vestibules include an additional set of security doors at front entrances, which funnel visitors to the main office before they can access the rest of the school, and provide a layer of security and opportunity to welcome, orient and provide good customer service to our patrons. Parents and guardians are required to show a picture ID to check students out of class. Visitors who come to the school to volunteer in class also need to show a picture ID, and log in on the computer in the main office.
It takes training to hone a school’s response to any given emergency. Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes. It establishes greater predictability and helps all stakeholders — students, emergency responders, teachers and parents — work together in lockstep, because they know what to expect and what’s expected of them. Under normal circumstances, all Canyons District schools practice lockdown and shelter-in-place drills throughout the year, in addition to preparing for a host of other threats, from fires and earthquakes to hazardous materials. Elementary students participate in these exercises at least once a month. Secondary schools hold quarterly drills. This year, due to COVID-19 procedural changes, live drills are suspended through March. In the meantime, Canyons is developing a curriculum to teach students about the drills in the classroom.
Drill Calendar – Elementary Schools
- August-September – Fire
- October – Lockdown
- November – Bomb Threat
- December – E.S.C.A.P.E. (Active shooter information for employees only)
- January – Fire
- February – Shelter-in-Place
- March – Hazardous Materials
- April – Earthquake
- May – Public Health Emergency (information for employees only)
Drill Calendar – Middle and High Schools
- August-September – Fire
- November – Locakdown and Shelter-in-place
- January – Fire
- April – Earthquake
In an Emergency, Say it Twice
Then say this…
Non-immediate Threat Outside
Shelter-in-Place! Secure the Perimeter
Immediate Threat Inside
Lockdown! Locks, Lights, Out of Sight!
Evacuate to (location), Shelter for Bomb!
Shelter for Earthquake!
Fire, Carbon Monoxide
Evacuate to (location)
Shelter for Hamat! Seal Your Rooms
Lockdown! Locks, Lights, Out of Sight!
Report, Document, Protect Privacy
Locks, Lights, Out of Sight!
Students are trained to:
- Move away from sight
- Maintain silence
Staff are trained to:
- Swipe card to lock perimeter doors
- Lock interior doors
- Lights out
- Move away from sight
- Maintain silence
- Do not open the door
- Prepare to evade or defend
Secure the Perimeter
Students are trained to:
- Return to inside of building
- Do business as usual
Staff are trained to:
- Swipe card to lock perimeter doors
- Increased situational awareness
- Take roll, account for students
- Do business as usual
Evacuate To Announced Location
Students are trained to:
- Leave stuff behind
- Bring their phone
- Follow instructions
Staff are trained to:
- Grab roll sheet if possible
- Lead evacuation to location
- take roll
- Report problems to Team Leaders
When parents hear about an emergency at or near their child’s school, they want information as quickly as possible. In Canyons District, we’ve established communication protocols so that parents and guardians can receive emergency notifications in a matter of minutes. When an incident occurs, parents are immediately notified via telephone, email or text message — or any combination of the three. These notifications go to the phone numbers and email addresses that parents supply during CSD’s annual online registration process. Have you recently moved, or changed phone numbers? Do you prefer to receive text messages, instead of an email or phone call? Parents can update their contact information and notification preferences at skyward.canyonsdistrict.org.
Safety and Crisis Tipline
One of the most powerful ways to prevent violence is to leverage the eyes and ears of the community to report it in advance — and our schools have a high-tech tool at their disposal to facilitate that. Canyons was the first school district in Utah to adopt the SafeUT mobile app and tipline, which allows anyone to anonymously report acts of bullying and threatened violence, or to seek help for emotional crises, suicidal threats and addiction problems. The service is monitored 24 hours a day and seven days a week by school administrators and counselors at the University of Utah’s Neuropsychiatric Institute.
School Reunification Plans
An essential component of school emergency response plans is the reunification of students with their families and caregivers. The goal of any reunification process is to minimize anxiety and trauma for students while keeping them comfortable and safe. Each school within Canyons District has created site-based plans describing their evacuation routes, assembly points, and reunification plans. These plans establish a parent/guardian check-in location and have a system ready for checking out students. School reunification plans take into account designated Areas of Rescue Assistance for evacuating individuals who cannot exit the school building without assistance. School administrators train employees and students on the school’s evacuation plan through regular scenario-based drills throughout the year. Reunification points, and backup sites, are generally within walking distance of a school, though in some circumstances, schools will need to evacuate students further away from the campus. Often, reunification sites are nearby schools or local gathering places, such as churches or recreation centers. During a reunification, the District will enact emergency communications protocols to provide parents and guardians with directions to the reunification site and instructions for retrieving their student(s). In some cases, transportation is provided by the District’s fleet of buses. To minimize chaos and ensure the safety of students, District personnel will often be asked to help check-out students to authorized caregivers through an orderly process. It’s not uncommon to also have counseling teams on hand to provide assistance to anyone struggling with strong emotions.
Hoax Threats are No Joke
Bomb threats are rare, affecting fewer than 1 percent of the nation’s public schools on any given year, and 90 percent are hoaxes. But hoax threats are no joke. Since 2014, there has been a 33 percent increase in these types of threats against schools, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, disrupting schools and wasting precious law enforcement resources
— and that’s just bomb threats. In the age of social media, schools are witnessing an increase in all types of hoax threats. Every threat is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated by school administrators and law enforcement to determine its credibility. If found to be a hoax, those responsible can face serious criminal penalties. According to state legislation enacted in 2020, individuals who disrupt the regular schedule of a school by creating a hoax threat can be held financially responsible to pay for any costs or fees incurred by federal, state, local, private or individual entities in responding to the threat. Minors may be referred to juvenile court for perpetrating hoax threats. Canyons District encourages parents to talk to their children about the risk of posting and sharing hoax threats on social media, and urges anyone who sees something unsafe to report it through official channels: to their school or through the anonymous crisis and safety tipline SafeUT.
Working Together to Build Safe Neighborhoods
Volunteer Approval Process
Canyons District has established procedures in line with state law, which requires background screenings for prospective school volunteers. All volunteers in schools, including members of the PTA and School Community Council, need to complete and submit a new Volunteer Application annually. There are two types of volunteers: supervised and unsupervised. Supervised volunteers are always within sight of other adults and never alone with a child. Unsupervised volunteers, which may include overnight travel chaperones, costume-fitters, or coaching assistants, must undergo a more thorough FBI criminal screening, which is managed by the school principal in coordination with CSD’s Human Resources Department. These FBI screenings are good indefinitely. All schools use a computer system to check-in volunteers and confirm that they have been cleared to work with students.
The safety and welfare of children is a communitywide priority in Canyons District where schools work hand-in-hand with cities, first responders, non-profit groups and citizens to safeguard neighborhoods and prepare for emergencies. From the contributions of our parent volunteers and PTA to the policing efforts of our School Resource Officers and the crossing guards hired by municipal partners to help students safely get to and from school—it takes all of us to put kids first.
- School Resource Officers are sworn law enforcement personnel whose salaries are co-funded by the District. They serve and protect our schools while also mitigating criminal behavior by building trusting relationships with students so they can feel comfortable reporting suspicious activity. They also sponsor anti-drug and –violence activities, such as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program.
- Canyons District is a member of the S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods Program. In partnership with the American Red Cross, local governments, and school districts, SAFE – an acronym for Schools Aid Families in Emergencies —trains community volunteers to mobilize as a neighborhood and operate their own Incident Command centers until outside help arrives. The idea behind it is to build the capacity of neighbors to help neighbors in the 96 hours immediately following a catastrophic event – the amount of time that it can take for first responders to reach those in need. In the event of a major emergency, elementary schools become hubs for communities to gather and organize. All of our elementary schools store a large black tote containing maps and radio frequencies — everything that CERT teams, ham radio operators and other do-gooders need to set up a communications hub, begin search-and-rescue operations and reunify families.
One of the most powerful ways to combat violence is to leverage the eyes and ears of everyone in the community to report it in advance—and our schools have a high-tech tool at their disposal to facilitate that. Canyons District was the first in Utah to adopt the SafeUT mobile app and tipline, which allows anyone to anonymously report acts of bullying and threatened violence, or to seek help for emotional crises, suicidal threats and addiction problems. The service is monitored 24 hours a day and seven days a week by school administrators and counselors at the University of Utah’s Neuropsychiatric Institute and can be downloaded here.
Check your communications settings in CSD’s Skyward system to ensure that we have your most up-to-date contact information.
We get it. When parents hear about an emergency near or at their child’s school, they want information as soon as possible. It’s a natural and expected reaction. In Canyons District, we’ve established communication protocols so that parents and guardians can receive emergency notification in a matter of minutes. When an incident occurs, parents are immediately notified via telephone and email. These notifications go to the phone numbers and email addresses that parents supply during CSD’s annual online registration process. Parents can update their contact information at skyward.canyonsdistrict.org.
Everyone has a role to play in an emergency; familiarize yourself with Canyons District’s safety measures and emergency drills.
All Canyons schools practice lockdown and shelter-in-place drills throughout the year, in addition to preparing for a host of other threats, from fires and earthquakes to hazardous materials. Follow this link for brief explanations of what teachers and students are trained to do during these exercises.
Please tell your child that the most important thing to do in an emergency is to follow the directions of their teachers and school staff. It’s important to reassure them and let them know that you have confidence in the training that school staff have received.
When notified of a school emergency, we ask that parents please don’t come to the campus until notified that it is safe. Rushing to your child’s school during an emergency can put you in harm’s way and impede law enforcement.
Did you know that 90 percent of all bomb threats are hoaxes?
Our schools take each threat seriously and conduct a thorough investigation to determine its credibility. But hoax threats are no joke. They are serious federal crimes that disrupt schools and waste precious law enforcement resources. So, please, #ThinkBeforeYouPost.
- Don’t ever post or share a hoax threat online.
- If you see a threat of violence on social media, report it using the SafeUT app (https://safeut.med.utah.edu/)
- Talk to your children about responsible social media use.
Be on the lookout for young children walking to schools and bus stops, be mindful that buses make frequent stops, and encourage students to adhere to CSD’s Bus Code of Conduct.
National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 22-26 is the perfect time for parents to review family emergency plans and talk to their children about the rules of the road—or tips for staying safe while on their way to and from school each day. Here are a few helpful safety routines to always keep in mind. The CDC’s Safe Youth, Safe Schools website contains information about safety issues in getting to and from school, and data on sports and playground injuries, youth violence, bullying, and more. Or, visit our Safety Tips for Parents guide.
The front office staff at Canyons District’s schools are trained to request photo identification.
All visitors must present photo identification prior to checking out their children. Only individuals who are listed as parents, guardians, or emergency contacts in Skyward will be able to check students out of school.
In order to allow sufficient time for the volunteer screening process, volunteers should register with the district several days in advance.
Canyons School District has established procedures that adhere to Utah State law requiring school districts to screen prospective volunteers. All supervised volunteers in schools need to complete and submit a new Volunteer Application annually.
Take time to discuss your family’s safety plan in the event of a catastrophic event, such as an earthquake.
Canyons District is a member of the S.A.F.E. Neighborhoods Program. In partnership with the American Red Cross, local governments, and school districts, SAFE – an acronym for Schools Aid Families in Emergencies — trains community volunteers to mobilize as a neighborhood and operate their own Incident Command centers until outside help arrives.
The idea behind it is to build the capacity of neighbors to help neighbors in the 96 hours immediately following a catastrophic event – the amount of time that it can take for first responders to reach those in need. In the event of a major emergency, elementary schools become hubs for communities to gather and organize. All of our elementary schools store a large black tote containing maps and radio frequencies — everything that CERT teams, ham radio operators and other do-gooders need to set up a communications hub, begin search-and-rescue operations and reunify families.
Some 15,000 Canyons District students begin and end their day with a trip on a bus. As a form of mass transit, buses keep thousands of cars off the road, reducing emissions and helping to improve the quality of the air
we breathe. Buses are a safer way to travel to and from school than riding in a family vehicle, according to
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
CSD’s school buses are driven by professionals with Commercial Driver’s Licenses and are held to a higher safety standard than regular vehicles. In one school year, our buses can be inspected up to 400 times. CSD mechanics maintain about 180 buses, and for their efforts in 2017, were awarded the Utah Highway Patrol’s Safety Gold Medal. The status is a rare distinction — and a sign that CSD students are traveling on the safest buses possible.
Technology also plays a role in bus safety. Every bus has cameras capable of monitoring what takes place on the bus. The buses are also equipped with a Zonar GPS Tracking system, which relays information about their location, speed, engine health and exactly what time it arrived and left each bus stop — in real time. With the start of each school year, Canyons District asks patrons to be on the lookout for young children walking to schools and bus stops, and to be mindful that buses make frequent stops. The District also asks students to adhere to the District’s Bus Code of Conduct.
Safe Walking Routes
When students head out the door, we want them to be safe, whether they are walking, riding their bikes, or skipping down the sidewalk. State law mandates that schools designate Safe Walking Routes for students who walk or ride their bikes to school. School Community Councils define the routes for students in their school, and work with the District to provide a map of the route, which may include suggested improvements like crosswalks, crossing guards, sidewalks, and more. Schools post their Safe Walking Routes on their websites.
Cities — or in some places, the county — determine whether an area should receive safety improvements to assist students as they cross the street. Generally speaking, cities approve crossing guards in areas where 10 or more children cross the street. Students who walk or ride their bike to school should familiarize themselves with the school’s Safe Walking Route as recommended by administrators in partnership with each School Community Council. Together, we can keep our roadways safe.
Parking Lot Safety
One of the busiest places to be at school, whether just before the first bell rings or just after class is dismissed, is the parking lot. A keen eye, cautious approach, and the ability to follow instructions goes a long way in moderating the flow of traffic in and out of Canyons’ school parking lots, but Canyons has made improvements on school pick-up and drop-off zones, curbing, and other measures that improve the direction of traffic. Schools also develop plans to address traffic needs at their individual sites.
Bus Safety Tips
With the start of each school year, Canyons District asks patrons to be on the lookout for young children walking to schools and bus stops, and to be mindful that buses make frequent stops. The District also asks students to adhere to the District’s Bus Code of Conduct. Together, we can keep our roadways safe.
- Pedestrians should stick to sidewalks when possible and walk facing traffic. Before crossing any street, even at a crosswalk, stop and look left and right for oncoming cars.
- When biking or skateboarding to school, children should wear a helmet and understand traffic rules. They should come to a complete stop at crosswalks and walk their bike or skateboard across.
- Never dart out in front of a parked car.
- Do not bike or drive a motor vehicle while texting, talking on the phone or using headphones.
- Drivers must always yield to pedestrians and should take extra care in school zones and at crosswalks.
- It is illegal to pass a bus that is loading or unloading children.
Building a Culture of Safety
Resources for Families
For families who are seeking additional social and emotional support, please contact your school counselor or visit our Responsive Service Department webpage for additional information about crisis prevention and intervention, suicide prevention, bully prevention, drug and alcohol prevention and gang prevention or click on the links below for direct access to a specific topic:
- Crisis Prevention and Intervention
- Suicide Prevention
- Bullying Prevention Tips
- Drug and Alcohol Prevention Resources
- Preventing Gang Involvement
Community Based Resources
Whether you are looking for dental or mental health services, our Social Emotional Supports page links you to many community based services. Listed below are several community supports you can access directly by clicking the link.
- Crisis Services
- Canyons District Services
- Community-Based Counseling Services
- LGBTQ+ Resources
- Parent Education Services
Every child deserves to feel welcome and secure at school. That’s why Canyons is focusing not just on outfitting facilities with modern security features but also on fortifying the social-emotional needs of children. Through the District’s Responsive Services Department, all CSD schools have been assigned a school psychologist and/or a counselor and social worker — all highly trained professionals who can help guide students through challenging emotions. Building a positive climate, where all children feel like they are vital and valued members of the school community, is a top priority of principals and teachers.
CSD embraces a philosophy of teaching appropriate and positive behaviors instead of punishing misbehaviors, has formed task forces to address such important topics as suicide, holds fun-filled orientation meetings for students as they move from elementary to middle school and from middle to high school, and sponsors of robust roster of extracurricular activities. In CSD, our aim is to maintain environments where children feel safe to develop interests, raise their hands, reach out to new friends, and know they are surrounded by caring adults.
The concept is really quite simple: If students are feeling insecure, depressed or fearful, or any other emotion that is at the root of concerning behaviors, chances are they aren’t learning at high levels. To the end of helping all students feel a sense of balance and achieve at school, Canyons District has increased the number of psychologists, social workers, counselors and nurses working in schools. They serve as a resource for families in the areas of suicide prevention, gang prevention, bullying prevention and drug and alcohol prevention. They also use Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports to teach relationship skills, self awareness, self-management, social awareness and responsible decision making. These counseling experts also provide schools with crisis support assistance in the event of emergencies. Canyons District also contracts with local mental health agencies and professionals as an added resource for families.
Social and Emotional Health
Canyons’ ground-breaking, evidence-based social-emotional learning curriculum is now entering its second year in the District. The “Second Step” curriculum, which helps students navigate modern pressures and develop character traits that are crucial for success in life and school, is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). It is being used by some 26,000 schools across the country. In CSD, the curriculum is used as part of a multi-pronged approach to wellness. In 2020, 80 percent of Canyons students in grades K-8 will receive the evidence-based
Youth Protection Seminars
Electronic devices—from smart phones to smart watches—afford us many conveniences. But what are the consequences of us becoming more and more reliant on these devices? Vaping is catching on among today’s teens as a purportedly safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, but mounting evidence points to its dangers. What should parents know about the risks of vaping, and how to protect their children? These and other timely topics are the subject of Youth Protection Seminars sponsored each year by Canyons District in partnership with national experts and local law enforcement agencies. The events are free and open to the public and staged in all corners of the District so that they can conveniently be accessed by students and parents.
Vaping and Substance Abuse
Canyons takes substance abuse seriously. Whether students are drinking alcohol, smoking, or vaping on campus, CSD has a zero-tolerance policy for any of these behaviors. As the use of some of these substances — such
as e-cigarettes or vaping devices — become more surreptitious, Canyons is looking at new ways to combat
the trend, including installing detection systems in high school bathrooms. If students are caught vaping, the device is destroyed, according to new legislation, and students are required to attend a prevention class at the Canyons Family Center. If the action happens again, students meet with a therapist to determine the underlying cause of the substance use and develop a plan of response. After a third time, the student will be referred to the Responsive Services Department for further support.
Restorative Practices and Safe School Hearings
Every student has the right to an education. Canyons has adopted a restorative practices model for reinforcing behavioral standards and responding to truancies, disorderly conduct or drug or alcohol violations. Students with safe school violations, such as bringing a weapon to school or dealing drugs, are referred to the District Case Management Team to establish safety and review what interventions and supports are needed for both the student and school. Depending on the violation, this may entail imposing fines, enrollment in an intervention program, or suspension or expulsion from school. Whenever a student is deprived of his right to education through disciplinary proceedings such as suspension or expulsion, the student is entitled to due process. This right to due process includes the right to notice and a fair hearing prior to the administration of long-term suspension, which may include 10 or more days, or expulsion from Canyons School District schools.
The right to a fair trial by a jury of one’s peers has taken on new meaning with the creation of the Canyons District Peer Court. Volunteer sophomores, juniors and seniors — in lieu of a judge — now sit on a panel to hear cases involving violations of school or District policy, and are authorized to decide the fate of their peers. The Canyons Peer Court is the second youth court in Utah to be sponsored by a school district. The court practices the restorative justice model for holding students accountable for minor offenses, such as, fighting, vandalism, or shoplifting. The students on the Peer Court panel are required to complete 20 hours of training, pass a criminal background check, and commit to two days per month. Peer Court is viewed as a more effective path to justice than suspending students or expelling them from school. Successful models have been shown to reduce recidivism and instill within an appreciation for the law.
Under normal circumstances, CSD encourages students not to miss school. In fact, we know that when it comes to keeping kids on track academically, every day of instruction counts. This year, however, is not normal. And daily instruction doesn’t necessarily mean that a student is sitting in class in person. This year, the Utah State Board of Education has waived requirements on the minimum number of hours school districts are required to conduct school. This change, coupled with a desire to encourage students to stay home from school when they are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, has altered Canyons’ traditional attendance policy.
As students will be attending school in person, online, and through parent-guided at-home learning options this year, attendance will be taken in multiple ways. For students who attend class in-person, attendance will be taken daily, but if they are absent due to illness or other reasons, they can maintain their pace in the class by working with their teacher and accessing Canvas and other resources. For online students, attendance is determined by participation in online assignments and activities. For students who have enrolled in the at-home, district-supported, parent-guided option, daily activities and progress are overseen by their parent or guardian.
There are a lot of reasons that students miss school, and Canyons has staff and resources available to support students in their learning. This includes Home and Hospital Instruction supports for students who, due to health problems, anticipate having to miss school for a prolonged period of time. A link to the District’s attendance policy and process for parents to report absences to their school can be found on CSD’s homepage.
The Canyons Family Center
The Canyons Family Center, provides collaborative, creative and cooperative courses and other counseling services to help families of all kinds — and with all kinds of challenges — discover gentle and genuine avenues to assist each other, connect with each other and learn from each other. The Family Center provides a spectrum of individual and family-based counseling, student-support groups and parent-education classes. The services, which include preliminary counseling sessions that help our experienced school counselors, social workers and psychologists determine what services may be needed to meet a family’s specific needs, whether as a result of an emotional crisis or not, are provided at no cost to families in Canyons School District. Students who are required to attend a class due to fighting or a drug and alcohol offense will be issued a fine and upon completion of the course reimbursed.
Instant and Constant Support
Not only are trained staff members available to aid students who are struggling, but Canyons was among the first school districts in Utah to roll out access to a mobile app text-and-tipline called SafeUT. This is available for students and parents to use if they need to immediately report a concern, be it about a student’s mental, social or physical well-being. Access to this app, which provides all-day and all-night access to licensed clinicians at the University of Utah’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, is available to all Canyons school communities. The SafeUT app and website were developed as part of a partnership between the University of Utah and the Utah State Office of Education with funds allocated by the Utah Legislature. Multiple languages are available. Users can submit a tip with a picture and/or video, and a user can communicate online or call by phone. However, if you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911. You can also contact the suicide-prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK to speak to a trained crisis worker.
It’s the parenting dilemma of the digital age: How do we encourage our kids to take advantage of all that technology affords while protecting them from the documented dangers of too much screen time? How do we model healthy use of technology when we, too, fight the allure of smart phones and social media, excessive use of which has been linked to soaring rates depression and suicide? At CSD, good digital citizenship is promoted every day in our classrooms, and it’s not just about teaching students to safely navigate the Internet. We empower students to appropriately use digital media to explore the world, gain knowledge and connect with new ideas and people — and we invite parents to participate. School Community Councils are tasked with assisting the Board of Education with the development and implementation of an Electronic Device Plan.
Every year, all students and employees of Canyons School District are instructed in the responsible use of technological devices, the District network, and online etiquette. In order to use the District’s computing devices and gain access to its computer network, students and employees are required each year to sign an acceptable use agreement. This documents the users’ understanding of, and willingness to comply with district policies as outlined therein. Access to school and district networks and digital resources is a privilege. Any user who
is found to be in violation of the District’s technology guidelines or agreements is subject to Canyons School District disciplinary policies.
Internet safety is a priority for the District. CSD uses ContentKeeper as our Web filter system to prevent students from accessing inappropriate material online while using District computing devices or the District’s network. The filter can be adjusted for elementary schools, middle schools and high schools.
The filtering system offers some flexibility to set different rules for elementary, middle and high schools based on the age-appropriateness of the content and the educational needs of each grade level. The filter works by categorizing known Internet content and then allowing us to block inappropriate categories such as pornography, social networking, gambling, weapons, adult content, gaming, etc. Safe search settings also work for Google images.
Canyons District’s network is segmented into several separate sub-networks, which aid in performance and security. Staff using school- or district-provided devices will be placed on a sub-network, which provides them with different access rights and privileges than afforded by the student network for students using school- or district-provided devices. While on CSD property, all users of a personal device — such as a smartphone, laptop or tablet — are directed to a different sub-network, the guest network, which has similar restrictions as the student network.
Social media use is restricted on all school campuses. The filters at elementary schools are less permissive than the filters at middle and high schools (see info-graphic below for a more detailed understanding of the restrictions placed on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and other platforms.
Internet Safety & Digital Citizenship
Canyons District principals, teachers and parents work together to create safe technology environments in schools and at home and instill in students a desire to be civil digital citizens as they navigate the internet.
ContentKeeper is our Web filter which blocks inappropriate material based on a URL database of more than a billion entries. CSD’s filter system also can customize lists to block or grant access to specific content. When a user attempts to visit a site, the policy for the user is checked before access is granted.
CSD also has the ability to create districtwide “allow” and “block” lists. Allow lists help us to override the filter’s default settings to allow specific sites to be accessed. Block lists are used to override the filter default settings to block sites. We also can block and allow sites per school. In addition, searches for Google Images are directed to a filter called Safesearch. If the content is inappropriate, the user is not granted access.
However, while the filters used by CSD mostly serve to prevent inadvertent exposure, we can’t guarantee that a determined user won’t ever be able to access inappropriate content.
Elementary, middle and high schools, as well as the District Offices, each have separate and unique Internet filter settings. The settings tend to be more restrictive in elementary schools and filters become less stringent in secondary schools. They are least restrictive for employees.
Teachers at every CSD school have received specialized training on Internet safety and digital citizenship. CSD utilizes NetSafe Utah and Common Sense Education curricula. NetSafe Utah provides online videos and resources for families and educators, including the Internet Safety information that Utah schools need to meet the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements. Common Sense Education has lessons for all grade levels.
- Elementary Schools
- Google Images (Filtered)
- Middle Schools
- Google Images (Filtered)
- High Schools
- Google Images (Filtered)
- Blocked Districtwide
Q: Are there management systems available that can add additional control?
A: Canyons’ Information Technology Department utilizes several management systems, including LanSchool for Macs and PCs, G Suite for Education for ChromeOS, and Mosyle MDM for student iOS devices.
Q: What is CSD’s protocol for action when inappropriate content is accessed by students or employees?
A: Canyons does not constantly monitor user activity. However, when alerted to the possibility of inappropriate use, IT reviews the Internet history in question and reports questionable activity to school and District administrators, who work with students and their parents to determine disciplinary measures. CSD retains weeks of Internet browsing history for all users.
- Desktop and Laptop: The Canyons School District currently is using a site license for LanSchool to manage some desktop, laptop and Chromebook devices. This allows the instructor to monitor the screens of users electronically as well as lock down certain screens.
- Google Apps Management: We are also heavily integrated with Chrome Management for the many ChromeBook devices that are in use today. It allows us to manage what apps and service are available for users. For instance, this system is what allows us to set District student gmail accounts to send and receive email only to teachers and other students.
- Mobile Device Management: We use the Mosyle mobile device management system to manage iPads. This allows us to manage which apps are loaded onto devices and to purchase apps legally for school use.
- Teachers are asked to monitor students whenever they are online, either electronically or by walking around the classroom.
- Teachers should never put a student on a device with access to the Internet in a place or situation where the student knows that the teacher cannot monitor their activity, such as in a hallway or back corner of the room.
- Teachers should take special care when directing students to add art or photos to projects by directing them to safe collections of pictures and art, such as: https://www.safesearchkids.com/
- When inappropriate content is accessed by a student or staff member (either seemingly by accident or on-purpose), the student or students should be removed from the dangerous situation and the school principal or administration should be notified. The device should be isolated and the Information Technology Department should be contacted. Beside working to fix any issue discovered, the IT Department will work with the administration to gather information and take appropriate measures if the Acceptable Use Policy was violated.
Digital Citizenship Week
Canyons District students are learning how to safely blaze a digital trail. The Internet is a valuable tool for learn-ing. Every day, 92 percent of teenagers across the United States go online to complete homework assignments, conduct research, and watch tutorials in preparation for exams. It’s also where teens go to make and keep social connections. From Snapchat to Instagram, teens are heavy users of social media. So how can parents make sure their use is responsible? And how can parents guide a pre-teen’s entry into social media? Every year Canyons schools celebrate Digital Citizenship Week, which was started to help students stay safe as they navigate the online world. During Digital Citizenship Week — which usually takes place in October, but this year, is postponed until the spring of 2021 — schools are asked to highlight and focus on all things related to building an appropriate, responsible, and healthy environment related to technology use. Teachers are provided grade-appropriate lessons and resources for use in the classroom. Schools often make morning announcements featuring tips on cyberbullying, online privacy and safety or hold assemblies and parent information nights, often in coordination with the PTA’s White Ribbon Week.
School-Based Digital Citizenship Coordinator
All schools have a Digital Citizenship coordinator who provides monthly safety technology tips to teachers and administrators. These tips can be shared with students and parents through daily lessons, class emails, school newsletters, and on school websites. These coordinators ensure that schools plan at least two opportunities annually for parents to learn about Digital Citizenship. Options include: Parent Information nights, information tables at parent-teacher conferences, or monthly technology tips published on school websites or in parent newsletters.
Digital Citizenship standards are part of the instruction from our general education classroom teacher and our brain booster technology classes. They include resources from NetSmartz, CommonSense media and other state and national resources. All teachers, with the help of the school’s technology specialist, are expected to include digital citizenship as part of their regular instruction.
6th – 8th Grade
Our middle school Teacher Librarians assist teachers in teaching digital citizenship skills as part of their regu-lar daily instruction of core subjects. Specialty classes that use computers are great places for digital citizenship to be taught. These include College and Career Awareness as well as Business and CTE classes. In addition, all middle school students are required to complete Digital Literacy course, which includes standards specifically addressing digital citizenship topics.
9th – 12th Grade
Many high school courses include the use of technology and present many opportunities to develop digital cit-izenship skills. Our high school Teacher Librarians teach digital citizenship skills as part of their core. As such, they teach digital citizenship skills through direct instruction, in addition to curating resources to support all teachers in this task.
One of the most important things parents can do is sit down with their children before they even begin using social media and set clear ground rules and expectations. Talk to your children about the pitfalls of oversharing, teasing and posting too-personal information on social media sites, and encourage them to think twice before hitting “send” or “enter.” Digital footprints are permanent, and often college admissions boards and employers are examining students’ digital trail. Keep tabs on what your children are posting — and who is part of their
“Friends” and “Followers” lists. Many organizations provide great information for parents to help students stay safe when online at home. A few great resources are:
School Community Councils are recommending bodies to the administration on items being studied by the Canyons Board of Education. Recommendations related to these domains, including school access and safety, may be directed to the Board of Education as appropriate. Each Council, upon review of the School Safety and Digital Citizenship Report, will be asked to share their thoughts and priorities with the District administration via an online form to be filled out and submitted by the principal. These reports will assist the District in spotting trends, setting future priorities and deciding where to direct future resources. Pictured below is a sample of the form to guide you in discussing and providing feedback.
The Utah Legislature, through HB213, has asked School Community Councils to “engage” with school administrators in addressing school safety and digital citizenship. We invite you to familiarize yourself with the safety protocols encapsulated in the School Safety and Digital Citizenship report and join us on this mission to Think Safe toward maintaining schools that are welcoming, secure, and prepared.
- Discuss highlights and points of interest from the District School Safety Report (Spanish)
- Review concerns, plans, and progress from last year
- Discuss new or continuing safety concerns specific to your school
- Identify a “#1 safety concern” and other primary concerns (if any)
- Create an “action plan” for addressing safety concerns
- Decide how you may best share safety and digital citizenship resources with parents. Consider the role of the community council to provide options and resources without being prescriptive and compulsory. This may include newsletters and other communications, back to school nights, parent conferences, carnivals, and other school events.
- Ensure that students use their unique login with their unique password.
- Ensure that student-created web pages are made through the supported CSDDOCS.
- During your discussions, if you have questions that cannot be answered in your School Community Council meetings, please contact Susan Edwards, Canyons Public Engagement Coordinator, 801-826-5184 or firstname.lastname@example.org and she will direct you to the right resource to answer your questions for the next School Community Council meeting.
The SCC will share their thoughts and priorities via an online form to be filled out and submitted by the school principal on CSD Dashboard. For your convenience, a copy of the form that you will submit electronically is available below under the heading “Safety Report Template”.
- The SCC should occasionally refer back to the school safety plan and action items in order to track progress and determine follow-up steps.
- In last SCC meeting of the year, SCC should review action items from school safety plan (submitted in December). District will also update the SCC on any action or planned action. Principal will submit an update to the plan through CSD Dashboard.
School Principal: _______________________
SCC Chairman: _______________________
Date the discussion(s) took place: _______________________
Who, besides the SCC members, participated (did you invite the SRO, school counselor, psychologist or district personnel?):
Did you feel the information presented in the District School Community Council School Safety Report was helpful?
What, if any, school safety items did your SCC discuss that were not in the report?
Your SCC has been asked to determine the #1 safety concern at your school after reading the report and discuss-ing safety topics at your school. What has your SCC determined to be the #1 safety concern for your school?
What additional items did you identify as primary concerns, if any?
Does your SCC have an action plan to help address the concerns?
SCC Digital Citizenship
The school safety and digital citizenship reports will be submitted to the district and Canyons Board of Education. We will use the reports to see trends, concerns and where future efforts might be focused. The District will evaluate if there are areas in which we can be of assistance or offer support. If so, we will contact your SCC and principal to discuss.
District Filtering & Systems: Does the SCC feel it has received enough information to determine if the filtering systems and supervision practices are appropriate?
- Identify Action plan for filtering/systems, if needed:
Does the SCC feel it has received enough information about the school’s educational efforts to instill in students a desire to be good digital citizens?
- Identify Action plan for filtering/systems, if needed:
Does the SCC believe the school has a viable plan to present important Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship information to parents in the community?
- Identify Action plan for parent education, if needed:
Student Education: Enter the date of your faculty training on Digital Citizenship: ______________
- Enter a short description of your faculty training:
How will every student in your building be provided with digital citizenship instruction during
the school year?
Parent Education: Enter the date of your first community outreach: ____________________________
- Enter a short description of your first community outreach activity/opportunity:
Enter the date of your second community outreach:__________________________________________
- Enter a short description of your second community outreach activity/opportunity:
Additional Topics for Discussion:
- Computers and Devices in the School for Student Use (Field Tech)- Identify the devices and main uses (Office applications, research, presentations, CAD, Graphic Design, Curricular apps, etc.)
- Apple Computers – iMac, Mac Mini, or MacBook Pro stationary or mobile labs-
- Windows Computers – Windows based stationary or mobile labs-
- iPads – Classroom deployment or mobile carts-
- Chromebooks – Classroom deployment or mobile carts –
Management (Admin or Ed Tech Coach)- Are you using LanSchool or other management tools for devices or labs?
- Supervision (Admin) – What training has been given or is being planned to help teachers know how to best su-pervise students online and what to do if they become aware of inappropriate use?
- Digital Citizenship Plan (Admin)- How does your school manage rotation through the elementary lab or through the media center? What topics are addressed with each grade level? What other teachers cover Online Safety topics? Have you held any schoolwide training (white-ribbon activities, assemblies)?
- Parent Resources and Information (Admin and Dig Cit Coord)- What information has been shared with parents about online safety at school? What resources for home online safety has been shared?
- Policies (Admin)- What are your policies for students bringing devices from home including computers, tablets, and phones?
- Decision Making (Admin) – How does the school balance access and safety appropriate for the grade levels at your school?
- Guiding Principles (Admin) – What does the administration see as important opportunities for our students related to constructive, proactive technology use? What does the administration see as the greatest threats for your students?