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 and NOVA. CSD partners with four law enforcement agencies who serve our district students and families; Draper Police Department, Sandy Police Department, Unified Police Department-Midvale and Cottonwood Heights.
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.
Canyons District utilizes the Choose Gang Free Program by way of four advocates serving our students. Currently, Jordan High, Hillcrest High, Midvale Middle, Union Middle and Mount Jordan Middle benefit from a trained adult who works to direct students away from gang activity and encourage appropriate alternatives and mentorship. These advocates are available to all students as needed. Choose Gang Free is funded through a grant from the USBE.
The Canyons District Peer Court Program is a district-based intervention/prevention program to encourage young people to take responsibility for their actions and make better choices in the future. Peer Court allows for restoration, education and mentorship for each student and family involved. The court is staffed by high school students from across the district. Administrators may refer students to peer court as an alternative to suspension, involvement from law enforcement, and entrance into the juvenile justice system.