Canyons School District

Canyons School District is a school district in the southern portion of Salt Lake County in Utah, United States. The district serves the communities of Alta, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Midvale and Sandy. Residents of those communities voted to create the district in 2007, making Canyons the first school district to be formed in the state in almost a century. Canyons has approximately 33,000 students in 44 schools.[1] There are 29 elementary schools, eight middle schools, five high schools, and four special programs schools, including one technical school, a special education school and a high school for adults in prison. The district covers 192 square miles and employs 6,000 people.

The district officially started operating on July 1, 2009, with students attending Canyons schools for the first time that fall.[2][3]

Foundation of the districtEdit

Canyons District was created after residents in the communities of Alta, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Midvale and Sandy voted in 2007 to leave the Jordan School District, which was the largest district in the state at the time. David Doty, a former high school Spanish teacher, and Assistant Commissioner and Director of Policy Studies for the Utah System of Higher Education, was chosen by the new board of education to be the district's first superintendent.

On June 30, 2013, Doty resigned his position to join a Utah-based education consulting firm. He was replaced July 1, 2014, by James Briscoe, a veteran educator with 12 years of experience as a superintendent of schools in Illinois. Briscoe, who, in his tenure has also filled the roles of high school principal, assistant principal and math and social studies teacher, was chosen at the conclusion of an exhaustive national search, which included three months of community input meetings. Ginger Rhode, who served as Canyons' Deputy Superintendent for Student Achievement and the Chief Academic Officer since November 2008, acted as interim superintendent from July 1, 2013, to July 1, 2014, when she retired.

Canyons School District Board of EducationEdit

The Canyons Board of Education is composed of seven elected community leaders who are responsible for establishing education policy for the children in the district.

The current members of the board are:

  • Nancy Tingey, who represents District 3, was elected in November 2012. In January 2019, she was chosen to be the first woman to serve as President of the Canyons School District Board of Education. In 2017, she served as the President of the Utah School Boards Association and in 2018 she served as the association's legislative liaison. Tingey earned a Bachelor of Science from Brigham Young University and has been an active parent volunteer in public schools for more than 20 years.
  • Amber Shill, who represents District 2, was elected in November 2014. Shill currently serves as Vice President of the Board. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and, for the past 20 years, has volunteered in Canyons District schools, serving on multiple districtwide committees and in leadership capacities on School Community Councils.
  • Steve Wrigley, who represents District 5, was elected in November 2010. Wrigley currently serves as Vice President of the Board. He has a master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and a Bachelor of Science in Criminology Counseling from California State University, Fresno. He teaches community Marriage Education classes and is a Certified Public Manager.
  • Mont Millerberg, who represents District 1, was elected in November 2016. He previously served on the inaugural Canyons School Board from 2008-2012, during which time he played an instrumental role in establishing the Canyons Education Foundation. Millerberg has served on school community councils at Hillcrest and Union, and worked as a Certified Public Accountant before entering retirement to enjoy time with his family.
  • Clareen Arnold, who represents District 4, was elected in November 2014. She has a master's degree in Education in Administration and Curriculum Development[clarification needed] from Azusa Pacific University, and two Bachelor of Science degrees. She also earned an associate degree in Accounting from Salt Lake Community College.
  • Amanda Oaks, who represents District 6, took office in January 2019. Oaks is a classically-trained musician who attended Brigham Young University on a full academic and music scholarship as she received her Bachelor of Arts in Viola Performance. She also earned a law degree and has worked as a substitute teacher in Canyons' Chinese Dual Language Immersion classrooms.
  • Chad Iverson, who represents District 7, was elected in November 2012. He earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, and graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

Student achievementEdit

Canyons District students are known for their accomplishments, which span from academic and athletic state championships to scholarships. In 2016, graduating students earned $34.8 million in scholarship offerings and won nine state championships. The graduating class had 12 National Merit Semifinalists and 1,349 students earned advanced or honors diplomas, which require students to achieve exemplary scores on the ACT college entrance exam, as well as take additional credits in higher-level mathematics and science and world languages. Since 2010, 1,047 students in the district's program at the Utah State Prison have earned high school diplomas.

The district earned a place on the 2012 College Board's Advanced Placement Honor Roll for student involvement in AP classes. Two of the district's high schools have been included on Newsweek magazine's list of the best high schools in the country. In 2012, Quail Hollow Elementary School became a National Blue Ribbon School, one of three in Utah. During the same year, Midvale Middle School became an International Baccalaureate World School, making it one of two middle schools in Utah with the authorization to offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.

The district also offers an online virtual high school, magnet programs to support advanced learners and dual immersion language programs in Mandarin Chinese-English, French-English and Spanish-English.

Facilities and operationsEdit

On June 22, 2010, voters approved a $250 million, tax-neutral bond to finance improvements and new construction in the district. In Fall 2016, construction was completed on Butler Elementary, preserving elements of the school's deep history. A completely rebuilt Mount Jordan Middle School opened in 2015 and new schools Corner Canyon High school and Draper Park Middle school in Draper, as well as Butler Middle school in Cottonwood Heights, were completed in 2013. Midvale Elementary school in Midvale was completed in 2012. Albion Middle School in Sandy was completely renovated in 2012. Construction is currently underway at Midvale Middle School, with completion anticipated in Fall 2017.

Other renovations and upgrades have also taken place, including seismic upgrades, playground updates, cooling system updates and accommodation for ninth-graders in the existing Brighton and Hillcrest high schools as part of a grade re-alignment.[4] At Alta High School, crews added a new entrance; new classrooms; tennis courts; art, robotics, and engineering labs; a Healthy Lifestyles Center equipped with new cardio and exercise machines; a wrestling room; and new sprinkling systems and landscaping.

Newly completed and renovated schools feature details like an emphasis on natural light, state-of-the-art computer labs, large auditoriums, and gymnasiums with elevated tracks. Several schools also have newly built media centers with TV production studios and green-screen capability. Corner Canyon High School features a 4,700-seat sports complex, as well as science and computer labs.

Canyons District maintains more than 5 million square feet in its buildings, nearly 12,000 computers with an average age of about three years, about 350 acres of lawn, and 167 buses.

Outreach and partnershipsEdit

Canyons School District receives support from volunteers and the local community through partnerships that include cities, businesses and nearby colleges. These entities work with the Canyons School District Education Foundation, an independent non-profit organization of volunteer business leaders in the community who donate their time and allocate resources to the district to improve educational opportunities for students.

Fiscal accountabilityEdit

Canyons District also established high financial standards and accountability to the public. It received awards for budget excellence in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and successfully campaigned for a $250 million bond to build and renovate schools with the highest possible bond rating from Moody's Investors Service. The district regularly partners with civic and business leaders and maintains an active volunteer program.

Assets, bonds and debtEdit

Canyons School District and Jordan School District entered an arbitration process to divide assets between the two districts after Canyons' creation.[5] As a result of that process, Canyons School District received 41 percent of the overall assets, based on student population. Canyons also agreed to pay 58 percent of a $281 million bond debt — incurred in 2003 by the formerly combined district — until 2022. In 2010, voters approved a $250 million bond to build or rebuild aging schools and add cooling systems to schools that did not have cooling systems. In total, 13 schools were remodeled or rebuilt, including Corner Canyon High School, Mount Jordan Middle, Midvale Elementary, Midvale Middle, Butler Elementary, Butler Middle, Alta View elementary, Albion Middle and Draper Park Middle. The last remodeling was finished in 2018.

SchoolsEdit

High schoolsEdit

Middle schoolsEdit

Elementary schoolsEdit

  • Alta View (White City)
  • Altara (Sandy)
  • Bell View (Sandy)
  • Bella Vista (Cottonwood Heights)
  • Brookwood (Sandy)
  • Butler (Cottonwood Heights)
  • Canyon View (Cottonwood Heights)
  • Copperview (Midvale)
  • Crescent (Sandy)
  • Draper (Draper)
  • East Midvale (Midvale)
  • East Sandy (Sandy)
  • Edgemont (Sandy)
  • Granite (Sandy)
  • Lone Peak (Sandy)
  • Midvale (Midvale)
  • Midvalley (Midvale)
  • Oak Hollow (Draper)
  • Oakdale (Sandy)
  • Park Lane (Sandy)
  • Peruvian Park (Sandy)
  • Quail Hollow (Sandy)
  • Ridgecrest (Cottonwood Heights)
  • Sandy (Sandy)
  • Silver Mesa (Sandy)
  • Sprucewood (Sandy)
  • Sunrise (Sandy)
  • Willow Canyon (Sandy)
  • Willow Springs (Draper)

OtherEdit

  • CTEC[6]
  • Entrada Adult High School[7]
  • Jordan Valley School

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Official District Web Page". Canyonsdistrict.org. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  2. ^ Stewart, Kirsten (September 23, 2009). "Canyons District draws high marks from parents". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on September 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
  3. ^ "Residents generally happy with Canyons School District". KSL-TV. September 16, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
  4. ^ Canyons district bond barely passes. The Salt Lake Tribune. June 24, 2010. Winters, Rosemary.
  5. ^ [1] "Arbitration ruling issued in Jordan School District split". KSL. March 18, 2009.
  6. ^ "CTEC". Archived from the original on 2019-06-03. Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  7. ^ Entrada Adult High School

External linksEdit