Arts & Electives At Corner Canyon District Middle Schools

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*UPDATE- We have had a few minor victories. The Utah State Board of Education (USBOE) appear to be listening have drafted a motion to waive the mandated classes for the 2017-2018 year only. This is a victory but we still need to make sure the vote affirms this waiver and that we protect choice electives for the following year. Please, if you are local make the effort to come to the CSD board meeting on January 17th at 5:00 and 7:00pm. We need a HUGE showing in order to really make a change happen.

Canyons School District Board vote-

January 17th at 5:00 pm-
Meeting with voting is at 7:00 pm.
9361 South 300 East - We need to be at BOTH.

Serious decisions regarding the electives and art programs in Canyons School District are being made right now. Middle Schools throughout the district including: Draper Park, Butler and Albion Middle Schools are having electives side-lined.

The issue has arisen because the State Board of Education will be adding two required classes to the sixth and eighth grade curriculum: a College & Career Readiness course (sixth grade), and a Digital Literacy course (eighth grade). Naturally this poses challenges to middle school administrators across the state, as they are faced with how to accommodate this requirement and still provide a balanced curriculum for their students. At these middle schools the administrations and school community councils (SCC) have voted to move forward with an adapted six period schedule. 

Unfortunately, moving forward with the newly adapted six period schedule would severely limit student access to electives and arts education. Students will have as little as one semester of a choice elective during their entire middle school experience. Arts education and choice electives are not only an important part of our children's educations but they make it FUN to go to school. Losing these opportunities will kill all of the high school feeder programs for performing arts and limit all opportunities for arts education in the middle schools.  This will slight hundreds of kids in significant ways. Important feeder programs like orchestra and band will not survive being cut back and students will miss out on key opportunities moving forward into high school. 

If you believe that arts education is important and/or you want your student to have any opportunities for electives, please add your voice. It is important that parents and community members have the chance to speak out on these issues so that the administration knows what we want for our children. 

For your convenience we have gathered some frequently asked questions-

Did you know there is a controversy at Draper Park, Butler and Albion Middle Schools right now regarding scheduling?

What is this scheduling conflict about?

• Two new classes have been mandated (College and Career Awareness and Digital Literacy). As a result, these administrations and School Community Council members have voted to move from a 6th period A/B schedule to a 6 period semester schedule.

What does the schedule change mean?

•  Fewer electives for all students.

What does the schedule change mean for students in the Dual Immersion program or who choose to take a foreign language course in middle school?

• One semester (0.5 credits) of a choice elective for their entire middle school experience.

What happened to all our electives?

• Over time, we have lost many. In many schools the electives that remain struggle to be maintained. It is time for us to speak up as a community and demand whole child education mandated and defined by recent legislation: (Source: https://www2.ed.gov/documents/essa-act-of-1965.pdf Many schedules used to be a 7 period day with fewer “directed electives”. Directed electives are classes such as PE and Health. These are electives that are not considered Core curriculum but are still required.

If students can’t have a full year of an elective, what happens to programs like orchestra, band, choir, and drama?

• These programs will be severely impacted. Teachers have already begun to move to districts more committed to arts education. There has been a huge reaction at our highschools with the teachers of these programs who are worried about their future. If the middle school isn’t supporting their programs- how can they continue?

Do I have a voice?

• Yes. The Canyons School District Board needs to hear from you. You can contact them directly with this contact information:  

When will this schedule be finalized?
• The Canyons School District will vote on this January 17th at their next board meeting.

What can I do now?
• SIGN THIS PETITION. Email board members, Principals, and School Community Council Members. Share this information with friends and neighbors in the Canyons School District. Join the facebook group for additional information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/751801374967244/

Bottom line: if these key decision makers don't hear from 400-500 parents to demand more options by choosing the 7 or 8 period schedule, the arts in our middle schools will be severely limited!



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