Health Department, CSD Plan ‘Test to Stay’ at Willow Springs

The Salt Lake County Health Department and Canyons District are holding a “Test to Stay” event at Willow Springs Elementary as a result of the COVID-19 case counts associated with the school.

The Test to Stay event at Willow Springs Elementary will be Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, starting at 9 a.m. 

The tests will be done by the Utah Department of Health. 

While state law eliminated CSD’s ability to enforce a mask mandate, it does provide for a testing process if case counts reach a certain threshold.  Under Senate Bill 107, If a school with fewer than 1,500 students, such as Willow Springs Elementary, reaches at least 30 positive cases, then the school will hold a Test to Stay event.

In this detection and prevention effort, students are given rapid-antigen tests at the school during school hours. 

This process identifies those who are asymptomatic spreaders of COVID-19 and removes them from the environment, thereby reducing the risk of school-based exposures. 

After a school conducts a Test to Stay event,  the school’s COVID-19 case counts resets to zero 10 days after the testing commences.   

No student will be tested without parent consent.  Parents of Willow Springs students are being sent online consent forms to complete and submit.   The form was sent via email to Guardian No. 1 as listed in Skyward.  If you need assistance receiving this email, please call CSD’s IT Help Desk at 801-826-5544. 

Hard copy consent forms also are available at the school. 

In order for the test to be done, parents must also provide consent and personal contact information for the health department system that is used to maintain the test result data.  Here is the link if parents need to register their child:

Students who are offered rapid-antigen testing during a “Test to Stay” and:

  • Test positive

Must isolate at home. They may return to in-person learning after they are done with their individual isolation periods

  • Test negative

May continue with in-person instruction if they are not a close contact of a person who tests positive and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Choose not to get tested

Should not attend school in-person until Oct. 18, 2021.  Students may return to in-person learning if they provide a negative test from a medical facility.   

Questions?  Please contact the Canyons District Office of Responsive Services at 801-801-826-5416. 

Students love their ‘awesome’ Canyons District principals — and for good reason

It’s been said that the influence of a great principal can never be erased.

 But don’t just take our word for it. To kick off National Principals Month, we asked students around the District to share what principals mean to them and their schools. Answers ranged from cute to sincere.

 Jason Mun, a student body officer at Hillcrest High, described principals as being organizers and intermediaries between teachers and students. “My favorite thing about our principal is that he’s hilarious,” Mun said. “Mr. (Greg) Leavitt is awesome, and he’s constantly thinking of us.”

 Bonus: Mr. Leavitt occasionally buys pizza for students at football games, and has been known to make three-plus-hour drives to watch sporting events.

 A young student at Bell View Elementary shared two reasons why she likes Tamra Baker and other principals. “I would say because they keep children safe, and they help people.” Victoria, a fifth-grader, respects principals for being leaders, helpful and friendly.

 “Miss Baker’s always really nice,” Victoria said. “She’s always trying to do something new at our school.”

 Sunrise’s lead administrator, Dr. Angela Wilkinson, received high marks for being “very nice” and for allowing students to buy fun stuff through a points system. In addition, one student noted, “She helps us out when we’re sad.”

 Brighton High student Johnny McFarland credited all of CSD’s principals for caring a lot about different groups of people: students, staff, teachers, and community members.

 “They have to pay attention to so many different factors,” he said. “Principals do it all.”

 That, McFarland added, includes being aware of everything that goes on, making sure everyone is cared for and happy, listening, and working hard. Those are among reasons why Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood earned a 2021 Canyons Apex Award for being the School Administrator of the Year, and why Alta High Principal Brian McGill was named Utah’s High School Principal of the Year.

 “I think principals are really great for schools and the community,” McFarland said. “We really appreciate them.”

 Other words students used to describe CSD principals: aware, caring, super strong, resilient, awesome, supportive, engaging, and helpful. The list could go on, too.

 “If I could say anything to my principal, it would just be, ‘Thank you,’” Hillcrest student Luke Bangerter said. “He’s such a loving guy. He’s always looking out for us, and he makes it feel like Hillcrest is a big, giant family. … (Principals) help the teachers teach and help the students get to where they need to be — in class and getting your (work) done. They’re amazing.”



Let’s show appreciation to custodians so their vital work isn’t a thankless job

It’s good timing for National Custodian Day — celebrated every October 2nd — to fall on a Saturday this year. If anybody deserves a day off on their special day, it’s the 150 full-time custodians and 500 part-timers who five days a week clean 6.1 million square feet around Canyons School District.

 As CSD custodial lead trainer Todd Muir wrote in a recent email to his massive crew, “The calendar says it’s our day, but, in fact, every day is our day.”

 Isn’t that the truth. Imagine for a second what lunchrooms, classrooms, hallways, gymnasiums, and every other nook and cranny in the District’s buildings would look like without the consistent, attentive care of our custodians.

 On second thought, don’t imagine that. It wouldn’t be pretty.

 Instead, you could — and should — thank custodians for the work they do to make the District sparkly clean and sanitized. It needn’t be a thankless job, that’s for sure. That’s especially the case now, seeing as daily duties of the CSD custodians have increased in both workload and importance since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. To lower the risk of novel coronavirus spread, custodians are tasked with cleaning schools thoroughly throughout the day and into the evening hours. Cleaning crews also regularly disinfect classrooms, hallways, and commons areas with hospital-grade cleaning detergents.

“Please just understand what I said last year at this time is even more true now,” Muir told CSD custodians. He put the next line in bold. “A well-trained custodian will prevent more illness than any doctor will ever cure!”

 To that point, think of the preventive care and cleaning that’s been done over the years by the 16 CSD custodians who’ve put in over 25 years of service. That group includes one custodian with 30-plus years of experience, two devoted employees who’ve been on the job for more than 35 years, and the Custodial Ironman of the District: James Sheely, who’s toiled away at Midvalley Elementary for an incredible 42 years.

 Canyons’ custodians were aptly called “unsung heroes” when the Canyons Board of Education and Superintendent awarded the 2020 Canyons Apex Award to Custodial and Grounds Coordinator Kevin Kelson.

 An anonymous writer described a school’s invaluable custodian like this: “The first to arrive each day. The first called to help. The last to leave. The one that befriends everyone. The one that takes complete ownership and is always ready to help no matter how difficult. The quiet hero of every school facility. The school custodian!”

 Enjoy your day off, custodians. You’ve more than earned it.

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