11055 South 1000 East, Sandy, Utah 84094

We are an inclusive learning community with a tradition of inspiring, supporting, and collaborating with students as they prepare to be engaged citizens in their pursuit of continuous success.


January 25, 2021 – Minutes

School Community Council
Monday, January 25, 2021

Members in Attendance (via Zoom):

Brian McGill                            Cache Merrill                          Brittany Stephenson              
Joe Schino                              
Kelli Miller                              
Jim Jensen
Shannon Kershaw                   Katie Christensen                    Garry True
Rochelle Stone                        Page Checketts                        Callie Bjerregaard
Melissa Gibbs                        

Chet Linton                              Chad Heyborne
Tricia Leininger                       Shaley Allen

Others in Attendance:
Carolyn Cannon (Secretary)
Dallen Jeppson (SBO President)
Brenton Valentine (SBO)

Not in Attendance:    
Ron Strohm                            
April Richardson

Welcome, Review & Approve minutes from November 23, 2020 meeting (Jim Jensen)

  • Motion to approve minutes – Melissa Gibbs
  • 2nd Motion – Garry True
  • Motion passed
  1. Student Government/Events Update (Allen and SBOs)
  • Karl Packer, our SBO Advisor, has resigned. We will miss him!  Shaley Allen is our new Advisor.
  • We have done some fun things for our fundraiser, such as tournaments, etc. We have raised $15,000.
  • We are kicking off Alta Idol tonight. There are 11 contestants.  We are able to have 25% capacity in the PAC. Students are able to come and socially distance. This is the first event/activity that we have had permission to have student spectators. We are grateful for everyone that has helped make it happen. There will be three judges, one is Alex Boye.

2. PTSA Update (Rochelle Stone)

  • After Thanksgiving we asked parents to donate $25 gift cards for our Gifts of Gratitude drive. We gave them out to all staff at Christmas time.  Our parents were SO generous and the gift cards were well received by the staff.
  • We are starting the recruiting process for the PTSA Board for next year.
  • We are looking at next year’s fundraiser. Typically we have done the Alta blankets so we may order again for next year.
  • Brian gave a huge thanks for the gift card drive and all that meant to the teachers and staff. As a school we are no longer able to do gift cards for recognition, so it was wonderful for the PTSA to offer this.

 3. Counseling Corner (Callie Bjerregaard and Shannon Kershaw)

  • We have moved into the new Counseling Center and it’s beautiful!
  • We have been very busy this semester with many students moving back to in-person from online. Students seem to do much better in-class than online.
  • This week we will start course requests for next year. It is important to know how many teachers we need for next year.  We want the students to take it seriously.  We will launch it with a virtual Freshman Orientation on January 28th.  Incoming 9th graders will receive help to make sure they understand how to do it. 
  • Current 9th, 10th, and 11th grade course requests will be distributed during Advisory, with 9th graders this week. 10th graders will be done along with their PLAN CCRs in their English classes on February 22nd and 23rd.  11th graders will be the week after.  They already discussed it with the 11th graders in their individual PLAN CCRs.
  • We feel like morale is a little better at school now that we have been in school pretty consistently.
  • Juniors will be taking the State ACT test on Tuesday, March 9th. We are planning for in-person testing.  ACT requires pre-administration.  In the past we have gone into English classes to do it, but this year ACT is changing it and Juniors will complete it online.  We are still waiting for that information from ACT.  We are offering a test-prep course on Saturday, February 20, in-person in the Commons.  Information went out in the Parent newsletter today.  It’s $99 for the course and will run from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.  We have had good feedback from this course.
  • We are waiting for more information on ASPIRE testing. AP testing will be first 2 weeks in May.  We are planning on in-person, but waiting to hear for sure.
  • Regent’s Scholarship applications are due February 1st. They no longer require ACT test scores which helps more students to qualify.

4. Graduation Input for 2021 (Brian McGill)

  • The District has told us to plan on a similar celebration as last year. Everyone seemed to enjoy what we did with the virtual/digital production of graduation, recorded speeches, musical numbers, walk across the stage for a picture, followed with the celebration parade on graduation day.   
  • Input from SCC members:  Maybe we could relay the positive feedback from last year to this year’s Senior parents so they know that it was a good experience; The general feeling this year is that they want the fun graduation (decorate cars, etc.) like last year;  The most important thing for the graduates is to be able to be near their friends during some of these events.  Is there a way to let them line up together; We also need to be aware of the inequity in a parade-style graduation; Also, we lose some of the formality in not having the regular graduation.
  • Principal’s Recognition Night will probably be similar to last year where we did a virtual slideshow production. We will definitely recognize those students who have earned the various awards.

5. CSD Graduation Rates (Brian McGill)

  • We have a 93% graduation rate. We need to commend our counseling team and everyone involved.  We are most proud of the 10% higher graduation rates within our Latino community.  We have put a lot of effort into that group.  We are up to a 21% minority rate at Alta, which is up from 6% as of 7 years ago.

 6. COVID (Kelli Miller)

  • We are using the “Test to Stay” Protocol to maximize health safety and in-person learning. A week and a half ago when we were given the choice of what to do, there was an insurmountable amount of work to make it happen.   Our Admin have been working 17-18 hour days to prepare.  Kelli and Steve have been the masterminds behind this.  It was a lot of work, but at the end of the day, it was best for kids to stay in school, and that’s what we are all about.  This bought us two weeks.  It usually takes about three weeks to get to the threshold, so we may need to do this “Test to Stay” another four times before the school year is over.
  • The Health Department required that we provide a good-faith effort in getting as many students tested as possible. We got over 2,000 parents to fill out the permission form.
  • We were the first in our district to do this, but others are following.
  • We tested about 1800 students. In addition, about 200 were exempt and 200 chose not to test.  We made a few mistakes, but we kept paper copies and we were able to remedy the mistakes.  It went very well and we only had 11 positive students.
  • State government is paying for the tests, so we are not incurring any cost
  • Now that we have our system in place, it should be less labor-intensive in the future.

7. Alta Professional Development (PD) Schedule (Kelli Miller)

  • Feedback from faculty has been that they are feeling a loss of connection since we can’t pull our faculty together as a whole group. There has been a lot of uncertainty with all of the schedule changes, etc.
  • In the past we have had regular PD days, but haven’t in the past year. Now, with some stability returning in the schedule, we would like to have some consistency in meeting together and giving information directly to the teachers.
  • Our upcoming PD Calendar will be the following: 1st Friday – faculty meeting, recognitions, get to know each other, small groups; 2nd Friday and 4th Friday – optional PD topics (new quiz features in Canvas, department time); 3rd Friday – Teacher Leadership meetings.

 8. LandTrust and TSSA Budgets (Brian McGill)

  • Land Trust Budget – We were given $300,000, and we are down to $150,000 (midway through year and midway through money). Most of it is used for personnel.
  • TSSA Budget – We were given $338,000, and we are down to $200,000.
  • Come April we will look to see if we have excess. In the past we have bought chromebooks, but now the District will provide all those.
  • The next two months are critical for attendance at School Community Council. We will present an outline in February of the budgets, and we will vote in March.
  • We have been asked not to make too many changes from this year to next due to the circumstances.

9. Debate Recognition (Brian McGill)

  • When we split with Corner Canyon eight years ago we lost a lot of academic programs (2600 students down to 1600). We have had our work cut out for us to bring back programs.
  • Sydney Schoepf and Katie Wilkinson, our Debate coaches, have done a phenomenal job bringing back our Debate team. Sydney is here every Friday and Saturday. All tournaments have been done virtually.
  • In this past year they earned more than 200 points and have been recognized for being in the top 200 club. This is a prestigious award and recognition.  A student, Jessica Lathrop, received the Academic All-American award!

10. Other Items

  • Building update (Garry True) – Great things have happened! We are 6-8 months ahead of schedule.  We got things moved from the Main, Attendance, and Counseling Offices into their new locations during and just after the holiday break.  The all-call system is finally updated.  The old furniture has been moved out.  Most of the demolition has happened in the old office space.  They have done the water line underneath the parking lot.  They are working on the lighting in the commons.  They will begin demolishing the flooring outside the gym fairly soon.
  • Legislative update (Brian McGill) – The Voucher Bill is coming back. Also, they are discussing the Bonus Bill for all staff

Motion to Adjourn – Page Checketts

Second – Kelli Miller

Meeting adjourned

Next SCC Meeting:  Monday, February 22, 20218 @ 3:00 pm

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