McGuire Foundation establishes first-ever Student Service Award

Park City students have been making an impact in our community and throughout the world for many years through the volunteering they do. Now, for the first time, students will have the chance to be rewarded for their efforts with the Park City Student Service Award, thanks to the Park City-based McGuire Foundation.

The Park City Student Service Award aims to honor students in grades 9-12 who are committed to making a difference by volunteering their time to non-profit organizations in Park City or elsewhere. This award is not attached to grades or participation in a club — it is purely a volunteer service acknowledgement.

Award certificates will be given to students who meet the criteria of 50+ hours of community service from April 15, 2019, to April 15, 2020.

Seniors who meet the criteria and have completed 200+ hours of community service over the past four years will earn a service honor cord for graduation. The top senior honoree will receive $1,000 to donate to the nonprofit organization of his/her choice.

The deadline to apply is April 15. For more information contact Katie McGuire, kskvmcguire@gmail.com, or Pepper Elliot at Park City High, pelliot@pcschools.us.

Full details and application available here in English.

Detalles completos y solicitud disponibles aquí en Español.

Career & Technical Education Celebrated This Month

For nearly a century, Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs across the United States have focused on equipping students with technical and life skills to help them become productive citizens. Now more than ever, CTE programs are needed to help ensure the strength of our workforce, global competitiveness, and the economic health of the nation.

Students and faculty in Park City School District are celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, Feb. 1-29. The theme for 2020 is “Turn Your Dream into a Career.”

In conjunction with CTE Month, Feb. 27 is designated as Digital Learning Day. Every day is a digital learning day in Park City schools. Elementary students begin computer coding classes in elementary school. The PCCAPS program at Park City High, helps students develop 21st Century Skills through working on real-world projects for companies and organizations. Project types fall within the industry fields of engineering, coding, business solutions, health sciences, digital design and primary education. And this year, the dual-language immersion students began programming Ozobots for storytelling.

CTE Month provides schools with an opportunity to demonstrate how CTE prepares students for college and career. Students who participate in CTE obtain the academic knowledge, technical and workplace skills to compete in a global economy. Enter any of our CTE classrooms and you will immediately observe the rigor, relevance, and skills CTE courses offer our students

CTE courses have the potential to jumpstart a students’ career by preparing them for postsecondary education and training in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations. Currently, there are 58 CTE Career Pathways in the State of Utah.

For more information about CTE programs in Park City School District, contact a CTE teacher, academic counselor, or CTE Director Lyndsay Huntsman, lhuntsan@pcschools.us.

PCCAPS Adopts Industry Workflow Language to Help Students Aquire 21st Century Work Habits

By Rachel Pittard, PCCAPS Coordinator

Students need a tool for understanding good work habits for the 21st Century. In fact, students aren’t the only ones who need such a tool. Any organization with production goals and stakeholders needs a workflow structure to effectively convert ideas, desires and solutions into tangible products. 

At PCCAPS, Scrum has been adopted as that workflow system for students, instructors, mentors and business clients. Scrum solves many work habit problems, while at the same time, training students on industry workflow language they will inevitably encounter. Scrum is also a lucrative and in-demand project management career field most have never heard of. By implementing Scrum, students are able to assure clients of progress, roadblocks, and project deliverables.  

What is Scrum? Scrum is an agile project management system which was developed here in Utah by software industry leaders, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwabera. Scrum facilitates team collaboration on complex projects. Companies which have adopted Scrum or other Agile workflow systems include Spotify, Salesforce, Delta, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Adobe, Nokia, Siemens, BBC, CNN, General Electric, Bank of America, and many others. 

How do you teach students Scrum? Legos, of course. Supported by a classroom grant from Park City Education Foundation, Treasure Mountain Junior High teacher Ben Mueller piloted an innovative lego-based Scrum lesson for his ninth-grade Exploring Computer Science class during Fall 2019 semester. 

The goal is for student workgroups to collaborate on the construction of an entire town made of legos. They are given a backlog of specific requests from citizens of the town, such as a specific number of single family homes, a mansion for the mayor, trees, animals, retail shops, restaurants, hospital and transportation infrastructure. Students plan their work (sprints) in advance by estimating the time it will take to build each backlog item and by prioritizing the order of the tasks. Time allocated for each sprint is determined by the instructor. At the beginning of each sprint, students self-lead a stand up meeting in which each member answers three questions:

— What did I work on last time? 

— What do I plan on doing next? 

— What roadblocks, if any, are in my way of completing my tasks?

Each sprint is planned, which provides students with the opportunity to self discover and solve operational issues that may be delaying progress. In the end, students prioritize a complex set of tasks and collaborate to efficiently produce a single town using legos. 

On day one of the Spring 2020 semester, Mr. Mueller replicated the lesson for PCCAPS students at Park City High School. The Scrum workflow has been adopted as the operating system for student projects in order for them to experientially develop high-demand, 21st Century skills. 

About PCCAPS

A member of the national CAPS Network, and supported by Park City Education Foundation, the Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies (PCCAPS) is an elective for Park City School District 11th and 12th graders. Student experience is guided by the principles of Project Based Learning (PBL), a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.

January's Counselor Connection: Attendance and Why it Matters

“Attendance Works,” an organization whose mission is to “advance student success and help close equity gaps by reducing chronic absence,” cites the following:

– Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year.Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month (20 days) of school.

– Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or are held back.

– Research shows that missing 10 percent of a student’s school days, which is considered “chronically absent” (18 days in PCSD) negatively affects a student’s academic performance.

– When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.

– By 6th grade chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.

Read the full issue of January’s Counselor Connection here. English | Spanish

PCHS Needs Volunteers to Assist with Robotics Tournament

Park City High School will be hosting a Robotics Tourament on Jan. 18 and needs 80 student and adult volunteers to assist with the qualifying competition. Some 24 robotics teams from thoughout Utah will be competing.

There are a variety of volunteer opportunities which include varying amounts of commitments the day of the event (and possibly some the prior day). The descriptions of the volunteer roles can be found below.

Volunteer role description: https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/volunteer-resources 

The following positions are currently available:

Adult Roles

– Judges

– Cameras

– Robot Inspectors

– Field Inspectors

– Robot Inspector (hardware) (5)

– Field Inspector (software) (4)

– Referees/Scorers (8)

– Dean’s List Interviewer (1)

– Judge Match Observer (2)

– Set Up (8 AV experience helpful)

– Team Registration (2)

– Volunteer Registration (2)

– Breakfast Pick Up

– Lunch Pick Up

– Clean up/set up

Student Roles

– Pit Runners (4)

– Field Reset (4)

– Judge Queuer (2)

– Team Registration (2)

– Volunteer Registration (2)

To sign up for a volunteer position, follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to http://firstinspires.org   As an international organization, FIRST has a standardized process for registering and certifying their volunteers.   When you get to the “Event Search Page” please select “FTC” on the left side of the screen to narrow the event options to First Tech Challenge (FTC).  Then select the Park City Qualifier on Jan. 18. You will be asked to select a role for the qualifier.  If we have discussed a specific role for you, please select that role.  If we have not discussed a specific role or if you have forgotten the role name, simply choose “Assign Me as Needed” and I will assign you to the correct position.   If you are a returning volunteer, the system will take you to My Dashboard and will direct you to any paperwork needed. After filling out the forms as prompted, then you will be able to volunteer for the event.  

Step 2: Complete the registration and required screening.

Step 3: If we have not discussed a role for you, sign up as “Assign Me as Needed,” and please email Kimberly Drury, volunteer coordinator, at snowangelkim@gmail.com, your volunteer preferences. She an assign that role in the system.    

The schedule for the Park City event can be found on the event website:  https://www.parkcityqualifier.com.

PCHS Dance Company II to present 'Informance' Jan. 15-16

Park City High School’s Dance Company II has been working hard on its annual informative performance for this year, and Director Ashley Mott says it has been a process.

The dancers will present their annual Informance, set to the theme of “Process,” at 7 p.m. in the Eccles Center Black Box Theater Jan. 15 and 16. Admission is $5 at the door.

All 13 company members have been working on creating every aspect of the production, from filming and editing informational videos, to designing and distributing posters, to organizing the order of the show.

Each group of dancers has been assigned a specific choreographic approach – or process – to explore. The processes were “theme first,” “style first,”
“music first,” “inspiration from a famous choreographer,” “formations first,” and “costumes first.”

The production will also feature performances from PCHS’s Dance Company as well as choreography from dance company director Ashley Mott, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s Nick Jurica, and guest choreographers Emily Denham and Efren Corado.

Elizabeth Becerra said this project has allowed her to choreograph using a method that she would never have used to create a dance otherwise. Dulce Robles describes the experience as a creative process that allowed her to branch out and work with new people. Zoe Jensen described how it has been difficult because some dancers had little experience with the genre of hip-hop, which was what her “style first” group has chosen to use as their medium.

'Counselor Connection' Offers Tips on Coping with Holiday Stress

The December issue of “Counselor Connection” offers important information on how to cope with stress. Most people experience stress and anxiety from time to time. Stress is any demand placed on your brain or physical body. People can report feeling stressed when multiple competing demands are placed on them. The feeling of being stressed can be triggered by an event that makes you feel frustrated or nervous. Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, or unease. It can be a reaction to stress, or it can occur in people who are unable to identify significant stressors in their life.

Learning and emotions are connected. But how? According
to Yale Professor Marc Brackett, “How we feel – bored, curious, stressed, etc. – influences whether we are present, in ‘fight or flight’ mode, or able to process and integrate information.”

The holidays in particular can be stressful. The end of a school semester or trimester, along with “extra” holiday demands can put students as well as parents on overload. Learning to manage stress is an important skill that once learned, will serve us well.

Here are some strategies that may help:

– Keep a positive attitude.

– Accept that there are events that you cannot control.

– Learn and practice relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or tai-chi.

– Exercise . Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.

– Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.

– Set limits; learn to say no to requests that lead to stress.

– Make time for hobbies, interests, and relaxation.

– Get enough rest and sleep.

– Seek out social support and spend time with friends.

Read the full December issue here: English | Spanish

District Receives Prestigious Budget Award

The Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) has recognized Park City School District for excellence in budget presentation with the prestigious Pathway to the Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) for the 2019–20 budget year. The budget is prepared annually by Business Administrator Todd Hauber.

ASBO International’s MBA and Pathway to the MBA promote and recognize best budget presentation practices in school districts. Participants submit their applications and budget documents to a panel of school financial professionals who review the materials for compliance with the MBA Criteria Checklist and other requirements and provide expert feedback that districts can use to improve their budget documents.

Districts that successfully demonstrate they have met the necessary program requirements may earn either the MBA or Pathway to the MBA, an introductory program that allows districts to ease into full MBA compliance.

“Districts that apply to the MBA or Pathway to the MBA programs recognize the importance of presenting a quality, easy-to-understand budget internally and to the community,” ASBO International Executive Director David J. Lewis explains. “Participating in the MBA and Pathway programs provides districts with important tools and resources they need to communicate the district’s goals and objectives clearly and illustrates their commitment to adhering to nationally recognized budget presentation standards.”

Founded in 1910, the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) is a nonprofit organization that, through its members and affiliates, represents approximately 30,000 school business professionals worldwide.

Park City High Announces 2020 Sterling Scholars

Park City High School has announced the 16 recipients of the 2020 Sterling Scholar competition. A Sterling Scholar is a high school senior who is publicly recognized and awarded for his or her pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership and citizenship in the State of Utah.  

A potential Sterling Scholar presents an all-encompassing portfolio on his or her work in a specific category and during the later stages of the competition is interviewed by judges in the category’s field.  Sterling Scholars are awarded at the high school, regional, and state levels.  

This year’s Sterling Scholars are:  

– Agricultural Science: Lucy Flitton

– Business & Marketing: Molly Gallagher

– Computer Technology: Gabe Sherman

– Dance: Clara Bradford

– English: Sydney LaPine

– Family/Consumer Science: Kathryn Clapier

– Foreign Language: Mary Hurner

– General: Ella Ball

– Instrumental Music: Liam Hanrahan

– Math: Jack Skidmore

– Science: Sydney Senn

– Skilled & Technology: Bella Miller

– Social Science: Siri Ahern

– Theater: Victoria Kenton

– Visual Art: Ashley Silver

– Vocal Performance: Emma Sundahl

New Issue of ‘Counselor Connection’ focuses on technology

Park City School District promotes digital citizenship and internet safety in a variety of ways. Please contact your school’s counselors or administrators if you have questions.

According to Cyber Savvy Kids:

– The average age for a child getting their first smartphone is now 10-years-old.

– 64% of kids have access to the internet via their own devices, compared to 42% in 2012.

– 39% of kids get a social media account at 11-years-old.

– On average, children in the 4th and 5th grades have their hands on a powerful device that leaves them unsupervised and open to a whole lot of trouble. Whatever trouble they can get into, you can be sure that a phone will magnify that trouble 100x.

Phones have become a ubiquitous part of ours and our childrens’ lives, providing instant access to the internet. And while they are incredibly convenient for staying connected, there are some potential negative impacts we can’t overlook. Cell phones impact learning, relationships, and overall well being in ways that none of us could have predicted before cell phones (BCP.) And because they’ve never been without phones and internet access, digital natives are challenging our parenting and teaching in dramatic ways.

So how can we help our children develop healthy cell phone and online habits? How can we keep them safe, gain that all-important sense of belonging and prevent them from developing substance abuse or mental health problems? How can schools and parents partner so students can benefit from the innovative technological and educational opportunities an online world provides?

There are terrific resources for parents in our second issue of Counselor Connection. In addition, we want to share what counselors and social workers in our schools are doing related to each Connection topic to promote academic, social, emotional, and behavioral wellness.

Read the full newsletter here in English, or in Spanish.