PCSD Selected for Utah’s First Cohort in Personalized, Digital Learning

Park City School District has been selected to participate in the state’s first cohort for Leadership in Personalized and Digital Learning (LPDL).

The cohort offers a team of district leaders an opportunity for job-embedded professional learning to prepare the LEA for personalized learning. District leaders will participate in the program that features face-to-face opportunities to work with trained facilitators and other state leaders from the Utah Education Network and the Utah State Board of Education.

“This is a perfect fit for our district,” said Traci Evans, interim Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. “It is exciting to be on the forefront of personalized, computer-based education.

Nine districts and three charter schools are part of the first cohort. The first meeting is Jan. 14 in Salt Lake City.

The purpose of the cohort is to build a deeper understanding of personalized learning, to assist participating districts in creating their Digital Teaching and Learning Plan, and to learn about new collection tools to drive decisions for personalized learning.

‘Informance’ to Highlight Park City High’s DC2

Dance Company 2Park City High’s Dance Company II  (DC2) will present its annual “Informance,” an informal and informative performance that features their work of the past several months. Two shows are set for Jan. 15, at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., in the Eccles Center’s Black Box Theater.

This year’s Informance presents the six universal human emotions through dance: happiness, sadness, fear, contempt, surprise, and anger. The 19 dancers will present 10 pieces, all embodying one of these six emotions.

“DC2 has worked together to create, choreograph, and perform their Informance in order to share their knowledge and love of the art with friends, family, peers, and the community,” says Ashley Mott, DC2 and Dance Company director.

Mott said each student has been assigned a specific responsibility, from choreographing the dances, marketing the performance, creating videos to accompany their pieces, and establishing the show order.

“The dancers have worked tirelessly both inside and outside the classroom, finding time for a major production to their busy schedules,” she said.

There is no charge for the performance but donations will be accepted to help support the dance program.

Board Meeting Summary | Dec. 18, 2018

Board Member Recognition

The board recognized Vice President JJ Ehlers for her four years of service and Petra Butler for her two years of service.

Superintendent Report

At the request of the board, Superintendent Jill Gildea is working on leadership transition and the district’s organization structure. Working within current budgetary parameters, as well as full-time equivalents, she will make recommendations as part of budget development process. The district will use a search firm to help identify qualified finalists for Cabinet-level positions.

Education Master Plan Update

Chris Guarino with NV5, the district’s owner representative for master planning, updated the board on the work of the Steering Committee, Learning Leaders Forums, and the next online community survey.  Ongoing updates are posted on the The Future of Learning website. The current community survey is available here.

Calendar Committee Update

Trailside Elementary Principal Carolyn Synan, a member of the district calendar committee, presented the final two 2019-20 calendar options. A survey of district employees overwhelmingly (73%) selected the Option B calendar because it allows for a longer Winter Break. The board will adopt a 2019-20 calendar at its January meeting and will consider the committee’s Option B at that time.

Student Fees

Business Administrator Todd Hauber reviewed the work being done on defining academic fees by a State Board of Education task force. The board will need to look at fees related to special academic projects and programs and establish maximums per fee and an aggregate maximum for total participation; which includes extracurricular fees related to travel, lodging, food, etc. The fee schedule has to be adopted by April 1, so the board will be discussing this issue in the coming months and allow time for public comments.

Policies Adopted

– Policy 3000: Shared Decision Making

– Policy 5010: Inventory Control and Use of Equipment

– Policy 5025: Student Transportation for School or District Activities

– Policy 7031: Social Media (new)

– Policy 7160: Orderly Termination

– Policy 9025: Student Wellness

Policy Retired

– Policy 5005: Building Access

Public Comment

– Parent Shannon Schemmer commended the board on the district calendar options and offered suggestions for future calendars. She also commented on the proposed wellness policy and said she is hesitant to ban options and choices for older students and believes they are capable of making their own choices when it comes to healthy foods.

– Parent Christie Worthington said the wellness policy does not allow for students to have choices. While she feels the policy has good intent, she said it is too restrictive.

– Parent Laurel Bartmess said the district calendar has too many breaks and she prefers a longer year. She also said, referring to the wellness policy, that food should not be used as an extrinsic reward.

– Janae Ridge, executive director for EATS Park City reiterated research and recommendations with input from community members. EATS hopes the district will shift the culture and eliminate food rewards.

Parent Kelly Manning believes parents, teachers, and administrators should advocate for students’ health and nutrition needs. She asked the board to consider the elimination of food rewards as a recommendation not policy.

– Teacher Melissa Bott shared examples of why it is important to allow food in classes. She said it helps teachers be creative in their teaching and learning experiences.

– R.J. Owen, Child Nutrition Services Director, asked the board to respect the work of the committee who revised the wellness policy and vote on the policy as it was originally presented. Owen suggested the wellness committee review the comments from the community that surfaced during the policy posting time period.

Park City High to Host Robotics Competition Tomorrow

Saturday,  Dec. 15, will be all things robotic at Park City High School as the Robotics Club hosts a Robotics Tournament for teams from Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

The event, held in the Main Gym, begins at 11 a.m. with the opening ceremony and matches will begin directly afterward. A lunch break is scheduled from 12:15-1 pm.  Matches will resume at 1 and continue until approximately 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the east Eccles lot (entry is only through the doors next to the gray mailbox). The public is invited to attend.

Park City High has several robotics teams who compete. Team Checkmate 12384 was the only PCHS team that competed earlier this month at West High High School in Salt Lake City, placing five times and winning the Innovative Award. The team also competed this month at a tournament held at Carroll College in Helena, Montana.

The club meets every Tuesday after school. For more information visit their website.

 

McPolin’s DLI Students Create Class Mural Honoring Human Rights Leaders

Fifth-grade dual-immersion students in Joe Dvorak’s Spanish class at McPolin Elementary have been studying the human rights and farmworkers’ movements the past few months. As part of their study, they created a class mural.

The students painted the mural of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez, American labor leaders and civil rights activists who co-founded of the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers.

Thanks to the generosity of parent volunteer Nikki Keye, the students spent the past month creating the artwork. Keye has an extensive background and degree in art. She visited the class every week teaching the students how to make the various components of the mural.

This week, students produced a google drawing with links to videos explaining their contributions to the mural. See the mural and learn more from the students here

 

District Adds Propane School Buses to its Fleet

Park City School District is celebrating the holidays early this year with the delivery of two new propane school buses.

Rich Eddington, Director of Transportation, said alternative fuel is now a reality in the school district. “We are starting with only two buses to see how propane handles in the snow and cold weather.”

Propane buses are more economical to purchases, $125,000 per propane bus versus $159,000 for a diesel bus. “About 10 percent of buses sold nationwide are now propane,” Eddington said. “Propane is the best alternative fuel for our district.”

The district is in the process of installing its own tank at the Transportation Department. Propane gas averages $1.41 per gallon, much less expensive than diesel. “We want to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and the environment,” he said.

Propane buses are quieter, start in 50 below zero temperatures, heat the cabin quicker, and are one of the industry’s most popular because of their lower cost and safety features, according to Eddington.

Buses 32 and 33 are currently assigned to routes that transport students to Trailside Elementary, Ecker Middle, and Treasure Mountain / Park City High Schools.

The district is in the process of upgrading and updating its bus fleet, and is applying for state and federal grants to help offset the costs for new alternative fuel buses.

Education Master Plan Update: Vision for the Future

Park City School District held a learning leaders forum last night, Dec. 6, to discuss the educational vision for the district in the years to come.

Teachers and administrators met earlier in the evening to discuss current and future innovations in learning, the use of technology, personalized education, project-based curriculum, establishing professional learning communities, enhanced professional development, and the importance of relationship building.

Educators also concurred with the results of the first community online survey asking the top three skills Park City High graduates should have: 1) critical thinking/problem solving, 2) communication skills, and 3) study skills/time management.

PCHS Principal Roger Arbabi leads a small group discussion about the needs of students in the coming years.

“The committee and representative community members have provided excellent insights and feedback to date that will keep the Park City Schools leading the way in public education,” said Superintendent Jill Gildea.

The Steering Committee reviewed the proposed guiding principles for the district’s educational master plan. The principles were developed by 75 educators, students, community members, Planning and Steering Committee members during a day-long Future of Education Summit in October.

The six guiding principles include:

– Learner-centered experiences best support student growth.

– Positive and healthy schools promote safety and security.

– Relationships are nurtured and cultivated

– Meaningful engagement demands real-world learning.

– Flexible, adaptable spaces and programming support all students.

– A commitment to inclusivity provides greater access for all.

“These principles will guide the development of our educational programs and define  what student success looks like,” said Superintendent Gildea.

Steering Committee hears from teachers and administrators.

Upcoming learning leaders forums will include conversations about identifying key spaces for learning (Dec. 18), reviewing how spaces can be teaching tools (Jan. 15), developing space by space descriptions and review condition assessments (Feb. 12), and review teaching approach and space recommendations (March 12). Teachers and administrators will meet from 3:30-5:30 p.m., and the Steering Committee meets from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend and observe Steering Committee meetings. All meetings will be held in the PCCAPS collaborative space at Park City High School.

Superintendent Gildea encourages the community to be engaged in the process and offer feedback along the way. The district is currently asking for the public’s best ideas on what the future of education should look like in Park City.

All agendas, minutes, and meeting recordings can be accessed on The Future of Learning website.  The next community engagement open house is planned for Feb. 6, and the website will have several online surveys to seek public input.

Options and recommendations will be presented to the Board of Education on April 15. The board will review the final recommendations and consider adoption at its May 21 meeting.

PCHS Athletic & Activities Director to Receive National Honor

Jamie Sheetz

Park City High School Athletic and Activities Director Jamie Sheetz will be honored Dec. 18 in San Antonio, Texas, with the 2018 Distinguished Service Award given by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA).

Sheetz is one of 11 athletic directors from across the country who will be honored during the 49th annual National Athletic Directors Conference conducted jointly by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the NIAAA.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to individuals from within the NIAAA membership in recognition of their length of service, special accomplishments, and contributions to interscholastic athletics at the local, state and national levels.

Sheetz, who has been at PCHS since 2013, oversees 23 athletic programs and nine activity programs. In his five years with the school, PCHS has had 19 student-athletes recognized as academic all-state and 33 teams win state championships.

Prior to his involvement with athletic administration five years ago, Sheetz spent 20 years as a baseball coach, instructor, teacher and scout at multiple levels. He coached baseball at Missouri State University, which reached the 2003 College World Series.

He recently became the president of the Park City Education Foundation Men4Ed Grant Committee. Through 2017, he was the athletics subcommittee chair of the PCSD Master Planning Steering Committee, PCSD Design Team and Calendar committees, and is a former member of the PCSD Start Times Committee.

Within the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (UIAAA), Sheetz was president in 2016-17 and is chair of the UIAAA Third Strategic Plan. He helped develop the UIAAA Second Strategic Plan in 2014. He has served as the association’s website manager since 2015 and as the assistant coordinator for the UIAAA Leadership Training Institute (LTI) and Certification since 2016.

The Utah High School Activities Association has benefited from Sheetz’s leadership as the UIAAA representative on the UHSAA Realignment Committee (2019-21) and a UIAAA representative/judge for the UHSAA Battle of the Fans.

Sheetz, who received the NIAAA State Award of Merit in 2016 and an NFHS Citation in 2017, currently serves on the NIAAA Resolutions Committee and will become its vice chair in 2019. He also is vice chair of LTC 790 and the NIAAA Revision Committee. To date, Sheetz has taken 41 leadership training courses.

He is a Certified Interscholastic Coach (CIC) through the NFHS and a Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) through the NIAAA.

Board Seeks Input on Student Wellness Policy

The Park City Board of Education is updating its students wellness policy and is asking the community, parents, students, and educators for feedback.

The district is committed to providing a school environment that enhances learning and development of lifelong wellness practices. It recognizes the relationship between adequate nutrition, physical activity and academic achievement.

The policy, which can be viewed here, outlines the district’s nutrition programs and promotion, nutrition guidelines for all foods available on campus during the school day, and nutrition education.

The wellness policy is posted for its required 20 days during which time the district accepts public comment. Feedback can be sent to Lorie Pearce, lpearce@pcschools.us prior to Dec. 17. The board anticipates adopting the policy at its Dec. 18 regular session.

Applications Accepted for District 3 Board Member Vacancy

The Park City School District Board of Education is now accepting applications to fill the District 3 board member vacancy. Board member Petra Butler is resigning from the board, effective Dec. 31.

The board, which will appoint someone to fill the vacancy, will accept applications until Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. The individual selected will serve the remainder of Butler’s term which ends December 31, 2020.

Applications can be emailed to President Caplan at acaplan@pcschools.us.  Interviews will be conducted during the Jan. 15 board meeting which begins at 4 p.m. The application and additional information can be found here.

Board member Butler represents the board on the Chamber of Commerce, Comprehensive Guidance Committee, Summit County Wellness Alliance, Latino Advocacy Committee, and the Park City Education Association. “Petra was an integral part in developing the district’s Strategic Plan, selecting our new Superintendent, and advocating for improving the safety and security in our schools. She has always had the best interests of our students and employees at the center of all she does. Her experience and knowledge will be greatly missed,” Caplan said.