Board Meeting Summary | March 19, 2018

Superintendent Report

– Superintendent Jill Gildea reported on her presentation to the master planning Steering Committee last week and said the work being done by the committee and educators aligns with the district’s mission and vision.

– She reported on her attendance at the Northeast Region Sterling Scholars Recognition Banquet at Utah Valley University Monday night and congratulated Park City High region winners and runners-up.

– The superintendent noted that Park City High represents five of the 20 finalists in the Utah High Entrepreneur Challenge sponsored by the University of Utah Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. The public can vote for their favorite projects until March 29 here.

Student Council Report

Student board representative, Steven Mitchell, said the high school PTSO asked the student council to review the costs it charges for various activities and merchandise. Following an evaluation, he said the student council is reconsidering its practices and working on a solution for next year.

Standards-Based Learning

Tim Brown, an education consultant with Solution Tree based in Bloomington, Indiana, has been retained by the district to provide standards-based learning (SBL) research-based and results-driven professional development for teachers. Brown said there is growing evidence that when teachers use SBG they are getting a clearer picture of what students actually know. The board reiterated its support for SBL philosophy, and encouraged the administration to communicate it more clearly to teachers, parents, and students as it works through implementation.

Learner Profile

Melina Wright, a senior associate with the ECRA Group based in Chicago, presented a Learner Profile and Strategic Dashboard System to the board. The ECRA Group (Education, Consulting, Research, Analytics) is a research and analytics consulting firm that helps schools improve student outcomes by embedding evidence-based practices via predictive models. Wright said the dashboard allows schools to tell their story in a more transparent way. The system also allows a learner profile for each student. Superintendent Gildea said the system allows teachers, students, and parents to visually see how students are learning.

Future of Learning

Chris Guarino with NV5, the district’s owner representative for master planning, told the board that teachers have defined the types of spaces they believe are best for learning and that information will help evaluate the district’s current buildings and spaces. He said the community has offered input during open houses and meetings held at each school.  The board will receive educational master plan options at its April 16 board meeting. April and May will be focused on engaging the community and seeking their feedback on the options.

Preliminary Budget/School Fees

Business Administrator Todd Hauber reviewed the preliminary budget for the 2019-20 school year. The board was also presented a list of school fees for next year and will review them prior to adoption. Hauber said legislation just passed during this past session outlines a more detailed school fee practice the board needs to adopt by January 2020.  Preliminary budget priorities can be viewed here.

Jeremy Ranch Wetlands Mitigation & Easement Agreements

The board approved an inter-local agreement and easement with Summit County for the Jeremy Ranch Frontage Road wetland mitigation. The district will partner with the county to build a trail that will allow for a safer route for students walking or biking to and from Jeremy Ranch Elementary.

Policies for Posting

– Policy 5015: Transportation

– Policy 5020: School Bus Emergencies

Policies Adopted

– Policy 2000: Student Representative on the Board of Education

– Policy 4000: Contingency Reserves

– Policy 4005: Purchasing

– Policy 4006: Cash Management

– Policy 4010: Travel and Conference Reimbursement

– Policy 4015: Disposal of Fixed Assets

– Policy 4020: District Records

– Policy 5025: Student Transportation

– Policy 6000: Modification of District Property

– Policy 7075: Twelve-Month Employee Holidays

– Policy 7095: Conditions of Employment

Public Comment

– Nine parents expressed their frustrations about standards-based learning and lack of understanding about it in the community. They asked the district to take its time in rolling out SBL districtwide.

– Four teachers shared their support for standards-based learning and how it impacts student achievement. They said SBL is transforming the grade conversation between students and teachers from “how to I earn a grade” to “how to I learn a grade.”

The Facts About Standards-Based Learning

The following is a guest editorial written by Park City School District that was published in the Park Record March 6, 2019.

As Park City School District transforms our schools to meet the needs of the future, it is critical we examine the ways we prepare and engage students. Our mission is to inspire and support all students equitably to achieve their academic and social potential.

Standards based logo

How do we know if students are reaching their academic potential? Grades should reflect student proficiency in relation to a specific standard. Standards-based learning (SBL), which has been around since 1983, encourages students to take ownership of their learning. It empowers them to improve understanding of a concept and advocate for multiple ways in which they can demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

SBL is a method of providing feedback that separates academic achievement from habits, efforts, and behaviors. It is a more accurate reflection of what a student actually knows and can do. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of SBL is that it encourages students to view learning as an ongoing process that doesn’t end after an assessment.

We hope the following information illustrates our student-centered vision and why we believe SBL will help our students feels supported, engaged, and challenged.

Three years ago teachers at Ecker Hill Middle School realized that its reporting system needed to be an accurate method that recognized students’ accomplishments and specific needs. Through school visits, research, and professional development, the educators realized SBL was the best way to go to assist students in their growth and achievement. Now three years later, Ecker Hill Middle has piloted the system and fully implemented this school year.  The students now receive a composite score of 1, 2, 3 or 4 in each subject which is calculated by averaging the proficiency score for each standard in each subject. A “3” means a student is proficient in that subject.

Because SBL was teacher driven at a local school, there has not been district-level coordination until this school year when we realized all our schools were interested in using a consistent system. This year we created two district task forces to assist with educating parents about SBL. Since the remaining schools will not fully implement SBL until 2022, we are in the beginning stages of educating  parents districtwide about SBL and its value to students.

To date, more than half of Treasure Mountain Junior High teachers are using SBL scales to assess learning and the school plans to fully implement SBL by August 2020. Individual teachers and departments at Park City High have started to use SBL scales. Secondary students will continue to earn a traditional letter grade in a course, and the high school transcript will look the same as it has in the past. The course letter grade will be determined according to a proficiency-based grading scale. Our elementary schools are exploring the use of SBL, developing scales, and some teachers are beginning to assess mastery of standards separately from behavior and work habits.

Ultimately, students are the ones who will benefit the most from SBL. The key tenant of SBL is understanding where each student is on the road to mastery, not just at the end of the year, but constantly throughout the year.

Parents, if you have questions we invite you to meet with your teachers and/or principal to have your questions answered.  More resources and research about SBL is available on our Teaching & Learning website.

Master planning consultants to conduct school listening tours

Park City School District’s master planning consultants will be hosting meetings at each school in March to get a better understanding of the issues and needs specific to each school building.

The master planning process is heading into the home stretch. This is your last chance to publicly share thoughts about the issues and needs specific to your buildings. Make your voice heard by attending your school’s meeting.

GSBS consultants will ask the following questions to parents, teachers, and community members who are invited to attend the meetings:

– What are the aspects of education at your school that contribute most to the quality of education?

– What are the most successful elements of the facility?

– What could be done to improve the facility?

– Are there things that should be fixed or addressed right away?

The Listening Tour dates and locations are listed below:

March 5: Ecker Hill Middle School, 5 p.m., 2465 West Kilby Road

March 6: Jeremy Ranch Elementary, 5:30 p.m., 3050 Rasmussen Road

 March 7: Parley’s Park Elementary, 5 p.m., 4600 Silver Springs Drive

March 7: McPolin Elementary, 5:30 p.m., 2270 Kearns Boulevard

March 11:Park City High School, 5:30 p.m., 2270 Kearns Boulevard

March 13: Trailside Elementary, 5 p.m., 5700 Trailside Drive

March 14: Treasure Mountain Junior High School, 5 p.m., 2530 Kearns Boulevard

These community engagement meetings are part of “The Future of Learning” education master planning process that has been underway since the start of this school year. The goal of this process is to create a community vision for the future of education in our District. This plan will guide the development of our educational programs, investments in our facilities, and better define what student success looks like now and in the future.

Those unable to attend their school meeting are invited to email their feedback to Clio Rayner, project manager, crayner@sbsarchitects.com.

For more information visit the Future of Education website at pcfutureoflearning.com.

Career Compass Event March 4 to Encourage Students to Explore Careers

Park City School District’s CTE will host its second annual Combined Registration and Career Compass Event on Monday, March 4, from 5-7 p.m. at Park City High for students in grades 5-11 and their families.

Compass

Monday’s event is about providing information so students can progress through PCSD schools and refine their interests and begin developing a plan to focus and deepen their knowledge base and skill sets towards their plans for the next stage of life.

Set to the theme, “Come Find Your True North,” a compass illustrates the theme with the four cardinal directions representing Ecker Hill Middle, Treasure Mountain Junior High, and Park City High — each cardinal direction narrowing the focus as students proceed from school to school.

As students mature and progress in their career interests they should move from exploring to tactically engaging in classes, clubs, and experiences that will provide them a strategic advantage in whatever their goals are for the next stage in life.

CTE Director Danny Fisher said the end goal of this event is to start or support meaningful conversations with students, parents, teachers, counselors, etc. about how the culmination of our students’ educational experiences will “give them a strategic advantage as they choose a career and lifestyle that is right for them.”

The evening begins at 5 p.m. in the Lecture Hall with registration details. Seven breakout sessions will be held both at 5:30 and 6:15 p.m. Those sessions include:

– Health sciences: Intermountain Healthcare panel

– Information technology Earl Foote, CEO of Nexus IT Consultants

– Business and marketing: Bruce Emerson, E-Commerce

– Audio/Visual Communications: Conrad Iacobellis and Nick Chace, Park City Television

– Community Outreach: Eric Esquivel, PCSD Latino Community Relations

– Engineering and architecture: Sue Sharp, vice president of Operational Excellence for Sinclair Oil

– Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies: Caleb Fine, PCHS assistant principal and PCCAPS administrator

There will also be an Electives Fair from 6- 7 p.m. that will provide students with more details about elective courses offered at the high school.

Expert to Discuss Executive Functioning Skills for Students March 7

Dr. Parth Gandhi, director of the Neuroassessment and Development Center in Salt Lake City, will be at Park City High School on March 7 to talk to parents and students about executive functioning skill development in emerging adults and what can be done at home and in therapy to assist teens. 

Dr. Parth Gandhi

He will be available to meet with parents and students from 3-7 p.m. outside the Lecture Hall to discuss individual student needs, and then will speak from 7-7:30 p.m. in the Lecture Hall. Park City High and Treasure Mountain Junior High students and their parents are invited to attend.

Executive functioning (EF) are those skills that adolescents use to function independently and successfully, says Wendy St. James, instructional coach at the high school.

“At the heart of these skills is accountability and motivation. Often students miss developing the skills of planning, organization, time management, self-monitoring, or self regulation as a part of normal development,” says St. James. “Twice exceptional students or those with learning issues or ADHD are particularly susceptible to EF deficits, but developing these skills is essential to living life successfully after graduation when independence is a requirement.”

Dr. Gandhi holds a doctoral education in clinical neuropsychology and continued post-doctoral training in neuropsychology at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in both outpatient and inpatient settings. He continues to write and research in the fields of developmental psychology, neuropsychology, family systems, and applied neuroscience.  He is also a consulting neuropsychologist to treatment centers across the country.

Board Meeting Summary | Feb. 26, 2019

Oath of Office

New board member Wendy Crossland, who was appointed by the board to fill the vacancy in District 3, was given the Oath of Office by Business Administrator Todd Hauber.

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Jill Gildea provided the board with her progress report on her and the board’s goals for 2018-19. The full report can be viewed here. “I truly am honored and so very pleased to have the opportunity to learn alongside and lead this incredible school system as we realize our vision as a whole child driven learning organization that ensures our students are safe, supported, engaged, challenged, and healthy,” wrote Superintendent Gildea in her report.

Budget Discussion

Business Administrator Todd Hauber reviewed the district’s FY2020 budget request priorities. The proposed 2019-20 Operating Budget represents a 6.25 percent or increase over the current year’s budget. The increase is primarily due to contractual obligations (salary and benefits of $3.3 million) and stronger supports for students with special needs (of $0.8 million). The Capital Budget represents $5 million in new projects, guided by a multi-year facilities master plan which prioritizes safety, security, and accessibility, and considers workload capacity and resources. An additional $1.5 million represents set aside funding for initial projects and design work of the master plan proposals. The remaining $800,000 covers information technology investments. Budget priorities can be viewed here.

Education Master Plan Update

GSBS consultant Christine Richman provided the board with an update on the education master planning process. Two community Open Houses are planned this week — one tonight (Wednesday, Feb. 27) at 5 p.m. at Park City High, and tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 28) at 6 p.m. at Ecker Hill Middle. The community will have the opportunity to weigh in on how issues like grade alignment, class size and school location best support learning and academic excellence. Starting next week, the consulting team will be having a listening tour at each school to better understand the needs at each building. A full update can be viewed here.

Assessment Task Force Update

Traci Evans, interim Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, provided information on the work of the district’s assessment task forces. Two task forces have been created: 1) one made up of a teacher and principal from each school; and 2) one comprised of a parent from each school who serves on the parent organization or School Community Council. Both task forces then share their progress with their schools and parents. Evans said there are currently 16 different grading scales throughout the district. The district wants to establish a reporting system that truly tells us what a student is learning in a way that best informs learning and teaching to benefit our students. Schools in the district are moving to standards-based learning which helps teachers more clearly understand what students actually know and how to focus and target their instruction. The district is n the process of educating parents about the benefits of standards-based learning. There are numerous resources and research on district website here.

School updates include:

– Ecker Hill Middle has fully implemented standards-based learning.

– Treasure Mountain has about 60% of teachers who have transitioned to standards-based learning. TMJH plans to be fully implemented by August 2020.

– Park City High has developed proficiency scales that are currently being used in two departments. GPAs will still be calculated and included as part of a comprehensive learner portfolio.

– Elementary schools are building understanding behind why instruction must be refined to reflect standards mastery. Some grade levels are beginning to assess mastery of standards separately from behavior and work habits.

– The district plans to have standards-based learning implemented districtwide by the 2022-23 school year.

Public Comment

Sharon and Bryant Bookhamer said they have a lot of questions about standards-based learning and hope more information continues to be available to parents. They stressed the importance of consistency in testing and grading.

Policies for Posting

– Policy 2000: Student Representative on the Board of Education

– Policy 4000: Contingency Reserves

– Policy 4005: Purchasing

– Policy 4006: Cash Management

– Policy 4010: Travel and Conference Reimbursement

– Policy 4015: Disposal of Assets

– Policy 4020: District Records

– Policy 5000: Snow Day

– Policy 5025: Student Transportation

– Policy 6000: Modification of District Property

– Policy 7075: Twelve-Month Employee Holidays

– Policy 7095: Conditions of Employment

Policies Adopted

– Policy 2005: Board of Education Power and Duties

– Policy 2015: Advisory Committees

– Policy 2025: Electronic Board Meetings

– Policy 2030: Board Policy Development

– Policy 2045: Board Member Compensation

–Policy 7061: Shared Leave

District Nurses Educate Parents About Measles Virus

The measles virus has gained a lot of interest recently due to the public health crisis in the Pacific Northwest and the increase in cases worldwide. There are no cases of measles in the community, but “because Park City has so many who travel on a regular basis, we want to offer some reminders about the virus,” said Suzanne Tanner, district nurse coordinator.

Measles are common in other parts of the world, including countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Africa. Unvaccinated people who become infected in other countries often bring measles into the United States. The public is reminded that if they travel to areas that have seen an outbreak, please be observant of signs and symptoms of disease. It is important to isolate the ill person, wear a mask and notify your health care provider and school nurse.

According to the Center for Disease Control “measles spread when a person infected with the measles virus breathes, coughs, or sneezes. It is very contagious. You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to two hours after that person is gone. And you can catch measles from an infected person even before they have a
measles rash.”

District nurses offer the following reminders:

  • Symptoms begin with a fever, runny nose, red, watery eyes, and a cough. Three to five days after symptoms begin, a tell tale red rash breaks out on the head/face spreading down the body. 
  • Transmission is highly contagious spreading through the air from an infected person to another through coughing and sneezing.  Droplets can remain in the air for up to two hours.
  • At-risk individuals include infants, people with weakened immunity and unvaccinated individuals.  The measles vaccine is 97 percent effective in protecting against the disease, however children do not receive this vaccine until age one. 

Tanner said the best way to prevent measles is to immunize. Contact Summit County Health Department for more information, 435-333-1500, or visit the CDC’s website.

Community Invited to Add Their Voices at Open Houses

Park City School District and its master planning consultants will present a progress report to the community during open houses scheduled Feb. 27 and 28. The community will get to weigh in on recommendations from educators and working groups on issues like grade realignment, class and school size, and school location.

“We are anxious to learn how community members believe these issues best support learning and academic excellence,” said Christine Richman with GSBS Consultants. “We invite the public to add their voices to this important conversation about the the future of education in Park City.”

The Feb. 27 Open House will be from 5-7 p.m. at Park City High School, and the Feb. 28 Open House will be from 6-8 p.m. at Ecker Hill Middle School.

The Steering Committee has been meeting since September. Educators have been participating in monthly Learning Leaders Forums since December and providing insight on educational visioning, key spaces for learning, and spatial concepts.

An education master plan is being created and will guide educational program development, facility investments, and ultimately student success. “The plan will focus on how students today best learn, and how the environment and teaching methods can best support academic success and excellence,” said Superintendent Jill Gildea.

The consultants will also be conducting listening tours at all PCSD schools in the coming weeks in an effort to “capture all opinions and ideas regarding individual school issues, needs, and desires,” said Richman.

It is anticipated the Board of Education will be presented the education master plan options and recommendations in April.

New State Assessments Coming This Spring

Assessments play an important role in preparing students for the future. Beginning in April, students in grades 3-8 throughout Utah will take the new RISE standards assessment test. RISE, which replaces SAGE, will offer a baseline for student learning, while ensuring that student growth and proficiency reflect what a student knows and can do.

Students in grades 9 and 10 will participate in the Utah Aspire Plus, a high school assessment that provide a predictive score for their college readiness assessment (ACT).

Andrew Frink, technology and assessment director for the district, encourages students and parents to seriously consider participating in the tests. “Our opt-out rates have typically been too high to feel confident about the data we have received at a school-wide level,” Frink said. “The state has contracted these two assessments for 10 years and that will give us stability as we move forward.”

The tests provide students with feedback on how they are doing, and it allows teachers to see if their instruction matches the state standards, Frink said. “Additionally, it provides us with a good look at how we are doing as a system.”

About RISE (Readiness, Improvement, Success, Empowerment)

Students in grades 3-8 will take RISE assessments in ELA and Math (grades 3-8), Science (grades 4-8), and Writing (grades 5 and 8). The assessment is a multistage computer adaptive criterion referenced assessment system.

Benefits of RISE:

– A new interface that allows full navigation – backward, forward, review and revise.

– New and enhanced reports (for students, teachers and administration).

– Writing portion of the tests will now only be for grades 5 and 8.

– Test questions are aligned to Utah core standards, utilizing questions developed over the past five years by Utah teachers.

– Provides teachers tools to inform their instruction and increase student achievement.

– Helps answer two questions: “how good is the school?” and “is the school improving?”

Learn more about RISE here.

About Utah Aspire Plus

Frink said the Aspire Plus test ties to the ACT which is “great practice for our high school students. We have a very high rate of students taking the ACT and this test in 9th and 10th grade will prepare them for the ACT.”

Utah Aspire Plus, which will be given toward the end of the school year, is a custom assessment that aligns to Utah Core Standards. Students will be tested in English, Reading, Math, and Science.

Learn more about Utah Aspire Plus here.

PC Bands Presents Annual Sweetheart Gala Feb. 8

Tickets are still available for the PC Bands’ annual Sweetheart Gala planned for Friday, Feb. 8. The gala is an adult dinner and dance party featuring live music by the award-winning Park City High School Varsity Jazz Ensemble.

The dinner/dance is from 6-11 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church Grand Hall, 1505 White Pine Canyon Road. Premium seats (next to the door floor) are $70 per person, and standard seats are $60 per person.

The Sweetheart Gala begins with a catered three-course dinner and cash bar, following by live Big Band music by the Varsity Jazz Ensemble directed by Chris Taylor. The evening also features an online silent auction.

The event is sponsored by the Park City Education Foundation and all proceeds go to the PC Bands and their continued efforts to bring world-class music education to the students of Park City High School. 

Tickets can be purchase online here.