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, 2019, 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. 14, 2019, 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.

Board Meeting Summary | Nov. 20, 2018

Petra Butler Resigns from Board

Board President Andrew Caplan announced the resignation of District 3 board member Petra Butler, effective Dec. 31, 2018. 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.

The board will accept applications to fill the District 3 vacancy until Jan. 7, 2019, at 6 p.m. Applications can be emailed to President Caplan at acaplan@pcschools.us.  Interviews will be conducted during the Jan. 14, 2019, board meeting which begins at 4 p.m. The application and additional information can be found here.

PCEA Report

PCEA submitted written comments to the board welcoming Kara Hendrickson, the new board member elected to fill JJ Ehlers’ seat in District 4. PCEA also applauded the district’s efforts to eliminate class rank at the high school, convene an assessment committee, and include educator voices in the education master planning process. The association also reported that safety is still a concern at the high school, and that it is disappointed with Question 1 not passing during the election.

Board Member Reports

– President Caplan expressed appreciation to the community for its generous support of school programs and students during the recent Live PC Give PC event. This year, the event raised the highest amount every given to schools.

– Vice President JJ Ehlers thanked the Superintendent for her recent presentation to the Sunrise Rotary members.

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Jill Gildea reviewed the history and framework for implementation of standards-based learning (SBL). SBL is a method of providing feedback that is purely academic in nature and a more accurate reflection of what the student actually knows and can do. This allows teachers to identify better what support students need to reach their potential. SBL is currently used at Ecker Hill Middle and report cards reflect the philosophy. More than half of Treasure Mountain Junior High teachers are using an SBL scale to assess learning. Individual teachers and department at Park City High are also using SBL scales, and elementary schools are exploring the use of SBL. The district is creating a task force to define what reporting looks like in all schools (K-12). The district will also provide SBL training for school teams and is assisting schools, as needed.

Education Master Plan Update

Christine Richman, GSBS consultant, updated the board about the education master plan Community Open House and Future of Learning Summit. She said the Open House was well attended with many people who have not been involved in previous master planning activities. The all-day Summit resulted in a draft of guiding principles for education in PCSD. She said once the Steering Committee has an understanding and consensus about the education approach of the district, then it can begin to look at aligning facilities with that educational blueprint.

Board Approves Open Enrollment at McPolin Elementary

For the 2019-20 school year, the board approved closing schools to open enrollment, with the exception of McPolin Elementary. Students living outside district boundaries will only be eligible to enroll at McPolin. Parents are reminded that McPolin is an all Spanish dual-immersion school.

Board Goals

The board approved goals in the areas of communication, governance, education master planning, analysis, organization, and safety. The board will provide updates on three of the goals each month.

Audit Report

Park City School District accepted the audit report from Squire & Company, who issued an unmodified opinion in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. An unmodified opinion means the district’s independent auditing firm expressed an opinion that financial statements are in accordance with applicable state and federal financial reporting frameworks.

Policies for Posting

– 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)

– Policy 7160: Orderly Termination

– Policy 9025: Student Wellness (board amended to include “schools may only use non-food based rewards for student behavior, achievement, and celebrations.”)

Patron Comments

Case Schemmer, an eighth-grade student at Treasure Mountain Junior High, spoke on his personal experience with standards-based grading scales.

PCHS Custodian Selected as Utah’s 2019 Outstanding Education Support Professional

 Park City High School custodian Candelario “Cande” Ponce was recognized as Utah’s 2019 Outstanding Education Support Professional of the Year during a surprise assembly at the high school today, Tuesday, Nov. 20. Park City School District administrators along with leaders from both the Utah School Employees Association (USEA) and the Park City Classified Employees Association (PCCEA) joined students and staff in honoring Ponce as their unsung hero.

Education support professionals (ESP) are the support staff — clerical services, custodial and maintenance, food services, health and student services, paraeducators, security services, skilled trade services, technical services and transportation services — who work tirelessly to ensure students are healthy, safe, engaged, challenged and supported.

As the winner of USEA’s award, Ponce will be Utah’s nominee to the National Education Association’s ESP of the Year. He will attend the national conference in March 2019 in Las Vegas. Ponce will also travel throughout the state to meet members, raise awareness of ESP issues and advocate on their behalf.

Ponce has been a custodian at Park City High since 2009. “Schools today are filled with many young people who are hurting emotionally and struggling with self-identity,” says PCHS biology teacher Ed Mulick. “To have a humble, caring role model like Cande present in our school and taking interest in others, helps create an environment of security, peace, and acceptance…his strong dedication to his job represents the essence of his character.”

A father of five, he and his wife own a successful food business open 12 hours a day, seven days a week – all while working full-time as a school custodian. “All who know Cande and his calm and humble way tend to gravitate to him,” says Maryann Gilmore, Area 4 USEA Executive Board member.

PCHS junior selected for inaugural statewide Student Advisory Council

Daniel Bernhardt

Daniel Bernhardt, a junior at Park City High School, is one of 15 students appointed by the Utah State Board of Education’s inaugural Student Advisory Council.

“The students will advise the USBE on issues relevant to high school students throughout the state,” according to a press release from the USBE. “They were selected following an application period this fall after the USBE approved a new policy establishing the council.”

Students appointed to the council represent both traditional and charter  schools. They will be advising the board of student issues such as: mental health and bullying, racism and discrimination, access to STEM and technology, homelessness, LGBTQ challenges, students with disabilities, college readiness, and school funding.

The SAC will meet at least every other month to discuss how decisions made at the state level affect students.