Board Meeting Summary | Oct. 16, 2018

Oath of Office

Dr. Jill Gildea was officially sworn in as Superintendent of Schools by Business Administrator Todd Hauber.

Education Master Plan

Chris Guarino with NV5, who represents the district in the education master planning process, provided the board with updates and upcoming events . The process, called “The Future of Learning,” will focus on transparency, communications, and engaging the public in a two-way process.

Monday, Oct. 29, is the Community Engagement Open House at the Richins Building Auditorium with two sessions planned at  5:30 and 6:30 p.m. The community is invited to attend so they can be introduced to the process and provide input on what they think learning will look like in the coming years.

Tuesday, Oct. 30, is The Future of Learning Summit. The district has invited educators, specific community members, and the Steering Committee to take part in an all-day Summit to look at how instruction will determine the district’s educational planning for the future.

Support Staff Discussion

Board members expressed interest in additional information related to part-time staff. McPolin Elementary Principal Bob Edmiston said that longevity in a position ultimately benefits the students. He said offering full-time employment with benefits is a powerful incentive and will provide higher quality candidates for openings. Business Administrator Todd Hauber asked the board to look at the hours support staff are needed in schools and what service level is needed, and if it is sustainable.

Enrollment Report

The official Oct. 1 enrollment count is 4,780 students  — a decrease of 37 students compared to last year. The district had fewer kindergarten and first-grade students  come into the system than projected. Open enrollment was closed at all schools this year which had an impact districtwide.

School Enrollments: 

–Jeremy Ranch Elementary: 546  (+7)

–McPolin Elementary: 380 (-27)

–Parley’s Park Elementary: 522 (-33)

–Trailside Elementary: 461 (-38)

–Ecker Hill Middle: 805 (+31)

–Treasure Mountain Junior High: 813 (-1)

–Park City High: 1,253 (+24)

PCSD Launches ‘The Future of Learning’ Education Master Plan

Park City School District is collaborating with the collective community during the 2018-19 school year asking what they want learning to look like in the coming years. The nine-month project will ultimately produce a community-based education vision and a proposed system to deliver on that vision.

“The Future of Learning” will be the roadmap to the future for the school district,” said Superintendent Jill Gildea. “We will be asking educators, students, parents, and community members what they want learning to look like in the coming years and how that will be implemented in our District.”

Superintendent Gildea said previous master planning for the district was designed to address specific building needs. But this process focuses on how today’s students learn and how the environment and teaching methods can best support that – both now and in the future.

GSBS, a consulting firm in Salt Lake City, is assisting the district with this planning. The four-step process will include:

– Identify the community’s vision;

– Create guiding principles and education specifications;

– Analyze existing facilities as they relate to the principles, and;

– Provide final recommendations for implementation.

Community Steering Committee Created

Earlier this summer the district invited community members to volunteer for its education master planning Steering Committee. This committee will ensure that all groups have a voice and the opportunity to be involved in this long-term educational planning. The Steering Committee held its first meeting in September.

Community Engagement Open House

The community will have its first opportunity to engage with the team and the process during an evening open house on Monday, Oct. 29, at the Summit County Sheldon Richins Building Auditorium. Sessions will be held at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

The Future of Learning Summit

The following day, Oct. 30, the district has invited teachers, community members, students and the Steering Committee to attend a day-long “The Future of Learning Summit” held at the District Office from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be recorded and posted to the District’s website under “The Future of Learning” tab.

Workshops

Over the next six months, the consultant team will host six additional “mini” workshops with various segments of the community to generate educator and community input into the educational specifications surrounding pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, learning spaces, and student learning experience.

Additionally, there will two more open houses (December and April) that will seek the community’s feedback on the progress made at the summit and workshops. The community will also be asked for input through a series of online surveys.

Final Recommendations

Once the education specifications have been created, the consulting team will evaluate existing facilities for alignment and the ability to deliver the education specifications. Final recommendations, including education specifications, potential facility needs, and funding will be presented to the Board of Education in May 2019.

Learn More

For more detailed information visit The Future of Learning section on the district’s website.

District Reminds Parents of Winter Weather Procedures

With more snow expected tonight (Oct. 9), Park City School District is reminding parents to read the district’s winter weather procedures.

Winter Weather Procedures

The District’s top priority is safety of all students and staff. During the winter months, schools in Park City School District will remain open, if at all possible, on all scheduled school days. Even when weather conditions are severe, every effort will be made to keep schools open in the belief that it is in the best interest of the students.

The decision to close school, delay start time, or release students and staff early can only be made by the superintendent; this includes cancellation of any elementary after-school programs. When schools close early due to weather, all evening activities will be cancelled, with the exception of high school athletics and activities, which will be determined by the superintendent and athletic director. Sometimes there are exceptions to this rule; and we will notify you of these situations as they arise.

By policy, head secretaries and 12-month employees, which includes principals and assistant principals, are expected to report to work as soon as it is safe to do so. This expectation is based upon the issue that we may have families who do not receive notification and may come to the schools.

The District recognizes the rights of parents to make decisions that are best for their children. Therefore, the option to keep children home when weather conditions are severe is always at the parents’ discretion and the school respects the decision. An excused absence is given if the parents make the decision for their student(s) to remain home.

The following information outlines the communication procedures that will be followed if such school closures or early dismissals become necessary.

The district team begins monitoring weather as early as 4:30 AM by monitoring UDOT road condition reports,  the National Weather Service weather conditions and patterns, and in consultation with city and county transportation officials. An additional issue is that we are dependent upon on how fast the the city and county can clear the roads.  

Announcements

A text, via PCSD Chat, will be sent to all parents and employees no later than 6:15 a.m. when school has been cancelled.

Parents and employees should listen to the following news media for school closure information starting at 6:00 A.M.

Radio Station:  KPCW

TV Station: PCTV

Other Sources:

PCSD website 

PCSD Newsroom 

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Normal Operation

No announcement means normal operation; schools are open.

Parents Need An Emergency Plan

Parents are encouraged to establish an emergency plan for their children in the event that schools are closed, or are dismissed early. Parents should instruct their children where to go or what to do if a parent is not at home. We encourage parents to have a written plan and to also share that plan with a trusted neighbor or friend to help in times of school closures.

Bus Stops

On severe weather days, understand that buses may be running late due to road conditions and/or traffic delays. In some areas, our buses may need to meet students at an alternate locations due to road conditions. Please watch for an email message regarding those locations or delayed bus routes. Parents are always asked to wait with and/or meet their students at bus stops when buses are running on delayed or emergency schedules. An example of an alternate stop location due to road conditions would be if buses were to load/unload at the bottom of Pinebrook Road at the tennis courts.

Closures Are For One Day Only

All announcements are for one day only.

Make-Up Day

Per District Policy 5000, any full day of school missed due to weather conditions will be made up at a later date. The 2018-19 calendar clearly designates June 6, 2019, as a full make-up day, if necessary.

Board Clarifies Future Bonding

In an effort to ensure accurate information is shared with the community, Park City School District is clarifying information pertaining to future bonding.

PCSD, like all municipal entities, is likely to seek public funds in the future but it has no specific plans to bond at this time. The district just started its master planning process to determine the educational specifications for our schools for the next 10 years. This process is focused on the future of learning.

The public portion of master planning will kickoff Oct. 29 with an Open House with master plan recommendations submitted to the Board of Education in May 2019.

The district welcomes community input on the master planning process and will be transparent throughout the entire process.

New Lunch Menu Piloted at Jeremy Ranch Elementary

Students attending Jeremy Ranch Elementary will get the chance to taste 24 new lunch items during the month of October. The school is piloting the district’s new menu that provides healthier options for students.

The new menu officially kicks off Monday, Oct. 1, during lunch that is served from 11 to 12:30 p.m. The menu will feature  roasted chicken thigh’s with homemade barbecue sauce, homemade potato salad, Kodiak Cakes cornbread, a salad bar featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly prepared sandwiches, and a hummus and pita plate. Student, parents, and staff are invited Monday to try the new menu items for themselves. (Student meals are $2.25 and adult meals are $3.50.)

R.J. Owen, director of Child Nutrition Services, said the menu items will feature more scratch cooking and more offerings of fruits and vegetables. “Every day we will serve 2-3 fruit and 5-6 vegetable options during lunch. The district’s goal is to make Park City School District a leader in the field of school nutrition.”

Owen also said the benefits of school lunch include: prepared hot meals, nutritionally balanced meals, and improved attendance and test scores through a healthier diet.

Adding healthier options to the menu is expensive, Owen said, but can be sustainable over time if the district increases the number of students participating in the breakfast and lunch programs. He invites students to try school lunch, especially in October when new items are being featured.

Some of the homemade items that will be piloted at Jeremy Ranch Elementary in October include: Hawaiian chicken and fresh vegetable stir fry, cheesy chicken pasta with basil, fresh roasted flatbread, sesame noodles with chicken and fresh vegetables, and shredded pork tacos.

Click here to view the October lunch menu at Jeremy Ranch Elementary.

Board Meeting Summary | Sept. 18, 2018

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Jill Gildea said that the district had a successful launch of the new school year. She noted the Park City Education Foundation, Park City Municipal, and other community partners are developing strategic initiatives this year, which will assist the board. Teachers and the community will be involved in the master planning process this year, including an upcoming Future of Learning Summit. She said students’ voices will also be important since they are the end user.

Student Report

Student board member Steven Mitchell said Park City High students are being surveyed on various topics to make sure their voices are heard before student events and activities are planned.

Summer Projects

Todd Hansen, director of Building and Grounds, presented an overview of the completed summer projects throughout the district. A full list of projects is available hereBusiness Administrator Todd Hauber told the board the district is replacing two buses with propane buses and a propane fueling station is currently being installed.

Board Priorities

The Board reviewed information from its recent Retreat and is working on establishing tasks related to its 2018-19 priorities, which focus on academic excellence, student experience, organization, staff and board performance, operation and legal effectiveness, and future development.

K-3 Early Literacy Plan Approved

The board approved the district’s K-3 Early Literacy Plan, as required by legislation to receive state funding. Interim Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Traci Evans and Elementary Curriculum Specialist Julie Hastings said the district will do the following this school year:

– Continue using a task force model to support embedded monthly professional development at each school focused on early literacy for K-3 teachers.

– Continue Wilson Fundations professional learning, including beginning of the year training for third-grade teachers and providing coaching support.

– Roll out third grade Wilson Fundations materials and replenish consumables in K-2 grades.

– DIBELS training to amplify K-3

– Train teachers and interventionists on administering and interpreting the results of Kilpatrick’s PAST

–  Purchase additional iReady licenses needed in K-3 (early intervention literacy software)

Goals for the 2018-19 school year include:

–Kindergarten: increase the percentage of kindergarten students reaching proficiency on the DIBELS composite by 11%

–Grade 1: Move 29% of the students who score Below/Well Below benchmark at the beginning of the year to At/Above benchmark by end of the year.

–Grade 2: Move 22% of the students who score Below/Well Below benchmark at the beginning of the year to At/Above benchmark by end of the year.

–Grade 3: Move 34% of the students who score Below/Well Below benchmark at the beginning of the year to At/Above benchmark by end of the year.

Board President Andrew Caplan said there is a wide spectrum of academic success in the community. He believes the literacy plan is a good plan for the majority of students, but the district needs to go above and beyond the state requirements to meet the needs of all students.

Board member Petra Butler said equity and access is one of the board’s top priorities and the board is willing to provide the necessary resources to build a strong literacy foundation for reading in grades K-3.

Three PCHS Miners Named National Merit Scholar Semifinalists

From left: Principal Roger Arbabi, Harrison Paas, PCHS counselors Liz Moskal and Kristen Hall, Dennis Rothwell, and Cameron Stevens

It is one of the country’s most prestigious scholarship competitions — the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Today, three Park City High seniors were announced as semi-finalists in the program: Harrison Paas, Dennis Rothwell, and Cameron Stevens.

The 2019 nationwide pool of semi-finalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and are chosen from a field of 1.6 million students at more than 22,000 high schools.

The finalists and winners will be announced Spring 2019 and will be selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The finalists will compete for $31 million in scholarships.

PCSD Nurses Remind Parents When Sick Students Should Stay Home

In an effort to control the spread of infectious diseases at school and allow students to be available for learning, Park City School District nurses want  parents and guardians to follow district guidelines when deciding whether or not to send students to school.

“Every effort is being made in the school setting to properly clean and sanitize our students’ work and play areas, but the best defense is prevention,” said District Nurse Suzanne Tanner.

Students should remain home from school for the following reasons:

–Any temperature greater than 100 degrees. Children should be fever free, without fever reducing medications for 24 hours prior to returning to school.

–Vomiting and/or diarrhea require that the student remain home until 24 hours after the symptoms have subsided without medication.

–If your child has a heavy, moist productive cough, chest congestion, or discolored nasal drainage.

–Any rash of unknown origin should be evaluated and cleared by a physician prior to the student returning.

–Strep infections require early treatment and students are encouraged to remain at home for the first 24 hours. In addition, students should be fever free and feeling well before returning to school.

–If your child has pinkeye (conjunctivitis), he/she needs to have completed 24 hours of medication.

“As a general rule, students should remain home until they have been symptom free for 24 hours. This is important for your child’s health and the health of his/her classmates,” Tanner said. “Please continue to remind your children of the importance of frequent hand washing, proper nutrition, adequate rest and proper use and disposal of tissues during this school year.”

Tanner also asks that parents/guardians notify the school of the student absences and also given a reason for the absence. “This helps us monitor disease outbreaks and disease prevention,” she said.

Please refer to the District’s Guidelines for Student Illness and Exclusion for further information.

Sept. 10 Front Line Blue Line Focused on Dark Web, Harmful Drugs

Parents are invited Monday, Sept. 10, to spend an evening with law enforcement learning about drugs and the Dark Web. “The Front Line Blue Line — Parents and Police Working Together,” is presented by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and members of the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance.

“Educating parents on issues affecting our student is a subject that is incredibly important,” said Dr. Ben Belnap, Associate Superintendent of Student Wellness. “This is one of the most important events our parents can attend all year.”

The event, which is for parents only, begins at 6 p.m. at the Eccles Center.  Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea will welcome parents, and remarks will be give by Sheriff Justin Martinez, Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter, Lt. Greg Winterton (drugs and harmful substances), and Special Agent Clinton Kehr (the Dark Web) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The Dark Web is a subset of the dark web or deep web, is a place where illegal activity thrives and criminals function in perceived anonymity. Illegal drugs are one of the most dangerous categories of goods marketed on the Dark net, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Following the speakers, a resource fair featuring 20 community partners will be held in the Park City High gym.

Free childcare will be available for children ages 4-11.

NOTE: The community is also invited to attend an Open House from 5-6 p.m. in the lower lobby of the Eccles Center to meet the district’s new Superintendent, Dr. Jill Gildea.

KPCW Story

Park Record Article

Meet New Superintendent at Open House Sept. 10

Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea will be introduced to the community during an Open House on Monday, Sept. 10, prior to the Front Line Blue Line event. She will meet with the public from 5-6 p.m. in the lower lobby of the Eccles Center.

Dr. Gildea is known as a learner-centered and future-focused educator who keeps students at the forefront of all decisions.

Her goals for the coming year include:

–To learn and recognize the school district and individual school building culture, strengths, and areas identified for continuous growth.

–To review strategic planning, with an eye toward continued focus on best practice strategies in teaching and learning and supporting best practice operational strategies.

–To assess the state of the school district, including core approaches to teaching and learning, operations, business systems, finances and budgeting, reviewing externally funded and conducted audits, evaluations, and reviews in order to take timely action for improvement.

–To focus organizational efforts and align resources, financial and human, to ensure all students are provided a world-class education that will prepare them to be life, college, and global workforce ready.

Superintendent Gildea considers it “an honor to have the opportunity to join an innovative and progressive system like PCSD.” She previously served as Superintendent of Greenwich Public Schools in Greenwich, Connecticut, and for seven years was Superintendent of Fremont School District in Mundelein, Illinois.

During her 30 years in education, Dr. Gildea has held administrative positions of superintendent for eleven years, assistant superintendent, educational programs director, curriculum director, high school division administrator, elementary principal, and has taught at the middle and high school settings.

An award winning and published educator, Dr. Gildea has been recognized as an exemplary educational leader and for her work in communications and fiscal management. She was a 2014 Finalist for the National Association of School Superintendents’ (NASS) Superintendent of the Year Award; the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) 2013 Golden Achievement Award in Communications recipient, and has received the Illinois Association of School Business Officials’ (IASBO) Meritorious Budget Awards in Financial Budgeting for six years running (2012-2017.)

The Superintendent received her superintendent’s endorsement from National Louis University (2004), Evanston, Illinois and a master of education in language and literacy also from National Louis University (1992), a doctorate in curriculum and supervision from Northern Illinois University (2002), and a bachelor of arts in English and Secondary Education from Bradley University (1986).