PCHS Teacher Named ACT College & Career Readiness Champion

Melanie Moffat

Melanie Moffat, an English Language Learner and elective teacher at Park City High, has been selected as the 2017-18 ACT College & Career Readiness Champion for the K-12 professional category. She represents the Northwest Division which includes Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

Moffat was recognized for her work to advance the condition of college and career readiness for all. Champions represent those across the country who support ACT’s mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success, and have the honor of being selected as the sole champion for their category, in their state.

“At Park City High School parents have high expectations for college readiness,” said Julie Hooker, a colleague of Moffat’s at PCHS who nominated her for the award. “A few years ago Melanie and Anna Williams identified a need for our English-Language Learners and first-generation learners. They noted that these students did not have the same access to ACT preparation courses, college application preparation and post-secondary opportunities so she  designed a program that includes ACT preparation, Content Link, and, most importantly, college tours for our most at-risk students.”

Moffat spends time teaching and mentoring first-generation students. “Melanie’s classroom is next to mine and is always filled with students — before school, after school and at lunch,” Hooker said.

She has designed a summer school program to encourage English Language Learners to enroll in Advanced Placement courses, manages a team of teachers each summer and hosts 30 (+) students. The demand for this program is increasing because it prepares students for the rigor of AP courses.  Park City High’s achievement gap has decreased and ELL students are taking and succeeding in AP courses.

“Everyone, at some point in their lives, has been inspired by an individual who is tenacious, positive, and dedicated to helping others achieve their life’s goals,” said Scott Montgomery, ACT senior vice president of Public Affairs. “This initiative provides a way to recognize those exemplary individuals whom we all know and love and want to ensure their stories are told to inspire the actions of others.”

PCHS Senior Selected for National Youth Science Camp

Editor’s Note: In the coming weeks leading up to graduation, we will highlight Park City High seniors and their outstanding accomplishments.

Photo by Tom Lebsack
Photo by Tom Lebsack

Tali Kottler, a senior at Park City High, has been selected as a delegate for the month-long National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia this summer. Kottler is considered one of the two most promising young scientific leaders in Utah’s 2018 high school graduating class. She plans to attend Carleton College in Minnesota next fall.

“I’m excited to get to know the other delegates who are as passionate about science as I am,” she said.

Established in 1963, as part of West Virginia’s Centennial Celebration, the National Youth Science Camp, is where two delegates from each state exchange ideas with leading scientists and other professionals from academic, government, and corporate worlds. Delegates are challenged to explore new areas in STEM, art, and music. Those attending also get to take advantage of the outdoors since the camp is located in Monongahela National Forest.

“This is a unique opportunity for these high achieving STEM-focused students to explore the sciences more broadly, while being challenged in ways they may never have been before,” said John Giroir, director.

Kottler has been actively involved PCHS’s first robotics club, the pit orchestra of the high school’s musicals the past three years, a math, chemistry, and physics tutor, and a member of the Summit County Library Teen Advisory Board and the Utah Women Tech Council SheTech Student Board.

District Wellness Committee Seeks New Members

Park City School District is looking to expand its Wellness Committee by four in an effort to have a more well-rounded community voice.

“Specifically, we are looking for a pediatrician, school counselor, student, and parent,” said RJ Owen, Director of Child Nutrition Services. 

The Wellness Committee acts in a advisory position on topics such as nutritional standards in schools, what foods are offered, nutrition education, and physical activity.

The Wellness Committee is currently reviewing the district’s wellness policy and will be making recommendations to the Board of Education for future revisions.

The district is accepting applications until June 6. The committee’s next meeting is this fall, and there is no term limit. 

Applications are available online here, or at the District Office, 2700 Kearns Boulevard.  Completed applications can be dropped off at the District Office or emailed to rjowen@pcschools.us.

PCSD Summer School Registration Now Open

Looking for a program for children this summer that combines academics and fun? Park City School District, in partnership with Holy Cross Ministries, is once again offering Summer School for students.

“Summer School helps reduce summer learning loss and also helps increase social and emotional development,” said Todd Klarich, Director of Community Education for PCSD. “This helps our students be ready when school starts up again this fall.”

Elementary Summer School (students in grades 1-5 this fall) will be taught at McPolin Elementary but is open to students from any PCSD elementary school — June 18-July 26. Secondary Summer School (students in grades 6-8 this fall) will be taught at Treasure Mountain Junior High —June 18-July 12.

A total of 150 students will be accepted for elementary summer school and 20 students per class at the secondary level. Breakfast and lunch are included in the $100 tuition (free and reduced lunch tuition available). Summer school at all locations runs Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The secondary program will have a project-based learning focus in the morning along with teaching life skills. Other planned activities will include: Egyptian Theater, yoga, paddle boarding, music, mindfulness, service projects, and technology.

Registration is now open and students will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Licensed PCSD teachers teach Summer School with assistance from instructional aides and staff from Holy Cross Ministries.

Online registration is available here.

Board Meeting Summary

May 1, 2018| Special Regular Session

New Appointments

The board appointed the following administrators:

–Jaclyn Knapp, Director of Special Education

–Jamie Weekes, Assistant Principal at Ecker Hill Middle School (one-year appointment)

(View Press Release here)

FY19 Budget

The board reviewed budget items related to expenditures for FY19, totalling $4.1 million.

–Ben Belnap, Associate Superintendent for Student Wellness, recommended hiring four behavioral aides to assist the district behavioral specialists. The aides would be trained by the specialists and dispatched to schools to provide immediate help in classrooms. The board requested a more detailed plan from Dr. Belnap prior to its next meeting.

–Dr. Belnap suggested the board consider a transition program for students, ages 18-22, with moderate disabilities. The district currently provides a post high school program for adults with severe disabilities. He suggested the same model be used for the moderate program. Board member Petra Butler encouraged the board not to bring on any new special education programs until it has addressed the problems that currently need attention. Board member Anne Peters suggested this budget request wait until the new Special Education Director is on board. The board requested more details.

–Interim Superintendent David Gomez briefed the board on responsibilities, implementation, and evaluation for four interventionists at the elementary schools. He also recommended adding one assistant principal at each secondary school.

–Business Administrator Todd Hauber reported that the district requires an average of 30 substitute a day. The district fills 86 percent of those each day. He is developing a proposal that will pay subs a daily rate, regardless of late start or early out, increasing the pay for subs, and offering an incentive schedule for those who sub more often.

–The district has received a preliminary draft of the job study reclassification report which includes recommendations to adjust the current salary schedule.

–Mr. Hauber is developing a special assignment contract rate for various types of teacher assignments. He will present that information to the board in the coming weeks.

Safety Implementation

Interim Superintendent Gomez recommended the board hire a district safety coordinator immediately so that person can be included in the new safety measures currently underway throughout the district. The district has selected a contractor to install fencing, and a vendor has been selected for the Visitor Management System.

Request for Exception to International Travel Policy

The board approved an exception to Policy 9045—District Sponsored Athletic and Academic 6-12 Student Travel—to allow eighth-grade musicians to participate in the Park City High Marching Band’s trip to Normandy, France, in June 2019.

Policies Adopted

The board approved an exception to Policy 2000: Student Representative on the Board of Education, allowing a senior to be the student representative on the board, instead of a junior. Board member JJ Ehlers will seek input from students this summer about how best to have their voices heard by the board.

Mental Health Awareness Month Resolution

The board approved a resolution to recognize May 2018 as Mental Health Awareness Month in Park City School District. The board encourages students, families, faculty and staff to take the opportunity to learn more about mental wellness in the variety of events scheduled this month by CONNECT Summit County.

Board Appoints Two New Administrators

Park City School District Interim Superintendent David Gomez, announced today, May 1, two new administrative appointments for the 2018-19 school year.

Jaclyn Knapp, currently an adjunct faculty member and researcher at Weber State University,  has been appointed Director of Special Education. She begins Aug. 1.

Jamie Weekes, currently a math teacher at Park City High, has been appointed Assistant Principal at Ecker Hill Middle School. This is a one-year appointment.

Jaclyn Knapp

Knapp has been teaching and doing educational outcome research at WSU as well as presenting her research at conferences nationally. She has been  working as the Director of Special Education for a charter co-op. Knapp has worked as a consultant for the Utah State Office of Education and as a school psychologist for Davis School District. She still consults privately as a mental health counselor specializing in working with children and adolescents with behavior problems. She received an Education Specialist degree in psychology and a master’s degree in psychology from Utah State University, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Weber State University.

Jamie Weekes

Weekes has been teaching for the past 15 years at middle school, high school, and summer school levels. She has worked as a math interventionist for eight years in both middle school and high school. Weekes has taught at Park City High the past six years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and is completing her graduate work through Grand Canyon University.