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.