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.