Board Meeting Summary | May 21, 2019

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Jill Gildea shared accolades student and staff have received since the last board meeting. She showed Ecker Hill Middle School’s overview of its School to Watch national redesignation and congratulated the school on this prestigious honor.

Dr. Gildea addressed concerns some parents have regarding standards-based learning (SBL). She said SBL has been talked about in the district since 2007, and schools need an aligned system so they can yield the best results for students.

She outlined the three pathways necessary when shifting to SBL: changing the paradigm, building the foundation of standards-based grading, and shifting the report card to reflect a standards-aligned reporting system. The junior high and high school years will secure a letter grade and a GPA as part of their mastery transcripts. The Superintendent said this practice is accepted by colleges and universities globally.

This year 23 educational leaders and nine parents have donated their time, suggestions, learning, ideas, and input in order to fully develop an implementation timeline. Superintendent Gildea said work will continue through the 2021-22 school year to clearly identify pathways and proficiencies for students. Dr. Gildea said there will be ongoing research, input, and implementation planning, and community education around the practice, aligned systems, and college admissions throughout the next school year.

Master Planning

Chris Guarino of NV5 and Christine Richman of GSBS provided the board with an update on the Future of Learning master planning process. GSBS is in the process of finalizing the Education Specifications, Facilities Master Plan, and Facility Condition Assessment. The consultants also reviewed the recent grade alignment survey results. Guarino said the survey had some common themes and the results will be helpful to the board as it evaluates its next steps.

The survey findings include:

– Preschool/early learning students housed in their neighborhood elementary schools: 68.6%

– K-5 grades in elementary school and 6-8 grades in middle school: 51%

– 9th grade at the high school: 84.9%

– Grades 9-12 at one high school in current location: 54.1%

– Did overall cost influence your decision: 2.68 (scale of 1-5)

– Parents: 87.6% of respondents were parents

The board will discuss its next steps and critical priorities during a special work session on June 4.  The full presentation can be viewed here.

Calendar Survey

Superintendent Gildea noted that 56% of those who responded to the district’s calendar survey said they are satisfied with the district’s current calendar. She presented tentative versions of the 2020-21 and 2021-22 calendars. Calendars can be viewed here. The board will take input and vote on the calendars at its June 18 meeting.

Mental Health Month Resolution

The board adopted a resolution recognizing May as Mental Health Awareness Month in Park City School District. The board encourages students, families, and employees to take the opportunity to learn more about improving mental health and prevently substance abuse.

Joint Use Agreement

The board approved a joint use agreement between Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District and Park City Municipal Corporation that provides recreational facilities and programs which are best served through a joint, cooperative and consolidated effort.

Patron Comments

The following individuals addressed the board on the topic of SBL:

– Student: Emily Campbell (Ecker Hill Middle)

– Parents: Julie Engle, Meg Leaf, Ken Canada, Brent Milner, Phoebe Hailey, Lauren Anderson, Glen Anderson, Jenny Campbell, Amy Neff, Lara Lusher, Lizzie Brenkus, Laura Tettelbach, Chris Campbell, Shannon Schemmer, and Molly Campbell

– Educators: Austyn Borjigin (McPolin), Laura Starley (Ecker Hill Middle), Elizabeth Hensler and Shannon Jones (Jeremy Ranch), Principal Roger Arbabi (Park City High)

Board President Andrew Caplan said the district is moving forward and working to improve the overall education for students. He reiterated that the board has hired district leaders from top performing districts and schools because they are progressive, highly qualified academic leaders who wish to raise the level of achievement for Park City schools to be not just the best in Utah, but among the best in nation.

Policies for Posting

– Policy 4006: Cash Management

– Policy 7030: Employee Suggestions and Complaints

– Policy 7055: Jury Duty or Witness in Court

– Policy 7060: Sick Leave Bank

– Policy 7090: Substitute Teachers

– Policy 7130: Sick Leave Incentive

– Policy 7150: Contract Status for Newly Hired Classified Employees

– Policy 7155: Classified Staff Promotions and Transfers

– Policy 10001: Bullying

– Policy 11001: Title I Parent Involvement

Policy Adopted

The board approved revisions to Policy 5000 – Snow Days, with an amendment to add the word “essential” to B.2.

Budget Hearing

The board adopted the FY19 Revised Budget, and approved the FY20 Preliminary Budget. The  FY20 preliminary tax rate was approved, which amounts to an increase of $11 per $100,000 home, or $20 for $100,000 on a secondary home or commercial business The public can offer comment on the tax increase at the district’s Truth-in-Taxation Hearing on Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. at the District Office. View the Preliminary Budget here.

Park City High to Graduate Class of 2019 on May 31

More than 350 Park City High School seniors will comprise the Class of 2019 as it graduates Friday, May 31, at 5 p.m. at Dozier Field.

Park City High has graduates planning to attend every college and university in Utah, as well as out-of-state universities such as: Auburn, Baylor, Cal Poly, Cornell, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Stanford, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Villanova, and Washington & Lee. Some graduates say they will be taking a gap year to travel the world, serve missions for their church, or enlist in the military.

The Class of 2019 has achieved numerous accolades:

– National Scholar finalists

– Sterling Scholars

– National Speech & Debate Association Academic All-Americans

– A national Edison Universe innovation award winner

– State winner of the Utah Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute’s High School Entrepreneur Challenge; five of the top 20 finalist innovation projects were from Park City High.

– Numerous honors for performing and art students, robotics club, Girls in Tech, and Future Business Leaders of America.

– Athletic honors include a host of regional and state championships, including the boys golf team winning its 11th consecutive state title, the football team playing in the state semifinals for the first time in nine years, the Girls Cross Country team named Interscholastic UIAAA 4A Academic State Champions for its 3.95 GPA.

The gates to Dozier Field open at 4 p.m., no seats are allowed to be reserved prior to this time, and the community is reminded that graduation will also be live streamed at https://www.youtube.com/c/PCHSLive/live.

In the event of severe inclement weather, graduation ceremonies will be moved to the Eccles Center. Graduates will each be issued three tickets, with overflow seating in Gymnasiums to watch the live stream.

Those attending are encouraged to allow extra time for parking. Overflow parking is also available at McPolin Elementary, Treasure Mountain Junior High, Park City Academy, and the District Office.

PCHS Marching Band Only Utah Group Performing in Normandy, France, at D-Day 75th Anniversary

June 2019 marks the start of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy. As part of that anniversary, the Park City High Marching Band will  travel to France to participate in the momentous festivities. The PCHS band is the only Utah group participating in the D-Day celebration.

The band will perform in Normandy June 5-8, including performances at the Brittany American Cemetery at St. James and the Normandy American Cemetery at Omaha Beach. The cemetery memorial services will be attended by families and dignitaries from around the world.

In additional to their individual performances, the student musicians will perform as part of a combined 1,000 member band that will perform John Williams’ “Hymn to the Fallen.” Williams have given special permission for the combined band to perform his composition only on June 6 and 7.

The actual commemoration will be held June 8 with each band taking part in the D-Day Memorial Parade and Musical Salute.

The students will perform in Paris on June 9 in town squares throughout the city. Some 75 students will be going to France, including six students who will have graduated a few days before leaving. Students are covering their own expenses for the trip and scholarships are being offered to those who need assistance thanks to the Park City Education Foundation and the generosity of local donors.

Bret Hughes, assistant director of Bands, said he hopes the students gain an understanding of the historical significance of D Day. “This is their chance to be part of something bigger, something that is so important to American and world history,” he said.

In December 2016, the Marching Band participated in the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and Hughes said that experience had a lasting impact on students.

The band rehearses Tuesday and Thursdays from 3-5 p.m. at the high school where they are currently learning technique and rehearsing their musical selections.  A special logo was designed by Park City High band student Valeny Valles, and she received a $1,300 scholarship for her design.

The band has planned a “Send-Off Concert” on Wednesday, May 29, at 6:30 p.m. at Dozier Field. Due to the field being set up for Graduation that Friday, the Marching Band will perform facing East (the Visitors side).  All attendees should sit in the Visitors Bleachers on the East side of the field. (In the event of inclement weather, the performance will be moved into the front Gym at Park City High.) The evening is free to the community.

“We invite the community to attend and hear some of the musical selections we will be performing in Normandy,” Hughes said. “We want to get the community as excited about our trip as we are. It really will be a life-changing experience for our students.”

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CONTACT:

Bret Hughes, Assistant Director of Bands, and Director of Percussion, Park City High

Email: bhughes@pcschools.us

Cell: 307-421-3252

PCHS Senior Wins Grand Prize at Edison Universe

Nicholas Markels

Nicholas Markels, a senior at Park City High, has been award Grand Prize at Edison Universe for his Spörknife design. Only two projects nationwide were awarded the Grand Prize in the Edison Universe Student Innovation Contest. His project demonstrates “a desire to make a significant and lasting contribution to the world through innovation which embodies the spirit of Thomas Edison.”

Markels’ solution is a multi-use utensil made out of biodegradable plastic that contains a spoon, fork, knife, and a disposable straw in a single assembly. “I made a utensil that uses a new manufacturing design to lower cost. Spörknife is made as a single unit that splits for use, similar to chopsticks,” he said.

The student entries were judged by a panel made up of Edison Universe executives and CAPS administrators/staff. This year, the judges were impressed by the level of research, commitment, and passion that many of the entries demonstrated. The two Grand Prize winners will receive an adventure travel voucher to either Costa Rica or Peru.

“Nick used so many of the skills he learned in my PCCAPS Engineering and CAD Mechanical Design classes to succeed in this national competition,” said Chris Humbert, CTE and PCCAPS teacher. “He formulated his design, 3D modeled it, iterated and refined that design, and finally communicated his creation, the Spörknife. These skills are all taught in CTE classes and used in ‘the real world.'”

Markels also won a $1,000 Lassonde Studios Scholarship in March from the University of Utah’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute for his Spörknife.

Markels will be attending the University of Portland this fall majoring in electrical engineering with a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation management.

District Curriculum Specialist Receives PC READS Literacy Award

Julie Hastings
Julie Hastings

Julie Hastings, Park City School District elementary curriculum specialist, was honored with the PC READS Elevating Literacy Award Friday, May 3.

Park City READS is a local nonprofit advocating for recognition and education of dyslexic students that promotes literacy through early identification of struggling readers, effective reading interventions and appropriate classroom accommodations.

Many will know Hastings from McPolin Elementary where she taught first and fourth grades, was the media specialist, and later the instructional coach. She has elementary school in Colorado, and Idaho.

“I am honored to be the recipient of the 2019 Elevating Literacy Award from PC READS. The kindergarten, first, second, and third grade teachers, interventionists, and elementary principals in Park City School District continue to prove their dedication towards improving early literacy efforts for all students,” Hastings said. “PC READS, The Hall Family Fund, and the Park City Education Foundation have supported our district with making this lasting impact.” 

She has a sociology degree and elementary education certificate, as well as an administrative degree and a master’s in educational leadership.

Hastings is passionate about leading communication and visioning efforts with the community concerning the importance of literacy and identifying struggling readers. Earning training certificates in multi-sensory education from Orton Gillingham and Wilson language have increased her desire for bringing evidence-based instruction to every classroom.

She developed and leads an early literacy initiative across all elementary schools in the district and has focused on bringing reading research to the forefront of decision-making. She wrote a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Literacy Guidebook for Park City School District, designed to help teachers identify why students may struggle to read and how to provide effective and targeted instruction to ensure growth and learning. The core of her work is about creating and implementing systems and providing teachers the training necessary to ensure they have the knowledge and confidence necessary to do the hard work of teaching all students to read.