In honor of Attendance Awareness Month in September Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea has joined superintendents across the county to address the concern of students missing too many days of school.
Starting in the early grades, millions of children are chronically absent, or missing 10 percent or more of the school year in excused and unexcused absences. “Missing just two days of school a month places students are at risk academically,” said Dr. Gildea.
About 2% of the district’s students have severe chronic absences (miss 20 percent or more of school days), and 10% of students have moderate chronic absences (miss 10-19 percent of school days).
Superintendent Gildea joins with America’s Promise Alliance, Attendance Works, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Everyone Graduates Center, FutureEd, Get Schooled, Healthy Schools Campaign, the Institute for Educational Leadership, MENTOR, and United Way Worldwide, in announcing her commitment to prioritizing student attendance.
“Reducing chronic absence is one of our top priorities,” she said. “We encourage parents and guardians to make it one of theirs. We need the help of everyone to encourage students get to class before they have missed so much instruction that they require academic remediation.”
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), reporting of chronic absence is now required. Local school districts are essential to ensuring chronic absence data is accurate and used to activate prevention and early intervention.
Dr. Gildea said good attendance contributes to students doing well in school and eventually in the workplace. “The early school years are essential for laying a foundation for strong attendance and academic success in future years. Each absence represents a preventable lost opportunity to learn in the classroom.”
Students are at risk academically if they are chronically absent (missing just two days a month or 10 percent of the school year). The superintendent encourages parents/guardians to avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session. She also asks parents to talk about the importance of school attendance with their students.
Student representative on the board, Mimi Luna, reported the school year has been off to a great start. The students held their first-ever Community Yard Sale and funds will be allocated for the Student Pantry and Student Council Coat Drive. She reminded the board that this week is Homecoming Week, complete with the first-ever Homecoming Parade, bonfire, tailgate, dance, and game against Stansbury High on Friday. Students are working on raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project as part of its community outreach effort in partnership with the Students Serving Soldiers Club. Their goal is to donate 3-5% of their revenue (from merchandise sales and activities) to a different community charity after each event.
John Hall, representing the Park City Education Association, said the association’s objective is to meet the needs of members, create a vision for PCEA, increase the value of the teaching profession, and become a reliable resource for the district. He said PCEA is creating a plan that will have three areas of focus for this academic year. Hall said some of the areas PCEA is considering include teacher retention, professional development, teacher wellness, and building relationships of trust. The association will use state professional standards, best practices, and research as it creates strategies related to its areas of focus.
Chief Academic Officer Report
Dr. Amy Hunt said her first month in the district has been focused on listening and learning, assessing teaching, instruction needs, and establishing priorities and outcomes. Her ultimate objective is to align curriculum and instruction throughout the district. Dr. Hunt has assembled a task force that is creating a handbook that aligns the implementation of standards-based instruction.
Chief Operations Officer Report
Mike Tanner provided the board with construction projects updates and said things are running smoothly at the start of a new school year. He said finding substitute bus drivers continues to be a challenge and the district is increasing its efforts to find drivers. The district’s safety/security committee held its first meeting Tuesday morning with representation from across the district, law enforcement, city and county officials.
Dr. Jill Gildea reported that parents have been sent emergency communications procedures in light of two recent items at schools. She invited the board and the community to attend the master planning roundtables Sept. 23-24, and an interactive community forum on Oct. 1. Dr. Gildea asked the community to stay engaged in the Future of Learning process. Superintendent Gildea’s September letter to the community is now available here.
Master Planning Update
Following 11 months of work that involved students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members, the district has received the final versions of education specifications, the facility master plan, and the analysis of existing buildings. From now until December, task forces will be working on answering these three questions:
– Does PCSD want to offer universal Pre-K and how should this be approached?
– Is there a preferred elementary/middle school option and can any of the configurations/options be eliminated?
– How extensive should the high school renovation be and how should the 9th grade be integrated?
The Master Facility Plan offers these recommendations:
Early Learning (Hybrid Approach)
– Maintain current elementary-school based Pre-K capacity at JRES, PPES and TSES with remodels/additions as required
– Construct Early Learning Center on Kearns Campus to address local students and additional capacity/potential universal Pre-K
– Coordinate with community partners for potential wrap-around services
Elementary Schools (K-5)
– Maintain current locations, boundaries and class sizes with additions to JRES, PPES and TSES
– Relocate McPolin Elementary on the eastern edge of Kearns Campus to address Kearns campus limitations
Middle School (6-8)One Middle School vs. Two Middle Schools
– One Middle School (1,350 enrollment) – Expand EHMS with a 6th grade academy
– Two Middle Schools (~700 enrollment each)
– Update EHMS to address current needs
–Build a second Middle School on Kearns or in another location
– Explore speciality school opportunities for middle school students
High School (9-12)
– Expand PCHS (from 1,250 to 1,850); community prefers one high school instead of two
– Classroom wing vs Specialty facility
– Classroom wing – 9th grade learning environment
– Remodel existing building
– Specialty facility (STEM, etc.) to accommodate 600 students (9-12)
During the 2019-20 school year, the district will focus on the following actions (see chart below).
– Chuck Klingenstein said he is hopeful that this master plan is the community’s plan. He encouraged the board to use the Steering Committee to champion the final recommendations.
– Ali Ziesler said the district is listening to the community and said master planning efforts have been built on trust. She thanked the board for allowing community input throughout the process.
Resumen de la Junta Directiva- Septiembre 17, 2019
La representante estudiantil de la junta, Mimi
Luna, informó que el año escolar ha tenido un excelente comienzo. Los
estudiantes realizaron por primera vez una venta de patio comunitario y las
ganancias serán utilizadas para la despensa de los estudiantes y la Obra de Abrigo
del Consejo Estudiantil. Ella le recordó a la Junta que esta semana es la
Semana de Bienvenida, la que por primera vez tendrá un Desfile de Bienvenida, hogueras,
celebración previa al juego de foot-ball, baile, y el juego contra Stansburry
High el Viernes. Los estudiantes están dedicados en recolectar dinero
conjuntamente con el Students Serving Soldiers Club (Club de Estudiantes
Sirviendo a los Soldados) para el Wounded Warrior Project como parte del
esfuerzo de alcance comunitario. La meta es donar 3-5% de los ingresos (de
venta de mercaderías y actividades) después de cada evento a diferentes obras
de caridad comunitaria.
John Hall, representando al Park City
Education Association (Asociación para la Educación), expresó que la meta de la
asociación es satisfacer las necesidades de los miembros, crear una visión para
el PCEA, incrementar el mérito del magisterio, y convertirse en un recurso de
confianza/seguro para el distrito. Él dijo que PCEA está creando para este año
académico un plan que tendrá tres áreas de enfoque. El Sr. Hall sostuvo que
algunas de las áreas PCEA está considerando incluye retención de maestros,
desarrollo profesional, bienestar de los maestros, y construir relaciones
confiables. La asociación usará estándares
profesionales estatales, prácticas confiables, he investigará a medida que crea
estrategias relacionadas con sus áreas de enfoque.
del Jefe de Operaciones Académico
La Dra. Amy Hunt dijo que su primer mes en el
distrito ha estado enfocado en escuchar y aprender, evaluar maestros,
necesidades en la instrucción, y establecer prioridades y resultados. Su
objetivo final es alinear planes de estudios e instrucción en todo el distrito.
La Dra. Hunt ha formado un grupo de trabajo que está creando un manual que alinea
la implementación de la instrucción basada en estándares.
del Jefe de Operaciones
Mike Tanner proporcionó a la junta actualizaciones
sobre los proyectos de construcción y dijo que todo está funcionando sin
problemas al comienzo del nuevo año escolar. Él dijo que encontrar substitutos
para los conductores de buses continúa siendo difícil y que el distrito está
incrementando los esfuerzos para encontrar conductores. El comité de seguridad
del distrito celebró su primera reunión el Martes por la mañana con
representantes de todo el distrito, agentes de la ley, funcionarios de la
ciudad y del condado.
de la Superintendente
La Dra. Jill Gildea informó que a los padres
se les ha enviado procedimientos de comunicación de emergencia debido a dos
incidentes recientes que no fueron de emergencia en las escuelas. Ella invito a
la junta y a la comunidad a que asistan a la mesa redonda de planificación
Septiembre 23-24, y a un foro comunitario en Octubre 1. La Dra. Gildea pidió a
la comunidad que permanezca comprometida con el futuro del proceso de
sobre la Planificación Maestra
Luego de 11 meses de trabajo que involucro
estudiantes, maestros, administradores, padres y miembros de la comunidad, el
distrito ha recibido la versión final sobre especificaciones educativas, el
plan de distribución de instalaciones, y el análisis de edificios existentes.
Desde ahora hasta Diciembre, los equipos de trabajo estarán ocupados para
responder a estas tres preguntas:
¿Quiere el PCSD ofrecer
Pre-Escolar universal y se debe tratar esto?
¿Existe una opción preferida de
escuela primaria/intermedia y se puede eliminar cualquiera de las
¿Que extensa debe ser la
renovación de la escuela superior y como debería integrarse el 9no grado?
El Plan Maestro de Instalaciones ofrece las
Temprano (Enfoque Hibrido)
Mantener la capacidad actual de Pre-K en las escuelas elementales JRES, PPES, y TSES con las remodelaciones/adiciones que se requieran.
-Construir un Centro de Aprendizaje Temprano en el Campo de Kerns dirigido a estudiantes locales y para adicional capacidad/potencial del pre-K universal.
-Coordinar con socios de la comunidad para posibles servicios integrales.
Mantener la ubicación actual,
límites y tamaños de clases con adiciones en JRES, PPES, y TSES.
Relocalizar la Escuela Elemental
McPolin en el borde este del campus de Kearns para enfocar el problema de las
limitaciones del campus de Kearns.
Una Escuela Intermedia en vez de
Dos Escuelas Intermedias.
Una Escuela intermedia (1,350
inscripciones)- Expandir EHMS con un 6to grado.
Dos Escuelas Intermedias (~700
inscritos en cada una).
Actualizar EHMS para abordar las
Construir una segunda Escuela
Intermedia en Kearns o en otro lugar.
Explorar oportunidades escolares
especiales para estudiantes de Escuelas Intermedias.
Expandir PCHS (de 1,250 a 1,850)-
la comunidad prefiere una escuela superior en lugar de dos.
Un ala del aula en vez de una
Ala de la clase- 9no grado
ambiente de Aprendizaje.
Remodelar el edificio existente.
Instalaciones para especialidades
(STEM, y otros) para acomodar 600 estudiantes (9-12).
Durante en año escolar 2019-20, el distrito se
enfocará en lo siguiente (ver grafico debajo)
Chuck Klingenstein expresó que él
tiene la esperanza de que este plan maestro sea el plan de la comunidad. El
anima a la junta a valerse del comité directivo para alcanzar con éxito las
Ali Ziesler dijo que el distrito está
escuchando a la comunidad y que los esfuerzos de planificación maestra se han
basado en la confianza. Ella agradeció a la junta por permitir la participación
de la comunidad durante el proceso.
Park City School District knows the benefits of after-school programs—such as improving social skills, providing academic support, making learning fun, building confidence, and providing safety and supervision. And that’s why after-school programs are offered to nearly 450 students at all four of its elementary schools as well as Ecker Hill Middle School.
The program is held every day that school is in session, from the end of the school day until 6 p.m. “Our goal is to provide a safe, educational and enriching environment for children while providing a quality child care option for parents,” said Kimberly Patterson, program coordinator.
Each day includes homework help, physical education and exercise, STEM and Literacy and a healthy snack. Students also get the chance to take part in monthly field trips and special enrichment programs from community partners. Some of the field trips from the past school year included the Hogle Zoo, Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, The Bill White Farm, Ecker Hill and Kamas pools. EATS Park City also provides cooking classes for students.
The programs are staffed with fully qualified, trained teachers and specialists who follow national after-school standards. Parents who are interested in observing the camp prior to enrollment are encouraged to stop by during camp hours and speak with the teachers.
“Our After-School Programs are truly one of the very best opportunities we provide for our students and their families,” said Patterson. “Our program is an extension of the school days with the added benefit of hands-on enrichment and learning.”
There are still openings in the program for this school year. Parents can register any time throughout the school year, based on availability. Cost varies depending on the number of days the student attends. Scholarships are available for those who qualify.
The After-School program is coordinated through the district’s Community Education Department with the support of the Park City Education Foundation and a generous donation this year from the United Way.
Park City High’s Dance Company has a busy year planned, including plans to attend the National High School Dance Festival, which draws the best high school dancers from around the world.
Dance Company will be spending this fall raising funds to attend the festival that will be held Feb. 26 to March 1 at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“We are the only high school from Utah attending,” said PCHS dance program director Ashley Mott. “We will be one of only a few public high schools attending. It is an elite festival with mostly high-level arts conservatories, and pre-professional dance high schools attending.”
Mott said this will provide the dancers with an incredible opportunity to have exposure to, and inclusion in, this kind of setting. The festival includes hundreds of classes and workshops in all genres of dance, performances by professional companies in the evenings, and scholarship auditions where students can be evaluated by dozens of schools in one audition, at one location.
The 14-member company is hoping to raise enough funds to pay the full cost of attending the conference for each student.
Some fundraising activities include:
– Sept. 17-20: Thrift Store for PCHS students during lunches
– Oct. 30: Children’s Halloween Dance Mentoring for K-8 students, 3:30-5:30 p.m., PCHS Gym (wear costumes). Tickets at the door ($10).
– Nov. 8: Live PC Give PC (dancers will be at The Market on Nov. 2 to encourage support for their project)
– Feb. 3 & 4: Youth Dance Clinic and Halftime Performance; students learn dances on Feb. 3-4 and perform Feb. 5. Registration begins in December.
Six Park City High seniors were notified today (9/11/19) that they have been selected as semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for more than $31 million in scholarships that will be offered next spring.
The students include: Tosh Martin, Lane Myshrall, Owen Nagel, John Reko, Megan Stucker, and Jon Troxel.
“This is an unprecedented year. I’ve never worked in a high school where we have had six National Merit semifinalists,” said PCHS Principal Roger Arbabi. “We are so proud of the work they’ve done.”
These PCHS students now advance to the finalist level of the competition and represent 1% of U.S. high school seniors. More than 1.5 million high school juniors applied for the program.
The National Merit scholarship program was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.
The 2020 National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July.
The first days of school this year were a bit different for a group of high school students. While most were becoming accustomed to classroom routines, the new Transition Program for Park City High students participated in an app-based scavenger hunt via Park City Transit. As part of the hunt, they had to locate all the community businesses and organizations they will frequent this year in the community-based program.
Thanks to funding approved by Park City School District, special education services are now provided a comprehensive program that assists them in transitioning into the workplace. “The curriculum is focused on job readiness, independent living skills, and functional academic high school classes,” said Kara Brechwald, Special Education specialist. “Students will also create individualized transition portfolios thanks to a career and college readiness grant from the Park City Education Foundation.”
Already, the high school seniors have developed resumes and cover letters and are in the process of applying for employment or internships in their career field of choice. “Our sophomores and juniors are learning about self-determination, including their strengths and interests, to begin the process of outlining their plans for career exploration,” said Brechwald.
“We are so excited to be able to offer extended support for our students who need help making successful transitions,” she said.