Board Meeting Summary

Jan. 16, 2018 — Regular Session

National Board Certified Teachers

The following educators were recognized for completing their National Board Certification: Liis Rametta, a fifth-grade dual immersion (English) teacher at Jeremy Ranch Elementary; Matt Nagel, English teacher at Park City High; Steve Cuttitta, English teacher at Park City High. National Board Certification develops, retains, and recognizes accomplished teachers and generates ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. Issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the certification is a rigorous process that takes one to three years to complete. 

PCEA Report

Ben Kahn, representing the Park City Education Association said pre-negotiations are off to a great start. PCEA is looking forward to discussing meaningful professional development with Superintendent Ember Conley and Kathleen Einhorn. Kahn also asked the hiring committee for future Cabinet members involve all stakeholders, especially teachers.

PCCEA

Colleen Mutcher, representing the Park City Classified Education Association, invited the board to participate in “Bring a Board Member to Work” initiative. District department employees are willing to spend 30 minutes to an hour showing the board their department responsibilities. She also said the Utah School Employee Association Delegate Conference will be held in Park City in April.

Board Member Reports

Julie Eihausen expressed concern over the process to appoint a new board member. She said a sitting board member has a long-term friendship with the new board member and it was not disclosed by the board member or the applicant. She believes that relationship should have been disclosed in light of the 3-2 vote. Eihausen said she believes in full transparency and the process was not transparent.

–JJ Ehlers attended a PCCAPS meeting where she learned they need funding for noise reduction in their facility. The program also wants to rearrange its space so it can be used for other classes.

–Petra Butler reported that she is part of a new transportation committee that is working with all city stakeholders to study various modes of transportation.

Park City Education Foundation Report

PCEF board member Jodey Fey and Program Director Kara Cody reported the foundation funded 23 teacher grants in the amount of $75,200. Fey said this was the year of “all things tech.” Some examples of grants include: Makerspace expansion, 3D printer, modular circuits for electronics, recording equipment, virtual reality equipment, and hands-on STEM.

Communications Report

Melinda Colton, Director of Communication, reported the district’s recent national honors:

–USA Today named Park City High as the best public high school in Utah.

–Business Insider ranked Park City as the best school district in Utah.

–Dr. Conley was featured in the American School Board Journal as part of an opioid article that discussed the impact opioids have on schools.

Eric Equival, Latino Community Relations specialist, provided a monthly report on the Latino outreach efforts at the District and school levels.

Superintendent’s Report

–Superintendent Conley shared a TEDx Youth talk, “A Community Divided,” given by Park City High student Skylar Jackenthal about respect, kindness, and compassion. Jackenthal argues that Park City has lost its amazingness. Watch the TEDx Youth talk here. “You had the courage to speak out,” Dr. Conley said. “So many times we do not share our stories that can help others. Thank you for challenging us for what we can do to change.” The Superintendent thanked Teri Orr for bringing this program to Park City High and expressed appreciation to the Park City Institute for providing remarkable training for students.

–Dr. Conley also recognized board member Eihausen and thanked her for her service on the board. This was Eihausen’s last meeting.

Master Planning Follow-up

Business Administrator Todd Hauber told the board he is working on the request for proposal for a master planning consultant. He said there are different types of master planning and the district wants to be very specific in its need.

Budget Discussion

The Board had some questions regarding the FY19 preliminary budget and the district narrative. Hauber reminded the board it is only looking at budget items for FY19. The Board will address more details of the budget at its next Work Session.

Policy Retired

The board approved retiring Policy 7000: Employee Involvement with Non-School Travel.

Policy Discussed

The board discussed Policy 9045: Student Travel, and a request received from the high school music teachers to allow eighth-grade students to travel to Normandy this summer with the high school band. The eighth graders will only be 10 days short of becoming official 9th graders.

The board voted to send the policy back to the Policy Committee to include an exemption process.

Policies to Post

The board approved posting the following revised policies:

–Policy 7005: Employee Ethics

–Policy 2010: Eligibility and Qualifications of a Board Member

–Policy 7050: Administrative Sabbatical Leave

–Policy 10010: Student Enrollment

Policies Approved

The board adopted the following revised policies:

–Policy 4005: Purchasing Policy

–Policy 7020: Drug Testing of Drivers of District Vehicles

–Policy 7025: Personnel Records

–Policy 7035: Scope of Employment and Use of Weapons

–Policy 7045: Benefit Status During Unpaid Leave

–Policy 7100: Professional Staff Transfers

The board tabled Policy 9025—Wellness Policy, until its next meeting. In the meantime, the Policy Committee will review the recess and nutrition suggestions made by parents.

Superintendent Search Update

The board has retained HYA Associates to conduct a national search for a new superintendent. HYA is one of the oldest and largest search firms, having assisted more than 1,000 school boards select leadership in school systems across the nation. Darline Robles with HYA Associates talked with the board via a conference call and presented an overview on how the firm conducts a superintendent search. Robles will meet with the board on Jan. 23 at noon.

Patron Comments

Superintendent Resignation

–Bari Nan Rothchild, a parent representing a group of community members, wants the board to ask Dr. Conley to rescind her resignation. She said Dr. Conley is an educator in the truest sense and has led the district during some of its darkest hours. She asked the board to find a way to keep her—keeping her would a avoid a costly search and a lengthy transition that will not benefit students.

–Sally Elliott, who has lived in Park City for 32 years and has served two terms on the Summit County Council, said this is the first time she has ever attended a school board meeting, but she came to express support for asking the Superintendent to stay. She said the district needs stable, competent leadership. She asked the board to consider having government official training to better understand their roles, which has been offered by the Park City Mayor and South Summit Council members. She urged the board to do all it can to retain Dr. Conley.

–Christina Miller, a parent representing several members of the community, said Dr. Conley’s resignation is a symptom of a much greater issue. Miller said she has spoken with parents, teachers, members of the Utah School Boards Association and Utah School Superintendents Association, business owners, and community leaders, and all want the board to consider asking Dr. Coney to stay. She said the district has a lot of issues on the table that need momentum moving forward. The time and money spent on a search for a new superintendent will take away time from students and teachers. She asked the board to take the Mayor’s and Summit County Council’s offer to facilitate more functional conversations with district leadership.

–Dr. John Hanrahand, a parent who has served on numerous district committees, expressed his respect for Superintendent Conley. He is convinced she has the best interests of students at heart. He believes she is the best Superintendent the district has had since he moved here in 1992. He encouraged the board to have meetings with the Superintendent to figure out a way to keep Dr. Conley.

–President Andrew Caplan: “From the board’s perspective, we are sad to see Dr. Conley go. We did not terminate Dr. Conley or ask for her resignation. When she resigned we respected her wishes and her resignation. No change is more important than the change in our Superintendent. This is not what we wanted to focus on. It will be a distraction to the district. The characterization that is out in the community that the district is a mess is unfair to the Board, Administration, and all employees in our district. We were recognized twice by national organizations this week, and have a Blue Ribbon School. That is a testament to the work Dr. Conley has done, as well as all our Administrators, teachers, and the board. Thank you for coming tonight and supporting Dr. Conley.”

–Superintendent Ember Conley: “The outpouring of the community has been extremely encouraging. The turnover on the Board has been very difficult and it has caused us to fumble along the way. Changing direction and executing the wishes of the board has been extremely difficult, both professionally and personally. With or without me, I am begging you on behalf of our district to have a mentor from  the city or county council. You asked me to do executive coaching, I’m asking you to do the same.”

McPolin Elementary Recess

–Stephanie Winzeler, a parent from McPolin Elementary, shared her concerns and ideas concerning its Wellness Policy. She urged the board to include recess standards as it updates its Wellness policy. She believes recess is not a privilege, but a necessary for students. She told

the board McPolin Elementary has eliminated one recess for fourth- and fifth-grade students and hopes the board will consider setting recess guidelines.

–Laura Rojas, a parent from McPolin Elementary, also expressed concern about the recess being taken away because of behavior issues. She said the time it takes to resolve recess issues with students takes away from instructional time. She said now is the time to work on behavior issues with the the fourth- and fifth-grade students before they move on to middle school. Mrs. Rojas said she understands the demands placed on the principals and staff, and parents have offered to volunteer at recess.

–David Peters, a parent from McPolin Elementary, realizes the board has a lot of issues it is dealing with, but also thinks it is important to look at any issue that has to do with the health of 8 -, 9-, and 10-year-old students. He believes it is extremely important for students to have recess. He asked the board to look at how parents can assist the school before the chemistry of a student’s day is altered.

EATS Park City

Jenae Ridge, Executive Director of EATS Park City, asked the board as it reviews its Wellness Policy to make the nutrition section more progressive.

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