Board Meeting Summary | Nov. 19, 2019

PCEA Report

Aaron Webb, PCEA co-vice president, said the association recognizes that strong feelings arise whenever issues related to inclusion and bullying are discussed. When disagreements surface, PCEA asks the community to remember its shared values, including honesty, respect, dignity, and kindness. He said PCEA affirms its role as educators is to respect and value each student, and to meet students’ individual and group emotional, developmental and academic needs. PCEA remains committed to the safety and academic success of a diverse and strong body of students and educators. 

CAO Report

Chief Academic Officer Dr. Amy Hunt reported a committee of educators has created a standards-based learning and grading handbook. The purpose of the handbook is to guide principals and teachers towards best practices, to clarify expectations, and to better understand how to provide students with feedback that reflects their learning.

COO Report

Chief Operations Officer Mike Tanner said the District Security Committee continues to meet monthly and is working on a variety of increased safety measures including mainstreaming entrances to Park City High School, using a threat assessment model, and refining emergency communications. Mr. Tanner said he anticipates a secure vestibule will be installed at Park City High during Winter Recess.

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Jill Gildea said the best aspect of her position is the chance to work with a collective community to reach shared aspirations and to provide an outstanding learner experience. During this season of gratitude, she thanked the board and staff for their dedication and commitment to ensure the success of each and every student. She thanked all employees for inspiring passion in students and making a difference in their lives and shaping the educational future for students and their families. 

Master Planning Update

Dr. Gildea proposed the board consider implementing master planning in three phases:

– High School: The board needs to consider when it can move the 9th grade to high school. That will require significant course adjustments to accommodate additional students. She asked the board if it preferred one high school with an addition or a multiple campus site.

– Middle School: Does the board prefer one middle school for grades 6, 7, and 8, with a remodel and addition to Ecker Hill Middle, or two middle schools? Should the 8th grade be kept at Treasure Mountain Junior High until the addition to Ecker is complete? Should necessary improvements be made at TMJH if it is used as a transitional facility?

– Early Learning: Making this a phase three priority allows for additional research, as well as the ability to work in step with the city, county, and state on the initiative.

The next steps in the master planning process include determining financial options, retaining an architect to design high school and middle school options, and conducting a community finance survey. Dr. Gildea asked the board in the coming month to determine a pathway for the future of learning in Park City. 

School Community Council Training

The board reviewed its responsibilities concerning School Community Councils. Local school boards are the adjudicator and protector of School Land Trust funding that is intended to benefit the public-school children of Utah in perpetuity. Boards are required to approve school land trust plans that meet critical academic needs, and that directly impact the instruction of students and improve academic excellence. 

Public Education and Tax Reform

Business Administrator Todd Hauber reviewed the latest draft of the tax reform bill and education funding. He said the Utah School Boards Association is asking for input from local school boards on the proposed tax reform. The state’s proposed tax reform is meant to provide stable, flexible, and equitable funding security for public education. Board President Andrew Caplan expressed concern that the redistribution would mean the district would send an additional $11-12 million back to the state (in addition to what it currently sends back to the state).

Official Oct. 1 Enrollment

Mr. Hauber reported the district’s official Oct. 1 enrollment is 4,757, a decrease of 0.5 percent over the prior year (23 fewer students).  

2020-21 Open Enrollment

The board voted to close all schools to open enrollment for the 2020-21 school year, pending a review of configurable space at some schools. 

Audit Report

The board adopted the district audit report for the year ending June 30, 2019, conducted by the independent firm Squire & Company. The report found all financial statements were in accordance with state and federal accounting principles generally accepted by Government Auditing Standards.

Policies for Posting

Policy 1001:  Code of Conduct (New Policy)

Policy 1005:  District Vision, Mission, Beliefs

Policy 2030:  Policy Development

Policy 2036:  Board Code of Conduct

Policy 5005:  Building Access and Security

Policy 7040:  Extra Duty Assignments

Policy 7075:  Twelve-Month Staff Holidays and Vacations

Policy 11000: Family Education Rights and Privacy

Public Comment

– Linda Lukanowski asked the board for clarification about the Welcoming School professional development training at Trailside Elementary. She asked that all forms of bullying be covered in future trainings for teachers. 

– Diane Livingston believes there are inappropriate novels on the district-approved list. She proposed all books be approved using Utah criminal code. The district’s legal counsel is reviewing the code for application in school materials.

– Tom Clardy expressed concern over some of the novel students are being asked to read for class assignments.

– Shauna Wall asked the board to follow state law regarding pornography and determine that some novels on the novel adoption list are not appropriate for some ages.

– Kristen Brown suggested school and/or district administrators determine the appropriateness of novels read in schools. She noted that her daughter worked with the teacher to provide an alternative to reading a certain book, but she believes it was not a fair alternative.

– Lindsay Cunningham applauded the board, district administration and staff for all they are doing to make Park City a better place. She said it is easy to have an opinion and post it on social media. She appreciates those who doing the work and “fighting the fight.”