Board Seeks Input on Student Wellness Policy

The Park City Board of Education is updating its students wellness policy and is asking the community, parents, students, and educators for feedback.

The district is committed to providing a school environment that enhances learning and development of lifelong wellness practices. It recognizes the relationship between adequate nutrition, physical activity and academic achievement.

The policy, which can be viewed here, outlines the district’s nutrition programs and promotion, nutrition guidelines for all foods available on campus during the school day, and nutrition education.

The wellness policy is posted for its required 20 days during which time the district accepts public comment. Feedback can be sent to Lorie Pearce, lpearce@pcschools.us prior to Dec. 17. The board anticipates adopting the policy at its Dec. 18 regular session.

Applications Accepted for District 3 Board Member Vacancy

The Park City School District Board of Education is now accepting applications to fill the District 3 board member vacancy. Board member Petra Butler is resigning from the board, effective Dec. 31.

The board, which will appoint someone to fill the vacancy, will accept applications until Jan. 7, 2019, at 6 p.m. The individual selected will serve the remainder of Butler’s term which ends December 31, 2020.

Applications can be emailed to President Caplan at acaplan@pcschools.us.  Interviews will be conducted during the Jan. 14, 2019, board meeting which begins at 4 p.m. The application and additional information can be found here.

Board member Butler represents the board on the Chamber of Commerce, Comprehensive Guidance Committee, Summit County Wellness Alliance, Latino Advocacy Committee, and the Park City Education Association. “Petra was an integral part in developing the district’s Strategic Plan, selecting our new Superintendent, and advocating for improving the safety and security in our schools. She has always had the best interests of our students and employees at the center of all she does. Her experience and knowledge will be greatly missed,” Caplan said.

Board Meeting Summary | Nov. 20, 2018

Petra Butler Resigns from Board

Board President Andrew Caplan announced the resignation of District 3 board member Petra Butler, effective Dec. 31, 2018. Butler represents the board on the Chamber of Commerce, Comprehensive Guidance Committee, Summit County Wellness Alliance, Latino Advocacy Committee, and the Park City Education Association. “Petra was an integral part in developing the district’s Strategic Plan, selecting our new Superintendent, and advocating for improving the safety and security in our schools. She has always had the best interests of our students and employees at the center of all she does. Her experience and knowledge will be greatly missed,” Caplan said.

The board will accept applications to fill the District 3 vacancy until Jan. 7, 2019, at 6 p.m. Applications can be emailed to President Caplan at acaplan@pcschools.us.  Interviews will be conducted during the Jan. 14, 2019, board meeting which begins at 4 p.m. The application and additional information can be found here.

PCEA Report

PCEA submitted written comments to the board welcoming Kara Hendrickson, the new board member elected to fill JJ Ehlers’ seat in District 4. PCEA also applauded the district’s efforts to eliminate class rank at the high school, convene an assessment committee, and include educator voices in the education master planning process. The association also reported that safety is still a concern at the high school, and that it is disappointed with Question 1 not passing during the election.

Board Member Reports

– President Caplan expressed appreciation to the community for its generous support of school programs and students during the recent Live PC Give PC event. This year, the event raised the highest amount every given to schools.

– Vice President JJ Ehlers thanked the Superintendent for her recent presentation to the Sunrise Rotary members.

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Jill Gildea reviewed the history and framework for implementation of standards-based learning (SBL). SBL is a method of providing feedback that is purely academic in nature and a more accurate reflection of what the student actually knows and can do. This allows teachers to identify better what support students need to reach their potential. SBL is currently used at Ecker Hill Middle and report cards reflect the philosophy. More than half of Treasure Mountain Junior High teachers are using an SBL scale to assess learning. Individual teachers and department at Park City High are also using SBL scales, and elementary schools are exploring the use of SBL. The district is creating a task force to define what reporting looks like in all schools (K-12). The district will also provide SBL training for school teams and is assisting schools, as needed.

Education Master Plan Update

Christine Richman, GSBS consultant, updated the board about the education master plan Community Open House and Future of Learning Summit. She said the Open House was well attended with many people who have not been involved in previous master planning activities. The all-day Summit resulted in a draft of guiding principles for education in PCSD. She said once the Steering Committee has an understanding and consensus about the education approach of the district, then it can begin to look at aligning facilities with that educational blueprint.

Board Approves Open Enrollment at McPolin Elementary

For the 2019-20 school year, the board approved closing schools to open enrollment, with the exception of McPolin Elementary. Students living outside district boundaries will only be eligible to enroll at McPolin. Parents are reminded that McPolin is an all Spanish dual-immersion school.

Board Goals

The board approved goals in the areas of communication, governance, education master planning, analysis, organization, and safety. The board will provide updates on three of the goals each month.

Audit Report

Park City School District accepted the audit report from Squire & Company, who issued an unmodified opinion in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. An unmodified opinion means the district’s independent auditing firm expressed an opinion that financial statements are in accordance with applicable state and federal financial reporting frameworks.

Policies for Posting

– Policy 3000: Shared Decision Making

– Policy 5010: Inventory Control and Use of Equipment

– Policy 5025: Student Transportation for School or District Activities

– Policy 7031: Social Media (new policy)

– Policy 7160: Orderly Termination

– Policy 9025: Student Wellness (board amended to include “schools may only use non-food based rewards for student behavior, achievement, and celebrations.”)

Patron Comments

Case Schemmer, an eighth-grade student at Treasure Mountain Junior High, spoke on his personal experience with standards-based grading scales.

Board Meeting Summary | Oct. 16, 2018

Oath of Office

Dr. Jill Gildea was officially sworn in as Superintendent of Schools by Business Administrator Todd Hauber.

Education Master Plan

Chris Guarino with NV5, who represents the district in the education master planning process, provided the board with updates and upcoming events . The process, called “The Future of Learning,” will focus on transparency, communications, and engaging the public in a two-way process.

Monday, Oct. 29, is the Community Engagement Open House at the Richins Building Auditorium with two sessions planned at  5:30 and 6:30 p.m. The community is invited to attend so they can be introduced to the process and provide input on what they think learning will look like in the coming years.

Tuesday, Oct. 30, is The Future of Learning Summit. The district has invited educators, specific community members, and the Steering Committee to take part in an all-day Summit to look at how instruction will determine the district’s educational planning for the future.

Support Staff Discussion

Board members expressed interest in additional information related to part-time staff. McPolin Elementary Principal Bob Edmiston said that longevity in a position ultimately benefits the students. He said offering full-time employment with benefits is a powerful incentive and will provide higher quality candidates for openings. Business Administrator Todd Hauber asked the board to look at the hours support staff are needed in schools and what service level is needed, and if it is sustainable.

Enrollment Report

The official Oct. 1 enrollment count is 4,780 students  — a decrease of 37 students compared to last year. The district had fewer kindergarten and first-grade students  come into the system than projected. Open enrollment was closed at all schools this year which had an impact districtwide.

School Enrollments: 

–Jeremy Ranch Elementary: 546  (+7)

–McPolin Elementary: 380 (-27)

–Parley’s Park Elementary: 522 (-33)

–Trailside Elementary: 461 (-38)

–Ecker Hill Middle: 805 (+31)

–Treasure Mountain Junior High: 813 (-1)

–Park City High: 1,253 (+24)

PCSD Launches ‘The Future of Learning’ Education Master Plan

Park City School District is collaborating with the collective community during the 2018-19 school year asking what they want learning to look like in the coming years. The nine-month project will ultimately produce a community-based education vision and a proposed system to deliver on that vision.

“The Future of Learning” will be the roadmap to the future for the school district,” said Superintendent Jill Gildea. “We will be asking educators, students, parents, and community members what they want learning to look like in the coming years and how that will be implemented in our District.”

Superintendent Gildea said previous master planning for the district was designed to address specific building needs. But this process focuses on how today’s students learn and how the environment and teaching methods can best support that – both now and in the future.

GSBS, a consulting firm in Salt Lake City, is assisting the district with this planning. The four-step process will include:

– Identify the community’s vision;

– Create guiding principles and education specifications;

– Analyze existing facilities as they relate to the principles, and;

– Provide final recommendations for implementation.

Community Steering Committee Created

Earlier this summer the district invited community members to volunteer for its education master planning Steering Committee. This committee will ensure that all groups have a voice and the opportunity to be involved in this long-term educational planning. The Steering Committee held its first meeting in September.

Community Engagement Open House

The community will have its first opportunity to engage with the team and the process during an evening open house on Monday, Oct. 29, at the Summit County Sheldon Richins Building Auditorium. Sessions will be held at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

The Future of Learning Summit

The following day, Oct. 30, the district has invited teachers, community members, students and the Steering Committee to attend a day-long “The Future of Learning Summit” held at the District Office from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be recorded and posted to the District’s website under “The Future of Learning” tab.

Workshops

Over the next six months, the consultant team will host six additional “mini” workshops with various segments of the community to generate educator and community input into the educational specifications surrounding pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, learning spaces, and student learning experience.

Additionally, there will two more open houses (December and April) that will seek the community’s feedback on the progress made at the summit and workshops. The community will also be asked for input through a series of online surveys.

Final Recommendations

Once the education specifications have been created, the consulting team will evaluate existing facilities for alignment and the ability to deliver the education specifications. Final recommendations, including education specifications, potential facility needs, and funding will be presented to the Board of Education in May 2019.

Learn More

For more detailed information visit The Future of Learning section on the district’s website.

Board Clarifies Future Bonding

In an effort to ensure accurate information is shared with the community, Park City School District is clarifying information pertaining to future bonding.

PCSD, like all municipal entities, is likely to seek public funds in the future but it has no specific plans to bond at this time. The district just started its master planning process to determine the educational specifications for our schools for the next 10 years. This process is focused on the future of learning.

The public portion of master planning will kickoff Oct. 29 with an Open House with master plan recommendations submitted to the Board of Education in May 2019.

The district welcomes community input on the master planning process and will be transparent throughout the entire process.

Board Meeting Summary | Sept. 18, 2018

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Jill Gildea said that the district had a successful launch of the new school year. She noted the Park City Education Foundation, Park City Municipal, and other community partners are developing strategic initiatives this year, which will assist the board. Teachers and the community will be involved in the master planning process this year, including an upcoming Future of Learning Summit. She said students’ voices will also be important since they are the end user.

Student Report

Student board member Steven Mitchell said Park City High students are being surveyed on various topics to make sure their voices are heard before student events and activities are planned.

Summer Projects

Todd Hansen, director of Building and Grounds, presented an overview of the completed summer projects throughout the district. A full list of projects is available hereBusiness Administrator Todd Hauber told the board the district is replacing two buses with propane buses and a propane fueling station is currently being installed.

Board Priorities

The Board reviewed information from its recent Retreat and is working on establishing tasks related to its 2018-19 priorities, which focus on academic excellence, student experience, organization, staff and board performance, operation and legal effectiveness, and future development.

K-3 Early Literacy Plan Approved

The board approved the district’s K-3 Early Literacy Plan, as required by legislation to receive state funding. Interim Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Traci Evans and Elementary Curriculum Specialist Julie Hastings said the district will do the following this school year:

– Continue using a task force model to support embedded monthly professional development at each school focused on early literacy for K-3 teachers.

– Continue Wilson Fundations professional learning, including beginning of the year training for third-grade teachers and providing coaching support.

– Roll out third grade Wilson Fundations materials and replenish consumables in K-2 grades.

– DIBELS training to amplify K-3

– Train teachers and interventionists on administering and interpreting the results of Kilpatrick’s PAST

–  Purchase additional iReady licenses needed in K-3 (early intervention literacy software)

Goals for the 2018-19 school year include:

–Kindergarten: increase the percentage of kindergarten students reaching proficiency on the DIBELS composite by 11%

–Grade 1: Move 29% of the students who score Below/Well Below benchmark at the beginning of the year to At/Above benchmark by end of the year.

–Grade 2: Move 22% of the students who score Below/Well Below benchmark at the beginning of the year to At/Above benchmark by end of the year.

–Grade 3: Move 34% of the students who score Below/Well Below benchmark at the beginning of the year to At/Above benchmark by end of the year.

Board President Andrew Caplan said there is a wide spectrum of academic success in the community. He believes the literacy plan is a good plan for the majority of students, but the district needs to go above and beyond the state requirements to meet the needs of all students.

Board member Petra Butler said equity and access is one of the board’s top priorities and the board is willing to provide the necessary resources to build a strong literacy foundation for reading in grades K-3.

Board Meeting Summary | Aug. 21, 2018

Superintendent Report 

Superintendent Jill Gildea provided the board with a working draft of her transition and entry plan. The plan aligns with the district’s Strategic Plan, including fiscal responsibility, and operation success. She emphasized that listening, learning, and building critical internal and external relationships are key elements for foundational knowledge about the district’s strengths, challenges, and opportunities. Dr. Gildea’s plan maintains the district’s student-centered and future-focused initiatives.

Policy 7070 — Leave for Maternity & Paternity

The board discussed the Leave for Maternity and Paternity policy. Park City is the only school district in Utah that offers this paid leave for employees. The board directed the administration to implement the policy with the same standards applied to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The board felt this was the most equitable way to implement the policy. The board encouraged staff using this benefit to focus on their family time and not worry about any aspects of their work.

State Road 248 Tunnel

Park City Municipal transportation officials informed the board about the proposed SR 248 tunnel on Kearns Boulevard that will provide access to Park City High. The board approved a Memorandum of Understanding; a Storm, Pedestrian Access, and Maintenance Easement; a Construction Easement; and a Sewer Easement. City officials thanked the board and said the easements and land contribution represent a significant commitment from the school district for this project.

Master Planner Contract Awarded

The Board awarded its master planning contract to GSBS Architects of Salt Lake City. The firm has an extensive background in urban design and planning. The district master planning process develops a long-term educational vision for the district and its schools. The Master Planning Steering Committee will meet for the first time Sept. 4.

Board Comments

–Member Petra Butler noted several community events addressing mental health and safety issues. She thanked Connect Summit County for adding a mental health treatment locator to its website. She said this is something the community has never had, and it will be a tremendous resource. She also asked the administration to provide the board with a list of all employees and positions below 1.0 FTE. In an effort to retain employees, she would like to see more full-time employment offered in the district instead of so many part-time positions.

–Member Anne Peters attended the master planning executive committee kick-off meeting with GSBS. She looks forward to the first steering committee meeting in a few weeks.

Board Meeting Summary | Aug. 14, 2018

Public Comment on Tax Increase

Five community members addressed the Board of Education at the district’s Truth-in-Taxation hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 14.

–Mark Parker, representing PCEA, said by increasing teacher salaries during the last negotiations, the Board moved closer to the district’s goal to attract and retain the highest quality teachers in Utah and across the nation. The association supports the board’s decision to increase taxes, and create a sustainable budget for the next five to 10 years. PCEA also expressed concern that new teachers can’t afford to live in Park City and worry about the distances teachers have to travel to teach in the district. He thanked the board and the community for their support of teachers and support staff.

–Jim Tedford supports a quality education for students, but he questioned the need for three new secondary assistant principals and the new deputy superintendent position. He asked the board to spend tax dollars wisely.

–Steve Swanson provided the board with the district’s financial and staffing comparisons from the past eight years. He is concerned student growth has been relatively flat while the addition of new employees has significantly increased. He asked the board to be more disciplined in their expenditures and ask if the spending is responsible and sustainable.

–Steve Joyce said he reviewed the budget and was concerned that FTE—the count of full-time employees—has increased by 16 percent in the last few years while student enrollment has grown by less than two percent. As a member of the City Council, he said he is asking the same questions of the city.

–Kathy Apostolakos said she has watched the district for a long time, both as a parent and as a school volunteer. She said if the district office is so large it has outgrown its building and has to add a portable, then it has grown too much. She said it is hard to see how adding additional personnel ultimately supports students.

Board Comments

–President Andrew Caplan said the board looks at the budget on a multi-year basis (five to seven years down the road) and has developed long-term plans on the capital side such as future land purchases. President Caplan said the board’s role is to represent the interests of its constituents. He reminded those in attendance that expectations for services in the school district have significantly changed in the past 10 years. Educators and staff are dealing with societal issues that did not exist a decade ago. He said the community has asked for increased services for those who are teaching and working with students every day — interventionists, aides, mental health professionals, social workers, and counselors.

–Petra Butler reiterated the district’s need to show the impact these new positions have on students.

Tax Rates Approved

The board approved the proposed tax increase.

Policies Approved

The board approved these policies:

Policy 7070—Leave for Maternity and Paternity: The board added an amendment stating new employees will have a one-year waiting period based on their one-year work cycle, pending legal review.

Policy 7165—Education Evaluation Program

Policy 11103—Visitor Access (new policy): The board amended this policy to delete language about specific procedures related to school events held during the day. Superintendent Jill Gildea will work with principals to determine the most secure and efficient way to handle visitor check-in during daytime school activities that parents attend.

Safety Update

Superintendent Gildea provided the board with an update on safety projects underway throughout the district. The fencing and vestibules at all elementary schools will be complete by the first day of school. Bids for vestibules and classroom wiring and door locks at secondary schools are due Aug. 21.

Board Meeting Summary

July 3, 2018 | Special Regular Session

Budget Hearing

Following public comment, the board unanimously ratified the FY18 revised budget and the FY19 preliminary budget, and approved the 2018 property tax rates. The FY19 preliminary budget can be viewed here

Public Comment

Beverly Harrison, a retired speech pathologist and special education teacher, expressed concern about the board providing housing for the new superintendent.

Board President Andrew Caplan said mountain resort communities and other affluent cities around the country purchase a home for their superintendents. Legally, the Board cannot require the superintendent to live in Park City but it can offer housing within the district. Caplan also said the community has told the board it wants the superintendent to live in Park City and be part of the community.

Consent Agenda

The board approved the consent agenda items, including new hires. Board member Petra Butler said her review showed several part-time classified positions listed. She told the board it would be beneficial to offer full-time positions with a benefits package. Caplan said the board can instruct the Administration to research what other districts are doing. Butler said the district currently has about a 10 percent turnover rate, and she would like to see the district do all it can to retain employees and let them know they are valued. 

Truth-in-Taxation Hearing

The board’s next meeting is Aug. 14 — a  Truth-in-Taxation Hearing at 6 p.m. at the District Office.