Board to Receive Future of Learning options April 16

Following seven months of input about the future of education in Park City from educators, parents, students, community members and city and county officials, GSBS Consultants will present a range of options to the Board of Education April 16.

GSBS is currently in the process of creating education scenarios and evaluating them using the Guiding Principles, educational specifications, and criteria developed by task force groups. “The options will reflect the community’s vision and make the decision-making more objective,” says Clio Rayner, project manager.

Board members will get their first look at the options during its regular board meeting on April 16 beginning at 4 p.m. at the District Office.

“One of our biggest take-aways was how much agreement we saw from teachers, students, parents and administrators around the district’s mission and values and the Guiding Principles,” says Rayner. “As we moved through the process we kept revisiting these visioning pieces and each time they were reaffirmed.”

The Guiding Principles were developed earlier this fall during the Future of Learning Summit, an all-day workshop with teachers, students, and community members. Throughout the day major themes emerged when the group considered what students would need in the future to continue to be successful learners.

The educational specifications use the Guiding Principles and outline how learning spaces can be designed to help support this vision for education, Rayner says. The specifications were developed with the input of teachers and administrators during five learning leader forum meetings. The specifications will be used to evaluate the current facilities and identify ways to improve schools that focus on education first.

The consulting team is also analyzing the physical condition of the facilities including architectural, site, structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical components. Each school is also being reviewed for educational sustainability.

During discussions with the Steering Committee, “hot topics” that would directly impact master planning decisions were identified. Task force groups were created for grade alignment, school/class size, school location, Treasure Mountain Junior High, the Kearns campus, and transportation.

“The task forces were asked to develop criteria for decision making that related to each topic. That criteria will be used to evaluate different master planning options moving forward,” Rayner says. “We didn’t ask the task forces to solve the problems, but rather asked them to develop criteria for evaluating solutions to the problem.”

Rayner said it’s important for the community to know that no single option will satisfy all community concerns. “There is still hard work to be done by the district and the community to consider which trade-offs the community is willing to make.  Our job is to present the options that reflect the community’s vision and to do it in a way that makes the decision-making more objective.”

The community is invited to visit the Future of Learning website here for more information.

Board Meeting Summary | March 19, 2019

Superintendent Report

– Superintendent Jill Gildea reported on her presentation to the master planning Steering Committee last week and said the work being done by the committee and educators aligns with the district’s mission and vision.

– She reported on her attendance at the Northeast Region Sterling Scholars Recognition Banquet at Utah Valley University Monday night and congratulated Park City High region winners and runners-up.

– The superintendent noted that Park City High represents five of the 20 finalists in the Utah High Entrepreneur Challenge sponsored by the University of Utah Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. The public can vote for their favorite projects until March 29 here.

Student Council Report

Student board representative, Steven Mitchell, said the high school PTSO asked the student council to review the costs it charges for various activities and merchandise. Following an evaluation, he said the student council is reconsidering its practices and working on a solution for next year.

Standards-Based Learning

Tim Brown, an education consultant with Solution Tree based in Bloomington, Indiana, has been retained by the district to provide standards-based learning (SBL) research-based and results-driven professional development for teachers. Brown said there is growing evidence that when teachers use SBG they are getting a clearer picture of what students actually know. The board reiterated its support for SBL philosophy, and encouraged the administration to communicate it more clearly to teachers, parents, and students as it works through implementation.

Learner Profile

Melina Wright, a senior associate with the ECRA Group based in Chicago, presented a Learner Profile and Strategic Dashboard System to the board. The ECRA Group (Education, Consulting, Research, Analytics) is a research and analytics consulting firm that helps schools improve student outcomes by embedding evidence-based practices via predictive models. Wright said the dashboard allows schools to tell their story in a more transparent way. The system also allows a learner profile for each student. Superintendent Gildea said the system allows teachers, students, and parents to visually see how students are learning.

Future of Learning

Chris Guarino with NV5, the district’s owner representative for master planning, told the board that teachers have defined the types of spaces they believe are best for learning and that information will help evaluate the district’s current buildings and spaces. He said the community has offered input during open houses and meetings held at each school.  The board will receive educational master plan options at its April 16 board meeting. April and May will be focused on engaging the community and seeking their feedback on the options.

Preliminary Budget/School Fees

Business Administrator Todd Hauber reviewed the preliminary budget for the 2019-20 school year. The board was also presented a list of school fees for next year and will review them prior to adoption. Hauber said legislation just passed during this past session outlines a more detailed school fee practice the board needs to adopt by January 2020.  Preliminary budget priorities can be viewed here.

Jeremy Ranch Wetlands Mitigation & Easement Agreements

The board approved an inter-local agreement and easement with Summit County for the Jeremy Ranch Frontage Road wetland mitigation. The district will partner with the county to build a trail that will allow for a safer route for students walking or biking to and from Jeremy Ranch Elementary.

Policies for Posting

– Policy 5015: Transportation

– Policy 5020: School Bus Emergencies

Policies Adopted

– Policy 2000: Student Representative on the Board of Education

– Policy 4000: Contingency Reserves

– Policy 4005: Purchasing

– Policy 4006: Cash Management

– Policy 4010: Travel and Conference Reimbursement

– Policy 4015: Disposal of Fixed Assets

– Policy 4020: District Records

– Policy 5025: Student Transportation

– Policy 6000: Modification of District Property

– Policy 7075: Twelve-Month Employee Holidays

– Policy 7095: Conditions of Employment

Public Comment

– Nine parents expressed their frustrations about standards-based learning and lack of understanding about it in the community. They asked the district to take its time in rolling out SBL districtwide.

– Four teachers shared their support for standards-based learning and how it impacts student achievement. They said SBL is transforming the grade conversation between students and teachers from “how to I earn a grade” to “how to I learn a grade.”

Board Meeting Summary | Feb. 26, 2019

Oath of Office

New board member Wendy Crossland, who was appointed by the board to fill the vacancy in District 3, was given the Oath of Office by Business Administrator Todd Hauber.

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Jill Gildea provided the board with her progress report on her and the board’s goals for 2018-19. The full report can be viewed here. “I truly am honored and so very pleased to have the opportunity to learn alongside and lead this incredible school system as we realize our vision as a whole child driven learning organization that ensures our students are safe, supported, engaged, challenged, and healthy,” wrote Superintendent Gildea in her report.

Budget Discussion

Business Administrator Todd Hauber reviewed the district’s FY2020 budget request priorities. The proposed 2019-20 Operating Budget represents a 6.25 percent or increase over the current year’s budget. The increase is primarily due to contractual obligations (salary and benefits of $3.3 million) and stronger supports for students with special needs (of $0.8 million). The Capital Budget represents $5 million in new projects, guided by a multi-year facilities master plan which prioritizes safety, security, and accessibility, and considers workload capacity and resources. An additional $1.5 million represents set aside funding for initial projects and design work of the master plan proposals. The remaining $800,000 covers information technology investments. Budget priorities can be viewed here.

Education Master Plan Update

GSBS consultant Christine Richman provided the board with an update on the education master planning process. Two community Open Houses are planned this week — one tonight (Wednesday, Feb. 27) at 5 p.m. at Park City High, and tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 28) at 6 p.m. at Ecker Hill Middle. The community will have the opportunity to weigh in on how issues like grade alignment, class size and school location best support learning and academic excellence. Starting next week, the consulting team will be having a listening tour at each school to better understand the needs at each building. A full update can be viewed here.

Assessment Task Force Update

Traci Evans, interim Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, provided information on the work of the district’s assessment task forces. Two task forces have been created: 1) one made up of a teacher and principal from each school; and 2) one comprised of a parent from each school who serves on the parent organization or School Community Council. Both task forces then share their progress with their schools and parents. Evans said there are currently 16 different grading scales throughout the district. The district wants to establish a reporting system that truly tells us what a student is learning in a way that best informs learning and teaching to benefit our students. Schools in the district are moving to standards-based learning which helps teachers more clearly understand what students actually know and how to focus and target their instruction. The district is n the process of educating parents about the benefits of standards-based learning. There are numerous resources and research on district website here.

School updates include:

– Ecker Hill Middle has fully implemented standards-based learning.

– Treasure Mountain has about 60% of teachers who have transitioned to standards-based learning. TMJH plans to be fully implemented by August 2020.

– Park City High has developed proficiency scales that are currently being used in two departments. GPAs will still be calculated and included as part of a comprehensive learner portfolio.

– Elementary schools are building understanding behind why instruction must be refined to reflect standards mastery. Some grade levels are beginning to assess mastery of standards separately from behavior and work habits.

– The district plans to have standards-based learning implemented districtwide by the 2022-23 school year.

Public Comment

Sharon and Bryant Bookhamer said they have a lot of questions about standards-based learning and hope more information continues to be available to parents. They stressed the importance of consistency in testing and grading.

Policies for Posting

– Policy 2000: Student Representative on the Board of Education

– Policy 4000: Contingency Reserves

– Policy 4005: Purchasing

– Policy 4006: Cash Management

– Policy 4010: Travel and Conference Reimbursement

– Policy 4015: Disposal of Assets

– Policy 4020: District Records

– Policy 5000: Snow Day

– Policy 5025: Student Transportation

– Policy 6000: Modification of District Property

– Policy 7075: Twelve-Month Employee Holidays

– Policy 7095: Conditions of Employment

Policies Adopted

– Policy 2005: Board of Education Power and Duties

– Policy 2015: Advisory Committees

– Policy 2025: Electronic Board Meetings

– Policy 2030: Board Policy Development

– Policy 2045: Board Member Compensation

–Policy 7061: Shared Leave

Board Meeting Summary | Jan. 22, 2019

Board Member Appointed

The Board of Education appointed Wendy Crossland to fill the District 3 vacancy left by Petra Butler. Crossland is a middle school humanities teacher and Advancement Associate for Community Outreach for the Park City Day School. She will take the Oath of Office on Feb. 26. See full press release here.

Superintendent Report

Superintendent Jill Gildea expressed appreciation to board members for attending the Utah School Boards Association meetings in December and the USBA state conference earlier this month. She also recognized the board for receiving USBA’s designation as a Master Board.

Park City High ELA Program Proposal

Park City High Principal Roger Arbabi and faculty members presented an English Language Arts program that rearranges course offerings instead of creating new ones. Beginning next year, once sophomore students have completed a semester of the required Sophomore Academy, they will have the option of taking semester ELA classes of their choice. This program will maximize student choice and allow students to choose the classes that are of interested to them. ELA classes will fall into three categories: Academic Literacy, Literacy of Citizenship, and Literacy of Enrichment. The State Office of Education has reviewed the program and commended the high school for its plan.

Lacrosse to be Sanctioned UHSAA Sport

Boys and girls lacrosse will become a sanctioned sport next school year by the Utah High Activities Association. Athletic Director Jamie Sheetz estimates it will cost $105,000 to start the program started at Park City High (i.e., coaching stipends, equipment, officiating, travel, etc.). Lacrosse, which will be a Spring sport, will play 16 games with four playoff games.

PCEF Teacher Grants Report

The Park City Education Foundation awarded 31 grants to classroom teachers this year totaling $89,614. Grant requests included general themes of dual-language immersion, special education, Makerspaces, and capital expenditures, including flexible seating. The board expressed appreciation to donors and the Park City Education Foundation.

2019-20 Calendar Approved

The board approved the 2019-20 calendar. Classes begin two days earlier on Aug. 20, and end on June 2. The calendar includes one fewer day for Fall Recess, the semester ending prior to Winter Recess, and a full two-week Winter Recess. The district will plan the 2020-21 and 2021-22 calendars by the end of the school year. Moving forward the board will adopt calendars three years at a time.

Policies for Posting

– Policy 2005: Board of Education Power and Duties

– Policy 2015: Advisory Committees

– Policy 2025: Electronic Board Meetings

– Policy 2030: Board Policy Development

– Policy 2045: Board Member Compensation

– Policy 7061: Shared Leave

New Board Member Appointed for District 3

Wendy Crossland
Wendy Crossland

The Park City School District Board of Education has appointed Wendy Crossland as the new board member for District 3. She replaces Petra Butler who stepped down Dec. 31.

Crossland is a middle school humanities teacher at the Park City Day School and also serves as Advancement Associate for Community Outreach at the school. Proficient in Spanish, she lived in Bogotá, Colombia, for seven years where she taught English and social studies. Crossland is also co-founder and co-race director of TedDriven, an organization that raises money for cancer research.

She holds bachelor and a masters degrees, and earned a juris doctorate at Seattle University School of Law.

“It is such an honor to join the Park City School District Board,” says Crossland. “I look forward to supporting Dr. [Jill] Gildea and working with this dedicated Board committed to ensuring that all students receive a safe, equitable and inspired learning opportunity in Park City School District. I am excited and grateful to have the chance to work really hard on behalf of the critical and important mission of the district.”

Crossland will take the Oath of Office during the next Board of Education meeting on Feb. 26.



Board Meeting Summary | Dec. 18, 2018

Board Member Recognition

The board recognized Vice President JJ Ehlers for her four years of service and Petra Butler for her two years of service.

Superintendent Report

At the request of the board, Superintendent Jill Gildea is working on leadership transition and the district’s organization structure. Working within current budgetary parameters, as well as full-time equivalents, she will make recommendations as part of budget development process. The district will use a search firm to help identify qualified finalists for Cabinet-level positions.

Education Master Plan Update

Chris Guarino with NV5, the district’s owner representative for master planning, updated the board on the work of the Steering Committee, Learning Leaders Forums, and the next online community survey.  Ongoing updates are posted on the The Future of Learning website. The current community survey is available here.

Calendar Committee Update

Trailside Elementary Principal Carolyn Synan, a member of the district calendar committee, presented the final two 2019-20 calendar options. A survey of district employees overwhelmingly (73%) selected the Option B calendar because it allows for a longer Winter Break. The board will adopt a 2019-20 calendar at its January meeting and will consider the committee’s Option B at that time.

Student Fees

Business Administrator Todd Hauber reviewed the work being done on defining academic fees by a State Board of Education task force. The board will need to look at fees related to special academic projects and programs and establish maximums per fee and an aggregate maximum for total participation; which includes extracurricular fees related to travel, lodging, food, etc. The fee schedule has to be adopted by April 1, so the board will be discussing this issue in the coming months and allow time for public comments.

Policies Adopted

– 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 7160: Orderly Termination

– Policy 9025: Student Wellness

Policy Retired

– Policy 5005: Building Access

Public Comment

– Parent Shannon Schemmer commended the board on the district calendar options and offered suggestions for future calendars. She also commented on the proposed wellness policy and said she is hesitant to ban options and choices for older students and believes they are capable of making their own choices when it comes to healthy foods.

– Parent Christie Worthington said the wellness policy does not allow for students to have choices. While she feels the policy has good intent, she said it is too restrictive.

– Parent Laurel Bartmess said the district calendar has too many breaks and she prefers a longer year. She also said, referring to the wellness policy, that food should not be used as an extrinsic reward.

– Janae Ridge, executive director for EATS Park City reiterated research and recommendations with input from community members. EATS hopes the district will shift the culture and eliminate food rewards.

Parent Kelly Manning believes parents, teachers, and administrators should advocate for students’ health and nutrition needs. She asked the board to consider the elimination of food rewards as a recommendation not policy.

– Teacher Melissa Bott shared examples of why it is important to allow food in classes. She said it helps teachers be creative in their teaching and learning experiences.

– R.J. Owen, Child Nutrition Services Director, asked the board to respect the work of the committee who revised the wellness policy and vote on the policy as it was originally presented. Owen suggested the wellness committee review the comments from the community that surfaced during the policy posting time period.

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 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. 15 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)