McGuire Family Foundation establishes first-ever Student Service Award

Park City students have been making an impact in our community and throughout the world for many years through the volunteering they do. Now, for the first time, students will have the chance to be rewarded for their efforts with the Park City Student Service Award, thanks to the Park City-based McGuire Family Foundation.

The Park City Student Service Award aims to honor students in grades 9-12 who are committed to making a difference by volunteering their time to non-profit organizations in Park City or elsewhere. This award is not attached to grades or participation in a club — it is purely a volunteer service acknowledgement.

Award certificates will be given to students who meet the criteria of 50+ hours of community service from April 15, 2019, to April 15, 2020.

Seniors who meet the criteria and have completed 200+ hours of community service over the past four years will earn a service honor cord for graduation. The top senior honoree will receive $1,000 to donate to the nonprofit organization of his/her choice.

The deadline to apply is April 15. For more information contact Katie McGuire,kmcguire@mcguirefamilyfoundation.org, or Pepper Elliot at Park City High, pelliot@pcschools.us.

Full details and application available here in English.

Detalles completos y solicitud disponibles aquí en Español.

Career & Technical Education Celebrated This Month

For nearly a century, Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs across the United States have focused on equipping students with technical and life skills to help them become productive citizens. Now more than ever, CTE programs are needed to help ensure the strength of our workforce, global competitiveness, and the economic health of the nation.

Students and faculty in Park City School District are celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, Feb. 1-29. The theme for 2020 is “Turn Your Dream into a Career.”

In conjunction with CTE Month, Feb. 27 is designated as Digital Learning Day. Every day is a digital learning day in Park City schools. Elementary students begin computer coding classes in elementary school. The PCCAPS program at Park City High, helps students develop 21st Century Skills through working on real-world projects for companies and organizations. Project types fall within the industry fields of engineering, coding, business solutions, health sciences, digital design and primary education. And this year, the dual-language immersion students began programming Ozobots for storytelling.

CTE Month provides schools with an opportunity to demonstrate how CTE prepares students for college and career. Students who participate in CTE obtain the academic knowledge, technical and workplace skills to compete in a global economy. Enter any of our CTE classrooms and you will immediately observe the rigor, relevance, and skills CTE courses offer our students

CTE courses have the potential to jumpstart a students’ career by preparing them for postsecondary education and training in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations. Currently, there are 58 CTE Career Pathways in the State of Utah.

For more information about CTE programs in Park City School District, contact a CTE teacher, academic counselor, or CTE Director Lyndsay Huntsman, lhuntsan@pcschools.us.

PCCAPS Adopts Industry Workflow Language to Help Students Aquire 21st Century Work Habits

By Rachel Pittard, PCCAPS Coordinator

Students need a tool for understanding good work habits for the 21st Century. In fact, students aren’t the only ones who need such a tool. Any organization with production goals and stakeholders needs a workflow structure to effectively convert ideas, desires and solutions into tangible products. 

At PCCAPS, Scrum has been adopted as that workflow system for students, instructors, mentors and business clients. Scrum solves many work habit problems, while at the same time, training students on industry workflow language they will inevitably encounter. Scrum is also a lucrative and in-demand project management career field most have never heard of. By implementing Scrum, students are able to assure clients of progress, roadblocks, and project deliverables.  

What is Scrum? Scrum is an agile project management system which was developed here in Utah by software industry leaders, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwabera. Scrum facilitates team collaboration on complex projects. Companies which have adopted Scrum or other Agile workflow systems include Spotify, Salesforce, Delta, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Adobe, Nokia, Siemens, BBC, CNN, General Electric, Bank of America, and many others. 

How do you teach students Scrum? Legos, of course. Supported by a classroom grant from Park City Education Foundation, Treasure Mountain Junior High teacher Ben Mueller piloted an innovative lego-based Scrum lesson for his ninth-grade Exploring Computer Science class during Fall 2019 semester. 

The goal is for student workgroups to collaborate on the construction of an entire town made of legos. They are given a backlog of specific requests from citizens of the town, such as a specific number of single family homes, a mansion for the mayor, trees, animals, retail shops, restaurants, hospital and transportation infrastructure. Students plan their work (sprints) in advance by estimating the time it will take to build each backlog item and by prioritizing the order of the tasks. Time allocated for each sprint is determined by the instructor. At the beginning of each sprint, students self-lead a stand up meeting in which each member answers three questions:

— What did I work on last time? 

— What do I plan on doing next? 

— What roadblocks, if any, are in my way of completing my tasks?

Each sprint is planned, which provides students with the opportunity to self discover and solve operational issues that may be delaying progress. In the end, students prioritize a complex set of tasks and collaborate to efficiently produce a single town using legos. 

On day one of the Spring 2020 semester, Mr. Mueller replicated the lesson for PCCAPS students at Park City High School. The Scrum workflow has been adopted as the operating system for student projects in order for them to experientially develop high-demand, 21st Century skills. 

About PCCAPS

A member of the national CAPS Network, and supported by Park City Education Foundation, the Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies (PCCAPS) is an elective for Park City School District 11th and 12th graders. Student experience is guided by the principles of Project Based Learning (PBL), a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.

January's Counselor Connection: Attendance and Why it Matters

“Attendance Works,” an organization whose mission is to “advance student success and help close equity gaps by reducing chronic absence,” cites the following:

– Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year.Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month (20 days) of school.

– Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or are held back.

– Research shows that missing 10 percent of a student’s school days, which is considered “chronically absent” (18 days in PCSD) negatively affects a student’s academic performance.

– When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.

– By 6th grade chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.

Read the full issue of January’s Counselor Connection here. English | Spanish

PCSD Employee Named 2020 Utah ESP of the Year

Park City School District Human Resources Coordinator Veronica Claridge has been named the Utah School Employees Association’s 2020 Educational Support Professional of the Year. She was awarded the honor during a surprise district office luncheon on Friday. Members of the district administration along with leaders from both the Utah School Employees Association (USEA) and the Park City Classified Employees Association (PCCEA) joined in celebrating Claridge’s contributions to public education. This is the second year in a row a PCSD employee has won this state honor. 

Education support professionals (ESP) are the support staff — clerical services, custodial and maintenance, food services, health and student services, paraeducators, security services, skilled trade services, technical services and transportation services — who work tirelessly to ensure students are healthy, safe, engaged, challenged and supported.

As the winner of USEA’s award, Claridge will be Utah’s nominee for the National Education Association’s ESP of the Year. She will attend the national conference and awards event this Spring in New Orleans. She will also travel throughout the state to meet members, raise awareness of ESP issues and advocate on their behalf.

Claridge has been with  Park City School District since 1999. In addition to her work in Human Resources, she has also been the head secretary at McPolin Elementary, and an administrative assistant for Student Services. 

“I am honored to be named the Outstanding Education Support Professional of the Year for the State of Utah,” said the mother of three. “I work with several outstanding ESPs and am humbled to even have been considered. It is my hope that I will represent Park City School District as well as the State of Utah well at the national level.”

District Seeking Substitute Bus Drivers

Park City School District is looking for substitute bus drivers to begin work immediately. This is an ideal position for retirees, parents with students in school, and college students.

Starting pay is $18.65/hour, and the district provide all the training.
Substitute drivers work up to 29 hours during the week. Those who do not have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) can earn it from the district while also getting paid for the training.

Benefits include:
• Work Schedule is through the second week of June
• Summers off with the possibility of summer driving opportunities
• Split shifts = freedom during the day
• No required weekends
• Extra work available, if desired
• Ongoing regular training instruction and professional development provided
• Ability to work outdoors
• Holidays off

Park City School District is looking for substitute bus drivers to begin work immediately. This is an ideal position for retirees, parents with students in school, and college students.

Starting pay is $18.65/hour, and the district provide all the training.
Substitute drivers work up to 29 hours during the week. Those who do not have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) can earn it from the district while also getting paid for the training.

Benefits include:
• Work Schedule is through the second week of June
• Summers off with the possibility of summer driving opportunities
• Split shifts = freedom during the day
• No required weekends
• Extra work available, if desired
• Ongoing regular training instruction and professional development provided
• Ability to work outdoors
• Holidays off

Those interested must be at least 21 years of age, and hold a high school diploma or GED. For more information call 435-645-5600 or apply here: https://pcsd.munisselfservice.com/employmentopportunities/default.aspx

The Benefits Are Many for Students in After-School Programs

Photo courtesy of EATS Park City

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. 

Those interested can learn more here and register online in English or Spanish

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. 

New Transition Program Introduced for Park City High Students

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.

Niche ranks PCSD as Best District in Utah

Niche  just released its 2020 Best Schools in America rankings and grades, and Park City School District ranks as the “Best School District in Utah.”

Rankings and grades are calculated using a series of steps to ensure statistical rigor and useful guidance in the school choice experience.  Niche analyzes dozens of public data sets and millions of reviews to produce comprehensive rankings, report cards, and profiles for every K-12 school, college, and neighborhood in the U.S.

District Doubles GED Completions Now That it is a Proctor

Park City School District’s Adult Education program has doubled the number of students taking and earning their GED now that it can proctor the test.

“It’s so much more convenient for our students to take the test in the same location they are taking the GED classes,” said Alison Taylor who oversees the Community Education’s adult education program. Taylor is a proctor for the test thanks to a grant from the Utah Board of Education.

During 2018-19, five students earned their GED in English, five completed their GED in Spanish, four earned their high school diplomas, and five inmates at the Summit County Jail passed the GED.

Traditionally, the GED program has not been offered during the summer months but this year is different. There are 30 adults spending the summer working on earning their GEDs, including 12 in Spanish.

GED classes are held at the Park City Learning Academy and students who are age 18 or older qualify. Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday nights and cost of the program is $40.

For more information about this program, contact Taylor at 435-615-0209, ataylor@pcschools.us.