District Reminds Parents of Winter Weather Procedures

With more snow expected tonight (Oct. 9), Park City School District is reminding parents to read the district’s winter weather procedures.

Winter Weather Procedures

The District’s top priority is safety of all students and staff. During the winter months, schools in Park City School District will remain open, if at all possible, on all scheduled school days. Even when weather conditions are severe, every effort will be made to keep schools open in the belief that it is in the best interest of the students.

The decision to close school, delay start time, or release students and staff early can only be made by the superintendent; this includes cancellation of any elementary after-school programs. When schools close early due to weather, all evening activities will be cancelled, with the exception of high school athletics and activities, which will be determined by the superintendent and athletic director. Sometimes there are exceptions to this rule; and we will notify you of these situations as they arise.

By policy, head secretaries and 12-month employees, which includes principals and assistant principals, are expected to report to work as soon as it is safe to do so. This expectation is based upon the issue that we may have families who do not receive notification and may come to the schools.

The District recognizes the rights of parents to make decisions that are best for their children. Therefore, the option to keep children home when weather conditions are severe is always at the parents’ discretion and the school respects the decision. An excused absence is given if the parents make the decision for their student(s) to remain home.

The following information outlines the communication procedures that will be followed if such school closures or early dismissals become necessary.

The district team begins monitoring weather as early as 4:30 AM by monitoring UDOT road condition reports,  the National Weather Service weather conditions and patterns, and in consultation with city and county transportation officials. An additional issue is that we are dependent upon on how fast the the city and county can clear the roads.  

Announcements

A text, via PCSD Chat, will be sent to all parents and employees no later than 6:15 a.m. when school has been cancelled.

Parents and employees should listen to the following news media for school closure information starting at 6:00 A.M.

Radio Station:  KPCW

TV Station: PCTV

Other Sources:

PCSD website 

PCSD Newsroom 

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Normal Operation

No announcement means normal operation; schools are open.

Parents Need An Emergency Plan

Parents are encouraged to establish an emergency plan for their children in the event that schools are closed, or are dismissed early. Parents should instruct their children where to go or what to do if a parent is not at home. We encourage parents to have a written plan and to also share that plan with a trusted neighbor or friend to help in times of school closures.

Bus Stops

On severe weather days, understand that buses may be running late due to road conditions and/or traffic delays. In some areas, our buses may need to meet students at an alternate locations due to road conditions. Please watch for an email message regarding those locations or delayed bus routes. Parents are always asked to wait with and/or meet their students at bus stops when buses are running on delayed or emergency schedules. An example of an alternate stop location due to road conditions would be if buses were to load/unload at the bottom of Pinebrook Road at the tennis courts.

Closures Are For One Day Only

All announcements are for one day only.

Make-Up Day

Per District Policy 5000, any full day of school missed due to weather conditions will be made up at a later date. The 2018-19 calendar clearly designates June 6, 2019, as a full make-up day, if necessary.

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.

PCSD Nurses Remind Parents When Sick Students Should Stay Home

In an effort to control the spread of infectious diseases at school and allow students to be available for learning, Park City School District nurses want  parents and guardians to follow district guidelines when deciding whether or not to send students to school.

“Every effort is being made in the school setting to properly clean and sanitize our students’ work and play areas, but the best defense is prevention,” said District Nurse Suzanne Tanner.

Students should remain home from school for the following reasons:

–Any temperature greater than 100 degrees. Children should be fever free, without fever reducing medications for 24 hours prior to returning to school.

–Vomiting and/or diarrhea require that the student remain home until 24 hours after the symptoms have subsided without medication.

–If your child has a heavy, moist productive cough, chest congestion, or discolored nasal drainage.

–Any rash of unknown origin should be evaluated and cleared by a physician prior to the student returning.

–Strep infections require early treatment and students are encouraged to remain at home for the first 24 hours. In addition, students should be fever free and feeling well before returning to school.

–If your child has pinkeye (conjunctivitis), he/she needs to have completed 24 hours of medication.

“As a general rule, students should remain home until they have been symptom free for 24 hours. This is important for your child’s health and the health of his/her classmates,” Tanner said. “Please continue to remind your children of the importance of frequent hand washing, proper nutrition, adequate rest and proper use and disposal of tissues during this school year.”

Tanner also asks that parents/guardians notify the school of the student absences and also given a reason for the absence. “This helps us monitor disease outbreaks and disease prevention,” she said.

Please refer to the District’s Guidelines for Student Illness and Exclusion for further information.

PCSD Hires Additional Secondary Assistant Principals

Park City School District Interim Superintendent David Gomez has announced the addition of four new secondary assistant principals for the 2018-19 school year.

By adding an additional assistant principal at each secondary school, Superintendent Gomez said it will bring the ratio of administrators to students more in line with the Utah ratio. Principals have also said they need additional administrators in their buildings to help with licensed evaluations, assist with UHSAA and club sports, school clubs, student supervision, safety, student wellness, discipline, evening and weekend activities, increase in 504s, and parent communication.

–Jamie Weekes, currently an assistant principal at Ecker Hill Middle, appointed assistant principal at Park City High

–Melissa Tschabrun, currently an instructional coach at Treasure Mountain Junior High, appointed assistant principal at TMJH

–Claustina Mahon-Reynolds, currently Educational Equity Supervisor for Salt Lake City School District, appointed assistant principal at Ecker Hill Middle

–Tracy Fike, currently Interim Principal at Parley’s Park Elementary, appointed assistant principal at Ecker Hill Middle (one-year appointment)

Jamie Weekes

Jamie Weekes

Weekes has been teaching for the past 15 years at middle school, high school, and summer school levels. She has worked as a math interventionist for eight years in both middle school and high school. Weekes has taught at Park City High for six years.

Melissa Tschabrun

Melissa Tschabrun

Tschabrun started her career in education 14 years ago in Vermont where she was a math teacher, alpine ski coach, and soccer coach. She has taught middle school math at a charter school, and taught high school math and served as the department chair at a private school in Salt Lake City. She came to PCSD two years ago as a math teacher at TMJH. She spent half her time this past school year as an instructional coach at the school.

Claustina Mahon-Reynolds

Claustina Mahon-Reynolds

Originally from Westchester County, New York, Mahon-Reynolds is starting her 19th year in education. Her educational experience includes teaching (K-12), coaching (K-6), middle school administrator, higher education instructor, and staff developer. She is currently completing her doctoral studies at the University of Utah in the Educational Leadership and Policy Department. She has lived in Utah for 13 years.

Tracy Fike

Tracy Fike

Fike has been the Instructional Technology Coach at Parley’s since 2016 and has been an administrative intern at Parley’s Park, Ecker Hill Middle, and Park City High. From 2013-16 she was a reading intervention teacher at Ecker Hill Middle.

Board Selects Two Superintendent Finalists

The Park City School District Board of Education has narrowed its field of candidates for Superintendent to two finalists. The finalists will meet with the board on Saturday for a final round of interviews.

On May 5, five semi-finalists were interviewed by a 12-member committee comprised of staff and community members. That same day, the semi-finalists were also interviewed by the board. The  two finalists were both approved by the community panel as well as the board.

The board will issue a public statement about its selection once a decision has been made, and the board’s consultant, HYA Executive Search, has completed its due diligence.

Board Appoints Two New Administrators

Park City School District Interim Superintendent David Gomez, announced today, May 1, two new administrative appointments for the 2018-19 school year.

Jaclyn Knapp, currently an adjunct faculty member and researcher at Weber State University,  has been appointed Director of Special Education. She begins Aug. 1.

Jamie Weekes, currently a math teacher at Park City High, has been appointed Assistant Principal at Ecker Hill Middle School. This is a one-year appointment.

Jaclyn Knapp

Knapp has been teaching and doing educational outcome research at WSU as well as presenting her research at conferences nationally. She has been  working as the Director of Special Education for a charter co-op. Knapp has worked as a consultant for the Utah State Office of Education and as a school psychologist for Davis School District. She still consults privately as a mental health counselor specializing in working with children and adolescents with behavior problems. She received an Education Specialist degree in psychology and a master’s degree in psychology from Utah State University, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Weber State University.

Jamie Weekes

Weekes has been teaching for the past 15 years at middle school, high school, and summer school levels. She has worked as a math interventionist for eight years in both middle school and high school. Weekes has taught at Park City High the past six years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and is completing her graduate work through Grand Canyon University.

Parents/Guardians Invited to Take Online School Survey

Beginning today, April 23, Park City School District will be administering online school surveys. All parents/guardian  of PCSD students are invited to participate. This survey is open today through May 11.

The purpose of the survey is to gather feedback about teachers, principals, and schools. Responses are anonymous and no personal information is collected. Results will be given to teachers and administrators and used to improve classrooms and schools. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete.

The survey can be taken on any computer or device with web access, or on computers available in all schools. The survey is available in English and Spanish.

The survey can be accessed here.

There is also a link to the survey on school and district websites.

Parents/guardians may receive more than one invitation or reminder to take the survey, but are asked to only take the survey once.

New Interim Superintendent Appointed

David Gomez

The Park City School District Board of Education has appointed David Gomez as Interim Superintendent.  Mr. Gomez currently serves as principal of Parley’s Park Elementary. The board approved the appointment at its board meeting tonight, April 17. Mr. Gomez begins as Interim Superintendent tomorrow, April 18.

“The board and Superintendent [Ember] Conley have made a collective decision to appoint an Interim Superintendent for Park City School District,” said Board President Andrew Caplan. “The board and Dr. Conley feel it is in the best interest of the district to hire someone on a full-time basis until the new superintendent is on board.”

Dr. Conley, who is transitioning to her new position with Mesa Public Schools, is committed to a smooth and effective transition, and will be available to assist the Interim Superintendent and the new PCSD Superintendent once he/she is hired.

Tracy Fike

Tracy Fike will serve as Interim Principal at Parley’s Park Elementary. She is currently the school’s Instructional Technology Coach. Caplan said the district’s Business Administrator Todd Hauber will continue to focus on budget and policy issues and Mr. Gomez will focus on academics.

Mr. Gomez has been principal at Parley’s Park since 2012. Prior to coming to Park City, he was an elementary principal in Granite and Jordan School Districts, and an assistant middle school and elementary principal in Jordan School District. He has also served as the Educational Equity associate director for Granite School District. Mr. Gomez began his career with the Utah State Office of Education as an education specialist for at-risk, Title I students. He holds a master’s degree in public school and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

“My goal is to continue the excellence that PCSD is known for, while improving upon some areas of need in order to provide for a smooth transition for the next superintendent,” said Mr. Gomez. “The one thing I will promise is that each decision I make will be based on a single premise —what is best for students. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the entire PCSD community during this transition. Let’s get to work!”

Mrs. Fike has been the Instructional Technology Coach at Parley’s since 2016 and has been an administrative intern at Parley’s Park, Ecker Hill Middle and Park City High. From 2013-16 she was a reading intervention teacher at Ecker Hill Middle. Mrs. Fike has two master’s degrees, one in instructional leadership and one in business administration, and a Bachelor of Arts.

2018-19 Administrative Appointments

Park City School District Superintendent Ember Conley today, March 27, announced two administrative appointments for the 2018-19 school year.

Traci Evans

Traci Evans, currently the principal at Ecker Hill Middle School, has been appointed Interim Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, effective Aug. 1. She replaces Dr. Kathy Einhorn, who is retiring July 31.

Sam Salinas, currently assistant principal at Ecker Hill Middle School, has been named Interim Principal at Ecker Hill Middle for the 2018-19 school year. The district will fill the open, one-year assistant principal position at Ecker Hill. The opening will be posted the week of April 16.

Ms. Evans holds Bachelor of Science Degrees in both Elementary Education, and Human Development and Family Studies. She taught second and fifth grade at Parkley’s Park and Jeremy Ranch Elementary Schools before securing her ESL and Level One Reading endorsements and Masters of Science Degree in Elementary Reading and Literacy. She went on to earn her administrative/supervisory license while serving as Assistant Principal at Jeremy Ranch Elementary. Ms. Evans became principal at Ecker Hill in 2010. Under her direction, Ecker Hill was recognized by a national “School to Watch” for the outstanding job it does of meeting the unique needs of middle school students.

Sam Salinas

Mr. Salinas was appointed at Ecker Hill in 2015. He has taught in high schools, middle schools, and universities both in Mexico and the United States throughout his more than 25  years in education. He received his undergraduate from Westminster College in Utah and attained his first Masters of Education from La Universidad Internacional de La Paz in Mexico. He received his second Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah. He has worked in school/university administration for 10 years. In 2002 he became the director La Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur Campus Loreto part of the state university system in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Safety Update | March 2018

Park City School District is continuing its goal to improve safety and security districtwide, in an effort to create a positive learning environment for all students. Here are the projects and programs the district has been working on since our last Safety Update.

Increased Law Enforcement Presence: We hope you have noticed the increased police presence around our schools. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Park City Police Department have asked their officers to increase their patrol around our schools, and when possible, to go inside the school and be visible to our students. We are appreciative of law enforcement’s extra efforts on behalf of our students and staff.

Safety Report Presented to Board: Cole Smith, a safety and security expert with the Tresit Group, presented the Board of Education with his analysis of district safety protocols on Feb. 27. Smith, a former Special Agent for the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, submitted a report that includes recommendations for the following: visitor access policy, background checks, lessons learned from drills and areas of improvement, historical threats in Utah and best practices for school safety, future training for staff, access control and perimeter, and modular classroom threat assessment.

The report states: “All eight schools in the district would be among the top schools for safety posture and preparedness in the State of Utah based on frequency of drills, school involvement in safety planning, community engagement, and social upgrades for access control.”

Smith said the current steps being taken by the district to improve safety procedures, visitor access, and perimeter security are in line with best practices.

The full report can be viewed here.

Elementary Front Offices: Based on recommendations from the Tresit Group, we have worked with architects to redesign the elementary school front offices. The revised drawings should be finalized the first week of April.

“I am disappointed that we have not been able to finish the front office vestibules with the proposed timelines,” said Superintendent Ember Conley. “We have had delays due to changes in Utah Procurement, difficulty in receiving materials, and changes in contractors. This delay has also allowed to get a second opinion of the designs from the Tresit Group which will provide schools with even more security.”

–McPolin Elementary: We are expanding the front counter and adding two additional doors to ensure secretary visibility.

–Jeremy Ranch and Parley’s Park Elementaries: Finishing floor molding, adding a door and wiring entry for speakers.

–Trailside: Adding an additional door and wiring entry for speakers.

The Board is discussing the need for additional security at the schools until the front offices are complete the end of May. The Tresit Group recommends leveraging local law enforcement. Work on secondary school offices will begin in June.

Door Lockdowns/Panic Buttons: In February, we once again tested the door lockdowns and front office panic buttons throughout the district to ensure they are all in working condition.

Visitor Management System:  Beginning next school year, all visitors to our schools will be required to enter through the main/front door of thbuilding and report to the front office to sign in and receive a visitor badge. Visitors will be asked to submit their driver’s license or other valid form of government-issued identification containing a photograph to obtain a visitor pass. Valid forms of ID include a current driver’s license or state-issued identification card from any of the 50 states, U.S. passport card, Active Military ID, or other government-issued identification containing a photograph. There may be other cases that do not fit into these areas; they will be handled case by case, at the discretion of the Principal or Superintendent.

PCSD is currently testing visitor management systems that can scan I.D.s and automatically allow visitors into the front office. A final recommendation will be made the first week of April, and purchase will begin through procurement in mid-April. The last week of April the district will begin training and communication for the new visitor system. The system will be consistent at all PCSD schools.  Once the system is purchased, we will have a soft launch later this spring.

Fencing at Elementary Schools: The district is in the process of receiving bids for fencing at each school. Construction will begin once the weather becomes warmer and the ground is dry and ready for concrete work. The Tresit Group is reviewing the location and security of proposed gates. We hope to begin installation the week of April 16.

New Legislation: The district is coordinating with the Tresit Group on the new legislation passed this session regarding hardware height and provisions for locks and bolt locks that are used in a school lockdown or lockdown drills. This change in the law will allow for use of newer classroom door lock technology that previously did not meet building and fire code standards.

Mental Health: An important component of school safety is school culture, school counseling, and mental health issues. The district has increased school counselors and social worker counselors to support families and students. We have also doubled the number of nurses in the district, enhanced community partnerships with Communities That Care and the Summit County Health Department. PCSD is also an engaged partner in the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance that works to improve awareness about mental health and substance abuse. The Board of Education is continuing to provide more resources to assist with the mental wellness of students.

Next Safety Drill: The district will continue to conduct safety drills on a monthly basis. We will no longer provide advance notice to students, staff, or parents in an effort to practice under more “real-time” scenarios. The Great Utah Shakeout  (earthquake drill) is April 19 and all schools will be participating.

See Something, Say Something: Parents and teachers, please continually remind your students if they see something that seems odd or out of the ordinary, they should report it to you or school administration. If it happens outside of school hours, immediately contact the Park City Police or Summit County Sheriff’s Office (depending on where you reside). Once we are notified of something suspicious, we immediately involve law enforcement and begin the process of investigating the tip.

SafeUT App: The SafeUT app is a statewide crisis text and tip line that provides real-time crisis intervention to youth through texting and a confidential tip program. While the main thrust of this program has been crisis counseling and suicide prevention, the app can be used to report bullying issues as well as potential school safety threats or related issues. It’s been reported that tips shared through the SafeUT app have already prevented dozens of planned acts of violence at Utah schools.

Teacher Possession of Firearms: As per state law, teachers and administrators are allowed to have concealed weapons in their possessionat school, as long as they meet the requirements outlined in state code. There is no requirement that administrators ask their teachers whether or not they are permit holders and/or whether they carry within the schools.