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.

PCHS Custodian Selected as Utah’s 2019 Outstanding Education Support Professional

 Park City High School custodian Candelario “Cande” Ponce was recognized as Utah’s 2019 Outstanding Education Support Professional of the Year during a surprise assembly at the high school today, Tuesday, Nov. 20. Park City School District administrators along with leaders from both the Utah School Employees Association (USEA) and the Park City Classified Employees Association (PCCEA) joined students and staff in honoring Ponce as their unsung hero.

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, Ponce will be Utah’s nominee to the National Education Association’s ESP of the Year. He will attend the national conference in March 2019 in Las Vegas. Ponce will also travel throughout the state to meet members, raise awareness of ESP issues and advocate on their behalf.

Ponce has been a custodian at Park City High since 2009. “Schools today are filled with many young people who are hurting emotionally and struggling with self-identity,” says PCHS biology teacher Ed Mulick. “To have a humble, caring role model like Cande present in our school and taking interest in others, helps create an environment of security, peace, and acceptance…his strong dedication to his job represents the essence of his character.”

A father of five, he and his wife own a successful food business open 12 hours a day, seven days a week – all while working full-time as a school custodian. “All who know Cande and his calm and humble way tend to gravitate to him,” says Maryann Gilmore, Area 4 USEA Executive Board member.

PCHS outscores state, nation on ACT

Park City High School graduates outscored their counterparts in Utah and across the country on the 2018 ACT (American College Test)

PCHS had a composite score of 23.7, compared to Utah’s composite of 20.4 and the national composite of 20.8.  Park City graduates have seen a steady increase in ACT scores the past four years

“We have amazing students and teachers,” said Principal Roger Arbabi. “The results are an indication of rigor in the classroom and college readiness.”

Scores by section include:

English: 23.6  compared to 19.4 in Utah, 20.2 nationally

Mathematics: 22.6 compared to 19.9 in Utah, 20.5 nationally

Reading: 24.3 compared to 20.0 in Utah, 21.3 nationally

Science: 23.8 compared to 20.5 in Utah, 20.7 nationally

The ACT is is designed to measure skills needed for success in first-year college coursework.  ACT Research has shown that it is the rigor of coursework – rather than simply the number of core courses – that has the greatest impact on ACT performance and college readiness.

Some 390 PCHS students took the ACT in 2018, 43,791 students took the ACT statewide, and nearly 2 million students nationwide took the ACT in 2017-18.

Police and District Ask Parents to Help Ensure Drug-Free Schools

Student safety and well being is paramount. The Park City community cares about the health and well-being of each student.

Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea is asking parents to work with the district and law enforcement to ensure safe and drug-free schools remain the norm.

Vaping devicesNationally and locally, schools are confiscating a variety of drug paraphernalia including vaping devices. Since the start of the school year, Park City School District staff have recovered drug paraphernalia in a variety of vaping devices (see photo).

“It is not appropriate for students to bring tobacco, alcohol, or drugs to the learning environment,” said Superintendent Jill Gildea. “Our students have a right to expect a safe and drug-free learning environment. Prevention education, disciplinary consequences, and appropriate interventions and supports are provided to students who are found to have brought e-cigarettes, tobacco, or any drug or look-alike substance to schools.”

One such incident occurred today when a 9th grade student was transported to the hospital after a medical incident. The student allegedly smoked THC from a vaping pen. The 9th-grade student who provided the THC was referred to police.

Park City Police remind parents to check their students’ backpacks, bedrooms, and cars for drug and vaping paraphernalia. Those parents who need additional resources related to substance abuse should contact the Summit County Health Department.

“It’s important we get this information in the hands of parents,” said Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter. “We cannot deal with the issue alone. We need to enlist the help of parents and peers.”

If anyone locates anything suspicious they should contact law enforcement immediately.


News Media Contacts:

– Melinda Colton, Park City School District Communications Director, 801-631-7770

–Capt. Phil Kirk, Park City Police Department PIO, 435-731-0082

PCSD Announces 2018-19 Enrollment

Park City School District’s official enrollment count for the 2018-19 school year is 4,780—a decrease of 37 students compared to last year (-.8 percent decrease).

The district had fewer kindergarten and first-grade students come into the system than projected, according to Business Administrator Todd Hauber. Open enrollment was closed at all schools this year, which also had an impact districtwide. He said the district has also been experiencing an enrollment bubble, which is now moving through the secondary schools.

“Most significant is that the outgoing senior class of 398 students was replaced with an incoming Kindergarten class of 266. This 139 difference offsets the growth leading to the overall decrease in enrollment,” Hauber said. “Additionally, we had anticipated a larger kindergarten enrollment, particularly at McPolin Elementary. The increase in enrollment was not realized.”

Enrollment by School 

–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)

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.