New Lunch Menu Piloted at Jeremy Ranch Elementary

Students attending Jeremy Ranch Elementary will get the chance to taste 24 new lunch items during the month of October. The school is piloting the district’s new menu that provides healthier options for students.

The new menu officially kicks off Monday, Oct. 1, during lunch that is served from 11 to 12:30 p.m. The menu will feature  roasted chicken thigh’s with homemade barbecue sauce, homemade potato salad, Kodiak Cakes cornbread, a salad bar featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly prepared sandwiches, and a hummus and pita plate. Student, parents, and staff are invited Monday to try the new menu items for themselves. (Student meals are $2.25 and adult meals are $3.50.)

R.J. Owen, director of Child Nutrition Services, said the menu items will feature more scratch cooking and more offerings of fruits and vegetables. “Every day we will serve 2-3 fruit and 5-6 vegetable options during lunch. The district’s goal is to make Park City School District a leader in the field of school nutrition.”

Owen also said the benefits of school lunch include: prepared hot meals, nutritionally balanced meals, and improved attendance and test scores through a healthier diet.

Adding healthier options to the menu is expensive, Owen said, but can be sustainable over time if the district increases the number of students participating in the breakfast and lunch programs. He invites students to try school lunch, especially in October when new items are being featured.

Some of the homemade items that will be piloted at Jeremy Ranch Elementary in October include: Hawaiian chicken and fresh vegetable stir fry, cheesy chicken pasta with basil, fresh roasted flatbread, sesame noodles with chicken and fresh vegetables, and shredded pork tacos.

Click here to view the October lunch menu at Jeremy Ranch Elementary.

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.

Three PCHS Miners Named National Merit Scholar Semifinalists

From left: Principal Roger Arbabi, Harrison Paas, PCHS counselors Liz Moskal and Kristen Hall, Dennis Rothwell, and Cameron Stevens

It is one of the country’s most prestigious scholarship competitions — the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Today, three Park City High seniors were announced as semi-finalists in the program: Harrison Paas, Dennis Rothwell, and Cameron Stevens.

The 2019 nationwide pool of semi-finalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, and are chosen from a field of 1.6 million students at more than 22,000 high schools.

The finalists and winners will be announced Spring 2019 and will be selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The finalists will compete for $31 million in scholarships.

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.

Sept. 10 Front Line Blue Line Focused on Dark Web, Harmful Drugs

Parents are invited Monday, Sept. 10, to spend an evening with law enforcement learning about drugs and the Dark Web. “The Front Line Blue Line — Parents and Police Working Together,” is presented by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and members of the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance.

“Educating parents on issues affecting our student is a subject that is incredibly important,” said Dr. Ben Belnap, Associate Superintendent of Student Wellness. “This is one of the most important events our parents can attend all year.”

The event, which is for parents only, begins at 6 p.m. at the Eccles Center.  Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea will welcome parents, and remarks will be give by Sheriff Justin Martinez, Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter, Lt. Greg Winterton (drugs and harmful substances), and Special Agent Clinton Kehr (the Dark Web) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The Dark Web is a subset of the dark web or deep web, is a place where illegal activity thrives and criminals function in perceived anonymity. Illegal drugs are one of the most dangerous categories of goods marketed on the Dark net, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Following the speakers, a resource fair featuring 20 community partners will be held in the Park City High gym.

Free childcare will be available for children ages 4-11.

NOTE: The community is also invited to attend an Open House from 5-6 p.m. in the lower lobby of the Eccles Center to meet the district’s new Superintendent, Dr. Jill Gildea.

KPCW Story

Park Record Article

Meet New Superintendent at Open House Sept. 10

Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea will be introduced to the community during an Open House on Monday, Sept. 10, prior to the Front Line Blue Line event. She will meet with the public from 5-6 p.m. in the lower lobby of the Eccles Center.

Dr. Gildea is known as a learner-centered and future-focused educator who keeps students at the forefront of all decisions.

Her goals for the coming year include:

–To learn and recognize the school district and individual school building culture, strengths, and areas identified for continuous growth.

–To review strategic planning, with an eye toward continued focus on best practice strategies in teaching and learning and supporting best practice operational strategies.

–To assess the state of the school district, including core approaches to teaching and learning, operations, business systems, finances and budgeting, reviewing externally funded and conducted audits, evaluations, and reviews in order to take timely action for improvement.

–To focus organizational efforts and align resources, financial and human, to ensure all students are provided a world-class education that will prepare them to be life, college, and global workforce ready.

Superintendent Gildea considers it “an honor to have the opportunity to join an innovative and progressive system like PCSD.” She previously served as Superintendent of Greenwich Public Schools in Greenwich, Connecticut, and for seven years was Superintendent of Fremont School District in Mundelein, Illinois.

During her 30 years in education, Dr. Gildea has held administrative positions of superintendent for eleven years, assistant superintendent, educational programs director, curriculum director, high school division administrator, elementary principal, and has taught at the middle and high school settings.

An award winning and published educator, Dr. Gildea has been recognized as an exemplary educational leader and for her work in communications and fiscal management. She was a 2014 Finalist for the National Association of School Superintendents’ (NASS) Superintendent of the Year Award; the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) 2013 Golden Achievement Award in Communications recipient, and has received the Illinois Association of School Business Officials’ (IASBO) Meritorious Budget Awards in Financial Budgeting for six years running (2012-2017.)

The Superintendent received her superintendent’s endorsement from National Louis University (2004), Evanston, Illinois and a master of education in language and literacy also from National Louis University (1992), a doctorate in curriculum and supervision from Northern Illinois University (2002), and a bachelor of arts in English and Secondary Education from Bradley University (1986).

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.

From the Superintendent

Superintendent  Jill Gildea

To Our Park City School District Community:

I am honored to serve our community as superintendent of Park City School District and to partner with our students, educators, families, and community to ensure we meet the district’s mission to inspire and support all students equitably to achieve their academic and social potential.

I am deeply committed to this mission and excited to learn more about how the mission is being implemented within Park City School District. To accomplish this learning, I have developed an entry/transition plan as we approach this important work together. As your new superintendent, I am committed to learning as much about our students’ experience in our schools as quickly as possible.

Park City School District has achieved incredible success across many indicators, and I want to build upon the strong legacy the school district and community have established for our students.

It is my belief the community’s vision —Park City School District is student-centered with a focus and emphasis on the whole child — our students are safe, supported, engaged, challenged, and healthy—will be present in all that we do operationally and educationally.

The entry/transition planning document and my work as superintendent will be guided by a tenet put forth by Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He says leaders must first seek to understand, then to be understood. The transition activities outlined in this plan are designed to enable me to quickly and effectively listen to and learn from a wide range of people involved directly and indirectly in public education.

I want to learn as much as possible about what is working for our students and where there are areas for growth. I also want to hear how we can better prepare and support our teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents for the critical roles they play in each student’s life.

I look forward to this opportunity to listen, learn, and partner with you. Together, we can increase educational opportunities for all our students to be successful in careers, college, and life.

Yours for excellence in public education,

Jill M. Gildea, Ed.D.

Superintendent

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.

Letter from the Board: Education is the Strength of Our Community

By Park City School District Board of Education

From left, Erin Grady, Andrew Caplan, Anne Peters, Petra Butler, and JJ Ehlers.

The mission of Park City School District is to inspire and support all students equitably to achieve their academic and social potential. As a Board of Education, we have been elected to represent the interests of our collective community — we have heard and appreciate the community’s desire to create an educational culture that is focused on the whole child. We make decisions based on keeping our students safe, supported, engaged, challenged, and healthy.

With the new school year beginning in less than two weeks, we are thrilled that all teacher positions are filled. The biggest benefit we offer new teachers is a competitive salary, the highest in the state. At the same time, we increased compensation for returning teachers, support staff, and administrators to encourage them to stay long-term.

Our strength is in our people. We are fortunate to have outstanding staff who genuinely care about students and aspire every school year to help students achieve their potential. Employee compensation and benefits comprise nearly 80 percent of our expenditures. The gap between higher expenditures and neutral revenues is growing. Because local property taxes make up more than 90 percent of our income we knew we recognized we needed to increase taxes.

The last time we raised taxes was 2014. We firmly believe that access to a quality education is a foundation to the strength of our community, and we know our community wants to invest in education.

Our FY19 budget reflects several critical needs. Besides hiring and retaining excellent personnel, safety and security is also a priority for us. We have added interventionist at each elementary school to work with struggling students. And we have hired an additional assistant principal at Ecker Hill Middle, Treasure Mountain Junior High, and Park City High.

This year, approximately $5 million in property taxes will be sent in equalization funding to the state to be distributed to revenue strapped districts such as Alpine, Davis, Nebo, and Jordan. We are the only district in Utah that collects more money than we are authorized to receive. Last year, we sent $3 million back to the state for equalization. Recent legislation now requires that we send an additional $2 million back to the state.

In an effort to provide an equitable education for all our students, the district will now cover the cost of academic student fees. That’s nearly $700,000 in fees, which parents have paid for in past years.

Some community members have expressed concern about the compensation package for our new superintendent. We are incredible fortunate to have hired an experienced, student-centered and future-focused leader. The proposed tax increase does not include her salary or housing benefits. That is already covered under our existing budget.

We realize tax increases are never easy. We have been judicious in approving this budget and have spent many months reviewing data that supports the goals of our Strategic Plan.

Our Truth-in-Taxation hearing is set for Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m. at the District Office, and is your chance to voice your opinion before the tax increase is finalized.

Thank you for your continued support of education. We are all partners in ensuring our children achieve their highest academic and social potential.

PCSD BOARD OF EDUCATION

Andrew Caplan, President

JJ Ehlers, Vice President

Petra Butler, Member

Erin Grady, Member

Anne Peters, Member