11 Students Win at Regional Science & Engineering Fair

Congratulations to our students who placed in the top four spots at the recent University of Utah Science and Engineering Fair. Open to students in grades 5-12, the fair’s purpose is to ignite a love for STEM. Following individual school and the district science and engineering fairs, students advanced to the regional competition at the U of U.

Projects were evaluated by volunteer judges with professional expertise in the subject matter.

Park City High student Jaspar Ruegemer was awarded the NASA Earth System Science Award  for his project, “Earth Needs To Chill! How About Some Cool  Sunshades?”

Winners rom Park City School District include:

–Max Ward-Nanney, Ecker Hill Middle: first place, electrical and computer science, “Aim, Click, Connect.”

–Tyler DeMarco and Joshua Cressman, Trailside Elementary: first place,  materials and biomedical, “Pencil Pal.”

–Sebastian Wrona, Trailside Elementary: third place, mechanical engineering, “Water Walking/Running Shoes.”

–Sean Merrill and Liam Foehl, Jeremy Ranch Elementary: third place, civil and environmental engineering, “Help. We Need Water.”

–Dylan Rifkin, Trailside Elementary: fourth place, civil and environmental engineering, “H2Woah.”

– Kian Mathew, McPolin Elementary: fourth place, chemical and physical, “Wi-Fi Cubed.”

-Greta Bretts, Parley’s Park Elementary: fourth place, biochemistry, “Who Can See What Isn’t There?”

–Elena Ruegemer, Ecker Hill Middle: third place, material and biomedical, “Thermal Mass to the Rescue! How Does Material Density Impact Solar Thermal Storage Capacity in Buildings to Minimize Diurnal Swing.”

Miners Take Top Spots at Design/Build Engineering Contest

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year Park City High students took top honors at Weber State University’s Design/Build Engineering Technology Competition. The competition challenges students to strengthen leadership and integrated STEM skills.

Keifer Maples, Hunter Mullen, Carl Prior, Ethan Routledge, Kenneth G Russel, and Parker Olson placed first in Architectural Design. PCHS architectural design teams made a tremendous effort this year and groups spent many hours after school in the class lab and in meetings with local architects and builders to prepare for this event.  Students had to convert two 40-foot shipping containers into a tiny house and showcase the entire design build process. The team developed a complete set of architectural plans and constructed a physical and computer-generated model to accurately depict their design.

Hunter Way, Graydon Russell, and Will Watkins placed second in Engineering Design. This year’s theme was to “engineer the tools for scientific discovery.” The team designed a portable testing chamber where objects could be placed inside the core so various environmental factors could be applied to the part in a controlled setting for data collection and non-destructive testing.

Russell also placed second in Music Production. The challenge was to create a piece of music for the Technology Student Association national conference event ceremony. He composed a complete musical masterpiece using a keyboard, online composition tools, and garage band software.  His piece, “The Eagle,” told the story of the Apollo 11 launch and journey, using the original launch countdown sequence from 1969 to open the composition.

Will Watkins placed third in the Future Technology Teacher competition.  He presented a home-aid lesson on 3D printing accompanied with handouts, manipulatives, guided notes, and other study tools. He was well prepared to teach and answer questions from his panel of judges pertaining to his lesson. Watkins has been a huge asset to the PCHS engineering program,

Mercedes Howard placed third in Photographic Technology. This year’s theme was, “The Battle Between Nature and Technology—Who Wins?” Howard created a portfolio of images and a resume to be entered into the semifinalist round. This was PCHS’s first year competing in this event where students demonstrate understanding and expertise in using photographic imaging technology processes to covey a message based on the theme.

“We are so proud of all our CTE students who competed.  This was a great experience and we are excited for future competitions,” said teacher Jordan Ulrich.

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.

 

New Park City High School Principal Appointed

Park City School District Superintendent Ember Conley announced today, March 21, that Roger Arbabi, currently the high school principal at The Columbus School in Medellin, Colombia, has been appointed principal at Park City High School.

Mr. Arbabi brings 25 years of education experience to Park City High, having served as an assistant middle school principal at The Columbus School, and Granbury Independent School District in Texas. He is also a former high school AP physics and science teacher.

“Our family chose to come to Park City almost one year ago, not only for the quality of life, but also for the high quality of its schools,” he said. “I’m honored to be chosen to be a part of Miner community and to continue the amazing work that is already happening at the high school.”

Mr. Arbabi, who is fluent in English, Spanish, and Farsi, holds a Master of Education in Educational Leadership, and a Bachelor of Science/Biology. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador where he trained extensionists to go into the field and teach sound agroforestry techniques to local farmers. He also assisted single mothers to start small businesses to support their families, and developed and executed a seminar for two local high schools on the awareness of global and local environmental issues and the planting of more 1,000 trees in erosion areas.

He and his wife, Kathryn, will reside in Park City with their two children. His wife is an OB/GYN and will be volunteering at the People’s Health Clinic. Mr. Arbabi begins Aug. 1.

“Roger is a welcome addition to Park City High School, to the district, and to our administrative team,” said Tim McConnell, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources. “His background is unique and extraordinary. This is an excellent decision and we are so excited for him to arrive in Park City.”

Board Meeting Summary

March 20, 2018 | Regular Session

Superintendent’s Report

–Dr. Ember Conley highlighted the March 14 walk-out and said more than 1,000 students peacefully participated.

–The Superintendent provided an update on safety measures and projects underway in the district. A “Safety Update” will be sent to parents and staff in the coming weeks.

Communications Report

–Communications Director Melinda Colton encouraged the board to attend the upcoming “The Front Line and The Blue Line Working Together” event planned by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. The event is planned for May 14 at 6 p.m. at Ecker Hill Middle School.

–She noted the district’s Facebook page views increased by more than 70 percent last month and reach 10,137 people.

–For the first time ever, PCSD is hosting the Utah School Public Relations Association on March 23. Superintendent Conley will speak to the association members on the topic of opioids.

FY19 Budget Discussion Continued

–The board approved $3.5 million for capital projects for FY19.

–The board reviewed the student fee schedule and want the Administration to provide a financial breakdown of classroom fees versus extracurricular fees.

–A detailed discussion took place about adding Tier 3 interventionist at each elementary school. Associate Superintendent for Learning and Teaching Kathy Einhorn said adding the interventionists is critical to MTSS. President Caplan said he wanted to see explicit districtwide procedures to identify students who need interventions.

–Dr. Conley is recommending an additional crisis counselor. Associate Superintendent for Student Wellness Ben Belnap told the board that counselors are working closely with mental health professionals to provide more services for students. With more emphasis on career and college ready at the junior high level, there are a lot of crisis situations that consume the counselors’ time.  He said having an additional mental health provider would be invaluable.

–The district is experiencing a lack of substitute teachers. President Caplan asked the Administration to look at the option of hiring full-time permanent subs versus just increasing the daily rate.

Changes to District Policies

The Board approved making technical adjustments to district policies to reflect current state statute references.

School Start Times

The board rescinded a motion from June 6, 2017, to implement new start times for 2018-19 school year. The board approved appointing a Start Times Board Advisory Committee. The committee will be comprised of stakeholders who will develop details on how to change district start times. The committee’s report will be presented to the Board by the end of 2018. Board member Anne Peters emphasized that start times will play a major role in master planning. Board President Andrew Caplan said new start times need to implemented in a way that is not disruptive to the entire district.

Policies for Posting

The board approved posting the following revised policies:

–Policy 2020: Authorization of Student Clubs

–Policy 9045: District Academic and Athletic Travel

–Policy 9110: Acceptable Use

–Policy 10100: Safe Schools

Policies Adopted

The board approved revisions to the following policies:

–Policy 2010: Eligibility and Qualifications of a Board Member

–Policy 7005: Employee Ethics

–Policy 7050: Administrative Sabbatical Leave

–Policy 10010: Student Enrollment

Policy Retired

The board approved retiring Policy 7000: Employee Involvement with Non-School Travel.

Board Meetings Now Live Streamed

The Park City School District Board of Education is pleased to announce it now live streams its board meetings.  Making the meetings available to everyone aligns directly with the Board’s strategic plan to “communicate with all stakeholders in an open, timely, and consistent manner.”

The board’s next regular meeting is Tuesday, March 20, at 4 p.m. Those unable to attend the meetings in person can watch them via the live stream here. A summary of the meetings can be found here.

The board meets twice a month — a work session held the first Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m., and a regular session held the third Tuesday of each month at 4 p.m. All meetings are held at the District Office.

A schedule of meetings is available here.

Board meeting agendas are available 24 hours in advance of the meeting on BoardDocs here.

Board Issues Statement on 2018-19 School Start Times

The Board of Education is expected to not implement new school start times for the 2018-19 school year. In June 2017, the Board passed a motion directing the Administration to implement early start times for the coming school year.

After consultation with city and county transportation officials, it has been determined there are no viable solutions for the 2018-19 school year. City and county leaders are still reviewing SR-248 and working on solutions that will improve traffic conditions along the corridor in the future.

It is anticipated the Board and District Administration will continue discussing school start times during master planning later this fall.

Board Meeting Summary

March 6, 2018 — Work Session

Student Opinions on Late Start Times

Katie Miller, the student representatives on the Board of Education, reported some high school students oppose the later start times because of the impact to academics and athletics. She encouraged the board to hold a meeting with high school students so they can offer their input before the final decision.

Budget Discussions

–Fees: The board reviewed fee increases recommended for the next school year. Business Administrator Todd Hauber reminded the board that all fees are subject to waiver. Hauber said the Legislative Auditor and the Utah State Board of Education are both doing audits of students fees and it will be interesting to see their conclusions.

–Capital Budget: Hauber recommended $3.5 million for capital programs for FY19.

–School Start Times: The board will make a decision on school start times at its March 20 regular board meeting. The board will decide whether to adopt new school start times this fall, pilot the early start times at one school, or wait until master planning is complete.

UHSAA Sanctions Lacrosse 

Park City High School Athletic Director Jamie Sheetz provided the board with information about the Utah High School Activities Association adding lacrosse as a sport during the 2019-20 school year. He anticipates lacrosse being a Spring sport with a game and practice schedule similar to baseball. Later this spring Sheetz will provide the board with more details about the possibility of implementing lacrosse at PCHS (costs, how much school time would be missed, etc.).

Communities That Care

Mary Christa Smith, Communities That Care Coordinator, provided the board with an overview of CTC. It is working to improve awareness of mental health and substance abuse issues and increasing access to effective treatment and prevention services within the county. It works in cooperation with the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance stakeholders:  Summit County, Park City, Park City Community Foundation, and Park City, South Summit, and North Summit School Districts.

A recent survey of students through the county indicated the following:

–Nearly 50% of students surveyed do not perceive using drugs or alcohol as risky

–40% of students report using alcohol

–30% of students report trying marijuana

–15% of students considered suicide last year

–70% of students who have tried alcohol, report drinking at home with their parents permission

The priority risk factors were unanimously selected by the CTC committee based upon the work of the data assessment workgroup:

–Mental Health (targeting depressive symptoms)

–Perceived risk of substance abuse (low perceived risk)

–Parental attitudes (favorable to substance use and antisocial behavior)

CTC is conducting a resource analysis of what youth services are available and what programs need to be added to address the three risk factors.  She thanked PCSD for helping move the process forward and being committed to these county-wide issues. She noted a Youth Advisory Council comprised of students from all three school districts has been formed. When the students reviewed the risk factors they said that parental attitudes are the biggest area of concern. Smith said there needs to be more resources available to parents, more engagement with parents, and a change in community culture.

Board Training

Joan Andrews, legal counsel for the district from the firm of Fabian VanCott, provided training for the board on open/closed meetings, and the Government Records Access and Management Act and the public’s right to access records from a government entity.

District Statement Concerning Student Walkouts

The recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, and other losses of life on school campuses across the nation over the past several years have driven increased interest in student-led civic engagement efforts and actions, including school walkouts.

Park City School District supports students’ constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and free expression; however, the role of our educators is to remain neutral, including when a walkout is held during contract time and on school property. 

Our goal in responding to student-initiated plans and other forms of peaceful assembly is to keep the focus on teaching and learning, while promoting student safety on campus.

If students do not return to class following any walkout, standard attendance rules for unexcused absences, truancies and tardies will apply. Classes will continue for students who choose not to participate in walkouts. Park City School District supports students’ rights to have varying opinions, and asks that there be respect for those opinions.

The first nationwide walkout is planned for Wednesday, March 14, and we anticipate some of our students will participate. Students will be supervised and law enforcement will be present.

Additional events are planned for March 24 (March for Our Lives), and April 20 (National School Walkout in remembrance of the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting).

Park City School District remains committed to a safe, neutral, learning environment for all students.