Return to School 20/21

Park City School District will welcome students back to school on Thursday, August 20 for Face to Face Learning.

Remote Learning will begin on Monday, August 24.

Preschool classes will begin on Wednesday, September 4

Upcoming Events

Park City School District will be distributing Welcome Back to School Bags for all registered students on Wednesday, August 19. Locations and times are listed below.

PCHS 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

TMJH 9th grade 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm 8th grade 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

EHMS 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

JRES 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

MPES 8:00 am – 10:00 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

PPES 9:00 am – 10:00 am

TSES 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm 

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For more information contact:

Your school office

Addressing Students’ Emotional Needs During School Dismissal

By Elias McQuaid | Psychologist, Park City Learning Center

Children of all ages may have strong feelings and emotions during or after disasters or emergencies like the COVID-19 outbreak. Some children may react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty much later. Reactions will also be unique to each child depending on their exposure and their history or experiences.

Children react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with a disaster calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.

Elias McQuaid, Psychologist

The emotional impact of an emergency on a child depends on a child’s characteristics and experiences, the social and economic circumstances of the family and community, and the availability of local resources. Not all children respond in the same ways. Some might have more severe, longer-lasting reactions.

The following specific factors may affect a child’s emotional response:

– Direct involvement with the emergency

– Previous traumatic or stressful event

– Belief that the child or a loved one may die

– Loss of a family member, close friend, or pet

– Separation from caregivers

– Physical injury

– How parents and caregivers respond

– Family resources

– Relationships and communication among family members

– Repeated exposure to mass media coverage of the emergency and aftermath

– Ongoing stress due to the change in familiar routines and living conditions

– Cultural differences

– Community resilience

As a school district, we want to help our students and families as best we can during these stressful times. There are several things we can do to help our students and they include:

– Stay calm and reassure your children.

– Talk to children about what is happening in a way that they can understand.   Keep it simple and appropriate for each child’s age.

– Provide opportunities to talk about feelings and practice relaxation strategies.

– Engage in whole family stress relief activities.

– Don’t neglect regular exercise and movement. Regular exercise has many benefits—it builds strength and cardiovascular health, releases endorphins, and improves sleep, all of which lead to decreased stress and anxiety. Even short bursts of movement offer benefit, and moving as a family offers a feeling of connection, which has also been linked to reduced stress. So, join your children in a quick game of tag or a living room dance party when you’re short on time; and shoot hoops, take the dog on a long walk, or find a family-friendly bike trail when you have more time for longer stress-relieving outdoor recreation.

What Not To Do

– Expect children to be brave or tough.

– Make children discuss the event before they are ready.

– Get angry if children show strong emotions.

– Get upset if they begin bed-wetting, acting out, or thumb-sucking

Common Reactions

The common reactions to distress will fade over time for most children. Children who were directly exposed to a disaster can become upset again; behavior related to the event may return if they see or hear reminders of what happened. If children continue to be very upset or if their reactions hurt their schoolwork or relationships then parents may want to talk to a professional or have their children talk to someone who specializes in children’s emotional needs. Learn more about common reactions to distress:

For infants to 2 year olds: Infants may become more cranky. They may cry more than usual or want to be held and cuddled more.

For 3 to 6 year olds: Preschool and kindergarten children may return to behaviors they have outgrown. For example, toileting accidents, bed-wetting, or being frightened about being separated from their parents/caregivers. They may also have tantrums or a hard time sleeping.

For 7 to 10 year olds: Older children may feel sad, mad, or afraid that the event will happen again. Peers may share false information; however, parents or caregivers can correct the misinformation. Older children may focus on details of the event and want to talk about it all the time or not want to talk about it at all. They may have trouble concentrating.

For pre-teens and teenagers: Some preteens and teenagers respond to trauma by acting out. This could include reckless driving, and alcohol or drug use. Others may become afraid to leave the home. They may cut back on how much time they spend with their friends. They can feel overwhelmed by their intense emotions and feel unable to talk about them. Their emotions may lead to increased arguing and even fighting with siblings, parents/caregivers or other adults.

For special needs children: Children who need continuous use of a breathing machine or are confined to a wheelchair or bed, may have stronger reactions to a threatened or actual disaster. They might have more intense distress, worry or anger than children without special needs because they have less control over day-to-day well-being than other people. The same is true for children with other physical, emotional, or intellectual limitations. Children with special needs may need extra words of reassurance, more explanations about the event, and more comfort and other positive physical contact such as hugs from loved ones.

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Content Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/helping-children-cope.html

Additional Resources

The Emotional Impact of Disaster on Children and Families https://www.aap.org/en-us/Documents/disasters_dpac_PEDsModule9.pdf

“Coping After a Disaster” children’s book https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/readywrigley/documents/RW_Coping_After_a_Disaster_508.pdf

Home Management Strategies for Panic Disorder https://www.anxietycanada.com/articles/home-management-strategies-for-panic-disorder/

Three Ways for Children to Try Meditation at Home

Helping Children Deal with Change and Stress https://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/helping-children-deal-with-change-and-stress

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Disasters and Other Traumatic Events: What Parents, Rescue Workers, and the Community Can Do https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/helping-children-and-adolescents-cope-with-disasters-and-other-traumatic-events/index.shtml

January's Counselor Connection: Attendance and Why it Matters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'Counselor Connection' Offers Tips on Coping with Holiday Stress

The December issue of “Counselor Connection” offers important information on how to cope with stress. Most people experience stress and anxiety from time to time. Stress is any demand placed on your brain or physical body. People can report feeling stressed when multiple competing demands are placed on them. The feeling of being stressed can be triggered by an event that makes you feel frustrated or nervous. Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, or unease. It can be a reaction to stress, or it can occur in people who are unable to identify significant stressors in their life.

Learning and emotions are connected. But how? According
to Yale Professor Marc Brackett, “How we feel – bored, curious, stressed, etc. – influences whether we are present, in ‘fight or flight’ mode, or able to process and integrate information.”

The holidays in particular can be stressful. The end of a school semester or trimester, along with “extra” holiday demands can put students as well as parents on overload. Learning to manage stress is an important skill that once learned, will serve us well.

Here are some strategies that may help:

– Keep a positive attitude.

– Accept that there are events that you cannot control.

– Learn and practice relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or tai-chi.

– Exercise . Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.

– Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.

– Set limits; learn to say no to requests that lead to stress.

– Make time for hobbies, interests, and relaxation.

– Get enough rest and sleep.

– Seek out social support and spend time with friends.

Read the full December issue here: English | Spanish

District Receives Prestigious Budget Award

The Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) has recognized Park City School District for excellence in budget presentation with the prestigious Pathway to the Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) for the 2019–20 budget year. The budget is prepared annually by Business Administrator Todd Hauber.

ASBO International’s MBA and Pathway to the MBA promote and recognize best budget presentation practices in school districts. Participants submit their applications and budget documents to a panel of school financial professionals who review the materials for compliance with the MBA Criteria Checklist and other requirements and provide expert feedback that districts can use to improve their budget documents.

Districts that successfully demonstrate they have met the necessary program requirements may earn either the MBA or Pathway to the MBA, an introductory program that allows districts to ease into full MBA compliance.

“Districts that apply to the MBA or Pathway to the MBA programs recognize the importance of presenting a quality, easy-to-understand budget internally and to the community,” ASBO International Executive Director David J. Lewis explains. “Participating in the MBA and Pathway programs provides districts with important tools and resources they need to communicate the district’s goals and objectives clearly and illustrates their commitment to adhering to nationally recognized budget presentation standards.”

Founded in 1910, the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) is a nonprofit organization that, through its members and affiliates, represents approximately 30,000 school business professionals worldwide.

New Issue of ‘Counselor Connection’ focuses on technology

Park City School District promotes digital citizenship and internet safety in a variety of ways. Please contact your school’s counselors or administrators if you have questions.

According to Cyber Savvy Kids:

– The average age for a child getting their first smartphone is now 10-years-old.

– 64% of kids have access to the internet via their own devices, compared to 42% in 2012.

– 39% of kids get a social media account at 11-years-old.

– On average, children in the 4th and 5th grades have their hands on a powerful device that leaves them unsupervised and open to a whole lot of trouble. Whatever trouble they can get into, you can be sure that a phone will magnify that trouble 100x.

Phones have become a ubiquitous part of ours and our childrens’ lives, providing instant access to the internet. And while they are incredibly convenient for staying connected, there are some potential negative impacts we can’t overlook. Cell phones impact learning, relationships, and overall well being in ways that none of us could have predicted before cell phones (BCP.) And because they’ve never been without phones and internet access, digital natives are challenging our parenting and teaching in dramatic ways.

So how can we help our children develop healthy cell phone and online habits? How can we keep them safe, gain that all-important sense of belonging and prevent them from developing substance abuse or mental health problems? How can schools and parents partner so students can benefit from the innovative technological and educational opportunities an online world provides?

There are terrific resources for parents in our second issue of Counselor Connection. In addition, we want to share what counselors and social workers in our schools are doing related to each Connection topic to promote academic, social, emotional, and behavioral wellness.

Read the full newsletter here in English, or in Spanish.

District Seeking Substitute Bus Drivers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

School counselors introduce inaugural issue of ‘Counselor Connection’

Beginning this month, Park City High counselors, along with counselors throughout the school district, invite parents/guardians, educators, and community members to review the new “Counselor Connection: Parenting Tips for Today.” This month’s issue focuses on vaping.

Park City School District works with students and families to minimize/eliminate the use of e-cigarettes in or around school campuses. If devices are found, cartridges are tested to be certain there are not illegal substances such as THC in the device.

Devices, as they are not permitted on site, are confiscated. We work with students and families on both educational intervention and age appropriate consequences.

Please contact your school administrators if you have additional questions about vaping or the use of e-cigarettes on campus. 

Read the full newsletter here: English | Espanol

Information Regarding Use of Welcoming Schools Program and Threatened Litigation / Informacion sobre el uso del programa de dievenida en las esquelas y la amenaza de litigio

As some in our community know, Park City School District has recently received a demand letter from Solon Law and the Pacific Justice Institute regarding the use of the Welcoming Schools program at Trailside Elementary School. This professional learning program provides educators with information on how to address bullying situations or exclusionary behaviors with our students.

While the District’s attorneys will be substantively responding to that communication in due course, we want to inform the community regarding our perspective on the issues and attempt to correct some of the misinformation that appears to be floating around in the community.

First and foremost, the mission of Park City School District is to inspire and support ALL students EQUITABLY to achieve their academic and social potential. All Park City schools are working toward creating an inclusive environment for all families. Positive school culture is essential in welcoming all students and families to participate and feel a sense of belonging within the schools.

The District as a whole is also working to comply with applicable Utah statutes and Utah State Board of Education administrative rules regarding bullying policies and staff training. Specifically, Rule 277-613-1 requires school districts to “develop, update, and implement bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, retaliation, and abusive conduct policies at the school district and school level.” Similarly, R277-613-4 requires school districts to provide training that includes information on various types of bullying, including “bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, and retaliation based upon the students’ or employees’ actual or perceived characteristics, including race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other physical or mental attributes or conformance or failure to conform with stereotypes.”

It is our belief that the use of the Welcoming Schools program for professional development is consistent with this mandate. Trailside Elementary teachers are being trained this year in a way that prepares them to have the appropriate tools to provide a safe, optimal and equitable learning environment for their students. So far this year, teachers have received 3 hours of professional development training using the Welcoming Schools program. That training was delivered by Holly Bell, Equity and Advocacy Specialist for the Utah State Board of Education. The professional development module was entitled “Embracing Family Diversity” and the goal is to equip educators with the tools to be able to answer questions from students and families about the importance of welcoming all families in our diverse school community. Written training materials provided to our staff in connection with that module are available for review. 

We would be in grave violation of our duties as public educators and school leaders if we did not strive to prepare our teachers to teach not only the academic portion of the curriculum, but also to address and support the social and emotional growth and development of our diverse student body while at school. In choosing to send your child to Park City School District, you should expect nothing less of us. The Welcoming Schools program is only one small piece of this huge responsibility that we share with parents.

When questions started to be raised about the program, and even before the receipt of the demand letter at issue, we committed to looking at the implementation of the program to see if we could assuage the concerns that have been brought to our attention. While we do not believe that the program teaches sex education in any way that violates state law or otherwise violates the rights of members of our community, we will further examine this issue moving forward.

Even though the arguments set forth in the demand letter may be extremely emotional to many members of our community on both sides of the issue, we hope and expect that patrons and other community members will model the values we try to instill in our students: respect, honesty, and integrity in their communications. We also want to remind the community that pursuant to the same state law and District policy that requires us to implement anti-bullying policies and training, our employees may not be subjected to, and we will not tolerate, “abusive conduct”, meaning verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct that a reasonable person would determine is intended to cause intimidation, humiliation or unwarranted distress.  

Finally, we hope that our community will appreciate that the primary obligation of our teachers is to focus on their important work within the classroom. This means that community members who wish to make their opinions known regarding these issues should address their concerns not to classroom teachers or individual school counselors and administrators, but to the Superintendent and elected members of the Board of Education. Ultimately, the Board of Education, in consultation with the Superintendent, Cabinet, and legal counsel, will decide on the appropriate response to the demands that have been made. Thank you for reading and for your continued involvement in the education of our community’s most precious resource, our children.


Como algunas personas de nuestra comunidad conocen, el Distrito Escolar de Park City ha recibido recientemente una carta de demanda de las oficinas de Solon Law y del Pacific Justice Institute con respecto al uso del programa Escolar de Bienvenida en la Escuela Elemental Trailside. Este programa de aprendizaje profesional proporciona a los educadores información sobre cómo abordar situaciones de acoso escolar o comportamientos excluyentes con nuestros estudiantes.

Si bien los abogados del Distrito responderán sustancialmente a esa comunicación a su debido tiempo, queremos informar a la comunidad sobre nuestra perspectiva sobre los problemas e intentar corregir parte de la información errónea que parece estar girando en la comunidad.

Primero y lo más importante, la misión del Distrito Escolar de Park City es inspirar y apoyar a TODOS los estudiantes de manera EQUITATIVA para que alcancen su potencial académico y social. Todas las escuelas de Park City están trabajando para crear un ambiente inclusivo para todas las familias. Una cultura escolar positiva es esencial para dar la bienvenida a todos los estudiantes y familias y que estos participen y tengan un sentido de pertenencia en las escuelas.

El Distrito en su conjunto esta también trabajando para cumplir con los estatutos de Utah que son aplicables y las reglas administrativas de la Junta de Educación del Estado de Utah con respecto a las políticas de intimidación y la capacitación del personal.  Específicamente, la Regla 277-613-1 requiere que los distritos escolares “desarrollen, actualicen e implementen políticas de intimidación, hostigamiento cibernético, burlas, represalias y conductas abusivas a nivel del distrito escolar y de las escuelas.” Del mismo modo, la R277-613-4 requiere que los distritos escolares brinden capacitación que incluya información sobre varios tipos de acoso escolar, incluyendo “hostigamiento escolar, acoso cibernético, burlas y represalias basadas en las características reales o percibidas de los estudiantes o empleados, incluyendo raza, color, nacionalidad de origen, sexo, discapacidad, religión, identidad de género, orientación sexual,  atributos físicos o mentales, o conformidad o inconformidad de los estereotipos.”

Creemos que el uso del programa Escolar de Bienvenida para el desarrollo profesional es consistente con este mandato. Los maestros de la Escuela Primaria Trailside están siendo entrenados este año de una manera que los prepara para tener las herramientas apropiadas para proporcionar un ambiente de aprendizaje seguro, óptimo y equitativo para sus estudiantes. En lo que va del año, los maestros han recibido 1.5 horas de capacitación en desarrollo profesional utilizando el programa Escolar de Bienvenida. Esa capacitación fue impartida por Holly Bell, especialista en equidad y defensa de la Junta de Educación del Estado de Utah. El módulo de desarrollo profesional se tituló “Abrazando la diversidad familiar” y el objetivo es equipar a los educadores con las herramientas para que puedan responder preguntas de los estudiantes y las familias sobre la importancia de dar la bienvenida a todas las familias en nuestra diversa comunidad escolar. Los materiales de capacitación escritos, proporcionados a nuestro personal en relación con ese modulo, están disponibles para su revisión.  

Estaríamos en grave violación de nuestros deberes como educadores públicos y líderes escolares si no nos esforzaríamos por preparar a nuestros maestros para enseñar no solo la parte académica del plan de estudios, sino también para abordar y apoyar el crecimiento y desarrollo social y emocional de nuestro diverso alumnado en las escuelas. Al elegir enviar a su hijo (a) al Distrito Escolar de Park City, es lo menos que debe esperar de nosotros. El programa de Bienvenida de Escuelas es solo una pequeña parte de esta enorme responsabilidad que compartimos con los padres.

A pesar de que los argumentos establecidos en la carta de demanda pueden ser extremadamente emotivos para muchos miembros de nuestra comunidad en ambos lados del problema, esperamos que los involucrados y otros miembros de la comunidad modelen los valores que intentamos inculcar en nuestros estudiantes: respeto, honestidad e integridad en sus comunicaciones. También queremos recordarle a la comunidad que, de conformidad con la misma ley estatal y la política del Distrito que nos obliga a implementar políticas y capacitación contra el acoso escolar, nuestros empleados no pueden ser sometidos, y no toleraremos, “conducta abusiva”, es decir, verbal, no verbal, o física hacia ellos, que una persona razonable determinaría que tiene la intención de causar intimidación, humillación o angustia injustificada.   Finalmente, esperamos que nuestra comunidad aprecie que la obligación principal de nuestros maestros es enfocarse en su importante trabajo dentro de las aulas. Esto significa que los miembros de la comunidad que deseen dar a conocer sus opiniones con respecto a estos temas deben dirigir sus inquietudes no a los maestros de la clase, o a consejeros o administradores individualmente, sino a la Superintendente y a los miembros elegidos de la Junta de Educación. Finalmente, la Junta de Educación, en consulta con la Superintendente, el Gabinete y el asesor legal, decidirá la respuesta adecuada a las demandas que se han formulado. Gracias por leer esta carta y por su continua participación en la educación del recurso más apreciado de nuestra comunidad, nuestros niños.