Board of Education

NEWS RELEASE

For additional information, contact:  Lorie Pearce, Executive Assistant to BOE/Supt at lpearce@pcschools.us

Park City School District is committed to student safety.

The board was informed this morning that the Summit County Attorney’s office has filed charges against the Park City School District. The district is looking into the charges and will respond in due course through legal counsel.

We take these allegations seriously and as always prioritize the safety of our students so that they can reach their academic and social potential.

We ask that the public is respectful of the district administration and allows this process to play out before assuming any negligence or bad intent.

The board fully supports the Superintendent, her administration and all our staff as they continue to provide a safe learning environment for all our students.

PCSD Board of Education

Incident of Racist Language

To Our Park City School District Community,

A safe and healthy learning environment is an essential characteristic of effective schools, and every day at Park City Schools we seek to provide a safe and respectful learning and working environment for every student and employee.

When an incident of racist language, hate speech or negative messaging occurs, this action goes against everything for which our schools stand; it is completely contrary to our core values, vision and goals as a learning organization.  It is hurtful to all. 

Call to Action 

“It seems now more than ever that schooling can and should be designed to support young people of all identities and backgrounds as they self-actualize, realize their full potential and participate in a democratic society… [and that] schools today must focus relentlessly on the social-emotional, academic, and healthy identity development of every child” (PELP Note on Racial Equity in Schools, 2020).

We work to support students and staff who have been affected by incidents, and we want to assure every student and employee that we are committed to safety and well-being.

Any incident such as racist messaging is additional evidence of the pressing need in our schools, our community and our nation to find ways to talk constructively and respectfully about diversity, religion and race. 

I am encouraged by the efforts of our staff and students to lean into challenging conversations about race by creating a task force to further research, review and generate action plans that halt intolerant speech or behavior in its tracks; share how they are personally impacted by racism; and contribute to our work to provide schools that are safe, supportive, engaged, challenged and healthy – and where every student feels a sense of belonging.

I am appreciative of the offer of assistance that many of you have extended. Your input has informed the short term actions we’ve identified so far and will continue to shape our long term work, too.  

We are committed to ensuring schools where racism is not tolerated and is not ignored. This is significant work, and we have valuable assets available to support it: student voice and active student leaders; and effective relationships between school staff and students. 

Respectfully,

Dr. Jill Gildea, Superintendent

Park City School District 

NEWS RELEASE

For additional information:  lpearce@pcschools.us, Exec Admin Asst to BOE/Supt

Utah Legislature Terminates Summit County Mask Mandate

PARK CITY, UT (January 21, 2021) —  The mask mandate in Summit County has been terminated after the Utah House voted Friday in favor of the SJR003 resolution passed earlier this week by the Senate.

Per the Summit County Health Department Director, Dr. Phil Bondurant, “The ongoing Omicron surge has impacted every aspect of our lives at home, at work, in our schools and our businesses… Our advisory message has not changed because the best practices have not changed: stay home if you are sick…and wear a mask in public indoor spaces to protect the health of others.” 

Our community’s schools adhere to the best practice guidance provided by the CDC/UDOH and will continue the layered mitigation strategies in place that include: increased sanitization of frequently touched surfaces, airscrubbers, misting overnight, increased airflow with frequent filter changes, reasserting that those who are feeling ill or symptomatic remain at home for adequate quarantine periods, localized contact tracing and exposure notices, voluntary student/staff testing at Eccles Lobby from 7:15-9:15 AM on school days, encourage frequent handwashing and physical distance as we continue to navigate and mitigate impacts of COVID19 as a community.

PCSD is committed to the health and well-being of all our students, teachers, staff and families. Thank you for your understanding and support as we traverse this ever-changing situation. As a school district we remain focused on the whole child to provide an environment that keeps our students safe, supported, engaged, challenged, and healthy. 

District Statement Mask Mandate

For additional information, contact: Lorie Pearce, Executive Assistant to BOE/Supt at lpearce@pcschools.us

November 7, 2021

Park City School District and our individual schools all work in support of our students and families in providing academic, social, emotional, and behavioral support. Parents are our children’s primary educators and the primary decision makers in the care of their children. This was emphasized by the Utah legislature when it prohibited schools and school districts from independently implementing mask mandates after the end of the 2020-21 school year. Rather, the legislature clarified that school mask mandates should be enacted at the local health department level, and subject to the approval of county officials, not school officials.

On September 23, 2021, Summit County officials approved a narrowly tailored Public Health Order (Order of Constraint) addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Summit County schools. That Order of Constraint set a 2% caseload over a 14-day period to identify the threshold trigger when masks are required in the school setting for an individual campus. (https://www.summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/17028/092321-Order-of-Constraint-2021-02-Face-Coverings-in-Middle-Schools)  

Throughout the pandemic, Park City School District has worked hand-in-hand with the Summit County Health Department to monitor case counts in our schools. As case counts at Parley’s Park Elementary School approached the 2% threshold trigger at the end of October, our PPES communication to families prepared them for, and then affirmed, implementation of a mask mandate from November 1-14, 2021.

• On Friday, October 29, 2021, the PPES principal sent a message to families alerting them that positive cases of COVID-19 had been increasing at the site and that families would be notified in the event a mask mandate would be put into effect.

• On Sunday, October 31, 2021, PPES reached the 2% threshold of positive COVID-19 cases (14), as confirmed by SCHD and verified by the Utah Department of Health definition of a positive case, thereby triggering the Order of Constraint.

• Communication was sent to all PPES families that a mask mandate would be put into place at the school from November 1 – November 14, 2021.

PCSD recognizes  the County’s Order of Constraint as  a valid, legally binding public health order and mask mandate for all PCSD employees and students at Parley’s Park Elementary School. It is the expectation of PCSD that all students and staff will comply with that mandate, subject to those exemptions set forth within the Order itself. Understanding that there may be allowable exemptions is where the terminology “parental choice” originated in my conversation with our PPES school principal and it was my error to not slow down and clearly state “understanding that there are allowable exemptions in each of our school sites.”

On November 14, 2021, the case counts for the previous 14 days will be reviewed by the SCHD/UDOH. If the school is under threshold counts, the mask mandate is concluded. In the event the school has had high case counts, the mandate may be extended another 14 days by the SCHD. 

In the event that a school site hits 30 positive cases in a 14-day period, that triggers a Test-To- Stay event in order to further contain and mitigate the spread of contagious illness. 

How Will the Mask Mandate Be Implemented at PPES?

To mitigate continued spread of COVID-19 in our schools, it is important to adhere to the County’s mask mandate. Just like we did last year when school mask mandates were in effect, Parley’s Park Elementary School will remind its students and staff to put on and wear their required face mask appropriately if they are found to not be wearing it. If additional reminders are required, or if a student is repeatedly not complying or adhering to teacher direction, there may be escalating consequences including school discipline. While violation of an Order of Constraint is a misdemeanor criminal offense, the Order itself states that it is intended to protect public health and not to hold individuals criminally liable. While PCSD does not intend to initiate criminal referrals, Summit County may inspect our schools at any time and does have the authority and discretion to cite and prosecute individuals who violate the Order. The County’s Order of Constraint may be enforced in any of the following ways in our schools:

• Inform families about the Order and its requirements.

• Model appropriate face coverings within the school setting – including extracurriculars.

• Remind students that they must wear a face covering to be in compliance with the Order.

• Ensure that face coverings are available for anyone who might have forgotten to bring one.

• Redirect a student seat assignment if they are non-compliant with the face covering mandate.

• Remind students to wear their face covering.

• Contact parent/school administration if a student is not adhering to teacher direction.

• Possible referral to in-school suspension room to facilitate continued access to in-person learning.

• Contact parent to pick up student from school (as with other disruptive behaviors we prefer NOT to remove a student from a learning environment if at all possible due to the importance of access to education).

What is not permitted in connection with the mask mandate?

• Physically placing a face covering on a student.

• Issuing a disciplinary consequence for students or staff with a mask exemption.

• Teasing, taunting, bullying, harassment, or other abusive conduct over wearing or not wearing a face covering – the Order of Constraint contains valid exemptions, which must be respected.

Obtaining the voluntary compliance of our students and employees with the Order of Constraint is the most effective manner for the school to enforce this important effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

As a school district, we will proactively hit the reset button to ensure important information is conveyed, review all COVID-19 mitigation protocols with all staff, and facilitate effective implementation of the Order of Constraint as an additional layer of mitigation in support of our students, staff, and families.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jill Gildea

Superintendent of Schools

Park City School District

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.

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.

District Wins National Public Relations Award for Newsroom

The Park City School District Newsroom has been recognized by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) with the Golden Achievement Award in the category of publications and digital media.

The Newsroom was created in 2017 by Communications Director Melinda Colton for a way to keep the community engaged in the news of the district and its schools.

“Our Newsroom is a way to continually reassure our parents and community about our high achieving schools and the great things that are happening in our classrooms every day,” said Colton. “No one can tell our story as well as we can.”

The Newsroom was recognized by NSPRA for outstanding achievement in the four steps of a public relations program: analysis of the need, planning to meet the need, executive and communication of the program, and formal evaluation.

The Newsroom contains weekly posts, district honors, emergency communications for parents, an archive of news stories, and master planning updates. To date, more than 150 posts have been published in the Newsroom. Subscribers receive an email every time a new post is written.

According to Colton, some of the benefits of the Newsroom include the following: acts as a useful archive of important events/honors, serves as a critical communications tool during emergency situations, and promotes the district mission and vision.

The Newsroom can be found directly at newsroom.pcschools.us, or through a “News” link on the homepage of the district’s website. Colton invites parents, community members, and employees to subscribe to the Newsroom.

NSPRA, founded in 1935, provides school communication training and services to school leaders throughout the United States, Canada, and the U.S. Dependent Schools worldwide.

District Announces 2019-20 Administrator Assignments

Park City School Superintendent Jill Gildea has announced the following administrator assignments for the 2019-20 school year.

District Office

Dr. Amy Hunt: Chief Academic Officer (Teaching & Learning) – Dr. Hunt has experience as a science and math teacher, high school assistant principal, middle school principal, executive director of Human Resources and Pupil Services in California districts, as well as leadership in adult education in Granite School District in Utah.

Traci Evans: Federal/State/Competitive Grants, Professional Learning, and Principal Leadership – Evans’ leadership strengths will keep the district’s Title I, Title II, Title III, and Title IV programs moving forward as well as providing innovative leadership in the area of principal mentoring, and professional learning.  Instrumental in securing and managing federal, state, and competitive grants, Evans will oversee implementation of the Digital Teaching & Learning Grant which will provide transformative professional learning experiences for staff.

Mark Wiesenberg: Executive Director, Human Capital and Culture – Wiesenberg has more than 20 years in human resource leadership. He has also worked within non-profit sector at Make-A-Wish leading over 200 volunteers.  Mr. Wiesenberg has experience in all areas of leading, training, managing, and growing exceptional human capital processes and organizational culture.

Openings for a Nutritional Programs Director and Dual immersion/English Language Coordinator are posted and appointments will be announced at a later date. A Career Technology Education (CTE) Director will also be announced once placement is finalized.

Park City High

Assistant Principals Tracy Fike  and Amie Campbell will join Roger Arbabi and Jamie Weekes in the leadership of Park City High School. Most recently, Fike served as Assistant Principal at Ecker Hill Middle School in an interim capacity. Campbell served as Principal/Director for Ogden Preparatory Academy (K-9) for the past six years. With 23 years in education, her teaching experience includes high school teaching, Science Department chair, and volleyball and basketball coach.

Treasure Mountain Junior High

Principal Caleb Fine and Assistant Principal Sam Salinas will join Assistant Principal Missy Tschabrun in the leadership of the 8/9 program throughout the master planning transition. Principal Fine has been a member of Park City School District since August 2009 and has background in financial literacy, business teaching, as well as having served as PCHS Assistant Principal/PCCAPS since August 2016. Salinas has experience in middle school education has implemented PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports), developed School Improvement Plans, and has attained re-designation of EHMS as a School to Watch – a national recognition for excellence in middle education.

Ecker Hill Middle

Principal Amy Jenkins joins Assistant Principal Claustina Reynolds in the leadership of the 6/7 program throughout the master planning transition. Principal Jenkins has served as Assistant Principal at TMJH since 2015. An Assistant Principal, to be named, will also join this leadership team at EHMS.

Parley’s Park Elementary

Daren Houck joins Parley’s Park Elementary as Principal. Principal Houck comes from Coast Episcopal School where he has served as Principal for the past two years. His mix of both private and public school background, experience in high achieving systems, and his family’s relocation to Park City support his placement into this leadership post.

District Moving Forward to Prepare Future Ready Students

“The most dangerous experiment we can conduct with our children is to keep schooling them the same at a time when every other aspect of our society is dramatically changing,” says Professor Christopher Dede of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“We cannot maintain the status quo when it comes to preparing our students for the world ahead,” says Superintendent Jill Gildea. “Our educators know the critical need of always finding better ways to teach and assess.”

Academic excellence is one of the strategic pillars of Park City School District which is to “develop the potential of every student through data-driven and best learning practices to be academically successful and prepared for life beyond graduation…”      

Park City High is currently ranked 28th in Utah and 3,381 in the national by US News & World. “This is not the best result we can achieve in this community. If our target is to be ranked in the top 1,000, we need an aligned system (including curriculum, instruction, and assessment) which requires intentional and purposeful change.”

The change had its beginning at Ecker Hill Middle School. During the 2005-06 school year, EHMS teachers attended a conference where standards-based grading was discussed. Teachers had been looking for ways to better report student learning and immediately began working on reporting systems in individual classrooms to better reflect student learning.

“Grading belongs at the classroom level, as does professional development, and school-based decisions,” says Dr. Gildea. “At the district level we help ensure that assessment and reporting practices are being reviewed and are responsive to the needs of students.”

As a school, EHMS began the work of unpacking and prioritizing standards through curriculum mapping. Many teachers began to see success as they started to implement standards-based grading. “Our educators are professionals and I’m incredibly proud of them for wanting to move forward with this way of assessing students and reporting progress along a continuum of learning,” says the Superintendent.

Standards-based assessment is not about students competing against one another, according to Dr. Gildea. “It is about the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for next generation access to life, career, and college ready outcomes.”

When schools adopt a standards-based mindset it requires a cultural shift. This is not a new system of grading. It has been around since 1983. Dr. Gildea’s previous district has been using standards-based assessment for more than 20 years.

National education consultant Kevin O’Connor says parents have a hard time making this shift. “Standards-based grades are not what parents know so it changes the conversation to an emphasis on words about strengths and weaknesses, not single symbols per subject that have little meaning.”

While some parents may have frustrations about moving to a new reporting system, Dr. Gildea continues to receive positive feedback from teachers, parents and students about this shift and how much it assists teachers in personalizing instruction and learning for all students.

The successes seen in the early stages at EHMS, prompted other schools in the district to begin looking at standards-based assessments. School administrators, instructional leaders, and teachers have had and continue to have external and internal development work. This professional development has originated in a school-based manner with the district providing external experts such as Bob Marzano Associates, Tom Guskey’s team, and Tim Brown of Solution Tree.

Teachers, principals and parents have donated their time, suggestions, learning, ideas, and input in order to fully develop an implementation timeline for all schools. This summer elementary teachers will continue their work aligning mathematics standards, while secondary teachers will continue working on refining the proficiency scales and vertical articulation of learning targets. Ongoing professional learning will also be available through the Digital Teaching and Learning Grant the district was award earlier this year.

This fall, internal and external experts will host  parent forums on college admissions as well as the shift toward a competency-based approach. In August, the district’s Back-to-School Convocation will focus on “Learning Transformed.”

Dr. Gildea anticipates the implementation in schools will continue through 2021-22 with junior high and high school retaining both letter grades and GPA. “We remain committed to defining a system that measures actual student learning, provides meaningful feedback to students and their families on their academic progress, and motivates students to achieve and persevere.”

For more information about standards-based learning and assessment visit the district’s Teaching & Learning homepage here.