NSBA 2022 Magna Awards

Park City School District Earns Top Honor in 2022 Magna Awards Program for Equity Work

Park City, Utah, (Apr. 19, 2022): We are happy to announce that Park City School District is a National School Boards Association (NSBA) 2022 Magna Award winner. PCSD was recognized for its commitment to equity as a Silver Award winner in the 28th annual Magna Awards program. PCSD is one of 18 winners–three Grand Prize and 12 Silver Award winners–across the nation receiving this honor.

Sponsored by NSBA’s flagship magazine, American School Board Journal, the Magna Awards honor districts across the country for their programs that break down barriers to achievement for underserved students. PCSD was selected as a winner by an independent panel of judges.

Bright Futures & Big Dreams provides consistent, reliable, and sustainable support for traditionally underserved and first-generation language-learner students to receive in-the-moment preparation in academic content vocabulary to open the doors for dual enrollment and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

“The 2022 Magna Award-winning districts represent the enormous efforts of school leaders during the pandemic to continue to remove barriers for their underserved and vulnerable children,” said NSBA Executive Director and CEO Dr. John Heim.

PCSD is highlighted in the April issue of ASBJ. Read about PCSD award-winning program and the other winners at www.nsba.org/ASBJ.


Premios NSBA 2022 Magna 

El distrito escolar de Park City obtiene el máximo honor en el programa de premios Magna 2022 para el trabajo de equidad

Park City, Utah, (19 de abril de 2022): Nos complace anunciar que el distrito escolar de Park City es una Asociación Nacional de Juntas Escolares (NSBA)  Ganador del Premio Magna 2022. PCSD fue reconocido por su compromiso con la equidad como ganador del Premio de Plata en el 28ºprograma anual de los Premios Magna. PCSD es uno de los 18 ganadores, tres ganadores del Gran Premio y 12 del Premio de Plata, en todo el país que reciben este honor.

Patrocinado por la revista insignia de la NSBA, American School Board Journal, los premios Magna honran a los distritos de todo el país por sus programas que derriban las barreras para el rendimiento de los estudiantes desatendidos. PCSD fue seleccionado como ganador por un panel independiente de jueces.

Bright Futures & Big Dreams brinda apoyo constante, confiable y sostenible para estudiantes de idiomas tradicionalmente desatendidos y de primera generación para recibir preparación en el momento en el vocabulario de contenido académico para abrir las puertas a la inscripción dual y cursos de Colocación Avanzada (AP) .

“Los distritos ganadores del Premio Magna 2022 representan los enormes esfuerzos de los líderes escolares durante la pandemia para continuar eliminando las barreras para sus niños desatendidos y vulnerables”, dijo el director ejecutivo y director ejecutivo de la NSBA, el Dr. John Heim.

PCSD se destaca en la edición de abril de ASBJ. Lea sobre el programa ganador del premio PCSD y los otros ganadores en www.nsba.org/ASBJ.

Board of Education

NEWS RELEASE 

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

Board of Education Actions & Accomplishments – March 29, 2022 

by Erin Grady, BOE President 

The PCSD Board of Education met in a Special Session on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 at 2:00 P.M.  At the meeting, the Board of Education led a review of the financing plans for Ecker Hill Middle School, Parley’s Park Elementary School, and the Trailside Elementary School expansion/renovations which were not included in the November 2021 General Obligation Bond election. 

Throughout the Bond election, all six schools and projects were contemplated and described for the community. Three of the projects were selected to be funded through a General Obligation Bond, and three of the projects were referred to alternative financial options from private bank funding to capital campaign funds and donations or to secure funding through an alternative lease revenue bond. 

Currently, all projects are on time and on budget as we work through the planning phases with the Ecker Hill Middle School project beginning this summer and with Parley’s Park and Trailside beginning work next summer. We are also pleased that our Collective Commitments for Clean Energy are also running according to plan. 

In order to fund the three projects not included in the GO Bond, the Board of Education authorized its Local Building Authority to access an alternative revenue option in the form of a lease/revenue bond through a financial resolution at today’s session.  This financing product does not lead to a tax increase and is, instead, paid back from existing capital revenues.  For example, it is likely that the entirety of the Trailside expansion will be paid for with capital reserves. 

The alternate funding option through the lease revenue bond and its flexibility provides an opportunity to pay down debt earlier or to offset costs as we continue with local capital funding donations or campaigns. 

Both Bond Counsel and the District’s Financial Advisor were on hand to ensure full understanding of this finance option and encouraged the Board of Education to move forward with securing this option while interest rates remain favorable. Bond Counsel also described a similar approach in other districts across Utah. 

The next regular meeting of the Park City School District Board of Education will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 2700 Kearns Blvd.  The meeting is also live-streamed. 

The Building Authority will host a public hearing opportunity on Monday, April 25, 2022 at 6:00 P.M. The public hearing will also be live-streamed. 

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

FEMA, Utah DEM Release Inventory of Unreinforced Masonry Public School Buildings

February 10, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, FEMA and the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management (Utah DEM) released an inventory of unreinforced masonry (URM) school buildings in the state. The inventory has been in development over the past decade to support state efforts to identify URM buildings of all types, which are at greater risk of damage in an earthquake compared to buildings constructed under modern building codes.

While this inventory represents a snapshot in time, it sets the stage for the next decade of important work among federal, state and local government and the communities they serve. This report embodies Utah’s vision for a better, stronger future. That future will happen through an orderly and thoughtful process of replacing or retrofitting URM schools and increasing seismic awareness.

The inventory was completed thanks to the collaboration of all 41 public school districts around the state. Through their coordination, we developed a more accurate and comprehensive inventory. Through their efforts, along with public cooperation, and support from the private sector, the inventory has been gradually reduced and will continue to be reduced over time.

Safer Schools Today

Sixty years ago, about 95 percent of schools were URMs. Today, that number is around 12 percent. This represents dramatic improvements to school safety. It also represents important investments by communities that have voted for bonds to rebuild or retrofit schools to mitigate earthquake damage. Utah should be proud of the progress already made. 

Even as recently as Wednesday, we learned that the Alpine School District has completed demolition of the Geneva School. The Provo School District announced that Dixon Middle School is scheduled to be replaced in 2024.

Across Utah, the URM project, conducted over the past decade, identified 119 school campuses statewide with URM construction. Just because a school is on the list, does not mean it is at an imminent risk of collapse. Validating and finalizing the statewide inventory of URM school buildings was the first recommendation and objective in the Wasatch Front Unreinforced Masonry Risk Reduction Strategy, released by FEMA in March 2021.

The inventory will be available for download starting at 11 a.m. on February 10, 2022, at https://earthquakes.utah.gov

What project leaders and partners are saying

“The unreinforced masonry school building inventory has been an ongoing project for several years. Through FEMA’s financial support we have been able to work closely with school districts to complete the inventory and finalize the report,” said Kris Hamlet, director of the Utah Division of Emergency Management. “We believe this transparency will help unite communities and identify resources to eventually fix or replace the remaining buildings and ultimately keep our students safer.”

“It is extremely satisfying to see this report published. It has been a long time coming and represents an important step forward in making Utah more resilient to damage from earthquakes,” said Keith Koper, director of the University of Utah Seismograph Stations Director and chair of Utah Seismic Safety Commission. “The collaboration and unity displayed by state agencies, federal agencies, local school districts, and the private sector in producing this report is admirable.”

“Utah has always built a culture of vision, improvement, preparedness, and resilience. This report is the result of an enormous effort from many people who care about earthquake preparedness,” said John Crofts, Utah Division of Emergency Management Earthquake Program Manager. “It is the first step towards increasing earthquake safety in our schools. We hope that this report will support the continued efforts to preserve life, property, and the environment, and to help Utah become an even stronger, more resilient state.” 

What is Unreinforced Masonry?

Unreinforced masonry — construction using brick or block without reinforcing steel or rebar — was common throughout Utah until seismic building codes became more prevalent in the 1970s. Such structures can more easily succumb to the movement and shaking during an earthquake, posing a threat to building occupants as well as individuals outside in close proximity to the structures. There are an estimated 140,000 such structures across the state, which encompass a wide variety of buildings, from individual homes, to businesses, to schools and houses of worship. Modern codes now require masonry construction to include reinforcing steel.

FEMA and the state of Utah recognize the importance of mitigation in reducing exposure to future losses from disasters. The National Mitigation Investment Strategy — published in August 2019 — was developed to help the nation be more intentional about setting resilience and mitigation investment priorities to benefit the whole community. The Wasatch Front Unreinforced Masonry Risk Reduction Strategy was selected as a pilot project for this national effort in recognition of Utah’s acknowledgement of a serious seismic risk and dedication to finding solutions. Both the URM school inventory and the Wasatch Front Unreinforced Masonry Risk Reduction Strategy are available publicly at https://earthquakes.utah.gov.

NEWSROOM INFORMATION

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

Board of Education UPDATE – September 23, 2021

by Erin Grady, BOE President 

At the September 21, 2021, Board of Education regular business meeting, we met in person at 2700 Kearns Blvd at the Park City School District Offices.  At this meeting, we recognized Andrew Hunt and Elizabeth LaBrin for their remarkable academic achievements and performance on the PSAT or AP tests, our 3 National Merit Semi-Finalists – Katherine Beal, Jude Trajan, and Ian Morris, and recognized that three of our school nurses – Kristen Brotherson, Sandy Jodey, and Anne Alexander, who have received National Board Certification. Each month, the Accolades PowerPoint includes staff and student celebrations which our community can celebrate. 

We are appreciative of our district partnership with the Park City Education Association, Park City Educational Support Professionals and Employee Interest Groups.  At this meeting, Mr. Jobe shared updates and information on the start of the school year covid mitigations as well as our work on how to best address adult staff absences related to COVID. 

Mr. Mike Tanner and Dr. Amy Hunt provided updates and information on both the Operations and Academic areas of the Park City School District.  Mr. Tanner discussed some additional security measures as well as updates from food services, transportation, Human Resources, master planning, and security. Dr. Hunt recognized our exceptional preschool educational team for their service to our youngest learners and described the new Friday enrichment program. 

The Board heard a Master Facilities Plan Update from Mr. Scott Later from MHTN and Mr. Todd Hauber on the MFP, as we are finalizing contracts with design-build teams of architects and construction managers who will work efficiently and effectively to bring this phase of the master facilities and education plan to fruition. 

The Board of Education held its first of two public hearings on the implementation of the Master Facility Plan. While we did not have patrons register to speak either for or against the Bond Proposition Tuesday evening, we did have patrons arrive after the Board of Education closed its public hearing at 6:10 P.M.  Knowing the importance of public input into this important community decision, Mr. Hauber repeated the presentation on the Bond Proposition.  The two patrons who were present elected to join two BOE members in a roundtable discussion as they indicated they did not have public comment, but instead had clarification questions about the Bond Proposition related to financing.  

In addition, the BOE has announced a scheduled informal Community Forum on Thursday, October 7 at 6:00 – 6:45 P.M. at the Ecker Hill Middle School Auditorium Commons.  At this additional informational meeting, 2 BOE members and district administrators will be present to share information on the Bond Proposition and then hear from the public any questions, feedback or insights related to the Master Facility Plan projects as proposed. The sessions will be audio-recorded to the Board of Education webpage. 

The BOE will hold its Public Hearing #2 as scheduled on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 6:00 P.M. The Public Hearing will be held at 2700 Kearns Blvd in the BOE Meeting Room on the Main Floor of the Park City School District building. 

The Bond election and community decision authorizes financing of the addition of high school classroom spaces to support a 9th-12th grade comprehensive high school experience, and updates to two of the elementary schools in order to support early learning through a General Obligation Bond.  The Ecker Hill Middle School addition and the two other elementary projects would be funded through capital reserves, existing capital levy, capital campaign donations and alternative financing options. The goal of the Bond Proposition and financing option is to ensure the best financing rates for our community in the implementation of the master plan. 

Please be advised that an updated Public Health Order will begin effective on Monday, September 27, 2021 that continues to monitor school case thresholds of COVID.  Should a school site hit 2% positive cases, then a 14-day mask mandate will follow. Currently, none of the Park City schools have hit a 2% threshold. The Summit County Health Department has shared a press release on this topic should you need additional information.  https://summitcountyhealth.org/public-announcements/public-health-order-junior-high-and-middle-schools/

We enjoyed a great Homecoming week and Homecoming football game on Friday night and a well attended dance at the Film Studios on Saturday night. #GoMiners

NEWS RELEASE 

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

June 15, 2021 

Board of Education Update – June 15, 2021

by Erin Grady, BOE President 

At the June 15, 2021 school board meeting, we met in person at 2700 Kearns Blvd in the Board Room.  At this meeting, we reviewed and adopted the 21/22 School Year Budget.  Highlights of this budget include: 0 tax increase while meeting the educational and operational needs of a highly successful school district.  Dr. Gildea and her team were able to apply current resources to meet the needs of the school district in a way that maintains the budget with under 2% growth.  

The budget will be submitted to the International Association of School Business Officials for an external review.  For the past two years, the PCSD Board of Education has earned the Meritorious Budget Award designation, and we are proud of our community’s commitment to supporting our excellent schools and the work of the budget development and audit teams.

In addition to a successful budget year, the school board also learned about next steps in the master facility plan process.  At this time, the school board will consider a variety of financing options to realize the key goals of grade realignment for secondary grades (EHMS and PCHS), improved learning space, and expanding the preschool program on site. As we consider the investment in our infrastructure, we are also keeping an eye toward green/clean energy and sustainability as well as focus on needed or necessary updates.  The last time PCSD had a large renovation project was 2008, so it is clear that it is time for our community to come together to support necessary improvements to the learning environment at each of our community’s schools.

The entire Board of Education wishes to recognize and acknowledge the incredible efforts of the entire educational, operational, administrative and support staff for keeping students central to each decision this year. Your incredible dedication and efforts are to be commended. 

At this meeting we updated a series of policies that were originally published in April including: Harassment & AntiDiscrimination, Code of Conduct, School Community Councils, Volunteers in Schools, Conduct on School Premises, and Visitor Access. Most have minor or non-substantive changes, but policies are typically reviewed every 5 years.  We also passed an Unmanned Aircraft policy which permits our trained educators to teach aerial photography with the use of a small drone device at the secondary levels. 

During the June meeting, we bid a fond farewell through a Retirement Recognition Resolution.  Our 19 retirees contributed 407 years to public education and are celebrated for their accomplishments.  

The Board of Education also wishes to recognize our 400 talented PCHS graduates and the Girls LaCrosse Team in their State Championship Win. 

#GoMiners! 

News Release-End of Year

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

End Of Year

 With 26 days remaining in the 2020/2021 school year, we are looking forward to ending the year healthy and strong. Thursday, June 3, 2021, the final day of school, will follow a Friday release schedule with bus transportation available.  Lunch will also be available for students. Thursday, June 3, at 5:00 P.M. seniors will graduate from Park City High School at the North Forty, and families will be invited to attend that special recognition ceremony of the Class of 2021. Masks will be required as this is a gathering of greater than 50.

While the statewide mask mandate expired on April 10, 2021, according to HB294, masks are still required for large gatherings of 50 or more guests, and masks are still required in K-12 schools.  The Legislature kept the mask requirement in place for the following reasons:

  1. No vaccine is currently authorized for anyone younger than 16.
  2. Not every adult in the school setting has been vaccinated.
  3. Children can get sick from COVID.
  4. Children can get COVID, not feel sick and transmit the illness to people who are not vaccinated yet.

We’re not out of the pandemic yet. And, we know that masks work to prevent the spread of COVID based on our successfully maintaining in person learning for the 20/21 school year. According to Dr. Andy Pavia, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah Health, “We all want what is the best for our kids. And what is best for our kids ultimately is to have a safe and healthy end of the school year. We’re in the final stretch…and that means keeping doing things that work, and that includes, first and foremost, masking. There are very, very, very few conditions that medically make it inappropriate or dangerous for a child to wear a mask…in most cases the danger of not wearing one outweighs those issues.”

“Masks are a very safe and easy measure that has proven very effective at allowing kids to go to school in person, which is what we all care about.”

Thank you for your support as we work towards a successful conclusion of the 2020/2021 school year.

Board of Education-April 2021

NEWS RELEASE 

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

April 20, 2021

Board of Education Update – April 2021 

by Erin Grady, BOE President 

It’s been a busy month.  In April, we saw incredible actions and accolades from our students and our staff across academics, arts, athletics, and more. Our student participants in the Sterling Scholar statewide competition earned recognition for their efforts as did our dramatists at the state level. Congratulations to each of our students who pursue their interests and passion at such an extraordinary level. 

At the regular monthly business meeting, the Park City School District Board of Education heard updates and reports from:

PCEA Leadership – Julie Hooker submitted a written statement highlighting communication and collaboration. PCEA mentioned that with 31 days of school, we have AP testing, elementary state testing, and traditions such as 5th grade clap out and high school graduation to look forward to in the coming months. PCEA shared, “We appreciate the commitment to student, teacher and staff safety with the enforcement of Governor Cox’s mask mandate until the end of the school year.” 

Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Amy Hunt – shared information on the 21/22 LandTrust applications and reviewed some examples of the stretch goals our schools have adopted.  BOE Member Peters complimented the streamlined layout of the Landtrust plans. 

Chief Operations Officer, Mike Tanner, spoke about covid trends, safety/security, briefed the school board on two recent events related to mask wearing and vaccinations for COVID. Mr. Tanner also discussed the overall capital budget which addresses our facilities at approximately $4.75M for the year.  Mr. Tanner indicated a review of the requests from our baseball families will want to be considered as part of a long range athletics facilities plan.  Whether the community and BOE elect to review previous plans for indoor facilities or consider a phased approach to field improvements, all will take time, collaboration and dollars. 

Superintendent Gildea thanked our incredible staff for their exemplary work this year and noted, “As we are maneuvering through an unusual time and through unusual circumstances, we appreciate our community’s commitment to educational and academic excellence.” Later in the meeting, Dr. Gildea read a statement about the face covering requirement, and asked that we include this information for the public:

“The Public Health Order that outlines the mask mandate is still in effect through June 15th as outlined by the Governor through the Utah Department of Public Health. While you may have varying thoughts and feelings about the wearing of masks in schools, the mandate is considered rule of law, disallowing school boards and leaders to override the state mask mandate order for schools.” 

Medical exemptions are permitted to the face covering requirement and have been in place all school year. 

The Park City School District Board of Education heard the following reports:

Stiefel financial advisors presented an overview of traditional funding methods for the master plan sharing good news on low-interest rates.

Mr. Hauber, Business Administrator, provided a budget overview along with the financial outlook of the district related to state and local revenues.  The prepared budget does include a tax increase request of $800,000, which was our target. 

Policy updates on existing policies were introduced and discussed with minor to no substantive changes but are brought up for 5 year review.  We received comment from the public on two of the policies with requests to add examples.  As the policy provides the umbrella, administrative guidelines may include examples related to visitor or conduct policies. 

The aircraft policy is related to permissions necessary to pursue funding for drone education which may be applied in CTE or film studies courses. 

The Board adjourned for a brief closed session and then returned to adjourn the meeting. 

With regard to Public Comments, we wish to remind our public of the following:

-Public Comments will not be read verbatim, but will be recorded in the notes of the meeting. For example, “Baseball Field” will be found in notes that indicates 50 individuals wrote in to support funding and/or to support creative alternatives to provide indoor practice space for spring sports.  However, we will not read aloud the same email message 50 times.  We appreciate input from the public.

-Public Comment provides input to topics being discussed or addressed, but it is not a place where a list of questions will be read, reviewed or recorded.  

-Public Comment will not be addressed in the moment but will be assigned to an administrator for follow up.  It is not a series of back and forth dialogue or a list of questions.  Questions for the school district or school board may be directed to: communications@pcschools.us 

PCSD Statement on Today’s Events 1/6/2021

January 6, 2021

Park City School District Statement on Today’s Events

“A time to help, a time to model, a time to teach”

As the nation and our children read, hear and watch about the riots at the U.S. Capitol building, we are reminded just how important it is for school systems to teach about and model civility and respect for our democracy.

Civic engagement is the foundation of our democracy. PCSD respects and supports the right to demonstrate and peacefully protest. We strongly condemn all attempts to incite violence and do not tolerate acts of hate that counter our shared democratic principles. 

We know that it is sometimes difficult to find the words to talk with children about these events. 

Below are some suggestions for talking to your children about today’s violence. 

Responding to Children’s Emotional Needs During Times of Crisis (American Academy of Pediatrics) 

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (National Association of School Psychologists) 

This is a time for our Country to stand together and promote peace, hope, and optimism for the future. We encourage everyone to use this moment to remember the foundational values that our Country was built on and what we stand for as a Nation.

I encourage all to remain kind and supportive of each other as we continue to navigate what has been an incredibly challenging school year.

Respectfully,

Dr. Jill Gildea Superintendent of Schools

HealthAttend Portal

PCSD Covid Dashboard

We are pleased to announce the release of the PCSD Covid Dashboard.  This resource provides our staff and our families with daily, updated information.  Data will be updated nightly.  The data originates from each school site’s point of contact and via the HealthAttend portal.

The information that you will see on this dashboard includes positive test results shared over the past 72 hours, active covid cases, total covid cases since August 20, and absences related to the virus. The entire press release can be found here

The HeathAttend dashboard can be found here