Board of Education

NEWS RELEASE 

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

March 17, 2021 

Board of Education Update – March 2021 

by Erin Grady, BOE President 

In March, the school board held a work session as well as a regular meeting.  At the work session, the topic of the meeting was a review of the options outlined by MHTN for the Kearns Campus, EHMS, and the elementary sites.

The school board also heard the initial findings from the Demographic Study.  It does appear that PCSD is heading toward a period of slight declining enrollment — even as we include planned development in the planning process.  This is, in part, due to overall Summit County birth rates as well as migration in and out of the district and state.  We keep a close eye on enrollment numbers in order to adequately staff the district. Taking the time to plan now permits the Park City School District to successfully and strategically plan for the future.

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

  1. PCEA Leadership shared the successes and challenges of this amazingly complex school year and urged ongoing collaboration to ensure student success. 
  2. Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Amy Hunt, spoke to the good work of the school sites in a successful March 15 Professional Learning Day as well as provided a deeper look into the PCSD Instructional Framework.
  3. Chief Operations Officer, Mike Tanner, spoke about covid trends, safety and security and plans to continue the free lunch program throughout summer school at the McPolin School site.
  4. Superintendent Gildea thanked the educators, community and families for collaborative efforts in keeping our schools open and also outlined the history of the master planning efforts to date. Dr. Gildea stated that graduation is scheduled for June 3 and that next year Monday through Thursday will be full academic days, and Fridays will remain on this year’s schedule with early release Fridays.

The Park City School District Board of Education took the following actions:

  1. Approved the proposed Student Fee Schedule for the 21/22 school year.
  2. Approved and affirmed Master Planning Priorities as established by the Community in 2019:
    1. Full High School Experience – move 9th grade into the high school
    2. Full Middle School Experience – 6th, 7th, and 8th grade together
    3. Strengthen Community Services – Expand preschool capacity at all locations and add community wrap services at two elementary schools – Jeremy Ranch and McPolin
    4. Increase Sustainability – coordinate with Park City’s 2030 Vision and goals

Approved the following Policies

Policy 7090Substitute TeachersInserts EduStaff where appropriate
Policy 7097Nepotism (New Policy)Clarifies Supervisory roles of individuals who may be related
Policy 7160Orderly TerminationPersonnel Policy was approved after edits and input were made by our stakeholders




The School Board requested that MOCA return to a scheduled March 31, 2021 work session to present a concurrent build pricing timeline and cost analysis. 

The Board of Education is narrowing down the Phase I Master Education/Facility Plan which will address EHMS and PCHS renovation and addition as well as additions to the elementary schools while incorporating clean and sustainable energy efficiencies at all sites. 

This first phase realigns the district to maintain PK-5 elementary schools, merge to a 6th to 8th grade middle school education program, and provide a comprehensive 9th through 12th grade high school experience while expanding capacity for early learning at each elementary school.  

The action planning related to design and timing of actual construction is going to take some time with estimates, pending funding, ranging from 2024 to 2026 for the moves to actually take place. 

These proposals do not disrupt any of the athletic fields at either secondary site nor does it disrupt existing space for learning to occur during periods of renovation.  It will be for a future school board to determine additional phases, but we have a long-term facility plan that can help guide the way for the future of PCSD.  

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:

-A school board meeting is a business meeting that is held in public; it is not a “public meeting.”  Therefore, audience members should adhere to appropriate audience behavior – observe quietly so that others may hear the presenters. Presenters are facing and speaking with the Board Members to inform their decisions in their business meeting; it is not a presentation for or by the public.

-We, as an elected Board of Education, value and appreciate all statements from our constituents related to the work at hand. We do ask that public comment be directed to noticed topics on the agenda with a three-minute time limit per speaker or five-minute time limit per group. 

-Public Comment is intended to provide stakeholder input to the school board on noticed topics after following appropriate communication channels within the school site and then within the district as we work to resolve issues closest to where an issue emerges. We do not hear comments on specific students, families, or personnel at the business meeting. 

-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 

Board of Education Update – March 2021  by Erin Grady, BOE President

Board of Education

Action and Accomplishment Feb 2021

by Erin Grady, BOE President

At the February Board of Education meeting, the school board heard updates on several topics including a high level budget planning overview for the 21/22 school year, a brief master planning update, news and information from the active session of the Utah legislature, and we assigned Board Committees for this next year.

Tonight’s meeting included the first reading of the FY22 School Fees Schedule that aligns to the regulations on posting these out of pocket expenses for parents and families. We took public comments on this fee schedule and will also accept input and feedback from the public next month on this topic.

The Board of Education is charged with financial and policy oversight of the Park City School District and with strategic planning as it maintains a 30,000 ft view in planning for the future of PCSD. And, as a Board/District team, we work to create conditions and support for student success.

In addition, the Park City School District Board of Education:

  1. Heard an update on the state Assessment System from our CAO;
  2. Heard updates on Operations and School Safety from our COO who highlighted the improved COVID counts across the county, outlined the Test to Stay status through the next two weeks, introduced a permanent TestUT site on Kearns campus, and thanked the HR team for organizing additional volunteers to assist with secondary covid testing efforts across the district.
  3. Considered revisions to the following policies:
    • 7090 – Substitute Teachers
    • 7097 – Nepotism
    • 7160 – Orderly Termination

      Each month, we will keep Master Planning on the Board Agenda as we re-launch this important future facilities project.

      This month, we also, as a school board, reiterated the following positions:
  1. The school board, as an entity, and by practice, does not endorse any developer, development or builder.
  2. The school board recognizes and values the student participation in clean energy and sustainability projects and will fold the ideas into the master planning effort.
  3. The school board, as an entity, and by practice, will listen and hear public comment; however, any response will follow from an assigned administrator rather than engage in dialogue during the session.

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

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

Dual Language Immersion Lottery information available Thursday, January 7 at 5:30 via Zoom. More information can be found here

Family Mental Health Night – Park City School District is offering a new resource for parents and families to better support their children with mental health and wellness. ParentGuidance.org is free to all parents and families in our district. Register here

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