MINERS' NUGGETS

Park City School District Newsletter: February 2017

WHAT'S NEXT: SCHOOL BOARD

The Park City School District Board of Education meets on MONDAY, February 27 (not Tuesday!) at 3 p.m. The first agenda item is a closed session (expected to be done by around 4).


Please join us at the District Office (2700 Kearns Blvd.) to hear potential decisions about facilities and financing and to participate in public comment.

RECAP OF FEBRUARY 16 SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:


1) The Board passed a motion (4-1) to rescind a 2015 decision to implement grade realignment in August 2017.


This means the timeline for grade realignment now has a bit of breathing room for administration to strategize and carry out an effective implementation. (Details of this motion)


2) The Board also passed a motion (5-0) to reaffirm the grade realignment configuration.

This means the Board supports the following:

  • Preschool - 4 in lower elementary schools
  • 5-6 in an upper elementary school
  • 7-8 in a middle school
  • 9-12 in our high school (Specifics of this motion)


3) The Board also empowered Superintendent Conley to mobilize the administration team to move forward as if grade realignment will happen for the 2018 - 2019 school year.


This means the administration's focus is to get students, teachers and parents ready to realign. This will include transition teams to guide our families and extensive professional development for teachers and staff throughout the 2017-2018 school year. We will keep you up-to-date on all implementation progress and action items.


​Videos from the Feb. 16 Board session:
video.pcschools.us/videos/video/7144/
video.pcschools.us/videos/video/7145/
video.pcschools.us/videos/video/7146/​

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MIDDLE LEVEL LEARNERS PRESENTATION

The 5-8 Curriculum Task Force was tasked to create a report to identify and outline the unique curricular, social-emotional and specific developmental needs that challenge and engage upper elementary and middle school aged students.


In January, the team gave its recommendation to the School Board to move forward with its decision to realign PCSD schools to include a 5-6 and a 7-8 configuration.


  • Recommendation driven by curriculum and philosophy

  • Bridge from elementary to middle

  • Complete focus on this age group

  • Vertical alignment between 5-6 and 7-8


The presentation can be found through these links:


Presentation: 1:02:00 - 1:42


Presentation Slides


Board conversation about 5-8 Curriculum Task Force recommendation: 22:05 - 1:12:01

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NEXT STEPS FOR REALIGNMENT

There will be MUCH more communication about the strategy for a potential 2018-2019 realignment. Please look forward to details about:


  • Parent Education and Preparation
  • Transition Teams
  • Extensive Professional Development for Teachers and Staff
  • Facilities and Financing Options and Decisions

START TIMES

The School Board will likely have a discussion or a decision item regarding an implementation timeline to adjust school start times in the next couple of months. We will be sure to communicate exactly when that is expected and encourage you to continue to provide your thoughts. Current feedback on the process can be found on the Start Times page of pcschools.us.


https://docs.google.com/document/d/17rkdUU6wAxb6cs7bemUniko4SDaYsGqTVOl9JuTMSLo/edit


(To get there:

Click District --> Click School Start Times --> Click Meeting Agendas and Minutes --> Click Start Times Implementation Task Force Agendas, Minutes and Work --> Click folder marked FEEDBACK.)

SHARP SURVEY

The SHARP Survey provides critical information about the issues our children are dealing with -- specifically related to mental health and substance use (and abuse).

Our community MUST mobilize (this is as simple as signing your child's permission slip to take the SHARP survey) to increase participate in the survey to 80%. (prior participation was around 57%).


Students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 are able to take the survey. Please encourage your children not only to fill it out -- but to do so honestly. The results are COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS.


More participation = more accuracy.


Accurate results will enable us to improve our prevention, education and intervention programs, and to strengthen our current Life Skills curriculum (which reaches ALL students grades K-12). Honest, accurate SHARP survey results will help our community and PCSD as we plan for future needs.


Permission forms are due MONDAY, February 27. Surveys will be completed that week.


With your child's participation in the SHARP survey - you are helping our community become a safer place -- thank you!

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School Calendars

The Calendar Committee met on February 13, 2017 with the goals of maximizing learning time and mastery of concepts, maximizing student participation in student activities, and accommodating required state staff training.


We discussed the many comments we received about the proposed calendar and developed a modified calendar by balancing the complex set of requests and needs that were presented. The new calendar addresses these needs in the following manner:


  • We acknowledged from the elementary staff that starting earlier in August is problematic because we do not have air conditioning in our schools.

  • From the high school point of view, we heard that starting earlier in August allows more instructional time for college preparatory classes, as measured on ACT and AP Exams. Thus, moving the proposed August date one week later is a compromise to both levels.

  • Since we moved the August start date, our ending date will be the first week of June, which allows our counselors and kindergarten teachers to attend the required training the second week of June. These modifications do help our students attending career and technology classes in Wasatch to be at least one week closer to their schedule.

  • Finally, it was evident that the full week in February is overwhelmingly desired by the staff. In order to compromise on both the later August start and finish earlier in June, we will need to do a shortened Winter Holiday (December) break.


We are providing the new draft of the 2018-19 calendar. If there are issues or needs we have overlooked, please reach out to the appropriate representative listed below. We have established a timeline for completing this work:


  • We want to close this feedback cycle by March 3, 2017. The calendar committee will then share the input we received and develop a final draft calendar.

  • We will finalize this draft by March 14, 2017

  • We will present the final draft calendar to the Board on March 21, 2017 for approval.


Below are the calendar committee representatives:


Elementary - Brecon Sorensen

Middle School/Junior High - Sam Thompson

High School - Melissa Nicolai

Athletics - Jamie Sheetz

District - Lorie Pearce and Ember Conley


**MLK Day is incorrectly marked on this calendar graphic -- it falls on January 21, 2019.**

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SNOW DAY WAIVER: APPROVED

The original last day of school, Friday June 9, has been confirmed.

This is thanks to the State Board of Education, which approved our request to waive a makeup day for our January snow day. (This means: there's no need to plan for a snow makeup day.)

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JEANS & LATTES SCHEDULE

Jeans & Lattes is a way for you to have time to talk with Superintendent Conley in an informal, small group setting. We meet most Fridays from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. at Hugo Coffee Roasters (Kimball Junction location), in the conference table area. Thank you to the Park City Chamber for donating the space for us to use!

FEBRUARY

  • No Jeans & Lattes scheduled this month

MARCH

  • Friday, March 10: 8:30 - 9:30AM
  • Friday, March 17: 8:30 - 9:30AM
  • Friday, March 24: NO JEANS & LATTES (Dr. Conley at National School Boards Association)
  • Friday, March 31: 8:30 - 9:30AM

APRIL

  • Friday, April 7: 8:30 - 9:30AM
  • Friday, April 14: NO JEANS & LATTES (Spring Recess)
  • Friday April 21: 8:30 - 9:30AM
  • Friday, April 28: NO JEANS & LATTES (EXCELLENT EDUCATOR EXPRESS!)

MAY

  • Friday, May 5: 8:30 - 9:30AM
  • Friday, May 12: 8:30 - 9:30AM
  • Friday, May 19: 8:30 - 9:30AM
  • Friday, May 26: 8:30 - 9:30AM --> LAST JEANS & LATTES FOR THE YEAR