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Park City School District’s Master Planning Committee is Considering Grade Realignment

The Park City School District formed a Master Planning Committee in 2014 to look at the options related to Treasure Mountain Junior High School. Many people within the school district feel that Treasure Mountain needs to be rebuilt and this committee was charged with providing a course of action (and potentially launching a bond offering to rebuild the school). As part of that, an interesting topic has surfaced: grade realignment. Grade realignment is the process of changing the grades that are held at each physical school . For instance, instead of only 10th-12th grade at the high school, it may now be 9th – 12th grade.

What realignments have been considered so far? Originally the committee was looking at one option:

  • Pre-Kindergarten to 4th grade in the current elementary schools
  • 5th to 6th (middle school)
  • 7th to 8th (junior high school)
  • 9th to 12th

In this scenario the district would likely build a new Treasure Mountain Junior High and add a wing to the high school. Other changes include ending elementary school at 4th grade. Ecker Hill would have 5th and 6th grade. Treasure Mountain would house 7th and 8th grade. Park City High School would hold 9th through 12th.

School Board President, and Master Planing Committee Member, Moe Hickey brought up an additional idea at Thursday’s meeting of the committee. He asked whether it would make sense to take a slightly different tack with regard to realignment:

  • Pre-Kindergarten to 4th grade in the current elementary schools
  • 5th to 8th (middle school)
  • 9th to 12th

This plan would require additional expansion to Ecker Hill (to support all 5th-8th grade students) and an expansion to the high school to support the adding of the ninth grade (9th – 12th). However, no new Treasure Mountain school would need to be built. During the course of the discussion, they discussed research which concluded that minimizing transitions between buildings (i.e. the fewer different buildings that a student had to go to during their educational tenure) was better.

In this scenario, the benefit of expanding Ecker Hill is that it has a lot of land which could be used for expansion. Committee members asked about 5th graders mingling so close with 8th graders. They felt this could be handled through a separate wing to help segregate the younger students, much like they generally segregate 6th and 7th grade students between floors at Ecker Hill, today.

This, by no means, is the last discussion on this topic. Currently the committee is just tossing around ideas trying to understand what the options are. However, it is important that the Park City public be brought into the discussion. This not only includes teachers and administrators at these schools but the parents of all children attending our schools.

Right now, the committee is formulating ideas and planning a way forward. It is no reason to “freak out” but it is the right time to voice your opinion. Once the School Board receives a recommendation from the committee they will likely take it and run. So, now is your chance to actually make an impact.

If you have feelings about grade realignment, you can contact the School Board President Moe Hickey via email: . We personally feel that realigning grades may be a great solution to our current school issues and also provide a more sustainable course going forward. However, we completely understand if you see things differently. If so, you should let the Park City School Board know.


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