Most people in the community thought grade realignment was something that would happen in the next few years. The High School would be 9-12, there would be a 7/8 school and a 5/6 school, and our elementary schools would house our Pre-K through 4th graders.
It appears that change may happen as soon as this fall.
We received an anonymous email this evening from a Park City teacher stating:
Although it is not public yet, the school district is considering doing the grade realignment next year (Fall of 2017). This would move 5th/6th to Treasure Mountain, 7th/8th to Ecker, and push the 9th graders to PCHS. This would force teachers to use every inch of the school to teach classes; science labs would be used for actual classes. The lecture hall would become a classroom. It sounds like all teachers would be displaced and would be teaching all around the building.
This was sprung on the admin from the high school yesterday (they had no idea, they were under the impression it would AT LEAST 2018 before the alignment.) Various district employees, including teachers and admin, believe the board is encouraging this approach to force the hand of the community to pass a bond. It would be total mayhem for teachers and students and would make differentiating lessons and organizing a classroom difficult for most teachers. Supposedly they are going to discuss it publicly at the board meeting in two weeks, and will make a decision two weeks later.
Just to let you all know. Teachers are furious because this decision is manipulative. I’d like to stress that admin at the schools said no decision had officially been made, but it appears that they were as blind-sided as the faculty was. I am a teacher in the district and I am beyond frustrated. There has been no discussion of this until today, and it appears there will be little time to challenge it if they make the decision soon as they are expected to do. To be clear, I am in favor or realignment, but not in this way. This is asking for total chaos to push the bond through that will follow this fall to expand the high school. If you contact school board members and school admin, they will know about it. If board members claim they do not know yet, it is because either a) they are lying or b) the decision was concocted beyond the scope of the entire board.
We received the email while at the school district’s meeting regarding expanding the high school. That provided us with the opportunity to confirm the rumor. We asked Park City School Board President Phil Kaplan and he responded that “all options are on the table.” School Board member Petra Butler, also in attendance, confirmed that the board is looking at all alternatives.
We also visited with Park City School District Community Relations Specialist Molly Miller. Ms Miller said the district and board were being thorough and considering every option. She recommended that the public contact their school board member to relay any concerns. She also said the board would be discussing this in work session on February 7 at 9 AM and also likely on their February 27th meeting (she noted that was a Monday, instead of the typical Tuesday meeting). The public is welcome to attend or can view the meeting online (after the fact) by going to the district’s Board Docs website, click on meetings, choose the meeting, click on View Agenda, then scroll down on the left hand side of the screen to Videos (it’s easier than it sounds).
It sure seems like grade realignment is in play for August. However, we are skeptical that the board would follow through on that. We’ll tell you why we believe that, and what we think it means, in the next few days.