Park City school grade realignment may happen this Fall
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.
I’m not shocked at all. Par for the course with this district. According to PCHS website they are going to start construction on the high school expansion using reserve money and then go to bond for money to complete it. Manipulation? You betcha.
Already wrote my board member. Write yours. I’ll never vote for a school bond again!
Yes, good plan. Punish the students to teach the school board a lesson.
How about this instead: call your school board member and let them know what you think.
It will be funny to watch the new (and now WAY more expensive) bond process…
I actually like this plan. I think it would be great to try out the grade alignment before we are asked to build a whole new (5/6) school. I am happy to see them building the high school addition out of existing money and I think the now more expensive bond is more realistic of what their building plan actually would have cost. I’m grateful that we aren’t being asked for more money to finish half-constructed buildings!
Maybe they’ll find that 5/6 at Treasure is great and we don’t even need a new 5/6 school, saving us a bunch of money. Now that’s a novel idea!
thanks for the forum to make comments… This school board needs to take a class “listening and learning from mistakes” 101. They do NOT understand what is needed for the students. This is NOT about the students. It is about the misguided grade realignment notions and catering to”raising the test scores of the workers children”. Per the superintendent.
There is a reason people send their children to charter and private schools in record numbers these days.
I disagree and believe this is about the students. Two of the four elementary schools are going to have trailers next year. Another is at occupancy and ‘closed’. Art teachers are teaching off of a cart in the hallway. Specialists are sharing one tiny room creating scheduling issues. If we were to build another elementary school not only would the reboundary issue be difficult (Do you do DLI? Is so, what language? What about the kids who were already in the other language – do they get to stay at their original school?) but it would also drop the occupancy at all the elementary schools. This would open our district up to anyone who wants to come in, especially all the people going into the new developments right on the PC border but out of our school system. In addition, combining the students at the 5th and 6th grade level would allow for project based learning – the current school setups do not. It will also allow the 6th graders to be in an elementary setting for an additional year, which the research supports. The 6th grade DLI students will be able to stay in the 50/50 model which is what the State recommends. By putting the 5/6th in one school and the 7/8th in another you will also be able to make staffing easier as the current model makes if difficult with mixing elementary and secondary certified teachers at Ecker. These are just some of the changes that need to be made for all of the students.
quite the cliffhanger at the end there… c’mon…what gives.
@PCMOM, the high school addition is not fully paid for with current funds. The funds on hand are only a start and more money will be asked for in the form of a Bond. Our schools are beyond capacity, so yes, funding and building will need to happen, but it has not been approved by voters yet. I am in favor of realignment, but smart realignment. Why the rush? Why force students into an unhealthy situation that no one is ready for? Is this article correct in asserting that it is to force parents to vote yes for the bond? I sincerely hope not. My concern is that by realigning the 5-8 kids now, we severely impact the 9-12 grades without sufficient class space. This plan pours 400+ more kids into a building already at capacity. Please go to the meeting on the 16th of February from 6-7:30 at Ecker Hill Middle School.
Leave a Comment