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Park City High School…Which Classes Would You Cut?

It should be an interesting few years for the Park City School District. The school district is running up against a taxation limit and therefore funds will be limited and the school board will have to make hard choices. Parents appear to want smaller class sizes, lots of class options, and programs like early release. Smaller classes, more options, and early release all end up costing the district more money. In the past increased taxes have been the answer to avoid confrontations between the school district and parents. Yet, unless Utah tax laws change, the district won’t have that option and the answer will either be lower teacher salaries, increased class sizes, and/or fewer programs. As they say, “the math doesn’t lie.”

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the current classes at Park City High School and see what you think should be cut. The course catalog reads like something out of Salt Lake Community College. 3D modeling. Yep. Entrepreneurship for Business. Sure. Jewelry. Uhh..Check.  The high school lists 210 courses in its catalog. So, let’s get ready to  pretend we need to cut programs in order to maintain current student/teacher ratios. You’ll likely need to cut at least 10% of the classes to even make a dent in the budget. Which 21 classes would you cut?  We know… For every class there is someone that “could not live without it.” Even if the district tried to cut a class like “Underwater Basket Weaving” someone would be devastated (believe it or not… that is a class at Reed College). So take a shot. Which 21 would you remove? It’s both easier and harder than you may think.

 

Course Grade(s) Length
ACT/SAT Prep 10, 11, 12 Semester
3D Animation 10, 11, 12 Semester
3D Graphics 10, 11, 12 Semester
Accounting I 11, 12 Semester
Accounting II 11, 12 Semester
Adult Roles & Responsibilities 10, 11, 12 Semester
Advanced Drawing & Painting 10, 11, 12 Year
Advanced English 10, 11, 12 Year
Advanced Photography/AP Photography 11, 12 Year
Advanced Stage Tech 10, 11, 12 Year
American Sign Language I 10, 11, 12 Year
Anthropology 11, 12 Semester
AP Art History 11, 12 Year
AP Art Studio: 3D Design 11, 12 Year
AP Biology 10, 11, 12 Year
AP Calculus AB 11, 12 Year
AP Calculus BC 12 Year
AP Chemistry 11, 12 Year
AP Computer Science 11, 12 Year
AP Economics 11, 12 Year
AP English Language & Composition 11, 12 Year
AP Environmental Science 11, 12 Year
AP European History 11, 12 Year
AP French V 10, 11, 12 Year
AP Literature & Composition 11, 12 Year
AP Music Theory 11, 12 Year
AP Physics C 11, 12 Year
AP Physics I 10, 11, 12 Year
AP Physics I/II + Lab (Formerly AP B
Physics)
11, 12 Year
AP Psychology 11, 12 Year
AP Spanish Language & Composition 10, 11, 12 Year
AP Spanish Literature 10, 11, 12 Year
AP Statistics 10, 11, 12 Year
AP Studio Art 11, 12 Year
AP US Government 11, 12 Year
AP US History 11, 12 Year
AP World History 10, 11, 12 Year
Architectural Design I 10, 11, 12 Year
Architectural Design II 11, 12 Year
Art Foundations II 10, 11, 12 Semester
Athletic Strength Training 10, 11, 12 Semester
Beginning Ceramics 10, 11, 12 Semester
Beginning English for ELL/Reading A 10, 11, 12 Year
Biology 10 Year
Biotechnology 11, 12 Year
Business Communication I 10, 11, 12 Semester
Business Law 10, 11, 12 Semester
Cabinet Making 11, 12 Year
Calculus A 11 Semester
Ceramics II/III 10, 11, 12 Year
Chamber Choir 10, 11, 12 Year
Chamber Orchestra 10, 11, 12 Year
Chemistry 11, 12 Year
Child Development 10, 11, 12 Semester
College Algebra (Math 1050) 12 Semester
Community Access 10, 11, 12 Semester
Comprehensive English 10, 11, 12 Year
Comprehensive Social Studies 10, 11, 12 Year
Computer Programming IA 10, 11, 12 Semester
Computer Programming IB 10, 11, 12 Semester
Computer Technology II 10, 11, 12 Semester
Concert Choir 10, 11, 12 Year
Consumer Health 10, 11, 12 Semester
Content Link 10 10 Year
Content Link 11 11 Year
Content Link 12 12 Year
Creative Writing 10, 11, 12 Year
Daily Living Skills 10, 11, 12 Semester
Dance Company 10, 11, 12 Year
Dance I 10, 11, 12 Year
Dance II 10, 11, 12 Year
Dance III 10, 11, 12 Year
Dental Assistant 12 Year
Designer Sewing 11, 12 Year
Digital Media I: Design & Development 10, 11, 12 Year
Digital Media II: Production 10, 11, 12 Year
Digital Photography 10, 11, 12 Year
Drama II (Beginning) 10, 11, 12 Year
Drama III (Intermediate) 10, 11, 12 Year
Drama IV (Advanced Theatre) 10, 11, 12 Year
Drawing 10, 11, 12 Semester
Economics 11, 12 Semester
ELL Content Link 10 10 Year
ELL Content Link 11 11 Year
ELL Content Link 12 12 Year
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B) 12 Year
Engineering & Technical Design I 10, 11, 12 Year
Engineering & Technical Design II 11, 12 Year
English 10 10 Year
English 11 11 Year
English 12 12 Year
Entrepreneurship for Business 10, 11, 12 Semester
Ethics 11, 12 Year
Film Making I 10, 11, 12 Year
Film Making II 10, 11, 12 Year
Film Studies 10, 11, 12 Year
Financial Literacy 11, 12 Semester
Food & Nutrition I 10, 11, 12 Semester
Food & Nutrition II 10, 11, 12 Semester
Forensics (Debate) 10, 11, 12 Year
French I 10, 11, 12 Year
French II 10, 11, 12 Year
French III 10, 11, 12 Year
French IV 10, 11, 12 Year
Furniture Design & Manufacturing 11, 12 Year
Geology 10, 11, 12 Year
Government 11, 12 Semester
Healthy Lifestyles II: Fitness for Life 10, 11, 12 Semester
Healthy Lifestyles III: Adventure PE 11, 12 Semester
Healthy Lifestyles III: Aerobics 11, 12 Semester
Healthy Lifestyles III: Cardiovascular
Training
11, 12 Semester
Healthy Lifestyles III: Competitive Team
Sports
11, 12 Semester
Healthy Lifestyles III: Sports for Life 11, 12 Semester
Healthy Lifestyles III: Weight Training 11, 12 Semester
Honors Chemistry 10 Year
Honors English 10 10 Year
Honors English 11 11 Year
Honors English 12 12 Year
Honors World History 10 Year
Independent Living Skills 10, 11, 12 Year
Instructional Teaching Assistant 11, 12 Semester
Interior Design 10, 11, 12 Year
Intermediate English 10, 11, 12 Year
Intro to Emergency Medical Services (EMS,
First Aid)
10, 11, 12 Semester
Intro to Statistics (Math 1040) 12 Semester
Introduction to Construction Technology 10, 11, 12 Semester
Jazz Band I (JV) 10, 11, 12 Year
Jazz Band II (Varsity) 10, 11, 12 Year
Jewelry I-B 10, 11, 12 Semester
Jewelry II 10, 11, 12 Semester
Journalism I, II 10, 11, 12 Year
Journalism II 11, 12 Year
Latinos in Action (LIA) 10, 11, 12 Year
Leadership I 10, 11, 12 Semester
Life Studies 10, 11, 12 Semester
Mandarin Chinese I 10, 11, 12 Year
Mandarin Chinese II 10, 11, 12 Year
Mandarin Chinese III 10, 11, 12 Year
Mandarin Chinese IV 10, 11, 12 Year
Mandarin Chinese IV Honors 10, 11, 12 Year
Marketing 10, 11, 12 Semester
Math B-D 10, 11, 12 Year
Medical Anatomy & Physiology 10, 11, 12 Year
Medical Math 10, 11, 12 Semester
Medical Terminology 10, 11, 12 Semester
Modern Mathematics 11, 12 Year
Music Apprecation 10, 11, 12 Semester
Music Theory 10, 11, 12 Semester
Nursing Assistant (CNA) 11, 12 Year
Painting 10, 11, 12 Semester
Parent Release 10, 11, 12 Semester
PCCAPS Business Strategy I-IV 11, 12 Semester
PCCAPS Engineering I-IV: Not Just for
Engineers!
11, 12 Semester
PCCAPS Interactive Design I-IV: Print,
Film, & Web Solutions
11, 12 Semester
PCCAPS Teacher Education I-II: Teaching
in 2020
11, 12 Semester
PCCAPS Technology & Software
Development for the Innovator I-IV
11, 12 Semester
Peer Tutoring 10, 11, 12 Semester
Percussion I 10, 11, 12 Year
Percussion II 10, 11, 12 Year
Percussion III (Ensemble) 10, 11, 12 Year
Pharmacy Technician 12 Year
Photography 10, 11, 12 Year
Physical Science 10, 11, 12 Year
Physics 10, 11, 12 Year
Physics with Technology 10, 11, 12 Year
Pre-Engineering Technology 10, 11, 12 Semester
Printmaking 10, 11, 12 Semester
ProStart 11, 12 Year
Psychology 11, 12 Semester
Quantitative Reasoning (Math 1030) 12 Semester
Reading A – F 10, 11, 12 Year
Related Work-Based Learning 11, 12 Semester
Religion Release 10, 11, 12 Semester
Robotics & Automation 10, 11, 12 Year
Scriptwriting/Production 10, 11, 12 Year
Secondary Mathematics II 10 Year
Secondary Mathematics II Honors 10 Year
Secondary Mathematics III 11 Year
Secondary Mathematics III Honors 11 Year
Social Media Marketing 10, 11, 12 Semester
Sociology 11, 12 Semester
Spanish for Spanish Speakers I 10, 11, 12 Year
Spanish for Spanish Speakers II 10, 11, 12 Year
Spanish I 10, 11, 12 Year
Spanish II 10, 11, 12 Year
Spanish III: Beginning Conversation 10, 11, 12 Year
Spanish IV: Intermediate Conversation 10, 11, 12 Year
Spanish V: Advanced Conversation 10, 11, 12 Year
Sports Marketing 10, 11, 12 Semester
Sports Medicine/Exercise Science 11, 12 Year
Sports Sewing 10, 11, 12 Year
Stage Tech 10, 11, 12 Semester
Student Council 10, 11, 12 Year
Study Hall 10, 11, 12 Semester
Symphonic Band 10, 11, 12 Year
Symphony Orchestra 10, 11, 12 Year
Teacher’s Aide 11, 12 Semester
Television Broadcasting I: MMS Live
Production Team
10, 11, 12 Year
Television Broadcasting II: MMS Live
Production Team
11, 12 Year
Trigonometry (Math 1060) 12 Semester
United States History II 11, 12 Year
Video Production I: MMS Video Production
Team
10, 11, 12 Year
Video Production II: MMS Video Production
Team
11, 12 Year
Vocational Skills 10, 11, 12 Semester
Wind Ensemble 10, 11, 12 Year
Woodworking 10, 11, 12 Year
Work Release 11, 12 Semester
World Civilizations 10 Year
Yearbook 10, 11, 12 Year
Zoology 11, 12 Year

 

Comments

3 Comments

Avatar
Jennifer Jackenthal

It is certainly correct that the district goal is to reduce some of the course options at PCHS but this is generally to provide more structured course guidance to our student body and not driven by cost. Less classes taught will result in more sections of other classes as the number of students is not going down. The result, a narrower set of course options but not a lower budget.

Currently, many elective classes are taught or not taught based on the number of students registered for the class. So, if no one registers for Accounting, it is not taught. Is accounting a class we should encourage our students to take? Perhaps bookkeeping is a good career option with flexible family-friendly hours. The decision makers tasked with addressing our course selections are wise. They have all the facts and we, the tax payers, pay them to make these decisions. To assume we, who see things from the outside and do not have all the facts should be making these choices is rather egotistical. Would we welcome educators to come into our businesses or homes and tell us how they should be run? Of course not. They do not know the nuances of our world. Throughout the annual school district budgeting process there are hundreds of factors parents simply are not aware of. I encourage all parents to be certain they have the facts before voicing opinions. Asking questions is the best place to start. As I tell the PCCAPS students, “Always travel with the facts or you may make a fool of yourself.”

Interestingly, there are studies that show at the high school level a large class size is not necessarily a bad thing. Of course, it depends on the type of class but 92% of PCHS seniors state they are heading off to college and these same students will be sitting in lecture halls of 300+ in college. Getting some practice with a class of 150 in the high school lecture hall might be a good idea and would potentially reduce kindergarten class sizes which is a district-wide need.

What about online course options? Students are taking classes online on the side. Unfortunately, the completion rate for those courses is fairly low. Why not offer online courses with teacher support and guidance at the high school? This could be great use for the underutilized library and allow students to work at their own pace. Online courses have been shown to be effective in reducing expenses in districts around the country. and for parents and students, online classes offer options. My 8th grade daughter has one period or parent release because she is taking World History online. She also took Health online so she would have an extra elective option available to her, which is the Digital Media / Photoshop class. My 11th grade son attends the Winter Sports School and, while it was the right choice for him, I am sorry he is missing out on the amazing course selection at PCHS. Pre-Engineering, PCCAPS, Advanced Drawing, Economics, Statistics, Theater…….

I do not know if the over 300 students who take parent release cost the district money by not being in class but if a student is not in the school he is missing out on a free education. Sure some of our students take parent release for athletics or to take online college courses, etc. but most of the parent release students who could be taking Economics, Psychology, Statistics, Creative Writing, Music, Art, Theater, programming or Entrepreneurship courses are sleeping in instead.

One of the key factors we must all consider when reducing course selection at the high school is, “what will help our students succeed in life?” AP Classes stretch our academic students’ minds, PCCAPS gives all students a glimpse at and practice in the professional world. Fine Arts classes help expand their creativity and History courses give them much needed perspective beyond their own experiences. I do not envy those who will have to make the tough decisions about course offerings in our high school but I do know there is much more to those decisions than meets the eye.

Avatar
Parkrag

To your point about online classes, we heard this morning that the state of Kentucky is pushing for all students to attend classes “online” in the event of snow-closure. It sure seems that technology is at a point where it could be used in some specific areas, if not more broadly

Avatar
Jennifer Jackenthal

As you know, there are no easy answers. Education is a complex organism. Thank you for the work you do.


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