Happy Summer. School is out and we made it through the most challenging school year in Park City’s recent history. Kudos to the School Board, Dr. Gildea, teachers, and all the staff that made it happen. Compared to so many districts across the country, we have done well with regard to Covid. Good job everyone.
Yet, Park City is a strange place. We can’t seem to get out of our own way. We make things harder than they should be. Two things come to mind with the Park City School District.
First, the School Board needs to accept public input at meetings —and for as many hours as it takes. In the previous School Board meeting, the district did not allow for public comment. I’m not sure whether the board hates criticism, hates that they will get home two hours later than they think, or just thinks the criticism they are getting isn’t warranted.
I would encourage the School Board to attend a Snyderville Basin Planning Commission meeting. The Planning Commission starts at 6 PM (or earlier) and sometimes stretches until almost midnight. They are discussing everything from the slope of a driveway to whether the Tech Park Should become a hotel. It’s hard, but that’s what they signed up for. They allow everyone to talk and often times for more than the “normal 3 minutes” of allotted time. They want to ensure people have their say and learn from the community’s perspective. And yes, they take their fair share of abuse.
The Park City School Board needs to do the same. Public input needs to be accepted and (more importantly) listened to — even if it is uncomfortable. That’s how we get better. If the School Board won’t allow for Public comment at the June 15th meeting, the Park Rag will provide a way for people to provide their school related public comment. It’s important.
Second, the School Board needs to have an agenda item that clarifies the Park City School District’s position on whether teachers have the right for their children to attend the school where they teach. We have heard that the district claims nothing has changed from previous years. Yet, from specific records we have been provided, denial notices are being sent to teachers that prevent their children from attending the school at which they teach. There is some disconnect here. This could be solved by a policy GUARANTEEING teachers’ children can attend the school at which they teach.
The standard play from authorities like the School District is to ignore the issue and hope it blows over. That’s where we are now. Our intent is not to let that happen.
So, we are hoping to hear two things related to the Park City School District during the June 15 Park City School Board Meeting. First, there will be public comment that enables our citizens (the people who fund the district) to provide comment, during the meeting and on the record, on how things are going. Second, we want to hear that any teacher’s children can attend the school at which their parent teaches, regardless of whether the school is “full” or not.
If the School District can’t do these two simple things, it’s unlikely we can trust them with more than a hundred million dollars to rebuild our school infrastructure in the coming years.
Hopefully they will address both public comment and teachers’ children in the meeting next week. Then we can get on to discussing master plan ideas(i.e. new buildings) and deciding what is really best for our school district.
Until the Park City School Board shows competence and respect to the public, everything else is tainted.