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We are already beginning to lose teachers due to Park City School District changes

In January, the Park City School Board made changes to their enrollment policy for teachers. The school district claims that they were only ensuring that their policies matched the Utah State code. I continually hear from school officials “that nothing has changed.”

Unfortunately, it seems something has changed. Teachers across the district are getting requests denied to allow their children to attend the same school where they teach.

Whether intended or not, our community is now seeing the impacts of this policy change. I am now aware of two people at Jeremy Ranch Elementary who are being forced to leave due to this policy. I won’t name their names because that is their business, but I will tell you that kids like these individuals.

I know of others across the district who are likely to follow. In our comments section, a teacher’s partner wrote that their family had to move out of Park City due to high rental costs, and now they are fearing that their kids won’t be able to attend Park City schools. Can you imagine what pressure that is putting on their family?

Frankly, this whole thing is asinine. I don’t know if the district is really trying to sync up policy, don’t like teachers being at the same school as their children, are making a power play, or whether our schools don’t have room for a few more teachers’ children. Regardless of the reason, this is crazy.

The school district needs to save face on this. What I HAVEN’T heard them say is, “we think we will retain and attract the best teachers if we ensure their children can attend the same school that they teach at.” They need to say that. Then they need to amend the policy to state it. It’s that simple.

If they don’t, we are learning that the district doesn’t want teachers’ children to attend the same school where they teach. Then next fall, when our children show up for school, and beloved Ms. Johnson or Mr. Baxter isn’t there, we’ll know why.

Likewise, when the district “can’t find enough” teachers, again, we will know why.

The School District and School Board made a mistake on this — for whatever reason. It can happen to all of us. But now they need to fix it.

Comments

11 Comments

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Insanity

WHY?! Why, PCSD? Why do you keep doing this?

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Parkrag

What the Superintendent needs to say is:

“All teachers’ children can attend the school where their parent teaches.” It’s that simple.

Until that is said, it feels like the district is playing games with language.

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Walt

The solution is so easy, why won’t PCSD just admit their mistake and fix it? Approve all the teachers kids, apologize, and try to contain the damage.

The “nothing has changed” thing is insulting. The super and board need to stop saying that.

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Parkrag

Yep. All they need to say is that they have clarified the policy to ensure that all teachers’ kids can attend the school where they work. Like you said… not hard.

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Anon

I’ve also already heard about a couple people turning down offers because the principals can’t give a good answer on this to candidates who have children

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ADVOCATE

This is nothing short of shameful, and yet not surprising. I’m on the phone with a teacher right now who has seen multiple letters of resignation regarding this policy.

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Parent

I know that my kid’s favorite teacher is already out the door. Her commute doesn’t work with this nonsense and the other local school districts don’t jerk their staff around like this.

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Straight Up

Last week I met a teacher from a nearby district who loves her boss and wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. When I told her what PCSD is up to, she held her hand up and said, “I know ALL ABOUT Park City School District. No thank you. I like where I am.”

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Bits of Utah State Code

53G-6-403.  Policies for acceptance and rejection of applications.
(5) For each school in the district, the local school board shall post on the school district’s website:
(a) the school’s maximum capacity;
(b) the school’s adjusted capacity;
(c) the school’s projected enrollment used in the calculation of the open enrollment threshold;
(d) actual enrollment on October 1, January 2, and April 1;
(e) the number of nonresident student enrollment requests;
(f) the number of nonresident student enrollment requests accepted; and
(g) the number of resident students transferring to another school.

53G-6-407. Intradistrict transfers for students impacted by boundary changes — Transportation of students who transfer within a district.
(1)
(a) In adjusting school boundaries, a local school board shall strive to avoid requiring current students to change schools and shall, to the extent reasonably feasible, accommodate parents who wish to avoid having their children attend different schools of the same level because of boundary changes which occur after one or more children in the family begin attending one of the affected schools.
(b) In granting interdistrict and intradistrict transfers to a particular school, the local school board shall take into consideration the fact that an applicant’s brother or sister is attending the school or another school within the district.

53G-6-404. Denial of enrollment — Appeal.
(1) Denial of initial or continuing enrollment in a nonresident school may be appealed to the local school board of the nonresident district.
(2) The decision of the local school board shall be upheld in any subsequent proceedings unless the local school board’s decision is found, by clear and convincing evidence, to be in violation of applicable law or regulation, or to be arbitrary and capricious.

53G-6-402. Open enrollment options — Procedures — Processing fee — Continuing enrollment.
(7)
(a) Determination of which nonresident students will be excluded from continued enrollment in a school during a subsequent year under Subsection (6)(d) is based upon time in the school, with those most recently enrolled being excluded first and the use of a lottery system when multiple nonresident students have the same number of school days in the school.
(b) Nonresident students who will not be permitted to continue their enrollment shall be notified no later than March 15 of the current school year.


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