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Ample opportunities for parents at school

Parents, are you tired of getting the same, one-word answer to the age-old question, "What did you learn at school today?" Curious parents who want to get a peek into the daily workings of local schools can do just that by joining a parent-teacher group.

Active groups are at work in each of the area schools, although each has slightly different leadership and goals. Some schools have Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO), other groups call themselves the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and some schools include students with Parent Teacher Student Organizations (PTSO). The Park City High School (PCHS) also has an active Booster Club to support Miner athletics.

Kelly Thomas, Treasure Mountain International School (TMIS) PTSO co-chair said that kids love to see their parents at school. Parley’s Park PTO co-president Jennifer Billow reminded parents that they don’t have to be the chairman of a committee to get involved, "even if you only have a few minutes, there are so many things you can volunteer for that don’t take a lot of time."

Parents were given the option to pay membership dues to the parent-teacher organization at their child’s school during registration, explained Tori Adams, co-president of the Ecker Hill International Middle School (EHIMS) PTO. Parents who still wish to join can register at any time.

Also, parents can get involved by donating a portion of the money they spend on groceries to the PTO of their choice, explained Thomas. If interested, talk to the customer service desk at Albertsons or Smiths where you can sign-up for a value card that automatically donates a percentage of your purchases to a participating non-profit organization, Thomas said.

School-by-school information:

McPolin Elementary School

The McPolin PTO will hold its first meeting Thursday, Sept. 18 at 8:15 a.m. Meetings will be every third Thursday of the month.

McPolin Elementary will hold a fall festival Oct. 3. According to PTO president Lesil Simmons, one of their most popular programs is the "get out and play" program that gives students the chance to go downhill and cross country skiing, skating, and learn other winter sports.

McPolin is in need of a translator to help translate notices they send out. To get involved, please contact the school at 645-5630.

Trailside Elementary School

Trailside will hold its first PTA meeting Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 8: 15 a.m.

Trailside is looking forward to the fun families fall festival, Oct. 3, which will be a chance for Trailside families to get together after school for some food and fun, said Lynette Penman.

Also, Trailside is looking for volunteers in all of their health programs including the ski program. Contact Penman at 640-6202 for more information or to volunteer.

Jeremy Ranch Elementary School

Jeremy Ranch will hold its first PTO meeting on Sept. 16 at 9 a.m.

Amy Cutt, volunteer coordinator for the Jeremy Ranch PTO, said that they are working on increasing use of technology in the classrooms. They have done so, Cutt explained, by putting an audio enhancement system into every classroom in the school. For more information, please call the school at 645-5670.

Parley’s Park Elementary School

Parley’s Park will hold its first PTA meeting Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 8:30 a.m. Meetings will be every second Tuesday of the month in PTA room 7.

Parley’s Park will continue to hold before-school language classes this year. The classes are taught by certified classes, but are completely PTA funded. The classes are held twice a week in Spanish and German. Jennifer Billow, PTA co-president, said that they had 40 to 50 students participate last year and it is one of their biggest projects.

For more information, please call the school at 645-5620.

Masterpieces of Art

All Park City School District (PCSD) elementary schools are involved in the Masterpieces of Art project. Masterpieces of Art is a completely parent-run program that teaches one art class each month in every elementary classroom in the Park City School District (PCSD). Kimber Parry, a volunteer for the Parley’s Park PTO art program, said that if it weren’t for the Masterpieces of Art program, there would be no formal art education at local elementary schools. Parry explained that the art education is left up to the individual teachers, and some teachers are more artistic than others and more likely to incorporate art into daily lessons.

Ecker Hill International Middle School

EHIMS will hold its first PTO meeting Thursday, Sept. 4 at 8:45 a.m. Meetings will be every first Thursday of the month in room 106.

The EHIMS PTO has launched a new website this year, Adams explained. Parents can use the website to sign up to volunteer as well as check for bulletins to stay informed, Adams said. According to Adams, some of the PTO’s bigger projects at Ecker Hill are putting on social events, organizing student clubs, and hosting a book fair.

For more information, please visit the PTO’s new website at ehimspto.googlepages.com.

Treasure Mountain International School

TMIS will hold its first PTSO meeting on Friday, Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. Meetings will be every third Friday of the month in the library.

The biggest projects that the TMIS PTSO puts on each year, according to co-president Kelly Thomas, are eighth-grade Reality Town, and the ninth-grade, end-of-the-year social.

Reality Town is a simulated day in "real life" explained Thomas. Students are given a made-up job and salary based on their grade point average. They are then given the challenge of surviving foreseen and unforeseen dilemmas that are common in daily life. This event takes a lot of volunteers and community involvement from people who work in the different careers that the students may be assigned to.

The ninth-grade social is a chance for ninth-graders to get together and celebrate before being shipped over to the high school.

The TMIS PTSO is also involved in honor roll celebrations each semester, staff appreciation, and teacher grants to help educators with expenses that don’t fit in the budget. Thomas said that last year they donated over $6,000 in teacher grants. More information is available by calling the school at 645-5640.

Park City High School

The first Park City High School (PCHS) PTSO meeting will be held Sept. 9 at 9 a.m.

One of the biggest projects the PCHS PTSO is involved in each year is giving out mini-grants for teachers which help teachers pay for extras that don’t fit in the normal budget, explained Suze Weir 2007-08 PTSO president. Another big project the PTSO is in charge of is throwing the Senior Graduation Night Party, Weir explained.

PCHS also has an active Booster Club. The Booster Club will meet on Mon. Sept. 10 at 8:30 a.m. and every second Wednesday of the month.

According to Debbie Bessembinder, Booster Club president, they are working on a fundraiser, selling engraved bricks for the entryway to the new entrance at the high school Bessembinder explained that it will be an ongoing fundraiser, and they will continue to sell bricks each year until all the bricks have been purchased.

Please call the high school at 645-5650 with questions.


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