Board hears concerns about PCHS construction
During his monthly report to the Park City School Board, Bob Burns co-president of the Park City Education Association, outlined a handful of problems teachers have encountered during the high school construction.
"We do have concerns about the working conditions there," he said.
Burns reported that construction made three teachers ill, one of whom had not taken a sick day in five years.
"We’re adapting, but it’s getting more and more difficult," he said, describing a water leak that caused a "lake" to form in the girl’s locker room last Monday.
Construction work was also responsible for a recent power outage. In addition to the noise, emotional stress is high among some teachers.
He mentioned that Principal Hal Smith said this would be the worst of it and things should calm down in the coming weeks.
Superintendent Dave Adamson gave a recap of what legislative bills were passed this year that will have an impact on education.
He said on average 84 education bills are introduced at the legislature every year, and 45 typically pass. During the 2006 session 168 bill were introduced and 55 of those passed.
Schools now have the power to administer Glucagon shots to students who have gone into diabetic shock, two volunteers at each school will need to be trained in the procedure.
Although it was discussed, the legislature did not try to increase graduation requirements, Adamson noted that even if they did it would not effect Park City because an increase would bring the rest of the state up to Park City’s standards.
Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. vetoed a bill that would charge students $35 per credit hour for concurrent enrollment, a program which allows students to earn college credit for high school classes.
"What remains to be seen is how the colleges will react to that," he said.
House Bill 181 passed. It provides vouchers to high school juniors who did not pass the Utah Basic Skills Competency Test. The students can take those vouchers to public or private schools for remediation.
The bill also outlines a merit- based pay system for math remediation in grades 4-6. Adamson said he is not yet certain how it will work.
"I do feel sorry for the students in grades four through six," Adamson said, he would have liked to see the money used for more traditional remediation.
The bill also contains language that will make it easier to terminate teachers who are not performing well at work.
Adamson said House Bill 181 is one of the most interesting pieces of legislation to come out of the last session.
He also noted the legislature will now send home literature with every student in the state to inform them of their rights when it comes to participating in religious expressions.
Four concerned parents approached the board during public comment to express their displeasure at the growing size of the third grade class at Trailside Elementary School which is currently up to 28 students.
Nancy Merrick, a parent, expressed some concern that her child wasn’t doing as well as those in other grades because teachers weren’t able to devote the necessary time to each child.
"I’m fearful that next year they’re going to fall further behind," said Merrick, who added she would like their remaining two years at elementary school to be the best it can be.
Martha Craig also stepped forward to acknowledge that Park City School District provides a quality education but said because of her child’s large class size, "they’re not getting it."
The following policies were adopted: Resignation of Professional/Support Staff Members, Volunteers in the Schools, Student Complaints and Grievances, Conditions of Employment for Newly Hired Certified Employees and Leave of Absence Full-Time Classified Employees. They can be viewed online at: http://www.pcschools.us .
The following policies were approved for posting: Recognizing Religious Freedoms and Rights of Conscience in Schools, Orderly Termination and Extra-Duty Assignments. The policy concerning harassment and discrimination is being sent back to the policy committee for language clarification.
The following policies were discussed and will be sent back to the policy committee before coming back to the board for posting in May: Employee Ethics, Safe Schools, Public Information and Media Access to School Faculty and Students, and Curriculum Development and Management.
Nora Buchanan gave an update on the Latino Advisory Committee. Another Latino parent information night will be scheduled in May. She also reported the Peace House is sponsoring an evening to discuss physical development in teens.
Judy Tukuafu, Director of Community Education, helped the district obtain a RAP tax grant to refurbish and update portions of the Park City Aquatic Center. The grant will provide $10,400 to refurbish the diving boards and score board along with $18,500 for new flooring and to fix the ceiling. Partial funding, $8,500, was given for the floors and showers in the locker rooms.
The school board bid farewell to Business Administrator Von Hortin who is retiring and taking a job with Utah State Office of Education. He was presented with an apple figurine that has Park City School District engraved on it and a card along with a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant.
"We really want to recognize the time and effort you’ve spent on our behalf," School Board President Dave Chaplin said.
"I’m just pleased to have been associated with the finest district in the State of Utah," Hortin said.
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Park City leaders have written another chapter in the reopening of the community even as the novel coronavirus continues to spread. The Park City Library on Monday became the latest municipal facility to welcome people inside again.