Guest Editorial |

Guest Editorial

the Park City High School Community Council

The Park City High School Community Council acts under the direction of the Park City School District. In September of 2004, the PCHS Community Council was asked to review, form and submit a proposal regarding graduation requirements for our high school. It is the PCSD’s process to review each policy every five years. The PCHS Community Council is made up of six parents, and five PCHS staff members, listed below.

We met 10 times during the 2004-05 school year, in addition to four meetings this year, with graduation requirements our primary agenda item at each meeting. We studied, researched and analyzed data on the subject. We solicited input from faculty department leaders and gave careful consideration to the interests of all students attending PCHS.

Our council unanimously agrees that our graduation requirements should increase to 28 credits, commencing with the graduating class of 2010. The State of Utah has mandated that .5 credit of financial literacy be completed to obtain a diploma, commencing with the graduating class of 2010. We recommend the additional 1.5 credits be added as electives. We made no proposal to change the core curriculum requirements. Our proposal was approved by the PCSD Policy Committee, presented to the school board, and approved for posting at their December 2005 meeting.

We believe the best interests of all our students are served by increasing our requirements. We have a significant list of reasons supporting our position. Some of these include:

"To better prepare all students for the demands of college or other post-graduate endeavors

"To increase elective opportunities

"To engage our students for four years and provide a more meaningful senior year

"To keep pace with other state and national high schools that are moving their programs forward

"To personalize high school to our students by determining credits with an SEOP planning focus

"To encourage students to take advantage of the wide variety of offerings at PCHS

"To continue the PCHS tradition of high standards and expectations, and advance the PCHS mission and beliefs.

Our research supports the notion that the goal of 28 credits is achievable by our students. A very high percentage of our students are currently completing 28 units or more. We are firmly committed to supporting all students earning their diplomas. Our faculty and administration is committed to expand the support programs, which include tutors, labs, sheltered instruction, remediation and more. In addition, credits can also be earned outside a regular classroom schedule, such as electronic high school, work based opportunities and internships. Our school currently operates an eight period schedule, giving our students the opportunity to earn at least 32 credits during their four years of high school. We appreciate this opportunity to clarify our process, opinion and recommendation on this very important matter. The board will vote on this policy on Jan.17, 2006.

Members of the PCHS Community Council include Hal Smith, Hilary Hays, Laurie White, Dan Elbert, Sue Galusha, Greg Clark, Dale Hart, Elizabeth Lee, Cindy Albrecht, Kate Dougherty, Julie Lonczak, Kirsten Kolway, Kim Keffer and Nancy Stanislaw.

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