Teachers and counselors get ready for a new year
There is just a week until students return to school but classrooms in the Park City School District are already coming alive as teachers and counselors go to work.
Principals ended their vacations on Aug. 1 and teachers will be headed back to the classroom this week.
Counselors also returned to school this week.
"We’re really busy," said Park City High School Counselor Joan Mills.
She vacationed back east this summer to visit family and has now found her way back to the office.
"We’re basically changing schedules," she said.
Some students who have received their class schedules and want to make a few adjustments to it go to the counseling center for help.
Mills added that they are also working on helping students register.
Chemistry teacher Bill Kahn was at work Monday, creating lesson plans and unpacking boxes of new textbooks.
He said preparing for the start of this year is more challenging than others because of, "working around and within the construction."
Some of Kahn’s time has been spent checking to make sure that electricity, heat and water are available in his classroom.
"We’re hoping we have that stuff," he said.
Monday Kahn learned the fan in the chemical storage building had stopped working and people were trying to fix it that afternoon.
Unlike many teachers returning to school, Kahn has been back at work since July 10 because he is coaching cross country runners.
He did get away for part of the summer to go canoeing in Quetico Providence Park in Canada.
Greg Proffit, principal of Ecker Hill International Middle School, said a lot of preparations like staffing, facility improvements and student requests for specific schedules have already been done.
"A lot of the stuff, we put it in place last spring," he said.
Teachers, Proffit reported, will be putting together lesson plans and decorating bulletin boards before students return on Aug. 23.
"The most critical thing the teachers want is time in their room," Proffit said.
He added that at Ecker Hill many of the teachers will be spending time organizing students into academic teams, or groups of students overseen by a core group of teachers.
Ed Potts, who teaches junior English and Advanced Placement Language at PCHS, has been going through the material he used last year making note of what he wants to use again.
"It’s kind of a scurry to get ready," he said.
With a new building in progress, new teachers and the new administration he said it important everyone realizes the school is "still business as usual."
He said that like many of his students during the first few days of the new school year, he wants to learn how the summer went for his colleagues.
"The first couple of days you want to catch up," Potts said.
Some training will be involved in the first week including basic safety and a review of how to operate fire extinguishers.
The staff will also meet, he said to, "look at how we can make the school a little bit better.
Potts is returning after spending much of July in Europe for a study abroad course offered through the high school. He also attended a conference to help him develop as a teacher, something Potts said many of the other teachers have done.
He went to an Advanced Placement Language Conference at the University of Utah which lasted eight hours a day for one week.
Some of what he learned Potts will bring into the classroom. For example, rather than having his students do Internet research for projects because, "it’s not really credible sources" he will give them four or five specific references to use.
Potts added that he is looking forward to the upcoming school year.
"I think it’s exciting," he said.
School starts on the following days:
Park City School District Aug. 23
North Summit School District Aug. 23
South Summit School District Aug. 22
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