Guest editorial: All stakeholders have role to play in Park City education master planning
Education is a hot topic around the nation and locally because it shapes how the world works. In the U.S., citizens have a voice in shaping and improving their school districts through elected Boards of Education.
The Park City School District is entering a new cycle of master planning. Details to be considered during the process include enrollment projections, demographic profile of students, programs, curriculum, transportation, schedules, outstanding projects, school sites, facilities, and funding. All stakeholders will have a voice. The process will result in a much needed timeline with key milestones and objectives. Our Board has recently contracted with Collaborative Learning Network, LLC, to direct this effort.
While some concern has been expressed with recent changes in our Board and district leadership, changes are not much different than what the district has experienced in the past. During the last ten years there have been at least 16 different Board members and three superintendents. Each of our Boards has altered policies; each superintendent has altered the composition of staff for better or worse. Change is imminent in pubic education.
Moving forward and focusing on our district’s future is paramount to our children’s education. Implementing the district master plan will require engagement of all stakeholders to be successful. We all have a role in shaping the future of education in Park City. Everyone should consider their areas of expertise and interest in public education and be prepared to contribute. The Board is seeking to engage the community early and often. Our Board members welcome you to the table!
With regard to public engagement, the National School Boards Association (www.nsba.org) states that “By focusing on raising student achievement through strong local governance and by actively engaging the community, school boards provide leadership for academic success in our public schools.”
Our Board of Education is a representative body elected by our citizens to provide for and oversee the operation of our public schools. Members aim to work hard, work intelligently, and work together in the best interest of our students with emphasis on listening to our community. Why the community? Because the first policy under the Board of Education Power and Duties is, “Directly accountable to the people, local school boards are the educational policymakers for the public schools in local communities and may serve as the final appeal body in school administrative matters.”
A collaborative process among all stakeholders (board, leadership, staff, students, parents, community and district partners) is crucial to the effective management of our schools. First, it provides opportunities to share knowledge, resources, research, and experience. Second, it allows Board members and district leadership to listen, learn, and apply data to improve education. Finally, it provides for a positive working environment to effect real and measurable progress through a thorough, documented, and transparent planning and implementation process for our district.
You can engage with our Board members at meetings, one-on-one, through committees, or by email. Visit http://www.pcschools.us, and click the School Board tab to explore recent activities and documents.
With Erin’s leadership, we find comfort knowing more families like ours will have the privilege to give their own kids a solid foundation of lifelong learning for generations to come.
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