Park City Latinx Community Gives School District Input On Master Planning
Park City School District officials, administrators and tax payers will see the results of the eight-month long master planning project during the Board of Education meeting next week. The Hispanic community had an opportunity to give input during the Solomon Fund summer program sign up event last week.
Eric Esquivel oversees Latinx Community Relations with the Park City School District. He says the summer program sign up event held last week attracted many families and during the evening, he and the GSBS consultants asked parents for input on master planning and education issues. Esquivel says most of the families are driven by their work schedules and trying to keep up with those demands.
“I think for the most part, the Latino families are very concerned. They want their kids to get a good education, but they're overwhelmed with work and I don't know that they spend as much time as other community members thinking all of it through. I think there's a pretty large sense of trust. I think they trust us in that the school district is the professional there to educate their children.
Tearing down Treasure Mountain Junior High School has been a community discussion for 10 to 15 years. Some say it’s a sick and failing building, many people, including teachers have disagreed with that assessment. The failed bond initiative in 2015 included tearing it down and building an athletic facility. The master planning committee identified Treasure as a hot topic and will be addressed with the consultants when they present master planning options. Many parents like the idea of the Kearns campus remaining in-tact and he says they seem to prefer a K through 6 model for elementary school. Esquivel says the Latinx parents he spoke with think it is wasteful to demolish Treasure Mountain.
“Treasure Mountain. I got a sense that the feeling was it would be wasteful to tear it down and rebuild another school. When presented with information that may be doing something different they didn't really know but I got the sense that it was a sense of being frugal, that if you have a good building maybe you could add on to it to make it less crowded cause they do realize that there's some crowding there.”
Esquivel says Latinx parents want teachers to be stricter especially when it comes to homework.
“When they were kids and they were at school, it was required for them to do their homework. It wasn't optional and there would be discipline if the homework was not completed.”
Long bus rides and bus stop safety Esquivel says are ongoing concerns.
“That their kids were on the bus quite a long time, that it’s dark and cold when they're trying to get to the bus and then especially on snow days I think everybody's concern is that they're out there in the snow waiting for the bus and because of traffic and the difficulty it is for buses to get around they have to wait longer.”
Construction of a tunnel under Kearns Boulevard will begin this spring. It will connect the high school with the south side of the street near the LDS Seminary building. A pedestrian activated hawk beacon currently is in place. Esquivel did not think the Latinx parents were aware of the upcoming project.
“Pedestrian safety along Kearns-they like and appreciate that there's a crosswalk there but there's still concerns because of the heavy traffic especially with their younger children.”
The master planning architectural and consulting firm, GSBS will present facilities options to the Park City School Board in the regular meeting beginning at 4 pm on Tuesday, April 16th.