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Park City school board could approve new diversity and equity policy

The Park City High School Gay-Straight Alliance was one of the first of its kind in Utah and won a national award in 2014.
The Park City High School Gay-Straight Alliance was one of the first of its kind in Utah and won a national award in 2014.

The Park City Board of Education could approve a new districtwide equity policy and student fees for next school year at its meeting Tuesday.

The Park City School District has a new draft policy that explains what equity is in schools and how it factors into everything from hiring to instruction.

The policy defines equity at length; it describes categories including race and ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and socio-economic status. And it says the district will incorporate principles of equity within all programs and practices.

The purpose of establishing the new policy, according to the board, is to recognize “the role systems of bias and discrimination play in creating disparities.”

The newly written policy doesn’t set any hard rules, but maintains a committee that will ensure compliance with laws.

The new policy has been in the works for some time. The draft version the board will consider comes a month after the Federal Office for Civil Rights announced it was investigating the school district for its handling of racist bullying incidents.

The board will also vote on school fees Tuesday. The proposed school fees for the 2023/24 school year are mostly unchanged, although the prices of some school dances are going up.

Public comment is scheduled before the board votes.

The meeting begins at 3:30 p.m., but will start with a closed session so the board can discuss strategy around collective bargaining. Teacher contract negotiations recently began.

After closed discussion, the board is scheduled to get monthly updates from the teachers union, Park City School District Chief Operating Officer Mike Tanner, and superintendent Jill Gildea. Tanner’s presentation will include details on the construction projects going on in the district.

The board will also hear from business administrator Randy Upton, who will outline ramifications of the recently concluded legislative session in Salt Lake City.

A link to watch the meeting virtually can be found here. (Agenda)

Public comment for issues not on Tuesday’s agenda is at 5 p.m. The meeting is being held at district offices on Kearns Blvd.