It’s Back To School in Park City starting Thursday, August 23rd. The Board of Education met for the first time with the new, Park City School Superintendent in place. They approved a tunnel project and a Master Planning consulting contract. With school starting, and the Park and Ride construction project underway on Kilby Road near Ecker Hill Middle School, officials ask everyone to pay attention while driving, walking and cycling in all the school areas. Carolyn Murray has this:
“I think this year it’s going to be the roundabouts. I think getting the roundabouts completed out by Ecker Hill Middle School. I think that’s going to be a big project, getting all the buses through. I think getting the word out for every parent to please be patient. You know we do know that every bus will be impacted because all of the sixth graders go out to that school.”
Gildea plans to spend time in the schools. She does not anticipate making big changes right away but wants to familiarize herself with the district’s students and employees.
“Part of my work this year, is really because I am coming new to the area, I really want to get to know the schools. I really want to be in the schools. I really want that to be my focus and priority. So that may be a shift from what’s happened before. But I really feel it’s important to have the boots on the ground, not to judge and evaluate but just to get to know exactly what is happening so we can continue the trajectory of the excellence that the district’s known for.”
She plans to continue with individualized learning programs like MTSS.
“Right, so Multi-Tiered System of Support comes from right out of federal legislation as part of IDEA, Individual Disabilities Education Act. So, part of this is to insure the system is built so that our student’s academic, social, emotional and behavioral needs are taken care of and addressed. So, we’ve got a great team working on that. I’ve been really impressed by what I’ve heard and seen from them.”
A Master Planning contract for $265,599 was unanimously approved by the Board for GSBS Architects. Gildea says master planning is another top priority. She says it should be finished by May of 2019.
“I think the district commissioned basically a 10 to 15- year outlook as to the needs of the facilities. And that’s everything from assessing the systems to looking at the master facility plan that works best with the community, it’s projected growth, it’s educational needs. So we also have in this an educational consultant that will be looking at educational specifications now and for the future. So, how the current classrooms are being used and how that’s projected to adjust, if at all.”
The Board is working on a meeting schedule which will be finalized in early September. Community input will be included in the Master Planning process.
The School Board also approved the Memorandum of Understanding with Park City Municipal for the Tunnel Project under Kearns Boulevard. It will connect the High School with the LDS Seminary Building and eliminate the surface Hawk Beacon currently used by pedestrians to cross Kearns. Some Board Members say they are concerned with the ability for buses to make safe exits from the high school once the hawk beacon is no longer in use. Those details have yet to be worked out with UDOT and the City.
A couple of people made comments during public input at the truth in taxation hearing last week. They asked the Board, in consideration of low student population growth, to reconsider their decision to create a new Deputy Superintendent. Gildea told KPCW she will take the next 60 days to make that decision.