Is it time for Park City to have two high schools? Should one be a traditional curriculum, the other more career and technical? Should elementary schools include 6th grade? Or should there be neighborhood kindergarten through 8th grade schools. One thing people seem to agree on is that it is time to move 9th grade back to the high school. Tuesday, April 30th is another opportunity to give input on what the future of the Park City School District should look like.
Park City School District officials want public input on the four grade alignment options that evolved from the master planning efforts, which have been underway for many months. According to the consultants and master planning steering committee, everyone wants ninth grade back in the high school. However, there are questions of how elementary schools should be configured, what a middle year’s program would look like and how many high schools should be in Park City?
Last week, consultants GSBS and NV5 pitched four grade alignment options to the school board. Two of them, A and B, were weighted with the highest marks. But after steering committee members met again the following day, it was decided that more public input was needed before moving forward with those options. Superintendent Jill Gildea gives an overview of how the options differ.
“Option A would remain K-5 schools, which is what you see now. Our four elementary schools, a middle school and a high school configuration. And then option B, actually shifts to a K-6 elementary system with a 7/8 middle school which would probably be called, you know Ecker or Treasure Mountain or even both, right? And then a high school configuration. The third option is the one that looks at that out of the box situation. What if every school were k-8? And then the fourth is removing the 5th grade out of the elementary system and putting them in more of an intermediate school.”
The steering committee also asked the consultants to provide costs associated with each of the options. Gildea says having a cost reference will help define pros and cons.
“So, as we look at these four options even if we look just the K-8, just in early childhood, just at high school. Don't you think we should probably know one- dollar sign to four-dollar signs, just like we might look at a restaurant or a hotel?”
Gildea thinks they’ll make decisions in the next month or two and identify the top two grade alignment options. She also says that some elements of the master plan could be implemented with low associated costs.
“Then, once we do that maybe we have a survey question that asks about that 9/12 comprehensive high school and we get a sense of concurrence around two schools-one school or a CTE pathway. Once we have some of those things ironed down with the price tags attached to that I think then we can keep moving. But I do believe it will be a phased approach. I do believe we'll see some low hanging fruit-of things we can do with curriculum, with going outside, some furniture, with some things that modernize the environment space. Then I think maybe you'll see that planning. So, it will be a long-phased plan."
Public input on the master plan can be given during the community forum on Tuesday, April 30th. They’ll have a panel and moderator to inform the public and then open the meeting up to a town hall style of questions and answers. The meeting is in the lecture hall at 6 pm.