On April 16th, the consultants who are developing a master plan for the Park City School District will present several options to the Board of Education. Then, the public will have at least a month to let the board know what they think about the ideas and the costs to implement them.
The firm GSBS has led the master planning effort. A 19-member steering committee has identified five key areas which include grade alignment, school locations, school and class sizes, what to do with the Treasure Mountain Junior High building and the future of the Kearns campus. Consultant, Chris Guarino with NV5 told the board he would have liked more community participation.
“We’ve also conducted community listening tours to hear from parents, teachers and community members at every single school. Some of those were more heavily attended than others. It was a disappointing turn-out at a few of those. Regardless of how much we communicated the message that the meetings were coming, we still fell short of attendance on a few of them but those that have participated have given us absolutely critical information."
Teachers have helped identify the needs for future learning including flexible spaces and more out-door learning opportunities.
Board President, Andrew Caplan hopes once specific facilities options and associated costs are available, more people will weigh in.
“We need more people to come out and give views and we hope, we would implore everyone who's listening to this to come forward and start paying very close attention because over the next several months and over the next year we're going to be making decisions with the community. The community is going to be making the decisions I should say of what this is going to look like. And it's your tax dollars right? So, what’s on the website, how many people have hit it, how many people television is reached or our social media blasts has reached-your right is only so relevant right, because at the end of the day we have a lot of folks in this community who pay taxes who we still need to get out and talk to and that's going to be our job as an administration and board over the next several months.”
While district communication shows a board decision will be made on May 21st – with implementation scheduled for next school year, Caplan says the board is not tied to that timeline.
“And the next step in this process is going to be starting in April which is, OK, here are our options. These are what they look like. These are the costs. Now is your chance over the next several months, to give your input and when the consultant suggested OK May 21st-let's not be hasty and make hard decisions. That's because look when we when we roll these out in April in the middle of April which is a few weeks away, it's going to take time for the community to digest the options, the costs, understand how we got to these options and if that takes a month great. If it takes 2 months fine. If it takes 3 months, 6 months, that's OK too. We are not trying to rush this. We're not trying to, you know, we do want to move it forward, we don't want to stall out. However, we also recognize that any of these options are going to be costly and it's a community decision so we're going to be flexible with the community.”
The final meeting of the grade alignment task force is March 26th. The other four task forces have completed their meeting schedules and will be making recommendation to the steering committee and ultimately to the school board. A link http://pcfutureoflearning.pcschools.us/learn-more/ to the future of learning page showing agenda and meeting notes, can be found on KPCW.org along with the complete interview with School Board President Andrew Caplan.