Park City School District

Public Comment

Topics and concerns brought forward during the Public Comment period at each regular session of the Park City School District Board of Education will receive a response here.

June 21, 2016
Topic: RFP for LED Lighting contract
1. Violations of Procurement Code - After investigations, there were no violations to district policy nor in statute.

2, Violation of GRAMA - The district did provide copies of documents subject to GRAMA and did not provide copies of documents not subject to GRAMA. . We were in constant contact with construction contractor through the RFP process and award decision. In working with a seasoned, competent general contractor, the district has made best efforts to expend public funds in a wise and judicious fashion. The district remains committed to following state statute and best practices in administering public fund

May 17, 2016
Topic: Communications Concern:
Concerned about the timing of the meetings and public comment. Shared ideas on how to improve. The district has hired a communications specialist and developed a communication committee.

Topic: Learning Center Teachers Non-Renewed:
Students and parents shared concerns with two teachers that had contracts non-renewed for the 2016-17 school year. The district cannot comment on personnel issues.

Topic: Nurse Non-Renewed:
Employee approached the board to consider her contract. The district cannot comment on personnel issues. Support for Budget Increase for Increased Nursing Staff.
Board approved increases to two additional nurses for the 2016-17 school year.

Topic: Styrofoam Project:
Student shared her progress on removing Styrofoam from the kitchen.

Topic: Special Education:
Community member shared appreciation for the upcoming special education review.

Topic: Support for Budget Increase for Food Services
Board approved increases to improve quality of school lunch offerings.

March 15, 2016
Topic: Middle Level Student Research
We do research and keep current with student development research. For example, Ecker Hill was recently re-designated as a “Schools to Watch”. We are always open to learning and growing for the betterment of our students.

February 23, 2016
Topic: ELA Plan
Concerns were brought forth regarding the elimination of reading aides. The English Language Arts curriculum has changed. The structure to provide intervention has changed. Please see the web link to the information.

January 19, 2016
Topic: School Lunch
Community members brought forth suggestions to improve the nutrition value of school lunches. The PCSD has put together a task force to address these suggestions and to develop an updated district wellness policy.

November 17, 2015
Topic: Transportation Concern
A concern was brought forth to review the transportation schedules to include students that are in a closer radius than current policy. The governing board will work with administration to review the transportation policy.

Topic: Citizens for a Better Education
Representative for Citizens for a Better Education thanked the board for the conversation toward the bond election and offered assistance to future work.

October 20, 2015
Topic: Busing
A concern was brought forth regarding our bus scheduling and the perception that the buses are not being utilized for student transportation by parents. Transportation, scheduling, and routes are being audited currently. Discussions with the city and county are currently occurring to finding solutions for community transportation.

March 17, 2015
Topic: PCCAPS
Concerns were brought forth regarding budget and enrollment of the PCCAPS program. A request was made for a full review of the program. The superintendent, under her administrative duties, will provide a report to the governing board in an upcoming meeting.

As a reminder, we ask all public to refrain from using specific personnel during public comment.

Topic: Technology Barriers to Student Learning
In response to the Public Comment – Technology Request, the following are statements addressing the concerns and statements:

1. PCHS Student: The district distributes hundreds of computers to students for free

Clarification: Between June 5th and August 20th, for one-to one, the IT department prepared 3300 computers to be distributed to students by the 1st day of school (2,000 that were collected and returned to students and 1300 new machines). In addition, IT prepared and replaced over 200 faculty/admin computers and conducted maintenance to the computers at all of the elementary schools. Our ongoing support includes 4400 district computers and peripheral devices.

2. PCHS Student: In order for certain students to access, leverage, learn and innovate, in our most advanced science and technology courses, students require a more open and responsive software installation process.

Clarification: The current software installation process is open – responsiveness is dependent on how cleanly things fall into place regarding the requested software.

3. PCHS Student: Currently it can take up to a year to have software approved, installed and in use:

Clarification: If the current process for requesting software is followed as outlined, and:
1. the software is free or has been budgeted (including the appropriate number of licenses depending on how it is being used);
2. is supposed to be compatible with district computers and OS; and
3. in fact, checks out to be compatible (this is not always the case),
software can and has been requested, approved, installed and in use in 2 weeks.

If there are extenuating/complicating factors in the process, it will take longer, but rarely should it take more than 4 to 6 weeks. To be clear, there ARE instances where a software request and install does not happen at all. At times the software requested disables the district’s current software. Other times different software is not necessary as there are one or more applications installed on the same computer that can perform the exact same function, and students/teachers are just unaware. Again, there are budgetary constraints based on the cost of software being requested which may include a lack of understanding about required licenses for individual computers and the substantial cost that this may add.

4. PCHS Student: The policy is antiquated.

Clarification: Agreed – the policy needs to be updated to reflect our current capabilities and practice.

5. PCHS Student: Certain teachers or administrators could be given permission to authorize and install software for specific use as is done at the Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC).

Clarification: Currently all teachers and administrators have this capacity for their own computers. (It is estimated that over the last six months to a year, attempting to download and install software by these employees has disabled programs and/or shut down 120 machines, which can take days to fix and/or results in having to wipe the machines clean).

In an effort to look further into the CTEC program, we went to CTEC and met with the computer programming and networking teacher as well as the principal to find out how their program was run.

What we discovered was that at CTEC, the courses are taught using dedicated machines in self-contained labs on a self-contained network. CTEC is set up with their own server and with a firewall that keeps them from accessing the district network. Students are not issued their own laptops and work done remotely by the students in the class is web-based. With this type of system set up, they do indeed have more freedom with software downloading. To replicate this type of set up for PCCAPS (with their own server and a firewall) would cost approximately $25,000. In order to do the same for a class at PCHS, a lab could be set up with dedicated computers and set up a firewall, estimated cost $45,000 depending on the number of computers that would be needed.

However, comparing the CTEC program to PCSD where students are issued individual MacBook laptops is incongruous. When we described the way one-to-one is set up, the CTEC teachers stated that they would not change the current protections that are in place in PCSD nor would they support setting up administrative access at the student level unless it were under the CTEC type of set up (meaning on dedicated computers), which we would support whole heartedly.

Additionally, the high caliber knowledge and expertise of the CTEC computer-programming & network teachers is one of the reasons that their program can be run independently at its current level.

6. PCHS Student: BYOD (Device) as is done with Rowland Hall

Clarification: In speaking with the Technology Director at Rowland Hall, students purchase their own computers within certain specifications. Once the computers are purchased, the students bring them to the school to be imaged and loaded with approved software. The computers are also treated as school property so administration is given the right to seize and search the computers if there is any suspected misuse. As with CTEC, the computers plug-in to a network so they can be monitored and the system operates on a separate server.

It is important to note that when PCSD went to one-to-one the Board specifically made a decision not to pursue the BYOD alternative based upon the need to provide equal access to learning tools for all students.

7. PCHS Student: Teachers should closely review what is to be installed in an isolated environment and the filter would still apply to these machines.

Clarification: Currently, the IT department is unaware of any teacher that is fully capable of reviewing software to the level necessary in order to insure safety, security and compatibility. An error here has the ability to shut down computers, which again can take days to repair and/or can result in having to wipe machines clean and start over, complete with re-imaging.

8. PCHS Student: If the AP Computer Science class and technology club had on-site access to integrated development environment we could develop:
• An online dance ticketing system for school dances
• An online smoothie-ordering application for Booster Juice
• A popular game or useful program

Clarification: There is nothing preventing any of these from occurring.

Summary:
The IT department must test new softwares for security and compatibility.
The IT department must prioritize due to the size of the district and the size of the IT department.
Schools must prevent access to inappropriate content.

  • There are some possible concerns about opening up student access to school resources.
  • Any projects or activities that resulted in a student intentionally or unintentionally gaining administrative access to the school district’s network, what the student chooses to do could have far-reaching consequences. To provide such access could be considered a violation of our working agreements with UEN and their policies, with E-rate, and opens up the district and any employee involved to sanctions as well as possible disciplinary and legal action.

Please see Utah Code Rule R277-495. Required Policies for Electronic Devices in Public Schools.

http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r277/r277-495.htm

Based on the district’s access to technology and one-to-one initiative, the IT department’s scope of responsibility is extraordinary. We constantly strive to provide creative solutions within the guidelines under which we must operate.

August 19, 2014
Topic: PCCAPS Model
Concern: PCCAPS is only one of two models
No, there are currently 11 districts in five different states that offer a CAPS model.
Concern: Satellites are the best model
According to the CAPS director overseeing the six districts in Kansas, both satellites and a dedicated building for collaboration is the best model.

Topic: Class Sizes
Last year, we added eight Full Time Employees (FTE) to reduce class sizes at Trailside Elementary, McPolin Elementary, Ecker HIll Middle School, and Park City High School. We used growth projections over the last five years to staff 2014-15. We must wait until the 10 day period to be fiscally responsible in adding additional staff. We realize we have grade levels with higher than projected growth at Jeremy Ranch Elementary, Parley's Park Elementary, and Ecker Hill Middle School. Once the 10 day period from the first day of school has lapsed, the superintendent will review and if necessary, request additional support for the courses that have higher than average class sizes. It is important to understand that the State of Utah does not fully fund growth. In addition, the funding we receive is based upon our October 1 Student Count (not beginning of year or end of year). In addition, it is important to remember that we are only funded approximately $3,000 per student from the state; however, the excellent, quality education that Park City School District delivers requires $10,000 per student, yielding a $7,000 difference for Park City School District to cover through property taxes and grants.

Topic: Concern over Secondary Math Courses on transcripts for out of state:

Information received on Thursday, August 21st:
U of U - SM I, SM II, and SM III will eventually replace their current list of accepted courses, but for now they are the equivalent of those that are accepted.

Contacted on Wednesday, August 20th:
SDSU - Still awaiting a response, but I would assume their response will be similar to UCSD since they are a part of the same system.

Information received on Wednesday, August 20th:
UCSD - Their short answer was yes and students with Common Core courses on their transcript have been accepted. With the Common Core being so new in the state of California, they are still trying to figure out how to integrate those courses into the current courses that are accepted.

June 17, 2014
Topic: French/ Spanish Language - Difference in DLI and Secondary Courses
Shared experience between a daughter in French Dual Language Immersion and a son in the secondary language courses learning Spanish.

Topic: PCHS Land Trust - Requested that current programming supplies and technology should be the district expense. Requested that the capital expense for music to be a district capital expense and not PCHS Land Trust Monies.

Topic: PCCAPS building - Request to review Shared Decision Making Policy, review Master Planning Committee to include parent, students, community members, and business members, request for PCSD Governing Board to appoint Master Planning Committee Members

May 20, 2014
Topic: Student Concern for PCCAPS Program

Response: PCSD Administration has reached out to the students and parents to solicit information to continually improve opportunities for students to be college and career ready.

Topic: Concern regarding PCCAPS Capital Improvement Expenditure

Response: PCSD Governing Board and Administration will continue to communicate plans to build a building near Treasure Mountain Junior High. An internal audit of all physical facilities will be conducted and completed by December 31, 2014.

Topic: Fencing around schools

Response: Easement around schools need to be investigated before any fencing should occur.

April 22, 2014
Topic: Concussion Accommodations

Response: Superintendent Conley will work with student services director and high school administration to ensure that students receive appropriate accommodations when a student is recovering from a mild-moderate concussion.

Topic: Class Sizes
Response: Budget recommendations include addition full time employees as classroom teachers at Ecker Hill Middle School.

March 18, 2014
Topic: Class Sizes

Response:
We are continually reviewing the budget, line item by line item, to address class sizes.
2.5 Full Time Employees will be added to Ecker Hill Middle School for 2014-15 School Year.

Each program being critically reviewed to ensure maximum efficiency to assist toward reducing class sizes.

January 21, 2014
Topic: Dual Language Immersion: Kindergarten and Parley's Park

Response: PCSD is reviewing the dual language program across the district. We are working with Judy Tukuafu, DLI Project Manager, to review options for students that were not accepted into the program, based upon the application procedure.

Topic: Tardy Policy

Response: Mr. O'Connor will review and assess the concern brought forth.

December 3, 2013
Topic: Profiling

Response: A student from PCHS addressed the governing board members and spoke on the topic of student profiling based upon their clothing. He expressed that students felt targeted by Officer Allinson. PCSD and PCPD is working together to address the student's concerns.

November 19, 2013
Topic: Service Dogs in Training

Response: The Policy for Service Dogs has been under review since August. We have received two attorney opinions and are seeking an opinion from the Utah State Board of Education.

October 22, 2013
Topic: Author in Residence Lecture

Response: On October 22, 2013, at the Public Comment section of the Park City School District Governing Board Meeting, an allegation was made from six parents that during one of the eight lectures by the Author in Residence, Sherman Alexie asked our Caucasian students to stand up and say, “I am a white, over-privileged s..thead.” The district investigated thoroughly. This situation did occur. Multiple measures have been in place and further measures have been implemented for future years of the Author’s in Residence Program. These steps will be followed methodically and meticulously.

September 17, 2013
Topic: Policy Adoption Procedures

Response: There have been no changes to the process of Policy Development. The Park City School Board still follows policy 2030 which outlines Board Policy Development. We did have to address some policies at the first meeting in August in order to be in compliance with the State Auditor's new requirements. This is addressed in the policy as follows:
"Whenever possible, policies shall not be posted, revised or approved during months that school is not in session".
Aside from the fact that we had a time restriction, school is in fact in session in the month of August. We will ask the policy committee to review the wording in order to see if it continues to be appropriate.

Topics: FERPA, Class Sizes, Policy 11010, Summer Reading Assignment

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