In an effort to engage parents, employees, and members of the community, the Park City School District Board of Education has started holding informal monthly meetings.
The board’s first Information Exchange Meeting was held Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School. Each month the meetings will be held at a different school. Some will be held during the day, and other meetings will be held at night to accommodate those who work.
The following items were discussed last night by the parents and teachers who attended the meeting with Andrew Caplan, board President, and JJ Ehlers, board Vice President:
Homework policy being piloted at Jeremy Ranch Elementary this year: A parent from Jeremy Ranch asked if the policy was really working. Sherry Barski, a reading specialist at the school, said they are already seeing a decrease in the stress level of students and parents. Students are also accountable to read every night. “It has been a very positive thing so far,” she said.
The parent expressed concern that not having homework may “dumb down” school. She wondered how a student goes from no homework at the elementary level to taking AP courses at the high school level that require a great deal of homework. Superintendent Ember Conley said a lot of Professional Learning Communities in the schools are looking at their homework policies. Teachers are naturally looking at students individually and their different styles of learning.
One parent from McPolin Elementary said his child is dyslexic so they have to do homework at their house. He said a lot of students need socialization, creative time, and playtime. “You can’t fit all those things in a child’s day. I’d love to see the district get into more project-based learning.”
Study Skills: A parent expressed the need for an overall study skills class. “Our students need to learn how to learn,” she said. “Learning how to study is essential for student success.”
Challenging Classes: A parent said students need to be encouraged more to take challenging classes. Jamie Weeks, a math teacher at the high school, said when students don’t do well in rigorous classes they drop the class.
Graduates: President Caplan asked the question, “What do we want our graduates to look like? What do they need to be equipped with as they leave high school? We need to make sure they are prepared with life skills.”
A parent commended the PCCAPS program saying the project-based learning teaches skills not only related to the business world, but the real world. Dr. Conley said there is talk among the regional superintendent about the need for a technical center. There are students who don’t succeed in a traditional classroom and the tech center would provide them with hands-on training, she said.
The board’s next Information Exchange Meeting is Dec. 13 from 1-3 p.m. at Ecker Hill Middle School.