Joint statement from Park City Police and District on today’s incident

Park City Police Department responded at 9:30 a.m. today (Nov. 14) to a suspicious incident involving a man brandishing a handgun in the field between Park City High School and McPolin Elementary School. A high school student spotted the individual and immediately alerted school authorities.

The police located the individual at the 1700 block of Kearns Boulevard. Police identified and detained the individual at 10:09 a.m. Appropriate charges are being screened through the City Attorney’s Office.

The lockout at all schools was lifted by police at 10:12 a.m. All schools are back to normal operation.

Police remind parents to follow district protocol and stay away from the schools until law enforcement deems the area safe. Park City Police and district officials thank the student who utilized the “see something, say something” protocol to report suspicious activity to officials.

The Park City Police were assisted by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Utah Highway Patrol.

Parents are asked to review the PCSD Emergency Procedures with their students tonight (see below)

Procedures Flyer

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Dr. Kathleen Einhorn appointed Interim Principal at Park City High School

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 1.03.09 PMPark City School District announced today, Nov. 10, the appointment of Dr. Kathleen Einhorn as the interim Principal at Park City High School. “As you can imagine, these changes are emotional, and our primary focus is to maintain stability in the high school for our staff and students,” said Superintendent Ember Conley. Dr. Conley has been in continual contact with Mr. O’Connor and his team as the district moves forward with this decision.  

To provide additional clarification, Dr. Conley said Mr. O’Connor’s personal leave is not because of any wrongdoing. The personal leave was requested by Mr. O’Connor. The timeline is indefinite. Mr. O’Connor continues to ask for privacy.

Dr. Einhorn, who currently serves as Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, has an extensive background in education, including more than seven years as a building level administrator. Additionally, she has announced her retirement for the Fall of 2018 after 34 years in education. “She will be a wonderful mentor to the assistant principals and her knowledge as an instructional leader will be of great assistance to our teachers and students,” said Dr. Conley.   

A meet and greet with Dr. Einhorn is planned for Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m in the PCHS Lobby.

Dr. Einhorn said she is excited to close out her 34-year-career back on the ground floor with teachers, students, and parents.

She spent 24 years working for the Department of Defense schools in Germany, Ft. Benning, Georgia, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She has taught at all levels of education in both core and special education classes. She also has 20 years administrative experience at the school, district, and regional levels. She has served as principal at Trailside Elementary and has served in her current position for the past three and a half years.

Dr. Einhorn holds an Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership, an Ed.Sp. in Administration and Supervision, and a M.Ed. in Special Education—Specific Learning Disabilities.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah in Special Education and Psychology.

 

Park City High Principal taking personal leave

boboconnorPark City School District Superintendent Ember Conley announced today that Park City High School Principal Bob O’Connor will be taking personal leave, effective immediately.

“We are cognizant of the many facets of this situation and working to ensure stability for our staff and students at the high school,” Dr. Conley said. “When we have information that we can share, we will provide it. We ask for understanding, and respect for Mr. O’Connor’s privacy.”

Principal O’Connor alerted the high school staff this afternoon. Counselors are on hand to assist students and staff with their concerns.

“Bob is a valued member of our community and a respected administrator,” said Dr. Conley. “We offer our support and will continue to do all we can for the staff and students at the high school.”

Mr. O’Connor has been with the district since 1997 and has served as principal at Park City High since August 2012.

Survey indicates PCSD employees find their work meaningful

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The best way to find out what people think of you is to ask them.  And that’s just what Park City School District did.  PCSD asked 625 employees what they thought of the school district.

With help from Profitable Engagements, based in Park City, a survey was sent to employees earlier this fall in hopes of helping the administration gage the level of satisfaction and dissatisfaction of its employees.

PCSD schools are steeped in the Professional Learning Communities, which focus on learning, building a collaborative culture, and focusing on results.  “As a district, we are committed to continuing to improve our collaborative culture,” said Superintendent Ember Conley.

Using a metric to measure our culture, Profitable Engagements used a Net Promoter Score (NPS). The NPS is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of employees to recommend the district to a friend. PCSD scored a 42 NPS. The average NPS is 34, which reflects PCSD is above the national average among 3,599 districts nationwide.

“Employees create happy schools, and the climate in our classrooms becomes more positive and engaging for our students,” Dr. Conley said. “The results reinforce our shared leadership philosophy and our belief that self-directed change is the change that our employees are best suited to provide.”

The survey also found that 93 percent of PCSD employees find the things they do at work are meaningful. “We are truly fortunate to have some incredible employees who consider their work more than a job. They are here because they love education and they love the impact they have on our students,” she said.

The reason PCSD conducted the survey is to have a data point to begin reflecting on ways to improve the district, Dr. Conley said. “It creates the opportunity to seek insights on the data and solicit feedback.”

Schools and district departments have received their specific NPS and are in the process of brainstorming potential solutions for improvement and then assign team members responsibilities for goals and actions.

PCSD is the first school district in Utah to use this kind of metric. “It really is designed to elevate the school and the district culture and climate,” Dr. Conley said. “Research links a positive climate with student learning. We are committed to using this data on an ongoing basis. This is not just a one-time event, it a process.”

SAGE scores don’t paint accurate picture of the success of PCSD schools

The Utah State Board of Education released the 2016-17 Accountability Reports for local school districts this afternoon, Sept. 25. The report’s findings are based on scores from the SAGE test (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence). Required by Utah law, the end-of-level test is given to students in language arts, mathematics and science. Data from student scores are used to calculate school grading reports in accordance with Utah law.

Because Park City School District has the highest opt-out rate in the state, the district does not use SAGE as a measure of student learning beyond fifth grade. Utah law allows parents to opt their students out of SAGE. PCSD’s overall opt-out rate in 2017 was 21%.

Park City High School has the highest opt-out rate of 47% compared to 38% the previous year.  At Treasure Mountain Junior High the 2017 opt-out rate was 26% (an increase of 2% from the previous year), and at Ecker Hill Middle School the opt out rate in 2017 was 26% (an increase of 8% from the previous year). The opt-out rates at the elementary schools were relatively unchanged from year to year (anywhere from a 2-6% opt-out rates in 2017).

District officials caution parents about putting too much emphasis on the state school grading reports. The SAGE is only one measure of student performance, and since so many students in PCSD opt-out from the test, the report is skewed.

One of the district’s best indicators of student success is its 97% graduation rate, by far the highest in the state, and one of the best rates in the nation. PCSD’s elementary schools are award-winning. Park City students out-perform the state average on Advanced Placement tests, the ACT, and graduation rate. Students performance on SAGE is not an accurate picture of how our students achieve.

PCSD uses Galileo K-12 Online Instructional Improvement and Instructional Effectiveness System, a comprehensive, standards-based, and research supported assessment that tests students at the beginning of the year, mid-year, and the end of year.  Galileo tests are required for all students in PCSD. Unlike SAGE, Galileo technology offers teachers rapid and flexible access which in turn drives student learning throughout the year. Additionally, 8th grade math as measured by Galileo has improved from 53% in 2015, and to 72% in 2017.  See the measurable goals set by the district to see the comparison of Galileo and SAGE.

As the opt-out rate continues to grow, the State Board of Education is currently exploring replacements for testing secondary students, which includes the pre-ACT in 9th and 10th grade rather than SAGE. Park City School District supports this change in assessment.

 

Letter from Superintendent concerning Safe Schools Resolution

September 8, 2017

Dear PCSD Parents and Staff,

20140318__4-rebrandingp1Park City School District is strengthened by our diversity. All our students work hard to improve themselves and enrich our schools and community. The district and the Board of Education reaffirm their commitment to provide an equal opportunity for all students to attend and enjoy opportunities and benefits available in our schools, regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, national origin, political party, sexual orientation, gender, or immigration status, and to be free from harassment and intimidation. 

We remain committed to the protection of student privacy and the District will continue its practice to not collect or maintain any information about our students’ immigration status. We embrace the responsibility to welcome and educate all students and uphold our mission to provide an excellent and equitable education in every classroom, to every student, every day.

On Monday, September 11, the Board of Education will pass a Safe Schools Resolution affirming the district’s commitment to our students. The Resolution outlines how PCSD will protect students’ confidential information and ensure our learning environments are not disrupted by immigration enforcement visits. All staff will be trained on our procedures. 

We value the support of our educators and staff as they have conversations with students about current events and reassuring them that our schools will always be a safe and welcoming place.  We are doing additional training for all staff this year to help guide appropriate conversations with students.

PCSD is defined by our commitment to students — each student is valued, and each student’s talents contribute to our schools. We will do all we can to help each one of our students achieve their hopes and dreams.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ember Conley, Superintendent

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8 de septiembre de 2017

Estimados padres y personal del PCSD,

El Distrito Escolar de Park City (PCSD) se ve fortalecido por nuestra diversidad. Todos nuestros estudiantes trabajan duro para mejorarse y han enriquecido nuestras escuelasy comunidad. El Distrito Escolar y el Consejo Escolar reafirman su compromiso de proporcionar oportunidades igual para todos los estudiantes del Distrito en que puedan asistir y disfrutar de las oportunidades y los beneficios disponibles en nuestras escuelas, independientemente de su origen étnico, raza, religión, origen nacional, partido político, orientación sexual, género, o estatus migratorio, y de ser libre de acoso e intimidación.

Seguimos comprometidos con la protección de la privacidad de los estudiantes y el Distrito continuará su práctica de no recopilar ni mantener cualquier información sobre el estatus migratorio de los estudiantes. Asumimos la responsabilidad de aceptar y educar a todos los estudiantes y de mantener nuestra misión de ofrecer una educación de alta calidad, cual esequitativo en todos los salones, para cada estudiante, todos los días.

El lunes 11 de septiembre, el Consejo Escolar aprobará una resolución de “Safe Schools” –Escuelas Seguras reafirmando el compromiso a nuestros estudiantes. La resolución describe cómo el PCSD protege la información confidencial de los estudiantes y de asegurar que nuestros entornos de aprendizaje no serán afectados por las visitas de imposición de inmigración en la comunidad. Todo nuestro personal será entrenado en los Procedimientos.

Valoramos el apoyo en que nuestros maestros y el resto del personal asegura a los estudiantes de que nuestras escuelas siempre serán un lugar seguro y acogedor. Tendremos entrenamiento adicional para nuestro personal en saber cómo guiar las conversaciones pertinentes con los estudiantes.

El PCSD se define por nuestro compromiso a los estudiantes – valoramos cada estudiante, sus talento y cómo contribuyen a nuestras escuelas. Haremos todo lo posible para ayudar a cada uno de nuestros estudiantes en realizar sus sueños y esperanzas.

Atentamente,

Dr. Ember Conley, Superintendente

Social Media Incident

Last nigh, Sept. 5, at approximately 9:20 p.m., Park City School District Administration was made aware of a social media post via Snapchat of a student putting a gun-like weapon into a backpack and making a statement “all will be better tomorrow.”

As with any threat of violence, Park City School District takes each situation seriously. Park City Police was notified immediately and dispatched to the student’s home, where an interview for intent and search for the weapon was conducted. The student complied immediately showing gun-like weapon in the picture, which was an airsoft gun, and disclosing the information of the recipients of the Snapchat post.

While there is no immediate threat, the student will remain home with parent(s)/ guardian(s) and the Park City Police Department and Park City School District will do a full investigation. We are grateful to law enforcement officials in both Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Park City Police for the rapid response to this incident. Additionally, we are appreciative of the students who took this serious, reported to parents, who then contacted school officials. Our children’s safety is the number one priority.

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Anoche aproximadamente a las 9:20 PM la Administración del Distrito Escolar de Park City se enteró de un mensaje a través de Snapchat (una red social en línea) de que un estudiante puso un arma parecida a pistola en una mochila y declaró “todo irá mejor mañana.”

Como con cualquier amenaza de violencia, El Distrito Escolar de Park City toma cada
situación en serio. El Departamento de Policía de Park City fue notificado inmediatamente y un oficial fue a la casa del estudiante, donde se realizó una entrevista para determinar la intención y la búsqueda del arma. El estudiante cumplio mostrando inmediatamente el arma como en la imagen, que resultó ser una pistola Airsoft, y reveló la información de los destinatarios del mensaje Snapchat.

Aunque no existe una amenaza inmediata, el estudiante permanecerá en casa con los padres/tutores y el Departamento de Policía de Park City hasta que termine la investigación. Estamos muy agradecidos a la respuesta rápida de parte del Sheriff del Condado de Summit y Departamento de Policía de Park City. Además, estamos agradecidos de los estudiantes que tomaron esta situación grave, informaron a los padres, y quienes hicieron contacto con funcionarios de la escuela. La seguridad de nuestros niños es la prioridad número uno.