Since arriving in Park City 19 years ago, I’ve witnessed exponential growth and have seen the many ways it has affected our school environments. As Parkites, we’ve long been told (and do believe) that Park City School District (PCSD) is No. 1 in the state, but with aging buildings and crowded classrooms, the District has decided it’s time to reevaluate our learning spaces and what they should like to best serve our students today and in the future.
That decision led to The Future of Learning master planning project, encompassing years of community meetings, building evaluations and long-range planning to determine things such as: What grades should be in which buildings, which buildings can be renovated and which should be torn down, and the actual classroom learning environments that best serve the education of our nearly 5,000 students.
Like all investments, executing the recommendations within the Future of Learning comes with a cost, which is being put in front of all voters within the Park City School District boundaries (zip codes 84060, 84068, and 84098) on this November’s ballot. In Utah, the primary mechanism for funding school capital projects is through bond initiatives. While other entities – power, parks, water, sewer, etc. – can impose impact fees to lessen the impact of growth brought by new construction, school districts are legally prohibited from doing so, which means bond initiatives must be presented to voters to spread the cost of school district projects across taxpayers via property tax increases.
The specific goals of the Future of Learning project funded by the proposed bond, according to PCSD’s site, include:
Comprehensive 4-Year High School Experience – Community and faculty feedback overwhelmingly support providing a comprehensive 4-year high school experience.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Enhancements – Community members expressed strong interest in bolstering CTE offerings and building on the success of PCCAPS in the renovation at both the high school and middle school. The District has seen that 95% of CTE students graduate from high school, which is 10% higher than the national average.
Full Middle School Experience – Community feedback supported the 8th grade students attending a middle school model at Ecker Hill Middle School.
Strengthen Community Services – The community and District leaders are strongly committed to providing early learning opportunities to all students in recognition of the importance of early learning to student success, social equity and closing the achievement gap. Neighborhood elementary schools will have early learning opportunities incorporated with wraparound community services at key locations in the District.
I encourage you to visit the school district’s FAQs page by clicking here. It breaks down the bond process and answers complex questions to help voters further understand the impact of the election. More information can also be found here, including upcoming community informational meeting dates. As the educational and emotional outcomes of our students become increasingly critical, re-envisioning the spaces where they spend so much of their developmental time has never been more crucial.
A supported and educated community is one of the many reasons so many people Choose Park City. Connect with Christine Grenney at 435-640-4238, or visiting her website by clicking here to learn about the many mountain properties providing easy access to each of the state’s resort communities.