Teaching Students Strategies for Success

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 10.52.18 AMStudents in Sue Crawford’s Content Link class at Treasure Mountain Junior High starts its daily class routine with a dose of instruction of executive function strategies, or skills for success.

She helps students identify their strengths and challenges in this area and offers tools and strategies in both academic and social, emotional areas. Students learn time-management and self-advocacy skills, as well as dealing with emotions, taking other perspectives, and recognizing impulsivity.

According to Crawford, the cornerstone of this instruction is giving students a voice to communicate effectively with their peers and the adults they interact with daily.  She does this through daily mini-lessons and teachable moments. She has also found success using circles where students have a safe and supportive opportunity to help each other problem solve and find solutions to challenges they are personally experiencing in the executive function areas.

Crawford has implemented this instructional practice with her students for several years as a secondary Special Education teacher.  She has seen first-hand the increase in confidence and motivation when students are given tools and strategies that they can use to find success.

Transition Program Partners with the Lucky Ones


Park City School District’s Learning Academy transition teacher Paislee Schreiter and Park City High School’s special education teacher Tara Bacon have teamed up with Lucky Ones to bring coffee to the Christian Center of Park City.

Students at the Learning Academy’s adult transition plan will now have a coffee cart at the Christian Center of Park City.

Coffee carts allow our students to apply a variety of academic skills in an on-the-job setting. From turning in job applications to accurately counting money, the coffee cart will empower students to work within a community in a setting that is welcoming to persons of all abilities.

PCHS junior appointed to inaugural USBE Student Advisory Council

Daniel Bernhardt

Daniel Bernhardt, a junior at Park City High School who has a visual  impairment, is one of 15 students appointed by the Utah State Board of Education’s inaugural Student Advisory Council.

“The students will advise the USBE on issues relevant to high school students throughout the state,” according to a press release from the USVE. “They were selected following an application period this fall after the USBE approved a new policy establishing the council.”

Students appointed to the council represent both traditional and charter  schools. They will be advising the board of student issues such as: mental health and bullying, racism and discrimination, access to STEM and technology, homelessness, LGBTQ challenges, students with disabilities, college readiness, and school funding.

The SAC will meet at least every other month to discuss how decisions made at the state level affect students.


Wilson Reading System Kicks Off in PCSD Following Intensive Educator Training


By Kara Brechwald | Teacher Leader Specialist

Teachers, special educators, and 13 interventionists, from all of Park City School District’s K-9 schools recently gathered at the University of Utah Reading Clinic for an intensive training in the newly released Wilson Reading System (WRS) 4th edition.

The WRS is an intensive reading program for students with phonological deficits who are not making sufficient progress with other teaching strategies and require multi-sensory language instruction and intensive structured literacy instruction due to a language-based reading disability.  

The first three days of the training were filled with information on the fundamentals of reading, the benefits of multi-sensory structured language instruction, and an overview of all ten steps of the Wilson Reading System.

Day four, the teachers observed a Wilson lesson in action and then collaborated in school teams for student practicums. By the end of the week, the teachers were are prepped with materials and lesson plans to kick off their Wilson Instruction.

This school year, the teachers will continue with training and coaching from certified Wilson trainers as they work toward their own Wilson Instruction Level 1 credentials.

In just three years, PCSD has gone from piloting “Fundations” at one elementary school to implementing instruction for all K-3 students, as well as using extra-Fundations instruction for Tier 2 intervention.

This year, interventionists and teachers, Grades 4-9, are training in “Just Words,” a Wilson curriculum. We will be implementing the program to help struggling readers at the upper elementary level through the junior high level.

All of these Wilson resources, in conjunction with the 13 WRS Level 1 teacher trainees, will create a districtwide continuum of instruction and intervention for all learners.