School Postponed to Monday Due to Fires


Kate Beal, Editor-in-Chief

On Monday August 16th, the Park City School District announced that the start of the school would be postponed from August 19th to August 23rd. In an email, the school district cited the recent evacuation of the Pinebrook and Summit Park areas due to fire.


The evacuations began on Saturday August 14th, when a fire was traveling through Parley’s Canyon, which includes the main roadway connecting Salt Lake City and Park City. There were mandatory evacuation orders issued to the residents of Summit Park, Pinebrook, and Timberline neighborhoods.


During August 16th, the school district was informed that these evacuation orders could be extended to 8:00 pm on Wednesday night for Pinebrook and 8:00 pm Thursday night for Timberline and Summit Park.


According to PCHS Principal Roger Arbabi, this raised concerns that “parents have not been shopping for back to school stuff and they have not had access to getting it … and [the school district] felt that it would be better to postpone school so that students could come back more prepared.”


This change removed two school days from the start of the academic calendar. To compensate for that, the district decided to change March 11th from a teacher workday to a traditional school day. They only added one day instead of two because the planned school year was already one day longer than was required by the state.


In the meantime, the high school is still being used as an evacuation center for those displaced by the fires. There are cots set up for those who have no other place to sleep, the parking lot serves as a space for people to park their campers, and the building also acts as a food center.


Arbabi said that he does not anticipate the school year being postponed further, although he noted that it will depend on the weather, and if wind spreads the fire.


Despite the uncertainty caused by these changes, Park City Superintendent Jill Gildea remained optimistic.


We are appreciative of the outreach the community has provided to all displaced/evacuated families and staff,” said Gildea. She went on to specify the support of the Red Cross, the Christian Center, and the donations of the community as a whole.