School Board Notes
Award of Excellence
Methacton’s Award of Excellence honorees for April 2022 represent Eagleville Elementary School. They are: Kimberlee Beam, 1st Grade Teacher; Sara Hart, Special Education Teacher; Natalie Pileggi, Reading Specialist; Colleen Derfler, Reading Instructional Assistant; Lynn Yakonick, Instructional Assistant; and, Mahveen Gauher, Instructional Assistant (not pictured). All of these outstanding staff members provide support for students, staff, and our community. They are valuable team members and we are pleased to share with everyone how much we appreciate their commitment to the Methacton School District.
In Memorium: Rosemary Miller
Dr. Zerbe led a moment of silence in respect and remembrance of Arrowhead Elementary School 2nd grade teacher, Rosemary Miller, who passed on March 24, 2022.
Rosemary was loved and respected by her students and all that had come to know her. Her former principal, Ms. Tara Ricci, shared that Rosemary was a principal’s dream. She loved technology and trying new things with her students. She loved teaching her colleagues and they loved learning from her. The outpouring of support Rosemary received from her Methacton family is evidence of how deeply she touched the lives and hearts of others. Colleague and friend, Darlene Balaguer-Piernock, and friend and Worcester parent, Erin Thoryk, also honored Rosemary by sharing their memories of love and friendship with her.
Meetings in Review
Dr. Zerbe and Mr. Bricker, Business Director, presented a number of fiscal recommendations including use of the Capital Reserve fund, the use of Shannondell escrow funds, and an update on our current status of preparing the 2022-2023 budget.
Dr. Zerbe recommended that the Board consider funding recurring capital matters such as boilers and chillers, cooling towers, roofs, hot water heaters, athletic fields, security systems, vehicles, paving, and grounds equipment (as examples) through this fund rather than borrowing money. The concept is to establish a Board policy that would outline the contribution annually from the General Fund budget to the Capital Reserve budget that will serve to fund these matters long term and reduce the overall costs to taxpayers by eliminating fees and interest associated with borrowing. We know we have these things to take care of and we simply need to commit to a plan and a policy that can help the administration, current and future Board’s to maintain this appropriate fiduciary responsibility. To learn more about the recommendation, see presentation here.
Dr. Zerbe shared that the Capital Reserve fund currently has about $1.5 Million dollars and that this fund has varied over time to a low of $450K. He explained that the Shannondell tax appeal case has been settled, which leaves about $7 Million dollars in an escrow account that now requires the Board to determine what to do with those funds. Dr. Zerbe’s recommendation is to move these funds to the Capital Reserve fund to substantiate the plan to fund small capital matters as outlined in the Capital Reserve fund recommendation. This will allow us to plan long term and balance out the sequencing of projects against the fund and the annual contribution back to the fund to maintain this ongoing process. To learn more about this recommendation, please see the fiscal brief here.
Mr. Bricker provided an update on the current status of the 2022-2023 budget preparation. The presentation is showing a 2.83% tax increase which, as Dr. Zerbe explained, is going to be lower – closer to 2.2 % – due to the fact that we just received our final healthcare and prescription costs among a few other updates. The Board will be voting on the proposed final budget at the May 18, 2022 meeting with the final budget adoption scheduled for approval on June 21, 2022.
Dr. Walsh shared that this budget includes the addition of 3 staff specifically targeted at supporting a 3-year plan to address math instruction K-12. Dr. Walsh explained that as part of the K-12 Math curriculum-cycle process, math coaches will work with teachers through lesson modeling, best practices and pedagogy as well as support the pilot and final text adoptions in year one and two of the plan. These additional coaches will also help provide consistency in delivery along with common assessments across the department. Our primary goal is to increase student proficiency in math. To see additional information on the budget update see presentation here.
Jr. Board Representatives
A very special thank you to Brady Patton and Lana Nijinsky for representing Eagleville Elementary School as Junior Board Representatives for April 2022. Brady led the meeting by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Lana delivered a statement on what makes Eagleville such a great school.
Eagleville and Arrowhead Construction Updates
Fidevia provided the Board with an update on the construction projects at Arrowhead Elementary School and Eagleville Elementary School. Click here to read the April progress report for both projects.
You can also keep up with the latest on the Arrowhead construction project by visiting https://www.methacton.org/ArrowheadConstruction and the Eagleville construction project by visiting https://www.methacton.org/EaglevilleConstruction.
All other items listed in the April 26, 2022 agenda were approved.