School Board Notes
The Meetings in Review
This month's school board meetings featured presentations and discussion on elementary programming and capacity, state assessment results, the School Resource Officer Program, full day kindergarten, and transportation.
During the November 15 meeting, a review of the district's elementary programming was provided. This presentation shared details on the elementary program and building capacity. This was provided following the November 2, 2016 enrollment and capacity presentation made by Milone and MacBroom. Further discussion surrounding Audubon and Arrowhead schools and the information reported in the facilities assessment were discussed as well. The facilities assessment study projected that to upkeep and maintain Audubon and Arrowhead over the next 10 years will likely cost in the neighborhood of $29 million inclusive of soft costs (bid prep/financing etc.). It was further shared that new construction of a 500 student building would be at a cost of approximately $27-28 million. It was discussed that the board consider the investment result. It was further discussed that the administration should provide a similar report on the remaining school buildings as was provided on the elementary buildings. The conversation suggested that the district may have underutilized capacity elsewhere.
Dr. Mary Katona, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment presented the Board with a review of Methacton's performance on the 2015-216 state assessments. She indicated that Methacton continues to perform much better than the state on PSSA and Keystone exams and slightly higher than the average among Montgomery County schools. Dr. Katona illustrated the challenges and actions the district is taking to ensure that all our children reach their maximum potential. Work in English Language Arts and mathematics remain key focus areas for the district. Dr. Katona called attention to updated curriculum and new text resources as examples of efforts to raise the bar.
Dr. Katona presented an executive report on full day kindergarten. She shared the background on the need and what the research has shown. The presentation provided that the current trend shows that 90% of public school districts were offering some form of full day kindergarten as of 2013. It also was shared that an implementation of full day kindergarten would require approximately $700,000 - $800,000 in annual staffing costs alone to implement. Dr. Zerbe suggested that while the district is in no position to recommend the implementation of such a program, it is important that the Board consider the information shared about full day kindergarten as part of their decision making and discussion on school consolidation.
Troy Sosnovik, Director of Technology, Child Accounting, and Safety; addressed the Board by updating them on the School Resource Officer program. He presented costs comparisons and answered questions on process moving forward. The Board approved a motion to authorize the administration to proceed with securing a contract for a private vendor that will provide two full time officers and augmented security services.
During the regular board meeting, Dr. Robert Harney, Assistant to the Superintendent for Personnel; presented the board with an update on planning in the area of transportation services. He indicated that he is soliciting vendors for bus routing services and software and plans to have a recommendation to the Board in January.
All items listed on the November 22 agenda were approved.
Junior School Board Directors - November
Pictured left to right - School Board President Chris Boardman, Quintin Frey, Anna Rozinsky, Skyview Principal Melissa Gorla, and Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe,.