School Board Notes
Change to 2018-2019 Instructional Calendar
The Methacton Board of School Directors has approved a revision to the district calendar for this current school year (2018-2019). May 7 is no longer designated as an In-Service Day and is no longer a scheduled day off for K-4 students. The updated calendar now reflects May 21 as an In-Service Day (no school K-4). May 21 is Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania. Our Elementary Schools will be closed on that date only for K-4 students.
Post Prom 20th Anniversary Presentation
The Meeting in Review
Dr. Zerbe presented staffing recommendations for the Board, which included comments and actions on administrative positions, professional positions and support positions. The resulting actions include adding positions and reducing positions along with strengthening positions, expectations and accountability through updated job descriptions, and evaluation and hiring processes.
Dr. Zerbe provided the Board of School Directors with information regarding the request from the design professionals to provide direction on the targeted number of students and the targeted grade configurations. Dr. Zerbe presented where he recommended, given the projected enrollment figures with projected student growth in the Arrowhead and Worcester Elementary serving area, the Board consider a 500 to 625 student building and keep the existing elementary grade configuration of K-4. It was announced that a postcard will be mailed the week of April 22, 2019 to over 13,000 households in order to apprise the community of a special meeting planned for June 4, 2019, where KCBA Architects of Hatfield Pa., will present a concept model to the Board of School Directors and the public to gather feedback along this process.
Strategic Plan Update
Each April, Dr. Zerbe provides the Board of School Directors with an update on progress towards goal and objectives outlined in the District's Strategic Plan. The update included a number of important accomplishments including: Established a four-part approach to STEM focus forward to include the re-investment in High School STEM course offerings; institution of a Common Language (4 C’s-Collaboration, Communications, Critical Thinking and Creativity) across all curricular areas; professional development that leads to a PDE recognized STEM certification; and, continued connections with STEM industries through teacher in the workplace activities.
In terms of Communications Focus Area, Dr. Zerbe emphasized the district's effort to ensure that realtors have the information necessary to help convey the Methacton brand with its special attributes, high level of rigor, and academic achievement.
The plan's Focus Area 3 addresses Safety where it was shared that audits of all buildings were conducted with the help of local and state law enforcement and county emergency management professionals. Those results are being incorporated into our Master Facilities Plan. One of the major additions to the safety protocol is a an armed assailant training being arranged in cooperation with the State and Local police departments this summer.
There was reference to the scheduling changes proposed for Arcola Intermediate School to include World Language for all students in grade 8, along with the writing and adoption of the district Activities Handbook that will culminate in an annual evaluation process of all activities K-12 activities to ensure relevance to student interest.
Dr. Zerbe concluded by reviewing several of the high level objectives for next school year, which include presenting a pathway to full day kindergarten for the Board of School Directors to consider for implementation at the start of 2020-2021 SY. He also spoke about the development of High School STEM offerings, a review of the pilot REACH program at Arcola, and a focus on professional development for administrators and teachers towards efforts to increase our inclusive and differentiated practices.
All other items listed in the April 23, 2019 agenda were approved with the exception of Item 10.C.2, the elimination of one gifted teaching position ay Skyview Upper Elementary.
Award of Excellence
Methacton Education Foundation
Mr. Jim Beam, Methacton Education Foundation President, and Ms. Nikki Krelovich, MEF Executive Director, presented a check to Methacton School District for $110,000. The award will go toward the renovation of Methacton School District elementary school libraries to expand and enhance STEM programming. Arrowhead, Eagleville, Woodland, Worcester, and Skyview schools will receive new flexible seating, dedicated Chromebooks, and STEM tools for coding and engineering, among other STEM equipment.