School Board Notes

April 2016

2016-2022 MSD Strategic Plan

A draft of the 2016-2022 Methacton School District strategic plan was presented to the Board of School Directors during their April 28 regular meeting. This "Blueprint for Success" is the result of many months of work involving more than 80 stakeholders who worked with an outside facilitator.

The plan document was developed over a series of meetings that began in the fall of 2015. This "Blueprint for Success" is now presented for a public review period that will conclude on Monday, May 16. When reviewing the document, please take note of the green "mouse click" symbols located alongside each goal area to review strategic objectives and learn more.

Following the incorporation of any necessary changes resulting from this feedback, the document will be presented to the Board of School Directors for their final approval during their regular meeting on May 24. Please share your feedback by completing this online form.

Methacton Digital Learning and Instruction

This month, the administration introduced an exciting 1:1 digital learning initiative for Methacton's secondary school students. During the Board's work session meeting, Methacton's Director of Technology, Child Accounting, and Safety; Troy Sosnovik, outlined the initiative during a presentation of the evolution of Methacton's digital learning and instruction.

The program was piloted this year by four classroom teachers in core subject areas (math, English, social studies, and science), with more than 170 students in grades 9-12 participating. It was decided that the program could be successfully implemented district-wide beginning in the coming school year.

Unanimously approved by the Board during their regular meeting, this program will see the establishment of a 1:1 digital learning environment to be phased in over three years starting in the 2016-2017 school year. This teaching and learning initiative once fully instituted will provide each student, grades 7 through 12, with a Chromebook to use as a personal learning device. "We are very excited about the tremendous positive impact and opportunities this will afford our students and teachers in support of their learning and instruction in and out of the classroom," Mr. Sosnovik said.

The Meetings in Review

Math Resources

During the regular meeting, the Board approved Dr. Katona's recommended changes to the math curriculum resources for students in grades K-4 and 7-8. These new resources will be used beginning in the 2016-2017 school term. Recommended math resources are Math in Focus for K – 4; Glencoe Course 2 for grade seven Pre-Algebra Part A, Glencoe Course 3 as the math resource for grade eight Algebra Bridges/ Algebra Bridges Co-Taught / Pre-Algebra Part B, and finally Glencoe Math Accelerated: A Pre-Algebra Program and Sadlier Common Core Progress as a combined resource for the grade seven Pre-Algebra Course.

2016-2017 Budget

A presentation updating the Board on the continued progress at preparing the 2016-2017 budget was also discussed during the Board's work session meeting. With the Board's approval, Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe scheduled a special meeting of the Board on May 2 at 7 p.m. in the MHS LGI. The focus of this meeting will be to continue the budget discussion, and make a number of recommendations aimed at continuing to close the budget gap for the Board's consideration. The 2016-2017 proposed final budget will be presented for Board approval during the regularly scheduled May 24, 2016 school board meeting. Final budget approval is scheduled for the regular June 28, 2016 meeting of the Board. Follow the budget progress online at

Enrollment Vendor

Dr. Zerbe outlined his recommendation for the Board's consideration in the engagement of a vendor to provide a second enrollment study. Since the release of the RFP into the marketplace, several vendor responses were reviewed, with Dr. Zerbe's recommendation being to engage the Montgomery County Planning Commission (MCPC) in the delivery of enrollment projection services. Selecting this vendor, Dr. Zerbe explained, would extend the timeline he presented during the Board's February 23 meeting by six months. Additionally, the MCPC does not provide assistance in the redrawing of attendance boundaries, which would require the engagement of an additional vendor. Also under consideration was Milone & MacBroom, Inc., who could provide both services. Dr. Zerbe suggested that the Board consider that it may be prudent to conduct both studies concurrently, in order that the Board have the information necessary to consider before deciding whether to redraw boundaries with or without the closing of an elementary school.

The Board requested that the item be tabled until the Board's special meeting on May 2, and requested some additional information on both the Montgomery County Planning Commission and Milone and MacBroom, Inc.

Administrative Staffing Changes

The Board accepted the resignation of Stuart Whiteleather, Methacton's Chief Financial Officer; as well as Lucretia Page, Principal of Arcola Intermediate School. The District is actively seeking replacements for both of these positions.

Audubon Principal Tara Ricci was appointed to the position of Supervisor of Professional Learning and Continuous Improvement. As a result of this movement, the Board approved Dr. Zerbe's recommendation to appoint Eagleville Principal Jenifer Brucker to the position of Principal of Audubon Elementary School, and Woodland Principal Dr. Zanthia Reddish to the position of Principal of Eagleville. The vacated Principal position at Woodland has been advertised.

Wrestling Room Fundraising

Plan for potential renovations to the high school athletic facilities, including the construction of a new wrestling room, were presented to the Board during the work session meeting. Dr. Zerbe explained that a group of community members, working with Coach Maida, were seeking permission to begin fundraising for the project, with a goal to raise all necessary funds to offset the cost of the project. The Board approved this, and now once the group has obtained funding commitments totaling $1 million, the plan will be brought back to the Board for further consideration.

All other items listed on the April 27 agenda were approved, with the exception of items 13, c: Enrollment Vendor (tabled), and 13 - d. - 2:Technology Fee (tabled).

April Junior School Board Directors

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This month's Junior School Board Directors are Eagleville fourth grade students Matthew Sala and Renee Blake. Matthew opened the meeting and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, while Renee shared a few words about what makes Eagleville such a special place to learn and grow. Thanks to both families for coming out to the meeting and continuing this great new tradition!

Pictured above from left to right - Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe, School Board President Chris Boardman, Matthew Sala, Renee Blake, and Eagleville Principal Jenifer Brucker.

Education Foundation Check Presentation

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Members of the board of the Education Foundation for the Methacton Community (EFMC) presented a check in the amount of $10,500 to the Board of School Directors for the benefit of the Methacton High School Marching Band's trip to perform at the Outback Bowl in Tampa in 2017. Members of the Methacton Music Boosters, as well as the Marching Band, were on hand to assist in the check acceptance. The funds were the result of the EFMC's recent successful Art, Corks, & Forks fundraiser.

Also listed on this month's agenda were two other gifts to the district totaling more than $2,000 from the EFMC, including grants for the purchase of digital cameras for the high school art department, and binoculars for the environmental club at Worcester Elementary School.

April 19 School Board Work Session Meeting


April 27 School Board Meeting


Board Notes

The Methacton School District's Board of School Directors meets each month. School board work session meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday of the month, followed by the regular meeting on the fourth Tuesday (except during the month of December). Regular Board and work session meetings typically take place in the MHS LGI, and all residents are invited to attend. Committee meetings may take place in the Board Room at the Farina Center, or the MHS LGI. Meeting agendas are posted to agenda manager, and start times and locations are posted on the District's website. Please confirm meeting time and location before attending. Download the meeting calendar here. Watch the meeting video online.