ASD Highlights & Happenings

Spring 2019 Edition

From the Office of the Superintendent: Your Feedback Counts!

Dear Abington School District Community,


It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Just last week I reached the six month mark in my superintendency, and in that time, I have appreciated having the chance to hear directly from our ASD community in a variety of settings.


One of the beneficial methods of gathering feedback was through my lunches and small-group meetings with students at all seven of our elementary schools. A recurring theme among our sixth grade students was the desire for opportunities to get together with their peers from other elementary schools, similar to the all-school track meet, before entering the Junior High School. With that in mind, I was happy to announce to sixth grade parents/guardians just a few weeks ago the creation of a Sixth Grade Community Day, which will be held at Schwarzman Stadium later this month as a way for students to get to know their future seventh grade classmates through games and ice-breaker activities.


Another example of how your feedback has impacted Abington School District operations is the development of the Family Resources page on the ASD website. As a product of conversations I have had with parents/guardians at some of the small-group meet and greet events, the page serves as an alphabetical and searchable index of various links so you can more easily find forms, instructions, and other useful information. Also as requested, a newly created Volunteer Handbook is available on that site to more clearly delineate the policies and procedures required for when parents/guardians volunteer in schools.


These are just a few examples of how the feedback provided throughout my Superintendent Listening Tours has led to positive change in Abington School District. That being said, I would like to remind you of our Communications survey that was sent to all parents/guardians via email last month. If you have not yet taken the opportunity to complete the brief questionnaire, I encourage you to do so by clicking here. This feedback is valuable as we work to improve our communication channels in a way that is most helpful to parents/guardians and students. The survey will close at the end of the month, and all responses are anonymous. In addition, you are always welcome to email me at superintendent@abington.k12.pa.us with any other feedback or questions.


As this will be the last edition of ASD Highlights & Happenings for the 2018-2019 school year, I would like to close by extending my best wishes for a safe and happy summer to our Abington and Rockledge families, and congratulating the soon-to-be graduates in the class of 2019.


Sincerely,

Jeffrey S. Fecher, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

In Case You Missed It

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Construction Corner: Stay in the Loop Throughout the Summer!

Looking to stay in the loop regarding the latest in Abington Senior High School's Additions and Renovations Project? Visit our new blog at www.abington.k12.pa.us/construction for up-to-date information, photos and plans. Construction crews will be hard at work throughout the summer while students are gone, so expect to see a lot of changes come the first day of school in September.

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Proposed Final Budget Includes No Tax Increase for 2019-2020

At the start of the 2018-2019 school year, Dr. Fecher and Business Manager, Mr. Christopher Lionetti, provided a 10-year historical analysis of property tax increases in Abington Township and the Borough of Rockledge over the past decade in light of a July 2018 article published in The Philadelphia Inquirer . The article showed that of the 60 school districts in the Delaware Valley, Abington School District ranked No. 10 among those with the smallest tax increases over a 10-year period (and had the second lowest tax increase among school districts in Montgomery County). Those rankings are significant given ASD also saw a 10 percent increase in enrollment during that same timeframe.


Despite 2019-2020 enrollment projections of growth by more than 250 students, the Board of School Directors has been hard at work to avoid a tax increase for the 2019-2020 school year, as keeping the District an affordable place to live is a key priority. With this in mind, earlier in 2019, the Board requested ASD administration to prepare a draft budget with a zero percent millage increase. After examining the no millage increase budget, the Board of School Directors unanimously approved the 2019-2020 Proposed Final Budget on April 23, 2019 in the amount of $165,701,098, with no tax increase. The Proposed Final Budget is available now for public inspection and review before final adoption, which is scheduled for June 11, 2019. The presentation is available on BoardDocs, as well as on the Business Office page, under the Administration tab on the ASD website.

Staffing for the 2019-2020 School Year

In preparation for the 2019-2020 school year, the Human Resources department has been working hard to continue its efforts to grow the school district's dedicated and diverse team of educators. HR representatives, along with ASD administrators and teachers, have been attending career fairs throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond. Earlier this spring, Dr. Damon Jordan and Dr. James Etlen joined Human Resources Coordinator, Ms. Jennifer Williams, at the 13th annual DVCEE Educators of Color Recruitment Fair at the University of Pennsylvania, while Director of Human Resources, Ms. Susanne Alfonso, and Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Toni Butz, attended the Montgomery County Annual Diversity Recruitment Fair alongside Ms. Williams. Other fairs included the Fellowship of Black Male Educators, AL DÍA's Philadelphia Diverse City 18th Annual Career Fair, and coming up in June, the 2019 Maryland Career Consortium Annual Career Fair at Morgan State University. Visit https://www.abington.k12.pa.us/administration/human-resources/position-announcements for more information and a list of open positions.

Summer Social Media Campaign Returns

Summer is almost here, and the highly popular Abington School District summer social media campaign is returning to our Facebook page and Twitter account. How does your student plan to spend his or her time during the summer of 2019? Whether they are catching up on the summer reading list, attending summer camp, visiting local museums, taking a family road trip or just enjoying the summer sun at a nearby park, we want to hear how our ASD students are keeping their minds active! Send a photo and description, along with your student's name, grade and school, to CR@abington.k12.pa.us, and we might feature their summer adventures on our social media channels. Follow #SummerinASD to stay in the loop!

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Earlier this year, Dr. Fecher made plans to establish a bullying prevention taskforce as a way for administrators, teachers, students, parents/guardians and community members to work together to help prevent incidents of bullying in our schools. The Superintendent's Committee Regarding Bullying Prevention—consisting of more than 70 District stakeholders who volunteered their time to participate in these important discussions—was formed and has held two meetings to date. The Committee was established to: explore the causes and consequences of bullying in Abington schools, evaluate the effectiveness of current bullying prevention efforts, research promising practices that reduce incidences of bullying, and identify training needs and technical assistance opportunities for schools to effectively address bullying, among other related issues.

In the News

Good to Know

2019-2020 Calendar

The ASD 2019-2020 school year calendar is now available.

Family Resources Page

Also available on the ASD homepage, and the homepages of all nine schools, under the "Resources" tab.

No Classes (Inservice Day)

Tuesday, May 21st, 8am

Abington, PA, USA

Abington, PA

Memorial Day

Monday, May 27th, 8am

Abington, PA, USA

Abington, PA

Schools and offices will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.

Next School Board Meeting

Tuesday, May 28th, 7:30pm

970 Highland Avenue

Abington, PA

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of School Directors will be held on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, with additional meetings scheduled for June 11 and June 25.

Elementary Track and Field Meet

Friday, May 31st, 10am

900 Highland Avenue

Abington, PA

Commencement

Wednesday, June 12th, 7pm

900 Highland Avenue

Abington, PA

Abington Senior High School's graduation ceremony will be held at Schwarzman Stadium, with rain dates scheduled for June 13 and June 17.

Last Day of Student Attendance

Monday, June 17th, 8am

Abington, PA, USA

Abington, PA

With only two snow closures this school year, as well as a closure at Abington Junior High School due to a water main break, Abington School District has met the instructional time provisions of the Pennsylvania Code for student attendance; therefore, a calendar adjustment will not be needed for the 2018-2019 school year. As such, the last day of school will remain on Monday, June 17, 2019. Teacher Records Day is scheduled for June 18, and an Inservice Day will be held on June 19.