School Board Notes
Home & School Supports Methacton Schools
The Methacton Coordinating Council (MCC), Special Education Alliance (SEA) and Home & School Associations that represent Methacton’s seven schools delivered a presentation at the February 28th meeting of the Board on the work that is done throughout the school year and how it benefits our students, staff and community at large. All of these organizations operate as not-for-profits and are served by parent volunteers. They collaborate with the building and district administration to develop family-oriented activities, organize fundraisers, and support strong community relationships. Volunteers are essential to the continued success of these organizations. Consider becoming an approved volunteer and joining one or several of the Home & School Associations. Contact the Home & School of your choice here.
"M" Awards for Athletic Excellence
M Awards for Athletic Excellence were presented to Methacton High School’s Hana Nouaime, Alice Liang and their coach Jill Walker for winning the 2022 PIAA Tennis Doubles Championship. This team has brought the tennis doubles championship home to Methacton for the second year in a row. Congratulations to these outstanding student-athletes, their parents and coaches.
Award of Excellence
Congratulations to Methacton’s Award of Excellence honorees for February 2023. They are: Dr. Anita Morgan, 2nd Grade Teacher; Michael Yosifon, 4th Grade Teacher; Mark Horn, PE Teacher; Christina Lenzi, Custodian; Rosalyn Marchegiano, Office Assistant; and, Heather Cornman, Personal Care Assistant.
New this year, a volunteer each month will be awarded the Award of Excellence for their dedication and contributions to the Methacton School District.
Theresa Manzi was recognized for her work to support the Arrowhead students and staff as a dedicated volunteer.
All of these outstanding individuals 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 students of the Methacton School District.
Jr. Board Representatives
A very special thank you to Porter Thompson and Anika Reddy for representing Arrowhead Elementary School as Junior Board Representatives for February 2023. Porter led the meeting by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Anika delivered a statement on what makes Arrowhead such a great school.
Methacton Education Foundation
The Methacton Education Foundation presented a check in the amount of $126,910.00 to represent the total grants awarded to the Methacton School District for the Fall of 2022. The donation includes support for the following programs:
- 3D Printer for TechEd at the high school.
- Lavalier Mics for the theater high school programs.
- Imagination Playground Blocks for Eagleville Elementary.
- Modern Band at Skyview.
- Music Technology at Arcola.
- News/TV Studio equipment at Arrowhead.
- HBCU Spring Break College Tours sponsorship.
- Planetarium Horizon Project.
- Methacton Backpack program.
Meetings in Review
Transportation Services Contract
The Methacton School District approved a 5-year extension to the transportation services contract with First Student effective through 2028-2029. The agreement includes transition to electric vans from gasoline vans with an option in the future of negotiating the integration of electric busses. It includes the addition of a box truck, five $1,500 dollar scholarships for Methacton students, and rate increases for starting drivers at $25/per hour with an annual increase in driver pay at 3.75% and the top rate reached in three years as compared to the current 6 years. Coming off one of our best years in transportation, it is important that we leverage this stable relationship and lock in rates for routes at nearly the lowest cost in the surrounding districts with increases of 8% in the first two years and 4.25% in the final 3 years.
Facilities Assessment Update
The Board of School Directors heard two facility presentations this month. Aquatics firm Watson and Sampson provided a presentation on the condition of the High School pool. The presentation was a summary of a draft report provided to the Board and Administration that included a review of the natatorium space, bleachers, diving stands, safety standards, ADA, pool deck, suspended ceiling, filtration system, and the significant water leakage. In all, the recommendation suggests that given the current condition of the pool, the district needs to carefully consider the structural, storage, competitive, and safety/accessibility challenges given the limitations of the existing space and location of the pool within the center of the high school.
The High School pool is an important student, athletic, and community space. It provides significant source for the physical education program, is home to historically successful PIAA athletic swim and diving teams, and is used consistently for 9 months annually by elementary, middle and high school students and adults recreation.
The Board was also presented the summary of the facilities assessment report commissioned through Bureau Veritas back in October 2022. The report summarized the approach and procedure taken to organize an assessment of our facility condition along with recommendations for replacement and preventative maintenance. The report uses an FCI (Facility Condition Index) rating level from Good to Very Poor for each element. Each of the 4 rating levels coincides with a percentage value of the building. As a standard, an FCI score of greater than 60% requires serious consideration for a complete replacement. The new Arrowhead Elementary school has a 10-year projection of less than 2% FCI and the Methacton High School has a 5-year FCI of 62%.
Dr. Zerbe stated that he was thankful for the Board taking the position to pause on the HVAC renovation previously targeted for the high school this summer given this new information. He also stated that it is clear that we need to take great care in determining the best path forward. Making a $28 million dollar HVAC investment in the High School without considering all the other campus and building challenges would be short sighted. The Board will review all the facility reports and target an April 2023 date to adopt the reports and proceed with development of a master facilities plan, similar to that which was done back in 2016.