The Central Bucks Board Note
July/August 2019 ~ Vol. 1, No. 10
Water Testing Update
Superintendent of Schools Dr. John J. Kopicki updated the board and public on the status of the water testing that was conducted in the district over the summer during the August 27, 2019 meeting of the CBSD Board of School Directors. This testing was completed in accordance with Pennsylvania School Code and amendments made to Act 39, which permits school districts in the state of Pennsylvania to test drinking water for lead. The district took a proactive approach to this testing and elected to test all 1,050 consumptive sources in the district (a consumptive source is any location at which students or staff access drinking water).
The district's engineering consultant released initial test results in late July, reporting that 16 of the 1,050 tested water sources were shown to contain levels of lead that exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s action level of 15 micrograms per liter (15 µg/L). These 16 sites were spread among the following nine schools: Buckingham Elementary, Cold Spring Elementary, Groveland Elementary, Kutz Elementary, Lenape Middle School, Tohickon Middle School, Unami Middle School, Central Bucks East High School, and Central West High School. (The initial testing results may be found on the district's website, listed by school.)
The district has been working in concert with experts including CBSD's own environmental and safety coordinator, local resources, and the Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute to organize the district's remediation and response procedures.
The district assigned priority to those sources with a lead level that exceeded EPA standards, but ultimately decided to remediate any water source that tested above 5 µg/L, believing this to be in the best interest of students and staff. An action plan was developed that included several steps:
- Remediate water sources through the replacement or removal of the water fixture.
- Remove “bubblers,” or water fountains affixed to classroom sinks.
- Remove unnecessary sinks from service.
- Ensure that students only access drinking water at filtered water bottle filling stations.
- Conduct follow up testing to ensure that the remediation was successful.
Follow up test results have been conveyed to the district, and Dr. Kopicki reported that all consumptive water locations that were tested above 15 µg/L have been successfully remediated and re-testing results show that lead levels are now below 15 µg/L, with the exception of one location at Lenape Middle School, and a number of locations at Buckingham Elementary School. The complete results of this follow-up testing may be downloaded from the district's website (results of follow-up testing may also be found listed by school).
Based on the results of the resampling, the following steps will be taken:
Lenape Middle School
- The site is an underutilized sink that will be removed from service.
- Closing ALL consumptive fixtures
- Physical removal of ALL “bubblers”
- Add an additional water bottle filling station
- Provide bottled water for consumptive purposes
- Install a neutralizing system to treat the water entering the building.
District-wide, students will only access drinking water at water bottle filling stations, or at water fountains that have been tested as containing less than 5 µg/L of lead. Over the course of the school year, the district will also replace all remaining water fountains with filtered water bottle filling stations, and change filters twice per year regardless of use.
"We will test every year, every consumptive site in the district moving forward. We’re committed to that, and the Board has been heavily involved and supportive, and they’re committed to that as well." Dr. Kopicki explained.
Representatives from Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute also presented a synopsis of the district's work on the matter along with additional information on lead and regulations pertaining to lead in drinking water.
"I encourage two-way communication; don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions," Dr. Kopicki noted, "We’ll work with you every step of the way and try and help you."
"We will continue to update the public throughout the process," he added.
Welcome Vanessa Hasson!
July School Board Meeting Notes
The board approved the Act 93 agreement, which represents the personnel practices and compensation plan for administrative staff and non-bargaining unit professional staff, for a term beginning on July 1, 2019 until June 30, 2022.
The board approved the hiring of Barbara Markowitz as the district's new director of finance, Christine McClosky as supervisor of special education, and the assignment of Jennifer Opdyke as assistant secondary principal at Central Bucks South High School. Ms. Opdyke previously served as assistant principal at Groveland Elementary School.
Listen to the most recent school board meeting in its entirety.
Central Bucks School District
The members of the Central Bucks School District's Board of School Directors each represent one of nine regions in the district. Each region includes one or more municipality. While each region elects one school director, members represent the interests of the district as a whole once elected.
Meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month except for February, July, August, October, November and December. In February, the board will meet on the first and fourth Tuesdays. In July and August, the board meets on the fourth Tuesday only. In October, the board will meet on the third and fifth Tuesdays. In November, the board meets on the second Tuesday only. In December, the board meets on the first Tuesday only. Meetings are held at the Central Bucks Educational Services Center at 16 Welden Drive in Doylestown. All meetings start at 7:30 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend. Members of the public who wish to address the board prior to action items may sign up at the lectern before 7:30 p.m. Comments are limited to three minutes or less, depending on the number of speakers.
Correspondence for the Board of School Directors should be sent to Stephanie Radcliffe, Secretary to the Board, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The "Central Bucks Board Note," is an e-newsletter designed to provide Central Bucks School District constituents with an overview of the work of their Board of School Directors.
Please share any feedback with Angela Linch, communications and public relations administrator, at email@example.com or by calling 267-893-2073.