School Board Notes
Meetings in Review
The Methacton Board of School Directors approved the 2020-2021 General Fund Budget in the amount of $111,790,200.77 requiring a millage of 30.8534 and an increase in property tax of 1.5645%. The approval addresses the need for staffing, curriculum and programs, activities and athletics, staff development, materials and supplies, debt service, and transportation. Specifically, the budget helps establish the REACH program at the High School and at Skyview Upper Elementary school. This program supports the social and emotional interventions necessary to support the growth and development of students. It includes the savings of $370,000 with the merging of Arcola and Skyview bus and bell schedules. The approved budget is $73,408 less than the budget approved for 2019-2020 and is the 5th lowest increase among Montgomery County school districts.
MERGING OF ARCOLA/SKYVIEW BUS
Dr. Zerbe and Mr. Bricker (Director of Business Services) presented the recommendation to merge Arcola Intermediate and Skyview Upper Elementary School bus and bell schedules. Aside from the financial benefits to this change, this reduces number of buses and drivers required, creates some long term efficiency in routing/operation that will help decrease the overall ride time for students and requires a change to the traffic patterns on the campus for a safer environment. In addition, this plan provides for a no cost to parents early supervised drop off feature. The new schedule is as follows:
- Arcola/Skyview Early Student Supervised Drop Off: 7:30 AM
- Arcola/Skyview Student Start: 8:05 AM
- Arcola/Skyview Student Dismissal Begins: 2:50 PM
Additional communications on this change is forthcoming.
ARCOLA PROGRAM CHANGE
Dr. Amy Mangano, Principal of Arcola Intermediate School, presented and the Board approved program changes to begin with the 2020-2021 school year. In summary, the addition of literacy instruction will take place daily for all 8th grade students with a focus on deeper dive into the power of words, images, stories that provide experience, insight, empathy, and appreciation of others and understanding of cultures and history; instruction in complex texts; open-ended questions and independent thought; critical analysis; demonstrating competencies in communication through speech and the written word among many other critical matters that will lead to individual growth and success.
CONTINUATION OF ARROWHEAD
The Board of School Directors heard from Mike Kelly with KCBA Architects with regards to the next step in the progression of our work towards the construction of a new Arrowhead Elementary School. The Board authorized the administrative design team, engineers and Architect to proceed to the final phase of construction documentation of the new Arrowhead Elementary School. This phase will be completed by October 1st when the project is scheduled to go out to bid. The next schedule meeting on this matter will be a public hearing, or better known as Act 34 hearing, in September 2020.
BREAKFAST AND LUNCH PRICES
The Board set the school breakfast price of $1.30 and lunch price of $2.70 for Arrowhead, Eagleville, Woodland and Worcester Elementary Schools, and school breakfast price of $1.95 and lunch price of $3.00 for Skyview Upper Elementary School and Arcola Intermediate School, and the school breakfast price of $2.70, lunch price of $3.20 and premium lunch price of $4.15 for Methacton High School. All these prices reflect NO increase from 2019-2020.
OFF SEASON RETURN TO PLAY FOR ATHLETICS AND ACTIVITIES
Dr. Paul Spiewak presented the safe return to off season play for athletics and activities. Similar to the plans for a safe return to schools in September, the Pennsylvania Department of Education is requiring that public school districts have their Boards approved health and safety plans for all aspects of opening schools. Dr. Spiewak indicated that all coaches will be required to participate in COVID-19 training and meet the safety standards set forth in the plan.