A message from the Superintendent
March 15, 2023
Dear PV Families,
This week's school board meeting included a presentation on safety and security focused on the idea of incorporating school police officers onto our security team. Currently, the plan being recommended by administration includes adding 3 to 7 school police officers to our team beginning next year.
The recommendation to incorporate school police officers has been presented to our School Board with much thought and consideration as we continually think about creating safe and supportive schools. There have also been conversations with neighboring school districts that have school police or resource officers in place, i.e., Spring Ford, Souderton, Methacton and Wissahickon. They have shared their experiences with our PVSD team.
Individuals employed as school police (SPO) or resource officers (SRO) are trained police officers that are armed. The difference between an SPO and an SRO is based on the arrangement for employment. An SPO is an employee of the district while an SRO is one who shares responsibility with the school district and local municipality. The salary and benefits of an SRO are shared by the municipality and school district. This is typically a positive arrangement that supports safety and security as well as community partnerships. The challenge in our District is that six of our seven schools are covered by the PA State Police, while Middle School West is covered by Lower Frederick Police. Neither organization is able to provide SRO coverage.
The recommendation to move in the direction of adding SPOs comes with support from some and reservations from others in our community. The reservations expressed are valid and I have made efforts to recognize and address them openly in the two public conversations held to date. For example, community members and students have raised questions about the presence of full time police, who would be armed, in our schools on a daily basis. The State police as well as Lower Frederick come into our schools to assist with select incidents or to conduct walkthroughs/building checks, but we have not had them as a presence full time. There have also been questions about the individuals we might hire knowing our students and being able to assist in situations requiring de-escalation or possessing awareness of trauma. We have engaged neighboring districts and learned from them that the SPOs and SROs in place do this well, however the hiring process is key and the right fit is imperative.
As the District aims to create safe and supportive school environments it considers facility safety, i.e., the on site security team, vestibules at school entrances, scan card access for employees, cameras/surveillance, the recent exterior door audit and re-keying of all exterior doors, etc. The conversations are ongoing and we continually consider what else can be done to secure our buildings. The other half of our considerations focus on the social, emotional and mental health of our students. In support of these considerations, we have added additional counselors in recent years, a third social worker, behavioral specialists and curriculum at the elementary level. Each school also has a student assistant program (SAP) team designed to mobilize school resources and remove barriers to learning, and MTSS teams where we consider a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support to meet the needs of the whole child. The visual below attempts to illustrate many of the resources considered to create an overall safe and supportive school environment.
As we look to best practice, having a balance of both up to date facility safety resources and protocols along with social, emotional and mental health resources in place is key. The District's Threat Assessment Team, led by Mr. Miller, Safety Supervisor, consists of a diverse group of PV staff who consider all of these components when addressing school safety and supports. The Threat Assessment Team is comprised of counselors, social workers, psychologists, teachers and administrators. The team has been professionally developed to recognize and respond to all types of threats. The knowledge and experience of SPOs can enhance the security measures in our schools and the ability of our Threat Assessment Team to effectively recognize and respond to situations and serve our students and staff in a positive manner.
There is a Superintendents Roundtable scheduled this evening at 6:30 in the high school library. I invite you to attend and engage in conversation about the addition of SPOs. I am aware that some individuals are uncomfortable posing questions in a public setting or unavailable to attend in-person meetings. I have included a one question comment box here, where you can leave a question or a comment. I will provide follow-up in upcoming newsletters or contact you directly based on the questions/comments shared.
Dr. Barbara A. Russell
- Superintendent RoundTable (3/15)
- Vaping - Information Video #4
- Be a Part of the Conversation Presentation (3/28)
- Spring Meal Boxes
- Education Ad Hoc Committee (3/20, 3/27)
- PV is Hiring!
Annual Diversity in Education Recruitment Fair (3/22)
- MCIU Resource Fair (3/28)
- Kindergarten Registration
- Community Bulletin Board
- Important District Dates
Do you have thoughts on a school-related topic or two? Would you like to engage with the superintendent about your child's school experience? If so, please feel free to attend any one or more of this year's Superintendent Roundtables held at the PV High School Library. These meetings are open to the public and will focus on certain topics while also affording attendees open time to share their questions and comments about any topic.
Beverages and lite desserts will be provided.
Roundtable #3 - March 15 from 6:30-8:00pm - Safety and Security
Roundtable #4 - May 9 from 6:30-8:00pm - Open Topic
Vaping - Risks for Teens
Learn More with Be a Part of the Conversation 3/28/23
On Tuesday, March 28, Be A Part of the Conversation will present to the PV Home and School Coordinating Council. We would like to extend an invitation to all parents and guardians to join this meeting! What are the challenges you are facing as parents, guardians and educators? Presenters will address the potency of today’s cannabis, other substances, vaping, and more, with a special focus on teens and emerging adults. The meeting will be held onsite at PV Middle School East, 6:30pm-8:00pm. Learn More
Spring Break Meal Boxes
A community member, and former PV student, is organizing FREE Spring Break meal boxes for PV families in need (each box is intended to serve a family of 6). Interested families can use this form to sign up. Pickup is scheduled for Wednesday, April 5, between 11am-1:00pm at the PV High School. Registration closes 3/31.
The PV High School National Honor Society (NHS) will be organizing a food drive in support of this program. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
Education Ad Hoc Committee
This school year we have held Education Committee meetings as part of the School Board meetings on the first Monday of the month. This month, we will be forming an Ad Hoc committee to facilitate additional conversations. The meetings will be held on March 20 and March 27, 6:00pm - 7:30pm at the PVHS Library. Members of the public are welcome to attend!
The topics for March 20th include:
- ELD Programming & Staffing
- Elementary Specials
- Full Day Kindergarten
Join PV at the Annual Diversity in Education Recruitment Fair
The Perkiomen Valley School District is proud to once again participate in the Montgomery County Annual Diversity in Education Recruitment Fair on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 from 5:30-7:30pm at the MCIU Lafayette Building in Norristown. Current teachers, college students majoring in education, and other educational professionals are invited to speak with school district representatives about professional opportunities within our 20+ Montgomery County school districts. Register online at www.mciu.org/diversityfair. Join us!
Montgomery County Resource Fair - at PVHS Cafeteria
The Montgomery County Resource Expo provides students, families, educators, and community stakeholders with an opportunity to interact with Local, State, and Federal Organizations and Service providers from the tri-county area who provide services to individuals and their families with disabilities.
Join us Tuesday, March 28, 6:00pm-8:00pm, in the PV High School Cafeteria. For details, visit Montgomery County Resource Fair.
Community Bulletin Board
Wondering about family and community events in the area? Curious to learn about local sports clubs and other opportunities? Visit our online Community Bulletin Board!
- Outdoor Adventure Lab
- Upcoming Sports Clinics/Camps
- Youth Mental Health First Aid
- and More!
To submit an event for posting, please send a PDF version of your flyer to email@example.com for review.
Please note that Community Bulletin Board items may contain links to websites of organizations outside Perkiomen Valley School District. Items are posted to this bulletin board as a free service to the community, and should not be interpreted as being sponsored or endorsed by the district.
Upcoming District Dates
- Wednesday, March 15: Half-day Inservice (Early Dismissal for Students)
- Wednesday, March 15: Superintendent Roundtable, 6:30pm-8:00pm
- Friday, March 17: Elementary Report Cards available via ParentVUE @ noon
- Monday, March 20: Education Ad Hoc Committee @6pm
- Tuesday, March 21: Policy Committee @6pm
- Wednesday, March 22: Diversity in Education Recruitment Fair @5:30pm
- Tuesday, March 28: Montgomery County Resource Fair @6pm
- Tuesday, March 28: Be a Part of the Conversation Parent Presentation @6:30
- Tuesday, March 28: End of Marking Period #3 (Secondary)
22-23 v14 3/15/2023