School Board Meeting Highlights
For a complete agenda, please visit us at:http://www.boarddocs.com/pa/parkland/Board.nsf/Public
All motions were approved.
Presentation of Parameters Resolution for 2016 New Money Borrowing
Mr. Scott Shearer, Public Financial Management
Mr. Jens Damgaard, Rhoads & Sinon
Mr. Ken Phillips, RBC Capital Markets
The financial team noted above gave a presentation that outlined plans to borrow approximately $10M in early 2016. Borrowing $10 million or less allows the District to obtain a bank-qualified loan resulting in lower interest rates and borrowing fees.
The money will be used for capital projects, technology upgrades, bus purchases and the potential purchase of land for a new elementary school.
The team stressed that the District's strong AA credit rating has allowed the District to enjoy consistently favorable credit terms. This is due to the fact that the district carries low debt and has a strong cash flow. They noted that Parkland is deemed fiscally responsible and strong, even through the budget impasse, citing that Parkland has cash on hand to carry the District through most of the school year, while many other districts have already borrowed money, or plan to borrow soon, in the wake of the fiscal impasse.
The Board approved the parameters resolution during the 8 PM meeting which gives the financial team permission to borrow necessary funds when they feel the rates will yield the most favorable results for Parkland School District within the boundaries identified in the resolution.
Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 Mental/Behavioral Health Presentation
Dr. Mark Scott, Assistant Director of Special Programs and Services and Ms. Kellie Price, Supervisor of Behavioral Health Services, gave an overview of the IU's mental and behavioral health program which serves about 700 clients per year. They shared this video that encapsulated the impact of their services: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9iFTc2WRRE&feature=youtu.be
General Fund Budget Presentation
Mr. John Vignone, Director of Business Administration, gave a 2016-17 Budget Update which can be viewed here. He outlined a $9.895M revenue shortfall in estimated expenditures compared to projected revenue. He announced that the District may increase taxes by the Act 1 allowable index of 2.4% and may apply for exceptions to the state to allow an even higher tax increase to help pay for PSERS pension increases and Special Education costs if needed. In order to apply for the exceptions, the District is required to adopt a preliminary budget in January.
PHS Principal Jim Moniz recognized the District’s Athletic Program and Coordinated Health, the District’s Sports Medicine Provider, for winning the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA) Safe School Sports 1st Team Award. The Safe Sports School Award is a national award that recognizes school athletic programs that include a comprehensive athletic health care administrative system and one that promotes safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities.
The House of Representatives provided Parkland with a certificate of recognition. It came in on behalf of Julie Harhart, Gary Day, Mike Schlossberg and Ryan Mackenzie. John Moyer, President of the PA Athletic Trainer's Association was also present to recognize the team.
The following people received certificates:
PHS student trainers:
Coordinated Health staff:
Dr. Nick Slenker
For more info on this award and a photo, click here.
New Teacher Contract
A new teacher contract was ratified by the Teacher's Union known as the Parkland Education Association and the School Board for the period of September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2019. A press release with more details can be found here.
The Foundation’s first Alumni Turkey Trot was a huge success. It attracted 130 runners, over 30 volunteers and approximately 50 spectators to Parkland High School the day after Thanksgiving. The 130 runners represented alumni from the class of 1965 through 2015. The fastest female and male graduates were from the class of 2000 and class of 2003. The event raised over $6,200 for the Foundation’s Celebrate Innovation Grant program.
On Tuesday, December 8, the Foundation supported Heroes & Helpers through a Celebrate Innovation Grant given to Diane Irish, the District's social worker. The program was done in partnership with the South Whitehall Township and Upper Macungie Township police departments and Target. Two students from each Parkland school were able to participate. The 22 students were picked up by a police officer and escorted to Target for a day of holiday shopping for their families. Volunteers then helped the students wrap their gifts as they got to enjoy lunch and other holiday activities with their officer partners. Some students returned to school after the program and told their teachers it was the best day of their lives. Many businesses donated food and other items to contribute to the success of the event and the Parkland Foundation was honored to be a part of it.
Tickets are now on sale for the Harlem Wizards vs. Parkland All Stars game on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at www.harlemwizards.com.
Many board members remarked that they have enjoyed being a part of the Senior Citizen Dinners this month, a longstanding Parkland tradition that includes support from local businesses and student volunteers who serve the meals and provide entertainment. District administrators also provide support by serving meals and welcoming our senior citizen guests. The Food Services Department prepares the food.
Ginny Lambert, administrative assistant in the business office, was recognized for 44 years of service to the school district. She announced her retirement on this board agenda.
The School Board and Superintendent Sniscak remarked that the District's teachers and students have done a fantastic job with all of the holiday concerts this month. They wished everyone a happy, restful, holiday season.