School Board Meeting Highlights
2014-15 Budget Update
A 2014-15 Budget update was given by Director of Business Administration, John Vignone. A timeline for the upcoming budget season can be viewed here. The administration recommended making a promise to stay within the state approved index which would mean that the District would have a little more time to accurately estimate revenues and plan next year's budget. However, this does mean that the district would be making a promise to not raise taxes above the index which has been set at 2.1%. The full report can be found here.
National Merit Recognition of Semifinalists, Commended and National Hispanic Students
The following 11 Parkland High School students were selected as semifinalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program: Seth D. Bartynski, Shira Botzum, Rahul G. Deshpande, Nishad Gothoskar, Hannah Kim, Luke J. Kim, Sung Hwan Park, Jenna Peng, Jyotsna Soundararajan Maria Vratsanos and Angela Wang. These scholastically talented seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,200 Merit Scholarship awards, worth $36 million, offered next spring. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships. The privately financed National Merit Scholarship competition is open to all U.S. high school students who meet program participation requirements published by the NMSC (www.nationalmerit.org). Winners of scholarships are chosen on the basis of their abilities, skills, and accomplishments.
Twenty one students were named Commended Students in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. They demonstrated outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT ®). They are: Andrew R Brown, Kristie V Budihardjo, Connor J Ceh, Weston L Conner, Lucas J Crampton, Jordan M Cregger, Devansh M Desai, Alisha Ghosh, Paige E Haring, Ruby T Johnson, Amiya N Kalra, Charles A Kile, Mikaela M Krim, Jason A Law, Stephanie Liu, Kristen L McCarty, Ankita Sharma, Christopher J Tacca, Zachary H Tridico, Shashank P Vithalani, Rebecca S Walton.
Melanie Perez and Emily O'Brien are two PHS who have been selected by College Board as 2013-14 National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) Scholar recipients. The NHRP was initiated in 1983 to identify outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students. This year, the NHRP is recognizing about 5,300 Hispanic/Latino students selected from a pool of over 259,000 who took the 2012 PSAT/NMSQT/PAA. Students recognized by the NHRP are at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino (based on the program's definition) and have achieved a minimum PSAT/NMSQT score for their region. Students with a junior year cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are designated as Scholars and those with a junior year cumulative GPA of 3.0 to 3.49 are designated as Honorable Mentions.
The Audit for 2012-13 was approved.
There was some discussion about an upgrade to the Sunguard eFinance Plus software which has reached end of life. The new upgraded system will improve the workflow between the HR and Business offices.
Parkland announced a rebate that totals $144,704 for successful participation in an energy curtailment program during summer 2014. For the full press release, click here.
LCCC – Roberta Marcus reported that the college will be looking for a new president in January. An interim finance manager has been hired.
JCC – The JCC has been thinking about ways to build a STEM pipeline from birth through high school. Oct 4 was National Manufacturing Day and the region's students toured facilities. Oct 14 was set up as a day for guidance counselors to tour various workplaces to gain a better understanding of opportunities in the workplace. Biotechnology is a new seniors-only program that has been prepared in partnership with Penn State.
IU – Bob Bold reported on retiring board members. The 2013 operating budget contains no increase to the budget. The last meeting discussed early intervention programs and an agreement with East Side Youth Center. The board approved a 2013 educators induction program good through 2019.
Foundation – Gala set for May 5, 2013 - Cinco de Mayo theme! EITC funds have topped $68,000 already this year. In October, the Foundation submitted three grant proposals to support our Wellementary program. A discount card will come out after Thanksgiving - they are only $5 and make great gifts! Staff can be honored with a holiday tribute card this December - watch your email for details.
Wishing Louise Fick and Lyn Smith well: Mr. Sniscak commented that it is bitter sweet to be saying goodbye to Louise Fick who has been a true asset in our special education department throughout her tenure. Roberta Marcus also gave her a warm thank you for a job well done on behalf of the School Board. Lynn Smith was also recognized for being a mentor to other principals. Mr. Sniscak commented that he does not know anyone who is more compassionate and caring for her children than Lynn and she will truly be missed. Roberta Marcus said that Mrs. Smith has touched thousands of childrens' lives, making a tremendous impact on her community.
Jayne Bartlett's last meeting: The Board thanked Jayne for her leadership and for serving our community for the last 12 years. They thanked her for her commitment and for her hard work, fairness and graciousness. They presented her with a vase.
Rich Sniscak said she is leaving with much care for the district, community members and fellow board members. She offered everyone respect and led by example. She stood steadfast in her guidance and leadership and he thanked her family for sharing her as Mrs. Bartlett put countless volunteer hours into her role as a School Board member. Our district is truly fortunate and better off thanks to her 12 years of leadership.
Jayne commented that she has gotten her thanks by seeing the achievements in academics, the arts and athletics and by witnessing excellent PSSA results year after year. She thanked her family for their support and thanked the board, stating that each and every one of them have changed her for the better. She also congratulated Dave Hein who will be filling her spot and wished him well. She thanked everyone in the room for helping to make the last 12 years the most memorable, special and passionate years of her life.
Mrs. Marcus mentioned that the CAC will meet this Thursday. A “School Safety Initiatives and Updates for the 2013-14 School Year,” will be given in the Administration Center at 7 PM. The public is invited to attend.
This week is American Education Week, created to raise public awareness and support for public education. Take an opportunity to say thank you to anyone you know who works in public education.