The Central Bucks Board Note
Summer Edition, May - July 2023 Meetings in Review
Message from Board President Dana Hunter
Welcome to Board Note, the monthly summary of news and information from the Central Bucks School District Board of Directors. The goal of this communication is to provide you with factual and timely updates regarding Board business and agenda items. We encourage you to read this newsletter and click the links below to view or listen to the recordings or recent board and committee meetings. Please note that while most items go through committee that are included on school board agendas, other items are given to all board members five days before the school board meetings. This allows members to ask questions and receive feedback from colleagues, administration and legal.
Congratulations to the 2023 graduating class and their families. Graduation is always the highlight of our year. Celebrating the achievements of our students and knowing there are endless possibilities is always thrilling as they pursue their next chapter in life. We also want to take this opportunity to reflect on all the memories, lifelong friendships and thank our amazing families, administrators, teachers and staff who support our students along their journey through the Central Bucks School District. Highlights from CBSD’s three graduation ceremonies can be found here. The Class of 2023 by the numbers is an overview of the amazing graduating class of 2023, take a look here.
Revised School Calendar for 2023-2024 The approved updated calendar attached here was presented and adopted by the Board. Please take a look at the new spring break schedule.
CBSD has many things that we are looking forward to. Full Day Kindergarten and Grade Realignment for the 2025-26 school year was presented in a community presentation. Dr. Lucabaugh’s vision is the largest realignment in the history of the district and will maximize instructional programs and advance our students' access and opportunity in academics, athletics, the arts and extracurricular activities as well as streamline systems. There is a great amount of planning and excitement around this endeavor. Check out the full presentation here. You can submit your questions here.
The SRO (School Resource Officer) Update was shared. CB South’s program is up and running successfully with no changes. If you missed March’s presentation, click here to view. The district has been working successfully with the Buckingham Township Supervisors and we are on track to have an SRO in place for the fall at CB East. Unfortunately, we have been unsuccessful at CB West, as we are running into roadblocks with the CB Regional Police Commission. Unfortunately, we were notified on June 30th by the commission president, Brian Wallace, that the commission met and declined the district’s zero cost long term offer. The safety and security of our students and employees is a critical priority. We are now pursuing an agreement with the Bucks County Sheriff, the County Salary Board and Commissioners.
Teacher Misconduct The district is unequivocally committed to student safety, and the administration and board were devastated to fire two teachers in the past year who were charged with endangering minors and the corruption of minors. The most recent, Michael London, a CB South math teacher, was criminally charged by the Bucks County District Attorney after an internal investigation conducted by the district revealed criminal behavior. Dr Lucabaugh’s determination and resolve to pursue this internal investigation that was originally viewed as null is nothing short of exemplary. Had Dr. Orht’s 2016 Safe To Say complaint been internally investigated by administration like London’s, he potentially could have been removed earlier from our district. Given the findings of Mr. London’s use of a social media app to contact and groom students, the district has been in discussion and solidified a plan for further programming with NOVA Bucks (Network of Victims Assistance) to help teach students about personal safety, including appropriate boundaries, communication and inappropriate contact. The district will also include training through NOVA for administration, teachers and staff. We hope to also schedule a community program for families. This will help serve as prevention against further cases of abuse toward students.
Dr. Lucabaugh reminded the community at our July board meeting that the district has a policy that requires material in our libraries containing gratuitous, graphic, age-inappropriate sexualized content to be removed and replace by a book of the same genre, intended for the same audience. Recently a book that teaches students, among other things, directions and suggestions for using hook up apps such as Grindr to facilitate sexual encounters with adults was deemed inappropriate for our libraries by the school review committee (teachers, librarians, staff and administrators). Given that the most recent occurrence of employee misconduct in our district involved the use of the sex app Grindr to contact students, it is inconceivable that anyone would support the existence of this content in our schools.
At the end of April, the board held a special meeting to release the ACLU investigation findings based on tens of thousands of written communications and an exhaustive interview process. Please find the full report here. Central Bucks has faced a tremendous amount of media focus over the last year regarding the ACLU complaint. We took these allegations very seriously. Once these allegations were made, the board voted to thoroughly investigate these matters for the protection of all students, but particularly the most vulnerable LGBTQ+ students that were cited in the complaint. We are pleased that the Duane Morris investigation proved that our administrators, teachers, and staff were protecting children when bullying was reported and were proactively taking steps to protect marginalized students. Our expectation is and always will be, that adults protect children. The ACLU, a teacher and a board member were at the center of these allegations. An enormous amount of time and taxpayers’ dollars were spent because of a lack of cooperation by the above-mentioned parties on the specific allegations in the complaint. Thus, resulting in our district compensating Duane Morris to perform a comprehensive and thorough investigation as well as collect the discovery documents for DOE. As stated at the Special Meeting, you cannot put a price tag on protecting children, especially the most vulnerable, and we will always act in the interests of ensuring a safe and supportive environment for ALL students.
A new superintendent’s contract was approved at July’s meeting. Discussion at the board meeting included some of the following information. Between 2012 and 2021, the district experienced a turnover of 5 superintendents/acting superintendents in a 9-year timeframe. In 2021, the former board determined that the selection of an internal candidate would be in the best interest of the district and would achieve the fastest learning curve and save the district money with a lower starting salary. Dr. Lucabaugh has been with CBSD for 20 years and under his watch, all 3 CB high schools are ranked in the Top 25 of the Niche 2023 Best High Schools in Pennsylvania. The American Superintendent Survey Report was referenced which correlates superintendent salaries by student enrollment and range of responsibility. CBSD is the largest employer in Bucks County with 3,500 employees, an operating budget of $388,307,314.00 and we currently have 17,600 students enrolled. In Bucks County alone, there have been 8 superintendent vacancies since 2020. Dr. Lucabaugh’s salary as of July 1, 2023, was right under $235,000.00 which was significantly under market. There has been a growing trend to adjust superintendent salaries in neighboring districts, the most recent hiring starting at $295,000.00 for a district of 8,700 students. Please note that in June, the board approved 1.9 million dollars for incentivizing and retention of our support staff, the superintendent’s salary does not draw from this allotment. Some comparison data, as of July 1, 2023, can be found on this chart:
The Central Bucks School District Committee to Evaluate the Regional Maps for the Election of School Board Members for the Central Bucks School District conducted a public meeting on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, at 7:00 PM at Central Bucks High School West, 375 West Court Street in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Updated regional maps for the election of school board members are required after new census data is collected. The purpose of the meeting was for the committee to consider potential plans to redistrict the 9 regions of the Central Bucks School District related to the election of School Board Members. Additional information is available on the committee website located at this address: www.cbsd.org/votingregioncommittee
Curriculum Committee Meeting – May 10, 2023 and June 14, 2023
· Update given by Tim Donovan on K-6 Social Studies Curriculum. See the presentation here
· Approval to move to board agenda the adoption of Textbooks: Precalculus and Honors Precalculus, and Statistics and Data Analysis.
· QUEST Curriculum Course of Study Adoption, click here to see the details.
· Approval of an amended 2023-2024 Central Bucks School District Calendar was presented. Proposed Calendar
Policy Committee Meeting – May 10, 2023
· Moved out of committee, on cabinet discussion side, School Board Policy 137, 137.1, 137.2, and 137.3. These policies address Home Education and the participation of home education students in co-curricular, extra-curricular and career and technical education.
· Policy 011 Board Governance Standards was discussed and moved to the School Board Agenda. See policy here.
· Policy 832 Email Retention was discussed, and the Red-Lined copy was moved out of committee. Red-Lined Copy
· Policy 105 (curriculum), Policy 322/422 (gifts), 418/318 (penalties for tardiness), Policy 831 (electronic signatures) and Policy 906 (public complaints) were all discussed and the red-lined versions were approved to move to the Board Meeting for first read and Policy 322, 422, and 418 was approved to move to the Board Meeting to delete/collapse into new 300 section. Policy 416 (non-tenured staff members) was approved to move to the School Board Meeting to retire.
Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting – May 24, 2023
· A presentation on Bus Patrol School Bus Stop Arm Enforcement Program was given. See overview here.
· Central Bucks School District STEAM Initiative in partnership with Fluxspace Innovations LLC was proposed and is moving onto the School Board Agenda. See proposal here.
· The Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Final Budget was presented and discussed. Please see proposed Final Budget here, the proposed Final Budget will be moved to June’s School Board meeting.
· An update of Capital Projects was given, please see the updates here.
· Approval was requested to engage Conrad Siegel Consulting Services for an actuarial review of the CBSD benefits program. See contract here.
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 municipalities. While each region elects one school director, members represent the interests of the district as a whole once elected.
Regular school board meetings are generally held on the second Tuesday of the month. Download a complete list of 2022 meetings, including regular meetings and meetings of the board's committees. Download meeting agendas.
Correspondence for the Board of School Directors should be sent to Stephanie Radcliffe, Secretary to the Board, at email@example.com.
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.
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