School Board Notes

January 2019

The Meeting in Review

The 2019-2020 Proposed Preliminary Budget was presented by Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe and Director of Business Services, Mr. Tim Bricker. The presentation finds the budget at this early stage as being slightly below the Act 1 Index of 2.3%. The district uses zero-based budgeting methodology and provides a presentation that allows for a consistent means of communicating changes to the proposed district budget over time. The administration will be working with the Finance Committee of the Board over the next several months to refine the proposed budget in preparation for a final vote in June.

Junior Board Representatives

Each month throughout the school year, at the voting meeting of the Board, student board representatives provide a snapshot of the many incredible and important learning experiences that occur. This is all part of how we share our Methacton Pride!

Junior Board Reps for January 2019 are Skyview students Will Grossop and Kiera Maurer.

Volunteers In Methacton Schools

Methacton Coordinating Council’s, Ms. Gabby Winters, presented to the Board of School Directors the many contributions by various volunteer groups in Methacton. She keyed in on how our volunteers are willing to give their time and talents to be guest readers, serving as a Home & School officer, or a chaperone to name a few activities. Of particular note, she shared that collectively, the Home & Schools organizations raise over $100,000 a year in support of programs in the district. Dr. Zerbe commended the efforts of our volunteers like those in Home and School on the fact that the strength of this district is built of the collective efforts of our students, parents, teachers and volunteers. Together, we have done many, many great things.

Award of Excellence

Ms. Mellissa Gorla, Principal of Skyview Upper Elementary School, presented Awards of Excellence to Ms. Amy Eraydin, Reading Specialist and Danielle Maser, Instructional Assistant. Both of these outstanding staff members provide support for students, staff and community. They are valuable team members and we are pleased to share with everyone how much we appreciate their commitment to the students of the Methacton School District.

Big picture

Arrowhead Elementary School Discussion

Dr. Zerbe presented options for the Board to consider with respects to the Arrowhead Elementary School in their determination to potentially renovate, close, or to build a new school. The presentation outlined six potential options with Dr. Zerbe recommending that there are challenges with each of the options and as such, he recommended that the Board consider passing a resolution where the Arrowhead Elementary School shall continue to operate as an elementary school in the Methacton School district.

The Board passed this resolution in a 8/1 vote and have now directed Dr. Zerbe to prepare a timeline to consider renovation or potential new construction and to gather public and staff input in the process.

District Performance Report

Dr. Mary Katona, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment along with Ms. Tara Ricci, Supervisor of Professional Learning and Continuous Improvement presented the annual performance report. This report covers student aggregate score performance on PSSA, Keystone Exams, SAT and ACT tests. In general, Methacton Student significantly out perform their Pennsylvania Peers and are in the top 10 performance wise among Montgomery County School Districts. Of the many highlights, Eagleville Elementary was recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for high student growth measures, the district science scores are some of the strongest in the county and state, and from 2016-2018, our graduates received acceptances to over 519 colleges. Of the colleges and universities that accepted our students, 233 were common to all three years. Seven Ivy League Schools accepted our students over the course of these three years. Of those, University of Pennsylvania accepted our students all three years. The schools most frequently attend include Penn State University, Montgomery County Community College, Temple University, University of Pittsburgh, Bloomsburg University, and Drexel University.

Initial Discussion on Audubon Elementary School Property

The Board of School Directors heard some initial comments from Dr. Zerbe regarding the future of the Audubon Elementary School property. He explained that the Board can continue to mothball the school for future potential use, sell the property with a 1 x financial gain, or consider the donation or reuse of the property for public use. Dr. Zerbe explained that we are spending about $105K annually to mothball the building. The property was appraised and can be ready to place on the market if the Board determines that is the best path forward. Dr. Zerbe shared that Lower Providence Township had approached him with requests to consider the property for some other public benefit. The Board of School Directors recommended that Dr. Zerbe reach out to Lower Providence and invite them to attend a meeting to share their ideas.

All other items listed on the January 22, 2019 agenda were approved.

January 15, 2019 Board Work Session

January 22, 2019 Regular Board Meeting

Board Notes

The Methacton School District's Board of School Directors meets each month. School board work session meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday of the month, followed by the regular meeting on the fourth Tuesday (except during the month of December). Regular Board and work session meetings typically take place in the MHS LGI, and all residents are invited to attend. Committee meetings may take place in the Board Room at the Farina Center, or the MHS LGI. Meeting agendas are posted to agenda manager, and start times and locations are posted on the District's website. Please confirm meeting time and location before attending. Download the meeting calendar here. Watch the meeting video online.