School Board Notes

November 6, 2015

The Meeting in Review

During the Board's regular meeting held on October 27, Dr. Zerbe provided several important updates to the Board.

Field and Lights

Dr. Zerbe recounted the events that took place on October 24, including the homecoming parade, community fields celebration and ribbon cutting, as well as other homecoming festivities. Thanks were given to all those who worked hard to make the day a successful one, bringing the community together to celebrate. Afterward, he noted that recent cooperation among the township, neighbors and the district has resulted in a settlement agreement on lights at Methacton High School. More details on the timeline for installation of the lights will be forthcoming.


Dr. Zerbe updated the Board on the capital campaign fundraising, announcing that the committee believes that it has the capacity to raise an additional $300,000 for a new adjusted goal of $2 Million over the next 4 years for the field renovation.

Strategic Planning

During the meeting, Dr. Zerbe recommended the Board's authorization to engage the services of Joanne Perotti, of the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, to assist in the facilitation of strategic planning. The Strategic Planning Steering committee supports this recommendation and is eager to get to work. Ms. Perotti recently completed strategic planning work with the North Monco Technical Career Center and comes highly recommended.

Budget Surplus

An audited surplus for the 2014-2015 budget was calculated at $2,385,437. Of this amount, $858,813 was previously approved by the Board to be utilized in the 2015-2016 budget. There remains $1,526,624, of which Dr. Zerbe recommended that $117,020 be used to establish an escrow account for the replacement of the major field amenities, that $1,000,000 be allocated to the Capital Reserve for use in completing any remaining field renovation work and for potential future capital projects, and that $409,604 be retained in the Fund Balance.

Re-Drawing of Attendance Boundaries Vendor Engagement

Dr. Zerbe noted that he has received questions from the Board with regards to the matter of selecting a vendor to conduct a second enrollment report and to conduct, if needed, the redrawing of attendance areas. The motion to hire Citygate of Anapolis Maryland was tabled at the October 12, 2015 Special Meeting of the Board.

Dr. Zerbe noted that he will communicate with the Board once he is prepared to present responses to these questions, and schedule a meeting as soon as possible on the matter. He also recommended that due to the detailed nature of the questions, and the likelihood that they will result in follow up questions, he is recommending that one or more vendors be brought before the Board so that in the event there are any additional questions, they can be properly addressed without relay from a third party.

Dr. Zerbe also addressed the need for an updated timeline. Since a vendor has yet to be selected for re-drawing of attendance areas or for the second enrollment projection report, he suggested to the Board that a decision on the potential closing of a school is more reasonable to occur after the New Year. Dr. Zerbe will provide a more detailed update once a vendor is selected.

Recent Student Death

Dr. Zerbe also outlined the efforts that were undertaken to support students as a result of the recent passing of a MHS student.

"In an effort to support our students and staff with a loss like this, the high school administrative team, the Crisis Response Team, and county agencies coordinated individual and group counseling services to help our students cope with the death of their classmate and provided them with opportunities to express their emotions and identify strategies for managing their feelings. The district was also supported by two outside agencies: Carson Valley, our district’s SAP coordinator and the Montgomery County Children’s Crisis Center. Both of these agencies had counselors on site to further support our Crisis Response Team. I want to thank everyone that responded to this unfortunate tragedy to assist our students and staff," Dr. Zerbe explained.

He also noted that thoughts are with the student's family and friends during this most difficult time.

All items listed on the October 27 agenda were approved.

Tuesday, October 27 School Board Meeting


Board Notes

The Methacton School District's Board of School Directors meets each month. Committee meetings of the Board are typically held on the first three Tuesdays of the month, followed by the regular board meeting on the fourth Tuesday (except during the month of December). Regular Board meetings take place in the MHS LGI, and all residents are invited and encouraged 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.