School Board Meeting Highlights
Lehigh Carbon Community College - Allentown Site
Roberta Marcus, Anne Beiber and Brian Kahler from LCCC presented plans to move their Allentown campus from Hamilton Blvd. to the Morning Call building at 6th and Linden. The new building will give LCCC much more space.
New Elementary School Design
Mike Kelly from KCBA gave an update on the newly planned elementary school. On January 16, KCBA will ask for approval to solicit bids for construction. They will then prepare the documents and go out to bid on February 9th. They will have site visits with potential contractors and answer questions about the bids, review all proposals and make recommendations to the School Board for contract approvals on April 17th.
Tonight, the Board was asked to approve Plancon Parts D and E, although the state has asked for the moratorium to be extended into this fiscal year on the Plancon process (this is a process that school districts go through to obtain reimbursement from the state for school construction projects). It seems this may be legally challenged. In case school districts prevail, Parkland and KCBA are adhering to the Plancon process. Both Plancon Parts D and E were approved.
Jamie Bortz, architect at KCBA, shared an update on the design process. She highlighted the Creative Commons, STEM and Literacy Center areas that can be seen from the courtyard and act as focal points of the building by sharing an animated video of the space.
Regular Board Meeting
There were five bills that Lisa Roth and Rob Cohen would not vote for. They were for Cyber Schools who they feel are not educating students properly and their disapproval shows that they do not support the fact that taxpayers must fund them.
David Kennedy gave an LCCC report.
Linda Perlman-McKenna reported on the Community Advisory Council and stated that Laura Kowalski gave an outstanding report on the PHS Biomedical Project Lead the Way program. At the November CAC meeting, she learned about the SMS Snack Packs program that helps combat the issue of poverty for the school community and thanked Joelle Strahler for her efforts in taking the lead to organize this at SMS.
Bob Bold reported about the CLIU and the fact that they received four new board members. They passed their budget and will be forwarding it to the school districts they serve for approval.
Non-agenda Items Comments
A few Parkland parents voiced concerns about communication from the District during last week's incident at PHS when students feared their safety after a social media rumor went viral. Unfortunately, the incident occurred just after two students were detained by police for possible threats, but that information was not made public due to student confidentiality policies and the fact that the police had not issued a public statement about it. The District stated that they would try and stay ahead of social media in the future and that there were lessons learned last week, namely that the District will communicate more promptly in order to allay fears. But, Mr. Sniscak also stated that every situation is unique and that it follows the chain of command when police are involved and that often, during police investigations, it is difficult to share information. Mr. Sniscak stated that the safety of students and staff is the District's number one priority at all times and the Board supported that statement as well. He assured the parents that in no way was the school ever in an unsafe situation and if it had been, the parents, students and staff would have promptly been made aware.
Everyone welcomed Ed Kobus, new Manager of Data Systems. They also wished everyone to have happy holidays.