School Board Meeting Highlights
Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit (CLIU) Multiple Disabilities Functional and Behavioral Classroom Presentation
The CLIU's Kim Talipan, Lisa Schumacher, and John Walter gave a presentation about eight classrooms that are in various Parkland Building that serve students with multiple disabilities. They service more than 100 students in the classrooms in Parkland buildings and students come from surrounding school districts to take part in the program. They shared a touching video that highlighted the work that their staff does to help the students work on fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and other skill sets to learn to be as independent as possible in their daily routines. A mother also spoke about her appreciation for the program and the staff who work with her to help her son make progress in the midst of navigating nonverbal and behavioral challenges.
New Elementary School Update
Jamie Bortz, Design Professional from KCBA Architects, gave the update. Parkland is in the midst of a public comment period, meaning that the public can submit comments on the design and financing plan for the new elementary school which was shared during the Act 34 Hearing on November 13, 2017, and which has been on public display since. On December 19, after the public comment period ends, the School Board will vote on the approval of a financing and design plan. If all is approved, on January 16, the Board will give KCBA the green light to move forward with preparations to go out to bid on all of the project elements. Once approval is achieved, the plan will be to go out to bid on the project on Feb. 8, 2018, and that the District will break ground in the Spring of 2018.
Financing Plan for New Borrowing
Scott Shearer of Public Financial Management, Jens Damgaard from Rhoads and SInon and Ken Phillips of RBC Capital Markets reviewed the borrowing plans for capital projects including the new elementary project. The team plans to bring forth a parameters resolution to give approval for the financial team to move forward on new borrowing within a specified time period and finance rate range on December 5, 2017 to take advantage of the best time to lock in rates. The goal will be to be in the market in early January. But, there are concerns about a tax code change. If the market is turbulent, borrowing may be pushed back to occur later in the year. There is some talk about the Feds raising interest rates in December and three more times in 2018. The team will be staying on top of all of these items over the next couple of months and keeping the school district informed about how any changes might affect the borrowing plan.
Budget Presentation for 2018-19
John Vignone, DIrector of Business Administration, gave a budget update for the 2018-19 school year.
Regular Board Meeting
LCCC Report by David Kennedy
Parkland Foundation Report by Bob Bold
The Board thanked Barry Long and Mark Hanichak (not present) for their years of service as tonight was officially their last meeting. Barry expressed gratitude for his last eight years of service and noted that challenges exist in the future as the District needs to borrow funds to serve an ever-growing community and noting that the PSERS rate is now over 32% with no action by state government to address ballooning pension debt.
Everyone thanked the evening's presenters for informative and thorough presentations. Board members highlighted Parkland Football, the Life Skills Thanksgiving Meal Event at PHS, the NHS Induction Ceremony and the Career Speaker Series as highlights that occurred over the past month.
The School Board wished that everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving Break!