The Central Bucks Board Note
November 2022 Meetings in Review
Message from Board President Dana Hunter
Welcome to Board Note, the monthly summary of news and information from the Central Bucks Board of School Directors. Through communications like this, our goal is to provide you with factual and timely updates that help you stay informed. We encourage you to read this newsletter and to click the links below to view or listen to the recordings of recent board and committee meetings.
In this issue, I’d like to clarify one item related to the board’s response to the heavily redacted administrative complaint filed by the ACLU of Pennsylvania in October, which alleges discrimination on the basis of sex. As we have said many times, there is zero tolerance in the district for discrimination, harassment or bullying. On October 11, the board called on the ACLU to provide the district with an unredacted copy of the complaint so that any and all allegations can be investigated appropriately. This has been reported and interpreted by some as the board asking for the names in the complaint to be made public – that is incorrect. We are asking that specific allegations be provided only to the district so that the process for investigating the allegations and, as appropriate, working with the people involved can begin. To date, the allegations are still being withheld and hidden from the district by the ACLU.
Please note that the next board meeting is Monday, December 5 at 7 p.m. Each year, the December meeting includes the School Board’s annual reorganization agenda, which provides for the election of a board president and vice president and the approval of the coming year’s meeting schedule. You can tune in to the meeting at the link in the blue band below.
Lastly, I want to highlight how active our students, teachers and staff are in all of our schools as we head into the final weeks of the calendar year. From winter concerts and theater productions to all manner of in-class activities and celebrations, there is never a shortage of talent on display. In fact, we were fortunate to hear a collaborative performance by students from the Holicong Middle School music and social studies departments under the direction of Holicong teachers James Glaser and Patrick Kelly (pictured above) prior to the beginning of the November board meeting. Our thanks to all of them for joining us!
And our thanks to all of you, too, for your interest in and commitment to the Central Bucks School District.
2021 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) Report
At the November 15 Board Meeting, Superintendent Dr. Abram M. Lucabaugh introduced Director of Pupil Services Alyssa Marton to share the findings of the 2021 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) with the board.
PAYS is a biennial survey, which the Central Bucks School District conducts among grades 8, 10 and 12 as part of a statewide initiative to assess students’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior toward alcohol, tobacco and drug use. The 2021 survey addressed six areas, including substance abuse, mental health concerns and suicide risk, social climate and safety, abuse and food scarcity, COVID-19 impacts, and remote learning perceptions and experiences. For the 2021 survey, CBSD had a 92.1% participation rate with more than 3,900 student surveys submitted.
Mrs. Marton reported that, overall, CBSD data was trending in the right direction. Highlights include a decrease in bullying and an increase across all grades of a more positive social climate at school. However, she also shared areas of concern, which include a rising trend in mental health considerations and student drug and alcohol usage rates that are higher than the state average. She said the PAYS data helps to raise awareness within our school community and inform the development of prevention practices and education for students and families.
View Mrs. Marton’s presentation, which starts at 6:00, here, or view a narrated presentation below.
Curriculum Committee Meeting - November 16
Highlights included three information presentations:
- Sound City a recommended, supplemental, pilot program for grades K-2 on Phonemic Awareness with the goal of possible full implementation in the 2023-2024 school year. Program emphasizes phonemic awareness and phonics/decoding as the critical foundations for building toward reading comprehension. (Hear the presentation and discussion here at 5:52.)
- A new pilot for expanding computer science and robotics courses as high school electives with the goal of possible full implementation in the 2025-2026 school year. The pilot would include four, half-credit courses at CB West next year, including two computer science courses within the mathematics department and two robotics courses within the technology, education and engineering department. (Hear the presentation and discussion here at 31:36.)
An overview of the Network Of Victim Assistance or NOVA presentations available for K-12 this year, including programs on Cyberbullying (5th grade), Digital Footprint (6th grade) and Respectful Citizen (middle school). (Hear the presentation and discussion here at 53:40.)
Policy Committee Meeting - November 16
- School districts around the country are considering the complexities of student athletes competing in sports according to their gender identity vs. their biological gender, and the Policy Committee is beginning to think about how to balance the rights, needs and care of all student athletes in CBSD. To that end, the Committee hosted informational speaker, Greg Brown, PhD., a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, professor in exercise science at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and a subject matter expert on this matter. (Discussion begins at 1:06 here.) Additional experts will be invited to future Policy Committee meetings in order to explore all aspects of this topic.
- Moved Policy 227: Controlled Substances/Paraphernalia out of committee. The updated policy is intended to provide district administration with the ability to better navigate intervention, education and discipline related to use and abuse of controlled substances by students in school. (Discussion begins at 32:33 here.)
Operations Committee Meeting - November 30
- Discussed how and what Home & School Association fundraising can or should support in terms of school capital projects. (Discussion begins at 14:21 here.)
- Received updates on continuing capital projects in the district, including eight construction projects and five projects in the design phase. (Discussion begins at 42:18 here.)
Finance Committee Meeting - November 30
- Moved out of committee a recommendation for two new positions in Finance and Operations, a district security manager and an environmental coordinator. (Discussion begins at :20 here.)
- Moved out of committee a recommendation to front district funds for the cost of an exterior freezer/cooler for Barclay Elementary’s food pantry. Anticipated grants and fundraising are expected ultimately to cover the freezer’s cost and will be repaid to the district. (Discussion begins at 15:08 here.)
- Discussed the continuing issue of transportation labor shortages impacting First Student’s bus runs. (Discussion begins at 26:39 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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