Stephen Butz Superintendent
Southeast Delco School District
Board & Community Update
APHS Homecoming Celebration
Final preparations for the 2015 Homecoming Celebration are well underway. As in past years, there will be activities for students, staff and community members.
The annual Powder Puff game will be held at Knight Field on Wednesday, October 21 at 6:00 PM. All current and past students are invited to participate in a district-wide parade that will take place prior to the homecoming game on Friday, October 23rd. Participants will line up in the cafeteria at 5:00 PM and the parade will begin at 5:30 PM.
The big game, Academy Park’s amazing Knights vs. Glen Mills, will begin at 7:00 PM. At half-time, the Homecoming Court will be recognized and the King and Queen will be announced.
The Alumni Field Hockey Game, which was so successful last year, will be held at Knight Field at 10:00 AM on Saturday, October 24.
Teaching and Learning
As we begin the month of October, teachers are preparing to administer benchmark assessments. The data obtained from these assessments will provide information regarding student growth and achievement based on grade-level and department SMART Goals.
SMART Goals were developed by district-wide grade-level and department Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) during Southeast Delco’s first in-service days in August. SMART Goals are: Strategically and Specifically aligned with school and district goals; Measureable; Attainable; Results oriented, requiring evidence; and Time bound. PLCs created SMART Goals through the analysis of PSSA data and identification of deficiencies in specific skill areas of students.
Teachers and administrators will revisit these goals regularly during district and department PLC meetings and measure student growth towards the goals using benchmark and other grade-level and department assessments. By identifying specific areas for growth, administrators, teachers and students have a clear understanding of and focus on the necessary teaching and learning that must occur in order to enhance student achievement.
Students Response to Instruction and Intervention
Administrators and teachers are working diligently to refine the district’s RtII practices. RtII, or Response to Instruction and Intervention, is a multi-tiered system of instructing and supporting students through a variety of strategies. The tiered structure of RtII lets students progress in their education and gives them access to the supports necessary to be successful.
There are three tiers in the system. Tier I is the core instruction that all students in every grade level receive. If students are being successful in Tier I, they remain there. Students who need additional support continue to receive their Tier I instruction and a Tier II intervention is added, which helps build the skills they may be struggling with. Some students who are successful at this level continue to receive Tier II services while others return to Tier I only. For students who continue to struggle to be successful with grade level expectations, a second intervention strategy may be added. This places the student in Tier III, the most supportive of the three tiers. Students may move in and out of tiers as the school year progresses.
The RtII system can also be referred to as MTSS or Multi-Tiered System of Supports in Pennsylvania. The system looks as follows:
Tier I- Core Instruction (All students receive Tier I instruction.)
Tier II- Initial Intervention (Students who need support receive intervention and their regular Tier I instruction.)
Tier III- Secondary Intervention (Students who are in need receive this level of support; continue to receive their initial intervention and their Tier I instruction while adding a Tier III intervention.)
The district is engaging in the cyclical monitoring process for special education. This process is to determine if the district is complying with federal and state regulations in the area of special education. There is a cyclical monitoring team that consists of the director of special education, the director of curriculum, a speech pathologist, a principal, an assistant principal, a special education teacher, a general education teacher, a paraprofessional, and a parent of a student with disabilities.
This team meets weekly and is completing a Facilitated Self-Assessment (FSA) that is required for the process. The FSA requires the team to look at data and justify the data within a set of predetermined questions. Once the FSA is completed it is submitted to the state department of special education.
In early December, a team of monitors will visit the district and review the evidence to justify the answers on the FSA. They will review student files and interview parents, teachers and students with disabilities.
Once this process is completed the state department of education will review all the data and provide the district with a report of its findings. If there are items that we need to improve upon, a corrective action plan will be developed in collaboration with the state monitor and the district.
In 2010, the district participated in the cyclical monitoring and the results were outstanding. We were assigned a corrective action plan for items involving policy. We did not have any corrective action based on the services and supports we provide to students. The district administration is confident we will have another successful monitoring process with very little corrective action.
After School Program Upcoming Events
Behavioral Institute will provide anti-drug presentations at the afterschool programs during the week of October 19 – 22. The schedule is as follows:
Harris School - Monday, October 19
Delcroft School - Tuesday, October 20
Sharon Hill School - Wednesday, October 21
Darby Township School - Thursday, October, 22
An open house for all grades 1 - 8 afterschool programs will be held at the following buildings from 5:00 - 6:00 PM during the week of October 19 – 21.
Darby Township School – Monday, October 19
Harris School - Monday, October 19
Delcroft School – Tuesday, October 20
Sharon Hill School – Wednesday, October 21
Lights On Program
All four grades 1-8 afterschool programs will join other afterschool programs from across the United States in The National Lights On celebration on Thursday, October 22. This day is dedicated to highlighting the importance of continued quality and safe afterschool programs for children in Pennsylvania and the country. The Southeast Delco community, staff and board members are welcome to attend and show their support.
Rachael Kelly and Patricia Alford attended the 2015 Summer Changes Everything national conference on October 13 – 14 in Baltimore, MD. Attending this conference was a requirement for continued funding of the Cohort 7 grant.
Pat Alford will attend and represent the district at a meeting being held on October 16 about how to form strong out-of-school time partnerships with grant programs. The meeting will be held at the Philadelphia School Board of Education in Philadelphia.
The United States Naval Sea Cadets have been awarded tickets to attend the Powering Success Conference, which is a youth career day sponsored by The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE). The conference is being held Saturday, October 17 at the PECO Building, 2301 Market Street in Philadelphia. Twelve cadets and 2 adults will discover what it takes to prepare for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Part of the day will be spent interacting with professionals in the energy industries. The event is free. Breakfast and lunch will be served.
The district is experiencing difficulty attracting secondary science and mathematics teachers. The high school has had a vacant biology teacher position since August 18th and a vacant math teacher position since September 22nd. We have advertised in numerous locations with limited results. The administration has discussed the possible reasons why we are experiencing these difficulties, as well as possible solutions. District administrators are reviewing a number of possible solutions to address these areas of need.
For the biology position, we currently have a potential teacher substituting in the classroom through our substitute teacher provider, Kelly Educational Staffing. Regarding the math position, we conducted interviews this week. If the interviews are successful we will request approval to hire the candidates at the October 22nd board meeting.
The contractor that has been providing snow removal services for the district has informed us that they will no longer be able to provide that service. This prompted the need to solicit for public bids from contractors capable of performing this service.
On Tuesday, October 6th a pre-bid meeting was held with contractors that have responded to the request for bids. Each lot was visited and checked for location and scope of work by each contractor that attended the pre-bid meeting. The next step in the process will be to receive bids from contractors, publicly open the bids and then evaluate the bids for accuracy, capability, resources, and cost. Once a contractor has been selected in accordance with the specified criteria, that contractor’s name will be submitted for approval at the October 22nd board meeting.
Saving Energy and Reducing Costs
The new lighting system installed during the high school renovation is proving to be a significant energy saving system. The Lutron system provides the ability to dim the lighting levels during minimal building occupancy. Several thousand kilowatts of energy were conserved during the summer months as all building lighting in non-critical areas was reduced by as much as 50%.
Every attempt to conserve energy is being employed in all daily routines. Lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and water usage are all the focus of energy and resource conservation.
Safety and Security
Over the past couple of weeks, the district has been reviewing the use of metal detectors at our high school and our search processes. Research was done into the approximate costs involved in purchasing additional equipment. Several schools that utilize metal detectors in the Philadelphia, Hazelton and Wilkes-Barre School Districts were visited. Conversations were held with public safety directors, chiefs of police for school districts, principals, assistant principals, teachers, and security officers at those districts. Everyone agreed with the need to have a student search policy and to conduct periodic searches. In the locations where every student is searched every day, those involved see the benefits but they cautioned us to fully understand the on-going costs and resources required to conduct such a process. They also stated that even the most comprehensive process does not insure that weapons will not get into the school.
Some of the challenges the district will face in implementing and maintaining this kind of the process are available space, lack of personnel, the inability to control all of the exterior doors in the building, the time it would take to process every student every day, technical support to maintain equipment, and ultimately the on-going year to year cost of the program.
Future Board Meetings
Board Business Meeting Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:00 PM
DCCC Board Appreciation Dinner Wednesday, October 28, 2015 6:00 PMCommittee of the Whole Thursday, November 12, 2015 6:00 PM
Board Business Meeting Wednesday, November 18, 2015 7:00 PM
Powder Puff Game – APHS Knight Field – Wednesday, October 21st – 6 PM
Homecoming Parade – APHS Knight Field – Friday, October 23rd – 5:30 PM
Homecoming Game – APHS vs. Glen Mills – Friday, October 23rd – 7 PM
Field Hockey Alumni Game – APHS Knight Field – Saturday, October 24th – 10 AM
Sharon Hill School – Minding Your Mind Assembly – Grades 7 & 8 – Tuesday, October 27th – 9 AM
Academy Park High School Fall Play – Thursday and Friday, October 29th & 30th – 7 PM
Darby Township School Haunted Hallway – Friday, October 30th – 6 PM
Harris School Word Parade – Friday, October 30th – 9:30 AM
Sharon Hill School Word Parade – Friday, October 30th – 9 AM
Teacher In-service – District-wide – No School for Students – Tuesday, November 3rd
End of 1st Marking Period – Friday, November 6th
Sharon Hill School – Fall Positive Behavior Social – Friday, November 6th – 10 AM
Alzheimer’s Walk – APHS – Sunday, November 8th – 8 AM to 9 AM
Dodge Ball Night – APHS – Monday, November 12th – 6 PM
Me and My Guy Dance – APHS – Friday, November 13 – 7 PM
Sharon Hill School Student Council Chuck E Cheese Night – Wednesday, November 18th – 6 PM
Report Card Conferences – APHS – Thursday, November 19th
Early Dismissal – Grades K through 8 – Monday and Tuesday, November 23rd & 24th – 12:45 PM
Report Card Conferences – Grades K through 8 – Monday and Tuesday, November 23rd & 24th
Thanksgiving Holiday – No School for Students – Thursday and Friday, November 26th and 27th