Stephen Butz Superintendent
Southeast Delco School District
Board & Community Update
Back to School Days
Summer break has ended and students and staff have returned to the district to begin the 2015 / 2016 school year. Prior to welcoming students on September 1st, teachers and instructional aides attended two days of professional development.
Each building hosted open house orientations for new students on August 31st and back to school nights will be held throughout September.
Annual Back-To-School Luncheon
The First African Baptist Church celebrated the opening of the 2015 / 2016 school year and welcomed district staff at their annual back to school luncheon on Thursday, August 27th. The theme for this year’s celebration was Making a Difference. Former district teacher, Dolores Ellison, served as mistress of ceremonies and challenged attendees to, “think of an individual’s life that you have impacted” and to consider, “who helped shape your character and mentored you to become the teacher you are today?”
Many thanks go out to Reverend Dent and the congregation of the First African Baptist Church for their kindness and generosity. Southeast Delco is fortunate to have such a committed and caring community partner.
PSSA data has been released for the 2014 / 2015 school year. It is important to note that this year the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) redesigned these assessments and created new scoring guidelines. This created a drop in overall proficiency scores across the Commonwealth. The proficiency levels in Southeast Delco schools went down slightly from the previous year. This is in line with most districts in the state and better than some. The math proficiency levels witnessed a greater decrease, which again is in line with almost all districts across the state. We have done our own analysis of these scores and have already begun to revise instructional and assessment practices.
Keystone data, which assesses high school students as well as some middle school algebra students, has also been released. These assessments did not change significantly from the previous year. Academy Park students showed growth on all three Keystone assessments, algebra I, literature, and biology. While we are pleased with the increases, we will be continuing to refine our work to continuously reach improved levels of student achievement at the high school.
One other important note regarding these assessments is that there will be no School Performance Profile (SSP) score for any elementary school in Pennsylvania. PDE has decided that with the change in PSSA assessments it would not provide a score this year. Academy Park will receive a score because the rating is based on Keystone Assessments, which did not change. We are expecting Academy Park’s SPP score to rise from the previous year.
Come Celebrate the 16th Annual Lights On Afterschool Event
Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. Organized by The Afterschool Alliance, Lights On Afterschool highlights the many ways afterschool programs support students by offering them opportunities to learn new things and discover new skills.
This year’s event will be held on October 22nd at 3:30 to 6:00 PM at Darby Township, Delcroft, Harris, and Sharon Hill Schools. Student artwork will be on display and interactive activities will be available for students and parents. Refreshments will be served. Parents and guests will be given an opportunity to sign a petition that will be sent by the Afterschool Alliance to local, state and federal representatives asking them to continue to support and fund afterschool programs.
Parent Support Group
The special education department is focusing on expanding the Southeast Delco parent support group, which organized last year at Delcroft School. Parents of students with Autism started the group and met four times last year with teachers and administrators. The group’s purpose is to provide a school / community focus for parents of students with disabilities.
The expansion of the program will be highlighted on a display at Harris School’s Back to School Night on September 16th. Information will be provided on how to join the group’s email list and Facebook page and Special Olympics. There is a parent needs survey available on the group’s Facebook page that will be used to identify what parents of students with disabilities are in need of to enable their child to be successful in all areas of life.
The group is organizing one school at a time but if parents from other schools want to get involved immediately they can email email@example.com. Parents can also “like” the SEDelcoParent support group community page on Facebook or use the following link to connect to the Parent University section of the district website: https://www.sedelco.org/Page/2923.
The Wellness Committee is entering its third year. A meeting will be held on September 17th where an agenda for the upcoming school year will be developed. The committee’s first activity is already planned. The district will partner with CVS to provide staff with an opportunity to receive flu shots, which will be covered by our Independence Blue Cross health insurance.
The committee is looking to replace a member who resigned from the committee at the end of the 2014 / 2015 school year.
Southeast Delco adopted several new programs this year. Science Fusion by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was adopted for science in grades K - 8. At Academy Park High School, chemistry and biology programs were adopted through McGraw Hill. The program incorporates a technology component, which the teachers are readily embracing. Also at Academy Park High School, a Pearson program was adopted for English language arts for grades 9 - 12. Teachers in these content / subject areas revised curriculum and instruction guides over the summer months.
Based on our curriculum management cycle, we are piloting social studies programs for possible adoption for the 2016 / 2017 school year. In grades K - 5, select teachers are piloting Pearson social studies during the first semester and for the second semester they will use their current Houghton Mifflin Harcourt social studies program and pilot the company’s new technology component. Middle and high school teachers are currently piloting McGraw Hill social studies.
Delaware County Healthcare Trust
District superintendent, Dr. Stephen Butz will join the Delaware County Healthcare Trust Board of Trustees as the superintendent of record and will serve along with Thomas Haupert, district director of human resources, and a member of the teachers’ association.
Over the past two years, the trust has accomplished several of its goals ranging from slowing the increase in medical insurance costs to developing a wellness agenda for its member school districts. The trust is currently working to establish a list of health insurance plans that member districts can utilize during contract negotiations with their respective labor groups. To reach this goal, the trust has created a plan design committee that is working to reduce the number of health plans offered by districts from the current thirty-two to ten. The plan design committee has been discussing and reviewing plan designs for over a year. The Board of Trustees hopes to consider a proposal from the plan design committee at their October meeting.
As follows, several building and maintenance issues were handled over the summer break:
Academy Park High School - Knight Field - The tennis courts were completely refurbished and an additional court was added. The track was resurfaced and fencing repaired.
Darby Township - A large section of damaged gym floor was replaced and the entire floor was resurfaced. New lines were painted on the floor and the district “Knight” logo was installed.
Delcroft School - A total renovation of four restrooms was completed. The makeover included installation of low flow toilets, energy efficient heating and ventilation equipment, and LED lighting with occupancy sensors for higher efficiency. Other work included replacing the ceiling and lighting in the assistant principal’s office and conference room and re-lamping several classrooms. The custodial closet was painted and a new ceiling and lighting were installed.
Harris School - A new sink was installed in the art room and the base cabinetry was replaced. A sink was also installed in the special education classroom
Sharon Hill - Several classrooms were re-lamped.
Kindergarten Center - The phone system wiring was modified and awnings were installed at the back doors to the playground area.
Education Service Center - All exterior window trim was replaced and new shutters and decorative arches were installed. The broken sidewalk surrounding the building was also replaced.
Future Board Meetings
Committee of the Whole Thursday, September 17, 2015 6:00 PM
Board Business Meeting Thursday, September 24, 2015 7:00 PM
Committee of the Whole Thursday, October 8, 2015 6:00 PM
Board Business Meeting Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:00 PM
DCCC Board Appreciation Dinner Wednesday, October 28, 2015 TBD
Delcroft School Back to School Night – September 15th – 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Darby Township School Back to School Night – September 16th – 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Harris School Back to School Night – September 17th – 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Academy Park High School Back to School Dance – September 18th – 7:00 PM
Academy Park High School Back to School Open House – September 23rd – 6:00 PM
Progress Notices Issued – Friday, October 2nd
Blood Drive – APHS – Tuesday, October 6th
Early Dismissal – District-wide – Wednesday, October 7th – APHS - 11 AM / Grades K – 8 - 12:45 PM
Teacher In-service – District-wide – No School for Students – Monday, October 12th
Junior Class Ring Ceremony – APHS Auditorium – Thursday, October 15th – 7 PM
Powder Puff Game – APHS Knight Field – Wednesday, October 21st – 6 PM
Homecoming Parade – APHS Knight Field – Friday, October 23rd – 5 PM
Homecoming Game – APHS vs. Pennwood – Friday, October 23rd – 7 PM
Field Hockey Alumni Game – APHS Knight Field – Saturday, October 24th – 10 AM
Academy Park High School Fall Play – Thursday, October 29th & 30th – 7 PM
Darby Township School Haunted Hallway – Friday, October 30th – 6 PM
Sharon Hill School Word Parade – Friday, October 30th – 9 AM