Stephen Butz Superintendent
Southeast Delco School District
Board & Community Update
Back to School Days
The return to school days is rapidly approaching and administrators and staff are working hard to prepare for the arrival of teachers and students.
Teachers will return to the district on Wednesday, August 26th and will attend two days of professional development.
The first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 1st, however, 9th grade students will attend new student orientation at Academy Park High School on Monday, August 31st.
Annual Back-To-School Luncheon
The First African Baptist Church has again graciously offered to host a back to school luncheon for all district staff and board members on Thursday, August 27th at 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The luncheon is a welcome respite from the day’s activities and provides an opportunity for staff from all district schools, ESC, board members, and the community to come together socially and share a meal. The luncheon will be held at the church, located at 901 Clifton Avenue in Sharon Hill.
New Personnel and New Positions
The district welcomed two new administrators, promoted an assistant principal to principal of the high school, and transferred an assistant principal to a new school.
Dr. Kimberly Marucci is our new Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Marucci has served as Principal at Wharton Elementary School; Assistant Principal at McCaskey East High School; Coordinator of World Language, Social Studies, and English Language Learners (ELL); and as a teacher during her education career.
Mr. Nathaniel Robinson is our new Academy Park High School Principal. Mr. Robinson has served as an Assistant Principal at Academy Park High School, Darby Township School, and Delcroft School. Prior to becoming a school administrator Mr. Robinson taught social studies.
Mr. Gregory Doemling is our new Assistant Principal at Sharon Hill School. Mr. Doemling has served as an Instruction / Assessment Specialist at DCIU, Assistant Principal at Henderson High School, and a biology / science teacher.
Mr. Charles Baxter is our new Assistant Principal at Harris School. Mr. Baxter has served as an Assistant Principal and teacher at Sharon Hill School.
Staffing and Hiring
The summer hiring season for faculty positions has been extremely busy. The district has hired fourteen new teachers and as of August 19th, there are six positions left to fill. These six positions are all due to resignations of faculty members since August 3rd. Interviews will continue for teachers over the coming days with the goal of having a teacher in each of the six positions.
There are also a considerable number of support staff positions available. Candidates interviewed for several of these vacancies have been found to be very qualified and administration expects to fill most support staff positions by the time our students return to school. The only exception is personal care aides. The hiring of personal care aides will continue into September, as the need for people in those positions has increased considerably with the influx of students enrolling in the district that require a personal care aide.
Finally, our transportation and food service departments also interviewed candidates during the summer and will be hiring people for their respective departments.
Staff Prepares for the Start of School
As schools open for the 2015 / 2016 school year, district administrators continue to finalize planning so students get off to a fantastic start.
The registrar is meeting with families daily to make sure they can begin school on time. Transportation is finalizing bus routes and stops to ensure not only safe passage for students but maximum efficiency and effectiveness as well. Principals are sending welcome back letters to parents and room assignments to students and teachers are preparing their classrooms. Special thanks go out to all maintenance and cleaning staff for making the buildings look brand-new.
School security staff returned to work on August 11th. This two week time period prior to teachers returning is used to conduct in-service training for officers. Policies and procedures are reviewed, re-certifications for safety care, first aid and CPR / AED training are provided and a building safety and security reassessment is conducted at each school in preparation for the new school year.
We look forward to seeing everybody soon and hope all students have an exceptional year.
During the 2015 / 2016 school year, professional development in Southeast Delco will focus on refining the structure of already-existing grade specific Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) at the building level while also expanding the model to include district-level PLCs for each grade. Through collaboration, PLCs will identify their current reality and clarify what their students need to learn.
Guiding questions focused on student learning will direct PLCs through this process and will include: 1) What do we expect students to learn based on the PA Core Standards, 2) How will we know they have learned it, and 3) How will we respond and what supports will we provide if they did not learn it? PLCs will respond to these guiding questions by way of data analysis, goal setting, standards-aligned common formative assessments, and collective inquiry into best practices.
The district is committed to continuous improvement and the academic success of all students.
21st Century Grant
The 21st Century Community Learning Center grant will again fund after-school tutoring for the 2015 / 2016 school year.
Beginning September 14th, students in grades 4 – 8 will receive tutoring from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM, Monday – Thursday and from 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM on Friday. A cold dinner will be provided to each student.
Depending on which cohort they belong, students will receive instruction on reading and math, engage in STEM activities, and participate in recreational activities, games and creative arts and crafts. Students may also receive instruction and guidance on the Read 180 program.
Academy Park students in grades 9 and 10 can enroll in credit and course recovery classes and receive academic skill and character development, and career preparation. Students can also engage in a program to improve their physical health and a teacher – student mentoring program.
The Extended School Year (ESY) program ended July 30th and was a great success. Students and staff especially enjoyed the Briarcliff Swim Club.
The district will be monitored in December 2015, by the Department of Education’s Bureau of Special Education; therefore significant resources will be focused on ensuring a smooth monitoring process. A committee will be developed for the monitoring process that will include parents, teachers, para professionals, students, and administration.
Our main focus for special education is ensuring that all of our children are making progress and that their rate of improvement increases. The district’s special education staff has worked hard to improve the progress monitoring of students with individual education plans (IEPs). They will take the monitoring to the next step and use the data to close the achievement gap for students with disabilities.
We will be expanding the use and training for Aimsweb, the progress monitoring system used in the grades 1-8 buildings, to the high school. This system provides parents with a continuous, consistent updates on their child’s progress towards IEP goals.
The parent support group established at Delcroft School will be expanding their circle of support to Harris School life skills support program. We will be scheduling a meet and greet in early September. During this meet and greet we will establish a calendar of events for the year and post it on the district website.
The district recently completed its annual Safe Schools survey for the Department of Education (PDE). This annual report allows the district to review discipline incidents from the previous school year and make adjustments to maintain a safe learning environment for students. PDE monitors the number of discipline incidents through this report and publishes its findings. Southeast Delco has always remained in good standing with PDE in regards to its Safe Schools reporting.
This process also allows us to renew our partnerships with local municipalities and their police departments through Memorandums of Understanding (MOU). These agreements, signed every two years, provide procedures for how to handle any situation where cooperation between the school district and municipalities is needed. We are proud of our relationship with each of the communities that the district serves.
County-wide SafePlans Program
Over the summer members of the Building Emergency Response Teams (BERTs) from the Kindergarten Center, Darby Township, Delcroft, Harris, and Sharon Hill Schools received training in the SafePlans on-line emergency plan response system, which was purchased with Federal grant money by Delaware County to consolidate the emergency response plans of all school districts. Once the new template for the plans is populated with each districts’ information they will be uploaded into a secure “Cloud” server. The information in the cloud server can then be accessed by district personnel, emergency responders and the county’s 911 center in the event of an emergency. The appropriate information is currently being added to the system.
End of Year Business Audit
The business office is focused on closing out fiscal year July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. Barbacane Thornton & Company, the local auditors, will begin their annual audit of the district on October 26, 2015.
The local auditors inspect the financial statements and internal controls of the district to ensure compliance with governmental accounting standards. The audit takes approximately two weeks to complete.
Future Board Meetings
Board Business Meeting Thursday, August 27, 2015 7:00 PM
Committee of the Whole Thursday, September 17, 2015 6:00 PM
Board Business Meeting Thursday, September 24, 2015 7:00 PM
New Teacher Induction – August 24th & 25th - ESC
Teacher In-service – August 26th and 27th – District-wide
9th Grade New Student Orientation – August 31st – Academy Park High School
Kindergarten Center Open House Meet & Greet – August 31st – 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
First Day of School for Students – District-wide – September 1st
Kindergarten Center First Day of School for Boys Only – September 1st
Kindergarten Center First Day of School for Girls Only – September 2nd
Labor Day Holiday – September 7th – No School for Students or Staff
Sharon Hill School Back to School Night – September 9th – 6:00 – 8:00 PM
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