Stephen Butz Superintendent
Southeast Delco School District
Board & Community Update
Scholarships Awarded to Graduating Seniors
The Collingdale High School Alumni Association announced the winners of their 2015 scholarships. Alumni president George H. Rendell expressed, “It was especially difficult this year for the committee to evaluate and choose from among the qualified scholarship applications we received. You and your colleagues on the faculty are again to be congratulated for the work they have done in preparing these students.”
The scholarships and award recipients were as follows:
2015 Collingdale High School Alumni Association Scholarship - $5,000 each
Miss Tatuana Upshaw
2015 Maryann Rendell Pechin Memorial Scholarship - $1,000
Mr. Marqus Parker
2015 Vera Fedel DeArmond Award - $500
Miss Milan White
Congratulations and continued success to our scholarship and award winning students.
National Walk @ Lunch Day
The wellness committee held a district-wide National Walk @ Lunch Day on April 29th. This is an annual event promoted by Blue Cross Blue Shield to improve personal health and decrease the cost of healthcare for employers and employees.
District participation did not stop at staff members. Various classes at Academy Park and Sharon Hill Schools walked with their teachers and enjoyed the opportunity to exercise and spend time outdoors on a beautiful afternoon. The transportation department walked at Glenolden Park.
This event will be held annually with the hope that participation will increase each year.
2015 / 2016 General Fund Budget
The committee of the whole meeting on May 21st will include an update on the 2015 / 2016 general fund budget. The district has received information on the federal grant budget numbers but has not yet received information on what funds will be received from the state. The board of school directors will be asked to approve the final budget at the May 28th board business meeting.
The final budget includes an index tax increase of 2.8% and usage of approximately $500,000 of fund balance. A 2.8% increase for the average taxpayer is an annual increase of approximately $75.00.
The homestead tax reduction amount for the 2015 / 2016 year is $2,168,717.82. This amount is a reduction of approximately $160 from 2014 / 2015. There are 6,105 approved homestead properties in the district (down from 6,259 properties.) Each approved property will receive the homestead deduction of $355, which will be reflected on their 2015 tax bill.
Duel Enrollment – Getting a Head Start on Life After High School
The Academy Park High School guidance staff works daily with students in preparing them for post-secondary endeavors. This spring, school counselors began using the Naviance college and career development program to match student interests with their post-secondary plans.
As part of this process, school counselors work with local branches of Delaware County Community College in getting students into dual enrollment courses. Dual enrollment is a program where high school students can be enrolled in college courses while still taking classes at Academy Park High School. Every year, students take advantage of this program to earn college credits that can be transferred to a two or four-year college.
After being accepted for dual enrollment, students take a placement test that provides them with different course options. Some students can take courses in psychology, history, and English. Other students enroll in certificate programs such as machine works and manufacturing programs, which help address local company and employment needs. Each semester, high school counselors promote dual enrollment programs through an assembly series, classroom guidance lessons, college and career fairs, and small group and individual counseling sessions.
Mark Davies, a dual enrollment student at Delaware County Community College and a junior at Academy Park High School, states, “Being a high school student in a dual enrollment program is one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. It has allowed me to take on the challenge of separating myself from my comfort zone and going into the college environment. From that experience, I have taken a higher level of maturity, a stronger work ethic, an increased wealth of knowledge, and a renewed spirit and love for learning.”
One School Year Ends – Another Begins
District and building administrators, as well as teaching and support staff, are preparing to wrap up the 2014 / 2015 school. This process entails looking at data from this school year and planning for the year ahead. The data analyzed includes enrollment, attendance, discipline, and achievement information.
Each area will be scrutinized to determine which initiatives worked at each level, which did not, and which need minor adjustments heading into the next school year. It is expected that each school discuss its data points among the various stakeholders of the building. The goal of this analysis is to continue to make improvements to the quality of education each student receives and to improve the responsiveness of the school to the community it serves.
Planning for the 2015 / 2016 school year includes looking at enrollment projections for each grade at the district and school levels. It also includes securing the resources needed for each student to reach their fullest potential for success. Areas of focus to be implemented further during the next school year include professional development for teachers, a re-design of district assessments to better align with state assessments, improving the delivery of core and supplemental instruction, and providing school environments for students conducive to school success.
Math Mania Night
The district’s first Math Mania Night was held at Darby Township School on May 6th. Families and students came from all over the district to share a light dinner and have fun with math. A raffle was held for all attendees and winners took home family math games. Thank you to all the teachers who moderated games and families who attended to support the importance of math to their children.
District Junior Science Fair for Grades 4 and 5
Each school held a science fair for 4th and 5th graders during the first week of May. On May 14th, the winners from each school presented their projects to judges at Darby Township School Library. Winners will be highlighted in the June Newsletter. Students in grades 6 through 8 will display their projects at the end of the month.
Literacy through the Arts Night
Southeast Delco School District invites all grades K-8 students and their parents to a special evening hosted by Sharon Hill School and the reading interventionists at Academy Park High School. Literacy through the Arts will feature storyteller Denise Valentine, the Universal African Drum and Dance Ensemble, and sessions on Literacy in the Arts with our reading specialists.
The event will be held at Academy Park High School on Monday, May 18th, beginning with a free pasta dinner at 5:00 PM. All students will receive a free book at the end of the evening. Registration and additional information is available on the district website at www.sedelco.org.
K-8 Science Text Adoption Committee
The grades K-8 science text adoption committee has piloted two science series during the past school year. They completed questionnaires and wrote narratives on the positives and negatives of each series. The committee will recommend Houghton-Harcourt’s Science in Focus series to the board for our students for the coming school year.
Accelerated Middle School Math
All 7th grade students will be administered the Orleans-Hanna Algebra Assessment during the week of May 18th, as part of the criteria to move to algebra I in 8th grade. All 6th grade students will be reviewed through district criteria to determine who will be enrolled next fall in pre-algebra in 7th grade. Parents will receive notification in June regarding those students who will be enrolled in accelerated math classes in September.
High School Curricular Areas
The high school English / language arts committee will be recommending to the board resources they have piloted from either Pearson or Harcourt-Houghton. The biology and chemistry teachers have piloted new texts from McGraw-Hill and Harcourt-Houghton and will come together in June to make a recommendation to the board for those content areas.
Final New Teacher Induction Class
All new teachers and mentors attended the final new teacher induction class on May 14th. Dr. Butz presented certificates to teachers who completed one year of induction to the district. The speaker for this event will be Mrs. Margaret Thomas.
Assistant Principal Meeting
Assistant principals met on May 5th with Dr. Watson and completed their book study of Michael Fullan’s The Principal. High school assistant principal, Michele McGlynn, presented information on new regulations for students attending alternative schools.
Administration and the board of school directors will recognize all 2014 / 2015 retirees at the May 28th board business meeting. The district will host a dinner prior to the meeting and each retiree will be presented with a plaque honoring their years of service to the district.
Over the coming weeks, the director of human resources will be conducting exit interviews with staff members who are retiring or resigning at the end of the school year. Exit meetings typically last about thirty minutes and employees can reflect on their career with the district and review their post-employment insurance options.
Staffing and Hiring Issues
The spring and summer hiring season for faculty positions is under way. The district is starting to interview candidates for faculty positions for the 2015 / 2016 school year. Currently, there are ten teaching positions available and we do expect that number to increase over the summer break. Support staff positions will also be hired during the summer months.
Open Enrollment for District Staff
The human resources department will conduct the annual insurance open enrollment from May 11th to May 29th. Open enrollment is a period of time when employees can make changes to their insurance coverage. An employee can switch from Personal Choice health insurance to Keystone Point of Service health insurance or switch dental coverage. It is also the time an employee can elect to contribute to a medical and / or dependent spending account to use for out of pocket medical or dependent expenses on a pre-tax basis. The district’s new plan year begins on July 1st.
Public Safety Department
The public safety department continues to work on several projects regarding the closed circuit camera system, the district-wide two-way radio system, and the emergency preparedness and response plan.
As the school year comes to an end, the district will perform safety and security assessments in each school. Officers assigned to each school will conduct the initial assessment, which will then be reviewed and verified by Mr. Whitman the public safety coordinator. The results of the assessments will be used to create a list of repairs, modifications, and / or procedural corrections that will need to be addressed prior to the opening of the 2015 / 2016 school year.
PHS Tree Tenders®
The Philadelphia Horticulture Society (PHS) will offer tree care training to Southeast Delco staff, community members, and students over the age of 16. The PHS Tree Tenders® program offers hands-on training that covers tree biology, identification, planting, and proper care.
Classes will be held at Harris School on September 17th, 24th, and October 1st at 6:00 to 9:00 PM. The fee for the program is $25 – scholarships are available. To register, please go to www.pennhort.net/treetenders.
Future Board Meetings
Committee of the Whole Thursday, May 21, 2015 6:00 PM
Board Business Meeting Thursday, May 28, 2015 7:00 PM
Committee of the Whole Thursday, June 18, 2015 6:00 PM
Board Business Meeting Thursday, June 25, 2015 7:00 PM
Southeast Delco School District
District Literacy Through the Arts Night – Monday, May 18th – 5:30 PM – Academy Park High School
Academy Park High School Spring Concert and Art Show – May 20th – 7:00 PM
Harris School Spring Concert and Art Show – May 21st – 7:00 PM
Memorial Day Holiday Monday, May 25th – No School for Students or Staff
Academy Park High School Senior Prom – Friday, May 29th – 7:00 PM – Adventure Aquarium – Camden, NJ
National Junior Honor Society Induction Ceremony – Monday, June 1st – 6:00 PM – APHS
Senior Awards Night – Tuesday, June 2nd – 7:00 PM - APHS
End of 4th Marking Period – June 12th
Last Day of School for Students – June 12th
Academy Park High School Graduation – Friday, June 12th 6:30 PM – Neumann University
Stephen Butz Superintendent
Educational Service Center
1560 Delmar Drive Folcroft, PA 19032