Stephen Butz Superintendent
Southeast Delco School District
Board & Community Update
Southeast Delco Board of Directors’ Annual Organization Meeting
The Board of School Directors for Southeast Delco School District held their annual organization meeting on Monday, December 1st. Mrs. Dorothy Gallagher and Ms. Theresa Harris-Johnson were unanimously re-elected to their board positions as president and vice president.
Other business included the appointment of Robert DiOrio as district solicitor and the approval of the 2015 Calendar of School Board Meetings.
The Board also reaffirmed their adoption of the Pennsylvania School Board Association’s Standards for Effective School Governance and Code of Conduct for Board Members.
2015 Board Business Meeting Schedule
January 22, 2015
February 26, 2015March 26, 2015April 23, 2015May 28, 2015June 25, 2015July 23, 2015August 27, 2015September 24, 2015October 22, 2015November 19, 2015December 17, 2015
“Toys For Tots”
Southeast Delco School District has once again partnered with the US Marine Corps Toys For Tots campaign to provide gifts to local families in need. This is the 6th year district social workers, Kay Bethea, Lindsay Hannigan, and Towanda Tilson have coordinated the effort to collect and distribute donations to the over 400 district families who registered to receive holiday gifts for their children.
Toys will be distributed at Harris School, 501 Sharon Avenue in Collingdale, on Wednesday, December 17th and Thursday, December 18th between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 PM.
Barbacane, Thornton & Company, the district’s local auditors, completed the annual audit of the school district on November 6, 2014. Administration has received a draft copy of the audit. Once the audit is finalized, administration will schedule a time for the audit to be presented to the board.
2015 / 2016 General Fund Budget
It is time to begin preparation of the 2015 / 2016 General Fund Budget! The index for the district is 2.8%, which means that the district is allowed to raise property taxes 2.8% without seeking exceptions or additional approval from the state. The deadline for the district to either adopt a preliminary budget or approve a resolution stating that the district will not raise taxes above the index is January 29, 2015.
The PSERS employer contribution rate for fiscal year 2015 / 2016 will be 25.84%. The rate applies to salary and wages earned from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016. This rate was determined by PSERS actuary and reflects the rate caps established by Act 120 of 2010. The rate was certified by the PSERS Board of Trustees at its meeting on December 9, 2014.
Health Care Update
Preliminary information provided to the district indicates that we will receive a 10.59% increase in health insurance rates. These rates will be confirmed in March and taken into account when administration drafts the 2015 / 2016 budget.
Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to bring changes to employee insurance benefits. In 2015, the employer shared responsibility provision begins for employers, which requires employers to offer health and prescription drug coverage to employees who work on average thirty hours a week or greater. If the employer fails to provide insurance and an employee decides to sign up for insurance via the Healthcare.gov website, the employer would be subject to a fine by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The district has been preparing for compliance with this provision for the last two years. We have reviewed the number of hours employees work and made adjustments. In 2018, the excise tax will begin and the tax has the potential to be expensive to the district if we are not in compliance. This provision will be discussed during contract negotiations with the Federation.
The district will need to begin negotiating with the Southeast Delco Federation of Support Staff by January 10, 2015, as their contract expires on June 30, 2015. The administration has spent the past few months preparing for negotiations. We will need a couple of board members to participate in the negotiation sessions. In addition, we need to prepare for the meet and discuss conversations with our school police/security and confidential employee groups, as their agreements expire on June 30, 2015.
Special education continues to have several staffing needs. A speech pathologist is needed to provide services to students at the Kindergarten Center and Darby Township School. This position is currently being filled by an outside contractor.
Harris School has experienced a population boom this school year and the special education population has increased to 91 students. With only five learning support special education teachers, an additional special education teacher is needed to assist students with IEPs.
The special education department is also in need of a file clerk to assist with all of the confidential files, records requests, and chart audits. The department will be monitored by the state next school year.
21st Century Program
Southeast Delco is beginning the Cohort 7 of the 21st Century grant program. 21st Century funds after-school tutoring and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities in five district schools. Cohort 6A began in October for the 2014-2015 school year, providing tutoring and credit recovery for approximately 250 students in grades 6-12. Cohort 7 seeks to serve an additional 240 students in grades 4-8; providing intensive reading support through a program called Read 180. This support will be coupled with a recreation period provided by the local YMCA.
Southeast Delco is pleased to announce that Ms. Pat Alford, currently the assistant principal at Harris School, will begin working with schools across the district as the new 21st Century program coordinator. Ms. Alford brings with her educational experience in various settings and a wealth of partnerships in the area to help improve the benefits for students in the program. Please help us welcome her.
If you have any question about the 21st century program, please contact your child’s school or the Educational Services Center.
On December 2nd, district primary reading interventionists were trained by REACH’s Kathie Osorio on Close Reading and Text Dependent Questions, which are a part of the PA Core and the new spring 2015 testing. The following day, the reading interventionists then provided this training to all of the teachers in kindergarten through grade 5.
On the morning of December 3rd, middle school social studies teachers were in-serviced on best reading and writing strategies to support students, because all teachers are reading and writing teachers, as the shift to Common Core states.
On December 3rd, the district professional development half day consisted of the following:
Grades K-5 had turn around training on close reading and text dependent questions
Grades 6-8 social studies and English language arts teachers were taught an engaging method of teaching called: Socratic Seminar
Grades 6-8 science teachers worked with Dr. Nadine McHenry and Dr. Louise Liable-Sands of Widener on perfecting interactive science teaching and learning in their classrooms
Grades 6-8 math teachers worked on updating their Benchmark Assessments
High School science and English language arts teachers worked with Cindy Kruse of DCIU on the topic of Effective Teacher Language to enhance their skills and classroom management, while the math and social studies teachers worked on analyzing their Cornell Notes samples
Related arts worked on a teacher-driven agenda in their respective fields
Three of our reading interventionists have been fortunate enough to join the Leveled Literacy Initiative (LLI) training with teachers from Souderton School District. This consisted of three days of intensive study on this program, which the district has found successful in moving primary children along the reading continuum.
New teacher induction was held in November with teachers presenting strategies from Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion. Kim Brown, director of special education and Michelle McGlynn, assistant principal at Academy Park presented on the topic of special education.
The first semester of the grades K-8 science pilot is coming to an end in early January. Ten district teachers piloted Pearson’s newest science program aligned to the PA Core. During the second semester, teachers will pilot Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt and will meet for a decision in April.
Three subject areas are being piloted at the high school level: English language arts, chemistry and biology. Teachers will switch to a different book company during second semester. We are working with Pearson and Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt in these pilots.
New teacher-selected intervention resources were purchased for middle school math from Sadlier: Common Core Progress; and in the middle school, Reading Advantage from Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt is a new reading intervention program that was added this semester.
The grades K-2 report card committee has implemented the draft of their new standards-based report card during the first quarter. A feedback meeting will be held in January.
District Spelling Bees were held during the month of December. Two winners from each school will participate in the County Scripps Bee held in February at Neumann University.
Public Safety and Security
The public safety department continues to work on several projects including upgrades to the CCTV systems, staff ID cards, and building access controls, as well as updating building emergency preparedness and operation plans.
By their very nature, building emergency preparedness and operations plans require constant testing, drilling, and revision. Additionally, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office in conjunction with the Delaware County Intermediate Unit is rolling out a new initiative to have an electronic version of the emergency operations plans for all school districts in a “cloud” based server.
The county’s 911 center will host the secure cloud based server, which will contain the emergency operations information for all schools that in an emergency can be accessed by first responders. This will then provide first responders with up to date emergency plans, contact information, floor plans, infrastructure information, and other critical information so they can respond effectively to any type of emergency.
Building and Grounds Update
TOILET ROOM RENOVATIONS
The proposed project for the Sharon Hill and Delcroft Schools include major renovations to 4 toilet rooms at the Delcroft School and 12 toilet rooms at the Sharon Hill Schools. The Delcroft toilet rooms are located in the 300 wing of the building while the Sharon Hill toilet rooms are located in 6 classrooms numbers 1 through 6.
The project scope involves the complete demolition of the toilet rooms to include replacing/repairing underground sewage piping. The walls will be modified to accept new plumbing fixtures and to suit ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.
The complete demolition of the Sharon Hill toilet rooms is necessary because of the current condition of the rooms but also because each classroom currently has a Boy’s and a Girl’s toilet room. Due to severe space limitations, it will be necessary to combine these 2 toilet rooms in each classroom into a single “unisex” toilet room. ADA requirements mandate specific distances to ensure compliance with the regulations.
There will be upgrades to the electrical system, the lighting, and ventilation systems for each of the toilet rooms. These upgrades will provide for much greater efficiency concerning water and electrical use. Highly efficient lighting combined with occupancy sensors are planned. Also, low flow toilet and sink fixtures will account for significant reductions in water usage.
TRACK AND TENNIS COURTS
The proposed renovations to the track are to completely restore the existing track surface to include new line striping. There are alternates that provide for the removal of 1 existing pole vault runway and 1 existing long jump pit. The long jump pit would then be completely replaced. An alternate removes and replaces track side fence gates. Alternates provide for the opportunity to examine the scope of work and potential cost which then allows for a better decision process.
The Tennis court renovation plan includes the removal of the existing court, the installation of a new drainage system, removal of 2 basketball courts and the installation of another tennis court. It also completely renovates the existing fencing that surrounds the courts. There is 1 alternate proposed that installs a “stone dust and asphalt” overlay. This will aide in prevention of standing water and extend the useful life of the courts.
Future Board Meetings
Board Business Meeting Thursday, December 18, 2014 7:00 PM
Committee of the Whole Thursday, January 15, 2015 6:00 PM
Board Business Meeting Thursday, January 22, 2015 7:00 PM
Sharon Hill Winter Concert – Tuesday, December 16th – 6:30 PM at Academy Park High School
Academy Park High School Winter Concert – Wednesday, December 17th – 7:00 PM
Winter Break – Wednesday, December 24th – Friday, January 2nd – No School for Students or Staff
Kindergarten Center – Dibels Assessment Week – Monday, January 12th – Friday, January 16th
APHS Hi-Q Match – Tuesday, January 13th – 10:30 AM at Academy Park High School
Sharon Hill School – Student Council Chick-Fil-A Night Fundraiser – Ridley, PA – Tuesday, January 13th – 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Martin Luther King Holiday – Monday, January 19th – No School for Students or Staff
End of 2nd Marking Period / 1st Semester – Friday, January 23rd
Middle School Science Fair – Tuesday, January 27th – 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Academy Park High School
Academy Park High School – Student / Faculty Volleyball Tournament – Wednesday, January 28th – 6:00 PM
Academy Park High School – Back to School Night 2nd Semester – Tuesday, February 3rd – 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Early Dismissal – Wednesday, February 4th – APHS / 11:00 AM – Grades K – 8 / 12:45 PM
Teacher In-service Day – Friday, February 13th - No School for Students
Academy Park High School Winter Dance – Friday, February 13th – 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Presidents’ Day Holiday – Monday, February 16th – No School for Students or Staff
Sharon Hill School – Student Council Pancakes @ Applebee’s Fundraiser – Ridley, PA – Saturday, February 21st – 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Academy Park High School – Sports Physicals – Tuesday, February 24th – 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Progress Notices Issued – Friday, February 27th
Southeast Delco School District
Stephen Butz Superintendent
Educational Service Center
1560 Delmar Drive Folcroft, PA 19032