Stephen Butz Superintendent
Southeast Delco School District
Board & Community Update
Annual Back-To-School Luncheon
The First African Baptist Church celebrated the opening of the 2014 / 2015 school year and welcomed back district staff at their annual back to school luncheon on Tuesday, August 26th. Former district teacher, Dolores Ellison, served as Mistress of Ceremonies and students who are also church members warmly welcomed and provided direction to each person as they arrived.
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.
In addition to kindergarten students, district staff has been working tirelessly to register students new to the community and to re-register students in grades 3, 6 and 9 in an effort to ensure that only district residents attend Southeast Delco schools. As of September 11th, there were 4,231 students enrolled in the six district schools for the 2014 / 2015 school year. Four of those schools, Delcroft, Harris, Sharon Hill, and Academy Park, have seen significant increases in their enrollments this year. Darby Township School has stayed relatively the same as last year, while enrollment at the Kindergarten Center has decreased.
As registrations are being processed, district officials are evaluating both overall school enrollment figures and class sizes across the district. We are currently monitoring the class size of three primary classes: 2nd grade at Delcroft and 1st and 4th grades at Harris. All three classes have an average class size approaching 30. We will continue to monitor registration on a daily basis and will be alerted to any new registrations in these classrooms.
The special education department has been very busy during the first weeks of school. A sixth autistic support classroom was initiated at Delcroft School and are happy to have Danielle Visichio as part of the autistic support program. In addition, four new speech pathologists have joined the district: Lauren O’Leary, Sarah Berlingo, Lauren Saul, and Stephanie Ash. They are working hard to get to know their new students, schools, and communities. We also have two new emotional support teachers this year. Patrick Green is leading the intermediate emotional support classroom at Sharon Hill School and Tameka McSween has settled in nicely in the middle school emotional support program at Darby Township School.
The Kindergarten Center, autistic support, and multiple disabilities classrooms welcomed over 44 students transitioning from early intervention to school age. Special education teachers, speech pathologists, and school psychologists have worked diligently this past summer to ensure that evaluations and individualized education plans were put in place for the first day of school.
The intensive speech and language class at Harris School has been changed to an intensive learning support class, with Christine Soper, formerly of Darby Township School, as the teacher. This program serves children in grades 1 - 3 who need intensive reading and math to ensure that they are fully prepared to be successful throughout their educational careers.
The district gifted program has changed with the retirement of Betty Schellinger. Colleen DiMaggio now teaches gifted support in all four of the district’s grades 1 - 8 buildings. Erika Llewellyn will serve as the gifted support case manager for the high school. This year, gifted students from all four of our grades 1 - 8 buildings will have the opportunity to participate in the SeaPerch Robotics Challenge.
The business office is focused on closing out fiscal year July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Local auditor, Barbacane Thornton & Company, will begin their annual district audit on October 27, 2014. The local auditors will examine the financial statements and internal controls of the district to assure compliance with governmental accounting standards.
“When a school district undertakes a major school construction project and seeks reimbursement from the Commonwealth, a process known as PlanCon is initiated. PlanCon, an acronym for Planning and Construction Workbook, is a set of forms and procedures used to apply for Commonwealth reimbursement.”
The district began the PlanCon process for the Academy Park High School renovation project. The PlanCon process goes from Part A to Part K. The district has received approval up through Part G. Once Part H is approved, reimbursement can begin. The district filed Part H in December of 2011. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has lifted the moratorium on PlanCon projects but we are still awaiting approval. The business office has been assured that our Part H is still in queue, but there is no timeframe as to when approval may take place.
Safe School Planning and Emergency Drills
To coordinate with national efforts that designate September as Emergency Preparedness Month, the 2014 / 2015 school year began with an emphasis on emergency plans and readiness. Building principals were asked to provide the district’s public safety coordinator, Mr. Bill Whitman, with a schedule of monthly fire drills, scheduled lockdowns, lockouts, bus evacuations, and building evacuation drills for each school.
To support security goals, the district is utilizing the Raptor Visitor Management System, which is currently up and running at Academy Park High School and should be fully operational in all district schools by the end of September. The system requires visitors to provide a state issued or other governmental picture ID card to gain access into district schools. The ID card is scanned and automatically checks the visitor’s information against a national child predator database. The system then prints a temporary ID badge that the visitor wears while in the building.
Due to changes in best practices and state and Federal regulations, each school’s Building Emergency Response Team (BERT) is reviewing and updating their emergency operation preparedness plans. Each team, and all district administrators, will be working towards attaining several required Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) certifications in emergency preparedness.
As follows, several building and maintenance issues were handled over the summer break and additional items will be addressed in the early fall:
Academy Park hallway tiling work was completed on the 1st and 3rd floors
Academy Park High School and Sharon Hill School parking lots were paved and / or seal coated to include new parking space striping
Delcroft School upper parking lot was repaved
Delcroft School parking lot lighting was installed
Delcroft School gym lighting was replaced
Approximately 50% of Delcroft School’s front walkway was replaced
Replaced lower level lighting with more energy efficient fixtures at the Educational Services Center
Miscellaneous maintenance repairs included replacing a classroom sink and counter assembly at Sharon Hill School, painting stairwell railings at Academy Park High School, replacing lamps and ballasts in the 300 wing of Delcroft School, and installing apparatuses for disabled students in classrooms at Delcroft School
The maintenance department staff continues to monitor electrical energy and water conservation issues to ensure ongoing efforts are effective. It is also the goal of this department to continually evaluate areas that may provide further energy efficiency and cost reduction.
Save the Date
Delaware County Community College will again host school board members from sponsoring county districts at their annual Board Appreciation Dinner on Wednesday, November 12th at the Marple Campus. The college will send formal invitations to all board members and high school principals in October.
Future Board Meetings
Committee of the Whole Thursday, September 18, 2014 6:00 PM
Board Business Thursday, September 25, 2014 7:00 PM
DCCC Board Appreciation Dinner Wednesday, November 12, 2014 TBD
Back to School Night – DTS – Tuesday, September 16th – 6 PM
Back to School Night – APHS – Wednesday, September 17th – 6 PM
Back to School Dance – APHS – Friday, September 19th – 7 PM
Student Council Elections – Sharon Hill School – Friday, September 26th
Early Dismissal – District-wide – Wednesday, October 1st – APHS - 11 AM / Grades K – 8 - 12:45 PM
Blood Drive – APHS – Tuesday, October 7th
Teacher In-service – District-wide – No School for Students – Monday, October 13th
Junior Class Ring Ceremony – APHS Auditorium – Wednesday, October 15th – 7 PM
Alumni Volleyball Game – APHS Main Gym – Friday, October 17th – 7:00 PM
Powder Puff Game – APHS Knight Field – Wednesday, October 22nd – 6 PM
Homecoming Parade – APHS Knight Field – Friday, October 24th – 5 PM
Homecoming Game – APHS vs. Pennwood – Friday, October 24th – 7 PM
Field Hockey Alumni Game – APHS Knight Field – Saturday, October 25th – 10 AM
APHS Fall Play – The Laramie Project – Thursday, October 30th – 7 PM
1st Grade Word Parade – Sharon Hill School – Friday, October 31st – 9 AM
Southeast Delco School District
Stephen Butz Superintendent
Educational Service Center
1560 Delmar Drive Folcroft, PA 19032