Stephen Butz Superintendent
Board & Community Update
Southeast Delco Board of School Directors
After her appointment to the board at the December 17th board meeting, Ms. Tanya Cavalieri was administered the oath of office by the Honorable Steven Sandone at the January 27th board meeting. With the board at full capacity, the members sat for the annual picture.
Work on Budget Continues
Administration continues to work on the 2016 / 2017 budget. The preliminary budget was adopted at the January board meeting. According to the ACT 1 timeline developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, there are two budget adoptions remaining. The proposed final budget will need to be adopted at the April board meeting, followed by the final budget adoption at the May board meeting.
The budget remains a work in progress. At this time, the state has still not finalized the current year budget and without that information it will be a challenge estimating state subsidy amounts for the 2016 / 2017 budget year. The administration will hold separate department budget meetings during the coming months. We are also awaiting information on federal programs award amounts of the upcoming year. The February Committee of the Whole meeting will include a lengthy budget work session.
What’s Your Passion?
Students and staff of Academy Park High School will host a day of career exploration. Over 30 Academy Park alumni will return to the district to share their wisdom and experience and provide guidance to current students to help them determine what they want to do with their future and what it will take to get them to where they want to be.
The "What's Your Passion?" Festival is the result of former student and representative to the board Victor Ariyo and Academy Park math teacher Susan Reutter’s attendance at the Aspen Ideas Festival as Bezos Family Foundation Scholars in the summer 2014.
Last year’s event featured over 40 professionals, most of whom were APHS alumni, who provided students with a glimpse into their careers, which ranged from musician, steamfitter, state trooper, accountant, photographer, athletic trainer, drug counselor, registered nurse, and members of the military, to name just a few.
The festival was an enormous success with over 250 Academy Park students in attendance. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, February 27th. Breakfast and lunch will be served.
Great things are happening at Academy Park High School.
Read Across America Day
“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
National Read Across America Day is an annual initiative sponsored by the National Education Association. The program focuses on motivating children and teens to read, an important factor in student achievement and in creating lifelong successful readers. This annual celebration occurs on March 2nd, the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss.
Schools in Southeast Delco will be engaging in National Read Across America Day in various ways. There will be many activities occurring throughout the week, which begins on February 29th and ends on March 4th. These activities include hosting community and district guest readers, promoting cross grade-level buddy readers, decorating classroom doors to celebrate students’ favorite authors, devoting days of the week to selected authors, and participating in activities related to Dr. Seuss, as well as specific books and authors.
Please mark your calendars and celebrate the joy of reading!
Assessing Student Achievement
The district is expanding its use of the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System, or PVAAS for short, which analyzes how much students grow relative to state standardized tests. The system also shows the effect that teachers, schools, and districts have on student growth. PVAAS uses a statistical method to predict how students will score on upcoming assessments by analyzing how they scored on previous state assessments. It is based on the tenet that all students can demonstrate growth over an academic school year.
There are many different ways to utilize the PVAAS information. Teachers and administrators can look at reports based on levels of evidence about how much growth students, grade levels, schools, and the district as a whole are making. The evidence is broken into colors with dark blue and light blue demonstrating evidence that students are exceeding their growth projections. Green signifies that students are meeting the growth expectations. Scores that are coded yellow or red signify that students are not making the growth they should. Although the district struggles with overall proficiency numbers at times on state assessments, many of the areas we analyze are in the green category or above.
The district has recently entered into partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to further our understanding and use of PVAAS. Representatives from PDE will be on-site to work with central office, building administrators, and lead teachers to realize the full benefit of the PVAAS system. We are hopeful that this insight will help us provide instruction that addresses each student’s individual need.
If you would like to see examples of PVAAS data, there is a public website that can be accessed by visiting www.pvaas.sas.com
District Wellness Committee
The Wellness Committee is offering metabolic syndrome screenings to all faculty and staff for the second year in a row. These screenings will be held on March 2nd and are at no cost to employees. The screenings measure total cholesterol and glucose by using a non-fasting finger stick, as well as blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight, BMI, and waist circumference.
Testing will again be performed by Summit Health, on behalf of Independence Blue Cross, and will be stationed at two locations within the district to provide easy access for staff. Employees need to register online in advance for the service, which takes about fifteen minutes. We expect approximately 60 employees to participate this year.
The Wellness Committee is also beginning to plan for the third event of the year, a National Walk at Lunch Day that will take place the last Wednesday in April.
Future Board Meetings
Committee of the Whole Thursday, February 18, 2016 6:00 PM
Board Business Meeting Thursday, February 25, 2016 7:00 PM
Committee of the Whole Thursday, March 10, 2016 6:00 PM
Board Business Meeting Thursday, March 17, 2016 7:00 PM
Progress Reports Issued – Friday, February 26th
APHS “What’s Your Passion Festival” – Saturday, February 27th – 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Teacher In-service – District-wide – No School for Students – Wednesday, March 2nd
District Band and Choir Concert – Wednesday, March 9th – 7 PM – APHS
County-wide Scripps Spelling Bee – Saturday, March 12th – 8 AM – DCIU
Frosh Dance – Friday, March 4th – 7 PM – APHS
Spring Break – No School for Students or Staff – Wednesday, March 23rd – Monday, March 28th
End of 3rd Marking Period – Friday, April 1st
PSSA – English Language Arts – Grades 3 through 8 – Monday, April 11th – Friday, April 15th
Report Card Conferences – Thursday, April 14th – 6 PM – APHS
Junior Prom – Friday, April 15th – 6 PM – Oaks Ballroom
PSSA – Math – Grades 3 through 8 – Monday, April 18th – Friday, April 22nd
Dodge Ball Night – Thursday, April 21st – 6 PM – APHS
District Musical – Friday, April 22nd – 7:30 PM – APHS
District Musical – Saturday, April 23rd – 7:30 PM – APHS
District Musical – Sunday, April 24th – 2 PM – APHS
Teacher In-service – District-wide – No School for Students – Tuesday, April 26th
PSSA – Science – Grades 4 and 8 – Wednesday, April 27th – Thursday, April 28th
District Musical – Friday, April 29th – 7:30 PM – APHS
District Musical – Saturday, April 30th – 7:30 PM – APHS
District Musical – Sunday, May 1st – 2 PM – APHS