Thursday, January 26, 2017

January Board Recap

January 2017

Our Board meetings are always streamed live and are available on our Youtube Channel - The "U" Tube.  To make things simpler, improve transparency, and increase the usefulness of this document, all Youtube links now take you directly to the portion of the recording being referenced.

All supporting documents are also available online on Board Docs .

Questions?  We answer any and all questions - we're always happy to hear from you.

communications@ucfsd.net



This Month's Highlights

( What does it say that the list of highlights is ½ page long this month?!  It sure has been a busy.)


  • The Everyday Rules of Spectacular Parents

  • Dr. Michael Rock's Resignation

  • Climate Presentation

  • Proposed Preliminary Budget Approved

  • Discussion of Student Fees

  • Discussion of Substitute Salary Rates

  • New Communications System Investigation

  • January is Board Recognition Month

  • Annual Audit Findings

  • Region B (Newlin, Pocopson and Birmingham) Board Member Candidate Interviews

  • Annual Audit Findings

  • Farewell Ken Batchelor

  • Community Comments

  • Board Comments

  • New Assistant Superintendent Contract

  • New Superintendent Contract

  • 2017-2018 Calendar Approved





The Everyday Rules of Spectacular Parents

The artwork from 50 student artists from our community were published in The Everyday Rules of Spectacular Parents.  Students were presented first editions of these beautifully bound hardcover books. The book is published by Capital Reath Associates, whose owner, Randall Stutman, is a friend of John Sanville's.

Click here to see pictures from the event



Dr. Michael Rock's Resignation

During Board comments, Dr. Rock read a prepared statement and resigned.  

Click here to watch Dr. Rock's Comments

Click here to watch Vic Dupuis' response



Climate Presentation

The results of last year's climate survey were presented to the Board this month and the findings were very favorable.

The climate survey provides district administrators with valuable information about the school environment.  Indicators of climate include, safety, teaching and learning, interpersonal relationships, institutional environment, social media and staff.

Building principals have been meeting with their staffs to evaluate the findings, discovering reasons for success and targeting actions for areas of improvement.

Below, I cut and pasted one page from the presentation that includes NCSI's summary of areas of strength and areas for potential improvement.  Go to the presentation to see a summary of results and action plans.  The administration plans to conduct surveys every other year.

Strengths

  • Safety Rules and Norms was a major area of strength across all schools

  • Social Support- Adults, Respect for Diversity, and Social Support- Students were great strengths district-wide; these dimensions fall under the broader school climate category of Interpersonal Relationships

  • Physical Surroundings garnered very positive scores from the student, staff, and parent populations at all school sites; this is highly interrelated to students' very positive perception of Sense of Physical Security

Areas for Potential Improvement

  • Sense of Social-Emotional Security emerged as an area for improvement district-wide among students that cuts across school level, gender, grade, and race/ ethnicity

  • Social and Civic Learning is cited by high school students as an area for potential improvement

Click here to watch the Board discussion on school climate



Proposed Preliminary Budget Approved

Each year at this time the administration puts forward a budget plan for the next school year.  It signals the beginning of a multi-step process leading to an approved final budget in June.  Of note this year, the proposed preliminary budget does not include using any "exceptions" to allowable tax increases (exceptions can be claimed by a District to increase taxes beyond state limits, helping to offset exceptional cost).

Click here to review the calendar of key budget dates



Discussion of Student Fees

The Board asked for and reviewed current student fees.  The conversation included a review of the history of fees and comparisons to other districts.  This was not a voting item, but is a matter the Board plans to review as part of the budget process.

Click here to review the chart of student fees

Click here to watch the Board discussion on student fees



Discussion of Substitute Salary Rates

Finding enough substitute teachers to meet demand is becoming increasingly challenging and the Board discussed options for meeting demand, including adjusting salary rates.

Click here to review the chart of substitute salaries



New Communications System Investigation

The District is investigating modernizing its communication system, including new websites, a more feature rich contact management database and greater automation of the creation and delivery of messages through email, social media and mobile devices.

Click here to review the presentation



January is Board Recognition Month

Every January we take a moment to acknowledge the service of our volunteer Board members.  They devote countless hours on behalf of our students and community.  Each Board member was presented with a plaque and a book was purchased in their honor for each school library.

Click here to view the resolution read by John Sanville



Annual Audit Findings

The annual audit resulted in a clean bill of health for the district with all compliance requirements in order.  The summary report highlights that the District will continue to see rising costs for PSERs (the staff pension plan), although the rate of growth appears to be leveling off.

Click here to view the audit report

Click here to view the audit summary report



Region B (Newlin, Pocopson and Birmingham) Board Member Candidate Interviews

Click here to watch the interviews of four candidates to fill the vacancy created in Region B by the resignation of Dr. Rock.



Farewell Ken Batchelor

Assistant to the Superintendent, Ken Batchelor attended his last UCF Board meeting before starting in his new role as Superintendent of the Radnor School District.  Ken has been with the district for many years, starting as a teacher.  He is much admired by the staff, Board, community and coworkers several came to the meeting to recognize Ken's service and wish him good luck.

Click here to watch the tribute to Ken



Community Comments

Click here to watch the community comments

[During the community comments there was a surprise "flash mob" in support of Jason Throne (UHS Vocal Director) - click here to watch his talented students express their support in song.]



Board Comments

Click here to watch the Board comments



New Assistant Superintendent Contract

The Board voted unanimously to approve a new contract for John Nolen.  John moves into this role, replacing Ken Batchelor.  John has also been with the District for many years, as a principal and Director of Curriculum.

Click here to watch the Board discussion

Click here to review the contract



New Superintendent Contract

The Board voted unanimously to approve a new contract for Dr. Sanville.  The Board has made a detailed explanation of their rational for this available in Board Docs.

Click here to watch the Board discussion

Click here to review the contract

Click here to review a White Paper narrative prepared by the Board

Click here to review a bulleted list of the Board's rationale



2017-2018 Calendar Approved

The annual calendar is developed first with input from a diverse group of stakeholders and then through public review and comment.  The general outline of the calendar remains largely the same as in past years.  Of note, this year the Board, upon reflection of community input, has decided to honor the traditions of the Chinese New Year (February 16th) and Diwali  (October 19th).  On these days schools will be closed for teacher in-service.

Click here to review the approved 2017-2018 calendar








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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December Board Recap

December 2016

Our Board meetings are always streamed live and are available on our Youtube Channel - The "U" Tube.  To make things simpler, improve transparency, and increase the usefulness of this document, all Youtube links now take you directly to the portion of the recording being referenced.

All supporting documents are also available online on Board Docs .

Questions?  We answer any and all questions - we're always happy to hear from you. communications@ucfsd.net



Highlights from the December Board Meetings

Annually, in December, the Board selects its president and vice-president.  Additionally, this month the Board held an executive session, an abbreviated Curriculum/Ed Tech meeting to review the International Baccalaureate Program report, and an abbreviated regular Board meeting to take action on a few items.

  • International Baccalaureate Presentation and Recommendation
  • Board Leadership Remains the Same
  • Justin Webb Hired as New Director of Technology
  • Ken Batchelor Hired as Superintendent of Radnor School District
  • The Board Plans for John Nolen to Become our Next Assistant Superintendent
  • Denise Miller
  • ​​​​​​​Board Comments



International Baccalaureate (IB) Presentation and Recommendation

The idea to evaluate the IB program for the high school came from the AT and STEM committees last year and became a Board goal for this year.  Members of the committee presented their evaluation at the last Curriculum Council, and this month they provided a review and recommendation to the Board.

While the committee noted many potential benefits for our students, they recommended we pause this initiative for one year, using the year instead to develop new scheduling options for the high school.  The committee noted that more time was needed to continue to investigate IB and further involve faculty, parents, and staff in the discussion.

Click here to review the PowerPoint presentation



Board Leadership Remains the Same

Vic Dupuis and Jeff Hellrung were reelected to their posts as president and vice-president.

Click here to watch the process and final vote



Justin Webb Hired as New Director of Technology

Justin Webb joins UCFSD as Director of Technology.  He comes to us from a similar role at The Spring-Ford School District.  Justin will begin in mid-January.

Click here to review the discussion and vote



Ken Batchelor Hired as Superintendent of Radnor School District

It was with reluctance that the Board accepted Ken's resignation, effective January 27th.



The Board Plans for John Nolen to Become our Next Assistant Superintendent

Pending Board approval, John Nolen will move into Ken's role in January, and the Board will begin the process of hiring a new Director of Curriculum.



Denise Miller

It was with great sadness that John Sanville announced to the public the passing of Denise Miller, a valued member of the UCFSD family for over 30 years.  She was the Board Secretary and was recognized by Dr. Sanville for her support to him and the Board.

Click here to watch John's remarks



Board Comments

At every Board meeting time is reserved for comments from the public and the Board.

Click here to watch residents' comments 
Click here to watch Board comments





Unionville-Chadds Ford School District would like to continue connecting with you via email. If you prefer to be removed from our list, please contact Unionville-Chadds Ford School District directly. To stop receiving all email messages distributed through our SchoolMessenger service, follow this link and confirm: Unsubscribe

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Board Meeting Recap

November 2016

Our Board meetings are always streamed live and are available on our YouTube Channel - The "U" Tube.  To make things simpler, improve transparency, and increase the usefulness of this document, all Youtube links now take you directly to the portion of the recording being referenced.

All supporting documents are also available online on Board Docs .

Questions?  We answer any and all questions - we're always happy to hear from you.

communications@ucfsd.net

Correction to October Board Recap

In the October Board Recap, I erroneously reported that the auditors recommended that we eliminate the PSERS reserve and collapse it into the general reserve.  That is not correct; the auditors did not recommend the change; it was a recommendation of the Business Office.  

Having a separate PSERS fund is a valid accounting option and is utilized by other Pennsylvania school districts.   The Business Office recommendation to move the funds from the PSERS reserve to the General reserve was reviewed with the auditors but did not originate with them.

The reasons for having separate reserves can be complicated and nuanced.  This link will take you to the point in the Board meeting where the Board discusses their rationale for keeping or eliminating the PSERS reserve.


Highlights from the November Board Meetings

  • Curriculum Change Proposals
  • Growth and Achievement Report
  • School Start Time Study Update
  • New Wellness Committee
  • Finance - Use of Refinancing Savings
  • Resident and Board Comments



Curriculum Change Proposals

A large number of curriculum changes were approved this month.  Below is a summary of the approved changes with links to more detailed explanations.

About Curriculum Planning

Our district has a formal curriculum review process.  Individual disciplines are reviewed yearly based on a rolling schedule, commonly referred to as the curriculum cycle.

The best practices and current philosophies of each discipline are carefully studied by teams of experienced teachers and administrators in order to develop curricular creativity and examine understandings leading to changes in the curriculum.  The team develops and recommends needed changes to the curriculum, aligning resources and professional development as part of the process.  

The curriculum changes are then presented to a "Curriculum Council".  This district-wide committee of parents, students, teachers, administrators, and board members helps identify curriculum and instructional needs and provide feedback on plans to improve curriculum and instructional programs on a yearly basis.

Finally, the curriculum changes are reviewed and approved by the Board.  This month the Board approved the following changes:

Social Studies

Four courses are being revised. 
6th Grade Social Studies 
7th Grade Social Studies 
8th Grade Social Studies 
10th Grade World History

One course is being replaced. 
12th Grade Civics

Technology and Engineering

Based on the success of the new Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering courses, an additional PLTW course was approved.
Computer-Integrated Manufacturing

As part of last year's curriculum cycle, several new programming offerings were introduced.  This year, a proposal was approved for a new 7th grade programming course, building on the existing K-6 offerings.
7th Grade Computer Programming

Health and Physical Education

The Health and Physical Education educators presented a new theme for their instruction - Mindful of the Present… Preparing for the Future

The new Health and Physical Education curriculum represents a significant reorganization and rethinking of the curriculum from K through 12.  They will begin utilizing a common language, "Be Safe, Be Open, Be Present", that will be used in all grades and buildings.

The new curriculum is wellness-centered and is designed to focus on educating the whole child with an array of innovative offerings, providing students greater flexibility and variety.

The curriculum will be upgraded with the following courses:

  • Wellness I = 9th Grade Health (3 days per cycle) 
  • Wellness II = 11th Grade Health
  • Lifelong Fitness Through Activity = 10th PE
  • Games
  • Adventure Based and Mentoring Education

New courses added:

Graduation requirements have been reduced from a 4 year requirement to 3 years.

Health and Physical Education (PowerPoint presentation) 
Watch the presentation on our YouTube Channel

Sports Medicine

A new sports medicine course will be offered as a partnership between Unionville-Chadds Ford School District and Technical College High School designed to prepare students for future careers in healthcare.

The course will be a comprehensive, 1-year, partial day (1.5 hours/day) program combining classroom theory and hands-on experience.  CTE-certified teacher with years of sports medicine field experience will teach the course.  

In partnership with Technical College High School, the course will be housed at UHS and eventually offered to students throughout the county.

Sports Medicine (PowerPoint presentation)  
Watch the presentation on our YouTube Channel



School Start Time Update

The advisory committee had their first meetings this month and Dr. Owens presented the science.  The committee has developed a website intended to support its process and to make its evaluation transparent to the public.

  • Six transportation options have been developed by the Transportation Department as a baseline for discussion.
  • A blog has been developed recapping the meeting discussions.

School Start Time Committee Website



Growth and Achievement Report

Each principal provided their annual update to the Board.  The presentations drew heavily on data derived from the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System (PVAAS).  PVAAS provides educators information to help measure student learning.  The administration uses the information to ensure they are meeting the academic needs of groups of students, as well as individual students.

Overall, the report showed excellent achievement scores across the district, meeting or exceeding the growth standard in all subject areas when looking at the district in aggregate.  The School Performance Profile scores were impressive.  Notably, UHS received the top score in Pennsylvania this year.

Each principal reiterated that there is always work to be done and there are certainly areas for improvement.  The theme of continuous improvement through careful analysis of student learning needs came up time and again.  Instructional adjustments through the curriculum cycle and a commitment to teacher training and professional development were noted as strengths of the district's approach.

Growth and Achievement Report (PowerPoint Presentation) 
Watch the presentation on our YouTube Channel



New Wellness Committee

A new Board Wellness Council has been developed and will have its first meeting December 2nd.  The function of the Wellness Council will follow roughly the format of the Curriculum Council. This district-wide committee of parents, students, teachers, administrators, and board members will help to identify wellness needs and provide feedback on plans for wellness initiatives.



Finance - Use of Refinancing Savings

The Board agreed (7-2) to move savings from this year's bond refinancing to the capital reserve where the funds would be used quickly on approved capital projects.  



Resident and Board Comments

At each Board meeting, time is set aside for resident and Board member comments.  Click on the links below to watch this portion of the meeting.

Resident and Board Comments - Work Session 
Resident Comments - Board Meeting
Board Comments - Board Meeting



Dave Listman


communications@ucfsd.net





Unionville-Chadds Ford School District would like to continue connecting with you via email. If you prefer to be removed from our list, please contact Unionville-Chadds Ford School District directly. To stop receiving all email messages distributed through our SchoolMessenger service, follow this link and confirm: Unsubscribe

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Board Meeting Recap

October Board Meeting Recap

An overview of the committee meetings, work sessions and formal public meeting

Topics

  • School Start Times
  • Finances
    • Ten Year Plan Update
    • General Fund Reserves
    • PSERS Reserve
  • Transportation Report
  • Dr. Sanville's Annual Review



School Start Times

This month the steering committee sent out a survey requesting input from all stakeholders.  Over three hundred community members have shared their thoughts with the steering committee.  The input from the survey contains valuable insights and key questions that need to be answered as part of this process.

An invitation to volunteer to be on a newly formed community advisory committee was sent out this month.  There were over 80 volunteers, well over the target size for the committee.  The steering committee thanks all who volunteered.  Final selection, based largely on choosing representatives from all stakeholder groups, has been made, and the first meeting will take place in early November.

Dr. Judith Owens, a renowned expert in the sleep science  field  will be on hand November 7th at 7:00 at Patton Middle School for a presentation and Q&A.  The community is encouraged to attend, to learn about the science and to have their questions answered.  The event will be live streamed on the UCF website.

Click here to go to the UCF School Start Time website - there you will be able to learn more about the evaluation and how to get involved.



Finances

Financial considerations dominated the discussion this month.  The discussions centered around reserves, budget forecasting  and the Ten Year Plan.  

Ten Year Plan Update

The Ten Year Plan is a facilities plan that lays out the needs and costs for capital improvements and maintenance.  The plan looks at needs and costs over a rolling ten year period. The benefit of this approach is that it provides a mechanism for predicting cash needs, allowing the Board to better provide funds when needed, through a combination of taxes and borrowing.   

Here is a link to the actual plan so you can see the types of items included.

~$3.7M of facilities expenses are planned for the next year.  The Business Office proposes using the 2015-2016 surplus, reserves on hand and savings from the recent debt refinancing to fund these needs.

To date (since 2014), the Ten Year Plan has been funded without additional borrowing.  The first round of additional borrowing is currently forecast to be $4.3M in the winter of 2017-2018.


General Fund Reserves

School districts commonly set up reserves.  Reserves are set up as a kind of "rainy day" set aside - intended to be used when the unexpected happens (either extraordinary expenses or unexpected revenue shortfalls).  Reserves provide a buffer to help minimize the negative impact of these unexpected fluctuations in the budget.  Setting the correct size of reserves is important - too low and the Board is not providing enough buffer, too high and the Board is creating an unnecessary burden to current taxpayers.

The Board had a lively debate on this topic.  The Board reasserted that the Business Office should target general fund reserves in the range of 5% to 8% of the total expense budget.  It should be noted that members of the Board have varying opinions on whether the actual general reserve should be closer to the low end of the range (5%) versus the higher end of the range (8%).  

Click here to watch the meeting video and listen to the General Reserve discussion

Another part of the discussion on reserves had to do with budget forecasts.  The Business Office explained that they develop a budget plan that should be within 2% of actuals at the end of the year.  Last year (2015-2016) the Business Office met this goal.  The variance to budget was a surplus of about $600,000. The Board agreed to apply the surplus to the reserve balance for the current fiscal year and discussed eventually using this money to fund the Ten Year Plan (that discussion will be part of the  2017-2018) budget review later this year).


PSERS Reserve

The final piece of the reserves conversation centered around what is commonly called the PSERS reserve.  This reserve was established years ago to help cushion the impact of rapidly increasing (mandatory) PSERS contributions.

A recent auditor recommendation was that the remaining $2.5M in this reserve be moved and managed as part of the general reserve (unassigned fund balance).  These PSERS funds, although now moved to a new "bucket" will still be able to be used to offset the impact of future PSERS increases.  The auditor's recommendation was based on accounting simplicity.

After some discussion the Board agreed with the recommendation.  The downside to the move, noted by some Board members is that eliminating the PSERS reserve "bucket" reduces the visibility of the original intent of these funds and that over time UCF would have less available in overall reserves.

Click here to watch the meeting video and listen to the PSERS Reserve discussion.



Transportation Report

~4,000 students, 77 square miles and a million miles driven a year - the Transportation Department provided its annual report to the Board.

Click here to view the report




Dr. Sanville's Annual Review

The Board (as per policy) reviews the superintendant performance against goals on an annual basis.  Dr. Sanville received a rating of Distinguished for the 2015-2016 school year.

Click here to watch the meeting video and listen to the report on Dr Sanville's performance evaluation.

Click here to go to the website and learn more about the evaluation criteria.



Link to Oct 24 Public Meeting Video

Link to Oct 17 Work Session Video

Link to Board Documents


Comments and questions - communications@ucfsd.net





Unionville-Chadds Ford School District would like to continue connecting with you via email. If you prefer to be removed from our list, please contact Unionville-Chadds Ford School District directly. To stop receiving all email messages distributed through our SchoolMessenger service, follow this link and confirm: Unsubscribe

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Board Meeting Recap

September 2016


Our Board meetings are always streamed live and are available on our Youtube Channel - The "U" Tube.  To make things simpler, improve transparency, and increase the usefulness of this document, all Youtube links now take you directly to the portion of the recording being referenced.

All supporting documents are also available online on Board Docs

Questions?  We answer any and all questions - we're always happy to hear from you.
communications@ucfsd.net



Highlights from the August Board Meetings

  • In Car Driver's Training Program Approved 

  • School Start Times Discussion and Evaluation Proceeds

  • Bond Refinancing Approved, Saving Taxpayers over $9 Million

  • K-12 Comprehensive Counseling Program Published

  • Hillendale Lawsuit Public Discussion



In Car Driver's Training Program Approved

An agreement was approved to provide In Car Driver's Education through Unionville High School.  The advantages to parents and students are that it is a more cost effective and convenient program.  By using this In Car program parents and students can by-pass road test scheduling through the DMV.



School Start Times Discussion and Evaluation Proceeds

The Board and Administration have now announced the next steps in this evaluation.  A call for public input has gone out from Dr Sanville to the community and there is a website now dedicated to providing resources and keeping the public up to date.

The community is encouraged to learn more and participate in this evaluation.

  1. Volunteer to be on the Community Advisory Committee.

  2. Come to the public meeting on Nov 7th.,

  3. Share your thoughts and concerns by  filling out our Committee Input Survey.

  4. Ask us questions? Contact the communications team - communications@ucfsd.net.

NO CONCLUSIONS AND NO DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE ABOUT SCHOOL START TIMES.  The public meeting on Nov 7th will help educate us all on the science behind the recommendations from the American Medical Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and The Centers for Disease Control.



Bond Refinancing Approved, Saving Taxpayers over $9 Million

The District was able to refinance some of it's debt achieving a $9.6 Million savings.  The debt was incurred largely from past borrowing to finance the high school renovation project.

The Business Office, working with it's financial managers have been monitoring market conditions to identify the opportunity and determine the most advantageous time to refinance.

It was noted that our District's excellent credit rating (Moody's - Aa1) enabled us to take advantage of this opportunity.  The high credit rating is based on the credit industry's review and evaluation of sound and reliable business practices.



K-12 Comprehensive Counseling Program Published

The K-12 Comprehensive Counseling Program is the culmination of a year's worth of work and consideration by counselors and stakeholders throughout our District.

The mission of UCF Counseling Department is to provide a comprehensive, developmental counseling program addressing the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students. We work in partnership with with all stakeholders, including: educators, parents, business leaders and  community members.  School counselors facilitate the support system which empowers all students to succeed in life and contribute to society by unlocking the potential in all of us.

The plan is part of a mandated state requirement - documenting our extensive program.



Hillendale Lawsuit Public Discussion

We are sad to have to report that a community member has filed suit against Principal Dissinger and the HES PTO.  The core complaint alleges that the PTO Board election was not legal.  The complaint goes on to allege improper actions by the Principal and PTO president.

The Board and Administration had very strong words in support of the Hillendale PTO and Principal Dissinger. John Sanville said the suit was specious and without merit, pointing out that the courts are not the place to work out disagreements between volunteers.

John went on to say,  "The good name of an exemplary principal is at stake, along with PTO volunteers and a PTO president.  Principal Steve Dissinger is a man of the utmost integrity, he is respected by his peers and beloved by the community he serves.  His record of excellence, years of dedication and service to this community stand as an unimpeachable testament to the quality of his character."

Speaking on behalf of the Board and Administration, John declared, "The Administration and Board strongly supports and defends Steve in this matter, we also strongly defend the HES PTO and your volunteers, and Jennifer Scattolino (HES PTO President)."

About 40 members of the Hillendale community came to the meeting, over 200 signed a petition and several spoke at the meeting.


Watch the meeting video to learn more



Kim and Dave - Your Communications Team




Please feel free to forward this email to other members of the community.  If you know of community members who would like to subscribe to these monthly updates have them send an email to communications@ucfsd.net.




Unionville-Chadds Ford School District would like to continue connecting with you via email. If you prefer to be removed from our list, please contact Unionville-Chadds Ford School District directly. To stop receiving all email messages distributed through our SchoolMessenger service, follow this link and confirm: Unsubscribe

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Board Recap - Special Year End Edition

June 2016

Our Board meetings are always streamed live and are available on our Youtube Channel - The "U" Tube.  To make things simpler, improve transparency and increase the usefulness of this document all Youtube links now take you directly to that portion of the recording.

All supporting documents are also available online on Board Docs

Questions?  We answer any and all questions - we're always happy to hear from you.ucfsdcommunications@ucfsd.net

​​​​​​​


Highlights from this Month's Board Meetings


  • Honoring Retirees

  • IB/AP Capstone Committee Report

  • Welcome Devin Layton - New Patton Assistant Principal

  • 2016-2017 Budget Approved

  • Wellness Committee Update

  • Climate Survey

  • High School Delayed Start Time Recommendation



Honoring Retirees

Teachers matter - they matter a lot.  The Board and administration recognize that the single most important factor in student success is the classroom teacher.  We are fortunate to have some of the best in the business.  Each year we honor retiring teachers and invite them to our Board meetings where they are recognized and honored for their service.  Below is a list of teachers leaving us this year with a link to their tribute (where available).  We thank them all and wish them the best going forward.


Ann Bielle - UHS

Jodi Byrne – UHS

Dan Cipollini – Patton

Barbara (Bobbe) Curry – CFE

Audrey Frank – Transportation and Food Service

Cheryl Fulginiti (school nurse) - UE

Jim Fulginiti - Patton

Valerie Harris (Cafeteria Manager) – Food Service

John Horn – Transportation

Janet Jennings – Patton

Beth Kelisek (library para)- CFE

Susan McDermott – UHS

Marita Miller – Patton

Dennis Nelms – UE

Mary O'Connor - UHS

Jean Russell - CFE

Susan Shelley - UHS

Anita Spizzari – Patton

James Wanstall – Transportation

Ricardo Williams(Custodian) - UHS



IB/AP Capstone Committee Report

UCF embraces a culture of reflection and continuous improvement.  In keeping with that theme the Board set an emerging goal to evaluate the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.  The program is offered in some very prominent school around the country and is held in high regard around the world.  This month a preliminary report was reviewed with the Board.

The International Baccalaureate Program is a comprehensive, rigorous, two year curriculum for high school students beginning in the Junior year.  It is designed as a deliberate compromise between the goals of specialization and breadth. Students are encouraged to demonstrate a strong commitment to learning, both in the mastery of content and the development of the skills and discipline necessary for success in a competitive world.

The committee also evaluated the AP Capstone program as an additional or complementary program.  AP Capstone builds on the current AP program, adding two additional courses.  AP Seminar is offered to juniors and AP Research is offered senior year.  The two-course sequence provides students with the critical thinking and research skills needed to succeed in college and stand-out in the admission process.

  • Common Elements - 2 year diploma programs, external assessments, critical thinking, long term research and allows for cross curricular connections

  • Distinctions

    • IB has been around longer and is better known and regarded

    • AP Capstone initially fits in with current program

Findings

  • There is much more work to be done.  It is a 2 to 3 year process to become an accredited IB provider.  

  • The committee at this point would not recommend AP Capstone.  They stated a variety of reasons, chief among them is that it is a very new and unproven program.

  • Further review of the high school schedule should be looked at - lots of alternative schedules have been implemented by other schools and are worth further investigation

  • The committee thinks that IB may have exciting implications for adoption by UCFSD

  • Many questions about costs, staffing and PD have yet to be studied and should be evaluated next

Next Steps

  • The Board will take this report into consideration and review options as part of its 2016-2017 goal setting and planning process this summer.

Presentation - PowerPoint



Welcome Devin Layton - New Patton Assistant Principal

After reviewing 100 applications and putting the finalists through a rigorous evaluation program the administration is pleased to announce that Devin Layton will be the next Assistant Principal at Patton, filling the vacancy left by Jim Fulginiti.

Watch the video including comments from John Sanville, Tim Hoffman and Devin Layton



2016-2017 Budget Approved

The budget process that started in December concluded this month with the final 7 - 2 vote at the final meeting of the year.  The budget document is available online.

The budget spending plan supports the existing program as well as the costs of new technologies (the Canvas learning management system and Chromebooks for all middle schoolers) with additional professional development to support the program.

This year, a new staffing model was developed and approved.  The staffing guideline can be used to evaluate staffing needs based on student enrollments.  This model improves transparency, manage class sizes  and ensures consistently high standards.

In the past few months the budget discussions narrowed to the funding plan.  Planning for future contributions to the staff retirement plan (PSERS) and deciding how best to fund the 10 year capital plan requires long range, strategic financial planning.  Discussions on how best to balance current needs, long term needs and tax rates has been a central focus of the Board for the past few months.

In the end, the Board approved a budget that supports the current program, new initiatives and long term needs with an average tax increase of 2.66%, using about $74,000 of reserve funds.

Watch the final discussions on tax options and the final vote



Wellness Committee Update

Wellness is a concept that has gained traction in our district.  This committee has helped evaluate and implement some important processes and has served as an incubator for other ideas as well.  As a result of this committee's work, new concussion policies and protocols were introduced.  The High School Late Start Initiative was reviewed and supported by this committee.  This past month the committee also reviewed high level results of the recently conducted climate survey.

Elise Anderson and John Sanville have recommended that the Board create a Board-level Wellness Committee with a focus on the "Whole Child".  There are currently six Board committees and they are; Finance, Curriculum and Ed Tech, Personnel, Policy, Legislation and Communications. The Board will consider this recommendation during their summer Board retreat.



Climate Survey

The climate survey is the first step in a continuous improvement process that focuses on the environment of a school.  The survey provides input on 13 dimensions in 6 categories, including safety, teaching and learning,  relationships, institutional environment, social media and staff perceptions.

This first step (conducting the survey) provides input into a cyclical process that starts with evaluation of findings, leading to developing and implementation of improvement plans and then circles back to resurveying - to assess success and to keep a gauge on these important issues

The next step for the principals, in the fall, is to work with their staffs to evaluate the findings.

We thank all of the stakeholders who took their time to provide valuable input.

Take a look at the high level presentation to the Wellness Committee.  The results were terrific!


Review the Presentation



High School Delayed Start Time Recommendation

Our district has been on the forefront of this idea for the past two years.  It started in 2014-2015 with a class project.  In 2015-2016 the IU's Student Forum got involved and recently the Student Forum (our very own UHS High school student Matt Daniels is now the president of this group) concluded its study and is going around the county making formal presentations to each district.

The Student Forum has found strong quantifiable evidence for starting high school in the morning at 8:30.

The Student Forum has also evaluated the experiences of districts who have implemented delayed start times and has provided information on known obstacles that have been overcome and tradeoffs that have been made.

The Board would like us to spend the next year evaluating how UCF might implement this proposal.  This year-long evaluation will involve all stakeholder groups, with plenty of opportunities for discussion and debate.A committee headed up by Ken Batchelor and Jeff Hellrung will be formed to focus on this opportunity and to provide a recommendation to the Board.


Student Forum Presentation to the IU Board

Student Forum Recommendations

Hanover Group Research Findings





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