Friday, March 30, 2018

March Board Recap

Unionville-Chadds Ford School District
March 30th, 2018
 
 
 

March 2018

 

The Board agenda usually provides a good framework for this recap report.  However, this month the Board and members of the community engaged in an open exchange of ideas around the UHS mascot - something that wasn’t on the agenda but a topic with feelings that run deep.

  • A group of residents petitioned the Board to create a citizens advisory committee comprised of representatives of all stakeholder groups to consider the issue of the UHS mascot (as per policy 905).  Community members shared their concerns about changing the mascot during the public comment section of the meeting (public comments).

  • Board Vice President Vic Dupuis responded to the petitioners, providing the reasoning for denying the request at this time (Vic's remarks - 3:00 min).  Vic explained that no committee was needed because contrary to misinformation spread on social media and in the press, the Board is not considering now and has no plans to consider any changes to the UHS mascot.  

The superintendent’s report included a tribute to Effie Barnes - a respected and beloved Pocopson teacher who is retiring at the end of this school year.

 

This month’s highlights include:

  • Classroom Technology Update - Canvas/Chromebook Initiative

  • Teacher Contract Extension

  • Discipline Policy - Rescission Discussion (Policy 218)

  • Special Ed Comprehensive Plan

  • Outdoor Facilities Master Plan Progress Report

 

Classroom Technology Update - Canvas/Chromebook Initiative

All students 6-9 are provided a Chromeboos that provides them access to the Canvas learning management system.  The Canvas/Chromebook initiative was successfully implemented last year at the middle school. This year the initiative was expanded to 9th graders at UHS as a pilot.  A thorough evaluation of the pilot included costs and benefits and was presented to the Board.  the administration is recommending full implementation (6-12) next year.

LInk to the video and presentation

 

Teacher Contract Extension

Hiring and retaining great teachers is among the Board’s top priorities.  As representatives of the residents and taxpayers in the district the Board is pleased to be able to bring forward a contract extension that is fair to all.  Board action on the extension is planned for next month.

Link to contract highlights and cost worksheet

 

Discipline Policy - Rescission Discussion (Policy 218)

Discussion continued on this policy.  The Board considered two options for revising the policy: rescission vs non reporting.  The Board is moving forward with the rescission option and plans action next month. This is the first step in a more thorough review of the discipline policy, student handbook and administrative guidelines.

Link to the proposed change (go to the end of the document to read the proposed changes)

Also, School Board student representative, Gavin Brezski, came to the mic during public comment and provided some additional perspectives for the Board’s consideration.  His comments provide the Board yet another perspective on the issue. The Board appreciates and encourages all community input.

LInk to Gavin’s remarks

 

Special Education Comprehensive Plan

The district is working on it’s long-range plan (Comprehensive Plan).  One of the first parts to be submitted to the state is the updated Special Education portion.  The plan is available for public review and will be presented for approval at the April Board meeting.

The public is encouraged to review the plan and to forward comments to:
Leah Reider, Director of Special Education -
lreider@ucfsd.net

Link to the presentation video 
Link to the document

 

Outdoor Facilities Master Plan Progress Report

Over the past few months the district sought community input on the plan.  Surveys went out and focus groups were held. The input has been analyzed and was presented to the Board this month.  This part of the project is designed to engage the entire community in dialogue about their experiences on the UHS/CFPMS/UES campuses.

The public is encouraged to review the findings and to provide comments to: 
Rick Hostetler, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds -
rhostetler@ucfsd.net

The next update is due in May.

Link to the presentation

 

We hope you find these recaps useful.  We encourage you to stay informed about the workings of your School Board.  Our online resources in BoardDocs allow you to virtually access the Boardroom through videos and electronic documents.  Your communications team is here to help -  we’re always happy to hear from you.

 

Your Communications Team 
communications@ucfsd.net

 
 
740 Unionville Rd, Unionville PA
(610)3475-0970
communications@ucfsd.net

 

 

 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Board Recap

Unionville-Chadds Ford School District
January 2nd, 2016
 
 

 February 2018

 

Board meetings typically begin with the superintendent’s report.  This month John took the time to reflect on the tragedy in Parkland Florida and provided insights into safety here in Unionville-Chadds Ford.  John organized his remarks by providing perspectives on three major questions.

  1. Do we have an emergency plan?

  2. Are we ready?

  3. Do we have a strategy moving forward?

Link to John’s Message (8 minutes)

The superintendent's report also included a retiree recognition ceremony.  This annual tradition is always touching and reminds us of the great work we engage in daily and the wonderful and caring staff that make a difference in our children’s lives.  This month we honor: Elaine McQuillin, Gail McQuiston, Jewell Thacher, Grace Vinci, and Logene Mattson.

Link to the Superintendent's Report - Recognition of Retirees (20 minutes)

 

This month’s highlights include:

  1. Measuring Our Success - A report to analyze student experience after graduation

  2. Discipline policy discussion - The Board continues to deliberate on the best way to modify the discipline policy

  3. Transportation Annual Report

  4. 2018-2019 calendar approved

 

Measuring Our Success - A report to analyze student experience after graduation

The goal of this report is to “Measure our Mission” with an eye towards improving our program by looking at student outcomes.  The Board was provided an update showing where students go after they graduate.  For the 94% who go on to college, we are able to track college acceptance rates, graduation rates and degrees earned.  

This year’s report provided us quantifiable information that supports last year’s decision to eliminate decile reporting.

LInk to the video and presentation

 

Discipline policy discussion - The Board continues to deliberate on the best way to modify the discipline policy

This conversation carries over from last month.  The recent suspensions at the high school has led the Board to reconsider the discipline policy.  Over the past month the Board has evaluated the current policy, investigated the most recent suspension process, evaluated legal counsel, and is now considering two options to amend the current policy.

Two policy alternatives have been drafted and are available on BoardDocs.  The Board is requesting input from the community over the next week.  Please send your input to communications@ucfsd.net.

Link to the policy alternatives and video of this discussion

 

Transportation Annual Report

In this update Marie Wickersham (department supervisor) provided the community with an excellent overview of this important service.  Marie presented data that highlights the department’s great safety and service record while at the same time managing operating costs.  A point of emphasis in this report is that the department is managed and operated by district employees who are vested in the community and our students.  

Link to the video and presentation

 

2018-2019 School Calendar approved

Next year’s calendar has now been approved.  It is available for review in BoardDocs and on the district website.

Link to the 2018-2019 calendar

 

We hope you find these recaps useful.  We encourage you to stay informed about the workings of your School Board.  Our online resources in BoardDocs allow you to virtually access the Boardroom through videos and electronic documents.  Your communications team is here to help -  we’re always happy to hear from you.

 

Kim, Betty, and Dave

 
 
740 Unionville Rd, Unionville PA
(610)3475-0970
communications@ucfsd.net

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Board Recap

Unionville-Chadds Ford School District
January, 2018
 
 
 

January 2018

 

We hope these Board Recaps provide transparency and help you to participate in the District’s mission... to empower our students for success in life and to contribute to society.

This month, Dr. Sanville recognized the Board members for their efforts as part of School Director Recognition Month.  Board members are volunteers who spend countless hours working with the administration to fulfill the District’s mission.  As representatives of the residents, they provide oversight and are accountable for budgets, policies, and personnel matters.  Dr. Sanville thanked them for their service, and they were presented with plaques.  Also, a book was donated to each school library in their honor.

This month the Board and administration engaged with the community in a few noteworthy discussions - modifying the suspension policy and concerns about the high school mascot being two of the more active conversations.  The Board holds community conversation, transparency, and engagement as core values of its governance practices.  Together with the administration, the Board welcomes and supports opportunities to talk about things that impact us.  Time is set aside at all public Board meetings for comment; Dr. Sanville holds regular informal public conversations (the next Java with John is Feb 5th), and our Key Communicator Group is open to the public (click here to learn more and join).  These are but a few ways to engage, comment, and ask questions.  Contact information for all Board members as well as all documents, minutes, and Board videos can be found on BoardDocs.  We welcome questions and the opportunity to respond thoughtfully and thoroughly - email communications@ucfsd.net or call 610.347.0970.

This month’s highlights include:

  1. FamilyID - A new online registration program to collect PIAA Sports Physicals and IMPACT Concussion Testing Consent/Waiver forms

  2. Comprehensive Plan committee is formed

  3. UCF will continue to require Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement

  4. Suspension policy review 

  5. Superintendent Evaluation

 

FamilyID - A new online registration program to collect PIAA Sports Physicals and IMPACT Concussion Testing Consent/Waiver forms

The Board voted to approve the purchase ($2,295 annual cost) of this software.

Families will now be able to register their students for sports online, streamlining the process for all in a secured environment.  The system is used by many area schools with great success.  Parents benefit by making it easy for our families to complete recurring physical paperwork. There is a significant convenience factor when considering time spent on lost paperwork, driving to submit paperwork, and correcting incomplete fields. It is estimated that the collection and management of paper sports physicals and IMPACT consent/waiver forms requires approximately 350 hours of clerical work each year (grades 7­-12).

The management of FamilyID will still require time and attention, but it’s proven to significantly decrease the amount of hours spent on sports­-related forms. The main use of these hours will be directed toward providing support for our middle school programs under the new 7-­12 model.

Click here to review the video and documents from the January Board Meeting

 

Comprehensive Plan committee is formed

The Comprehensive Plan is part of a state-mandated process (updated every three years) that provides a framework for thoughtful data-driven and research-based district and school planning. Comprehensive Planning facilitates communication and collaboration, promotes shared practices and resources, and ensures that every stakeholder is working toward common goals. The plan is submitted to the state and helps them identify needs and assists in coordinating school districts, charter schools, area vocational technical schools/career and technical centers, and intermediate units.

This month the Board approved the committee that will be working on the plan over the next year.

Click here to review the current plan

Click here to review the video and documents from the January Board Meeting

 

UCF will continue to require Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement

The Board voted against a motion to remove Keystone exams as a graduation requirement.  

The Board has revisited this topic several times since the state put a moratorium on this requirement - at this time it appears that no other PA school district has implemented the graduation requirement. Although the state requires the test, it does not mandate it as a requirement for graduation.

The current UCFSD graduation requirement continues to include passing the Keystones. Remedial support is provided for those not passing on a first attempt, and those who still don’t pass the test are provided alternative ways to demonstrate knowledge.  No UCFSD student has failed to meet this requirement.  

Click here to review the video and documents from the January Board Meeting

 

Suspension policy review

The Board is considering revising the suspension policy.  At the heart of the matter is a desire to do what is best for our students by providing them the opportunity to experience consequences and to learn from them while at the same time providing them the best opportunities for success in life.

Requirements of the college Common Application now call for the reporting of all suspensions.  This was not the case 15 years ago when the UCF policy was last updated.  The consequences of a suspension ended when a student graduated.  Now, because of the college Common Application, those consequences follow you to college.

The administration has begun to draft a proposal for the Board that balances these two concerns.  The proposal involves allowing first time offenders an opportunity to have their suspension rescinded after certain criteria are met. Click here to review the draft revisions (January 16 Work Session agenda item 11.4).  The process for modifying a policy starts with a first reading.  At that time, the proposed changes are provided to the Board and the public for review, comment, and modification leading to a second reading and eventual Board vote.  

Superintendent Evaluation

Each year the Board reviews the performance of the superintendent and this year the assistant superintendent’s performance was reviewed as well.  Based on the evaluation methods described in Board policy 312, the Board rates the performance of Superintendent Dr. John C. Sanville and John Nolen as Distinguished for all Objective Performance Standards.

Click here to review the Objective Performance Standards

 

 


 

We hope you find these recaps useful.  We encourage you to stay informed about the workings of your School Board.  Our online resources in BoardDocs allow you to virtually access the Boardroom through videos and electronic documents.  Your communications team is here to help -  we’re always happy to hear from you.

 

Kim, Betty, and Dave




 
 
 
740 Unionville Rd, Unionville PA
(610)3475-0970
communications@ucfsd.net

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Deadline to Complete the UCFSD Outdoor Facility Master Plan Survey Extended!

Good afternoon UCFSD Community,

Due to a popular response, we have extended the deadline to complete the Outdoor Facility survey.

We are seeking input from the community as we begin the first phase of preparing an Outdoor Facility Master Plan. This survey should only take about 10 minutes to complete and your input is very valuable in this process. For those who take the time to complete the survey and give us the necessary contact information, your name will be included in a drawing for a Unionville Spirit Wear sweatshirt (5 to be awarded). We are asking for all responses by January 29, 2018.

Background -

The Unionville Chadds Ford School District is in the beginning phase of a Facility Master Plan for the athletic and other outdoor facilities at the High School/ Middle School and Unionville Elementary campuses. A goal of this master plan is to work in concert with the recently completed Long Range Facilities Plan which focuses primarily on District-owned buildings and building projects over the next ten years. Ultimately, at the conclusion of this effort, the School District will have a dynamic document outlining the current state of the outdoor facilities, and a plan which will guide the development and improvement of the two campuses over the next ten years in a comprehensive and fiscally responsible manner.

With your participation in this survey, we hope to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the High School/ Middle School and Unionville Elementary School campuses, and plan for the future evolving needs of the District and the community. We welcome your input in this process and we thank you in advance for your participation.

Click this link to see a layout of our current facilities at the High School/Middle School campus -
http://bit.ly/2FmrTMF
Click this link to see a copy of the Long Range Facilities Plan -
http://bit.ly/2mgLvZU
Click this link for more background information on why we feel this study is necessary -
http://bit.ly/2qM5ogR

Thank you for your feedback!

Rick Hostetler
Supervisor of Buildings & Grounds
rhostetler@ucfsd.net

To complete the Facility survey please click here - Outdoor Facility Master Plan Survey

Friday, December 8, 2017

December Board Recap - Special Report

Unionville-Chadds Ford School District
December 8th, 2017
 
 
 

December 2017 - Special Report

 

The December Board meeting is usually held as an organizational meeting where new Board members are sworn in and the Board selects its leaders. This year, in addition to the organizational meeting the Board held a special meeting for a presentation of the annual district achievement report, delivered by the six school principals.  Each principal highlighted their school’s points of pride and shared some of the methods and metrics they use to assess the needs of each individual student.

During the organizational meeting, Jeff Hellrung was elected the new Board President and Vic Dupuis was elected as the new Board Vice President.  Click here to review this portion of the meeting.

For the achievement report presentation, rather than the usual Board Recap, this month I’m pointing you to a great write up in the Times of Chester County that I think sums up the evening well and instead I encourage you to watch a few video highlights from the meeting.  Below are some clips that I think you will find especially interesting.

 

The “Science of Education” - Balancing a Variety of Assessment Inputs to Focus on Outcomes for Individual Students

Statewide math scores are out of line with other subject areas - an anomaly that has received a lot of attention throughout the state.  

  • In this clip (2:30) Vic Dupuis and John Nolen explore “the science of education” and how UCFSD administration avoids “chasing the test” preferring to use a variety of inputs to address student needs and drive instruction.  

  • In this clip (1:00) John Sanville follows up on John Nolen’s comments and summarizes the district’s approach to evaluating individual student needs.

 

Board Comments - Thoughts on the District’s Progress to Empowering Our Students for Success in Life and to Contribute to Society

At the end of all Board meetings each Board member is given the opportunity for comment.  I think this month’s comments are especially meaningful to the public because they focus on strategy and philosophy.

  • This clip (14:00) starts with Bob Sage and goes around the table, providing each Board member an opportunity for comment.

 

Achievement Report Presentation

Click here (90:00) to watch the presentation and view the documents.  The Principals deliver the presentations in the following order:

  • UHS
  • CFPMS
  • UES
  • HES
  • PES
  • CFES 

 


 

We hope you find these recaps useful.  We encourage you to stay informed about the workings of your School Board.  Our online resources in BoardDocs allow you to virtually access the Boardroom through videos and electronic documents.  Your communications team is here to help -  we’re always happy to hear from you.

Happy holidays,

Kim, Betty and Dave




 
 
 
740 Unionville Rd, Unionville PA
(610)3475-0970
communications@ucfsd.net

 

 

 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November Board Recap

Unionville-Chadds Ford School District
November 30th, 2017
 
 

 November 2017

This month the Board dealt with important questions about finances and policy.  The Wellness Committee reported on a community-wide discussion about social media’s impact on students.  The Curriculum Committee met this month and the Board approved some new exciting new courses.  Last but not least, the Board recognized the efforts of our support staff as part of this year’s American Education Week and Education Support Professionals Day.

This month’s highlights include:

  1. How should we use last year’s budget surplus?

  2. What are our suspension policy goals and do our current practices reflect those goals?

  3. What impact is social media having on our students and what can we learn from emerging trends?

  4. New courses and an update on Keystone exams.

  5. Just a few reasons we are thankful for our great support staff.

 


 

1. How should we use last year’s budget surplus?

The 2016-2017 school year ended with a surplus of $2,196,090 and by regulation the Board needs to allocate those funds.  

  • This budget variance of actual spending to plan was about 3% - the goal for our budget is to be within 2% of plan to actual.  

  • The unusually high surplus resulted from lower actual spending for health care expenses and special education services.

The Board had several options for allocating the surplus and in the end they voted to put the money into the Capital Reserve Fund.

Click here to review supporting documents and watch the video for this agenda item

 

2. What are our suspension policy goals and do our current practices reflect those goals?

The Board continues to discuss and collect input from the public on suspension policies.  The issue came to the forefront recently and the Board is taking this opportunity to reflect on our suspension policy - how best to provide clear consequences for inappropriate behaviors while at the same time fulfilling our mission to prepare students for success in life.  There are several questions being discussed.  Are suspensions the best consequence? When? How long should they be? What discretion should the administration have?  These and other questions were discussed by Board members and the public at the work session and monthly meeting.

The next step is for the administration to evaluate and bring forward options for consideration.

Click here to watch the video for this agenda item

Click here to watch resident comments related to this agenda item

3. What impact is social media having on our students and what can we learn from emerging trends?

One outcome of last month’s Wellness Council meeting is the creation of a community discussion around the book iGen. The “iGeneration” (iGen)  is the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone. With social media and texting replacing other activities, iGen spends less time with their friends in person—perhaps that is why they are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

The author (Dr. Twenge) will be visiting UCFSD April 12-13, 2018.  Other related activities are being planned.  In the meantime, the committee encourages community members to visit the author’s website and read the book.  Her article in the Atlantic is also a good place to start.

4. Just a few reasons we are thankful for our great support staff

The week of November 13th marked American Education Week and November 16th was Education Support Professionals Day.  The Board extends its sincere gratitude to all Unionville-Chadds Ford support staff and directs the Superintendent to post the Board’s Staff Recognition Resolution on the district website and to communicate it to the residents of our community.

Click here to review Board’s resolution and watch the video for this agenda item

5. New courses and an update on Keystone exams

The state has delayed implementation of  Keystone exams as a graduation requirement.  UCFSD already requires Keystone exams as a graduation requirement and will continue to do so. Students who do not pass Keystones access support and retake the test.  The superintendent is empowered to waive the requirement on a case by case basis.

Click here to review supporting documents and watch the video for this agenda item

Click here to review the presentations made at November's Curriculum Council meeting

 


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

communications@ucfsd.net

 
 
 
 
740 Unionville Rd, Unionville PA
(610)3475-0970
communications@ucfsd.net

 

 

 

Friday, October 27, 2017

October Board Recap

Unionville-Chadds Ford School District
October 27, 2017
 
 

October 2017

We have implemented a new BoardDocs system that improves transparency to Board processes.  All Board meeting agendas, documents, videos, minutes, policies, and guidelines are linked together, empowering the public to dive deeply into subjects of interest. The powerful search function opens up the archives going back several years.  The Boardroom and all deliberations are open for inspection. Click here to go to the BoardDocs home page.  

Live streaming of all Board and committee meetings continues; archives are available on YouTube  - The “U” Tube.

Monthly recaps provide highlights and links to relevant video clips and documents.  Meeting Recap archives

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

communications@ucfsd.net

 


This Month's Highlights

  • John Sanville nominated by the Board for Superintendent of the Year

  • Audit report and dispensation of surplus funds from 2016-2017 school year

  • Acceptable Use of Technology Policy

  • November Election - On the Ballot: Proposed PA Constitutional Amendment on Property Taxes

 


John Sanville nominated by the Board for Superintendent of the Year

Vic Dupuis announced that the Board nominated John Sanville for the AASA Superintendent of the Year Award.  Although John was not ultimately selected as the award recipient, the Board wishes to thank John.  The Board is proud of the district’s accomplishments, from excellence in academics to a quality athletics program to a deep commitment and partnership with parents on student wellness and character.  Thanks in large part to John’s leadership, the Board is proud of the district's progress in meeting our mission to empower students for success in life and to contribute to society.

Click here to review supporting documents and watch the video for this agenda item

 

Audit report and dispensation of surplus funds from 2016-2017 school year

After the school year is over, the books are audited, reconciled, and closed.  For the 2016-2017 school year we have about a $2.2 million surplus.  This surplus resulted primarily from lower healthcare claims (UCFSD is self-insured) and lower Special Education costs (based on student needs).

The Business Office offered three options, recommending the Board apply the surplus to the capital budget.  The Board will deliberate and vote on this item in November.

Click here to review supporting documents and watch the video for this agenda item

 

Acceptable Use of Technology Policy

The policy has not been updated in quite some time.  The Board is trying to balance needs of the district with those of the students while optimizing emerging technology.  The Board expressed an interest in hearing students response to the policy.  

Click here to review supporting documents and watch the video for this agenda item

 

November Election - On the Ballot: Proposed PA Constitutional Amendment on Property Taxes

Up for vote in the upcoming election is an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that would modify state assembly authority to pass laws impacting real estate taxes.  The Board recognizes that some in the community might favor the proposal while others may not - but the Board believes all stakeholders should be a aware of the question and its possible implications.

Click here to review supporting documents and watch the video for this agenda item

 
 
 
 
740 Unionville Rd, Unionville PA
(610)347-0970
communications@ucfsd.net