Saturday, March 29, 2014

March Meeting Recap


@The March Meeting
Last night's meeting was a lively and entertaining event, so claimed Board President Vic Dupuis, as he encouraged the community to come out to be involved.  Below are some of the highlights of the often lively discussions and you might enjoy the video - the first part is a video featuring Chadds Ford students.
+ Bullying in the District
+ District-wide Technology Enhancement Recommendations
+ Participation Fees
+ Support Staff Pilot Program
+ Residency
+ The Barn
+ Chadds Ford Trail
+ Thank You Wendy and Veronica!



+ Bullying in the District
Opening remarks by John Sanville and then follow-up comments from several board members focused on the issue of bullying in our school district.  An incident of bullying was presented to the board in February.  The administration conducted a thorough investigation, including review of videotape, to find the truth of what happened.  Bullying was found, although the details of the review were found to be very different from the initial presentation.  The incident was addressed as per policy but beyond that, the Board expressed its support for the administration's actions. They also pointed out all of the steps taken over the past years to address bullying in the district.   The Olweus program in particular was mentioned, aswell as outreach initiatives to parents, website resources and annual surveys to assess progress.  The board considers bullying a top area of focus important to the district's mission.
Read the statement from John Sanville
Read the updated district policy on Bullying

+ District-wide Technology Enhancement Recommendations
A road map for educational technology enhancements was presented to the board this month.  The process of putting the recommendations together involved 25+ committee members, input from the community and staff, observations, site visits and research.  The process was initiated by the board last year after discussions with the administration about a possible 1 to 1 program.  While this recommendation does not embrace a 1 to 1 program, it is comprehensive and does address the use of portable devices.
Kathy Do's report stated that, "plans as outlined will be both incremental and flexible. Decisions on moving forward through different phases of the recommendations will be based on a number of factors including budgetary issues, the evolution of technology, and the ease or difficulty by which staff and students adapt to the use of new technology and new educational protocols".  She went on to say, "...The key to the success of all of these other recommendations must be professional development".
The plan begins with a pilot including 20 teachers next year.  Costs for the pilot are estimated at $35K for next year and final approval for this expense will be made during the normal annual budget process
Review the PowerPoint presentation

+ Participation Fees
Participation fees have been in place for some time.  This month the board reviewed the fee structure this month, which involves participation fees of about 10% -15% of the expense paid by the district for the activity.  Currently participants pay about 8% to 13% to participate in activities. While the board has agreed to the current structure, there were a wide variety of opinions were aired.
Click here to review the current and proposed fee structure

+ Support Staff Pilot Program
A pilot program was previously approved by the board to evaluate various methods of employing support staff.  The board is looking for quantitative and qualitative information about hiring support staff from outside services versus hiring these positions as in-house employees.  This month the board approved the use of the SOS Group as a source of hiring custodial staff.  This led to conversation about the overall effort.  The board's consensus, though not unanimous, is to continue to seek information from the pilot.  No current employees are being affected by the pilot and an initial evaluation is due at the end of the school year.

+ Residency
Jeff Hellrung reported on personnel and focused some of his comments on the issue of residency.  The board and administration are actively investigating several residency claims.  The administration, on an ongoing basis, evaluates residency claims and is committed to making sure that residency requirements are enforced.  Also, during work session, Jeff Hellrung announced that UCFSD had contracted with the CCIU to conduct an independent review of UCFSD residency practices and protocols  — we expect the CCIU report to made later this school year.

+ The Barn
Carolyn Daniels reported that the district has been asked by the UCF Education Foundation to use "the Barn" located on Doe Run Road to develop a student community center.  There are many details that need to be worked out and one of the next steps if to discuss this as a community.  A Community Conversation will be held at UHS on May 1st at 7:00pm.  More information on this plan will be distributed and posted on the district website next week.

+ Chadds Ford Trail
The district was also asked by the Brandywine Conservancy to consider an easement that would allow for connecting the Greenway Trail.  An initial presentation was made to the CFES PTO.  A Community Conversation on this topic will be scheduled for sometime in May or early June.

+ Activity Bus
Carolyn Daniels reported that the administration is continuing to work out the details of providing an after school activity bus.  The target date for this service is in the fall of 2014.

+ Thank You Wendy and Veronica!
We're proud of the opportunities we provide to our students.  It's the day to day efforts of all of our staff members, pulling together with a single focus, that make our district strong.  This month we recognize the retirements of Veronica Pryce and Wendy Vaites.  Thank you for your service!

Watch the video - the first part is a video featuring Chadds Ford students



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