Thursday, February 4, 2016

Board Meeting Recap

January 2015

Where did January go?

The final Board meeting of the month was in late January this year due to the MLK holiday and we wound up having it on a snow day - but that meeting and the other work sessions and committee meetings dealt with some important issues.

Our Board meetings are always streamed live and are available on our Youtube Channel.
The "U" Tube

All supporting documents are also available online.
Board Docs

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


Highlights from January's Board Meetings

  • Weapons Policy Review (218.1)

  • Homework Policy and Guidelines (130)

  • Decile Rankings

  • Response to Ms. Rowe

  • Preliminary Budget Approved

  • 2016-2017 Calendar Approved



Weapons Policy Review (218.1)

After a recent incident at the middle school, the Board decided to take a look at the district weapons policy.  The Board found that the current policy applies to students only and is thorough and appropriate as is.  The questions was, should the policy specifically mention adults?  Counsel's advice was that adults are covered by PA law - and weapons are not allowed on school grounds.  The Board found that there is no need to update the policy.  PA state law takes precedence over school board policy.



Homework Policy and Guidelines (130)

Last year, we established a Homework Committee.  Guidelines were studied, reviewed, clarified, and greatly discussed over the year. Over 1,000 parents responded to a survey.  Teachers and students were also involved in the discussion.  As a result, guidelines were developed and codified and will be available in the policy center after approval.  The documents have been approved for first reading and further review in March.

The Board thanks the committee of teachers and administrators who spent so many hours of research and reflection on this as well as all of the parents and students in the community who either participated on the committee or took the time to respond to the survey.

Proposed Revisions to Homework Policy

Proposed Homework Guidelines



Decile Rankings


The Board had established a goal for this school year to evaluate ranking students by decile and reporting that information to colleges as part of the application process.

Years ago, the standard practice was to rank students by GPA from top to bottom and report individual rank to colleges.  That practice was eliminated in 1990.  At that time, student rankings changed so that ranking was reported by decile only.  For example, the highest 10% of all GPAs would be in the "first" decile.  Colleges would know (as part of the admission process) into which decile the student's GPA fell.

Up for discussion was the idea of not reporting any ranking at all.  There are several benefits of this line of thinking.  We are fortunate to have so many students who earn top grades and our schools are thought to be among the best.  Ranking of any kind can tend to misrepresent many of our students whose grades would have qualified them to be in a higher decile at a less competitive high school.  On the other hand, the traditional thinking is that students who have "top" GPAs have earned the right to share that information with colleges.  

A committee evaluated the pro's and con's of ranking and the administration's review of the findings led them to recommend that we discontinue the practice.

There are many more details you need to know so that you can fully understand the administration's recommendation.  You are invited read this document and to come to the UHS LGI on February 10 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm for an informational meeting to hear about the recommendations and to ask questions to members of the committee and administration.

Decile Explanation Document



Response to Ms. Rowe

I'm sure most of you have heard about this topic.  If not, briefly… Ms. Rowe worked at the high school as a Spanish teacher.  She was interviewed in December by the administration and subsequently chose to resign.  After her resignation she made public allegations about inappropriate comments she claims were made to her at the time by administrators.  The Board and Administration responded in no uncertain terms and clarified for the public some details of those conversations (links below).  

Board President, Vic Dupuis' public comments

Statement emailed to all parents and staff



Preliminary Budget Approved

The budget season is now officially underway!  With the approval of the Preliminary Budget, the parameters of a final budget are now set.  The Board now has an initial funding request from the administration and it knows its taxing limits.  Over the next 5 months, the Board will evaluate the administration's funding requests.  As representatives of the community, the Board will now vet these requests and develop a plan to fund them.  Below are links to the Preliminary Budget and the budget timeline.

2016-2017 Preliminary Budget

2016-2017 Budget Adoption Timeline

For additional resources go to the Business Office Budget Webpage



2016-2017 Calendar Approved

The calendar for next year has been approved.  The first day of the new school year will be Monday, August 29th.  A PDF of the calendar is available on the district website and there is a link to it below.


2016-2017 Approved Calendar



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