Friday, May 20, 2016

May Board Recap

May 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.

Highlights from this Month's Board Meetings

  • Budget

  • Staffing Guidelines

  • Class Rank Reporting

  • Strategic Planning


One of the main topics of discussion this month was next year's budget.  

Below is a brief outline with links to the discussion

  • The business office presented a spending plan that supports the district's existing excellent program.  Additionally this year's plan also supports new technology innovations (the Canvas Learning Management System and Chromebooks for all middle school students).

  • The business office developed a funding plan that works well within the allowable state taxing limits.  

    • The proposal offered 3 options for increases to tax rates next year.  The options varied based on how much of the budget reserves are used this year.  The more used this year, the less this year's taxes increase.  On the other hand, the more used this year, the less that is available to help offset anticipated future staff retirement program contributions in future years.

    • A quick note on this topic - PSERS is the staff retirement program and the district's mandatory contributions to it will continue to increase over the coming years (anticipating 3 years of steep increases).  The reserve is set up to help the district pay for these increases without larger annual tax increases or cuts to programs in future years.

    • The Board chose by a 6 to 3 margin for an option that results in  annual tax increase of 2.72% for Chester County residents and 3.06% for Delaware County residents (one of the other options was a bit higher, the other a bit lower).   Watch the Board deliberation on this topic.

    • The budget plan now becomes the proposed final plan and is available for public inspection of the district website. Proposed Final General Fund Budget Public Inspection Copy


Budget details are available on the business office webpage of the district website.


Staffing Guidelines

This year the administration developed staffing guidelines that are based on that year's student enrollments.  The guidelines help add transparency to the annual staffing plan, making it easier for the Board to evaluate the administration's recommendations.  These guidelines support the current program and help to insure class sizes are in line with existing policies and guidelines.  

 Review the staffing guidelines

Class Rank Reporting

Much debate within the Board and around the community over the past few months led to a revised class rank reporting policy (approved last month) that eliminated decile reporting to colleges.

As part of that discussion the Board asked the administration to address community concerns about rewarding and recognizing academic excellence and providing some kind of grade distribution information.

The new administrative guidelines introduced this month provide a grade distribution that will be part of the UHS School Profile.  The guideline also calls for the recognition of academic achievement as part of commencement.

Review the class rank/GPS reporting guidelines


Strategic Planning

The Board considered the vendor presentation that was made last month but could not come to consensus on a direction forward.  The goal of strategic planning is to bring together stakeholders with a common vision - to move forward and improve our district.  Without consensus at this time the Board decided to revisit the matter during it's summer retreat.  

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