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