March 22, 2018
The School Board met on Thursday, March 22nd. School Board members include: Ms Tracy Lisi (Chair), Mr John Auerbach, Mr Charles Beatty, Mr Jeff Billig, Mr Rick Dumont, Mr Herman Engel, Ms Lynn Weber, Mr Bill Wood, and Ms Bonnie Wolff. All were present at the meeting.
The full meeting agenda is available here: https://www.boarddocs.com/pa/avongrove/Board.nsf/Public
National Merit Students were honored at the meeting. All of them appeared to be going into Engineering/Science. Preferred schools included the University of Pittsburgh, Yale and University of Colorado.
Dr Gary Mattei reported on Technology night. Students from AGtv and Technology displayed their creations and capabilities including a drone.
The Special Education Comprehensive Plan was presented as required by the state every three years. The program is required to be inclusive of all students and include all available support services as to minimize the need to place students out of the district. The number of students placed out of district has been trending down and future plans include the increased use of co-teaching. The plan has to be presented to the public for 28 days, submitted to the Board for approval and then submitted to the State.
Facilities- March 13th meeting has been covered in a previous post. The administration has no plans to make improvements in the High School including bathrooms and the roof until an overall plan has been agreed for all school facilities.
Finance- March 13th meeting has been covered in a previous post. The administration continues to advocate that school taxes be raised to the highest allowable level even if there is a surplus in the budget. For 2018-19, this could be 3.1%.
Personnel- no issues identified
Committee of the Whole (COTW) – March 8th meeting has been covered in a previous post. The next COTW meeting will take place on March 27th.
Policy - the Public Comment portion of meetings will be increased from 2 minutes to 3 minutes per person starting April 1
There was a student led walk-out in for 17 minutes on March 14th in solidarity with the Parkland Florida students.
There will be a fundraiser for childhood cancer on April 6th.
Mr Bill Wood asked for a discussion on the Operating Guidelines for Committees. There was extensive discussion on whether someone should be able to call into Committee meetings if they are not able to be physically present. Mr Wood is concerned about technology and that votes could be taken at the committee meetings. Mr John Auerbach also had concern about actions being taken at these meetings. There was a vote 5-4 against changing the operating guidelines.
Five thousand sixty five students (5065) are enrolled in the Avon Grove facilities. There are 800 Avon Grove students currently enrolled in the Charter school.
Community-based meetings regarding facilities are planned for April; no dates were given.
The Foundation Membership has been finalized.
*Call to Action
It is important that your position on increasing taxes and building new school facilities is heard. It is critical that community members attend upcoming school board meetings and/or send letters via e-mail to the school board and administration to make their position known. The District Calendar can be found here. Watch the district calendar for updates. Information about the board, including E-mail addresses, can be found here.
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