Avon Grove Taxpayers for Responsible Spending


        Citizens, Parents, and Schools working together to bring Avon Grove into the 21st Century!

School Board Retreat
August 9, 2018

The School Board met on Thursday, August 9th for part 1 of their retreat.  Part 2 of the retreat will take place on Saturday, September 15th.  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 except for Mr Jeff Billig and Mr Herman Engel.

The following items were discussed:
ACE Grant for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification

M. Arif Fazil from D’Huy Engineering presented to the School Board an opportunity to apply for a $2 million grant to construct the new high school with alternative and clean energy practices. D’Huy Engineering has successfully pursued this type of grant for others schools and believes that it could be successful for the new Avon Grove High School.  It will cost approximately $10,000 to apply for the grant.  D D’Huy Engineering would receive $35,000 if the grant application was successful.  The money from the grant would be used to make the new school building energy efficient including the installation of solar panels ($700,000).  These improvements would not need to be made unless the grant was awarded. 

The application would need to be completed by September 15th, 2018.  Mr Auerbach asked what constraints would be placed on the design of the new school, since the application for the grant would need to be submitted before the design for the new school was agreed.  Mr Fazil replied that building orientation and site selection could not change but other modifications were possible.

The School Board voted 6 to 0 to put this topic on the agenda for the next school board meeting.

PSBA (PA School Board Association) Training for School Board Directors

The School Board will continue their retreat on September 15th.PSBA will conduct a workshop on how a school board should act.  Roles and responsibilities of the school board will be discussed.The School Board was asked to complete a self-assessment and survey prior to the September 15th meeting.

Board Discussion on Work-Session Format

The School Board Leadership and Superintendent Marchese recommended that the School Board conduct their committee meetings on the same night with the entire school board attending the meeting (Tuesday before the week of the School Board meeting).A separate meeting would be held to discuss the budget which would be separate from the current finance committee meeting.A Planning and Construction meeting (2nd Thursday of the month) would also occur. Currently, there are 7 committee meetings: Curriculum, Finance, Facilities, Communication, Co-curricular, Personnel, and Policy.

Mr Wood, Auerbach, and Dumont voiced their concerns regarding the holding of the committee meetings on the same night.The full meeting could be 4 hours or longer; it would be difficult to prepare for the 7 committee meetings over a single weekend; and public participation would be reduced because of the long duration of the meeting.A suggestion was made to have the committee meetings over 2 nights.

Timing of the committee meetings will be discussed again when Mr Billig and Engel are present.


*Call to Action
It is important that your voice 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 voice heard.   The District Calendar can be found
here.   Watch the district calendar for updates.  Information about the board, including E-mail addresses, can be found

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