Avon Grove School Board Meeting
September 26, 2019
Tax Increase for 2020-2021 could go as high as 3.4 – 3.5%
High School to Middle School Conversion to be discussed on October 17th
Members present for the School Board included Ms. Tracy Lisi, Mr. John Auerbach, Mr. Charles Beatty, Mr. Jeff Billig, Mr. Rick Dumont, Mr. Herman Engel, Ms. Lynn Weber, Ms. Bonnie Wolff, and Mr. Bill Wood.
Tonight’s meeting started with a presentation from Ms. Kristen Bishop, Head of the Avon Grove Charter School (AGCS). She presented their yearly report to the School Board which included updates in terms of enrollment, yearly goals and an assessment of their future ready index. Avon Grove School District continues to send the largest number of students to the charter school. The AGCS enrollment for the 2019-2020 academic year stands at 1,856 students in grades K-12.
Mr. Herman Engel commented on the diversity of the student population of AGCS. The AGCS student population is selected entirely from a random computerized lottery system which does not take any factors into consideration. Mr. Engel’s comment was driven in response to the theme for this academic year which is “I am”. The purpose of this theme is to be all inclusive regardless of any key factors such as race or education type. Mr. Engel asked if changes should be made to the lottery system to be more inclusive.
After the presentation from Ms. Bishop, there were key reports from the Facilities and the Finance/Budget committees.
The Facilities report was read by Mr. Jeff Billig and updated the long-range plan of the district. He stated that the plan would be laid out in a “new way” for future years. An update was also given to the board in regards to the current High School to Middle School conversion process. A presentation will be given at the next Committee of the Whole meeting on October 17th which will be the first view of the scope of that portion of the facilities project.
The Finance/Budget report was read by Mr. Herman Engel and included information about the estimated Act 1 Index for the 2020-2021 tax year. Based on estimations, we can expect an Act 1 Limit with a range of 3.4% to 3.5% which will be finalized at a later time. Also, an update was given in regard to the Hospital Sale. The Jennersville Hospital (owned and maintained by Tower Health) has paid their property taxes in protest; however, they are still in the process of working to acquire a non-profit status which will exempt them from paying school taxes.
The next items for Board comment were items from the Business Office. Ms. Lynn Weber made the request to vote on agenda item 5.04 “2018-2019 Budget Transfer Summary” separately and the motion was passed. Ms. Weber had voiced her concerns regarding the summary and did not feel comfortable voting on it because the information about all the budget transfers was not disclosed at the recent finance committee meeting. Mr. Bill Wood interjected and suggested that we are just “moving chairs around” with respect to this particular item. The motion was eventually passed 6-3 with “nay” votes from Ms. Weber, Mr. Beatty and Mr. Dumont because they did not have the proper documentation in front of them to know what they were voting to approve.
Upcoming School Board Meetings:
October 14: Approval PlanCon D and E respectively
October 17: Planning and Construction – High School conversation presentation
October 24: Committee of the Whole meeting