Much to make you aware of, please read

Much to make you aware of, please read
Posted on 02/05/2019

Good evening!

I wanted to reach out and share a few upcoming events and review some recent happenings across the school district.

  • February 7, Parent-Community Safety Committee Meeting
  • February 11, Act 34 Hearing on Neidig Elementary School Renovation/Addition Project (provides formal notice to the public that construction is coming)
  • February 15, first Inclement Weather (Snow) Makeup Day (school is in session)
  • February 28, School Board Meeting (2019-20 Preliminary Budget Presentation)

On January 24, the School Board's Finance Committee received the Administration's first presentation of the 2019-20 Preliminary Budget, which calls for $114 million of expenditures. As it's the "first look" and early in the budget development season, which concludes in early June, it is likely to change as more information becomes available. The budget continues to maintain $1M for Capital expenditures to support an active preventative maintenance and capital improvement program, along with additional staffing and security needs. The bulk of the Administration's new staffing requests ($853K) is to support growing enrollment at The Academy at Quakertown, with the need for additional special education support personnel, an additional health teacher at Quakertown Community High School and a Mandarin teacher at Strayer Middle School. Next year, our current Mandarin teacher will be teaching five different levels at the high school and will no longer to be able to support the program at Strayer MS as she currently does.

On January 31, during one of last week's two-hour delays, the school district began its rollout of the Safe2Say Something tip line information and procedures with faculty and staff. Information for parents is being sent home this week detailing what Act 44 of 2018 requires of school districts, schools, and teachers. The state initiative requires every school district's five-member safety team to be available 24/7/365 to receive tips about potential risks to our children. Assistant Superintendent Nancianne Edwards is the district's designated Safety Coordinator. On her team is Dr. Lisa Hoffman, Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Teaching and Learning; Janet Pelone, Director of Pupil Services; Dr. David Finnerty, principal of QCHS; and myself. The PA Tip Line is already operational. So far, Quakertown has received three erroneous tips.

On Saturday, February 2, the School Board conducted its annual Mid-Year Retreat to receive an update on the 2018-19 District Goals from the Administration and discuss other Board development issues. The four-hour Retreat was facilitated by Rebecca Robert-Malamis, Deputy Executive Director and in-house legal counsel for the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. The School Board routinely meets for a retreat three times a year, facilitated by a School Board professional. This year, five School Board seats will be up for the municipal primary and general elections. The first day to circulate and file nomination petitions is February 19, 2019 and closes March 12, 2019.

Recently, our Kindergarten through 8th grade students participated in one of two mid-year assessments. They are Dibels for K-5th and NWEA MAP for 3rd-8th. Dibels are a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy and math skills. The assessments help us progress monitor and benchmark individual student performance. NWEA Map measures what students know and informs us what they're ready to learn next. By dynamically adjusting to each student's responses, MAP Growth creates a personalized assessment experience that accurately measures performance. In the past week or here shortly, you have or will receive your child(ren)'s Dibels and/or NWEA MAP scores. This is how our students are doing across the district. There are lots of celebrations with work still needing to be done. Please take some time to understand your child(ren)'s scores, where they are relative to grade level performance and where they still need to achieve before the academic year is over. As it is a mid-year assessment, there still remains several months for our students to attain grade-level proficiency. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask your teacher(s), principal, or me.

Dr. Finnerty at QCHS is seeking nominations for the school's Wall of Fame. Alumni considered will have demonstrated exceptional achievement in a career or have contributed significantly to the health, welfare or human rights of the local, state, national, or international community. Please consider nominating someone.

For other district highlights, including the results of our first MLK Day of Service, check out the latest "In The Q" newsletter.

Thank you for reading! Enjoy the warmer weather.

Bill Harner

Superintendent, QCSD

Twitter: @billharner

Email: wharner@qcsd

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