SVBriefs

January 2018 BOARD BRIEF

STEEL VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT

Memorial Books

The School Board acknowledged the passing of Brenda Burwell Scales, sister of Wanda Burwell, cafeteria monitor at Barrett School; Bernard A. Steele, uncle of Board member Coyleen Steele and Varsity Football Coach Rodney Steele; Bernie Vandriak, retired secretary to the assistant superintendent; John W. “Jack” Garrity, retired physical education and health teacher and coach; Timothy J. Wilder, 2003 Steel Valley Graduate, former substitute custodian and son of Susan Wilder, 4th grade Barrett teacher; Rodney Tucker, cousin of Ebony Bowden, high school English teacher; Kathleen Schmidt, aunt of Sherri Titmus, middle school secretary, and great aunt of Dylan Titmus, Park School custodian; Adam Gress, cousin of Eric Gress, high school math teacher; Lois Ann Pritchard, grandmother of Katie Pugh, 3rd grade Park School teacher; Matthew J. Merichko, brother- in-law of Diana Merichko, high school food service department; Kathy Huwalt, cousin of Colleen Andreyo, Confidential Secretary to the Business Manager; Susan Jane Fleming, mother of Jill Fleming-Salopek, former high school assistant principal, teacher and coach; Anne E. O’Brien, retired secretary from Park School; Michael “Mickey” Harkovich, father of Lynn Bohin, high school food service department; Maria Elizabeth Heddleston, Reading Specialist at Park Elementary School, 1993 Steel Valley Graduate, wife of Brian Heddleston, former school director, mother of Nathan and John, students at Park and Middle Schools, daughter of Mary Lou and Donald Bajus, former school director, and cousin of Donald Fetzko, solicitor; Jane D. Bodnar, former secretary at the Schwab Vocational School and wife of Raymond Bodnar, former Munhall Borough Mayor; Jeannetta T. O’Leary, aunt of Loren Ford, Franklin and middle school custodian; and Michelle R. Lucas, sister of James Bartko, middle and high school secretary and daughter of Tina Bartko, former school director. It was moved by Mr. Olson and seconded by Mrs. Yuhas to place an appropriate selection of books into the school libraries in their memory.

Board President’s Report

Mr. Jim Bulger expressed sadness over the passing of Steel Valley teacher and friend Maria Heddleston. Although the staff is sad, they have also been supportive and uplifting to the family.

He announced two scholarship opportunities for seniors. Reinhart Food Service is offering two scholarships for seniors pursuing a career in culinary arts, and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives awards two (2) four-year scholarships to students who are entering post-secondary education.

Mr. Bulger was excited to report that there are good things happening in the Steel Valley schools:

  • Students shadowing elementary teachers as part of The Future is Mine
  • SADD students teaching peers the dangers of drugs and alcohol
  • Middle School students participating in STREAM World Domination activity
  • Creation of The Forge for more immersive learning experiences

Mr. Austin Davis was elected as a new state representative in a special election for Munhall Borough. He is a proponent of public education, and he has reached out to Mr. Bulger asking what he can do for the Steel Valley School District.

Student Representatives’ Reports

Ms. Isabella Furrick, junior student representative to the School Board, reported the Moms and Muffins literacy program at Barrett School had 290 people participate. Barrett students are preparing for the Seussical and Black History Month programs.

The mid-year student assessments were completed in Science, English Language Arts and Math during the last two weeks.

The PTO and staff are preparing for the Cash Bash fundraiser to be held on March 10. Barrett is conducting a hoagie sale. The field trip to the Children’s Museum for kindergarten students would be rescheduled for some time in February.

Senior Student Representative Abigail Ferson reported 235 students attended the winter semi-formal held on January 6 at Westwood Golf Club, and they had a wonderful time. The “glow” theme was a big hit. She thanked Mrs. McCallister and the chaperones for a memorable night.

The Entrepreneurship and Marketing classes held their third “Shark Tank” event. The student presentations and ideas were innovative and creative. Thank you to Mrs. Williams and Carnegie Mellon University for their continued support.

A small group of seniors will be taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress on February 8. The Steel Valley School District was selected by the Department of Education to participate, and the results will be used as part of the Nation’s Report Card.

Juniors will have an opportunity to attend the National College Fair on February 8.

Student Government held its second blood drive on December 19 with 34 donors, including a Board member. The Student Government was very thankful to those who were able to donate.

Student leaders from Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Haley Senich and Abby Ferson presented a Drug and Alcohol Jeopardy game to students in their health classes. SADD also provided information tables during lunch as part of National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week.

Members of SADD presented tire safety facts as part of the Tread Wisely Challenge during Social Studies classes. Students were provided kits from the National Organization for Youth Safety to measure tire pressure, penny check their tire tread and information cards about tire conditions. Each student who checked their tires was entered into a raffle, and we were fortunate that one of our seniors won a $50 Amazon gift card and another student won an iPad for participating in the Tread Wisely Campaign.

The senior snow tubing trip to Hidden Valley was a great time, and the seniors made some great memories.

The Student Representatives to the School Board expressed their thanks to the School Directors on behalf of the Student Government and served cake and coffee as a small token of appreciation for all they do.

Superintendent’s Report

Mr. Wehrer stated that Maria Heddleston’s passing is a tragedy for her family, and it is a severe loss for our community and school district. She was a 1993 Steel Valley Graduate and began teaching 2nd grade at Park Elementary School in 1998. Her passion for literacy led to her becoming a Reading Specialist. She started the Big Box of Books program providing books to preschool and elementary children. She was instrumental in creating the Literacy Fair and served on the Districtwide Literacy Team. Maria elevated Language Arts instruction in the school district, and her passion for children’s literacy will be greatly missed.

Steel Valley High School has partnered with PNC, UPMC and FedEx Ground to establish a pipeline for our graduates to entry-level positions within their companies. Human Resource personnel will prepare our students with communication, interviewing and resume-writing skills. A study shows that 80,000 jobs would need filled in the coming years, and these employers are concerned about where the people would come from. Steel Valley is one of six school districts participating in this collaborative.

Mr. Wehrer announced that Mr. Tom Roberts would be retiring next month and wished him well in his retirement years. Mr. Roberts has worked as a custodian in each of our buildings since 1999.

Senior Morgan Farrah achieved 1,000 career points on the basketball court on January 19 during the Steel Valley – Apollo Ridge girls basketball game. She is an athlete-scholar ranking in the top 10 of the senior graduating class with a 4.3 GPA.

Congratulations to 8th grade student Ben Novotny who auditioned and was accepted into the Slippery Rock University Honors Flute Ensemble. Ben and 26 high school students will experience what it is like to be a student at Slippery Rock University. He will spend two days at SRU working with the professors, students and guest performers. The concert is scheduled for Sunday, February 25. This is a nice achievement for Ben.

As you may remember, Ben won Jefferson Hospital’s “Name the Robot Challenge” contest when he named the piece of Mako Robotic-Arm Technology “Rubie,” which stands for Ready Unique Bionic Independent Entity.

Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services Report

Mrs. Borges announced that the monthly Education Leadership Committee meeting would be held on Tuesday, January 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the High School Creating Value Design Studio.

February 2 would be an inservice day for the staff, and there will be no school for students.

A meeting for incoming kindergarten students who receive special services through the DART Program will be held on February 13 at Barrett Elementary School at 9:00 a.m. At Park School, the meeting will be held on February 14 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Teachers, counselors, administrators and the residency aide will share information with the parents, and parents will have an opportunity to tour the buildings and meet the staff. Enrollment information would also be available.

Director of Academics, Information and Technology Report

Mr. Colebank reminded families that the end of the third grading period is important for determining the valedictorian, salutatorian, student rank and junior marshals.

In the next few months, the District will be performing a mandatory survey for the state. The key item is to report the number of active military personnel in the home. The individual must be actively serving and not discharged. Another item will be to update contact information and include email addresses.

The email is important to activate communication on future projects. Without an email address, families would not be able to participate.

Meeting Minutes

The Board approved the following meeting minutes:

  • December 4, 2017 reorganization
  • December 4, 2017 worksession
  • December 7, 2017 regular meeting

Financial Management

The Board approved the following financial items:

  • General Fund invoices for December 2017 and January 2018 in the amount of $622,510.21
  • General Fund hand checks for November 2017 in the amount of $584,641.42
  • General Fund hand checks for December 2017 in the amount of $1,263,307.75
  • General Fund Revenue Report for November 2017
  • General Fund Revenue Report for December 2017
  • General Fund Expenditure Report for November 2017
  • General Fund Expenditure Report for December 2017
  • General Fund Balance Sheet for November 2017
  • General Fund Balance Sheet for December 2017
  • Food Service invoices in the amount of $73,310.49
  • Food Service Revenue Report for November 2017
  • Food Service Revenue Report for December 2017
  • Food Service Expenditure Report for November 2017
  • Food Service Expenditure Report for December 2017
  • Food Service Balance Sheet for November 2017
  • Food Service Balance Sheet for December 2017
  • Payroll Funding Transfers for December 2017
  • High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for November 2017
  • High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for December 2017
  • Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for November 2017
  • Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for December 2017
  • External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for November 2017
  • External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for December 2017
  • Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for November 2017
  • Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for December 2017
  • Capital Projects Revenue Report for December 2017
  • Capital Projects Expenditure Report for December 2017
  • Capital Projects Balance Sheet for December 2017
  • Refund to This is Red LLC for Lot & Block 130-M-62 in the amount of $20,449.94
  • Resolution as presented titled, Accelerated Budget Opt Out Resolution Certifying Tax Rate Within Inflation Index
  • June 30, 2017, Financial Statements and Management Report as submitted by Maher Duessel CPAs

Operations

The Board approved the following items:

  • Facility rental requests as presented
  • Awarded St. Moritz Security Services, Inc., the security service contract. The contract will have a termination clause of sixty (60) days and will be effective February 1, 2018. This contract will be conditional on the solicitor’s approval and contract will refer to language within the RFP. The contract contains an option for a fourth year in 2021-2022. The rates for the guards are $14.64, $14.64, $15.01 and $15.01 for the four years. The supervisor rates for the same period are $15.59, $15.59, $15.98 and $15.98. The overtime rates will be 1.5 times the basic rate.

Co-Curricular Leadership

The Board approved the following items:

  • Fundraising requests as presented
  • Recognized and supported the Barrett PTO as an organization within the District, which supports the District’s educational initiatives
  • Recognized and supported the High School Boys Basketball Teams as organizations within the District, which supports the District’s educational initiatives with principal activities as a service organization to the District

Special Assignments

The Board approved the following items:

  • Held a second reading and adopted policies in Section 800 Operations of the Board Policy Manual
  • Held a second reading and adopted Policy 104.1 Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Website Accessibility

 

Educational Leadership

The Board approved the following items:

  • Revised the 2017-2018 school calendar for school closings on January 2 and 5, 2018, and designated February 19 and June 8, 2018, as the make-up days and changed the end of the grading periods to January 19 and March
  • Adopted a resolution opposing Education Savings Account voucher plan under Senate Bill 2
  • Accepted a donation from Target Corporation in the amount of $1,000 to be used as follows:

$400                Varsity Boys Soccer
$400                Varsity Girls Soccer
$200                Middle School Soccer

Personnel Management

The Board approved:

  • Sabbatical leave for Maria Heddleston for the second semester of the 2017-2018 school year through January 22, 2018
  • Intermittent family medical leave of absence for Shari Fetzko beginning February 1, 2018, not to exceed 60 days in duration
  • Intermittent family medical leave of absence for Dan Condosta, not to exceed 60 days in duration
  • Job description for special education teachers as presented
  • Ethan Johnston as a day-to-day substitute teacher for the 2017-2018 school year at the approved daily rate
  • Accepted a letter of resignation from Kim Farrah from the supplemental position of High School Assistant Girls Basketball Coach retroactive to December 14, 2017
  • List of supplemental appointments for the winter and spring coaches for the 2017-2018 school year and the fall coaches for the 2018-2019 school year, contingent upon receipt of current clearances and compliance with Act 168 of 2014
  • Intermittent family medical leave of absence for Michael Coyne beginning on February 14, 2018, not to exceed 60 days in duration
  • Accepted, with regret, the retirement of Thomas G. Roberts effective February 6, 2018
  • Hired Joley Stegena to the position of full-time custodian effective February 6, 2018, at the rate of $12.00 per hour and with all applicable benefits in the collective bargaining agreement, contingent upon passing all pre-employment screenings and receipt of all current clearances
  • Hired Darla Urban to the position of Substitute Caller Aide at the rate of $10.10 per hour and with all applicable benefits in the collective bargaining agreement, contingent upon passing all pre-employment screenings and receipt of all current clearances
  • Hired Keith Caito to the position of Cafeteria/Copy Aide at the rate of $10.10 per hour and with all applicable benefits in the collective bargaining agreement, contingent upon passing all pre-employment screenings and receipt of all current clearances. Highly qualified aides will receive $1.50 per hour above the starting
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Steel Valley Secretarial/Aide Education Support Professionals and the Steel Valley School District dated December 21, 2017 as presented