February 2018 BOARD BRIEF


Memorial Book

The School Board acknowledged the passing of John R. Maddigan, grandfather of Michelle Maddigan, high school science teacher. It was moved by Mr. Olson and seconded by Mrs. Yuhas to place an appropriate book into the school library in his memory.

Board President’s Report

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida tragedy, safety is on the minds of everyone in the country. Mr. Bulger announced that the District has gotten better at sharing information on social media. However, certain things cannot be shared due to privacy laws. He added that we live in a close-knit community, and he is thankful for living in the community that we have. The school district has steps in place that even larger school districts do not have for the safety of our students and staff.

The elementary schools celebrated Dr. Seuss Week with different activities each day. School Board members William Blick, Mary Yuhas, Kathy Ligeros and James Bulger participated by reading to the Kindergarten classes at Barrett Elementary School.

The Book Swap in honor of Maria Heddleston garnered hundreds of books. Maria was a large proponent of reading, and these books will leave quite a legacy.

Mr. Bulger thanked Lieutenant Opferman for discussing careers in forensics with the high school chemistry students, as part of The Future is Mine Club activities.

The Steel Valley Drama Club is presenting the musical Mary Poppins next week. Mr. Bulger is looking forward to the student performances.

Student Representatives’ Reports

Ms. Isabella Furrick reported that the students at Park Elementary School had a lot of fun on the 100th day of school and on Valentine’s Day. The Scholastic Book Fair was a big success. The 3rd and 4th grade students enjoyed the Penguins hockey practice, and the Kindergarten students learned a lot at the Children’s Museum.

The School Resource Officer from Keystone Oaks School District visited Park Elementary School to observe a lock-down drill. He was very impressed with the procedures in place, and the students and staff in KO will be safer because of what he learned during the visit.

Dr. Seuss week got off to a great start, and everyone at Park School is looking forward to some warmer weather.

At Barrett Elementary School, the Kindergarten students visited the Children’s Museum on February 21. The Seuss Activity Day for first graders from Park and Barrett Schools went well on February 26.

The Black History Month program will be held on March 29 at 9:00 a.m. at Barrett Elementary School. Selected students in grades 2, 3 and 4 had the opportunity to take a field trip to a Penguins hockey practice on February 5. The PTO Cash Bash will take place on March 10.

Ms. Abby Ferson reported that Mr. Simpson’s high school homeroom won perfect attendance for the month of February. Congratulations to the students for being on time everyday.

All juniors had the opportunity to attend the National College Fair on February 8. This experience allowed the students to take the next step toward their future choices.

The first High School Talent Collaborative was held on February 13. After three more workshops, the students will have employable skills to use after graduation.

Senior Student Representative to the Board Abby Ferson thanked guest speaker, Dr. Elayne Arrington of the Harmony Club, for a great Black History Month presentation.

The freshman class visited Steel Center Career and Technical School to learn about the course offerings. The Steel Valley Drama Club will be presenting Disney’s Mary Poppins on March 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and March 11 at 2:00 p.m.

The Central Blood Bank will be returning for the last blood drive on March 19.

Student Council is sponsoring a field trip called Painting with a Purpose on March 16. The purpose is to donate money to the Humane Animal Rescue Center, which is formerly known as the Humane Society.

The middle school girls basketball season will end on Monday, March 5, against Thomas Jefferson. Math tutoring will take place after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the middle school. Students can sign up in the middle school office. PSSA prep has been uploaded to the EBackpack system for all students.

Superintendent’s Report

Mr. Wehrer encouraged parents to consider a career at Steel Center Career and Technical School for their high school aged children. All students are not college bound, and students who pursue career and technical education can make a positive impact on their future.

One of the Middle School Language Arts teachers, Steven Singer, is a finalist in the Champions of Learning Awards program in the teaching category. The Consortium for Public Education will hold its dinner and awards program on April 7 to celebrate all of the finalists and announce the winners in each category. Mr. Singer is also a recently published author. Congratulations to Mr. Singer.

We are proud of High School Senior Morgan Farrah for earning the KDKA Extra Effort Award. We will recognize Morgan at the March Board meeting.

The school district has a cooperative program with the West Mifflin School District for wrestling. Two of our high school students, Tony Salopek and Gavin Rosso, participate in the wrestling program, and they are competing in the WPIAL championships. We wish them luck.

The preliminary winter Keystone test results have arrived, and we are analyzing them. I am pleased to report that 44 students scored proficient or advanced, which is a marked increase. Kudos to our students and teachers on this improvement.

Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services Report

Mrs. Borges announced that on March 7 a meeting of the Board Co-Curricular Committee would be held beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the High School Conference Room.

The next worksession meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m., and the regular Board meeting will be held on Thursday, March 22, at 7:00 p.m. Both will be held in the High School Library.

Mrs. Borges announced that the transition meetings for new families with Kindergarten students were a success.

Upcoming Kindergarten registration dates are April 10 at Barrett School from 5:00-7:00 p.m., and another evening registration will be held at Park School on April 30 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Registration can also be scheduled with Mrs. Cain by appointment by calling 412.464.3600 ext. 2700.

Mrs. Borges added that the school district is providing counselors for our staff and students.


Director of Academics, Information and Technology Report

Mr. Colebank announced that High School Principal Dr. Duval would be informing students of their Keystone scores. The official release of scores is forthcoming.

Invitations are open to students who want to participate on the Geek Squad for the end of the year closeout of technology. The quality and range of new camera purchases are improving so much that one new camera can replace two older cameras.

Meeting Minutes

The Board approved the following meeting minutes:

  • January 22, 2018 worksession
  • January 25, 2018 regular meeting

Financial Management

The Board approved the following financial items:

  • General Fund invoices for February 2018 in the amount of $242,839.01
  • General Fund hand checks for January 2018 in the amount of $352,646.33
  • General Fund Revenue Report for January 2018
  • General Fund Expenditure Report for January 2018
  • General Fund Balance Sheet for January 2018
  • Food Service invoices in the amount of $33,211.12
  • Food Service Revenue Report for January 2018
  • Food Service Expenditure Report for January 2018
  • Food Service Balance Sheet for January 2018
  • Payroll Funding Transfers for January 2018
  • High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for January 2018
  • Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for January 2018
  • External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for January 2018
  • Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for January 2018
  • Capital Projects Financials for January 2018
  • Placing out for bid the school and athletic supplies for the 2018-2019 school year
  • Real Estate Tax Financial Statements, Auditor’s Opinion and Management Letter for the year ending December 31, 2016
  • Refunds due as follows for year 2017-2018:

SJ Group LLC

Lot & Block 131-M-23 $698.17

Douglas E. Koehler

Lot & Block 132-N-54 $1,251.85

Douglas E. Koehler

Lot & Block 133-H-18 $202.97

Timothy A. Tichon

Lot & Block 180-B-191 $1,671.36
  • Payment to Hruska Plumbing in the amount of $13,100.00 to be paid out of the Capital Projects Fund
  • Payment to Marvana Construction Company Inc. in the amount of $8,400.00 for the catch basin project paid out of the Capital Projects Fund


The Board approved the facility rental requests as presented.

Co-Curricular Leadership

The Board approved the following items:

  • Fundraising requests as presented
  • Payment of $600.00 for the disc jockey services at the prom to be held at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall on May 18, 2018
  • Established a Steel Valley Diversity Club with a volunteer sponsor to follow all guidelines, procedures and expectations that other activity groups must follow as outlined in Extracurricular Activities Policy 122


Special Assignments

Mr. Olson reported that a tour of Steel Center Career and Technical School for Board members is scheduled on April 26, 2018, during the day when the students are in class and another tour would be available in the evening. He distributed the Steel Center Review newsletter to Board members.

At the 2018 Skills USA competition between Steel Center students and other students in District 8, 20 Steel Center students took 1st place out of 48. Students who finish in 1st place are eligible to compete in the state competition in Hershey. Andrew Votedian, who is enrolled in the building trades program with a focus in plumbing, came in 1st place, and Clayton Coppola placed second in welding. Mr. Olson is proud of all the students. Those who are enrolled at Steel Center excel in career training and their grades improve in traditional high school classes. The Board will recognize these students at the March Board meeting.

Educational Leadership

The Board approved the following items:

  • Revised the 2017-2018 school calendar and designated Thursday, March 29, as the make-up day for the school closing on February 7, and designated Wednesday, March 28, a full day of school and Thursday, March 29, an early dismissal day and the end of the grading period
  • 2018-2019 Allegheny Intermediate Unit Program of Services Budget totaling $2,086,109.00
  • Accepted the donations for the Senior Breakfast event from:

Chick-fil-A                                                       4 “free items” gift cards

Falce’s Restaurant                                            $20 gift card

Linda Squires Salon                                         Spa Package

Lion’s Club of Homestead                               $500

Shop ‘n Go                                                       $25 and car wash coins

Yankee Candle                                                 Candle

Savolskis Wasik Glenn Funeral Home             $100

  • Accepted the Kindergarten Transition Plan grant in the amount of $2,000 from the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Accepted the donations for the Middle School Forge room from:

West Mifflin Lowes


The Waterfront


Andrews and Price Law Offices


KeyBank National Association


Mr. Bulger thanked the donors for their generous donations and the grant writers for their hard work.

Personnel Management

The Board approved the following items:

  • Family medical leave of absence for Julie Kamnikar effective April 29, 2018, not to exceed 60 days in duration
  • Hired Gale Emery to the position of Middle School/Technology Department Secretary effective on a mutually agreed upon date at the annual salary of $21,000 plus benefits as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement, contingent upon passing all pre-employment screenings and receipt of all current clearances
  • Intermittent family medical leave of absence for Sharon Kampe retroactive to February 8, 2018, not to exceed 60 days in duration Carlisa Dixon and Emily Doyle as day-to-day substitute teachers at the approved daily rate and contingent upon passing all pre-employment screenings and