January 2017 Board Brief


Memorial Books

The School Board acknowledged the passing of Thomas Salapa, Sr., husband of Kathy Salapa, Barrett Food Service staff member and father-in-law of Susan Salapa, middle school teacher; Rex Timko, nephew of Jennifer Ambrozik, Barrett Elementary teacher; Leona M. Spelman, aunt of Dianne Cain, residency checker and Erin Noblet, middle school teacher; Chrystil Dougherty, cousin of LuAnne Szczypinski, Barrett Elementary teacher; Georgia Estok, cousin of Sara Sullivan, middle school teacher and aunt of Shari Koroly-Fetzko, Barrett Elementary teacher; John Ferko, uncle of Melissa Walters, middle school teacher; Elizabeth Jean “Betty” Dell, retired guidance secretary; Philomena “Fanny” Duerr, wife of retired principal Elmer “Bud” Duerr and mother of Susan Kaufold, retired Barrett and Park Teacher/Librarian; and Richard Callahan, father-in-law of Jill Callahan, middle school teacher. It was moved by Mrs. Steele and seconded by Mr. Olson to place an appropriate selection of books into the school libraries in their memory.

Student Representatives’ Reports

Student Council Member Bailey Stoken reported that the Barrett Elementary School PTO sponsored a movie night on January 12, and the Ned Show performed for the students and discussed topics related to character education on January 13.

On January 17, Barrett Elementary School hosted the School Board’s Educational Leadership Committee meeting, which provided student information related to the iPads. On January 25, Kindergarten students took a field trip to the Children’s Museum. The After School Clubs will begin in two weeks and continue through April.

Everyone at Park School is excited for the 100th day of school on February 2 and Valentine’s Day on the 14th. The Pennies for Patients collection starts on February 6, and a program on Black History will be conducted on February 16.

The Scholastic Book Fair will be held the week of February 20, and the Band Concert will be held on February 24. Dr. Seuss Week will begin February 27 with a number of events and activities planned.

The Middle School sends out weekly updates through the AlertNow system on Sunday evenings at 6:00 p.m. Students in grades 5-8 have completed the second round of Classroom Diagnostic Tools (CDT) assessments. Classroom teachers will analyze the results from these assessments.

Middle School Girls Basketball season has begun, and all home games will be played in the middle school gym beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Maddie Williams announced that the high school winter formal was awesome! Students looked great and the atmosphere was wonderful. Thank you to Mrs. McCallister for organizing the event and to all of the chaperones for spending their Saturday evening with the students.

The Varsity Football team will be recognized at this Friday’s basketball game for being the #1 Small School in the Nation according to Max Preps. The recognition just keeps on coming for these young men. They will be heading to Harrisburg early in February to be acknowledged at the State Capitol.

The new Entrepreneurship and Marketing class taught by Mrs. Williams held its first “Shark Tank” event as a culminating activity for students. It was a great success. The students are looking forward to hosting another one in the spring. Please notify Mrs. Williams if you are interested in being a judge.

Student Government sponsored a Central Blood Bank Blood Drive on December 19. Because of the generous and giving efforts of the students, staff and community members, over 100 patient lives can be supported and/or saved at local hospitals. The Student Government would like to encourage School Board members, administrators and the superintendent to donate at the next blood drive scheduled for March 30.

January is School Board Appreciation Month, and the High School Student Government showed its appreciation to each of the Board members by serving them a slice of cake.

Superintendent’s Report

Mr. Wehrer announced that ALCOSAN awarded Homestead Borough a $600,000 grant for the Transforming Twelfth Project. Not only will this project capture storm water runoff from Glenn and Ann Streets, it will transform the 12th Avenue area in Homestead to an urban oasis and tie in with other development in the area. Mr. Wehrer thanked the groups involved in this transformation: Borough of Homestead, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Cindy Tyler with Terra Design, and the Creating Value team of teachers and students. Student involvement in the design phase of this project has been unique to the Transforming Twelfth Project.

Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services Report

Mrs. Borges reported that there would be no school for students on February 17 and 20. February 17 is a scheduled professional development day for the staff, and the District will observe the Presidents Day holiday on February 20.

The next parent workshop will be held on February 10 on the topic of Transition Plans. In May the parent workshop will be on Futures Planning and how to set up trusts.

Director of Academics, Information and Technology Report

Mr. Colebank announced that report cards were sent home. The building principals are working on determining the academic courses for next school year. The high school assessment team is working on who will be taking the Keystones in the spring.

Meeting Minutes

The Board approved the following meeting minutes:

  • December 5, 2016 worksession meeting
  • December 8, 2016 re-organization meeting
  • December 8, 2016 regular meeting

Financial Management

The Board approved the following financial items:

  • General Fund invoices for December 2016/January 2017 in the amount of $1,149,021.45
  • General Fund hand checks for November 2016 in the amount of $358,364.66
  • General Fund hand checks for December 2016 in the amount of $1,107,287.97
  • General Fund Revenue Report for November 2016
  • General Fund Revenue Report for December 2016
  • General Fund Expenditure Report for November 2016
  • General Fund Expenditure Report for December 2016
  • General Fund Balance Sheet for November 2016
  • General Fund Balance Sheet for December 2016
  • Food Service invoices for November/December 2016 in the amount of $79,163.50
  • Payroll Funding Transfers for November/December 2016
  • Capital Projects Statement of Income and Expense for month ending December 31, 2016
  • High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for November 2016
  • Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for November 2016
  • External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for November 2016
  • Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for November 2016
  • High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for December 2016
  • Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for December 2016
  • External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for December 2016
  • Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for December 2016
  • Payments from the Capital Projects Fund to Kudravy Architects, LLC, in the amount of $1,250.00 and to Peter J. Caruso in the amount of $54,129.90
  • Real estate refunds to:


Six 612 Munhall Partnership LLC 130-H-200 2015 $6,716.23
Six 612 Munhall Partnership LLC 130-H-200 2016 $4,780.56
IHHWT LLC 133-R-4 2015 $   733.02
Aiko Brumby 131-G-352 2016 $   800.25





  • Adopted an Accelerated Budget Opt Out Resolution certifying the tax rate within inflation index (and no need to comply with Act 1 Accelerated Budget Procedures) for the 2017-2018 school year
  • June 30, 2016 Financial Statements and Management Report as submitted by Maher Duessel
  • Renewal agreement with UGI Energy Services at a cost of NYMEX (0.48)Dth for the period covering December 1, 2016, through August 31, 2019


The Board approved the following items:

  • Facility rental requests as presented
  • Authorized the Campbell Educational and Community Foundation to replace the playing surface and the walking track at the Campbell Athletic Field

Co-Curricular Leadership

The Board approved the following items:

  • Fundraising requests as presented
  • Baseball Hardball Club as a fundraising organization for the Steel Valley High School Baseball Team
  • Overnight field trip for The Future is Mine Club and one chaperone to attend the TFIM Student Leadership Conference on April 20-21, 2017
  • Authorized payment of $2,500 to the Senior Breakfast/Reception account to defray the costs of the Senior Breakfast for the Class of 2017

Special Assignments

The Board approved the following items:

  • Held second reading and adopted revisions to Policy 221 Dress and Grooming
  • Nominated Board Member James Bulger as a candidate for all open positions on the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Board of Directors

Educational Leadership

The Board approved the following items:

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and the school district for translation services with TransPerfect Remote Interpreting according to the terms and conditions outlined
  • School to Work Independent Services Contract between Step By Step, Inc., and the Steel Valley School District for the 2016-2017 school year and authorized the appropriate officials to execute said agreement
  • Accepted the funds from the Department of Education Special Education Performance Grant, School Based Behavioral Health: Cultural Responsive Approaches to Managing Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) in the amount of $10,000 for the 2016-2017 school year
  • Accepted a $1,000 donation from Donald C. Fetzko to be used towards the awards and/or banquet for the football team
  • Accepted a $2,000 donation to the Steel Valley football program from the Pittsburgh Steelers in recognition of Varsity Coach Rodney Steele’s selection as the Steelers High School Coach of the Year
  • Accepted a $1,331.00 grant donation from the Edith and Albert Derzak Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation to be used for Parent Child Interaction Therapy and Special Education


Mr. Rojtas announced that at the combined meeting of the Technology and Communications Committees, there was discussion about improving the Steel Valley website, which includes a mobile app and a teacher website within the Steel Valley website. The committee will pursue viewing a demonstration and pricing for a new website.

Mr. Colebank reported that Technology Specialist Seth Mayle would be providing hands on instruction to the Barrett and Park staff on the iPad devices each week.

Personnel Management

The Board approved the following items:

  • Family medical leave of absence for Ryan Dunmire-Kuftic to commence March 17, 2017, not to exceed 12 weeks in duration
  • Employed Seth Mayle as a Technology Specialist at a rate of $40,000 annually to be included as an Act 93 contract member effective February 1, 2017. A fee of 5% of salary will be owed to Robert Half Technology in order to release Mr. Mayle from their services.
  • Accepted, with regret, the resignation of Alan Alcalde from the position of High School Head Boys Soccer Coach and Jeff Pingor from the position of Varsity Baseball Assistant Coach
  • Appointed Ashley Giannangeli to the prorated supplemental position of Middle School Art Club for the 2016-2017 school year
  • Updated the paraprofessional job description
  • Rescinded the closing of the high school night shift custodial position
  • Appointed Jamie Sullivan as Districtwide Paraeducator at a rate of $10.10 per hour plus $1.50 per hour for highly qualified status, contingent upon receipt of current clearances, a health examination, and passing the District’s mandated screening for controlled substances effective on a mutually agreed upon date
  • 2016-2017 salary increases and annual salaries for the two confidential secretaries as listed retroactive to July 1, 2016
  • $5.25 per line tax collection rate for current real estate tax collectors for the 2018 through the 2021 real estate tax years. In addition, installment collection will also be compensated at $5.25 per transaction.
  • Chelsea Rohan and Leah McPherson as sports volunteers for the 2016-2017 school year, contingent upon receipt of current clearances and compliance with Act 168