March 2018 BOARD BRIEF


Memorial Books

The School Board acknowledged the passing of Florence Bodosky, retired custodian at Woodlawn Middle School; Irene Piskor, aunt of Donna Kiefer, former School Board President; Emma Berchok, mother-in-law of Gwen Berchok, high school math teacher; Jean Szuch-Williams, mother of Kimberly Gennari, 1stgrade teacher at Park School; Nadine Cornelius, cousin of Loren Ford, Franklin/Middle School custodian; Mary D. Mondock, mother-in-law of Edward Wellman, Middle School math teacher; and Ruth W. Callahan, mother-in-law of Jill Callahan, 3rdgrade teacher at Park School.  It wasmoved by Mr. Olsonand seconded by Mrs. Yuhas to place a selection of appropriate books into the school libraries in their memory.

Budget Presentation

Mr. John Zenone, Director of Operational Services, presented the expenditure portion of the 2018-2019 general fund budget.  He stated that the biggest drivers are the salaries and the 500 accounts, which include tuition, transportation, charter schools and special education.  Salaries are expected to increase by 6%, regular programs by 7.43%, special programs by 10.29%, pupil personnel services by 12.45% and administrative by 2.7%. The benefit drivers are PSERS with a 6% increase from the prior year, and Social Security with almost a 6% increase. There is a decrease in health insurance even though the rates are increasing because more employees are opting for health waivers.  The Purchased Property Services is expected to increase for operation and maintenance of the buildings.

There is uncertainty with the TIF.  He noted that the B portion of the TIF Debt Service was paid off in December, and the A portion will be paid off next December.  However, the pledged revenue is showing a decrease.

Mr. Zenone added that the Act 1 adjusted index would allow the school district to increase taxes by a maximum of .7243, which would bring the millage to 23.489.  The budget process is a fluid process, and he is looking to reduce the budget.

Board President’s Report

Mr. Bulger attended the Tri-State Area School Study Council’s Annual School Board Banquet where two Board of School Directors and one distinguished educator were recognized for excellent work in addressing important issues to affect a committed goal, and Mr. Bulger agreed that good things could happen in the Steel Valley School District.

He discussed the good things happening at the middle school with the Stand Together program.  They recently promoted awareness of mental illness writing anonymous reflections to each other.

He congratulated the students, staff and volunteers who put together the musical Mary Poppins.  It was an impressive performance.

The Future is Mine team brought alumnus Paul Salopek to speak to students about his career as an engineer at Westinghouse.

Mr. Bulger stated the Park School App is working well.  Parents are using it for menus, announcements and information.

The Kids of Steel program at Barrett Elementary School was featured on KDKA TV.  The kids are learning to eat healthy and exercise to lead a healthy life.

Student Representatives’ Reports

Ms. Isabella Furrick reported the Seussical was a hit, and the parents enjoyed the show at Barrett Elementary School. The Cash Bash sponsored by the Barrett PTO and held at the Whitaker Fire Hall was successful.

A Family Night for grades 2, 3 and 4 would be held on March 27 from 6:00-7:30 p.m., and the Black History Month program will be held on March 29 beginning at 9 a.m. at Barrett School.

At Park Elementary School, Isabella reported that Dr. Seuss week was great, and the Tournament of Books went very well.  The students loved the Mad Science assembly held at Park School.  Everyone is excited about the My Special Person Dance to be held on Friday and also for Spring Break.

Senior Student Board Representative Abby Ferson stated that the seniors had a great time at Splash Lagoon.  Thank you to Mrs. McCallister for putting in the time to make the trip happen, and to the chaperones, Mr. McCallisterMs. Dolton and Mr. Goga.

The annual fundraising event to Painting with a Purpose has become one that students look forward to.   Thanks to Mrs. McCallister, Mrs. Lyons and Mrs. Wright for their time, and thank you to the students for painting for a great cause—Humane Animal Rescue Center!

The musical Mary Poppins was absolutely wonderful.  Thank you to every single person who had a hand in the performance.

Abby thanked the French Club for working with the elementary students as they celebrated Dr. Seuss Day.

The 9th grade students had an opportunity to spend the morning at Steel Center to determine if they are interested in attending next year.

Freshmen have almost completed their first lesson as part of the iCare Career Readiness ProgramMr. Novak has been working with them in small groups on interest inventories and career exploration.  Please talk to your freshman about what they learned!

The main focus in the middle school this month is PSSA testing.  ELA testing for students in grades 5-8 would be held on April 10, 11 and 12, and Math testing would be held on April 17 and 18.  Science testing is scheduled for 8thgrade students on April 24 and 25.

Superintendent’s Report

Mr. Wehrerrecognized the achievements of students and distributed Certificates of Recognition to each of them.

  • Morgan Farrah achieved and exceeded 1,000 career points in basketball and was recognized by KDKA TV as an Extra Effort Award winner.
  • High School Drama Club put together an outstanding performance of Mary Poppins. Mr. Wehrer added that this year’s performance was brilliant.  Mr. Altman noted that this musical had the best attendance in a decade.
  • At the District 8 Skills USA competition, Andrew Votedian placed 1st in Plumbing-Building Trades, and Clayton Coppola came in 2nd place for Welding. They will continue to compete at the state level.
  • Extra Effort Award winners at Steel Center are DelMarco Dorsey for Electrical Construction, Myia Gaines for Cosmetology, Nataiya Pace for Cosmetology and Daisy Woolheater for Culinary Arts.
  • Two of our high school students who wrestle with the West Mifflin High School team qualified for the WPIAL championship playoffs. Freshman Tony Salopek was the runner up and Sophomore Gavin Rosso took 5thplace in Section 2.
  • Dylan Matesic and Danielle Long qualified for the WPIBL singles bowling championships.

He noted that the Board would be revising the 2017-2018 school calendar to make-up Wednesday’s school closing. Unfortunately, the spring break will be shortened.  It will begin with an early dismissal on Thursday, March 29, for staff and students. The district will be closed on Friday, March 30, and staff will return on Monday, April 2, for a clerical day. Students will return to school on Tuesday, April 3.

Also the Board would be adopting the 2018-2019 school calendar with the first day of school for all students to be Friday, August 24, and the first day for teachers and staff will be Monday, August 20.  A transition day for students in Kindergarten, 5th and 9th grades only would be on Thursday, August 23.

The last day of school for students would be Thursday, June 6, and this will also be Commencement for the Class of 2019.

Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services Report

Mrs. Borges announced that the next Education Leadership Committee meeting would be held Tuesday, March 27, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Creating Value Design Studio located in the high school.

Kindergarten registration for the 2018-2019 school year is 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.

The April Board meetings are scheduled for Monday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. for the worksession and Thursday, April 19, at 7:00 p.m. for the regular voting meeting in the high school library.

Director of Academics, Information and Technology Report

Mr. Colebank announced that the top 10 seniors, valedictorian and salutatorian would be chosen at the end of the third grading period.  Report cards would be distributed on April 6.

He reported that students participated in the 17-minute National School Walkout with adult supervision and the presence of the School Resource Officer.  Senior students explained to the middle school students the importance of addressing gun violence in American schools.

Solicitor’s Report

The Board adopted the resolution expelling a minor student.

Meeting Minutes

The Board approved the following meeting minutes:

  • February 20, 2018 worksession
  • February 28, 2018 regular meeting

Financial Management

The Board approved the following financial items:

  • General Fund invoices for March 2018 in the amount of $559,837.23
  • General Fund hand checks for February 2018 in the amount of $328,626.88
  • General Fund Revenue Report for February 2018
  • General Fund Expenditure Report for February 2018
  • General Fund Balance Sheet for February 2018
  • Food Service invoices in the amount of $32,369.57
  • Food Service Revenue Report for February 2018
  • Food Service Expenditure Report for February 2018
  • Food Service Balance Sheet for February 2018
  • Payroll Funding Transfers for February 2018
  • High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for February 2018
  • Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for February 2018
  • Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for February 2018
  • External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for February 2018
  • Exonerated the West Homestead real estate tax collector for the 2017 real estate taxes in the amount of $121,737.16


The Board approved the facility rental requests as presented plus an additional request for Park School gym on March 22.

Co-Curricular Leadership

The Board approved the fundraising requests as presented.

Special Assignments

Mr. Olsonadded how proud he is of our students at Steel Center.  Their achievements show commitment and drive in the programs.

Educational Leadership

The Board approved the following items:

  • Educational Services Agreement and the Notice of Adoption of Policies, Procedures and Use of Funds Agreement between the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and the Steel Valley School District for the 2018-2019 school year and authorized the appropriate officials to execute the agreements
  • Education of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Letter of Agreement between the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and the Steel Valley School District and authorized the appropriate officials to execute said agreements
  • Revised the 2017-2018 school calendar as presented
  • Adopted the 2018-2019 official school calendar as presented
  • 2018-2019 Academic Handbook for the Senior High School

Communications and Technology

Mrs. Ligeros reported that the new website is moving along.  She attended a Matrix Design workshop in which six middle school students were learning how to start a business.


Personnel Management

The Board approved the following items:

  • Child Rearing Leave of Absence for Julie Kamnikar concurrent with her Family Medical Leave of Absence beginning April 29, 2018, through the end of the 1st semester of the 2018-2019 school year, according to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement
  • Lindsey Conley and Ashley Dreistadt as day-to-day substitute teachers for the 2017-2018 school year at the approved daily rate, contingent upon receipt of current Act 34, 114 and 151 clearances, compliance with Act 168 of 2014, and passing physical and drug screening tests
  • Asyia Hunter as a contracted Behavioral Health Consultant for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year at a rate of $45.00 per hour not to exceed $10,000, contingent upon receipt of current clearances
  • Emily Doyle as a volunteer for Girls Softball for the 2017-2018 school year, contingent upon receipt of current clearances