October 2017 BOARD BRIEF


Memorial Books

The School Board acknowledged the passing of Teresa Walendziewicz, substitute cafeteria worker, and Joseph S. Pilot, retired Homestead and Steel Valley teacher and coach. It was moved by Mrs. Steele and seconded by Mrs. Yuhas to place an appropriate selection of books into the school libraries in their memory.

Board President’s Report

Ms. Colette Youngblood recognized Mrs. Susan Wright, Secondary Art Teacher, and the High School Art Club for their talent in creating a fall display in front of the West Homestead Borough Building. West Homestead Council Member Ashley Cain thanked them in a letter for their cooperation and partnership with the borough.

Student Representatives’ Reports

Ms. Isabella Furrick, junior student representative to the School Board, announced that Park Elementary students loved eating lunch with the fire fighters, and they learned a lot in their classes during Fire Safety Week. Students enjoyed participating in homecoming week activities, too.

The kindergarteners and 1st graders are excited for Halloween Movie Night on Wednesday and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders are looking forward to the Halloween Dance on Friday. Everyone is really looking forward to the parade on Friday!

At Barrett Elementary School, the kindergarten staff is using a new assessment tool ESGI, which allows teachers to gather basic information related to numbers, letters, and colors as well as basic reading and math skills. The MAPS assessment tool is being utilized at the K-2 level in reading and math, and the staff is currently receiving professional development on the full use of the tool.

Barrett students enjoyed a pep rally from the high school band, cheerleaders and football players during homecoming week. They learned about sportsmanship and the value of a good education. The Homestead Fire Department presented a fire safety assembly at Barrett Elementary School, and the students had the opportunity to view the fire trucks and equipment.

Students from Park and Barrett Schools attended a roller skating party at Eden Park Roller Rink earlier in the month, and the evening was successful and well attended.

Senior Student Representative Abigail Ferson reported that 113 sophomores and freshmen took the PSAT test. The USA Test Prep website is available for all students retesting, and they will be able to obtain extra practice before the winter testing session.

Congratulations to Miss Ricci Wright, the 2017 Homecoming Queen, and to the entire homecoming court. This year’s young ladies represented Steel Valley High School very well. Abby thanked Mr. and Mrs. McCallister for their work to make the week special. The dress-up days were a lot of fun, the assembly was great, the elementary assemblies were filled with energy, and the behavior of the students all week was fantastic. Even though the weather forced the postponement of the bonfire, it is going to be rescheduled during playoffs.

Superintendent’s Report

Mr. Wehrer recognized the middle school students and staff for organizing a collection drive for school supplies for students in Sarasota, Florida, and Houston, Texas, affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in September. The organizers Mrs. MacDonald and Mrs. Ryan Dunmire-Kuftic and their 5th & 6th grade students shared the results of their project. The students in the middle school collected 300 pounds of school supplies and held a denim day collecting $400 to use for shipping the supplies. Mrs. MacDonald has a friend in the Sarasota school system that accepted the supplies on behalf of her school, and Mrs. Dunmire-Kuftic’s brother-in-law lives in Houston so he was able to deliver the school supplies to an elementary school. Both schools were thankful for the donations, and the middle school students enjoyed live video Face Time with each other. Kudos to the staff and students for their leadership on this project.

Certificates of Recognition were presented to the following fifth and sixth grade students: Madison McClain, James Fletcher, Patrick Flynn, Thomas Anstiss, Atreyu Convard, Kylie SalopekMadeline Wedig and Madison Gillespie.

The Board recognized Mrs. Susan Ballas as a Friend of Steel Valley. This school year was Sue’s 21st year of service to our community as a School Board member. She served from 1986-1999 and again from 2008 until now. She served as Vice President of the School Board and Chairperson of the Financial, Educational Leadership and Co-Curricular Committees. She has provided leadership and direction to the Steel Valley educational community and demonstrated a commitment to our school district. As a Friend of Steel Valley, a shelf of books shall be placed in the Senior High School Library in honor of Susan Ballas. She was also presented with an Honorary Gold Card for her meritorious service.

Mr. Wehrer thanked Mrs. Ballas for her time and dedication while serving on the School Board. She has been a voice of reason, and she will be greatly missed. He also recognized her support of the students, parents, staff, administrators, and all things Steel Valley. Mrs. Ballas shared that it has been an honor to serve on the School Board. She encouraged parents, Board members and administrators to work together to become an even stronger school district.

Mr. Wehrer encouraged the community to support the Steel Valley students at a fundraiser by our athletic, academic and creative arts students. Funder Under the Bridge will be held at The Waterfront on Sunday, November 5, beginning at noon until 3:00 p.m. The student groups will be offering games, prizes, crafts, and face painting for participants. There is a $5 fee to purchase a wristband for admission. In addition to activity booths, a refreshment booth and raffle basket booth will also be available. Performances by the district chorus, marching band and cheerleaders will also be part of the afternoon.

Mr. Wehrer thanked Mr. Bill McLaughlin, President of the Band Parents’ Association and Funder Under the Bridge Coordinator, for his work to bring about this event. Many thanks to General Manager Carey Kann of The Waterfront for promoting the event with banners, flyers and posters in the communities.

The school district is extremely honored to recognize our local veterans, and this year marks the 35th Annual Veterans Day Program in the Steel Valley High School with the theme, “Overcoming Challenges.” It will be held on Thursday, November 9, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the High School Auditorium. This program is one of the longest running in Western Pennsylvania. Veteran Eugene Pido, Jr., USMC (ret) will be honored during the event. Park Elementary School is holding a recognition program for veterans on November 8, and Barrett’s program will take place on November 21.

Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services Report

Mrs. Borges reported that Park Elementary School would hold its annual Halloween parade on Friday, October 27 at 1:00 p.m., and Barrett will celebrate its Fall Festival and Parade on October 31 at 1:00 p.m. Report cards will be distributed on November 8, and the Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled as


November 13 Barrett and Park Schools 12:00-3:00 and 5:00-8:00 p.m.
November 14 Middle School 12:00-3:00 and 5:00-8:00 p.m.
November 15 Senior High School 12:00-3:00 and 5:00-8:00 p.m.

The High School Drama Club will be performing Web of Murder on November 16, 17 and 18 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

An inservice day for staff is scheduled on Wednesday, November 22, so there will be no school for students on that day. The Thanksgiving break will be November 23-27; school will resume on Tuesday, November 28.

Director of Academics, Information and Technology Report

Mr. Colebank reported secondary students would be trained on using iCloud and Image Capture.

Meeting Minutes

The Board approved the following meeting minutes:

  • September 25, 2017 worksession meeting
  • September 28, 2017 regular meeting

Financial Management

The Board approved the following financial items:

  • General Fund invoices for October 2017 in the amount of $388,903.67
  • General Fund hand checks for 2016-2017 paid in 2017-2018 in the amount of $105,980.45
  • General Fund hand checks for September 2017 in the amount of $1,257,655.36
  • Food Service invoices in the amount of $47,088.70
  • Food Service Revenue Report for September 2017
  • Food Service Expenditure Report for September 2017
  • Food Service Balance Sheet for September 2017
  • Payroll Funding Transfers for September 2017
  • Capital Projects Revenue Report for September 2017
  • Capital Projects Expenditure Report for September 2017
  • Capital Projects Balance Sheet for September 2017
  • High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for September 2017
  • Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for September 2017
  • • External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for September 2017
  • Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for September 2017
  • Refund to Gerald Gilchrist in the amount of $44.33 for year 2015
  • Refund due for Lot & Blocks 130-N-372, 130-N-373 and 130-N-374 to 107 Knox-LP for a total amount due of $834.87 for year 2016


The Board approved the following items:

  • Facility rental requests as presented
  • Permission for Elite Electric Systems LLC to perform electrical infrastructure and field lighting project at the William V. Campbell Athletic Field

Co-Curricular Leadership

The Board approved the following items:

  • Fundraising requests as presented
  • Overnight field trip for the Marching Band and chaperones to perform at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, April 5-8, 2018, at no cost to the district

Communications and Technology

Mr. Bulger announced the opening of the AlleC Bistro at the Waterfront located in the Allegheny Intermediate Unit office building. The café will serve breakfast and lunch and will be staffed by students from the AIU’s three schools for students with special needs. The students will gain life skills for future employment. The café is open to the public.

Educational Leadership

The Board approved the following items:

  • Accepted the donation from Colasante’s Flowers in the Park for homecoming flower bouquets for the homecoming queens, the runners-up and the boutonnieres for the escorts
  • Designated old band uniforms, 11 televisions, 13 overhead projectors, 1 VCR, 1 phonograph and broken desks and chairs as unused uniforms, equipment and furniture and approved disposal of these items

Personnel Management

The Board approved the following items:

  • Joanna Graham as a day-to-day substitute teacher for the 2017-2018 school year at the approved daily rate, contingent upon compliance with Act 168 of 2014, passing a physical exam and passing the screening for controlled substances
  • Winter sports supplementals as presented for the 2017-2018 school year
  • Rescinded the hire of Jill Conway due to her not starting employment in the District
  • Created a long-term substitute special education teaching position for the remainder of the 2017- 2018 school year