OCTOBER 2020 BOARD BRIEF
STEEL VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
The School Board acknowledged the passing of Thomas G. Roberts, a retired custodian. It was moved by Mr. Rojtas and seconded by Mrs. Yuhas to place appropriate books into the school libraries in their memory.
Board President’s Report
Mr. Bulger, welcomed the community members to the board meeting. He stated that the District is doing the best that it can for all students and staff members, and the best learning is done in the classroom in front of our qualified teachers. The remote learning has worked well, but it is not perfect and is not going to work forever. Unfortunately, it is not possible to promote hybrid and synchronous and remote learning. The plan has been revised adding an asynchronous remote option not cyber school for students in grades 6-12. This will provide the best quality education by some of the best teachers. He appreciates the work by the team for the creation of this educational plan.
Student Representative’s Report
Ms. Kristen Craycraft, Senior Student Representative to the School Board, reported that for the third consecutive year, Park Elementary School’s Positive Intervention and Support Program is being recognized by the state. The program encompasses school culture, student behavior, communications, safety, and security. The school received a perfect score on its last state evaluation. The teachers and staff have presented at regional and state conferences.
Kindergartners have been learning a lot online this year. They had the chance to talk to their teachers and new friends, plus color, dance, hear a story, and so much more.
Paraprofessionals Mrs. Craycraft and Mrs. Deutsch were recently featured on Channel 11's “Proud to be From Pittsburgh” segment for the wonderful work they have done with their "Where in Steel Valley are Miss Vicki and Mrs. Craycraft?" videos.
Barrett Elementary School provided the students with information regarding Fire Safety and Bullying throughout the month on the Google Office Classroom. A welcome back event for the students is planned for October 29 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. outside in the front of the building. There will be a food drive at Barrett on October 29 in the Campbell Gymnasium from 2:00-6:00 p.m.
Awards were presented to 90 middle school students recognizing their hard work during the remote learning sessions. Students in each grade level were selected by their teachers.
Kristen congratulated the soccer, volleyball, and cross country teams for an awesome job and great sportsmanship this season.
Middle School Student Government has started an October sock drive. There is a drop-off box located in the high school lobby for donations. Students also have been producing short videos for the elementary students to view. Congratulations to the following students.
Story Read Aloud
High school staff is teaching synchronously via Zoom. A survey for district families is being conducted to gather information. Families can choose either in-person or remote learning.
Eighty ninth grade students attended the transition day. Student Council members helped with the transition day, and students and teachers reported the day went very well. Athletic forms have been created in the Sapphire system.
According to Governor Wolf’s relaxed regulations, all spectators are welcome to attend our sporting events. Progress reports were mailed to students and families. Administration was able to view the process of sanitizing classrooms.
The girls soccer team has ended their regular season undefeated. The first playoff game was at Campbell Field on October 24.
SATs were given to only Steel Valley high school students on October 14. Twenty-three students attended a live virtual meeting with a FAFSA representative held on October 15. The RAPTOR system is in the process of being updated.
Mr. Wehrer recognized Vicki Deutsch and Mary Jo Craycraft, who were featured on a segment of Channel 11’s “Proud to be from Pittsburgh” for their wonderful video project entitled, “Where in Steel Valley are Miss Vicki and Mrs. Craycraft?” These paraprofessionals modeled their project after Mr. Rogers while they videotaped themselves mailing a letter and getting a haircut. Mr. Wehrer added that this was a wonderful way of being creative and bringing positivity to the community. They were nominated by Special Education Teacher Lori Oleksak.
Second grade teacher Jonette Bost has been selected to receive funding from an AIU OnRamp Grant for remote learning, which will help students to think like scientists. Her proposal was selected for its emphasis on creativity. A total of 188 proposals were submitted, and 32 were selected for funding. She will receive two different Magic School Bus Science Kits worth $1,650.
Ms. Bost was awarded $300 for winning first place in the Positive Promotions Black History Month 2020 Contest. This year’s Black History Month project at Barrett Elementary School was outstanding, unique and creative, including high school students and community members. Ms. Bost and her team are well deserving of this award.
Mr. Wehrer announced that the Varsity Girls Soccer team won the WPIAL 1A Section. They won the quarterfinal game 7-0 on Monday, and the semifinal playoff game 5-1. The team’s athleticism and teamwork is inspirational. Good luck to the Lady Ironmen as they continue in the playoffs.
A food distribution was held at Barrett earlier today. Thanks to Mrs. Jamie Ducar and the University of Pittsburgh for providing 360 food kits. Each food kit equaled 10 meals for a family. Mr. Wehrer also thanked Dave Colasante who was instrumental in making the food distribution available in the Steel Valley community. Thanks to Kevin Walsh, Alyson Fisher and the Barrett staff for their time and effort in distributing the food kits.
Mr. Wehrer reported that the parent survey responses indicated that two-thirds of parents preferred in-school instruction, and one-third preferred remote learning.
Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services’ Report
Mrs. Borges congratulated Mary Jo Craycraft and Vicki Deutsch for thinking outside the box and reaching the students and community with their video project. Great job.
The following activities are coming up:
November 6 Clerical Day. No School for Students
November 10 Report Card Distribution
November 11 Elementary Parent/Teacher Conferences No School for Barrett
& Park Students
November 12 Secondary Parent/Teacher Conferences No School for MS &
November 26 – 30 Thanksgiving Holiday No School for Students
November 30 Staff Inservice Day No School for Students
December 1 School Resumes for Students
Director of Academics, Information & Technology’s Report
Mr. Colebank stated that the District acquired new technology equipment for students this year. He wants to be sure students are taking care of the iPads. He added that students should not change their name or do anything inappropriate on their iPads.
He asked parents to create their own login in Sapphire and check off whether they want to receive voice mails, phone calls or texts (SMS). The District will use this as a communication tool to reach parents.
The Board adopted a resolution recognizing Coyleen Steele as a Friend of Steel Valley in honor of her distinguished service on the Board of School Directors. Financial Management The Board approved the following financial items:
- General Fund invoices for October 2020 in the amount of $529,430.10
- General Fund hand checks for September 2020 in the amount of $2,278,660.01
- General Fund Revenue Report for September 2020
- General Fund Expenditure Report for September 2020
- General Fund Balance Sheet for September 2020
- Food Service invoices for September 2020 in the amount of $27,732.69
- Food Service Revenue Report for September 2020
- Food Service Expenditure Report for September 2020
- Food Service Balance Sheet for September 2020
- Payroll Funding Transfers for September 2020
- High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for September 2020
- External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for September 2020
- Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for September 2020
Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for September 2020
Lugaila Mechanical, Inc. Pay Application #5 $362,592.79
BDA Engineering , Inc. Invoice #191101-9 $2,928.29
A-1 Electric, Inc. Pay Application #4 $46,722.37
P2 Contracting, LLC Invoice #AIA 4-Retainage $31,959.02
The funds will be paid out of the 2019 Capital Project Fund for the HS/MS HVAC Project.
- Special Sick Leave for PSERS credit purposes for the following employees for emergency sick leave taken for the employee’s own illness or quarantine under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for Employee Numbers 505, 1329, 997, 366 and 1330
The Board approved the following items:
- Facility rentals as presented
- Change Order for $6,865.38 for additional ductwork for the HS/MS HVAC Project
- Amended Health and Safety Plan as presented
- Status Report of MS/HS HVAC Project for informational purposes
The Board approved the fundraising requests as presented.
The Board approved the donation from Grow Pittsburgh in the amount of $250 for compost, topsoil, soil amendments, straw and garlic to be used in the Franklin garden.
The School Board approved the following items:
- Granted tenure to Christie Barron and authorized the Board President and Board Secretary to execute the Professional Employee Contract
- Created an Act 93 position of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator and approved the job description as presented. This position will be paid through an A-TSI grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
- Accepted, with regret, the retirement of Denise Blasko, effective January 5, 2021
- Disability Leave, Income Protection for Employee No. 1245, retroactive to October 6, 2020, and receive 60% of monthly earnings and benefits as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement for the support personnel
- Jeromie Lambert as a substitute custodian, contingent upon receipt of current clearances and passing the District’s pre-employment screenings
- Winter sports supplementals as presented for the 2020-2021 school year
- Intermittant family medical leave of absence for Employee No. 1037 retroactive to October 26, 2020, not to exceed 60 days in duration
- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as presented