APRIL 2019 BOARD BRIEF
STEEL VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
The School Board acknowledged the passing of John T. O’Leary, brother-in-law of Loren Ford, and Carletta Williams, aunt of Loren Ford, administration building/middle school custodian; Diane Beck, aunt of Nicole Strom, instructional resource teacher and John Strom, Secondary Associate Principal; Anna Bodnar, grandmother of Jennifer Brennan, middle school/high school special education teacher; Michael S. Orell, father-in-law of Clay Karadus, Dean of Students at the middle school; Bonnie Colebank; aunt of Edward Colebank, Director of Academics, Information & Technology; and Ruth D. Toth, cousin of Sandy Ardale, high school food service staff. It was moved by Mr. Olson and seconded by Mrs. Yuhas to place a selection of appropriate books into the school libraries in their memory.
Board President’s Report
Mr. Bulger thanked the Steel Center students for coming to the School Board meeting to be recognized for their achievements.
One of the most important things the Board does is pass the budget. He added that the charter school costs never go down. This coming year, $6.1 million is budgeted for students that do not step foot in our school district. In Pennsylvania, we call this school choice. This is alarming.
Comparing our elementary school student assessment scores to that of charter school students, the charter school students score lower than our elementary students. Mr. Bulger would like to see charter schools lose their charter when they are not performing as well as the brick and mortar school students.
There is legislation in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, which would give a little relief to school districts. If this legislation passes, a school district that has a cyber charter program would not have to pay tuition to external cyber charter schools. This is a step in the right direction.
He noted that one of our teachers helped acquire tuition for one of our students to attend the National Student Government Conference in June. Mr. Bulger added that we have the best teachers in Steel Valley, and he appreciates the work that the teachers, administrators, custodians and staff do for Steel Valley.
Student Representatives’ Reports
Miss Isabella Furrick, senior representative to the School Board, announced that Ms. Noblet’s middle school class started selling food and drinks to staff members using a mobile snack cart that they call the Ironmen Café. This program helps the students practice essential communication and social skills as well as math concepts.
Mr. Large, fifth grade teacher, was recognized April 7 at PNC Park for winning the Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Teacher Award.
On April 10, the Stand Together team was recognized at the Heinz History Center for its accomplishments throughout the year. Abby Novak and Bre Francis spoke about the projects the group implemented with a $1,000 grant from the Office of Behavioral Health
The Middle School Drama Club began rehearsing for its production of Cheating History. The show takes place on May 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.
Thirty-eight Student Government members from the middle school attended the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils (PASC) conference at Chartiers Valley. Chelsea Bulger was awarded a $700 scholarship to attend the National Student Council Conference this June at South Fayette High School along with thousands of students across the nation. Student Government is cleaning up Trautman Field as an Earth Day project. Students will clean up trash, wash playground equipment, and paint tables to assist the Steel Valley Youth Baseball League.
On April 2, twenty-five of The Future is Mine (TFIM) students toured the Google offices to learn about careers in technology.
Report cards for the third nine-week grading period were distributed on April 3.
The Caring Closet, a place in the high school for students who are in need of toiletries and clothes, was featured on KDKA TV and in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
High school academic handbooks and course selection sheets were distributed to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to choose their academic courses for the 2019-2020 school year.
The scholarship committee met to identify applicants for local scholarships.
The final Career Collaboration meeting for seniors will take place on April 24.
On April 25, several members on the High School Student Council will travel to PNC Park to watch a Pirates game with other student council members across western Pennsylvania.
Junior School Board Representative Channing Griffin reported on the April activities at Barrett Elementary School, which included a visit to the Kindergarten classes from the Queen of Hearts. A PTO meeting was held to finalize the grade-level field trips and the Special Person and Me Dance being held on April 26. Dental exams were conducted for students in grades one and three. The Girls on the Run team participated in an event at the Peterson Event Center.
The PSSA exams for English Language Arts were conducted at Barrett Elementary School and they went very well. Mrs. Andzelik is completing a schoolwide service project collecting plastic bags at Barrett School, which will be recycled at local stores.
At Park School, the third and fourth grade students did a great job on their English Language Arts PSSA tests. The kids worked hard and put forth a lot of effort. They will be taking their Math and Science tests in one week. In May, Park School will hold its All School Revue and Government Day Parade.
Mr. Wehrer announced the academic focus of the meeting is the achievements of our students in the Steel Center Career and Technical Education programs. Steel Center Executive Director Kevin Rice stated that career and technical education is a path to success. He noted that four-year colleges are not always the way to the middle class. There is a growing need for electricians, construction workers, welders, health care workers and graphic designers. These students are learning power skills, making friends and learning how to interact with others.
Two students spoke about their experiences at Steel Center. Madison Rose, a junior and second year Cosmetology student, plans to get her cosmetology license through Steel Center because it is financially beneficial. Evan Riley is enrolled in the Welding program, and he would like to acquire a job with the Steamfitters or a career in fabricating using his welding skills. There is a growing need for workers with these skills, and welding will provide him with a good paying career. Mr. Rice mentioned that the current welding classes would be involved in creating the framework for a project with the Rivers of Steel and US Marshals organizations.
Mr. Rice recognized the following Steel Valley students:
Mr. Olson stated that our students do exceptionally well at Steel Center.
Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services’ Report
Mrs. Borges announced several events coming up in the next month:
Director of Academics, Information & Technology’s Report
Mr. Colebank thanked the local medical emergency providers for sending one of their staff members, at no cost, to conduct the CPR training on the wellness day. He added that the Velcro cases for eight Epi-pens have arrived.
He stated that parents need to be aware that some of their children are opting to block their phones from receiving calls from the school district so parents do not receive a call about their child’s absenteeism. Mr. Colebank added that parents should check their accounts.
The Board approved the following meeting minutes:
- March 25, 2019 worksession
- March 28, 2019 regular meeting
The Board approved the following financial items:
- General Fund invoices for April 2019 in the amount of $186,184.99
- General Fund hand checks for March 2019 in the amount of $1,857,787.64
- General Fund Revenue Report for March 2019
- General Fund Expenditure Report for March 2019
- General Fund Balance Sheet for March 2019
- Food Service invoices for March 2019 in the amount of $37,615.95
- Food Service Revenue Report for March 2019
- Food Service Expenditure Report for March 2019
- Food Service Balance Sheet for March 2019
- Payroll Funding Transfers for March 2019
- External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for March 2019
- High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for March 2019
- Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for March 2019
- Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for March 2019
- Capital Projects Balance Sheet for March 2019
- Capital Projects Revenue for March 2019
- Proposed Final General Fund Budget for 2019-2020 with a millage rate of 24.217 an increase of .728 mill. The General Fund Revenues are projected at $35,384,490 and the Expenditures are projected to be $39,457,581. The deficit of $4,073,091 will be partially absorbed by the General Fund’s Fund Balance.
The Board approved the following items:
- Facility rental requests as presented
- Authorized district officials to execute the Memorandum of Agreement between the school district and the police departments effective for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years
- Five-year proposal by the Borough of Munhall to provide refuse and recycling services at a rate of $1,670.00 per month. The term of this agreement covers July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2024.
The Board approved the fundraising requests as presented.
Mr. Bulger applauded our volunteers because they do so much in fundraising and providing funds for student activities. Special Assignments Mr. Olson thanked Mr. Rice for his presentation on career and technical education. He added that Steel Valley students represent a small percentage of overall students in the morning classes, so it is rewarding to hear that a number of awards are earned by our students. Mr. Olson is proud of their hard work.
The School Board approved the following items:
- Adopted the 2019-2020 official school calendar as presented
- Accepted a donation of $500 from an anonymous donor for The Caring Closet
- Accepted a donation from the Homestead Lions Club to the Steel Valley Class of 2019 for their Senior Breakfast
- Affiliation Agreement between Chatham University and the Steel Valley School District to provide clinical experience for one or more of the programs at Steel Valley • Resolution supporting Senate Bill 34 and House Bill 526 for school districts providing their own cyber learning programs
Mrs. Ligeros thanked the Homestead Lions Club and the anonymous donor for their donations to the students in the Steel Valley Community.
Mr. Bulger added that Chatham University has a great program, especially for athletic trainers, and added his thanks for supporting Steel Valley.
Mrs. Ligeros noted that the school district is planning to reach more folks in the community, and the district is moving forward with plans to get students back to Steel Valley.
The Board hired Kaylee Bachorski as a day-to-day substitute teacher for the 2018-2019 school year at the approved daily rate, contingent upon passing all pre-employment screenings and compliance with Act 168, which must be completed within 30 days.