FEBRUARY 2021 BOARD BRIEF
STEEL VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
The School Board acknowledged the passing of John V. Karadus, uncle of Mary Yuhas, School Board member, and Clay Karadus, middle school Dean of Students; Charlene J. Huey, volunteer with the Steel Valley Marching Band; Marcia A. Price, retired 4th grade teacher, Barrett Elementary School; Thomas McCarthy, uncle of Lynn Cochrane, middle school paraprofessional, and Beth Cannon, former School Board member 2003-2015; Christopher J. Phares, father of Alyse and Cooper Phares, middle school and high school students; Francis B. Furrick, father-in-law of Christine Furrick, middle school paraprofessional; and Joseph J. Karadus, cousin of Mary Yuhas, School Board member, and Clay Karadus, middle school Dean of Students. It was moved by Mr. Colasante and seconded by Mrs. Yuhas to place appropriate books into the school libraries in their memory.
Board President’s Report
Mr. Bulger, welcomed the citizens in the audience as well as the folks on Facebook. He noted that the live feed has been improved. He announced that on Monday students would be returning to school for four days of live instruction, if they choose to. He thanked everyone for their hard work getting us to this point. He is encouraged that this will be a safe transition to the next phase of learning.
Student Representative’s Report
Ben Novotny, Junior Student Representative to the School Board, reported that students at Park Elementary School are happy to be back to school in-person, and they have been doing a great job!
This month, students have been working on a variety of grade-level activities in celebration of Black History Month. For example, fourth graders compared Picasso's portraits with the African masks that inspired him, and then students created African-inspired masks in art class. In music they explored how jazz came into existence and laid the foundation for a variety of other types of music, including rock 'n roll, which would not be around today if not for jazz. In science and social studies classes, students researched African Americans who made a difference and created a presentation for their classmates. Students in other grades completed a variety of activities in celebration of Black History Month (BHM)!
At Barrett Elementary School, The Educational Partnership donated school supplies, cleaning supplies and 1,000 masks to the school. Black History Month is being celebrated and students are completing various assignments related to BHM. The Barrett Events Committee is working with many local businesses handing out posters related to BHM to place in their front windows. Many pictures of the artwork are posted on the information board at the Waterfront.
The PTO conducted a fundraiser and earned close to $1,000 on this month's hoagie sale. Pizza and Family Game Night took place on February 9, and over 30 families participated in the bingo games as they made their pizza. Pizza kits were provided to interested families.
On February 12, the Queen of Hearts visited the Kindergarten class virtually. Mid-year Kindergarten conferences have been taking place during the last week, and preparation for next year's Kindergarten sign up is underway at Barrett.
Attendance awards will be handed out at the end of the month for students who displayed quality attendance throughout the month of February.
Ben also reported that the Middle School Student Government conducted a Random Act of Kindnesscampaign. The students posted signage around the school and in the cafeteria. They also provided special treats for students as they leave the building. Included in the treat bags were a piece of candy, inspirational bracelet, hand wipes, and a message about spreading acts of kindness to those around them.
Also, the Middle School Student Government delivered over 60 baskets (it may be close to 70) to Jefferson Hospital for its workers during #helptheheroes campaign. Thank you to everyone that donated to this project; it really surpassed their expectations. Students were featured in the “Proud to be from Pittsburgh” segment on WPXI’s news on Friday, February 19.
Mr. Hofbauer, 8th grade science teacher, received a grant award from Donors Choose to purchase three flat screen televisions for room 17. He plans to utilize the TVs to incorporate virtual posters for real-world events, such as, the Hays eagles’ nest and other science based events that may be occurring around the globe. The middle school administration and staff conducted various activities and lessons for Black History Month.
In the high school, the application process to enroll in Steel Center for Career and Technical Education is now on-line and functional. Currently 23 students have registered for the next SAT school day on April 13. Two new local scholarships are available for seniors to apply for college funding. The Senior Prom is scheduled for May 7, and outdoor options are being explored since an inside venue is not possible. The senior snowtubing trip is scheduled for Wednesday, February 24, at Hidden Valley.
Live streaming is taking place in all classrooms with minimal issues. Professional development took place on February 15 training teachers how to successfully live stream from the classroom. Four Steel Center students have been nominated to the National Technical Honor Society. Seniors have been provided information about the Duquesne Light Boot Camp, in which students would attend a six-week training for a possible career. The next virtual College Fair is February 28 from 1-7p.m.
Mr. Wehrer congratulated Steel Center Student Malaysia McCutcheon on earning an Extra Effort Award in Health Assistant for the second grading period. He added that our students do well at Steel Center.
Mr. Wehrer noted that students are celebrating Black History Month through projects and activities in all the schools. He pointed out that Ms. Hoffman and Ms. Geyer are teaching a poetry unit on African American and female poets, such as, the poem “The Hill We Climb” written by Amanda Gorman and Langston Hughes, the leader of the Harlem Renaissance.
Jonette Bost and Sharon Kampe have been doing amazing things for Black History Month. Because of the pandemic, they were unable to host the living wax museum that they did last year, which was truly spectacular and involved our high school students along with our elementary students. This year they came up with a community wide program called, “Taking it to the Streets,” a walking book tour that promotes racial equality, education and positivity.
Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services’ Report
Mrs. Borges announced there would be a Zoom parent training on Autism coming up on March 10, starting at 6:00 p.m. Andrea Morris would be doing the presentation, and she is an educational consultant from the Watson Institute. She also works with our special education staff.
Director of Academics, Information & Technology’s Report
Mr. Colebank reported that the end of the 3rd nine weeks will be at the end of March and that will set the Steel Valley rank for our seniors. This is a reminder to all students, not just the seniors, to make sure their assignments are completed and turned in. He expressed how the second part of the year is even more important than the first part of the year, because grades are considered for students to go on certain field trips, required prerequisites for certain classes, and eligibility for sports and club activities for the following year.
Mr. Colebank also touched on the new televisions Mr. Hofbauer will have in his room for electronic postings, he said that they are also doing similar projects throughout the District. They are testing to replace the Apple TVs, soundboards and projectors in the classroom with televisions.
The Board approved the meeting minutes of:
- January 14, 2021 special meeting
- January 25, 2021 worksession
- January 28, 2021 regular meeting
The Board approved the following items:
- General Fund invoices for February 2021 in the amount of $243,147.44
- General Fund hand checks for January 2021 in the amount of $1,333,352.79
- General Fund Revenue Report for January 2021
- General Fund Expenditure Report for January 2021
- General Fund Balance Sheet for January 2021
- Food Service invoices for January 2021 in the amount of $17,048.21
- Food Service Revenue Report for January 2021
- Food Service Expenditure Report for January 2021
- Food Service Balance Sheet for January 2021
- Payroll Funding Transfers for November and January 2021
- Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for January 2021
- High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for January 2021
- Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for January 2021
- External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for January 2021
- Refund to JCCP Properties LLC, Lot & Block 181-A-174 in the amount of $1,280.54 for year 2020
- Placed out for bid the general school supplies and athletic supplies, which will be advertised in a paper of general circulation and placed on our website for ease of use by bidders
- Exonerated the delinquent realty taxes of the Homestead Cemetery Company, Block and Lot 131-M-175 pursuant to 72 P.S. 5511.37, and authorized the Solicitor to petition the Court of Common Pleas to exonerate all tax liens on said realty
The Board approved the following items:
- Facility usage requests as presented
- Entered into a 60-month lease for the mail management system as presented at a monthly cost of $185.87 or $557.61 per quarter
The Board approved the fundraising request as presented.
Mrs. Ligeros extended her congratulations to Malaysia McCutcheon as well. Mrs. Ligeros stated that Steel Center is scheduling current students from March 1-14 for the 2021-2022 school year. They will coordinate the process online for students to re-enroll.
The window for new students to enroll in Steel Center is currently open. Perspective new students and families can visit the Steel Center website and go to the perspective new students page. New Steel Center promotional videos and 3D virtual tours would be available on the website.
Mon Valley will be releasing new promotion videos the first week of March as well. They are also continuing with their social commitment to raise money and to sponsor a food truck to come to Mon Valley for lunches for staff members and they are also moving forward with their playground equipment.
The Board approved the following items:
- 2021-2022 Allegheny Intermediate Unit Program of Services Budget totaling $2,161,057.00
- Use of Funds Agreement between the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and the Steel Valley School District for the 2021-2022 school year and authorized the appropriate officials to execute said agreement
- Accepted a donation of $110.00 from Dr. Mary Cay Rojtas-Milliner for gardening supplies
- Revised the 2020-2021 school calendar and designated February 15 as an Act 80 day, April 5 as a holiday and April 6 as a clerical day.
The School Board approved the following items:
- Family Medical Leave of Absence for Employee No. 135 effective March 2, 2021, not to exceed 60 days in duration
- Sabbatical Leave of Absence for the restoration of health for Employee No. 505 effective March 4, 2021, through the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year under the terms and conditions of Article XV of the collective bargaining agreement and Policy 338
- Accepted, with regret, the retirement of Mary Jo Sklencar, effective at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Mr. Wehrer praised Mrs. Sklencar for a fantastic performance in her job duties. She served on the Safety Committee, coordinated Strong Women, Strong Girls program, and the After School Program at Park School. He thanked her for all the things she does for the students.
- Hired Josephine Owens as a cafeteria general worker in the Senior High School at the probationary rate of $11.70 per hour for 90 days and $13.00 per hour after 90 days are completed, with all benefits of the current collective bargaining agreement, no health benefits, contingent upon receipt of current Act 34, 114 and 151 clearances, in compliance with Act 168 and passing the pre-employment screenings, which must be completed within 30 days
- Appointed Amy Lewkowicz as a Districtwide Paraeducator at a rate of $10.70 per hour plus $1.50 per hour for highly qualified status on a mutually agreed upon date
- Appointed Marina Donovan as a Districtwide Paraeducator at a rate of $10.70 per hour plus $1.50 per hour for highly qualified status on a mutually agreed upon date, contingent upon receipt of current clearances, compliance with Act 168, and passing pre-employment screenings, which must be completed in 30 days
- Spring athletic supplemental positions as presented for the 2020-2021 school year
- Adopted a Memorandum of Understanding between the District and the Steel Valley Education Association as presented
- Adopted a Memorandum of Understanding between the District and the Steel Valley Secretarial/Aide Education Support Professionals as presented
- Adopted a Memorandum of Understanding between the District and the Steel Valley Educational Support Personnel Association as presented