Board Briefs

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APRIL 2020 BOARD BRIEF
STEEL VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
 

Memorial Books

The School Board acknowledged the passing of Maitland M. Lebedda, husband of Janice Lebedda, retired school nurse; Paul Cain, Jr., husband of Dianne Cain, attendance/residency checker; Martin Holewinski, father of Colleen Andreyo, retired business office secretary; Steve DeAugustino, retired teacher and wrestling coach from the Munhall School District; Janice M. Metcalfe, niece of Jean Emro, high school paraprofessional, and cousin of David Emro, cyber coordinator; Jon A. Larson, father of Erika Tkach, high school chemistry teacher; and Joseph D. “Rooster” Fleming, father of Jill Fleming-Salopek, former administrator, teacher, and literacy coach, and grandfather of Anthony, Kelsey and Kylie Salopek, secondary school students. 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, could not say enough good things about the staff—from the teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals to the custodians, food service and secretaries. There are challenges in distance learning; the job is incredible. He is proud to be part of Steel Valley.

The leadership team has put together a week of activities for seniors. Another group placed signs in the yards of senior students. Staff are emailing and holding ZOOM meetings to check in on students. The food service staff is providing meals everyday. The true spirit and the heart of people are the good coming from this situation. Mr. Bulger applauded these efforts.

He announced that the school district applied for an Equity in Education grant in the amount of $83,000, and we will be receiving approximately $77,000. Representative Austin Davis is an advocate for the Steel Valley area, and we appreciate his efforts for this grant during this unprecedented time.

Superintendent’s Report

Mr. Wehrer announced that as of April 17, the food service department has distributed 10,338 meal bags, which are over 20,000 meals. This is a significant amount of meals for children in our communities. He thanked Lisa Runco, food service director, and all the food service staff or their commitment to feeding families.

We are remembering Bill Campbell, our friend and patron, who passed away four years ago this month. We miss him.

Representatives of the Family Support Program contacted over 500 families to check on their well-being. They sent out COVID-19 information to 182 families. As the stay at home order continues, if you or someone in your family needs assistance, the Family Support Program in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh is available to talk with.

There is no one losing as much of their school year as the Class of 2020. Mr. Wehrer was grateful to the committee who created and displayed the signs in the yards of seniors. He also thanked the team who worked to put together Senior Week, which includes graduation ceremony, prom, academic awards dinner and National Honor Society induction the week of June 22. 

President Trump signed the CARES Act in the amount of $2 trillion, $13.2 billion of which was targeted for K-12 education. As part of the Act, Steel Valley School District will receive part of the $407 million allocated to Pennsylvania. This funding will allow the district to focus on the gaps of critical skills and literacy of elementary students. We will prepare for the worst and hope for the best by building capacity for any additional shutdowns. Professional developmentfor teachers will be needed as we move forward with distance learning. Developing a learningmanagement system for students and providing for our special needs population will be apriority.

Mr. Wehrer added an important message to students who are not doing much work. He asked them for their best effort. We are here to help. If anyone wants to talk or needs assistance, please contact the Family Support Line at 412-464-3673 or call the county help line at 211. We want to help.

On Saturday, Joe McCain provided over 600 boxes of fresh produce for families in the Steel Valley communities. Mr. Wehrer thanked the district volunteers, Family Center representatives and the Batch Center volunteers for coming together to distribute the food. There is a compassion for one another and toughness in Steel Valley people. He is proud to be an IRONMAN.

Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services’ Report

Mrs. Borges is planning for the Extended School Year Program (ESY) this summer. She is planning to go virtual but hoping students will be able to walk into our schools this summer. ESY is scheduled for June 29 – July 23 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

A ZOOM Parent Training will be conducted by Jennifer Fandray, licensed psychologist, on Mindfulness, Relaxation and Grounding for the adolescent mind. Mrs. Borges noted that our success coaches and licensed professionals are continuing their efforts to help students and families.

Director of Academics, Information & Technology’s Report

Mr. Colebank reported that he is available and in the office everyday to answer questions about iPads and other technology questions. He can provide replacement equipment if needed. Contact him at 412-464-3600 ext. 1555. He added that Comcast has installed hot spots in the community for families to connect to WiFi.

Training has started for the new student information system Sapphire. We will run ProSoft’s student system until October. They will run side-by-side for this time period only. Most secondary students have their iPads at home, but if an iPad is at school, please contact the principal to make arrangements to pick it up.  An Alert Now message will be going out to secondary (grades 6-12) families. Report cards are being distributed next week.  Included with report cards will be the student’s email and password.  You may contact Mr. Colebank at 412-464-3600 ext. 1555 if you need assistance. 

Meeting Minutes

The Board approved the March 26, 2020, worksession and regular meeting minutes.

Financial Management

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 April 2020 in the amount of $271,909.248

  • General Fund hand checks for March 2020 in the amount of $2,111,249.00

  • General Fund Revenue Report for March 2020

  • General Fund Expenditure Report for March 2020

  • General Fund Balance Sheet for March 2020

  • Food Service invoices for March 2020 in the amount of $33,333.31

  • Food Service Revenue Report for March 2020

  • Food Service Expenditure Report for March 2020

  • Food Service Balance Sheet for March 2020

  • Payroll Funding Transfers for March 2020

  • High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for March 2020

  • External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for March 2020

  • Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for March 2020

  • Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for March 2020

  • Capital Reserve Balance Sheet, Revenue and Expenses for March 2020

  • 2019 Capital Project Balance Sheet, Revenue and Expenses for March 2020

  • BDA Engineering, Inc., for phase III completion of services in the amount of $1,298.00; Kudravy Architects, LLC, for assisting in completing bid documents in the amount of $5,696.00; and approved Tri-State Reprographics, Inc., for the printing of plans and specifications in the amount of $247.35 on the Steel Valley High School/Middle School HVAC upgrades. The funds will be paid out of the 2019 Capital Project Fund.

  • Proposed Final General Budget for 2020-2021 with a millage rate of 25.088 an increase of .8710 mill. The General Fund Revenues are projected at $36,026,900 and the Expenditures are projected to be $39,198,002. The Deficit of $3,171,102 will be partially absorbed by the General Fund’s Fund Balance.

Operations

Mr. Bulger noted that if the stay at home order is lifted and allows for use of facilities, the district would allow use of our facilities again.

Co-Curricular Leadership 

The Board approved a fundraising request.

Special Assignments 

Mrs. Ligeros stated that distance learning at Steel Center Career and Technical Education began on March 30. Seniors must complete their career action plans. New student enrollment is to be done online on the Steel Center Career and Technical Education website

Educational Leadership

The School Board approved the following items: 

  • 2020-2021 Middle School Academic Handbook

  • Special Education Plan Report for July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2023

  • Use of Funds Agreement between the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and the District for the 2020-2021 school year and authorized the appropriate officials to execute said agreement

  • Accepted a donation of $100.00 from Bruce C. Piker for computers being supplied to our students in recognition of teachers Jodi Geyer and Mariann Reilly 2020-2021 school calendar

  • Revised the 2019-2020 school calendar and designated February 7, April 1, 2 and 3, 2020, as Flexible Instructional Days, and changed the June 3 clerical day to June 2

  • Revisions to the 2020-2021 Senior High School Academic Handbook as presented

Ms. Adams thanked Mr. Piker for the donation.

Communications

Mrs. Fitzgerald asked Mrs. Borges to coordinate a meeting on dealing with anxiety for students and parents. She thanked the teachers and administrators for establishing a Senior Week, and she thanked the committee for the signs in the yards of seniors. 

Mrs. Ligeros thanked Holli Bobick, Park paraprofessional, for holding the morning announcements and asking students to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.