Superintendent’s Message December 22, 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians and Community Members,

I would like to share a brief update as we enter into our winter recess.

As the season of Winter Concerts draws to a close may I again express my pride in our students and our faculty for the very high quality of our music program throughout the District? Our students are talented and dedicated in developing their skills; our faculty is talented and dedicated in eliciting the best from our students. Thank you to them and to the parents who so strongly support our music program.

A matter of concern for Upper Dublin continues to be the budget impasse in Harrisburg. As I write we are anticipating the outcome of legislative action to adopt a true budget, avoiding a stop gap measure as has been discussed by legislators. I want to assure our community that while many districts in the Commonwealth report that they are on the brink of not being able to pay their bills; our District is in a position to meet our fiscal responsibilities at least through March. I will keep the community updated as we move forward pending an adopted State budget.

Our District budget development process for the 2016-2017 school year is moving forward. A presentation of the preliminary budget overview to the Board of Directors on December 14 is now posted on the website, under Administration/Business Services. Please check agendas of upcoming committee and Legislative meetings to stay current on the budget development process.

As we look toward beginning the second semester of the school year members of our educational community continue to engage in the work of continuous improvement. Our examination of theDistrict K-12 English/Language Arts program is moving forward with development of a rubric for evaluating various materials and resources, and site visits to school districts that are utilizing different ELA curriculum.  When we return to school, members of the steering committee will make presentations to staff, parents and the Board apprising all stakeholders of the progress being made.  Surveys will also be offered to gain additional stakeholder input.

The Gifted Review Committee is comprised of various stakeholder groups across all levels of the District.  The committee has met twice and plans to reconvene early in 2016. With the support of the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (MCIU) Gifted Liaison, the committee will seek community input to examine strengths and needs of our programs as well as provide recommendations for future growth.

The Task Force revisiting the grade alignment at SRMS will next consider enrollment information, both that provided through the Montgomery County Planning Commission Enrollment Projections (August 2014) and our internal enrollment data. Our task for this work group is to develop a recommendation to the Board of Directors on placement of our 6th grade as we move toward improvements at the existing middle school. Information and materials pertaining to the Task Force can be found on the District website.

I include a brief technology update from Phil Vinogradov: “The findings from our recent faculty and student technology survey indicate that the overwhelming majority of respondents appreciate how our 1:1 program is significantly enhancing the teaching and learning process. This success results from the ongoing work of teachers and students, exploring together new opportunities, tools, and strategies for personalized learning, tightening the feedback loop, creativity, and collaboration. The first year of a 1:1 initiative is a significant growth year as we continually implement, evaluate, and refine aspects of the program, and we appreciate the tremendous work and innovation happening in our classrooms daily.”

Finally, the Combined Leadership of our PTOs, PTAs, and SPEAC will meet on January 20th to continue our intra-district collaboration.

The Board of Directors will hold their next Legislative Session on January 11, 2016 at 7:00 P.M.in the Cardinal Room at UDHS. All members of the community are encouraged to attend. Approved minutes from Board meetings may be accessed on the District website.

As always, I invite interested members of the Upper Dublin community to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have. I can be reached at 215 643-8802 or throughdwheeler@udsd.org . Follow me on Twitter @UDSDSupt.

 

Sincerely,

Deborah S. Wheeler, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools