December 22, 2017

From the desk of the Superintendent  

Dear Parents/Guardians and Community Members,

I have several items of interest to share with our community.

A topic of concern recently emerged in our community surrounding the electronic cigarette practice described as “vaping”. I have reviewed this concern with Robert Schultz, principal of UDHS, and with Jill Clark, principal of SRMS, to seek their input about the incidence of students found to be vaping at each of the schools. I am glad to share that although there have been isolated incidences in both schools, we are not experiencing the degree of incidence that is being reported by schools in some neighboring districts. In Upper Dublin we are reviewing and updating our District policies to include use of electronic cigarettes and vaping in our discipline policy, and we are maintaining diligence in educating and informing students and families of the risks and consequences of the use of any smoking/vaping materials on school property. Student safety is always our priority and we want to continue our collaboration with parents and community members in keeping each of our students safe and healthy. For parents seeking information about talking with their children about electronic cigarettes, a tip sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health is provided here. Our school counselors and nurses are always available to discuss or review concerns about any health related matters with our students and their families. Please reach out to these professionals in your child’s school if you have questions or seek additional information about this topic.

Sandy Run Middle School facilities project update: Last evening the Operations Committee of the Board of School Directors reviewed four proposals received from architectural firms in response to the RFP issued last month. The proposals were opened and reviewed by the SRMS Organization Team, a group of Board members and District administrators, on December 12. One requirement of the proposal development was to review the three identified options (capital improvements to the existing buildings, renovations and an addition, or a new building) or provide a fourth option for consideration. Following the proposal review a recommendation was made to the Operations Committee to move forward, when the District is prepared to do so, with the SRMS Project Review Committee’s recommendation of option three for a new building on the existing site. The next step in this process is to request that three of the architectural firms proceed with development of concept plans for a new school building. There will be a public presentation of the concept plans and interviews with the selected architectural firms on Monday, January 29, 2018, beginning at 5:30 in the Cardinal Room at UDHS. A link to the recommendation document is provided here.

During the December 4, 2017 Education Committee meeting our curriculum department leaders presented the 2016-2017 Student Achievement Data report. We are pleased to share that our PA standardized test results from the Keystones and PSSA assessments demonstrated continued progress in both achievement and growth measurements. Our student achievement on AP, SAT, and ACT assessments remains very high. The full presentation is provided here.

As we prepare for our annual Winter Recess may I offer my best wishes to our school community for a truly Happy New Year. The generous support that our school district receives from our community promises that 2018 will be a stellar year, with many more points of Cardinal Pride to celebrate together!

The Board of School Directors will hold their next Legislative Meeting on Monday, January 8, 2018 at 7:00 P.M. in the Cardinal Room at UDHS. All members of the community are encouraged to attend. Members of the public may access agenda and documents through BoardDocs on the District website. Go to the Board of Directors page under Board agendas tab and click on the meeting listed on the appropriate date. Agendas will be available approximately 48 hours before the meeting.

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 through dwheeler@udsd.org . Follow me on Twitter @UDSDSupt.

 

Sincerely,

Deborah S. Wheeler, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools