Superintendent’s Message March 1, 2016

 

March 1, 2016

From the desk of the Superintendent

Dear Parents/Guardians and Community Members,

 

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

The new District website was launched successfully and we thank those who suggested improvements in the site content and presentation. This continues to be a work in progress; we anticipate continuous improvement in all aspects of our communication with our community. Our District newsletter is back following a 5 year hiatus and will enhance our commitment to a comprehensive distribution of information to our community. To that end, watch your mailbox for the new and improved Cardinal Notes!

The 2016-2017 Program of Studies for UDHS includes a proposed revision to the grading scale, moving from a straight letter grade A-F scale to a scale that includes pluses and minuses. Scores of 0.49 or lower will round down to the nearest whole number; scores of 0.50 will round up to the nearest whole number. A complete description of the proposed scale can be found HERE or on the UDHS link on the District website, click on Academic Program of Studies under the Quick Links. The Board’s Policy Committee considered this revision to Policy 214 Grade Point Average during their meeting on February 29 and will review additional information during their meeting on March 28. We anticipate that this proposed revision will then move to the Board’s Legislative meeting agenda for first reading on April 11.

To share information with the community about changes to the Program of Studies for 2016-2017 a community meeting will be held on March 28 at 6:00 PM at the Antioch Baptist Church in North Hills. Specifically we will review the restructuring of ninth grade and the provisions that will be in place to support students in moving from level three to level two classes as well as those moving from level two to Honors/AP classes. Watch for additional information about this opportunity.

State Budget update: the budget impasse in Harrisburg continues. The District now has received information of concern in regard to some anticipated funding. Under the current 2015-2016 Commonwealth budget proposal, two additional months of our social security reimbursement funds would be pushed from the current fiscal year into the 2016-2017 fiscal year. While this will not be lost revenue, it would present a delay in receiving funds from one fiscal year to the next. The District’s books would therefore reflect an accounts receivable for four months of social security reimbursement on June 30, 2015, with the expected receipt of cash to follow in September or later. Additionally, our anticipated loss of the 2015-2016 PlanCon reimbursement for debt service on building projects and improvements is a permanent loss and will result in a $309,991 reduction in revenue and cash for the current year. Our Board and I continue to communicate with our local legislators about the need to finalize a budget and we encourage members of our community to join us in this advocacy effort.

Nominations are now being sought for the 2016 Upper Dublin Medals awards. This prestigious recognition program is sponsored by the School District of Upper Dublin, Upper Dublin Township, the Fort Washington Business Alliance and the Upper Dublin Education Foundation, and honors community members for excellence in education and community service. Nominations for Outstanding Educator, Outstanding Citizen and Outstanding Community Business or Non-Profit Organization are due by March 17, 2016. The Awards Ceremony will be held on May 18. Please consider this opportunity to honor excellence in our community. Information and the nomination form are available HERE.

Our annual Music In Our Schools concerts will be celebrated this week in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) at UDHS, with the Choral Concert today at 7:00 PM and the Instrumental Concert on Thursday March 3 at 7:00 PM. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Please join us to celebrate the impressive talent of our students and our teachers.

The 7th UDHS Athletic Hall of Fame Awards Dinner & Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday March 5 at 5:30. The new class of distinguished athletes and coaches includes Gary Miller, Larry Brown, Kim Faust Frantz, Katie Ewart Rusch, Hope Donnell, Paul Reilly, Michael Palmisano, Matthew Lorenzo, and Christopher Melton.  A hearty Cardinal congratulations to our inductees!

The Board of Directors will hold their next Legislative Meeting on March 14, 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 through dwheeler@udsd.org .  Follow me on Twitter @UDSDSupt.

 

Sincerely,

Deborah S. Wheeler, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools