On February 13th, WCASD School Board Pupil Services and Education Committees held their monthly meeting. The phase 1 Budget Task Force II recommendations presented for Pupil Services and Education were unanimously approved at the committee level resulting in expense reductions of $396,400 and enhanced revenues of $303,225. A full vote by the Board will occur on Monday, February 27th at 7:30. The phase 1 suggestions are summarized below:
Phase 1 Pupil Service BTF:
Reduce 1 Autistic Support Teacher $95,000
Re-evaluate all Speech Only from early intervention 7,000
Discontinue contract with COAD 53,000
Phase 1 Pupil Service Expense Reduction $155,000
Phase 1 Education Committee BTF:
Increase PE class size from 20-24 to 30 $99,400
Eliminate "academic level" language above level 2 142,000
Phase 1 Education Committee Expense Reduction $241,400
Implement Activity fee for Funded Activities/Sports $303,225
Total Phase 1 Education Expense/Revenue $544,625
Education and Pupil Services Phase 1 $699,625
PE classes at other districts in the area average 30, with some up to 40 or more, WCASD recommends increasing the average to 30 students. Increases in PE class may impact coaching, equipment costs, but provide flexibility for scheduling. The District will continue to offer all language courses, however, students taking level three courses and above will have to take the course at the honors level. Offering honors level language at level 3 and above will provide a greater challenge to students but those students not wanting to experience this level of academic rigor will not have a language option beyond level 2. District personnel will be able to sustain the instructional model without the CCIU (Chester County Intermediate Unit) autistic support teacher and no impact is anticipated. The expense cuts result in a reduction of 4.4 staff. It is anticipated staff reductions will be reached through attrition.
A three-tier activity fee will be implemented for funded programs at a rate of $25 for elementary, $50 for middle school and $75 for high school. This is a onetime annual fee for one or more activities with a maximum fee of $200 per family. Dana Seaman requested and Dr. Bertrando said he would review reinstating intramural programs at the middle schools that were previously discontinued. The activity fee will not serve to reverse the "no cut" policy instituted in 2011-2012. The fee will be charged after try-outs, no adjustments were made to hire additional coaches. Financial assistance will be provided for those unable to pay the activity fee. Mr. Carpenter suggested the "recommendation to charge a fee for unfunded activities" be eliminated. The education committee members were in agreement and this fee will not be initiated (unfunded activities have no supplemental contract whereas funded activities have a supplemental contract).
The first reading of 2012-2013 school year calendar was completed with a review of moving the 10/11/12 in-service day back a week or two to provide increased consecutive weeks of uninterrupted instruction in the early weeks of school, a good suggestion by Dr. Pimley. The second parent teacher conferences will be held midyear, in February, to provide adequate time for student improvement and progress monitoring before the end of the school year. Again, this was a great decision because many parents feel the spring conferences are too late in the year. There will be separate town hall style meetings to handle the transition from 5th to 6th grade. In keeping with WCASD policy, both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are days off in 2012. This is the first time since 2009 that both holidays fall on weekdays. Dr. Missett indicated she is meeting with the YMCA this week and will have a recommendation in March for the Before and After School Care Program recommendation.
The next committee meetings will be held on Tuesday, February 21 with Property and Finance convening at 6:30 p.m. followed by Personnel at 7:30 p.m.
Further information can be found: