• BOARD MATTERS

    A Synopsis of the Chester County Intermediate Unit Board of Directors Meeting 

    The Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) Board of Directors held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at the Educational Service Center (ESC) in Downingtown, PA. Board members from Avon Grove, Great Valley, Octorara Area, Oxford Area, Tredyffrin/Easttown, Unionville-Chadds Ford and West Chester Area school districts were in attendance and the following items were discussed:

    Items of Note

    • Tonight marked the first CCIU Board meeting for newly appointed executive director, Dr. George F. Fiore. We look forward to many years of success under his leadership!
    • The presentation tonight was given by Dr. George F. Fiore, executive director, who gave an update on his Entry Plan. The theme of his entry plan is Listen, Learn and Lead: The First 100 Days. He spoke about how the first 100 days of any leadership transition are vital towards setting a positive and collaborative culture. He will spend time listening and learning in order to assess the organization’s strengths, areas of growth, opportunities and challenges. Information will be gathered from internal and external stakeholders in a systematic, confidential manner comprised of interviews, surveys and meetings. After the information is gathered, service needs across stakeholders will be identified. This entry plan will serve as a guideline for developing relationships, building trust, collecting data and action planning in a collaborative inquiry process. 

    Student, Staff and Program Highlights

    • TCHS Brandywine Skills USA Students Win Silver Medals at Nationals
      • From June 24-29, 2019, seven students from TCHS Brandywine participated in the SkillsUSA National Convention held in Louisville, Kentucky. In order to attend these events, students had to win a local, district and state competition. The Occupational Health and Safety Team which consisted Taylor Sandy (grade 12, Veterinary Science Technology, Downingtown East), Rachel Gemmell (grade 11, Health Career Pathways, Homeschooled) and Emily Watson (grade 11, Criminal Justice and Police Sciences, Bishop Shanahan) finished second. This event required four individual projects: a health and safety project, a protective equipment project, a workplace safety project and an individual project chosen by the students. Sophia Eberly (grade 11, Health Career Pathways, Coatesville) participated in the First Aid and CPR competition and finished eighth out of a total of 33 contestants. Sophia needed to complete a written test as well as participate in First Aid and CPR scenarios. Sophia is a junior and a certified EMT. The American Spirit Team which consisted of three students Marlen Gonzalez (grade 12, Early Childhood Education, Coatesville), Stephanie Rojas (grade 12, Health Career Pathways, Coatesville) and Suzanna Angstadt (grade 12, Early Childhood Education, Homeschooled) finished tenth. Students participating in this event needed to complete three projects which included a community service project, a patriotism project and a promotion of career and technical education project. All students did an excellent job representing TCHS and the CCIU.
    • Students Win Gold and Silver at the Pennsylvania Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention
      • During the Pennsylvania FFA Activities/Convention June 11-13, 2019, at Penn State main campus, TCHS Pennock’s Bridge’s Animal and Veterinary Science students competed in Veterinary Science and Wildlife CDE’s (Career Development Events). There were over 100 students participating in each of the competitions. The four students from TCHS Pennock’s Bridge’s Veterinary Science team won gold and received special recognition earning them a trip to The BIG E in Springfield, Massachusetts, in September. Sydney Shumaker (grade 12, Kennett) competed as an individual in the Wildlife CDE and received a silver medal for her efforts.
    • Brandywine Virtual Academy Summer Enrollment Up 34%
      • Brandywine Virtual Academy (BVA) finished the summer session with 696 completed enrollments. These students were enrolled in one of the summer sessions that BVA offers: Jump Start, True Summer or Credit Recovery. This is a 34% increase from summer enrollments during the 2017-18 summer session. Jump Start is a 15-week session that started on April 23rd and allows students the opportunity to take original credit or explore new courses of study. There were 139 Jumpstart enrollments this summer. Compared to the summer of 2017-18, this is 6.7% decrease. However, BVA saw substantial growth in True Summer and Credit Recovery enrollments. Both sessions are nine weeks in duration and give students options to take courses for initial credit or make up credits. True Summer had 166 enrollments during the 2018-19 summer session, which is a 22% percent increase from the 2017-18 summer sessions. Credit Recovery had 308 enrollments, which is a 142% increase from the 2017-18 session.
    • Grading and Reporting Institute
      • On July 30 & 31 CCIU hosted over 60 educators for the Grading and Reporting Institute with Dr. Thomas Guskey which focused on reframing all the ways we communicate information about student learning and what we know about effective grading and reporting policies and practices. Teams from 11 districts/schools worked with Dr. Guskey over the two-day institute examining research on grading practices and methods, exploring achievement indicators and learning enablers and discussing the impact of social-emotional learning. Teams also had an opportunity to begin revising their district grading and reporting policies. An Assessment Leadership Consortium opportunity was offered to all who participated which involves three follow up opportunities on October 30, 2019, January 9 and March 31, 2020, to continue the learning and revision of policies in a collaborative environment with Dr. Ann Appolloni, Director of Educational Leadership Services CCIU, and Beth McKee, Instructional Initiatives Coordinator CCIU. This work is also part of an Act 45 Program for administrators. Chester County Districts who participated in this work include: Avon Grove, Downingtown, Great Valley, Octorara Area and West Chester Area School Districts. Charter schools and out of county districts who participated in this work included: Avon Grove Charter, Collegium Charter, Berks County IU, Centennial, Fleetwood and Manheim Central School District.

    Finance

    The Board approved the renewal of the contract with Avon Grove School District to provide facility management services.

    New Business

    The Board approved the submission of the application for FY 2020 funds to support Head Start and HomeBased Early Head Start.

    Personnel

    The CCIU Board of Directors approved all recommended personnel action items, including routine terminations/ resignations/retirements, nominations, changes in status, creation of positions, supplemental salaries and pay rates.

    The next CCIU Board of Directors meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Educational Service Center, 455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA.