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, October 16, 2019 at the Technical College High School – Pickering Campus, Phoenixville, PA. Board members from Avon Grove, Kennett Consolidated, Oxford Area, Phoenixville Area, Tredyffrin/Easttown, Unionville-Chadds Ford and West Chester Area school districts were in attendance and the following items were discussed:

    Items of Note

    • Prior to the Board meeting, a reception took place, which celebrated 50 years of Career and Technical Education in Chester County. Dignitaries, former staff and students along with board members and current staff were in attendance. We look forward to continuing being a role model to other schools in the Commonwealth and beyond of what a Technical College High School should look like.
    • Mr. Joseph Lubitsky, director of administrative services gave a presentation on our development of the preliminary 2020-21 budget. He reviewed the following components in the development of the budget:
      • Organizational goal of the continuation of budgeting within the Act 1 index, which was recently set at 2.6% for the 2020-21 school year.
      • Overview of the budget development calendar.
      • Reviewed various budget challenges.
      • Managing the 2019-20 budget with greatly limited increases as approved by Board.
      • Reviewed CCIU historical total fund balances.
      • Reviewed CCIU cash flow and fund balance considerations.
      • Reviewed impact of the cost of capital improvements and debt service obligations.
    • Mr. Lubitsky wrapped up his presentation with time for any questions. He also mentioned that there will be another update in November. A direct link to the presentation is accessible at https://download.cciu.org/2020-21CCIUBudgetOctober2019.mp4

    Student, Staff and Program Highlights

    • Veterinary Science Students Compete in Big “E” FFA Event
      • This September 12-15, 2019, TCHS Pennock’s Bridge’s FFA Veterinary Science team traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts to compete in the Big “E” FFA CDE event in Veterinary Science. The Pennock’s Bridge team consisted of Octorara Area High School students, Lillian Dewey (12th grade), Shannon Jackson (12th grade), Olivia Pawling (12th grade) and Brooke Gillenwater (11th grade). There were eight teams competing from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The contest consisted of a 50 multiple choice questions test, a 15-question medical math test, identification of 25 items of veterinary equipment, 15 parasites and 10 animal breeds, a current event essay, a clinical practicum, a handling and restraint practicum and a team activity. The contest lasted three hours. The students competed individually and as a team. TCHS Pennock’s Bridge placed in the top five for the team events.
    • CCIU Provides Communications Services to Avon Grove School District
      • CCIU Communications Coordinator Danielle Paterno was recognized at the Board meeting, with Dr. Chris Marchese, Avon Grove Superintendent in attendance, to acknowledge her continued support for Avon Grove School District initiatives, such as: the new high school, the Padres Latinos program, the Parent Speaker Series, the Education Foundation and the Senior Citizen Volunteer Tax Relief Program. Most recently, in addition to supervising the Senior Citizen Volunteer Tax Relief Program, she assumed responsibility for the district’s regular volunteer program. She also created a new teacher video that was viewed by all attendees at the district’s convocation and also conducted senior citizen onboard training. Danielle also provides daily communications support to Avon Grove in various ways, including: creating electronic newsletters, a major initiatives email campaign; crisis communications, social media and website posts, letter writing, flyer creation, PowerPoint presentations, photography/videography and media relations.
    • National Principals Month
      • Dr. Fiore recognized National Principals Month by thanking our Principals and Assistant Principals for their hard work, dedication, compassion, kindness and enthusiasm that they give each day to our students.
    • PASBO Certification
      • Dr. Fiore recognized Ms. Sandra McCabe, director of finance for her achievement with obtaining Pennsylvania Certified School Business Administrator (PCBSA), which is issued by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO). Congratulations, Sandra!

    New Business

    The CCIU Board of Directors approved the 2019-20 CCIU Organizational Goals, as follows:

    • Define CCIU’s Educational Role

      • Integrate workforce job skills and career readiness into the programs offered at the CCIU (relate to PDE’s Career Readiness Mandates).

      • Continue to seek and leverage partners that will enhance CCIU’s ability to provide the highest quality services in the most cost-effective manner.

    • Ensure CCIU’s Financial Viability

      • Provide detailed, comprehensive invoices emphasizing the value of CCIU services.

      • Enhance financial data for distribution to CCIU Board and school districts.

    • Communicate CCIU’s Mission

      • Create two-way communication channels to relay school district and CCIU priorities to legislators.

      • Focus on micro/targeted communication for key stakeholder groups, boards, school district officials, parents, employees, legislators, etc.

    • Foster CCIU’s Culture and Brand

      • Implement a program to assist employees with stress management and work-life balance.

      • Develop multiple measures of Customer Satisfaction (enrollment, participation, sales, district administrative input, superintendent feedback via ongoing meetings/communications).

    • Facilities Goals

      • CCDC Campus Goal: Complete Phase II and start Phase III of CCDC Renovation Project and all punch list and closeout work and complete the construction of the Horticulture Center.

      • Pickering Campus Goal: Develop and implement the Veterinary Science program space.

      • ESC/Brandywine Campus Goal: Complete renovation of ESC and TCHS-Brandywine Campus.

    • Collective Bargaining with Professional Staff

      • Initiate bargaining process by January 2020.

    • Budget Goals

      • Continue to budget within or below the “Act 1 Index”

        • Manage 2019-20 Budget with the greatly limited increases as approved by Board

        • Prepare 2020-21 CCIU budgets and limit any increases to tuition rates and prices within or below the “Act 1 Index”

      • Help Chester County school districts with Procurement and Vendor Issues.

      • Encourage and support collaborative efforts to apply for and obtain grants (per Strategic Plan Goal Area 2, Objective 2, Strategy 1)

      • Analyze population trends and market conditions in order to set realistic growth measurements for each fiscal year (per Strategic Plan Goal Area 2, Objective 2, Strategy 2)

    • Department of Motor Vehicles Center

      • Start operations in Southern and Central Chester County

      • Investigate opening in Northern Chester County


    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, November 20, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Technical College High School – Brandywine Campus, 443 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA.