• BOARD MATTERS

    A Synopsis of the Chester County Intermediate Unit Board of Directors

    The Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) Board of Directors held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at the Technical College High School – Brandywine Campus, Downingtown, PA. Board members from Avon Grove, Coatesville Area, Downingtown Area, Great Valley, Kennett Consolidated, Octorara 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

    • Six CCIU Board members ended their service as CCIU Board members and were acknowledged for their dedication and years of service to the CCIU. The members recognized were:
      • Mr. Rudy Alfonso – Kennett Consolidated School District
      • Ms. Ellen Behrle – Great Valley School District
      • Mr. Eric Daugherty – Phoenixville Area School District
      • Ms. Jaime Mehler – Downingtown Area School District
      • Mr. Karel Minor – Owen J. Roberts School District
      • Mr. Ed Sweeney – Tredyffrin/Easttown School District
    • Dr. Noreen O’Neill introduced Dr. Demetrius Roberts, director of STEM and educational technology services, Mr. Buddy Downs, infrastructure engineer and Kristina Young, manager of technical projects. The team presented on The Chester County Scholastic Esports Network, which is a form of competitive, organized video gaming. Esports in education will provide districts with local competition and connect it back to 21st century skills and career readiness. This will be an inclusive environment for all students including females, students of different ethnicities and special education students. Statistics say that 71% of jobs will require computer science skills over the next 10 years. It also shows there are 17,000 unfilled computer science jobs in PA alone. Over 200 colleges and universities offer esports scholarships and female gamers are more than likely to seek STEM majors in college than females who do not play video games. There are two planned tournaments as of right now. One is the Rocket League regional tournament taking place from January 13 to March 13, 2020, which is sponsored by CCRES. The other tournament is Beyond the Game Challenge on May 13, 2020 being held at the CCIU. The hope is that everyone will attend the live events in order to deepen the understanding of the positive benefits of esports, see the excitement of the students which is motivating them to pursue computer science education and learn more of the opportunities for college and career readiness experiences as a part of esports programs.
    • Mr. Joseph Lubitsky, director of administrative services gave an update on our development of the preliminary 2020-21 budget. He reviewed the following components in the development of the budget:
      • Status of budget development calendar and major milestones
      • 2020-21 budget assumptions for salaries and employee benefits
      • Review of the school district enrollment trends
      • Review of the 2020-21 Occupational Education program enrollment and tuition projections
      • Review of the 2020-21 Marketplace Services programs pricing schedules
      • Mr. Lubitsky wrapped up his presentation with time for questions. View the Budget presentation.

    Student, Staff and Program Highlights

    CCIU Approved as an Act 55 Provider for Mandatory School Board Training

    Under Act 55 of 2017, newly elected and re-elected School Board Directors are now required to complete a mandatory level of training per the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s guidelines. In 2019, under Act 18, the required training for School Board Directors added an additional element with a one-hour training on traumainformed approaches. In total, newly elected School Board Directors are now required to undergo a minimum of five hours of training within their first year, while re-elected officials are required a minimum of three hours of training. Training will cover topics such as governance, ethics and open meetings, instruction and academic programs, personnel, operations and facilities and fiscal management, as well as the required trauma-informed approaches. The CCIU is currently the only provider offering in-person training in Chester County. More details to follow. Special thanks to Melissa Smith, Maureen Linahan, Ann Appolloni, Paul Thompson and Danielle Schoeninger for their excellent work in developing the program and submitting the proposal.

    Chester County College Fair

    The Chester County College Fair, which was sponsored by CCRES Behavioral Health Staffing Services, took place at the Exton Square Mall on Monday, October 21 from 6:00-8:00 p.m., along with the Transitioning Beyond High School: Post-Secondary Options for All Abilities early hour program starting at 5:00 p.m. More than 150 schools spoke with over 3,000 students regarding their post-secondary plans. The Transitioning Beyond High School early hour program had over 40 families in attendance to learn from a panel of experts who discussed the following:

    • The difference between entitlement versus eligibility when accessing college resources
    • What programs schools offer for those with disabilities
    • Intellectual Disability (ID) categorization
    • Receiving a certificate versus receiving a four-year degree
    • Living and transportation accommodations

    Students also met with financial institutions and aid associations to help financially prepare for their future education.

    Chester County Recruiting Consortium

    The CCIU attended a Fall Recruiting Fair at Penn State on November 4 representing all of the recruiting consortium member districts. In addition, the IU is coordinating the following recruiting consortium fall and spring recruiting fairs: CCIU Fall Graduate Teacher Interview Day, December 9th; National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), Feb. 19 – 21; Kutztown University, March 9; Millersville University, March 17; Pittsburgh Education Recruiting Consortium, March 25; Greater Philadelphia Teacher Job Fair (formerly DVEC), April 1; Penn State University, April 6; and CCIU Spring Graduate Interview Day, May 5.

    New Business

    The CCIU Board of Directors acted the following new business:

    • The Board approved the Marketplace Contracts with Owen J. Roberts; Unionville-Chadds Ford; and Haverford Township School District to provide HR Audit services in their districts.
    • The Board approved the partnership with Cabrini University who will offer graduate level courses in educational leadership.
    • 2020-21 IU Calendars were presented for first reading and will be approved in January 2020.
    • The Board established that the election of the CCIU’s Board of Directors be conducted by mail ballot between February 1 and April 30, 2020. The following Board seats will be routinely up for election this year: Octorara Area, Owen J. Roberts, Tredyffrin/Easttown and Unionville-Chadds Ford.
    • The Board established that the district and proportionate balloting process for approval of the 2020-21 budget be conducted by mail ballot in March and April of 2020

    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, January 15, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. at the Educational Service Center, 455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA.