Methacton School Board Holds Annual Reorganization
Board Authorizes Administration to Seek Act 1 Exceptions, Views PSSA/Keystone Results Presentation
The Methacton School District's Board of School Directors held their annual reorganization meeting on Monday, December 7. Recently elected members Kim Aubrey-Larcinese, Chris R. Boardman, Andrea Rees, Michael K. Ryan, and Paul Winters were sworn in and took their seats on the Board for terms expiring in 2019. The Board members then voted to elect Chris R. Boardman as president and Michael K. Ryan as vice-president, for a term of one year respectively.
The Board was also joined by School Board Director Scott Dorn, appointed on December 1. Dorn will complete the remainder of S. Christian Nasimento's term, set to expire in 2017. Mr. Nascimento resigned from his position in November. Mr. Boardman noted that the Board will hold its next meeting as scheduled on January 26, 2016; with committee assignments and meeting schedule to be determined after discussion.
The reorganization meeting was followed by the Board's regular December meeting, during which the Board voted to authorize the administration to seek any available exceptions to the Act 1 index limit, providing the Board and the administration with the flexibility to go above the state issued 2.4% tax increase limit to close the budget gap, estimated to exceed $3 million based on very early figures. Methacton's Chief Financial Officer, Stuart Whiteleather, provided the Board with this early estimate of the budget based upon historical trends and other factors during his presentation. He explained that Methacton qualifies for a 1.04% PSERS exception due to the fact that the district's mandated contributions to the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System will exceed the index.
Mr. Whiteleather explained that many unknown factors, including any funding anticipated from the state -- which has not yet approved their budget for the current year; can greatly impact both revenues and expenditures as the administration prepares a budget for adoption in June of 2016. Act 1 options and associated timelines required by the Commonwealth dictate that the Board either vote not to exceed the Act 1 limit, or authorize the administration to seek exceptions to the limit. The Board's decision triggers the requirement to approve a preliminary budget, scheduled for the Board's regular January 26, 2016 meeting. The preliminary budget will include additional detail based on budget meetings with principals and department chairs that are currently taking place. Additional information on the budget preparations will be posted to the website at www.methacton.org/budget in the coming month.
Also during the December meeting; Mary Katona, Methacton's Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; provided the Board with a review of the 2015-2016 PSSA and Keystone results. During her presentation
, Mrs. Katona noted that while Methacton's students continue to exceed the state average in all tested areas, work continues to align the District's curriculum to the PA Common Core. This alignment will further prepare students to be successful on the new, more rigorous PSSA tests
School Performance Profile (SPP) scores were not issued by the state for schools serving students in grades K-8, as a direct result of the new PSSA tests. Only Keystone tests are administered in grades 9-11, and Methacton's Keystone test results were also very strong, with the district
meeting or exceeding all benchmarks set by the state for closing the
achievement gap. Methacton High School was the only MSD school issued a SPP score for 2015-2016, and the high school's score of 95% is the sixth highest among Montgomery County high schools; reflective of the excellent work of the district's faculty, staff, and administration; combined with the hard work of Methacton's students and the support of their families.