• community conversations  


    May 2019 


    As we approach the end of another successful Methacton school year, it gives me great pride in knowing that this success is a result of many, many contributors.


    First, and always first, our students. We are fortunate to have a student body that recognizes the value of hard work, perseverance, and patience while also taking part in some of the most challenging and, yet, rewarding academic, artistic, musical, and athletic activities. Our students share in the hope and desire to make their lives and the lives of those around them better through countless volunteer hours or simply lending a hand. Our students have self-respect and respect for others and have every opportunity to achieve great things.


    It should be no surprise that the most important matter we conduct as a district is the hiring of a teacher. This is the single most important element in empowering and inspiring generations of students in our community to succeed. We are blessed with an outstanding, committed, and caring instructional faculty. Truly blessed.


    Additionally, the success of the Methacton School District has been built on the strength and support of our community and our parents. Witnessed by activities such as Post Prom, Methacton Education Foundation, and Home and School, our parents and our businesses step forward each and every time to help make the Methacton experience unique, rewarding and lasting.


    The tie that binds this all together is the District’s dedicated support and administrative staff. It’s clear that their dedication and work ethic brings us immeasurable rewards and helps contribute to our ability to climb higher.


    Maybe this message becomes clearer through the graduation ceremony - a culminating activity that recognizes and celebrates all that went into those 13 years of schooling. To see the once kindergarten student walk across the stage as a highly educated young adult with all the prospect and opportunity before them and knowing that they have been prepared for whatever this world throws at them – is a testament to our mission and to all those valuable contributors along the way.


    A BIG THANK YOU to our students, faculty, parents, volunteers, staff, and administration for all that you do! See you at graduation on June 13, 2019!





    Dr. David Zerbe

    Superintendent of Schools


    March 2019


    Welcome to the March 2019 edition of my Community Conversations. My hope is that with this message, we see an end to the winter weather, and you can take a few minutes to allow me to share some important thoughts with you.


    The Arrowhead Forward effort is in motion. The district has established a web page to house all things related to the conversations, public input, and decisions along the way in determining the facility renovation or construction needs on this campus.


    Relating to this effort, the Board of School Directors has moved its work session meeting for Tuesday, March 19, 2019 to Arrowhead Elementary School, starting at 7PM in the auditorium. During this work session, the Board will discuss potential options and matters that it feels should be considered as we proceed forward. In addition, the Administration plans to recommend to the Board that it  considers engaging a design professional firm that can assist the Board with this endeavor. While the timeline has built in opportunities to gather public feedback, the Board encourages the community to join us next week and to take a tour of the facility in advance of the meeting by signing up here.


    This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Methacton Post Prom. It is a unique community event that has been keeping our children safe on prom night. On April 16, 2019, the Board of School Directors will be celebrating 20 years of the Post Prom event by recognizing community members for their leadership in bringing and growing Post Prom. If you have been a volunteer for Post Prom, please consider joining us for this historic event. Contact Amanda Kelly at akelly@methacton.org to RSVP.


    Back in October 2018, I shared that the Arcola Intermediate team of administrators and teachers, led by Principal Dr. Amy Mangano, began a review of programming, services and structure at Arcola. This review included research, discussion, and planning to ensure that they remain aligned with the changing needs of our 7th and 8th grade students. While Arcola has always been recognized as a high achieving school, Dr. Mangano’s professional drive and the engaging spirit of the Arcola team places students first in their constant effort to improve. Dr. Mangano plans to share with the Board of School Directors at its meeting on March 26, 2019 the results of the review, along with recommended changes for next year.


    In other happenings, Methacton High School has established a Unified Sports team that will begin this spring with Track and Field events. The Unified Sports program, available through Special Olympics Pennsylvania, was approved by the Board of School Directors in February. To learn more about Unified Sports, visit  Special Olympics PA. To find out how you can volunteer or join the team, please contact Dr. Paul Spiewak at the High School, pspiewak@methacton.org.








    Dr. David Zerbe

    Superintendent of Schools




    November 2018

    Dear Methacton Community,


    This community conversation is centered on our efforts to address facility needs around the district. However, before we dive into this information, I want to extend warm thanks during this Thanksgiving holiday to all the volunteers, parents, and community members for all of their effort and support of the Methacton School District and our students. Furthermore, I hope that this Thanksgiving allows everyone in the Methacton community to give thanks to those that have inspired you, nurtured you, and continue to push you to do outstanding things for yourself, for the school district, and our community.


    As background, in 2016, the Methacton Board of School Directors accepted a facilities study of all buildings owned by the district. This study has helped provide perspective on facilities needs and to help us begin addressing those needs in a comprehensive and organized manner.


    In April of 2018, we began to address matters at the High School and at Arcola Intermediate School. The High School project included mechanical and electrical upgrades along with roof-top HVAC unit replacements, pool dehumidification upgrades, roof repair and replacement, as well as masonry testing. The Arcola project focused on the auditorium where interior ceiling and exterior roofing work along with HVAC upgrades were made. It also included acoustical sound clouds, lighting and sound system upgrades, finishing, stage improvements, and seating and flooring renovations.


    The high school projects have reached substantial completion and the Arcola Intermediate project is near substantial completion as of this writing. While much of the high school project involves less visible improvements, the Arcola project includes several visible changes which we are very excited to unveil.


    As such, I am inviting the community to attend any of the upcoming events scheduled at the Arcola auditorium. Not only will you see outstanding student performances led by our talented and hard working staff and volunteers, but also witness future stars in the making in our newly renovated auditorium.


    Please join me for any and all of the following activities planned and check the district and school websites calendars for updates and additional events.


    The district is looking at continuing to address our identified facility’s needs. The projects for the summer of 2019 include masonry and window work at Eagleville Elementary, sections of roof replacement at the High School and Arcola/Skyview, mechanical and electrical work at the High School, and security enhancements at all buildings just to name a few.


    Lastly, on November 8, 2018, I provided the public with a presentation regarding the state of the district that included more information on facility matters. More specifically, this presentation was a starting point of a larger conversation to determine how to best address substantial facilities improvements identified at the Arrowhead Elementary School. As this conversation progresses, we will be keeping you informed.


    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and see you at the winter events. Go WARRIORS! – Go METHACTON!





    October 2018


    Welcome to the start of the 2018-2019 school year and the first of many Community Conversations that I will share throughout the school year. In this edition, I will be touching on the following matters: Mental Health Services, Strength of Staff, Strategic Plan, and Scheduling/Programming at Arcola.


    Before I dive into many topics in this edition, let me share a few words about this year’s district theme- the Power Of We (“POW”). It is hard to imagine a school district with greater potential than Methacton with its strong Home and School organization, a one of a kind Post-Prom, a growing Education Foundation, a top quality and caring staff and faculty, and a supportive administration and school board! Together, WE can and WE will continue to make a difference for every child. Together, WE will help our students reach their potential. Together, WE will learn, lead, and succeed! “POW!”


    In an effort to address the rise in social and emotional challenges facing our youth in society and in response to recent tragedies, the Methacton School District has developed a new program called REACH (Raising Expectations and Children’s Hopes) to provide a proactive, preventive approach to support our students at risk, by delivering intensive mental health therapeutic services. The REACH program will be implemented at Arcola Intermediate School (target date for services is November 2018). The district has formed a partnership with Springfield Psychological to provide individual, group, and family counseling services within the school setting in order to remove any challenges and barriers for our students and their families. As this program progresses, we will share more insights.


    As we begin to provide this new support for our students, I would like to remind our readers that there are a number of other supports available such as School Counselors, the Student Assistance Program, Mental Health Specialist, Home and School Visitor and many more resources. The most important support is that of our compassionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated professional and support staff. Our teachers, custodians, secretaries, and aides go the extra mile, give the extra smile, and take a genuine interest in our students. Part of our way to recognize staff for their contributions is through the Methacton Award of Excellence. So when you see a Methacton employee, give them a fist bump and thank them for caring!


    On September 26, 2018, more than 75 Methacton stakeholders – including students, teachers, administrators, parents, and others – participated in a mid-point review of the district’s 2016-2022 Strategic Plan. Participants were divided among the five Focus Areas and discussed strengths, challenges, opportunities, and threats associated with each area. District administrators will be reviewing the goal recommendations, revising the plan, and sharing a draft with the community at large for feedback. The goal is to have the plan updated by November 2018.


    Several themes of that evening’s discussions were centered on improving the academic, social, and emotional experiences for economically disadvantaged students; increasing access to extra-curricular activities and the use of an after school activity bus; increasing the breadth of systems use such as Power School; relocation of bus garage and conducting traffic studies to reduce congestion; providing more professional development on safety related matters; look at consolidation of communications tools used with students and parents; provide a mechanism for students to provide comments on facilities improvement needs; and pursuing recruiting practices, methodologies, and mediums that are more closely aligned with district needs and talent pool.


    The Arcola Intermediate Team has been engaged in a project led by Principal Dr. Amy Mangano, with support of teachers from various disciplines, to review best practices and conduct research in an effort to ensure that their programs, services, structure, and schedule are aligned with the changing needs of our students. This is a journey that will likely affirm much of what we do well and provide opportunities for new programs/services/structure for students in the future. The Arcola Team will be presenting recommendations to me in January. The recommendations will be formalized and a plan of action will be developed with the help of the Arcola Team and Central Administration. This plan will be communicated to students and staff appropriately. As this journey unfolds over the next several months, Dr. Mangano will be keeping everyone informed. “Our goal has and always will be the academic, social and emotional learning of all of our students,” Dr. Mangano said.


    I continue to be thankful for members of our community, our parents, our staff and our students and their commitment of time and talents to making the Methacton School District one of the region’s most desirable districts to educate and raise a family.






    Dr. David Zerbe

    Superintendent of Schools