March 8, 2019
We have had a challenging school year with the weather, but thankfully, spring is almost here. As we work toward the fourth nine-weeks of the school year, I thought that the community might be interested in the curriculum review plans, demographics study and feasibility study that are underway in the District to ensure that our staff are addressing the unique learning needs of your child.
The administration is working with teacher leaders to improve curriculum by developing a thorough curriculum revision process. The curriculum revision procedure will be built upon a Curriculum Review Cycle in which an evaluation of each discipline will occur on a cyclical basis. Teacher leaders at the secondary level are completing a detailed inventory of the books and curricular resources that we are utilizing in each department. This inventory will support an understanding of the tools that we currently have for use in our classrooms, as well as preparing a budget that is conducive to effective long-range planning.
The framework for the curriculum review process has begun and will continue throughout the 2019-2020 school year. Once the framework has been thoroughly developed and the review of a particular discipline occurs, parents and community members will have an opportunity to review curriculum and provide input. The curriculum review process is driven by Academic Achievement Goal #1 within the District Comprehensive Plan which states, “…we must develop a cohesive K-12 curriculum that reflects academic achievement and application of knowledge gained to prepare students to be competitive in a global environment.” The curriculum review process will allow staff members to research best practices, collaborate with other school districts, and to create a clearly articulated scope and sequence that will lead to improved achievement of your student. Updates of the curriculum review process will be provided at Board Meetings and information will begin to appear on the South Butler County School District website as it becomes available.
Demographic & Feasibility Studies
If you have been following Board Agendas (https://www.boarddocs.com/pa/sbut/Board.nsf/Public) over the past six months, you may have noticed that the South Butler County School District is engaged in a Demographics Study. The study is essential for future planning regarding programming, budgeting and staffing while supporting a clear understanding of the District’s enrollment projections. The results of the demographic study will provide information that will allow for educated decision making. Information regarding birth rates has been gathered through our township offices, and the results will be shared with the Board and community at some point this spring.
The South Butler County School District is also in the early stages of a District feasibility study. The School Board has selected Foreman Architects to provide a comprehensive study regarding the District facilities and to provide options for needed renovations throughout each of our four buildings. A feasibility study includes opportunities for collaboration among the internal and external stakeholders of the District. The feasibility study will most likely be completed before the end of this school year and representatives from the Foreman Group will be at an upcoming Board Meeting to explain their findings and recommendations.
As information regarding the demographic and feasibility studies is finalized, it will be shared with the Board at a public meeting to be announced in the near future.
Finally, as I communicated to you earlier this year, Pennsylvania has initiated the Safe2Say Something program. I wanted to provide a District-level update. All students in grades 6 – 12 have now been trained in how and when to use the tipline, and they’ve been encouraged to download the app to their devices so it’s convenient if they feel they need to make a report. Through school signage and on our District web pages, we’ve provided the access information as well, including the Safe2Say Something button in the top right corner of each page. That button links you to a page providing the phone number, app info, and a form to make an online report. It also provides a list of reportable situations, in case a student is in doubt. Please take a moment to check out the link and the information provided there, and review with your students the importance of reporting what they see. It is every community member’s duty to help maintain the safety and well-being of our children, in school and out.
As Spring begins, please encourage the kids to get outside to run off the excess energy after school. It’s always great to see warmer weather arrive, but it poses a challenge to everyone to stay focused. Let’s all work together to finish this school year on a high note.
David Foley, Ed.D. Superintendent