The Octorara Area School District Board of Directors held its monthly Regular Meeting on October 20, 2014, as well as the Finance Committee and Policy Committee Meetings. Eight Board Members were in attendance, Hank Oleyniczak was absent.
During the Regular Meeting, the Board approved all listed recommended action items with the exception of the surgical removal of Second Readings on Policies 303.1, 404.1, and 504.1, all titled Nepotism.
“Octorara Heroes is a mentoring program using 12th grade students as role models for elementary students. The message of a drug-free lifestyle is delivered via personal appearances by the ‘Heroes’ to elementary classrooms and on trading cards that the Heroes hand out to younger students. Interested students must complete an application and meet criteria in the areas of attendance, academic achievement and discipline.”
The following students were recognized as Octorara Heroes for the 2014-2015 School Year:
- Hannah Anderson
- Lindsey Arjona
- Brooke Balady
- Jennifer Coyle
- Jaycee Dagney
- Annalyce Daprix
- Madison Fritz
- Jonathan Gajari
- Lindsay Green
- Ellie Haslett
- Sara Jurasinski
- Rachel Keown
- Brielle Kirk
- Payton Lewis
- Kyle MacCauley
- Lauren Mattis
- Derrick McHenry
- Kristin Miller
- Madalyn Myles
- Jessica Petree
- Shawntel Rutter
- Brianna Walter
Second Reading of Look at Nepotism Policies
After a significant discussion, the Policy Committee decided to remove Policies 303.1, 404.1, and 504.1 from a vote to approve a second reading from the Board agenda. Each of the policies are to address Nepotism (the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives).
The Committee decided to explore adding language to prohibit the practice of Cronyism (the practice by those with power or influence of giving jobs and other favors to social, political, business or other close friends or associates).
Schedule for Drug and Alcohol Policy Reviews
Jamie Bankert presented the Committee with a tentative timeline for the review and analysis of potential changes to current Student Handbook policy on substance abuse and the possible implementation of random drug testing. Invitations to parents and student meetings will be sent to all District parents and staff, K-12, in the form of an email.
- Second Week of November: Hold first round of separate meetings for parents and students to receive input on crafting policy changes for the 2015-2016 school year.
- Second Week of December: Hold second round of separate meetings for parents and students to receive input on crafting policy policy changes for the 2015-2016 school year.
- January School Board Policy Meeting:
- Present an overview of student and parent feedback
- Present summary of policies of surrounding/similar districts
- Present a cost analysis of drug screening based on percentage of student body to be tested
- Provide any other information the Board requests for consideration
- February/March/April: Develop and revise actual policy with Board Policy Committee
- April 20: Board approval of policy revisions/new policy (if necessary)
- April 21-August: Disseminate information to all coaches, students, parents, and members of the community
- August: Implement revised policy
Octorara’s Act 1 Index is 2.4%. Mr Carsley was not at this week’s meeting. Dr Newcome will get clarification on the specific limit breakdown caused by the District being split between Chester and Lancaster Counties.
The District is expecting Plancon construction reimbursements totaling $230K. If received, it will be placed within the Capital Expense Fund.
Victory Brewing Company’s Interim Taxes for their new local brewery added $104K in revenue to the already $103K property taxes for the location. The amount covers a period of 15 months. The administration was uncertain of the current annual tax assessment and payment.
The District challenged a Tax Assessment Appeal on a Commercial property, and lost. The property in question was assessed at $448K (an est. Market Value of $776K). The new assessment was reduced to $317K (an est Market Value of $550K). Lost revenue to the District is $4,700.
The Chester County Intermediate Unit continues to explore the benefits of creating a charter school in partnership with a Chester County school district. It is one of CCIU’s board-approved goals. During the past few years, CCIU has worked with several school districts to explore how a partnership charter school could create a valuable educational opportunity for students as well as long-term, positive financial implications for the district itself.
Prior to the October 15, 2014 CCIU Board Meeting, a rededication ceremony was held at the Child & Career Development Center, in Coatesville. The ceremony celebrated the lifetime commitment of three individuals who have greatly enhanced the lives of children through their leadership and dedicated service: John K. Baillie, former CCIU Executive Director; Katherine A. Pettiss, former CCIU Board President, and Paul L. Johnson, former CCIU Board and School Authority member.
The Child & Career Development Center was dedicated to John K. Baillie, the CCDC Literacy Center was dedicated to Katherine A. Pettiss, and the CCDC Early Childhood Learning Wing was dedicated to the late Paul L. Johnson. Over 100 people, including many retirees, joined the celebration honoring those recognized.