The Octorara Board of Directors held their Facilities and Policy Committee Meetings, and the Work Session Meeting on Monday, January 9, 2017. Only six of the nine members were in attendance. Brian Norris, Samuel Ganow, and William Kloss were absent. Additionally, Dr. Thomas Newcome, District Superintendant, was also absent.
This week’s meetings were probably the lightest since I have been on the Board. As a result, there is not much to report. The Policy Committee is working on the DIstrtic’s “Unlawful Harassment” policy. It is a work in progress, and changes are being made to consolidate some redundant language. Also, Facilities received updates on some ongoing projects. They also discussed the positive impact of having the 10-year Facilities Report and the possibility of creating a Long Range Plan as an additional tool.
The Work Session Meeting was also a bit short. What passed as a Budget Presentation was limited to a statement that there have been no changes since the last presentation. However, Mr. Curtis did report that the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) is recommending that districts not budget any revenue increase from state for 2017-2018. As you may be aware, Pennsylvania is suffering from a tax revenue shortfall, and there is no expectation that the state will have the money to spend more.
If Not You… ?
It is that time again. School Board elections are on the ballot in 2017. Moreover, as we have discussed, voters have the capacity to replace 6 of the 9 Board Members, radically altering the balance of the Octorara Area School Board and the direction of the School District. Those positions include 2 seats in each of the 3 regions.
It is time to step up and take action. If you are tired of out of control taxes, it is time for you to run for the Octorara Area School Board. If you are tired of poor academic achievement and the lack of focus on education, it is time for you to run for the School Board. If you are tired of wasteful spending and programs that do not improve student performance, it is time for you to run for the School Board. If you are tired of the lack of transparency, it is time for you to run for the School Board. If you are tired of the Board’s finger pointing, whining, and lack of leadership, it is time for you to run for the School Board.
There are many important issues facing Octorara:
- Academic Performance
- Reading & Literacy
While these are not the only issues facing our district, these have proven to be not only the most troublesome, but are those our Board seem to be unwilling to truly tackle. So, if you understand there needs to be greater transparency and accountability on matters including budget adoption, contracts, curriculum adoption, and fiscal planning and oversight, your community needs you. If you want to see policies that move us toward being a school district with greater responsiveness, citizen inclusion, transparency and fiscal responsibility, then your community needs you.
If you believe in higher expectations for all students, accountability at every stage of schooling, and attacking the bigotry of low expectations, our children need you. If you believe parents are the ultimate determiner of ethical and behavioral norms and traditions, holding teachers and administrators responsible for student performance, and Data-driven instruction, our parents need you. If you believe in encouraging Pennsylvania legislators to make changes that allow greater flexibility for schools to be innovative and creating a merit-based tenure system, our District needs you.
Are you ready to make a difference for your community and a positive impact on our children’s future? I am here to help you. Reach out to me through my contact page, and I will give you the information you need to get your name on the ballot and run for the Octorara Area School Board of Directors.
Important 2017 Dates
- February 14 – First day to circulate and file nomination petitions
- March 7 – Last day to circulate and file nomination petitions
- March 8 – First day to circulate and file nomination papers.
- March 22 – Last day for withdrawal by candidates who filed nomination petitions
- April 17 – Last day to REGISTER before the primary
- May 9 – Last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot
- May 12 – Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted civilian absentee ballots
- May 16 – MUNICIPAL PRIMARY
- May 17 – First day to REGISTER after primary
- May 23 – Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots
- August 1 – Last day to circulate and file nomination papers
- August 8 – Last day for withdrawal by candidates nominated by nomination papers
- August 14 – Last day for withdrawal by candidates nominated at the primary
- October 10 – Last day to REGISTER before the November election
- October 31 – Last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot
- November 3 – Last day for County Boards of Elections to receive voted civilian absentee ballots
- November 7 – MUNICIPAL ELECTION
- November 8 – First day to REGISTER after November election
- November 14 – Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots