Friday, November 28, 2008

Reorg meeting on Monday

Will the Neshaminy school board stay the course or chart a new direction in 2009? That question will be answered in part on Monday night at the annual reorganization meeting which takes place in the Board Room at Maple Point beginning at 7pm. The meeting doesn't usually last very long, but the repercussions of who is elected president and vice president will set the tone for the upcoming year. Public attendance is welcome and encouraged.

If you have strong feelings about who should (or should not) be elected to a board leadership role, now would be a good time to contact your elected officials and make your feelings known.

Kadri era officially over

With board approval, Lou Muenker took over as acting superintendent this past Tuesday evening. Muenker replaces Paul Kadri, who left Neshaminy to become superintendent of a school district in Groton, CT.

Click here to read the Courier Times article.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Board Policies Meeting Change

Tonight's meeting of the Board Policies Committee has been moved up to 5:15pm to accommodate an executive session of the board. The public meeting is still scheduled for 7pm.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Alt Ed program – it’s a brainer

What to do with the Alternative Education program at Tawanka? That is perhaps the most challenging question among many that we have to deal with, and there is no easy answer. Consider the pro’s and con’s of the matter . . .

The program is educationally successful, saving an estimated 12 students or more each year from dropping out of high school, and helping dozens of others to succeed. At the same time, the program is expensive and costs more than if we sent the students to facilities outside of the district.

While there are other successful programs outside of the district that we could send our students to, we run the risk that they could be lumped in with students having more serious disciplinary and/or emotional issues. Unquestionably our ability to manage which students are enrolled in Neshaminy’s Alt Ed program is a significant factor in its success.

So here is the challenge: Can we move the Alt Ed program currently residing at Tawanka to another facility within the district that can operate the program more efficiently? That very topic was discussed this past Monday evening at a Strategic Planning Committee meeting, and district administration had an out-of-the-box alternative they presented – renovate and utilize space up at the BELC area of the high school to house the program.

I was very hesitant about this idea when I first heard of it, but a compelling case was made for its consideration (there are a few ugly aspects to this idea that administration has to work out before I could fully support it). I also believe the renovate Eisenhower idea is a viable option for the Alt Ed program that warrants further consideration; I am not a fan of sticking this program at other school facilities like Maple Point or Sandburg/Schweitzer.

You can learn more about the BELC option by reading
this Courier Times article.

Courier Times: Teachers should pay for benefits, open up negotiations

Today’s Courier Times editorial touches upon a couple of old favorites – teacher benefits and open contract negotiations. While the editorial may not be breaking any new ground, it’s worth a look.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Here today, gone tomorrow

As reported by the Courier Times, Neshaminy superintendent Paul Kadri’s last day on the job is today, Monday November 17th. He will soon be joining his new school district in Groton, CT.

Assistant Superintendent Lou Muenker will serve as acting superintendent until a search can be conducted to identify Kadri’s replacement.

Saying goodbye to Paul Kadri

It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for Mr. Kadri, but despite the challenges he can say that he left Neshaminy better off than when he arrived. Our PSSA test scores are up, spending is down, and not since Gary Bowman have we seen a superintendent so involved in the day-to-day lives of our children.

This post is devoted to saying goodbye to Paul Kadri, and I invite you to add any kind, parting thoughts you would like to share with him.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Alt Ed program on the move?

Maintaining an alternative education program at Tawanka has been both educationally successful and expensive. Often the topic of debate, the Alt Ed program comes under scrutiny once again during Monday’s Strategic Action Committee meeting at Lower South Elementary (November 17th, 7pm). In an effort to maintain the Alt Ed program more economically, the Board will discuss potential relocation of the program to the BELC area of the high school.

Public comment at Monday’s meeting is welcome and encouraged.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Renovation on schedule, budget iffy

The high school renovation still appears to be on time - that's the good news. But as the project enters the final stretch, the contingency fund is lower than we would prefer. Some blame has been put upon Middletown Township for the fees it has charged the district, but those fees are to be (or should have been) expected. When money gets tight like this, that's when shortcuts like not paving a gravel road are considered.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Show will go on

Just when it appeared that the high school renovation might interfere with the annual musical, comes word from Superintendent Paul Kadri of a solution. Thanks to the work of Kadri and his administration, and due to the invaluable assistance of Damien Spahr (construction manager for the NHS project), renovation efforts that impact the area surrounding the Kloos Auditorium will work around the musical. Some work will begin before the annual drama event, and the rest of the work will be completed when the final curtain has come down.

Thank you to everyone who helped proves once again that the Show MUST go on!

And speaking of the Arts . . .

Drama Club students present!

Have you ever thought that your teachers are crazy? Well, for the kids of Bristol, Maine it's a reality. Join the Neshaminy High School Drama Club students as they present Good Morning Miss Vickers.

Performances will take place in the Performing Arts Center on November 13th - 15th at 7:00 pm. and 2:00 pm. on Saturday, November 15th. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults.

IU could rent Tawanka center

If the IU's in, evening activities could be out.
The Neshaminy School District is negotiating a deal with the Bucks County Intermediate Unit No. 22 to rent the Tawanka Learning Center in Lower Southampton for more than $7 per square foot, officials said during a school board meeting Wednesday night.

You can read the rest of this Courier Times article by
clicking here.