Skip to main content

Proposed budget approved for Unionville-Chadds Ford

01/15/2014 08:24PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, Schools



By John Chambless

Staff Writer

The big-ticket item at the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board's work session on Jan. 13 was the approval of the proposed preliminary budget for 2014-15, but there were plenty of other topics that filled the three-hour meeting and drew a large crowd.

The board approved the preliminary budget of $76,057,213, while several members acknowledged that there is a long way to go in hammering out the final tally. Gov. Corbett will not announce the state's budget until Feb. 4, so much of the funding is still unknown. But as a best guess, director of business and operations Robert Cochran laid out a budget that seeks a real estate tax rate of 26.79 in Chester County and 22.50 in Delaware County. That averages out to a weighted average of 4.03 percent, which exceeds the Act 1 Index of 2.1. Therefore, the school district is seeking exceptions of $925,978 in Chester County and $174,665 in Delaware County, for a total of $1,100,643, to bring the budget within the limits of Act 1. Cochran cautioned that the district does not necessarily plan on using the exceptions, but is including them as a contingency in case they become necessary later in the budget process. Cochran presented figures that showed an available balance of $1.4 million in exceptions, of which the district is earmarking $1.1 million.

The board also approved a timeline for approval of the budget, with a series of meetings leading up to the final adoption and the setting of tax millage rates on June 16. The complete proposed preliminary budget is posted online at www.ucfsd.org, under Board Documents.

The agenda item that drew a big crowd to the meeting, though, was a discussion of approving a club team for rowers at Unionville High School. The team, to be named the Unionville Rowing Club, would get no funding from the school district. If the team is approved, though, students could get letters in crew, and they could row under the school's name. They could also use the school indoor facilities, but would be based at the Wilmington Rowing Center. 

Seven parents and students stood up to address the board on the benefits of crew, citing the positive influences, the work that's required and the discipline learned by rowing as a team. That discipline, they said, pays off with improved academic results.

Cuyler Walker, an attorney and the chairman of the East Marlborough Board of Supervisors, said that he is arranging the club team's paperwork as a non-profit group and helping formalize its selection of officers. “I rowed in college, and I can say that it builds character and it builds discipline,” Walker told the school board. “It stimulates a desire to achieve excellence. Kids need to work together to reach the pinnacle of success, and I believe that's in keeping with the excellence of this school district.”

The school board will vote on whether to approve the crew team at next month's meeting.

The board also heard from Sheila Fleming of the Brandywine Conservancy, and landscape architect Michael Lane, about proposed changes to a walking trail that runs along the edge of the Chadds Ford Elementary School property. The issue was raised almost a year ago, and board members expressed concern at that time about safety issues due to the proximity of the public trail and the school's playground.

Lane presented photos showing a proposed solution, with fences and signs to keep the public away from the playground area.

The trail has been an informal footpath for decades, and runs along the eastern edge of the school property. It is “the missing link” in the Brandywine Creek Greenway, Lane said, a 30-mile conservation corridor that will ultimately include 230 miles of sidewalks and trails along the Brandywine Creek. Without the critical piece of the trail, he said, there will be no link between trails in northern Chester County and trails that lead south into Delaware. 

Lane specified that the trail is unpaved, and will be used only by walkers. He proposed a series of post-and-rail fences to guide walkers around the school, and a series of chain-link fences that will prevent direct access to the playground. To complete the plan, the trail will need to be moved three feet closer to the playground, thereby avoiding an adjoining property whose owner does not want the trail placed there. The Conservancy is seeking a 10-foot easement so that the trail and fences can be placed. The process could take a couple of years, Lane said. 

The project will be paid for by the Conservancy and donations, not by the school district. The easement is not intended to be permanent, Lane said. The ultimate goal is to get the trail moved over to the adjoining property at some point. He added that the trail is most often used on weekends in the summer, when students will not be in school. 

Board member Kathleen Do told Lane, “I feel much better after seeing what you're proposing. I can see that a significant amount of work has been done on this in the past year.”

The board seemed satisfied with the safety procedures in the proposal, but said that no decision on the easement would be made until next month's board meeting.

At a curriculum meeting that preceded the work session, John Nolen, the director of curriculum and instruction, presented some results of the Olweus anti-bullying program that was rolled out in the district's elementary schools last year. The program has been in place at Patton Middle School for the past five years. All students in third to eighth grade were surveyed last spring. Class meetings on bullying are being held at the schools twice a month to keep the topic in discussion.

Nolen cited results that indicated about 25 percent of the elementary students say they have been bullied two or three times in the past month, which is similar to the national average. About 80 percent of the students indicated that they would respond to bullying by telling an adult, and about the same percentage said they would personally try to help a bullied student. Most of the bullying is verbal, Nolen said, including rumors spread by others or excluding an individual student. 

The responses will be tracked next year to see if the year-long emphasis on anti-bullying spelled out by the Olweus program has an effect on bullying. 

The principals of each elementary school were at the board meeting, and they all indicated that students are getting the message about the effects of bullying and how to handle it when they encounter it. Incidents which cannot be immediately remedied by a teacher in the classroom are put in writing and reported to the superintendent's office for action.

The subject of teacher evaluations was also discussed at the curriculum meeting. Ken Batchelor, the assistant to the superintendent, said a committee has recommended making surveys available to students and parents which will be analyzed and turned back to the teachers in each classroom. Batchelor said that a company called Panorama will be engaged to write and implement the surveys, and to report the results, at a cost of about $1 per survey. “Teachers will get the data results and work with their principals to evaluate the results or make recommendations,” Batchelor said.

The board discussed the necessity of getting surveys from a wide cross-section of students and teachers, not just from those with an issue they feel strongly about, so that a true picture of a teacher's work can be uncovered. 

The Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board will meet on Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Patton Middle School. Visit www.ucfsd.org for more information.


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline



unionville-chadds ford school board budget unionville-chadds ford school district


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Sunny Container Gardens

    05/04/2016
    10:30AM — 12:30PM

    Add a bit of summertime flair to your garden with a colorful container of sun-loving perennials. ...


  • Pajama Storytime

    05/04/2016
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Wednesdays at 6:30 PM - Join us for an evening of stories, songs, crafts, and fun to end your day...


  • Pro-Act's Family Education Program

    05/04/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    When someone is addicted to drugs & alcohol, the diease affects the entire family. Each month PR...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Right Tool, Right Place

    05/05/2016
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Gardening is a wonderful activity for your health and well-being; but like any activity, there ar...


  • What will I See on the Sun Today?

    05/05/2016
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    It's all about LIGHT. Safely observe the sun through special solar glasses, telescopes in three d...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    05/05/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • Lessons from the Winemaker

    05/05/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Lessons from the Winemaker series will begin in May and continue until December. One Thursday...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    05/09/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    05/10/2016
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Sunny Container Gardens

    05/04/2016
    10:30AM — 12:30PM

    Add a bit of summertime flair to your garden with a colorful container of sun-loving perennials. ...


  • Pajama Storytime

    05/04/2016
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Wednesdays at 6:30 PM - Join us for an evening of stories, songs, crafts, and fun to end your day...


  • Pro-Act's Family Education Program

    05/04/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    When someone is addicted to drugs & alcohol, the diease affects the entire family. Each month PR...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Right Tool, Right Place

    05/05/2016
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Gardening is a wonderful activity for your health and well-being; but like any activity, there ar...


  • What will I See on the Sun Today?

    05/05/2016
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    It's all about LIGHT. Safely observe the sun through special solar glasses, telescopes in three d...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    05/05/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • Lessons from the Winemaker

    05/05/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Lessons from the Winemaker series will begin in May and continue until December. One Thursday...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • National Public Gardens Day

    05/06/2016
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Celebrate America's public gardens with a complimentary visit to Mt. Cuba Center! Relax in our ga...


  • National Public Gardens Day

    05/06/2016
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Celebrate America's public gardens with a complimentary visit to Mt. Cuba Center! Relax in our ga...


  • Join the fun at a Quarter Auction by Friends for Rescue & Pet Care in Newark on Friday May 6, 201...


  • Charlie Zahm is back presenting an evening of Civil War era music and history---this time it's Th...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Wildflower Walk

    05/07/2016
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    With Janet Ebert, Botanist Saturday, May 7th from 9:00AM-11:00AM Location: Bucktoe Creek Preser...


  • Develop a personal photographic style and bring your technical and artistic skills to a new level...


  • Church Yard Sale

    05/07/2016
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    As part of the East Goshen Township Community Day program, there will be a yard sale at UCCEG, 1...


  • Aston E-Waste & Data Destruction Event

    05/07/2016
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    ELECTRONIC ITEMS ACCEPTED— Almost anything with a plug! Hard drive & cell phone destruction $10...


  • Famous Chicken BBBQ

    05/07/2016
    01:30PM — 04:30PM

    CHICKEN BBQ, Saturday, May 7, 1:30-4:30 p.m., LANDENBERG CHURCH at 205 Landenberg Road, Landenbe...


  • Banding Together for Dravet

    05/07/2016
    07:00PM — 09:15PM

    Join us at the first ever Banding Together for Dravet on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Proceeds benef...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • 2016 Kacie's Cause MOTHER'S DAY WALK

    05/08/2016
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    We hope you will join us for the Third Annual Mother's Day Walk. This is a FAMILY EVENT (rain or ...


  • 2016 Kacie's Cause MOTHER'S DAY WALK

    05/08/2016
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    We hope you will join us for the Third Annual Mother's Day Walk. This is a FAMILY EVENT (rain or ...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    05/09/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    05/10/2016
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Pilates Class: Get in Shape for Summer!

    05/11/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Sign up for FREE Pilates Class, back by popular demand! It's a 6 week session- attend them all or...


  • Pajama Storytime

    05/11/2016
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Wednesdays at 6:30 PM - Join us for an evening of stories, songs, crafts, and fun to end your day...


  • Pro-Act's Family Education Program

    05/11/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    When someone is addicted to drugs & alcohol, the diease affects the entire family. Each month PR...


  • The Garden After Dark

    05/11/2016
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    From Perseus and Hercules to Pegasus and Leo, the spring sky abounds with mesmerizing constellati...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Growing Native Orchids

    05/12/2016
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Whether you are a rank beginner or a master gardener, hardy native orchids can grow and thrive in...


  • Meditation

    05/12/2016
    05:30PM — 06:30PM

    Increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of well-being can be achieved t...


  • Meditation

    05/12/2016
    05:30PM — 06:30PM

    Increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of well-being can be achieved t...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    05/12/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • Scattered throughout the nearby Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area are the remains of on...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Spring Art-In

    05/13/2016
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Join us for a day of art and let your creativity bloom while you draw, paint, or photograph Mt. C...


  • Spring Art-In

    05/13/2016
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Join us for a day of art and let your creativity bloom while you draw, paint, or photograph Mt. C...


  • Color In Your Bedroom

    05/13/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Come and discover how to balance your physical health and intimate relationships with the color a...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • WHITE CANE DAY

    05/14/2016
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    LIONS ON THE LOOSE IN OXFORD THE OXFORD LIONS CLUB MEMBERS WILL BE ON 3RD STREET, REDNERS MA...


  • Elemental Ayurvedic Readings

    05/14/2016
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    The 2 hour consultation with Sarah Tomlinson directs your awareness to your personal strengths an...


  • Sustainable Landscape Techniques

    05/14/2016
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Make your landscape more ecologically sound by implementing a variety of sustainable gardening an...


  • Stateline Loop Run for Conservation

    05/14/2016
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Join The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County (TLC) on Saturday, May 14th for the annual ...


  • The Copeland Legacy: Conserving Native Plants

    05/14/2016
    10:30AM — 12:30PM

    Join us for Community Read, a multi-institutional program designed to inspire reading, conversati...


  • Color For Stress Reduction

    05/14/2016
    03:00PM — 06:00PM

    In this unique three-hour workshop you will discover how the activity of Coloring Yantras brings ...


  • Celebrate the power of four paws with CPL! This canine chic celebration is filled with opportunit...


  • Concordia Voices Presents: New Heaven

    05/14/2016
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    Concordia Choral Arts’ 2015-2016 Performance Year, titled THE NEW WORLD continues with our spring...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    05/15/2016
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • Taste Kennett Food Tours

    05/15/2016
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Taste Kennett Food Tours, creators of memorable, unique and fun food experiences, offer three-hou...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Don't miss this opportunity to visit and photograph four magnificent mid-Atlantic gardens at the ...


  • Photographing Gardens of the Brandywine Valley

    05/16/2016
    06:00AM — 04:30PM

    Don't miss this opportunity to visit and photograph four magnificent mid-Atlantic gardens at the ...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    05/16/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • Pilates Class: Get in Shape for Summer!

    05/16/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Sign up for FREE Pilates Class, back by popular demand! It's a 6 week session- attend them all or...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Carnival at St. Peter Parish in West Brandywine

    05/18/2016
    03:00PM — 10:00PM

    St. Peter Parish in West Brandywine, PA (Chester County) Wed. May 18-Sat. May 21. Event runs 5-1...


  • Pajama Storytime

    05/18/2016
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Wednesdays at 6:30 PM - Join us for an evening of stories, songs, crafts, and fun to end your day...


  • Pro-Act's Family Education Program

    05/18/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    When someone is addicted to drugs & alcohol, the diease affects the entire family. Each month PR...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • The Allure of Native Azaleas

    05/19/2016
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Are you fascinated by native azaleas but aren't sure how to grow them? Steven Kristoph examines s...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    05/19/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Treehouse Workshop

    05/21/2016
    08:00AM

    Learn how to build a treehouse in the safest and most tree friendly way. Instructors include carp...


  • Grains of the World Dinner

    05/21/2016
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Newlin Grist Mill director Tony Shahan will host a special dining event featuring grains from acr...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Taste Kennett Food Tours

    05/22/2016
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Taste Kennett Food Tours, creators of memorable, unique and fun food experiences, offer three-hou...


  • Quarter Auction

    05/22/2016
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Quarter Auction. There will also be Special Raffle Baskets and a 50/50. Visit www.curecancertoday...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    05/23/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    05/24/2016
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Leaf Imprinted Ceramic Vessel

    05/25/2016
    12:00PM — 04:00PM

    Create a nature-inspired vessel (vase or bowl) using foliage from our native trees as the design ...


  • Yoga

    05/25/2016
    05:00PM — 06:00PM

    Increase your range of motion, core body strength, and flexibility through the practice of yoga i...


  • Yoga

    05/25/2016
    05:00PM — 06:00PM

    Increase your range of motion, core body strength, and flexibility through the practice of yoga i...


  • Pajama Storytime

    05/25/2016
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Wednesdays at 6:30 PM - Join us for an evening of stories, songs, crafts, and fun to end your day...


  • Pro-Act's Family Education Program

    05/25/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    When someone is addicted to drugs & alcohol, the diease affects the entire family. Each month PR...


Chester County High School Sports