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U-CF School Board approves expenses for renovations

03/21/2017 10:19AM ● Published by J. Chambless

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

Some big-ticket items were quietly and unanimously approved at the March 20 meeting of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board, which was held at Chadds Ford Elementary School.

After a presentation about student involvement in a STEM science fair at the elementary school, district superintendent John Sanville said, “It's clear from the kids' work in those projects why Chadds Ford Elementary is a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. There's some really tremendous work being done by the kids and the staff.”

Voting was swift and unanimous for a list of items related to ongoing renovations at district schools:

A mower purchase for $24,645.75;

Replacement door hardware throughout Hillendale Elementary School for $39,540;

New carpeting for Hillendale Elementary for $31,339;

New carpeting for Unionville and Pocopson elementary schools for $14,634.30;

Exterior lighting for Hillendale Elementary and Patton Middle School for $17,689.72;

Repair and resurfacing of tennis courts for $31,000;

Roofing repairs for Chadds Ford Elementary, Patton Middle School and Unionville High School for $318,983.13;

Replacement of lockers at Patton Middle School for $89,568.

In addition, the board unanimously approved a bid award for new buses to Wolfington Body Company in the amount of $230,350.

Board member Jeff Hellrung, who led the meeting in the absence of board president Vic Dupuis, reported on last week's meeting of the Curriculum and Educational Technology Committee, which for the first time has been made available online for the public's viewing.

“There was discussion of the Chromebook and Canvas Learning System initiative,” Hellrung said. “This year we rolled them out throughout the middle school. In short, the initiative is meeting all of our learning objectives. It's being very favorably accepted by teachers, students and parents. We're going to roll this out to the high school next year, for the freshman class only. So this year's eighth graders will take their Chromebooks to the high school. If it's as successful year by year as it has been so far, the program will expand until it covers grades six to 12.”

Hellrung also reported on the district's new Uprise initiative to further engage families with special-needs students. The meetings have drawn “administrators, teachers, parents of students with disabilities, and the group has put together an advisory committee that meets monthly,” Hellrung said. “Families are invited to come and network with each other and get information about projects that impact their students. It's a wonderful initiative, and well received.”

Regarding the delayed school start time initiative, Hellrung said that “by delaying the high school and middle school start times by 25 minutes, it would be the least disruptive option” for families and schools, while giving teens more time to sleep in the morning. “This would also involve a 15-minute delay for the elementary schools,” he said. “During March, the administration is taking this recommendation to the community to get feedback. At the end of that process, the administration will consider their recommendation to the board for next year. It's still open to some adjustments based on feedback, but the plan is that our work session on April 17, we'll hear from the administration about their final recommendation. Then we'll ask the school board for a vote on April 24.”

More information about district activities is available at www.ucfsd.org.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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