In Avon Grove, preparations for new high school move forward
● By Steven Hoffman
The Avon Grove School District continues to prepare for the construction of a new high school.
At the Sept. 27 meeting, the Avon Grove School Board handled a wide variety of items on a 17-page agenda, chief among them several items related to the construction of the new high school.
The school board unanimously approved a site plan for the new Sunnyside Road campus and a new Avon Grove High School Program. The school board also approved contracts with Terraform Engineering to compile a traffic impact study for the new high school, as well as soils testing on the Sunnyside Road property.
Avon Grove superintendent Dr. Christopher Marchese said that the approval of the site plan and the educational program for the new school, in particular, were significant—and he thanked the school board for the unanimous votes.
“That's a significant hurdle to cross in the project,” Marchese said of the site plan and the school educational program. “It's exciting that this is starting to happen now.”
During his superintendent's report, Marchese informed the school board that the school district's enrollment stands at 5,058 students at this point in the school year. He added that there are 298 students enrolled in Avon Grove's full-day kindergarten program.
“We're excited to have strong enrollment for the second year of that program,” Marchese said.
The superintendent also talked about how the district is updating and improving security measures for all the district's buildings. Marchese said that parents will be receiving information about some of the security measures for the school buildings in the coming weeks. He noted that state lawmakers approved approximately $60 million in the current budget for school district's to make security enhancements. Some of the funding is divided equally among Pennsylvania's school districts, while other funding has been set aside for competitive grants. Avon Grove will be seeking some funding through a competitive grant.
Kristin Bishop, the CEO of the Avon Grove Charter School, made the annual presentation about the charter school's activities.
Bishop outlined the charter school's educational program, discussed some of the goals that have been set for the current school year, and also shared some demographic data.
The Avon Grove Charter School has added a new wing of classrooms at the elementary level. The charter school now offers STEM classes from K-12, which is one of the opportunities being offered to students.
Bishop explained that the charter school's enrollment now stands at 1853 students, which is up from slightly more that 1,700 students during the last school year.
“We have a growing, healthy waiting list as well,” Bishop said.
One major initiative that the Avon Grove Charter School has worked on is maintaining safe school buildings for the students—just as the Avon Grove School District has been doing. Bishop said that the Avon Grove School District's administrative team has been very supportive whenever there has been a need to collaborate.
In October, the district's Committee of the Whole will meet to discuss facilities planning and construction on Thursday, Oct. 18, and the next regular school board meeting will take place on Thursday, Oct. 25.