Avon Grove School Board handles full agenda
● By Steven Hoffman
At the meeting on May 23, the Avon Grove School Board voted on two resolutions that signify the board’s support of legislation currently making its way through the State House and State Senate.
The whole concept of snow days could be changed if legislation allowing flexible instruction days is approved by state lawmakers.
Avon Grove superintendent Dr. Christopher Marchese explained that technology has evolved to the point where school districts can now effectively educate students during days with inclement weather, including snow days which are notorious for wreaking havoc on a school’s schedule.
Marchese said that flexible instruction days would be particularly useful during years when there are more days of inclement weather than is normal.
School board member Herman Engel, who is a teacher, expressed some concerns about students who don't have access to the Internet at home. Engel also noted that inclement weather that forces the cancellation of school could also result in power outages. This could leave students unable to complete assignments.
“I'm not saying I'm against the idea, I just have a few concerns,” Engel said.
“I share those concerns,” added board member Bill Wood.
Marchese said that it’s important to keep students safe at home and to keep the school buses off the roads during inclement weather, and flexible instruction days could be a good option.
Marchese noted that the legislation does not obligate the school district to do anything, but it leaves the option open for school district officials to implement flexible instruction days if, and when, the technology becomes available to them.
Marchese noted that if state lawmakers don’t approve new legislation that would allow for flexible instruction days, this option for school districts would end because the term for a pilot program is coming to a conclusion.
“It's about sending a message that school districts are interested in the option,” Marchese said.
The school board approved the resolution pertaining to flexible instructional days, 5-2.
The school board also approved a resolution that declares its support for legislation pertaining to cyber charter school regulations. Under this legislation, if a school district offers a cyber-based program equal to an existing publicly chartered cyber charter school, the school district would not be required to pay the tuition for the student’s attendance at the public cyber charter school. The school board approved the resolution by a 6-1 vote.
Daniel Carsley, the school district’s business administrator, was designated as both the tax collector and Right To Know Officer for the next fiscal year. As tax collector, Carsley will assign billing and collection duties to Keystone Collections Group.
The board approved a network administrator agreement with the Chester County Intermediate Unit for network engineering and management services.
The Avon Grove School Board will meet again on Thursday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Avon Grove Intermediate School.