The Pine-Richland School Board meets tonight to vote on a proposed final budget of between $65 million and $66 million that calls for a 3.2 percent tax increase and cuts that include 15 teaching positions.
The venue for the 7:30 p.m. regular monthly meeting has been changed to the auditorium. (Board meetings usually are held at the school district's administrative offices.)
Speakers wishing to comment on the proposed budget will have opportunities at the beginning and end of the meeting.
Once the board votes to adopt a proposed final budget, it will then be posted for public review. The next step in the process is for the finance committee to discuss the budget and hear from the public at 6 p.m. May 29.
Final adoption of the budget and setting of the tax rate is scheduled for the board's June 25 meeting.
For tonight's meeting, the board will first host its annual recognition program to honor retirees prior to the regular school board meeting.
This year’s retirees include: Clair Altemus, Larry Creeks, Harry Daniels, Lynn Campbell, Caroll (Denny) Densmore, Julie Forsyth, Diana Hufnagle Melinda McKinnis, Nancy Merriman-Koegler, Karen Lee, Carol Pearson, Sally Schuster, Carol Shanholtz, Kathleen Smalstig, Kathryn Rezzetano, Donald Thomas, Richard Todd and Joanne Yingling.
A cut in the number of physical education teachers from 17 to 11.5 in the district.
Physical education time at Eden Hall would be reduced from six days in a 10-day rotation to once a week in grades four, five, and six for 40 minutes. This would include health instruction.
High school requirements would be reduced to 1 credit of physical education, including health education. Currently, high school students are required to take a PE class every year.
Changes at Eden Hall to Simplify the Schedule
1. General music would be reduced from three days in a 10-day rotation to once a week in grades four, five, and six as it is in grades one, two, and three. The current time for music is 30 minutes three times in 10 days for a total of 90 minutes. The program change would provide 5 minutes per week less general music time.
2. General art would be reduced from three days in a 10-day rotation to once a week in grades four, five, and six as it is in grades one, two, and three. The current time for art is 30 minutes three times in 10 days for a total of 90 minutes. The program change would provide 5 minutes per week less general art time.
3. In grades 4-6, advanced language arts and math instruction will be provided through the biomes to which the student will be assigned. There will be one or more advanced language arts sections at each grade level depending upon the achievement scores of the students within the biomes.
Placement exams will be given to determine individual student need. The number of placement assessments has been reduced to minimize the amount of testing time for students at the elementary grade levels. Curriculum-based assessments, standardized assessments, classroom grades, and 2011-2012 PSSA scores will be some of the determining factors in placing students in advanced programming.
4. Currently all students at Eden Hall receive keyboarding instruction in grades four, five, and six for three days out of a 10- day cycle. That would change to once a week for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. The keyboarding would be for fourth grade only. The business curriculum in grades five and six would be upgraded to cover Microsoft Office programs and web tools.
5. Currently all students at Eden Hall receive world language instruction in grades four, five, and six for three days in a 10-day cycle. The proposal would change world language instruction to once a week in grades four, five, and six.
6. This would round out the weekly encore rotation:
• One physical education class per week;
• One music class per week;
• One art class per week;
• One business class per week;
• One world language class per week.
7. Band, chorus, orchestra and instrument lessons would be offered to fifth and sixth graders only. (Currently, the classes are offered to fourth-graders also.)
8. Plan A requires the reduction of one-half of a current art position, one and one-half of current music positions, and two current elementary classroom teaching positions.
High School Electives
Since A. W. Beattie Career/Vocational School currently offers a child development program in which Pine-Richland High School students are able to enroll, Bucci is proposing that the district eliminate the child development program at the high school.
Music electives such as Beginner Piano and Music Theory would also be eliminated. These reductions in programming would eliminate one family and consumer science position and one-half music position at the high school.