On May 22, the Chartiers Valley School Board gathered in packed meeting room to discuss budget matters at the district.
First, the school’s finance committee provided an overview of the proposed 2018-2019 budget (the PDF version of the presentation is available here).
Then, the regular meeting began with a presentation by some of CV’s advanced placement students.
Fourteen community members spoke with emotion in support of CVSD faculty, paraprofessionals and staff concerning teacher and/or staff furloughs perceived to be included in the proposed 2018-2019 budget. Charters Valley Federation of Teachers President, Mr. Frank Brown, offered a supportive message as the final speaker, citing unity and togetherness in the budget process.
Board President Mr. Anthony Mazzarini addressed the public saying, “You all being here tonight means more to me than you can imagine. It’s a shame that it took what I would say is a lot of misinformation in the community to bring you here. But, I’m so glad you’re here and we hear what you are saying and where you are at. We are going to do everything in our power to keep Charters Valley as a great place to education your kids. I would like to dress some of the things that were said during public comment and try to calm your concerns and correct some of the misconceptions. This board has been continuously fiscally responsible. We have a responsibility to our students, our staff and our tax payers to do what we feel is right to get us to a point where we can educate kids to the best of our ability within the budget. Going through a building process within a school district is no fun. We took on the challenge of bringing uniformity to our campus not because we wanted to, but because we had to. We had a crumbling infrastructure in our old buildings. Temperatures fluctuated by 20 to 30 degrees from floor to floor. And we were trying to educate students in that environment. You can ask any of the teachers in this room. We didn’t do it just to keep up with the Jonses, we had no choice. We would have invested thirty to fifty million dollars renovating the old buildings to address all the issues. This board has spent hundreds of hundreds and hundreds of hours going through the planning process to make great educational institutions for not only our kids to be in, but for our teachers and our administration. It’s important for us to have a great place for our teachers to come and work. It’s motivating to our students. It’s motivating to our teachers. People say buildings don’t educate. You’re right, teachers do. But the buildings certainly enhance the process. I was inspired last week touring the Middle School building with other board members and seeing the educational process taking place in the new building. It was incredible to see the job our teachers are doing, using these new spaces and watching the kids grow and learn in a whole different way. It was totally enlightening and inspiring to me. I saw our dollars and work and it meant so much. We shrunk the footprint of our educational facilities by almost 25 percent. Over the next fifty years, just the reduction in utilities is going to pay for this construction. We will benefit from not having to heat buildings that were too big for us. To heat hallways that we didn’t need. Now we have cafeterias that double as common areas and functional spaces for other uses. We thought this thing out. It wasn’t by accident. We had a collaborative effort for over two years with teachers, students and community members to determine how we could build the best buildings for our future. I’m so glad the future is here at Chartiers Valley. “
“This board is not of the mindset of furloughing any educators. We are not. That is not our goal. And I’ll say tonight that is not what we are going to do. We will find a way to make this happen without laying off teachers. I said this at the last meeting, but I also want to caution you as parents and teachers that when you are talking about property values on social media, consider the facts of what you are saying and where you are saying it. Once it’s out there, whether it’s true or false or a rumor you heard, it’s out there forever. It frustrates me to no end when I see something out there that I know is not true, but is being spread through social media, it’s damaging to all of us and it’s self-inflicted wounds. Be careful how you react. Pick up the phone. Call me. Email me. Email anybody on this board and get your questions answered before you go to social media and put out anything that you are not 100 percent sure of. We’ll be glad to try to give you the answers, so our district is not hurt by false information. I’m extremely proud of what this board has done. What our administration and our teachers have done and do every day. Let’s all work together like Mr. Brown said and be a great community.”
Superintendent Dr. Johannah Vanatta lauded the High School and Chartiers Valley Education Foundation’s for its work and involvement in making the May 21st Reception for Academic Excellence a reality before turning the floor over to Ms. Kristen Steen and Ms. Kelly Tobias for a presentation on the benefits and advantages of CVHS’s participation in the Advanced Placement Capstone program. High School students Kara Joseph, Victoria Adibiyi, and Mirra Rasmussen, who will be participants in the self-directed AP Capstone program, described the rigors of choosing a project, conducting preliminary research in a critical manner and the knowledge and skills they have developed in the preliminary phase of the program as well as the advantages they will have when it comes time to submit college applications. More information on the AP Capstone program is available at https://advancesinap.collegeboard.org/ap-capstone.
The board read-in agenda item 7.11, an action to hire Ms. Julie Franczyk as Intermediate School Principal. The motion was unanimously approved. Ms. Franczyk will join CVIS following employment as Assistant Principal at Bower Hill Elementary in the Peters Township School District.