Rose Tree Media School District Penncrest High School

Rose Tree Media School District
Penncrest High School
Minutes of the March 14, 2016 PTG Meeting
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:06 PM.
Welcome: After the Pledge of Allegiance, Jenny Dresden welcomed everyone to the meeting.
All present were asked to introduce themselves by name and their child(ren) who attend
Guest Speakers:
Mr. James Wigo, Superintendent of Schools introduced himself and began a discussion of the
“State of the District”. He said we are 256 days into the State budget crisis; no State budget is
expected until after the November 2016 elections. He feels Rose Tree Media is well-positioned
for this. Numbers were released in January regarding cash flow and during the building
Principal’s Meeting, there were discussions of possibly freezing certain programs to save money.
(For example: 1-IPad Program-now we have ‘constant renewal’ of IPad’s because of new
technology; we can freeze it and just not add any new IPad’s for now. 2-Retirement of staff-no
replacements; just use substitutes). RTM has enough cash flow to function throughout the end of
the summer and is well positioned with a readily available line of credit if necessary. Mr. Wigo
explained that many other districts are not in our position; that they may need to close for the
summer to survive due to lack of State funds. Unfortunately, we are in the middle of this political
war and Mr. Wigo stressed that although we are looking at modifying some programs, we are not
in danger. He said we want to ‘freeze’ before we ‘cut’ any programs.
The School District is also looking at short term (now through 2020) enrollment. There are 1600
new homes expected to be built in the RTM community during this time period which brings
approximately 300 possible new students. Although the new Granite Run and Franklin Mint
properties are expected to bring in revenue through tax dollars, we still need to look at the impact
this has on elementary school enrollments i.e. are 4 elementary schools enough; build another
elementary school or add on to existing school property. Mr. Wigo stated that the increase is
mostly in the Edgmont part of the district. A parent asked if there is enough room at the middle
and high schools for the expected increase in students. Mr. Wigo said yes, right now there is. The
immediate state of our district is very healthy; it continues to grow not only in numbers but in
stature as well. Our district is a strong example to other districts and people want to move here
for the schools. Last year a study was done of all 4 townships in the district; in a one-year period,
Media had the highest increases in real estate value. Our class sizes are small and we want to
maintain that while providing tremendous support to our students. We also want to continue to
compete internationally and stay ahead our competition.
Principal’s Report: Mr. Ralph Harrison
Discussion of class rank study: Why are we studying class rank? We are trying to give students
greatest opportunity to earn acceptance into the highest quality universities. Mr. Harrison used a
slide presentation and included facts such as: “More than ½ of all high schools no longer report
class rank,” “Trend is to use unweighted GPA to compare applicants from different high
schools.” “Students with high grades might have relatively low rank at a given high school.”
He also showed a slide “Top 25 Schools in the State” and how they were reporting their students
to colleges; four still use rank, three are currently deciding (includes PHS) and the rest do not use
rank. All schools are not equally as strong academically so you cannot fairly rank all students
who apply to colleges.
 What we currently report to colleges: School Profile (data, community information,
demographics, special programs, average scores on standardized tests, etc); Rank;
Unweighted GPA.
 What we want to do: Continue to compute unweighted GPA; Continue to compute
weighted GPA; Report unweighted GPA; Discontinue calculation and reporting of class
The full meeting on the Class Rank Study will be presented in PHS Library Wednesday, March
16th at 7:00 PM.
Aprroval of Minutes-January 11, 2016 Meeting and February 8, 2016: Motion to approve
minutes of January’s meeting made by Debbie Conley; Debbie Saylor-Brown approved and
Carol Costello second the motion.
Motion to approve minutes of February’s meeting made by Debbie Conley; Debbie SaylorBrown approved and Jenny Dresden second the motion. All were in favor.
Treasurers’ Report: Bob Schultz reviewed the current Treasurer’s Report which currently has
an ending balance of $9,884.43. He expects to have $3,400 remaining at end of school term
(after all obligations are met) and likes to keep $3,000 to transfer to next school year. He stated
there will be approximately $400 that can be used and asked Mr. Harrison if he has any
immediate needs. Mr. Harrison will review school needs and get back to Bob.
Teachers’ Report: Carolyn Heaton was filling in for Mr. Sean Hobdell.
Students just got back from Quebec with Ms. Jackson, Ms. Riviere, Ms. Flexon and Mr.
Diaz. Students are currently in Spain with Ms. Nemec-Osborne, Ms. Montich, and Mr.
Mr. Kevin Nolen escorted the mock trial club to the Media Courthouse for their
competition against local schools. Mr. Sean Hobdell oversaw the History Day Team in
their competition on March 4th at the Chester County Historical Society. Both produced
valuable experiences for students interested in concepts relating to their social studies
Junior class sponsor Mr. Tim Brown wanted to remind all of you that Junior Prom will be
held on Friday, April 1, 2016 at Springfield Country Club from 6:30 - 10:30 pm. Tickets
are currently on sale during B and C lunches. They will be sold until Monday, March 28.
That is the Monday we return from spring break. The cost is $60 per person/$120 per
couple. We ask that students try to pay by check - checks should be made out to "Rose
Tree Media School District." It would be a good idea to have the student's name in the
memo section of the check. Permission forms for a non-Penncrest student date must
be filled out and approved before tickets can be purchased. There is a separate form
for high school students who attend a different high school and one for post high school
guests. The forms are available at the ticket desk and on the student portal of the
Penncrest website. The form must be filled out, submitted to Mr. Silva's office or Ms.
Seeley's (for SYA students) and approved before tickets can be purchased for a nonPenncrest date. In addition, all obligations must be settled before tickets can be
Committee Reports:
School Board Meeting Highlights – February 25, 2016
Robert Baidokas received the Eagle Scout award. He is a junior at Penncrest. Robert’s
project was rebuilding a walking trail behind Indian Lane which is used by students and
others to safely get to the school.
The educational presentation was a song from the SLMS musical, The Sound of Music.
Student Liaison Reports – Ian Wade & Alison D’Ignazio:
o Glenwood Elementary held a DJ party during lunches after earning 100 more
paws for praise. The first grade won the soup can drive for the “Souper” Bowl.
o Indian Lane’s PTG held their Winter Festival.
o There was a poster contest for the elementary schools with a theme of Black
History Month.
o The Hoops for Hope basketball game was played at SLMS, where the 8th grade
basketball teams play against teachers. It raises funds for a sister school in Africa.
o The musical, The Sound of Music, will be performed from March 3-5 at SLMS.
o Springton Lake students will be going to the elementary schools on March 2nd,
Dr. Seuss’ birthday, to read to students in grades K-2.
o Rose Tree had Edward Hector come for an assembly that focused on war time.
o Mrs. Graham, Penncrest 9th grade guidance counselor, visited Springton Lake on
February 1st to speak about course selection.
o Penncrest held its’ annual Course Selection Night on February 9th. There was a
quick introduction in the auditorium followed by Q and A opportunities in the
cafeteria with each department.
o Richard Geary came to speak regarding the use of technology in today’s world. It
was held during school hours and an evening presentation was held for the
o The Penncrest Hi-Q team is in third place with 150 points. They’ve earned a
home playoff meet on February 26th.
School Board Reports:
 A legislative bill passed to postpone the Keystone Exams for two years as a graduation
requirement; this will now affect the class of 2019.
 There is a lawsuit against the PA Department of Education stating the state needs to
provide adequate funding to all public schools.
Superintendent’s Report – Mr. Jim Wigo:
 Mr. Wigo spoke about Mr. DiPaulo, assistant principal at Springton Lake, who published
an article in an educational journal.
Solicitor’s Report - Mr. Tom Kelly:
 The Sunoco pipeline won’t be on any school property. Only an access easement of a
small road will be needed. A one-time payment to the school district for $50,000 from
Sunoco will be made to compensate for the easement.
President’s Report – Mr. Bill O’Donnell:
 RTMSD received a letter from the Auditor General saying that the district complied with
all state requirements.
RTMEA Report – Mr. Sean Hobdell, Vice President:
 The teachers have been involved in a handful of community service events this year.
Some are: Hoops for Hope at SLMS with a 102-96 win by the teachers; the National
Honor Society’s Blood Drive at PHS where 210 pints of blood were donated; and the Red
Cross Club collected donated toiletries and homemade cards that were mailed to military
troops overseas – 1,200 toiletries were collected and 200 cards were made.
Unscheduled Reports:
 Mr. Dan Herzog, a district parent, praised Ms. Hartner, SL school nurse, for her
assistance when his son was sick. Ms. Hartner worked closely with the family, along
with Susan Howe, guidance counselor and Dr. Eleanor DiMarino-Linnen, Director of
Pupil Services & Special Education. Mr. Herzog was very grateful for them helping his
 Ms. Agnes Silverman, a community member, stated facts from 1995 in regards to
comments made at a former school board meeting. She also thanked the board for their
New Business:
 School visitors need to bring identification when entering all buildings.
 Two bus drivers were retiring after many years of service.
 Varsity sports coaches in the district are paid at a higher rate verses head coaches at the
middle school due to the higher expectations expected of the position by working six
days a week and assisting with college recruitment verses five days a week at the middle
A first read of the 2016-2017 calendar happened.
Next School Board Meeting is March 31, 2016.
PAB/Principal’s Coffee with Mr. Harrison held last week. Highlights are as follows:
o School safety discussion regarding where PHS students would go in case of a districtwide building emergency. Possibly: 12th grade: Lima Church 9-11th grade: Penn State
o Parents want students to have access to tests they have taken so they can review before
o Hunter the Dog (drug sniffing dog) has been scheduled out in advance for many visits
and has visited PHS already
Grade-Level Reports: Junior Prom will be held on Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Springfield
Country Club.
Old Business: Picnic Tables: being built now. Work in progress as paver placement is being
reviewed for optimal leveling and permanency.
New Business:
o College Process: Jenny Dresden and Amy Kleiman are working with the district and
Penncrest administrators and the Penncrest guidance department. They want to make sure
all parents know the college process, from middle school through high school. The
ultimate goal is to affect a culture change regarding college in our district– today’s
college process is much different than when we were in high school and we want parents
to know and understand it. They are putting together a “College FAQ” with the focus on
educating the parents. Jenny and Amy are collecting information that parents need to
know for their child’s college process i.e. where? How much? SAT’s/ACT’s? Options?
How early to start looking at colleges? Financial Aid/FAFSA?
This is a request for parents to submit questions about the college application process, the
timeline from PHS to college, as well as helpful tips from parents with older students
who have already been through the process. Please email to [email protected]
Please send in questions and comments by the end of this school year.
o Treasurer position will be open for the next school year. Contact Bob or Kim Schultz
with questions/interest.
Meeting Adjourned: The meeting was adjourned at 9:08 PM.
MONDAY, APRIL 11 @ 7:00 PM**
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