The April 24 regular board meeting was decorated with appreciation for some exceptional students, faculty and staff of the Beethlehem Area Schoo lDistrict community.
The directors first recognized seniors Gabriella Greenhoward from Freedom HS and Lexi Vega of Liberty HS who were each awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Moravian College on March 27. Greenhoward and Vega were selected out of 50 students between who applied for the scholarship.
A miscalculation of the real estate market value of Northampton County is causing a momentary hiccup in the district budget approval process, reported directors at the finance committee meeting April 10.
School districts use real estate market values to determine tax rates for the current year, which impacts district budget calculations, explained Bethlehem Area School District Chief Financial Officer Stacy Gober. The State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) is responsible for determining the aggregate market value of taxable real estate property across Pennsylvania.
BASD elementary students are solving math problems that baffle most adults, thanks to a new partnership formed this year with Dr. Robert Sun, creator of the online program First in Math (FIM).
School directors recognized the profound academic and extracurricular achievements of several students from Liberty HS and Freedom HS at their monthly board meeting March 20 at East Hills MS.
Liberty HS senior and member of the broadcasting staff Sean Collins was recognized for creating a video documenting the Liberty HS Grenadier Band’s trip to Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii Nov. 20-26, 2016. The band was invited to perform as the honorary band in the Waikiki Holiday Parade, as well as the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
The directors are exploring possibilities for the two vacant land parcels located at the corner of Freemansburg Avenue and Farmersville Road. The district has owned the 15.45 acre lot since 1979 and has leased it as farmland for the past several years.
The ongoing growth in residential and commercial real estate over the last few years along the Freemansburg Avenue corridor has triggered the need to evaluate the property as an educational asset, explained BASD chief facilities and operations officer Mark Stein at the facilities committee meeting Mar. 5.
New data is showing marked improvement in students’ reading scores just since the beginning of this school year, when the literacy initiative, “Reading by the End of Grade 3,” (RBG3) took to the classroom. Assistant superintendent Dr. Jack Silva, supervisor of early learning, grants and development Dr. Jodi Frankelli, and supervisor of literacy Kimberly Harper presented the mid-year data to the board at the curriculum committee meeting Feb. 6.
Bethlehem Area Scholl Board members board approved the preliminary 2017-18 budget at a special board meeting Feb. 13. At this point, the district’s expenditures exceed its anticipated revenue for 2017-18 by $12.5 million, resulting from increased costs and lower state revenue.
While some students spend hours after school mastering a sport or an art, the nine students on the 2016 Robotics Team at Liberty HS spend their time designing, building and programming award-winning mechanical robots.
The LHS Robotics Team recently won the Parkland Starstruck HS Division Qualifier, a tournament at Springhouse MS against 36 other high schools Jan. 7 sponsored by VEX Robotics. The win earned them a spot at VEX’s national competition April 6-8 in Council Bluffs, Iowa and they are working to raise the $6,000 needed to get them to the competition.
Every household in Bethlehem will now be able to get a unique look inside Bethlehem Area School District since the district began its own TV program on RCN, “BASD District Insider.” The program began airinf Feb. 2 on Thursday and Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. on channel 4.
“Not everyone accesses social media, but just about all of our constituents have cable TV,” Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy stated. “This is another avenue for us to share the good work going on in the district.”
The proposed and hotly debated state law, HB/SB 76 to eliminate school property taxes, would let large Bethlehem business off the hook in supporting education, school officials said at the finance committee meeting Jan. 17.