It is estimated that BASD would receive an additional $400 million in new dollars this year on top of the guaranteed $350 million, thanks to Pennsylvania’s new Fair Funding Formula, adopted officially in June, 2016. Sandra Miller, circuit rider for PA schools, presented the outcomes of the new formula to the board of directors at their November monthly curriculum meeting at East Hills MS.
The school board’s unanimous vote to renew Lehigh Valley Academy’s charter Nov. 21 marks the first time the board has approved a charter for LVA since the school’s inception in 2002. It also marks the first time the board presented a charter agreement of its own for approval. The board is still awaiting LVA’s approval or rejection of the new charter.
Charter law grants districts in which charter schools are located the authority to evaluate and renew, or not renew, the school’s charter every five years.
The school board unanimously approved Lehigh Valley Academy (LVA)’s new charter Nov. 21 at East Hills MS, but must now wait to see if LVA accepts it as well.
The new charter dictates the school will cap enrollment of Bethlehem students at LVA at 90 per grade level beginning with next year’s incoming kindergarten class. This provision is projected to save the district over $1 million a year if approved by LVA and have no impact on the school’s operations.
Bethlehem Area School District has reaped over $9 million in energy savings to date since rolling out its master energy plan in 2011, according to BASD chief Facilities and Operations Officer Mark Stein. Stein, with BASD energy manager Sean McKenna and engineer Arif Fazil of D’Huy Engineering, Inc., presented this staggering figure during the energy plan update at the monthly facilities meeting Nov. 7 at East Hills MS.
So far, the $9 million in savings has come from a mere $675,000 investment over the past six years.
Proposals for three major capital projects at Bethlehem Area Vocational Technical School (BAVTS) were the highlight at the monthly finance committee meeting Oct. 17. The proposals included a new Workforce Development and Integration Center costing an estimated $9 million.
BAVTS Director Adam Lazarchak presented the rough plans to the board as an investment in the local economy.
The school board is making some small but significant changes to its anti-hazing policy, first adopted in 2004. Chief Human Resources Officer Russell Giordano relayed a first reading of the policy changes at the HR committee meeting Oct. 17.
The school district’s curriculum committee kicked off its Oct. 10 meeting with some lively talk about what’s in store for Freedom HS’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2017.
The Bethlehem Area School Board proposed a plan for making Spanish language learning a standard in elementary schools at the monthly curriculum meeting Oct. 10. According to Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy, the plan could be implemented as early as next year.
“Parents have been asking when World Language is coming to elementary school,” said Roy. “We talk a lot about educating the whole child and about global citizenship, yet we’re far behind other countries in language learning.”
Spring rain showers did not dampen spirits at Moravian Academy on Saturday, when 80 graduating seniors joined the ranks of alumni.
Families and friends celebrated with the class of 2016 as they partook in commencement at the Merle-Smith Campus in the new state-of-the-art Athletic and Wellness Center, completed just two years ago. This was the first commencement ceremony held in the new building.