On Jan. 13, Chief Facilities Officer Mark Stein presented the BASD school board with a proposal by LPG Group to install capacitors at two middle schools and two elementary schools to improve energy efficiency.
In a half-full auditorium at East Hill MS Dec. 16, Lehigh Valley Academy (LVA) CEO Susan Mauser represented the regional charter school in its application for a new charter. However, no new educational programming is specified in the application; in effect, the only change LVA proposes is to move its K–12 operations to a planned 200,000-square- foot campus on nearly 200 acres in Bethlehem Township. Sixty acres would be occupied by the initial phase of construction; more than 100 acres is reserved for future development on the Alloy 5 Architecture plan shared with the media.
In June, Bethlehem Area School District administrators selected Broughal MS for a Comprehensive Support & Improvement (CSI) plan, based on the school’s three-year average of math and English Language Arts (ELA) scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests administered annually to eighth-graders. Broughal’s CSI plan, using $545,000 of Title I federal funds, encompasses three main areas: culture and mindset; instruction and assessment; and professional development.
Bethlehem Area School Board members addressed a recent controversy around charter schools and race at their Dec. 16 meeting.
On Dec. 5, BASD hosted a press conference to discuss charter reforms. A reporter from another media outlet asked why parents choose charter schools, and Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy’s response included a long list of items, including a longer school day and busing. The last item Roy mentioned was that some parents may choose charter schools to avoid their children attending school with students from other races or from poverty backgrounds.
The head of the Bethlehem NAACP chapter, the superintendents of the two Lehigh Valley urban school districts, state Sen. Lisa Boscola, state Rep. Steve Samuelson, and a dozen school board members held a press conference at Northeast MS Dec. 5 to call for charter school reform, mirroring press conferences held by nearly 20 superintendents statewide.
Newly elected BASD school board directors Dr. Kim Shively and Emily Schenkel, as well as re-elected directors Dr. Karen Beck Pooley, Dr, Dean Donaher, and Craig Neiman, were sworn in at the Dec. 2 reorganization meeting. Shively has been serving on the board for several weeks, as she was appointed to fill Eugene McKeon’s spot after his resignation; the swearing-in marks the beginning of her new term.
BASD thanked board member Tom Thomasik for his service at its Nov. 25 meeting, which was Thomasik’s last. He did not run at the Nov. 5 election, at which Dr. Karen Beck Pooley and Dr. Dean Donaher were re-elected, and newcomer Emily Schenkel will replace him in the third at-large seat.
The board also honored board member Shannon Patrick, whose eight years of service to the district earned her recognition from the Pa. School Boards Association (PSBA).
Chief Facilities Officer Mark Stein introduced the district’s capital improvement plan at the Nov. 11 BASD curriculum committee meeting. He cited guidance from the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) to budget 1.5 percent of the replacement cost of the district’s total square footage annually for capital projects, while acknowledging that this is not financially possible for public school districts.
BASD provided updates on the BethWorks TIF and on various student and visitor policies at its Nov. 18 finance and human resources meeting.
In June, BASD selected Broughal MS for a Comprehensive Support & Improvement (CSI) plan, based on the school’s three-year average of math and English Language Arts (ELA) scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests administered annually to eighth-graders. Broughal’s CSI plan, using $545,000 of Title I federal funds, encompasses three main areas: culture and mindset; instruction and assessment; and professional development.