Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes 1/14/21

Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Committee
Meeting Minutes provided by PAC
January 14, 2021 at 7:00 PM
1. COVID Update
Goal is to be under 10 cases per 100k people per week. Moderate rating is 10-100 for their
scale. Last week was 541 for our county last week. Not ideal. Percentage of people testing
positive was about 19%, the goal was under 5%. St. Luke’s reports a leveling off of cases.
However, in BASD they were seeing 20-24 cases in schools per week prior to winter break. We
are now only seeing about 8 this week in our first week back to school, in which none of those
were in BASD schools, merely reported as having contracted over the break.
2. Contract Tracing:
The BASD health team wants to be able to identify and track cases and any/all close contact of
those individuals during any time at school. Lunch, PE, etc., any close contacts will be identified,
and they are required to quarantine until they are clear of contraction.
The extra time taken ahead/after the break was necessary given the numbers BASD was seeing
and advised per St. Luke’s.
Question from Virginia:
Why are there no cases showing on the dashboard as zero, but individual schools report the odd
case? It emboldens parents who want their kids back in school and if we’re showing zero cases,
what message are we sending?
JR: It’s a great point. Since nobody has been in school for last 14 days, the dashboard indicates
no cases as nobody in school. Maybe we should remove the e-learning/hybrid segment to clarify
exactly where we’re at as it seems we’re making more work for ourselves given the confusion
created. We tried to move the explanation to the top of the page, not the bottom, and not all
are clearly understanding the actual contraction rates.
Vaccination Updates: BASD staff are in the 1B category of recipients set to receive their
Last week the PA Dept of Health indicated that in areas of spread, all boards should be fully
remote. They then changed that to say that it was ok for elementary. They didn’t explain in
writing that bringing them back was intended to reflect a hybrid model that had people in up in
arms. The confused the masses further.
With holidays in the rearview mirror, holidays over, cases trending downward, vaccinations
ramping up, we can look toward getting kids back to normal. We cannot do so until that 6ft
distancing issue is address. Hoping to learn more in the next couple of months.
Jockeying from local health companies to attract new patients with info/promotions on
vaccinations and wait lists is evident, let’s see what actually results in actuality.
3. Education Programs:
Dr. Silva indicated that the transition out of the break and back into the hybrid model went
well…it was a 28 day layoff. They came back excited and eager to be back. Teachers in staff are
seeing 2x the normal number of students below grade level.
Teachers and leadership are doing some incredible things to assess and use standard based
grading to ‘best assess’ learning outcomes. Teachers are traditionally using statistical
calculations to average out over time many formative assessments. Now, teachers are
identifying at the outset for the year the expectation that they are looking for a set of skills, and
that the student will have a number of opportunities/modes/opportunities to showcase skills
instead of the ‘points chase’ to award a grade, it’s now being much for skill evidenced system
based on a rubric. There is a greater emphasis on actual representations of actual work, less
focus on busy work. Evidence of learning measures do not amount of work done. Hooray!
Mr. James and his team are going above and beyond to empower students with IT issues to
allow students to engage and be successful.
PSAA’s are still set to be run, and we have data for at least the elementary level, the end of
academic year, start of this, and as of Feb of this year, the stats to see how they’re doing.
At the secondary level, we are seeing a drastic decrease in the degree of engagement at the
secondary level.
The high-pressure state assessments that can dictate the course of schools will be somewhat
mitigated, as we are seeing that over time, these are not informing successful schooling. Dr.
Roy indicated that through the Dept of Ed, there could be a precedent for PA to drop…greater
focus on validity and reliability of these tests, and this isn’t a year in which we could use this
year’s data to inform any change of course. Dr. Roy thinks that to date, having to do these
seems a bit much given the logistics of having to test per normal. Major issues that need to be
addressed. Between PSSA’s having to be run, and even exams for secondary level for the first
term having been skipped, it’s an unbelievable ordeal to overcome should they want exams
done. Outcome on this TBD, Dr. Roy isn’t excited about the prospect of having to run these this
Leader in Me program, along with other ‘executive functioning’ (Seven Habits) work across
levels is occurring, evidenced by the work that they’re seeing with students especially at this
time of great need/opportunity to showcase.
Julie Bailey here to simply let us know the Foundation is on track to raise $300k which was to
plan…but…without the annual celebration dinner, we’re set to need to dig a little deeper. Lots
of new donors coming out of the woodwork, hoping that continues.
Two ways to contribute:

  • Sponsorship opportunities will be a donor situation with a wall of contributors and yard
    signs for donations for $100 or more.
  • United Way contributions via paycheck donations automated via paychecks, and there
    are matching donations from some of the big employers in the area

For more information, please visit website:
4. Finance and Business:
Funding for education, our increased costs with funding issues arises mainly out of the cyber
charter drain we’re experiencing, as a percentage of the budget. More money being sent to
cyber charters, even though we have our own cyber program here within BASD. The extended
school year for students with special needs is still planning to be in place.
Meal provision will continue at the schools that were participating. There are a lot of families
struggling as of now and we’re stretched thin given our principals/asst. principals and other
support staff are out and about in the communities who are seeing far more families than
normal hurting and more so than normal.
5. Advocacy:
For programs across the state, the 500 school districts here in PA are doing great work with
great programs for 50% than cyber charters! We are always looking for the money we’re due,
but at this point, there is more momentum on reform for cyber/charter reforms than ever
before, it’s not so much ‘give us more money’ but a matter of please look at the law!
We are anticipating lower revenues, so for the coming year, 21-22, there will be budget
impacts, offset somewhat by the CARES Act, but that is 1x money…we need to offset the drain
that we’re sending to charters, but especially cyber charters.
The possibility of a fully extended school year, for all levels, is a matter of contacts and budgets.
Extending the school year is not an option at this point.