|NPSD Board Members
Christian D. Fusco
Elisha K. Gee
Jonathan M. Kassa
Dr. Wanda Lewis-Campbell
The NPSD Board of School Directors welcomes questions and comments from the community. To that end, community members may email the entire school board at
If you would like to contact a specific board member via email or phone, please
for a list of contact information.
School Board Worksession Meeting
January 7, 7:30 pm, Knapp Elementary School
School Board Action Meeting
January 16, 7:00 pm, ESC
ECP Committee Meeting
January 7, 6:00 pm, ESC
Facilities & Operations Committee Meeting
Janaury 27, 6:30 pm, ESC
Finance Committee Meeting
January 6, 6:00 pm, ESC
Safe Schools Committee Meeting
January 27, 6:00 pm, ESC
To access the list of
meeting dates scheduled for 2020, click here.
IIMPORTANT CHANGE TO 2020 SCHOOL BOARD WORKSESSION AND ACTION MEETINGS
Beginning in January 2020, all worksession and action meetings of the NPSD Board of School Directors will now begin at 7:00 pm.
Crawford Stadium Project Update
Earlier this school year, the NPSD Board of School Directors rejected bids and voted to rebid for the renovations of Crawford Stadium at NPHS.
The board weighed many factors in the decision, including the great need for improvements to the facility, increased costs over original estimates, project timeline and the resignation of our director of facilities and operations, a position that is integral to the project. In the end the board and administration felt that rebidding the project was the best way to go.
In the case of the original bids, the board received feedback from vendors that the high prices were due to the tight timeline to complete the project. The project was rebid in November with a new timeline of construction beginning in June of 2020 following commencement and a completion date of June 2021, before commencement. After rebidding with a longer timeline, bids came in nearly $1 million less than the original estimate. We have also recently replaced the position of director of facilities and operations with Tom Schneider who is committed to the success of this project. The board will vote to approve these bids at the January action meeting.
Renovation plans for Crawford Stadium have not changed. Major improvements are needed to make the stands handicapped accessible, the bathrooms capable of servicing thousands of visitors and the field usable as we change it from grass to turf. For many years now, the soil conditions of the field have been such that it is often not even used by our teams, forcing us to use neighboring facilities. A new turf field will allow more teams and community groups to use Crawford Stadium.
The school district and board of school directors wants people excited and engaged in the upcoming stadium work, for it is a center point of this great North Penn community. That said, NPSD in partnership with the NPSD Educational Foundation is excited to announce U-Knight to Celebrate, a community campaign to support renovations to Crawford Stadium!
Brandon McManus, NPHS '09 alum and kicker for the Denver Broncos will be joining us on April 24 and 25 for two special events. On Friday, April 24, we will hold a gala at PineCrest Country Club that will feature Brandon, other NPHS alumni, beloved former and current staff members, a silent auction, entertainment and much more. Then on Saturday, April 25, the first ever Brandon McManus Kickball Tournament will be held for students throughout our schools.
The primary goal of U-Knight to Celebrate is to raise funds to support the needed renovations, but also to engage the North Penn community as we build a stadium for our future. An organizing committee has been working for months on details that NPSD hopes to finalize and begin sharing in January. Stay tuned!
Knapp Act 34 Hearing
On Tuesday, January 7, 2020, the NPSD Board of School Directors will hold a Knapp Act 34 hearing beginning at 7:30 PM at Knapp Elementary School.
Act 34 of 1973 requires that a public hearing be held on all new construction and substantial additions for second, third and fourth class school districts. A building addition is considered substantial when the new architectural area divided by the existing structure's architectural area is greater than 20 percent.
Act 34 applies only to costs for new construction. The legal requirements do not address the costs for alterations to existing structures. A second Act 34 hearing is required if specified costs based on bids exceed by eight percent or greater those costs based on estimates. An Act 34 referendum must be held if and only if certain costs exceed a project building's calculated referendum limit.
The purposes for this hearing are as follows:
- To establish the need for the project by reviewing historical events leading to the Board's decision to proceed with a building program.
To review the various options considered by the Board prior to their decision to proceed with the project.
- To describe the renovations and additions to occur at Knapp Elementary School and the educational program that serves as a basis for what is being proposed.
- To present the estimated construction cost, the total project cost, the financial needs and an estimate of the local tax impact of the project.
- To give citizens and residents the opportunity to comment and to pose questions.
|NPSD Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program
At the March 2019 action meeting, the NPSD Board of School Directors unanimously approved a revised property tax rebate program that will see a discount of up to $195 for certain homeowners and renters.
To qualify for this discount, applicants must be:
- homeowners with a household income of no more than $35,000 annually; OR
- renters with a yearly household income of no more than $15,000;
- be 65 years of age or older; OR
- be a widow and widower aged 50 years of age or older; OR
- be permanently disabled and 18 years of age or older.
The property tax and rent rebate program is based on the existing Pennsylvania Property Tax and Rent Rebate program which has been in effect since 1971 and is funded by state lottery and slot machine proceeds. North Penn homeowners and renters must qualify for the state rebate program to qualify for the district rebate program. NPSD is granting a 30 percent rebate as follows:
- 30 percent (maximum $195) annual rebate for North Penn homeowners and renters with a yearly household income between $0 to $8,000;
- 30 percent (maximum $150) annual rebate for North Penn homeowners and renters with a yearly household income between $8,001 to $15,000;
- 30 percent (maximum $90) annual rebate for North Penn homeowners with a yearly household income between $15,001 to $18,000; and
- 30 percent (maximum $75) annual rebate for North Penn homeowners with a yearly household income between $18,001 to $35,000.
For those who qualify for the Tax Rebate Program, forms can be found here or by visiting/calling your local legislator.
|Attending Action and Work Session Meetings
The NPSD Board of School Directors Action Meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month. These meetings give students, parents and community members an opportunity to address the board and speak on any topic for five minutes. The Work Session, another monthly meeting is held one week preceding the Action Meeting on Tuesday. Here, attendees are also given five minutes to express their views, but are limited to speak on the topics of the evening's agenda.
Both the Action Meeting and the Work Session meeting begin at 7:30 pm and are held in the NPSD Educational Services Center (ESC) located at 401 E. Hancock St., Lansdale, PA 19446. However, if you are unable to attend in person, intimidated by the televised setting or by the requirements, community members should feel free to call or email the members of the board, either individually or as a whole.
For a list of contact information, click here. The televised board meetings are available for private viewing on local Comcast Cable Channel 28
and Verizon Cable Channel 29 as well as www.youtube.com/nptv within several days of the original meeting.
I know it sounds cliché , but as we approach the end of 2019, I have to wonder, where did the year go? 2019 was another exciting year here in the North Penn School District (NPSD)! We all know what a wonderful district North Penn is, but it is truly eye-opening when you reflect upon the year and all the successes and accomplishments of our incredibly talented students and our dedicated staff.
Our sports teams have had another banner year with the boys' soccer team winning the state championship for the first time ever! Our girls' water polo team won their state championship for an unprecedented
sixth straight year. The boys water polo team impressed by winning their third straight state championship as well.
Our technology and engineering education department at North Penn High School (NPHS) was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the NPSD Educational Foundation - that's the largest grant ever awarded by the Ed Foundation. We had 29 students named as commended National Merit Scholars and 12 named semifinalists. And our music program has been and remains second to none, with their numerous awards throughout the year. We are extremely proud of all of our students and we congratulate all of them on their successes.
The NPSD Board of School Directors has also had a busy year. One of the biggest initiatives this year was from the Education/Community/ Policy (ECP) Committee with the implementation of full-day kindergarten. It was our privilege to be able to welcome the class of 2032 this past September and we thank all the staff that worked diligently throughout the year to make it possible.
The Safe Schools Committee conducted a climate survey through Hanover Research Group. Students, families, staff and community members had the opportunity over a three week period to participate in this survey of 50 questions. The results of this survey were used by the staff in each school to come up with Continuous Improvement Plans for the next year. It was extremely important for us to establish that benchmark and we thank all those that helped us with that task by participating in the survey. The committee also successfully implemented the
anonymous tip reporting system to educate students, teachers and school administrators about how to recognize warning signs and signals of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others. Additionally, the Behavioral Threat Assessment was initiated as another method of focus this year to make sure that we are responsive to any concerns that might impact the safety of our school community.
The Facilities and Operations Committee continues to work on a 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan. With the help of this committee and its dedication to the success of the project, the board recently voted on intent to award bids for the Crawford Stadium Project in January of 2020. More information and updates about Crawford Stadium can be found in a sidebar article below.
If you haven't seen it yet, check out our new and improved school district website. It has been vastly improved to make it much easier to navigate and find the information that you are looking for. The updates and information for Facilities, for example, are there and available for all to see. Updates on facility projects will be posted as they occur. This new format will help us in our desire to communicate and be transparent with all district stakeholders.
And speaking of a facility project update, please note your calendars for Tuesday, January 7, when we will be taking our Board Worksession Meeting on the road to Knapp Elementary School. We will be holding an Act 34 meeting at 7:30 pm - this is a meeting mandated by the state of PA when you are adding to the footprint of an educational building. More information can be found below.
The Finance Committee continued its work this year on expanding our Property Tax Rebate program for our most vulnerable senior citizens. There has been a 22% increase in the number of applicants from last year to this year, so our efforts to get the word out about this ground-breaking program have been successful. We've had numerous people from other districts inquire and express interest in implementing a similar program in their district. It's another example of North Penn School District leading the way!
The finance committee has already begun its work on the 2020-2021 budget. For those who don't know, the PA Department of Education ties the budgeting process to the election cycle. Because it is a presidential election year, the budgeting process has been moved up a month. Stay tuned for updates as we work with our administration to finalize the budget for the 2020-2021 school year.
This is just a few of the things our team worked on this past year. We've experienced some change in our membership this year as well - I'd like to thank the out-going school board directors Mrs. Teresa Prykowski, Mr. Edward Diasio and Ms. Jenna Ott for their service. And I'd like to welcome our newest school board directors, Mrs. Cathy Wesley, Dr. Wanda Lewis-Campbell and Mr. Al Roesch If you see them out and about in our schools and community, please take a moment to introduce yourselves.
Also, please note, the board has changed the time of our monthly worksession and action meetings from 7:30 pm to 7:00 pm. The new times are updated on the district website and we will continue to announce reminders at our meetings.
On behalf of the NPSD Board of School Directors, I'd like to wish everyone the happiest of holiday seasons!
President, NPSD Board of School Directors
Term Expiration: 2021
At the recent action meeting, the NPSD Board of School Directors recognized students in the district for their outstanding achievements by awarding them proclamations of excellence.
Led by coaches Jason Grubb, Brian Faikish and Jeff Faikish, the NPHS Boys' and Girls' Water Polo teams were recognized for winning the state championship title.
Congratulations to these remarkable students and their coaches on these outstanding achievements!
The ECP Committee met on December 3 at 6:00 pm at the Educational Services Center (ESC).
Adoption of Policies
As a result of the ongoing policy review process with Pennsylvania School Board Association (PSBA), Dr. Todd Bauer, NPSD Assistant Superintendent, presented several policies to the committee that had been reviewed by administration, the district solicitor, and NPSD Board of School Directors Vice President, Christian Fusco.
Repeal of Policies
As a result of the ongoing policy review process with PSBA, Dr. Bauer presented several policies to the committee that will be repealed following the adoption of those policies that will take their place.
Secondary Special Education and Inclusion Facilitator Update
NPSD Inclusion Facilitators Colleen Parker and Cara Weinberg spoke to the committee about the role of Inclusion Facilitators at both the elementary and secondary levels. NPSD Special Education teachers Dan Kruger and Shawna Groff discussed the inclusion of five special education students in a Marine Science class at NPHS. Overall, this is successful and is benefiting both the special education students and the regular education students in the class.
Student overnight travel requests were presented to and reviewed by the committee.
The next ECP Committee meeting will be held on January 7 at 6:00 pm at the ESC.
The NPSD Educational Foundation last met on December 4 at the ESC.
At this meeting the Foundation accepted the resignation of trustee John Strobel. John served for several years, is a former North Penn employee, and will be missed. Julianne Ramic was welcomed as the NPSD Board of School Directors representative on the Foundation.
The Foundation's new mission and objective, which were drafted at a recent strategic planning board retreat, were approved by Trustees. The new mission is "To motivate and inspire students and staff through innovative projects and opportunities that enhance the educational experiences and resources." The new objective is "To raise and distribute resources to advance the North Penn School District."
At the strategic planning retreat, held in late November, trustees tackled many issues in furthering the Foundation's impact and getting the organization where it wants to be in five years. Future work includes hiring a fundraising professional, making grants available all year long and increasing individual donations.
Trustees also approved the executive director Chrisitne Liberaski and other interested trustees to attend the National School Foundation Association conference which will be held in Philadelphia in March. The Foundation is thrilled that the national conference is so close to home this year.
The Foundation recently closed its grant application process for mid-year grants. North Penn staff were encouraged to apply for funding available in January for innovative projects implemented by the end of the school year. More than 70 requests, totaling $98,000 were received. This is the Foundation's biggest pool of applications ever. Applicants were notified about the status of their request.
For more information about the Foundation, please contact the Executive Director, Christine Liberaski at email@example.com.
The Facilities and Operations Committee met on November 25 at 6:30 pm at the ESC.
A change order from Pro-Com Roofing, Inc. in the amount of $12,190.00 was discussed for additional work at General Nash Elementary School. The work included the fabrication and installation of a new wall ladder as part of the roof replacement project. All work has been completed. A credit for $9,750 for the wood block allowance was also applied to leave a net change order of $2,440.
A proposal from Snyder Hoffman Associates, Inc. in the amount of $2,640.00 was discussed. The scope of work is to assist with the completion and submission of the NPSD PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Minor Synthetic Air Quality Operating Permit. The permit is required as part of reporting to the PA DEP in relation to boiler/fuel emissions at NPHS.
Per the committee's request a summary table was prepared outlining the use of facilities (buildings and fields utilization) for the previous fiscal year. The summary listed the organizations, the invoice total, staff fees and the rental fees for the year. Staff fees include audio/visual staff, custodians, food service, security, stage crew, hired stage hand and technology. Hourly rates are established each year for designated staff. Rental fees are charged based on the NPSD Community Use of School Facilities Fee Schedule which was effective 6/1/16.
Dan Linski, Interim Director of Facilities and Operations, gave an update on the Crawford Stadium renovation project. Linski noted that the project is out to for re-bid with some minor changes. The last day for questions was November 19, 2019, and final addendums have been released. Bids were opened on December 3, 2019. A quick overview of the schedule was reviewed - Project Start June 22, 2020, Substantial Completion May 3, 2021 and Final Completion May 28th, 2021.
Linski gave an update on the Knapp Elementary School renovation project. The board approved the Act 34 resolution and the hearing will be held at Knapp Elementary School on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, beginning at 7:30 pm. The project is still on schedule, planned to be going out to bid in February 2020. Design work and discussions on phasing are still in progress. On November 13, Linski, the design team and construction manager met with Lansdale Borough officials to discuss the project and planned phasing. Some questions in relation to the project were posed to the borough and we are awaiting their formal response. The meeting went well, the borough offered their cooperation and they are happy to see that the project is moving along.
Steve Skrocki, NPSD Chief Financial Officer, discussed the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant submitted for the Knapp Elementary School and Crawford Stadium renovation projects. $13 million dollars was requested for Knapp, $3.5 million dollars was requested for Crawford Stadium.
The long range capital improvement plan was discussed. This will continue to be on the Facilities and Operations Committee meeting agenda as the list will be constantly updated. Updates to the plan will now be noted with a date or revision number per the committee's request. Color coding was also recommended. Regarding the project priority ranking, NPSD Director of Facilities and Operations, Tom Schneider will review and re-number if he feels scoring change is needed. A new worksheet with new rankings will be presented as part of the 2020-2021 budget process.
The next Facilities and Operations Committee meeting will be held on January 27 at 6:30 pm at the ESC.
The Safe Schools Committee met on November 25 at 6:00 pm at the Educational Services Center (ESC).
Chris Doerr, NPSD Coordinator of Emergency Management and Safe Schools,
shared that all schools have successfully completed fall security drills as required by state regulation. He also shared the details of a very successful off-site evacuation and dismissal exercise conducted at Walton Farm Elementary. Compliments to the team at Walton Farm for a job well done.
The committee then viewed a short presentation
of the North Penn technology department
by Dr. Kristen Landis, NPSD Director of Technology, and Kevin Eck, NPSD Coordinator of Technical Services. Best practices and proposed initiatives related to cyber security were discussed.
The next Safe Schools Committee meeting will be held on January 27 at 6:00 pm at the ESC.