|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.
|Meetings in Review
NPSD Board of School Directors Meeting
To view agenda attachments and minutes from past meetings, please click here.
School Board Worksession Meeting
February 11, 7:00 pm, ESC
School Board Action Meeting
February 20, 7:00 pm, ESC
ECP Committee Meeting
February 4, 6:00 pm, ESC
Facilities & Operations Committee Meeting
Janaury 27, 7:00 pm, ESC
Special Finance Committee Meeting
February 3, 6:00 pm, ESC
Finance Committee Meeting
February 11, 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.
Needed Facility Improvements Move Ahead
This month NPSD took two important steps in providing our community safe, efficient and 21st century facilities.
First, an Act 34 meeting was held on January 7th to share with the community our plans for renovations and additions at Knapp Elementary School. The public has 30 days from this date to provide comments regarding the project.
The proposed $26.9 million plan involves renovations to the existing building, the construction of a 13,000-square-foot classroom addition and a new driveway for school buses.
It also includes an enhanced, reconfigured front entrance and large group instruction area.
The project incorporates input the district received from staff, knapp families and community members over the past several months.
Once approved, work is expected to begin this summer with completion for the 2021-2022 school year. More detailed information on the Knapp project can be found
The school board also recently accepted bids for the renovations of Crawford Stadium at NPHS. This $8.19 million project of the almost 50-year old facility is 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. Additional enhancements to Crawford Stadium include an eight lane track, new concession facilities and ticket booths, and a new press box.
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 A Stadium for the Future: Building Our Legacy Together, a community campaign to support the work needed at Crawford Stadium. Part of this will be a fundraising gala on April 24, U-Knight to Celebrate, an evening at PineCrest Country Club featuring guest speaker Brandon McManus, NPHS '09 alum and kicker for the Denver Broncos. Then on Saturday, April 25th, Brandon and the Foundation will host the Brandon McManus Kickball Tournament at NPHS. The fun day will include a tournament for students and a homerun derby.
The primary goal of North Penn Stadium for the Future: Building Our Legacy Together 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. More information on both events will be ready in early February.
|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.
The proposed construction of a Ninth Grade Center on the same campus as North Penn High School (NPHS) has been a hot topic of conversation ever since last year's facilities forum. While it may seem like a departure from the norm, the truth is that ninth grade is a part of high school in neighboring school districts including Souderton, Wissahickon, Methacton, Abington, Perkiomen Valley, Upper Perkiomen, Council Rock, Lower Moreland, Upper Moreland, Upper Dublin and Hatboro-Horsham. At the North Penn School District (NPSD), ninth grade students work in three separate middle school buildings. Their participation in educational, vocational, athletic and extra-curricular programs is limited when compared to their peers in other districts. It is time to consider a change.
Ninth grade is the beginning of a transition from school to the working world. For the first time, students are given choices about classes to take and avenues to pursue that will shape the direction of their future. They are exposed to new interests through clubs and after school activities that help them find like-minded peers. For many NPSD ninth grade students, such as those who participate in marching band or JROTC, that journey is hindered by the logistics involved with scheduling and traveling from the middle school to the high school and back again.
Students ready for the challenge of advanced coursework often opt not enroll in higher level classes because it means leaving their school and their friends to go to another building for part of the day. In many cases, enrollment in certain courses is simply not permitted. For example, students are not able to take Engineering classes until 10
grade at NPHS. This puts our students at a competitive disadvantage for college entry when compared to students in surrounding districts who explore that path at an earlier age.
There are only a few ninth grade athletic teams held at the middle school level, with participation too low to field many others. Students can try out for the high school teams, but that requires getting to the campus regularly from across town. For example, ninth grade students who participate in baseball or swimming start their day at the high school, are then bussed back to their middle school and then bussed again to the high school for evening practice or competitions. This rigorous schedule leaves little time for homework and studies. Many students opt to quit the sport they love, not wanting to bother while others simply do not have the means to follow such a rigid, time consuming schedule.
Tenth, 11th and 12th grade students who participate in the North Montco Technical Career Center (NMTCC) enjoy the convenience of having the vocational facility right on the North Penn High School grounds. Ironically, despite the fact that NMTCC also serves students from
Methacton, Souderton, Perkiomen Valley and Wissahickon, it is the North Penn ninth grade students who pose the largest scheduling challenge for the tech center. Scheduling and travel complications of getting our ninth graders to the building can have long term impacts for our students. For example, students participating in the Cosmotology program struggle to complete their hours for certification by 12th grade due to time lost in transit.
The benefits to students extend beyond just high school. Moving ninth grade out of our middle schools could potentially allow NPSD to move sixth grade in freeing up much needed space in our elementary schools. One of the greatest barriers to reducing class size, a stated goal of many school board directors, is the limited space available to create new classrooms. The added space could also allow the district to shutter aging modular units long past their prime.
While we engage in debate over the necessity of a new ninth grade center and the impact it will have on the community at large, one thing is clear. Providing the same high school experience for our students at NPSD as surrounding districts is a win for North Penn.
Vice 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 Paul Duddy, Peter Phiambolis, Chris Depeppe and Jesse Scheetz, the NPHS Boys' Soccer Team was recognized for placing first at the PIAA District I 4A Championship.
Congratulations to these remarkable students and their coaches on these outstanding achievements!
The ECP Committee met on January 7 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.
Boundary/Capacity Concerns at Inglewood
Dr. Betty Santoro, NPSD Director of Elementary Education, presented five possible options to address the enrollment capacity issues at Inglewood Elementary School. One of the options would impact Gwynedd Square Elementary School students living in a specific area by relocating them to attend General Nash Elementary School. Nick Kraynak, NPSD Coordinator of Transportation, addressed the impact the options would have on transportation. Next steps include meeting with Inglewood parents and Gwynedd Square parents, reviewing recommendations at the February ECP meeting and discussing at the February worksession meeting. This would permit that a decision could be made at the February action meeting and allow ample time to notify parents as well as to make necessary preparations.
Student overnight travel requests were presented to and reviewed by the committee.
The next ECP Committee meeting will be held on February 4 at 6:00 pm at the ESC.
The NPSD Educational Foundation did not meet since its last board meeting in December, yet trustees are hard at work. Before winter break, trustees approved 27 mid-year grants totaling just under $55,000. This includes the foundation's largest individual grant in history, $25,000 for a new milling machine for the NPHS Technology and Engineering Education Program. The Computer Numerical Control Milling Machine replaces a 20-year-old machine currently at NPHS. It will be a great resource to hundreds of students every year who are interested in the area of manufacturing.
In addition to giving funds to this NPHS department, the Foundation received donations because of Tech Ed. Earlier this month, two NPHS engineering academy recent alumni made individual donations of $250 and $1,000 to the Foundation to be used toward student needs in this curriculum area. Thank you to Kyle O'Connor and Nick Pleim for the generous commitment to your alma mater. This donation is a testament to the quality program provided at NPHS and the amazing teachers who inspire our students.
The Foundation continued its work on updating its strategic plan and hope to finalize this next month. In addition, further preparation was conducted on Knight to Celebrate, a fundraiser to support the Crawford Stadium renovations on April 24. More information on this coming soon!
For more information about the Foundation, please contact the Executive Director, Christine Liberaski at email@example.com.
The Finance Committee met on January 6 at 6:00 pm at the ESC. The monthly financial reports were reviewed with additional discussion on the following items:
2020-2021 Preliminary Budget
Steve Skrocki, NPSD Chief Financial Officer, presented the first draft of the preliminary budget which has a $12.9 million deficit using the current tax rate. Skrocki provided an overview of the revenue and expense categories of the budget and the major changes being proposed in the budget. The Act 1 index for next year is 2.6 percent and the district may be eligible for a special education exception totaling $1.8 million. The budget will continue to be refined over the next five months.
School Nutrition Services Grant Award
Skrocki provided an update on the successful grant applications totaling $10,000 for breakfast carts at Knapp and Oak Park elementary schools.
2020-2021 First Look Health Care Rates
An overview of the first look medical and prescription rates with a zero percent increase was provided. This will be the second year with no increase in the medical and prescription rates for the district's self-funded plan.
2020-2021 Real Estate Tax Rebate Program
Skrocki provided an update on the program results for the past two years and offered various plans for consideration for next year's program.
The next Finance Committee meetings will be held on February 3 and February 11 at 6:00 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.