Bucks County Herald

Yanni presides over final NH-S meeting

ELIZABETH BOWMAN

The New Hope- Solebury School Board held its final meeting with Steven Yanni as superintendent May 24. Those in attendance were treated to a performance by the school jazz band while awaiting the start of the meeting and heard the high school choir sing the national anthem at the opening.

Dr. Yanni later remarked that the district is ranked among the highest in the country for its arts education.

Yanni opened the meeting by announcing the newest member of the district’s Hall of Fame, Robert Heath Jr., who is a graduate of the district and a past board president. In response to the honor Heath said, “You can give back as much as you can, be a piece of somebody’s puzzle as you grow” adding he was much honored.

The departing superintendent appointed Dr. Charles Malone as acting superintendent during the search for his replacement. A contract was approved with the Bucks County Intermediate Unit to perform the search.

Yanni and board Secretary Andrew Lechman presented the proposed 2018-2019 budget. With uncertainties such as the state and federal budgets and the number of students planning to attend charter schools for which the district has to pay tuition. The budget is available for review.

The budget with its 2.4 percent property tax hike uses none of the fund balance but does include funding for safety and security with a safety audit being done by outside experts and a capital improvement fund of $234,000 with the future in mind. The presenters said that the financial position of NH-S is stable and they recommended approval on June 28.

Board member Mark Cowell asked Lechman if the district is anticipating any shortfall of funds relating to the Revitalization Project and the latter answered “no one can say for sure.” Yanni added that the older part of the school is being worked on and when you tear out a wall you can’t know what to expect.

As committee reports commenced board member Andrew Ordover said that parents have been unhappy with proposed changes in the gifted program. NH-S concentrates the program on reading and math and there is an ongoing conversation with the curriculum committee and interested parents.

Later on the agenda board member Dana Schwartz speaking for the Special Education Committee talked about a great presentation on mental health and warning signs of imminent errant behavior.

During public discussion Marcus Peckman voiced concern that there had been no security at a recent game. When asked if there was anyone on staff that students know they can go to in confidentiality to comment on odd behavior of another, Malone responded that system is in place.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 28, at which time the 2018-19 budget will be voted on.




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