Central Bucks finalizes contract with superintendent
Dana M. Eckman
The Central Bucks School Board has approved a three-year contract for Superintendent Dr. David Weitzel. As part of the contract, Weitzel will receive a base salary of $215,000 for the 2013-14 school year.
The board approved the contract during its meeting Oct. 22.
The contract became effective on Oct. 9, even though the details of the contract’s terms were not solidified. Weitzel’s contract will continue through June 30, 2018. As part of the contract, he will receive a 2.5 percent increase annually. In addition, Weitzel will receive an annual performance assessment and review from the board. He will receive a performance payment equivalent to 3 percent of the prior contract year’s base salary, dependent upon his review and whether he has met all of his performance-based goals, according to the district.
Board President Stephen Corr said the timing came from Weitzel volunteering to take over the post first and worry about the contract later. “I do appreciate that after seeing all the stuff we were going through in the summertime, he (Weitzel) said, ‘I’ll do it, don’t worry about the contract. I need to get to work and get things back in shape,’ ” Corr said.
Weitzel took on the acting title at a meeting on July 23 and was appointed superintendent on Oct. 8. He took over after the district agreed to a separation with former superintendent Rodney Green on July 3.
In other news, Central Bucks students continue to score at high levels on the Pennsylvania State School Assessment (PSSA) test at each grade level.
In overall scores, the district has the highest ranking in Bucks County, is routinely in the top five in the four-county area and in the top 10 in the state out of 500 districts.
And this year is no different.
The test, which measures reading and math achievement, is taken in grades three through eight. A writing assessment is administered in fifth and eighth with science assessments in grades four and eight. The PSSA in grade 11 has been replaced by end-of-course Keystone Exams in Algebra 1, Biology and Literature. The state assessment mandate is extensive with Central Bucks administering 24,000 PSSA tests and 11,000 Keystone Exams in the 2012-13 school year.
In his report to the school board Oct. 22, curriculum supervisor and assessment coordinator Paul Beltz said that on the reading assessment 83 percent of Central Bucks fifth-grade students scored at the proficient and advanced levels in comparison to 61 percent at the statewide level. Eighth-grade reading scores put Central Bucks at a 93 percent proficiency level compared with a 78 percent score across Pennsylvania.
Beltz said the state eliminated an alternative test that districts were allowed to use for some students with disabilities, which dropped scores at both Central Bucks and around the state up to 2.5 percent. Despite the drop in scores, between 14 and 26 percent more Central Bucks students scored proficient or advanced on PSSA and exams than state averages.
“We look at where we need to shore up, where we need to do further work, but then at the very least we know we are above the state averages,” Beltz said.
Writing scores also remained high at 96 percent in grade eight (73 percent statewide) and 89 percent in grade five (63 percent statewide).
Math scores in grades three to eight were at a consistently high level when compared with the scores of their peers across the state with the proficient/advanced groups being in the 89 to 93 percent range while statewide, the range was 69 to 77 percent.
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