My column this month will briefly touch on a variety of topics, to keep you updated on what has been happening in the Bethel Park School District.
The Board of School Directors and I are extremely pleased that we have been able to come to new, long-term agreements with two of our union bargaining units. In January, we reached an agreement with the members of the Bethel Park Federation of Teachers, which will take us through June 30, 2022. This agreement comes less than one year after the District and Federation extended the previous agreement for one year, which allowed both sides to come to the bargaining table and put together a long-term agreement that will take us into the next decade.
In March, the District and members of the Custodial/Maintenance Educational Support Personnel Association also agreed to a long term contract, expiring June 30, 2021.
I want to commend the Negotiating Teams for both unions for their willingness to come to the bargaining table and work with us to get these agreements completed without a stoppage of work.
Earlier this school year, I talked about Hawk Time, a new initiative in all of our elementary schools for all students in grades kindergarten through four that is designed to help our students to grow academically.
Hawk Time is a scheduled class period during the day that utilizes flexible grouping across grade levels to provide enrichment to students who need it and remediation as appropriate to those who need some extra help.
Hawk Time focuses on the PA Core Standards in English Language Arts and Math. It does not replace instruction in these two areas; rather, it supplements what is already going on in our classrooms on a daily basis.
At this time I would like to commend our elementary staff, who have embraced the concept of Hawk Time and are making great academic inroads with our students.
In my last message, I commended the Music Department for their outstanding holiday music concerts and this month I would be remiss to not complement the High School Music Department for an outstanding production of “Shrek the Musical.” The quality of the production as well as the vocal and acting performances was definitely on par with professional productions I have seen over the years.
I know every one of the students who were involved with the production—on stage, in the pit or on the technical side of the production—put their hearts and souls into this year’s musical and it showed. I encourage everybody—whether you have a child at the high school or not—to make it a point to attend next year’s show. It certainly is something the entire Bethel Park Community can take great pride in.
I am now looking forward to participating in graduation on June 17 and I would like to wish all of our seniors much success as they begin this next chapter in their lives.
As always, it continues to be an honor for us to work with your children.