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Press briefing: Regular meeting of the Board of School Directors — Nov. 9, 2015


Nov. 6, 2015


Chris Rosenblum

SCASD Communications Director


SCASD Board of Directors To Hold
Historic First Meeting at Panorama Village

Forty-nine years of history come to an end Monday.

The State College Area School District Board of Directors, which had been meeting in the Central Office building in downtown State College since 1966, will convene for the first time in its new quarters in the Panorama Village administrative building.

Board meetings now will take place in Meeting Room A and continue to start at the customary time of 7 p.m. The Panorama Village building is located at 240 Villa Crest Drive in College Township, next to Mount Nittany Elementary School.

Monday’s agenda items include a vote to approve a resolution about the future of the Central Office building, and discussions about student academic performance, district priorities for 2015-2016, a State High Project update, the launching of a district development foundation, and the 2016-2017 budget development.

Central Office building resolution

            Members are expected to vote on a resolution presented to the Board on Oct. 26. In the resolution, the district administration recommends offering the Central Office building at 131 W. Nittany Ave. to the Borough of State College or a nonprofit for relocation at the recipient’s expense within the next year.

If there are no takers, the district would dismantle the building while retaining the land for possible athletic facilities to improve students’ experiences at Memorial Field.

Plans are under way to finish renovating the district’s Panorama Village building in College Township and move all Central Office building administrators by late 2016 or early 2017.


Academic performance update

             Curriculum K-6 Director Deirdre Bauer and Director of Technology Nicole Steele will give a presentation on the academic performance of the district’s students in kindergarten to sixth grade.

             Bauer and Steele will discuss background information about PA Academic Standards; new PSSA test scores for the district and Measures of Academic Success (MAP) assessment data.

Strategic Plan benchmark update

             Superintendent Bob O’Donnell and Penn State education professor Ed Fuller will present an analysis of the district’s eight targeted benchmarks for the 2013-2017 Strategic Plan. Compiled by Fuller, the report is based on data from surveys given to students, teachers and parents about teaching and learning in schools.

District goals/priorities

Superintendent O’Donnell will lead a reflection of the district’s progress on strategic goals in recent years.

Examples are listed under the categories of:

  • Safety: Improve Safety of Students and Staff

  • Student Learning: Improve Student Learning and Achievement

  • Fiscal Stewardship: Maximize Resources to Support Student Learning

  • Communication: Improve Community Member Understanding of District Planning, Programming and Initiatives

  • Facilities: Make Progress to Update District Facilities

  • School of Choice: Increase Percentage of Our Families Who Choose SCASD Schools For Their Children’s Care and Development as Learners and People

  • Strategic Planning

             O’Donnell also will provide an updated overview of the district’s 2015-2016 priorities. The categories are the same as the ones for the goals reflection.  

State High Project calendar update

              The State High Project design team will provide an updated timeline for the bidding process.

              After consulting with the design team, the district administration has extended the project bid opening date from Nov. 12 to Nov. 18.

              Under the revised schedule, bids will be publicly opened at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in Meeting Room A at the Panorama Village building.

              The Citizens Advisory Committees for facilities and finance will hold a joint meeting, joined by select board members, at 4 p.m. on Nov. 19 in Meeting Room A to review the bids. Bids will be presented to the Board at a 7 p.m. meeting Nov. 23, and then the Board will vote on Nov. 30 to accept the bids and alternates.

SCASD Education Foundation update

             Business Administrator Randy Brown and Development Director Paul Olivett will provide an update on the district’s development efforts.

             Highlights include:

  • The SCASD Education Foundation now has full legal status as a 501(c)3 charitable organization so that gifts are tax-deductible.

  • Affinity Connection continues to provide contracted fundraising services for the district. At present, the firm is working on both the personal interviews and electronic components of a stakeholder survey of alumni and parents, including several phone interviews and about 15,000 electronic surveys.

  • A foundation website is expected to go live as soon as next week. The site will be linked from the district website’s homepage, and will be used to promote the foundation’s mission as well as highlight donors and the projects/programs funded by foundation donors.

  • The first appeal mailing is scheduled for the week of Dec. 7, serving as an introduction to the foundation and the newly created Students First Fund. The fund will provide additional resources for projects and programs not included in the current budget, and will be allocated at Superintendent Bob O’Donnell’s discretion.

  • A second mailing for the Memorial Field brick campaign is under way. More than 260 bricks have been sold and installed since the first appeal two years ago.

2016-2017 budget development

          Business Administrator Randy Brown and Assistant Business Administrator Donna Watson will outline the development timeline for the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget.