Message from Superintendent

Message from Superintendent

Preventative Testing, School Start Times, Spotlight on Excellence & 60th

 
Greetings to PRSD Students, Staff, and Families,
 
This combined message includes important updates related to school start times, preventative testing, strategic planning, facilities, and personnel. However, I will begin by shining a Spotlight on Excellence on Pine-Richland Middle School. This pursuit of excellence image is shown in the center with green continuous improvement loops layered on top of the results histogram. Starting at the top, we see a main foyer area that serves as a welcoming space for learning. On the right, we see over 100 student participants in the middle school musical production of Footloose. On the bottom right, we have a bulletin board titled, “Failure is a Gift” with photos and stories related to the importance failure can play in driving persistence and eventual success. The bottom left displays practical examples of potential career paths with PRMS and PRSD staff members with varying gifts and talents. On the left, we have the display of a student group project related to the Holocaust. These students conducted research, wrote letters to survivors, and created artwork for the Tree of Life synagogue as a student-choice extension project in English class. All around the horn…excellence…wow!
Collage of Pictures
 
On February 11th, the Pine-Richland School Board approved the administrative recommendation to adjust school start times beginning in the 2019 – 2020 school year. This topic has been studied since the fall of 2017 with a number of podcasts and communications shared in the last four months. Grounded in literature related to wellness, sleep and adolescents, this change is designed to provide a benefit to middle school and high school students while also minimizing the impact on primary school students and families. The feedback provided over the past few months – positive and critical – by stakeholders led to additional refinements and efficiencies in the structure. The HS/MS start time shifts from 7:20 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Eden Hall will shift from 8:30 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. The primary schools will shift from 9:15 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. Over the next few months, the district will address a variety of transition details that include additional updates for students, staff, parents, community, and local private/parochial schools. The most recent podcast on this topic is available via this link.
 
During the 2018 - 2019 school year, the district has taken a proactive and systematic approach to expand preventative testing that exceeds regulatory requirements (i.e., lead in water, lead in paint, indoor air quality, and radon). Through the course of this testing program, the district has sent communications to the entire PRSD community. Results from this preventative testing process have now been posted publicly through the board agenda and district website. Appropriate action has been taken and/or is in progress based on findings. In addition, the district will implement a planned cycle of preventative testing in the future. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) sample tests will be conducted at multiple times each year in the summer and early winter. Similar to current practice, individual IAQ tests will be conducted as requested. Lead in water preventative tests will be conducted again in the summer of 2021 after appropriate flushing that aligns with EPA guidelines. Radon testing will be conducted in December of 2020. Winter is the preferred time for this specific test.
 
Categories on Books
 
 
 
The third and final Strategic Plan Town Hall was held on February 5, 2019. Over the course of the past five months, more than 400 stakeholders – students, staff, parents, community, and other business partners – participated in this process. A series of documents, podcasts, and presentations are archived on the Pine-Richland website. Over the next month, final adjustments will be made to the 2019 – 2023 plan. The district has also completed the required elements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s comprehensive planning process. The complete plans will be posted for public review. The Pine-Richland School Board will then take action to approve the final plans.
60th Logo
 
 
 
As a final note this month, I would like to take the opportunity to highlight Spotlight on 60 Years by recognizing Mr. Gary Zang, Director of Facilities Management. Mr. Zang will retire in April after 30 years of service. When he started, the student enrollment at PRSD was 1,800. We now have more than 4,600 students. In his tenure, we have closed schools and built schools. He oversaw the construction of the “new” Pine-Richland High School in 1993 and the additions in 2000 and 2012. Richland was renovated to shift from the “old” high school to a K – 3 primary school. The other primary buildings and middle school were also renovated during his time. The stadium, Eden Hall Upper Elementary and hundreds of other projects were implemented. Mr. Zang will be missed. His knowledge and understanding of the Pine-Richland School District is incredible. His commitment to students and staff was felt every day. Mr. Jeffrey Zimmerman was hired on February 11th to replace Mr. Zang. He will begin his work and a period of transition in the next few weeks.
 
Thank you again for your support and commitment to the Pine-Richland School District.
 
Respectfully,
Brian Miller