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Pennsbury Board of School Directors
|Standing, l-r: Joshua Waldorf, John Palmer, Christian Schwartz, Gary Sanderson (President), and T.R. Kannan. Seated, l-r: Debra Wachspress (Vice President), Kim Hilty, Jacqueline Redner, and Alison Smith (Assistant Secretary).
Members of the Board of School Directors and School District staff appreciate your interest in the Board meetings and business of the Pennsbury school system. Public understanding, participation, and communication are vital to a successful educational environment for students in Pennsbury. You are encouraged to read the minutes of recent meetings and anticipate agenda items of the next meeting to assist in your active participation.
The Board is comprised of nine residents, each elected for a four-year term. Four members began their terms in 2013, and five will complete their terms in 2015. Two student members (nonvoting) are appointed according to state guidelines. Anyone who is 18 years old, a citizen of the United States for three months, and a resident of the School District for 30 days, is eligible to vote in School Board elections. Any qualified voter who is 21 years old may stand for election to the Board.
Board Duties and Responsibilities
The Board has complete and final control over local school matters within the framework set by the Pennsylvania State Legislature and Pennsylvania State Board of Education. The Board acts as a legislative body, determining general policies for the programs, care, management, and finance of the District's public schools. The Superintendent or Chief Executive Officer and his administrative staff are responsible for the execution of these policies.
- Define the general purpose of the School District. Set goals toward the achievement of District purposes. Approve programs and organization for pursuing the District goals and purposes. Secure resources for school operating needs and programs. Decide how resources will be used. Review all phases of the School District operation. Evaluate general achievements of goals and performance. Express and represent the views of the community in matters affecting education. Interpret educational programs and needs of the community.
- Communicate with the community, other educational governing boards, municipal bodies, and legislators.
Participants at Board Meetings
A quorum of five Board members is needed to conduct any official School District business. However, a majority of the full Board is necessary for most financial and legal actions. In addition to the Board, the Superintendent or Chief Executive Officer and members of his administrative team will be on hand to provide reports and explanations on matters of concern to the Board. At most meetings, a department representative will share information about the function, effectiveness, and future plans of the service. Such issues as goals, evaluation, growth, budget, instructional methods, and programs are addressed.
Recognition of the Public
Individuals or delegations who wish to appear before the Board, concerning any item, may speak for three minutes at agenda or regular Board meetings. Residents and non-residents are asked to sign in if they wish to address the Board, and will be called forward in that order. To review the complete Board policy on public participation, please click here.
How You Can Be Involved
Citizen participation is one key to successful school programs. Community members have served on district advisory councils in areas such as vocational education, community school services, technology and special education; advisory committees for school finance, safe schools, transportation; and PTO study committees for annual reviews of curriculum areas and many others. If you are interested, call the Coordinator of Communications at 215-428-4178. The community is an important resource. If you would like to be involved at your school, call or stop by and find out what you can do to help. Volunteers are valuable in schools in tutoring students, serving on PTO boards or community councils, assisting teachers, supervising activities, etc.
How You Can Be Informed
The complete minutes from each School Board meeting may be found in this section of the Pennsbury Web site under "Meeting Minutes." For a summary of the latest District-wide activities each month, see "What's New" on the homepage and click on "This Month in Pennsbury." Copies of policies established by the Board are available through school principals or at the District's Central Administration offices, 134 Yardley Avenue, Fallsington. To visit the section of the Pennsbury Web site devoted to Board policies, click here. For general information, please call the Coordinator of Communications at 215-428-4178.
Addressing Your Concerns
Citizens with questions about the operation of individual schools are encouraged to first contact the teacher or staff member closest to the situation. The next step is to contact the school principal. Then, if necessary, concerns may be brought to the attention of the appropriate central administrator. Unresolved matters would then be brought to the Superintendent or Chief Executive Officer.
News media representatives are invited to each meeting. Meetings are frequently covered by The Advance of Bucks County, the Bucks County Courier Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Levittown.Patch.com, and in some cases television and radio stations.
Copies of the agenda are available in the Board Secretary's office and at each Board meeting. An advance copy of the agenda is posted on the Pennsbury Web site prior to each meeting. The agenda contains business to be considered at each meeting. Board members receive the agenda and supporting documents before each meeting so they may be prepared to make decisions.
The Board usually meets on the first and second Thursdays of each month in the multi-purpose room of Fallsington Elementary School, 134 Yardley Avenue, in Fallsington at 8:00 p.m. Please check the Board Meeting Schedule on this Web site for specific dates, times and locations.