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The Monthly Update–February

Superintendent’s Update:

I wanted to thank our educators for all that they’ve done for our students over the last two weeks. The Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy had a profound impact on all of us, and in typical fashion, they put their students’ needs before their own emotions, concerns, and anxieties. We all have been taking a critical look around our buildings and classrooms in regard to safety.  Although we have made great strides and implemented several security upgrades over the years, it is a good time to reassess our buildings, review our crisis plans, and reconnect with our local experts. We, consequently, have either already implemented or are in the planning stages of the following initiatives:

  • Contracted with Auld & Associates for crisis training and security assessments of our buildings. Faculty and staff trainings will occur in the next few weeks during faculty meetings. While in our district, they will assess the security systems currently in place  in each of the schools and make recommendations. One of the unfortunate outcomes of school tragedies is the actions of some businesses and consultants who view the current atmosphere of fear as an opportunity to profit by selling schools lots of “school safety” products. Through utilizing trusted experts we can bypass a lot of the sales promises and focus on research-based improvements.
  • The Pennsylvania State Police and Bethel Township Police have increased patrols in and around our schools.
  • Meeting between Pennsylvania State Police and District Instructional Leadership Team to discuss crisis planning and procedures. We also will discuss future trainings and active shooter drills. There is an active shooter drill scheduled over spring break where local police forces will use our high school as a training center. Hosting the event will not only provide valuable training for the police, but it will also give them first knowledge of our building.
  • We are currently researching the prospect of hiring School Resource Officers. A school resource officer or SRO is a sworn law enforcement officer who is responsible for providing security and crime prevention services in schools. These officers do carry weapons. In Delaware County only Chichester and Southeast DelCo have them.
  • I attended a meeting with Senator Thomas J. McGarrigle who intends to introduce legislation amending the Public School Code that will provide recurring revenue for the Safe Schools Initiative. His proposal will direct funds to invest in the safety and security of our schools.


Board Voting Update:

Information Items

The Board recognized eleven informational items at the public meeting, and they are as follows:

  1. Jordan Gallagher and Joseph Slomowitz were recognized and congratulated as Rotary Students for the month of February.   Each month one boy and one girl accompany Mr. Brandt to a Rotary Club meeting. These students are selected by the High School faculty.
  2. The Board recognized Kevin J. Smith, 9th Grade, for reaching scouting’s highest rank of Eagle Scout.  We are extremely proud that Kevin represents the Garnet Valley School District.
  3. The Board congratulated first place winners in the 2018 National Geography Bee: Siddarth Tummala 5th Gr. Bethel Spring Elementary School; Pranav Vijay 5th Gr. GV Elementary School; and Aanagha Pai 8th Gr. GV Middle School.  These students will take the test to qualify to compete at the Pennsylvania State Geography Bee in Harrisburg.
  4. Luke Ricevuto, 4th Grade at BSES and his teacher Rebecca Brown were recognized for participating in the Boeing GoFly Competition.  The competition is a 2-year contest, with a $2,000 prize for a person/team who designs something that will allow a human to fly for 20 minutes. Wanting to encourage Luke, Mrs. Brown sent his letter to Boeing asking if they could join a competition.  Due to the 18 or older requirement, they were ineligible, but Luke’s letter made it to the senior VP of Boeing Engineering, Test, and Technology.  Boeing wrote a letter back and sent them some Boeing “swag”.  A team from Boeing visited  BSES to video Luke.  The video will be shown at an upcoming Boeing Leadership Summit.
  5. Brianna Ciamaichelo, 11th Grade, was recognized for her ceramic piece, entitled “Stevie”, a wheel thrown ceramic vase that has been selected for display at this year’s National Juried Exhibition, held in conjunction with the annual international conference of The National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts.  The exhibition will be held in Pittsburgh in March.
  6. The board congratulated Natalia Orlovsky, 12th Grade, for being recognized by Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Nation’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors.  The Society provides a national stage for the country’s best and brightest young scientist to present original research to nationally recognized professional scientists.  Natalia was chosen for her research on the Electronic Cigarette Vapor and the induction of the Xenobiotic response in human lung epithelial cells.  This recognition comes with a $2,000 award, which is to be used to purchase science equipment.
  7. The Board also recognized Ashwin Mahadeshward, 5th Grade, who finished first in the BSES Spelling Bee Competition, and to Anita Fard Sanei, 5th Grade, who was the runner-up.  Ashwin and Anita will compete in the regional competition at the Delaware County IU on March 3, 2018.
  8. Aditya Parab, 4th Grade, who finished first in the GVES Spelling Bee Competition, and  Niharika Koppolu, 5thGrade, who was the runner-up were congratulated.  Aditya and Niharika will compete in the regional competition at the Delaware County IU on March 3, 2018.
  9. The artwork on display in the lobby outside of the Board room by students from Garnet Valley Elementary School was recognized.
  10. The Garnet Valley High School will present the musical “Evita” on March 8, 9, and 10 at 7:00 PM and Saturday, March 10 at 1:30 PM.
  11. The Board congratulated the following 5th Grade students from GVES and BSES as winners in the NAACP Black History Month Poster Contest: Ave Emery and Roan Vohra  1st Place; Addison Carminati and Brianna Yang  2nd Place; Danielle May and Virginia Hayes  3rd Place.

Education Items

The Board approved four education items, and they are as follows:

  1. Approved the SECOND reading for the below listed policies:

                    Policy #123.2   Recognized Athletic Groups/Club Sports

                          Policy #227      Drug and Alcohol Awareness

                          Policy #918      Title I Parent and Family Engagement

  1. Approved the overnight trip of the GVHS Spanish Club Students to travel to Peru from Thursday, April 11 to Friday, April 19, 2019. 12+ Garnet Valley students will travel at no cost to the district.
  2. Approved Linda Gibson and Christine Jones to attend the PDE Data Summit in Hershey, PA from 3/25/18 to 3/28/18
  3. Accepted the following gifts: The GV Football Alumni Association donated banners for the GV Varsity Club valued at $2,000; The Garnet Valley School District Education Foundation donated $3,500 to the GV High School (Library renovations); and Various vendors donated $1,931 worth of items to the GVMS School Garden.

Finance and Facilities and Personnel

All finance, facilities, and personnel items were approved.

*All agendas and voting items are publicly posted on the district website at:

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