Superintendent's Message - June 2015

Posted by Robin Smith on 6/4/2015

Congratulations to all for surviving another school year.  2014-2015 was another challenging one as education was in the spotlight during national, state and local elections.  Pensions, school funding, Keystone exams, and school performance were prominent topics in the media.  Countless hours were spent on PA Core curriculum alignment, SLOs, test prep, Teacher Effectiveness and other initiatives.  Through it all, you maintained your focus on what is important, educating our students.  You invested countless hours above and beyond what is required to provide valuable experiences to our students through the arts, athletics, and academic competitions.  Thanks for your patience, professionalism, and dedication.    It is because of you that the future of the Hollidaysburg Area School District is bright.

 Curriculum – We have covered an incredible amount of ground in a very short time.  Much work remains on PA Core transition and curriculum alignment, but under the leadership of Dr. Endler, the principals, and our teacher leaders, the end goal is in sight.  Thanks for your patience.

 Technology – The Technology Department, under the direction of Justin Arthur, has made some amazing progress throughout the school year toward establishing a reliable infrastructure to support future tech initiatives.  With the help of Robin Smith, our infrastructure plan was proposed and accepted by the school board, which will allow us to establish a reliable wireless infrastructure at all five schools by the end of the summer.  I think you will notice and appreciate the improvements upon your return.  Research on how to most effectively integrate technology into daily learning will continue while hybrid learning pilot models expand throughout the district in the coming year.

 Budget – As noted in an earlier e-mail, the proposed budget for 2015-2016 includes a $700,000 deficit, $500,000 of which is the increase in the district’s pension obligation.  Due to foresight by the former administration and school board, HASD has been able to maintain a fund balance while addressing drastic increases in our pension obligation.  Thank you all for enduring our many questions about your budget submissions.  Money will continue to be tight, but I do believe we will continue to be provided the support and resources to accomplish our goals.

 Please take a few minutes over the summer to familiarize yourself with what is happening in our district by reviewing the Annual Report and Tiger Pride.  Both publications will be posted to the district website upon completion.  You will see that amazing things are happening in the district and, because of the hard work and dedication of our teachers, administrators, and support staff, the future of HASD is bright!

 Happy summer!