Superintendent's Message - April 2016

Posted by Robin Smith on 4/5/2016

Superintendent's Message

Going Above and Beyond –  I am guilty and I admit it.  It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demand of our jobs that we don’t take notice of all that our staff does to go beyond their normal job description to, in one way or another, make our district a better place.  It may be a teacher volunteering time with a student group/activity, coming back to school in the evenings to prepare labs or lessons, coming to work early to tutor a student, attending a student’s music or athletic performances, or serving on a curriculum committee.  It may be a cafeteria employee bringing a smile to a student’s face when she comes through the lunch line or a custodian scrubbing the walls in a hallway or making a 20 year old carpet look new.  It may be a secretary greeting visitors with a smile, even when her workload seems overwhelming.  It may be a principal sacrificing three nights in a row with his/her own family to show support for student activities.  When I take time to notice it, I see on a daily basis the real reason why our school district is such a great place to work.  Our students are fortunate to have such a caring, dedicated staff.  Thank you all for going above and beyond!    

Budget Update – As you are likely aware, HB 1801, the 2015-2016 budget bill finally became law on March 27th without the governor’s signature.  The good news is, the remaining basic education funding (BEF), roughly 55% of our 2014-2015 funding level, is being released this week.  The bad news is, the governor has announced he will veto the fiscal code bill.  This bill would have detailed how the increase in BEF funding over 2014-2015 levels (roughly $150 million) is distributed.  So…the political posturing begins about how that money will be distributed.  In addition, Plan Con money, promised to districts for reimbursement of past construction projects has also been frozen.  To Hollidaysburg Area School District, this means roughly $1 million dollars of expected revenue (and if this continues, an additional million for 16-17).  We are holding out hope that this final chapter of the 2015-2016 state budget saga is resolved soon so that we can then set our sights on the 2016-2017 budget due in two months.


Staff Survey – Thanks to all of you who have completed the 2016 HASD Staff Survey.  A total of 333 district employees have responded to date (nearly 85% of our staff). I particularly appreciate those of you who took time to enter comments, both positive and negative.  The results of the survey are very revealing and will go far in helping us move the district forward.  Once the survey is closed (end of this week), I will begin organizing the data and forwarding to principals to report out to their schools.  Thanks again for your participation.