Progress Update 12-20-16

  • An administrative sub-committee was formed in September 2016. In its first meeting, the sub-committee began planning the timeline for the year and began forming a strategy to include all pertinent stakeholders into the desired full committee. The administrative committee met again in October 2016 to finalize the plans for expansion and to begin reviewing current practices in assessing employee job satisfaction. An invitation was sent out to all district employee groups with the intention to create a comprehensive committee comprised of employees from all classifications and buildings.

  • The comprehensive committee met on November 12, 2016. The committee broke into groups of district employees and began discussing the major areas of employee satisfaction that could be measured and began to review potential questions that could be used in creating a survey tool. The administrative sub-committee collected all the work created by the various groups. The administrative sub-committee will be compiling the information and the entire committee will be meeting again after the new year to continue work on the survey tool. The goal is to have a plan and survey instrument to share with the Superintendent by the end of the first quarter of 2017.

  • An administrative sub-committee was formed and met in October of 2016. The sub-committee began to review the current methods and protocols for hiring at all levels within the district and discussed ways to investigate other options and best practices. The members of the sub-committee began looking at other districts’ methods, interview scenarios and questions with the plan to meet again and review the information discovered.

  • The administrative committee met again on December 12, 2016 to review data collected and develop a plan to expand the committee to include additional stakeholder groups involving members of the community and parents. The sub-committee reviewed other districts’ systems and made the decision to continue to collect additional examples from selected districts. The plan to diversify the committee is to have Dr. Harney attend a Methacton Coordinating Council Meeting after the new year and ask for volunteers from the parents and community members in attendance to assist the committee in developing our hiring protocols. The timeline moving forward is to have a meeting with all participants by some time in February with an overall plan ready for presentation to the Superintendent by June of 2017. 
  • It is the goal of the administration to engage in an ongoing effort, led by the Director of Business Services, to challenge itself in identifying and reviewing all major district systems to determine purpose, function, usability and potential for improvements. Our goal is to identify the systems, determine a schedule for review, and organize a committee inclusive of external stakeholders and take these systems to task. Mr. Klaus will be addressing this area in the coming months.
  • The Superintendent has been working since August 2016 with members of the Board of School Directors in determining ways to improve communications and information sharing with the Board and the public through changes to the financial reports provided monthly. The Superintendent has responded to the Board that the changes identified are indeed possible and that those changes, while planned to go into effect earlier, will be implemented by the end of February 2017. The Superintendent has turned this goal back over to the Director of Business Services who will begin working with the financial software vendor to implement improvements. 
  • In addition, the Superintendent has shared the process and communications framework for the annual budget with the Finance Committee of the Board. This plan, presented at the September 2016 Finance Committee of the Board outlines the context of the budget with familiar reports and will be the document used for each budget presentation going forward, providing a means of keeping updates in order by tracking changes through the process. The Finance Committee approved of the Superintendent’s recommendation, the implementation of which will be evident when the proposed preliminary budget is presented to the Finance Committee in early January 2017.
  • As part of the Superintendent’s October Community Conversation, an invitation was issued to the public seeking volunteers interested in participating on a committee of stakeholders tasked with assisting the district with the utilization of alternative funding resources. Interested individuals have not yet come forward to participate, and the call for interest will be redistributed in January of 2017.
  • The Superintendent has been working to assist the Education Foundation for the Methacton Community (EFMC) in their endeavors to seek alternative revenue sources to support district programs and objectives. Part of the work with the EFMC includes the completion of a strategic plan which led to the discussion and possible action towards seeking an executive director that has a focus on fund raising.
  • Dr. Zerbe had engaged the services of Public Financial Management out of Malvern, Pennsylvania to compile financial data and present findings to administration, board of directors, and community to establish a baseline for planning. PFM was able to provide the district with a budget modeling tool that has been in place since August 2016. Dr. Zerbe has been utilizing this tool to better provide information for the Board’s consideration as part of the budgeting process. He plans to share several reports developed with this model as part of the budgetary process in January.

Progress Update 11-3-16
 
One of the main points of progress in this area is the recent appointment of Thomas A. Klaus as the district’s new Director of Business Services. Mr. Klaus will be working closely with Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe to address this strategic area.
 
Most recently, Dr. Zerbe has been working to assist the Education Foundation for the Methacton Community (EFMC) in their endeavors to seek alternative revenue sources to support district programs and objectives. Conversation also took place with representatives from the Shannondell Retirement Community with regard to seeking volunteers for grant writing services. It is evident that the district recognizes the significant talents that exist from all areas of our stakeholders, this is just one example to help leverage assistance to grow Methacton.
 
An employee satisfaction committee is currently being formed, and in the coming weeks, the district will seek participation from the community.
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