Progress Update 4-25-17
During the April 25, 2017 meeting of the Board of School Directors, Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe and members of his administrative team presented the Board with a detailed review of progress made in the strategic objectives scheduled to be completed during the first year of the Strategic Plan, as well as providing a look ahead at goal work in the coming year.
- A meeting of the administrative sub-committee has been
set for Tuesday March 14 to review the committees work to date and
plan the next steps in preparation of creating the employee job satisfaction
- The work on
distribution and assessment of the results associated with the job satisfaction
survey will be postponed until the 2017-2018 school year following the school
- The administrative committee to review the current
methods and protocols for hiring at all levels within the district met on
February 6, 2017 to plan the next steps to expand the committee. The original
goal of that expansion of February 2017 has been extended to March of 2017. During
the March 13 meeting of the Methacton Home and School Coordinating
Council, information was shared to introduce the purpose of the committee and
ask for volunteers.
- In March, the Board accepted the resignation of Tom Klaus, the Director
of Business Services. In the interim, the Board approved contracted services to
be provided by LoGIC to provide business office operational support until a
permanent replacement can be identified.
Dr. Zerbe will be working with Business Office staff and other
administrators to evaluate which strategic objectives associated with operations
and financial management are reasonable as the district continues its search
for a permanent Director of Business Services.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.