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The Neshaminy Board of School Directors met in public session on October 22, 2002, in the Auditorium of Oliver Heckman Elementary School.  The following persons were in attendance: 



 Mr. Steven Schoenstadt, President

Mr. P. Howard Wilson

Mrs. June Bostwick, Vice President

Dr. Raymond Boccuti

Mrs. Yvonne Butville
Ms. Carol Drioli

Mr. Harry Jones
Mr. Richard Marotto*

Mr. Richard Eccles

Mr. Joseph Paradise

Mrs. Kimberly Jowett
Dr. William Spitz

Mr. Bruce Wyatt 

Mr. Edward T. Stack

SOLICITOR:  Kristina Wiercinski, Esquire 

Samantha Magathan
Ashley McNulty

Mrs. Anita E. Walls

OTHERS:  Approximately 25 persons from the Public, staff and press

*    Arrived at 7:50 p.m.   



Prior to the meeting, the Oliver Heckman 5th Grade Chorus, under the direction of Ms. Marilyn Clark performed several selections.  The artwork in the Heckman building was a combination of second grade, fourth and fifth grade students in the autumn theme under the direction of Ms. Barbara Natale, Art Teacher.

Call to Order

Mr. Schoenstadt called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance

Mr. Schoenstadt requested those in attendance join in the salute to the flag.


Mr. Schoenstadt announced that this evening Board Vacancy – Region l interviews would take place prior to public comment.

Appointment of Board Vacancy

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that two candidates, Mr. Michael Soifer and Mrs. Susan Cummings, would like to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Harry M. Dengler.  Mr. Schoenstadt requested each candidate to review their background and experience, and provide a reason why the Board should select them for the school board position.

Mr. Michael Soifer advised that he has lived in the District since 1969, and has four daughters that are all graduates of Neshaminy High School who received wonderful educations, went on to college and are now married.  Mr. Soifer advised that he served on the Board from 1988 to 1992, and then also was appointed in 1998 to serve out the remaining term of Mr. Fred Gerst when he became ill.  Mr. Soifer further advised that he was the President of the Choir Booster for five years.  Mr. Soifer commented that he has a feel for Neshaminy since he feels that education is the most important thing that we as a society can give to our children.  It is the legacy by which this country grows.  Mr. Soifer feels very strongly that our children are our most important things for today and the future of this country and of society.  Mr. Soifer would like to see public education prosper and move forward.  Mr. Soifer feels that he has much to offer to the Board and to the public, and would like the opportunity to serve on the Board to further those aims. 

Mr. Schoenstadt requested Board questions:

Mr. Eccles asked, “Assuming that a decision is made on the new high school to remodel or to build new – what is your feeling on a referendum?”  Mr. Soifer answered, “I really haven’t given it any thought.  I don’t have a position at this point.  I am on the high school Steering Committee right now.  There is one more meeting left, which I believe is on October 30th.  I really haven’t given the referendum any thought.”

Dr. Spitz asked, “Do you have any background that you feel would allow you to contribute to decisions regarding the high school in terms of renovating or building new?”  Mr. Soifer responded, “One of the things that I have done because of the business that I have is that I am very familiar with blueprints and building, etc. because this is what I do. I just completed a flooring project at Lindenwold High School in New Jersey.  My experience came in handy when Maple Point renovations took place with regards to renovating the cafeteria.   Also, the prints depicting the halls were the wrong size, would not have met code and would have needed to be dismantled.”

Mrs. Jowett had no questions for Mr. Soifer.

Mrs. Butville asked, “When you were on the School Board the full term before in the early 90’s, what did you feel was the most important or radical thing going on in the school district at that point and how did you handle it?”  Mr. Soifer responded, “When I first joined the Board, the Board was very fractured and one of the things that was paramount was bringing the community together as a unified source in the District.  We were a District with separate entities and different factions.  That was the problem when I first joined the Board in 1988.”

Mrs. Drioli asked, “Coming from Lower Southampton and knowing the demographics of Lower Southampton, being a third senior citizens as well as young people, are you as committed to the senior citizens as you are to the students?”  Mr. Soifer responded, “Absolutely, because unfortunately or fortunately, I am going to be considered a senior citizen in the not to distant future.  But, this is something that is very, very important because we can’t price out, if you want to use that term, the seniors and the people that live in the District.  That is critical and crucial, because they are an integral part of the community, and an absolutely necessary part of the community, because they can provide a lot of things to the community and also to the District in terms of volunteering and mentoring.”

Mrs. Bostwick had no questions for Mr. Soifer.

Mr. Schoenstadt requested Mr. Soifer to tell the Board in his opinion the function and purpose of a school board member.  Mr. Soifer responded, “School Board members are the basic representatives of the community and students, and enabling a school district to function.  Leadership and the necessary listening need to be provided so that the peoples’ needs are met or heard and acted upon.  Right now, public education is under attack from all different angles, from Charter Schools and taxation and a School Board member needs to ensure the vitality and the future of public education for our children.”

Ms. Drioli asked if Mr. Soifer could elaborate to the Board regarding his experience with construction.  Mr. Soifer advised that he has been involved in reading prints and has knowledge of building costs and renovations, not just with schools, but also in commercial building.

Mrs. Susan Cummings advised the Board that she is a resident of Lower Southampton and works in the marketing department at Peddlers Village.  She and her husband also own a business within the community.  Mrs. Cummings advised that she is the parent of two children within the district, one in elementary school and one in high school.    Mrs. Cummings further advised that for the last couple of years she has been involved in many things in the community.  She was instrumental in raising $30,000.00 to build a playground at Tawanka Elementary School.  Mrs. Cummings advised Board members that she is certain her face is familiar to some of them due to the fact that she has been to many school board meetings regarding projects at Poquessing Middle School.  Mrs. Cummings advised that a Home and School Association was created at Poquessing Middle School.  Mrs. Cummings stated that the things that she has done she feels very strongly about and she feels very strongly about being on the school board.  She feels that she has good judgment and can work well on the school board as a team member.    Mrs. Cummings stated that as a parent within the community she could bring a different perspective to the Board.   Mrs. Cummings advised that she hears different things from the parents and members of the community from being President of the Home and School, to sporting events and working the snack stand for the N Club.  Mrs. Cummings stated that if she were on the school board she would be doing it for the betterment of the education of our children in the Neshaminy School District.  Mrs. Cummings advised that she is presently on the Steering Committee and was a member of the Enrollment Committee and Homestead Act Committee.  Mrs. Cummings advised that she was very dedicated to all the meetings, but was not able to attend all the meetings.   Mrs. Cummings advised that she enjoyed going to the meetings, having input in the community, and being able to help use the judgment that she has to hopefully come up with some recommendations. 

Mr. Eccles questioned, “With being on the Steering Committee, if and when a decision is made to renovate or build new, would you be in favor of a referendum?”  Mrs. Cummings responded, “I don’t know if I can answer that question with the information so far that I have been given.  I have gone to five meetings for the Steering Committee and we have been given mountains of information.  We have had different speakers that have come to the meetings and I still feel that there will be more information that I would need to obtain to actually make that decision.”  

Dr. Spitz asked, “Since you are on the Steering Committee, do you have an opinion on or have you reached a conclusion about renovating the high school versus building a new one?”  Mrs. Cummings responded, “Right now there has not been, my opinion or on the Steering Committee, an opinion for either renovating or building a new high school, again I don’t know if I can make that commitment right now.  What I would say is we still have one more meeting, and we still have more information to go through.  As a board member, I am sure there is still other information that I would be able to obtain to make that decision.  I don’t know which way I would turn at the moment.”

Mrs. Jowett had no questions for Mrs. Cummings.

Mrs. Butville asked, “In your fundraising for the different school projects, what did you find the most difficult to do?”  Mrs. Cummings responded, “In the projects that we did at Tawanka and at Poquessing, they were fun and nice.  We had a lot of support from the community; we had a lot of support from fellow friends in the community.  We did so many different fundraisers at Tawanka and it was so fun.  Also, at Poquessing we implemented from scratch the fundraisers and they were successful.  We were able to obtain a nice group of people to work with that are still there today.

Mrs. Drioli asked, “Would your commitment to the senior citizens be as strong for them as it is for the children and the young people that we are trying to serve?”  Mrs. Cummings responded, “ I feel that as a board member the job of the board member is for the best education we can provide to the children within the district within working with the limits of our tax base that we have within the district.  There are different demographics throughout the whole district, and we need to work with what our tax base is and not make a burden on the senior citizens, but still have the best education for our children.” 

Mrs. Cummings thanked the Board and stated that she would still be out in the community working on all the committees.

Mr. Schoenstadt stated that the procedure would be to place the names in nomination and the Board will vote.  Mr. Schoenstadt nominated Mrs. Cummings.  Mr. Eccles seconded the nomination.  Mrs. Drioli nominated Mr. Soifer.  Mrs. Jowett seconded the nomination. 

The Board took a ten-minute recess.

Mr. Schoenstadt requested the Board Secretary to take a roll call vote.  The board secretary announced the roll call tally indicating five ayes for Mr. Soifer and three ayes for Mrs. Cummings.

Mr. Paradise administered the oath of office to Mr. Soifer.  Mr. Wilson congratulated Mr. Soifer and asked that he take a seat with the rest of the Board.

Public Comment

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that any questions that the public would want the Administration to respond to would require completing a red question sheet and a response based on the written question would be provided. At this time the public may come up and speak about any issue they feel is important to the Board. 

Mrs. Helen Kostar, Langhorne, advised the Board that she would write a couple of questions that would require a response.  Mrs. Kostar stated that she has been hearing many rumors about how there is a need for a new high school because the moral is bad for children and the high school is too crowded.  Mrs. Kostar stated that she is a 1972 graduate and at that time the school had over 5,000 students.  Mrs. Kostar’s sophomore class started with 1,500 students and she graduated with 1,023, the biggest graduating class from Neshaminy.  Mrs. Kostar stated that they had no problems going from one end to the other.  Mrs. Kostar understands that renovations have taken place at the high school, i.e. cafeteria, auditorium, library.  Mrs. Kostar is not aware of those costs and would like to know what those costs were to be included with the renovations.  Mrs. Kostar stated she is for a referendum and is demanding it.  Mrs. Kostar stated that there are a lot of people, not only in her development, but also in the entire area that are requesting and demanding a referendum.  Mrs. Kostar does not feel that it should be in the hands of nine people to make such a decision.  Mrs. Kostar feels that the people should make the decision.

Mr. Joe Robb, Langhorne, a teacher at the high school and department chair of Fine Arts.   Mr. Robb advised that he has taught in the building for seventeen years and it was a joy to teach in a building that was fairly new.  Mr. Robb came to the district in 1972 and taught at Pearl Buck Elementary School, an air-conditioned building.  Mr. Robb thought Neshaminy School District was completely like Pearl Buck and Heckman.  Mr. Robb advised that he is wasting too much of his time doing things that he shouldn’t be doing because the facilities don’t provide for his needs.   Mr. Robb explained that his office is in the center of the building and half of his staff are at one end of the building and the others are at the opposite end. That is not unique for a department chair.  Mr. Robb expressed that Science is even in a more difficult situation since it is scattered throughout the entire building.  Mr. Robb stated that communicating from one end of the building to the other is difficult.  Teachers are being paid, however, are wasting too much time since the building they are in is difficult to function within.  Mr. Robb shared the following estimates:  The oldest building in the school district was built somewhere around 1950 which is Lower Southampton.  The last building that was built new in this district was built in 1974 or 1975.  That building has since been renovated, once majorly and maybe twice.  From 1950 to 1975, that is twenty-five years, this district has built 16 buildings.  In the last twenty-five years we have not built a new building.  If building a new high school is postponed for 15 years, which means the oldest building would be 67 years old and the newest building would be 42 years old.  Mr. Robb stated that the district is creating a situation where future generations in this district are going to be paying through the nose to renovate not just the high school but also many other buildings.  The average building in the district in 10 years is going to be 60 years old.  Mr. Robb stated he felt the Board needed to look at the following:  What kind of facilities does this district need?  Are you postponing any kind of facility construction in general where they are going to need to build maybe some new elementary schools, or combined elementary schools wherein the old ones just can’t be maintained?  Mr. Robb expressed that every year the project is postponed, a larger maintenance expense is created that could be eliminated. 

Mrs. Rita Geddes, Feasterville, stated that she is a member of the Steering Committee and there are a lot of misleading facts that have been presented, and the crowding in the hallways is only one very small portion for building new or renovated.  Mrs. Geddes stated that the school has many different leaks throughout, there are safety concerns, lighting concerns, there are concerns over the health of students, and there are concerns over classroom size.   Mrs. Geddes stated that the American Academy of Sciences recommend the classroom size of over 800 square feet for a science class and lab.  The rooms at the high school are 400 square feet.  Mrs. Geddes further advised that when it rains, buckets are located throughout the hallways, including the renovated areas.    Mrs. Geddes advised that the committee has looked at saving some of the structures that have been renovated, i.e. cafeteria, auditorium, C-wing, F-wing.  The cost was more expensive then building new.  Mrs. Geddes advised that we would like to get the correct information out to the community, and that the next Steering Committee meeting the committee is going to look for ways to recommend to the Board how to do that and how to get the correct feedback.  Mrs. Geddes suggested that if anyone has access to a committee member to ask them what the facts truly are.

Student Representative Report

Ms. Samantha Magathan and Ms. Ashley McNulty, student representatives, reported the following:

·          Homecoming at high school took place this past weekend and was very successful

·          Student Council Homecoming Dance was held; however, it was not well attended

·          PSAT’s took place on October 15th

·          Kaleidoscope of Bands will take place on October 26th

·          Academic Breakfast for the National Merit Finalists and AP Scholars will be hosted by Mr. Collins on November 27th

·          Powder Puff Football game will take place on November 27th

·          Plawickian will be distributed October 25th

·          Red Ribbon Week sponsored by SADD/SAVE is currently taking place

-Red Ribbon Day  (red ribbons on cars)

-Smarties Don’t Do Drugs

-Grim Reaper Day (signifies if you do drugs, you could end up dead)

-Wear Red Day (Friday)

·          November 14th-16th  “This Will Be The Place” drama performance will take place

The student representatives stated that a poll was taken amongst students and some concerns were perhaps new ventilation for the Neshaminy Middle and Sandburg pools, smoke detectors in the bathrooms at the high school, permission for students to drink coffee.

Superintendent’s Report

Mr. Wilson stated that he would like to reiterate that the district would continue to follow a process regarding the high school. The Steering Committee will be giving their recommendation to the Executive Committee and at that time the Executive Committee will make a report and a recommendation to the Board of School Directors.    Mr. Wilson stated that following the recommendation there will be many public meetings and Act 34 Hearings that will probably continue throughout the spring of 2003.   Mr. Wilson stated that the requirement is to be prepared to have as many Act 34 Hearings as are needed, i.e. four or five.  Mr. Wilson further stated that there would be no final decision made until those Public Hearings are concluded.   Mr. Wilson expressed that everyone should listen, get the facts, get truth and don’t believe rumors.  Mr. Wilson stated that nothing would be done quickly.  Mr. Wilson advised that the district is working with fine architects and professionals.

Ms. Drioli stated that the architects are from out of the area and Ms. Drioli urged the public not to listen to rumors that are surfacing. 

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that the architects the district has hired are one of the most prestigious, award winning, nationwide architectural firms in the education field.  They have built twenty-five high schools, and have renovated nineteen high schools.  No other architectural firm in Pennsylvania or outside of Pennsylvania has that kind of record.  Mr. Schoenstadt stated that four other firms were interviewed, three of which were local.  Mr. Schoenstadt advised that this process is designed to give the community the best information, i.e. cost, construction, to allow for an intelligent decision.

Approval of Minutes

Upon motion of Ms. Drioli and seconded by Mrs. Butville, the Board approved the minutes of the September 24, 2002, Public meeting by a vote of seven ayes, zero nays, and one abstention (Mr. Soifer).

Approval of Treasurer’s Report, Investments, Budget Transfers, and Exonerations of Personal and Per Capita Tax

Mr. Paradise presented the following for approval:

·          September, 2002 Treasurer’s Report, subject to audit·          Two Escrow Fund balances

·          Three Investment Funds

·          Budget Transfer Report

·          Personal and per capita tax exonerations for September 2002, totaling 1,169.


Ms. Drioli moved the September, 2002 Treasurer’s Report, subject to audit, investments, budget transfers and exonerations of personal and per capita tax be approved.  Seconded by Mrs. Jowett.

The Board approved the Treasurer’s Report, subject to audit, investments, budget transfers and exonerations of personal and per capita tax by a vote of seven ayes, zero nays and one abstention (Mr. Soifer).

Approval of Bills for Payment

Mr. Paradise presented the following for approval:

·          Bills for payment Check Register – September, 2002 – 600 payments in the amount of $3,687,237.48

Dr. Spitz questioned on page D-5, check in the amount of $16,000 to Morrisville Borough School District.  Mr. Wilson stated he suspects that it is for Einstein Academy.  Mr. Paradise stated that he did not think it was payment to Einstein as it is actually payable to Morrisville Borough School District, since the district does pay other school district for tuition students under certain parameters.  Dr. Spitz stated that a motion was made to withhold all payment to Einstein until the court tells the district otherwise. 

Mr. Paradise suggested that if any Board member has a question regarding a specific check to please contact him in order that detail of the payment can be provided.

Dr. Spitz further questioned the following checks:  Newtown Podiatry Association, Hillyard, Inc. and Summit Network Services in the amount of approx. $250,000.  Mr. Paradise stated that the Summit Network Services is for computer hardware that is under the PEPPM bid, the statewide PEPPM bid replacing switches and routers throughout the entire district.   This allows full use of the fiber network that connects all the buildings to make sure communications are up to speed between the buildings and within the buildings.  Mr. Paradise advised that the district is upgrading from one speed to the absolute maximum speed.   

Mrs. Butville suggested that if payment was made to Einstein Academy that it definitely be held.   Mr. Wilson stated that the Secretary of Education, Mr. Zogby, is still solidly behind Einstein, and even though they are down to about three teachers, the Morrisville Board will be considering Einstein Academy in the very near future.  Mr. Wilson stated if we do not provide payment, PDE just withholds the money from our payments.  Mrs. Butville stated that was fine with her.

Mr. Schoenstadt stated that this matter was discussed in April and the Pennsylvania Department of Education has stayed the automatic deduction from our entitlements because of court action, and because Morrisville School District has determined that they are going to get a cancellation hearing.  This Board voted unanimously to withhold payment, regardless of what the penalty would be, because we do not approve of a Cyber Charter School.  Mr. Schoenstadt advised that the Board has already voted and if the check has already been issued, the district is not complying with the Board’s determination and that is of great concern.  Mr. Schoenstadt further advised that the Board does not care what Pennsylvania Department of Education does, it is a poor idea, a poor program, their goals and objectives are not educationally sound, they are under financed, they are poorly administered, and it does not matter if Morrisville approved it or not, they are not managing it properly.

Ms. Drioli made a motion to approve the bills for payment with the stipulation that no further monies are paid to Morrisville.  Mrs. Jowett seconded the motion.

Ms. Drioli questioned when the check was sent.  Mr. Paradise responded in September.  Mr. Wilson stated that the October check is on hold and will not be sent.

Mr. Schoenstadt stated that approximately seventeen-school districts are withholding payments to cyber schools.

Dr. Spitz amended the motion to approve the bills for payment with the stipulation that no further monies are paid to Einstein Academy.  

Dr. Spitz made a motion to accept the amended motion for approval of bills for payment and seconded by Ms. Drioli.   The Board approved the same by a vote of six ayes, one nay (Mr. Eccles), and one abstention (Mr. Soifer).

Approval of Bids

Mr. Paradise presented the following bid/s for approval:

Bid No. 03-23 Boiler and Chiller Replacement at Pearl Buck Elementary School

Bid Amount:  $454,350.00

Replacement of complete boiler and chiller at Pearl Buck Elementary School. 

Mr. Paradise advised that the low bid is A M Mechanical Contracting, Inc.  This project is part of the swing loan.

Bid No. 03-24 HVAC Replacement at Maple Point Middle School

Bid Amount:  $327,800.00

Replacement of three rooftop air conditioning units at Maple Point Middle School.

Mr. Paradise advised that one unit was replaced last year.  Three will be replaced under this bid and nine units are left that will need replacement.

Bid No. 03-25 Reconditioning Football Equipment

Bid Amount:  Year l:  $35,l00.00

                         Year 2: $35,l00.00

                         Year 3:  $35,00.00

Reconditioning football equipment for all four middle schools and Neshaminy High School for school years 2002/2003, 2003/2004, 2004/2005.

Mr. Paradise advised that this is a new bid where the district is combining all schools and getting competitive pricing for reconditioning all the items that the district is required to recondition, i.e. helmets, cages, jaw pads, chin straps. 

Certified and Support Personnel Actions

Mr. Wilson presented the following for approval:

·          Elections – Certified Personnel

·          Resignations and Leaves of Absence – Certified Personnel

·          Elections and Changes of Classification – Support Personnel

·          Resignations and Leaves of Absence – Support Personnel

·          Sabbatical Leaves of Certified Personnel

Mr. Wilson noted the Mr. Jones has been busy lining up day-to-day substitutes.  Mr. Wilson noted that Mr. Ray Kelly would be retiring after 31.3 years in the school district.  Mr. Wilson expressed that the district will miss Mr. Kelly and thanked him for a fine job. 

Mr. Wilson recommended the approval of the personnel report for certified and support personnel as presented.

Mr. Eccles requested clarification on the hiring of someone from outside the district for a mechanic’s helper position (Support Personnel, Page H-5) when someone who has had five years experience within the district was overlooked.   Mr. Jones advised that said candidate is an outside candidate that is well qualified for the position.  There were three finalists for this specific position.  All candidates were tested and were all well qualified.  The candidates were sent to the Supervisor of Transportation who interviewed them along with the Mechanic’s Foreman, and they were all qualified.  Mr. Jones stated that the process was done fairly and properly and by the job description.

Mr. Schoenstadt questioned whether it complied with the Board interview practices and policies.  Mr. Jones stated that it did.

Mr. Eccles stated that someone with five years experience in the District he would hope would get a little bit of extra treatment in the hiring process.

Mr. Eccles made a motion to remove this particular item until further facts are received.  There was no second to the motion.

Ms. Drioli moved the personnel actions listed be approved.  Mr. Schoenstadt seconded the motion.

The Board approved the Certified and Support Personnel Reports with eight ayes and zero nays.

Ms. Drioli reiterated to the audience and the press that the Board is not privy to the interviews.  The Board generally is not involved in the interview process and personally do not know any of these people.   Mr. Schoenstadt advised that there is a board policy and an administrative policy that outlines very distinctly the procedures for the interview process, the involvement of the administrators and the supervisors.  Mr. Schoenstadt stated that there is nothing that precludes the administration from going outside the District employees to find candidates.  This procedure is perfectly within the guidelines that the Board has established and recently reviewed. 

Extra-Curricular Staff and Salaries Report

Mr. Wilson presented the following for approval:

·          2002/2003 Recommended Extra-Curricular Staff and Salaries

Mr. Wilson stated that is an annual report that is provided to the Board of School Directors and Mr. Wilson recommended the approval of the Extra-Curricular Staff and Salaries Report. 

Ms. Drioli moved the Extra-Curricular Staff and Salaries Report be approved.  Mrs. Butville seconded the motion.

Mrs. Butville questioned why some of the positions on the report are vacant and how hard is the District seeking to fill those positions.  Mr. Wilson stated that last year some vacancies were never filled and some of the students were quite disappointed.  Mr. Wilson stated that it is sometimes very difficult to get people to fill the positions and the district needs to go outside and hire quite a few individuals from the community.  Mr. Wilson stated that Neshaminy has probably the best co-curricular activity program in Bucks County, and unfortunately it is difficult to hire individuals for those vacancies.  Mr. Jones stated the list is currently updated as of today. 

Ms. Drioli questioned a specific individual who held several positions in excess of $10,000 through the same season and same sport.  Mr. Wilson stated he would obtain an answer. 

Dr. Spitz questioned the responsibilities of the faculty manager.  Mr. Wilson stated that the faculty manager is in charge of ticket sales, scheduling of fields for practice, scheduling fields for all the activities, scheduling band competitions, etc.

The Board approved the Extra-Curricular Staff and Salaries Report by a vote of seven ayes and one abstention (Mr. Soifer).

Motion:  American Education Week

Mrs. Bostwick presented the following motion:


November 10 – 16, 2002

WHEREAS, public schools are the backbone of our democracy, providing young people with the tools they’ll need to maintain our nation’s precious values of freedom, civility, and equality; and,

WHEREAS, by equipping young Americans with both practical skills and broader intellectual abilities, public schools give them hope for, and access to, a productive future; and,

WHEREAS, public education employees—be they custodians or teachers, bus drivers or librarians—work tirelessly to serve our children and communities with care and professionalism; and,

WHEREAS, public schools are community catalysts, bringing together adults and children, educators and volunteers, business leaders and elected officials in a common enterprise;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Neshaminy Board of School Directors hereby proclaims November 10 – 16, 2002, as the 81st annual observance of American Education Week.

Upon motion made by Mrs. Bostwick and seconded by Ms. Drioli, the Board of School Directors approved the American Education Week motion by a vote of eight ayes and zero nays. 

Motion:  Contracted Transportation Services for 2002-2003

Mrs. Jowett presented the following motion:

WHEREAS, the school district transports public, private, and parochial school students in accordance with the applicable state laws; and

WHEREAS, private contractors are sometimes used if it is more practical and less expensive to do so with other than district vehicles.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Neshaminy Board of School Directors authorizes the school district to enter into private contracts for the 2002-2003 school year for the transportation of certain students in accordance with state regulations as follows:

Contract #1

Middle Earth, Incorporated





Contract #2

Lakeside Youth Service





Contract #3

Huntingdon Valley Christian Academy








BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Business Administrator is authorized to sign these contracts on behalf of the school district.

Upon motion of Mrs. Jowett and seconded by Dr. Spitz, the Board of School Directors approved the motion for Contracted Transportation Services for 2002 – 2003 with seven ayes and one nay (Mr. Schoenstadt).

Mr. Schoenstadt had discussion on the motion.  Mr. Schoenstadt inquired how many students are being transported for $117,660?  Mr. Paradise stated unfortunately, not many.  Mr. Schoenstadt said the last time he believed it was 12.  Mr. Paradise stated there are three contracts:  Middle Earth there is an estimate of 15 students, Lakeside there is an estimate of 10 and Huntingdon Valley there is 1 at this point. 

Mr. Schoenstadt advised that often times the Board is criticized for increasing expenditures from year to year and many times people find it hard to understand why the district’s costs go up as much as they do.  But this is a perfect example where the Board is asked to approve a motion tonight for $117,600 for transporting a relatively small number of children that are probation placements, and this is still the least expensive way for the district to transport them. Mr. Schoenstadt stated that last year the cost was $84,000 to transport a similar number of students and the prior year it was $76,000, and the year before that it was $47,000.  Mr. Schoenstadt further stated that this one item of many, many, many hundreds in the budget, has gone from $47,000 to now $117,000 and this is an issue where the district is required to provide services.  The district has no choice, it is a mandate that the district must follow through with, and there is no other way in which to do it. 

Mrs. Butville commented that she thought the Huntingdon Valley Christian Academy is not probation.  Mrs. Butville inquired how much does the district receive from the state and how does the state’s reimbursement equate to the increase each year?  Mr. Paradise stated not even close.   Mr. Schoenstadt stated that what this averages is $48,000 per student.  The district spends a little over $8,000 per student to educate every child in the school district, so this is actually just to transport a student.  It has nothing to do with educating them.

The vote was taken again with seven ayes and one nay (Mr. Schoenstadt).

Mr. Schoenstadt said someone has to stand up for this.

Federal Programs

Mr. Wilson stated the district has approximately $1.4 million dollars in Federal Program allocation this year.  Title I, Title II and the Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth came in September in the amount of $163,170.  Dr. Costanzo has learned that there might be some more money in the alternative education grant, and is working diligently to try to get a few extra dollars.  The district is currently at

$1,419,000 in Federal Grant allocations for the year.  Mr. Wilson advised that IDEA has gone up and flow through expenditures for IDEA will probably be around $900,000, which represents a significant increase.

Other Board Business

Mrs. Butville wanted to remind Board members that if they have not filled out their PSBA survey regarding the teacher of public education, to please make sure that they do same this week.


The Board secretary announced that we have one piece of correspondence to the Board of School Directors from Mrs. Shirley Blumenstock thanking them for the kind expression of sympathy. 


Mr. Wilson introduced and welcomed Dr. Richard Coe, Executive Director to the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, who is attending the Neshaminy School Board meeting as an in-service.


Mrs. Butville moved the meeting be adjourned and Mrs. Drioli seconded the motion.  The Board unanimously approved the motion.  Mrs. Butville adjourned the meeting at 9:20 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Anita E. Walls
Board Secretary    



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