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Issue 38 — Thursday, April 19, 2018
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Board Adds Three More Days To School Calendar

MILFORD — Delaware Valley School District's Board of Directors are lengthening the school year to June 20 and also discussed a preliminary draft of the 2018-2019 school year budget during a workshop at the Pike County Public Library last Thursday.
The school calendar has been extended three days to full days on Jun 18 and 19 and the customary half-day on the final day of school on June 20. The district used 14 snow days this winter, the highest in recent years.
The Thursday before Easter and Monday after already were removed as part of spring break and turned into school days to help make up for lost time. The district left only Good Friday, March 30, as a day off with the Easter weekend.
Superintendent John Bell pointed out that it's not a question of days but classroom hours. He said elementary students have 940 required hours for the classroom and high school students have 900.
School board member John Wroblewski said that perhaps the district should apply for a waiver from the state because recent winter storms Riley and Quinn pushed the snow days beyond the limit and that significant schoolwork and testing is done by mid-June. School Board President Jack O'Leary reminded him that the board had voted in a previous meeting not to go that route.
"I'm proud of our education that's held in the highest regard," said board member Pam Lutfy. "I feel bad for a student who misses one day."
Board Vice President Dawn Bukaj shared the same thought, saying, "My initial reaction is to make up the snow days. They (students) have the responsibility to make up those days and to go to school. I remember we had very bad winter weather before and added entire weeks to the end of the year."
Stop & Start Education
Board member Rosemary Walsh suggested the district try to get students into school on winter days that might typically be called snow days.
"We're in one day, off the next, in another day and then off. There's been no continuity," Walsh said. "When I try to keep kids on track, it's impossible. I'd rather a kid be in school for three hours in January and February than six hours in June. That time of the year in January and February, instruction is paramount. Maybe Dr. Bell can have the option of a three-hour delay just to keep kids in class and keep the momentum."
Bell also gave a presentation of district expenses so board members can begin deciding on a school budget beginning with this Thursday's regularly scheduled meeting at the district administration building. .For complete story, get this week's issue.


Accounting For Park Expenditures Wanted

DINGMANS FERRY — How much money has been spent on Akenac Park since it was taken over by Delaware Township in 2006?
Supervisor John Henderson, regarded for his tough stand on township finances, wants answers.
His motion for a study of how that money was spent in the park, open to county residents and out-of-county visitors for a fee, was passed unanimously during last week's Board of Supervisors meeting.
"I want to know 100 percent of what taxpayers have paid," Henderson said firmly. "We have a crumbling foundation in one building (being repaired) and leaking roofs on other cabins."
"We may not know how all of the money was spent going back years ago based on records that were kept," said Supervisor Jane Neufeld, who has monitored and developed township spending plans in recent months as the treasurer.
Henderson could not venture a deadline for when the figures would be sorted out.
"What is the end game?" asked resident Karen Hagen. "Is it so we don't make the same mistakes?"
"Exactly." Henderson said. "It's going to be a history lesson."
"It will help us do it all better," Neufeld said.
The supervisors also agreed to put together a survey questionnaire for people entering the park of what they plan to do and what they expect coming to the park, an idea endorsed by Neufeld.
There will be a workshop at the township 9 a.m. on May 5 to discuss Akenac Park.
The park began its summer schedule last weekend, which includes weekdays as well as weekends from dawn to dusk. It's only open on weekends for the winter schedule. During the pre-meeting workshop, there was a discussion on specifying operating hours for the park but that was put off for future discussion.
Also on financial matters, the township continued along the goal set by Neufeld and township Administrator Krista Predmore for transparency and to better specify allocation of taxpayer money by unanimously approving resolutions to move money from the General Fund into itemized reserve funds.
"We have a lot of money (in the General Fund) and we have to show (specifically) what's being done with it," Neufeld said. "We're putting money aside (now) so we don't have to put so much money into the budget for expenses expected to come our way in the next five to 10 years, instead of looking at things one year at a time." The resolutions, first introduced last fall, set aside $310,767 for operating reserve, $250,000 for recreational capital reserve, $325,000 for emergency services and $475,000 for roads, bridges and major equipment. With $50,074 already set aside from the past for recreation funds, that reserve now carries a $300,074 total. There remains in the general fund $77,000 that has not yet been allocated...For complete story, get this week's issue.


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