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Grateful parent, a district alumna, expresses support for professional staff at Palisades

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In an extended presentation at the Nov. 2 public school board meeting, a grateful Ottsville resident spoke at length of her gratitude for the service of the Palisades school district’s teachers and professional staff, who are currently awaiting the outcome of negotiations on a new contract.

In an update on the matter, Ad hoc Professional Staff Negotiations Committee Chair James Hallowell reported “I think we’re getting close; I hope we’re getting close.” Negotiations have been proceeding for four months while the members of the Palisades Education Association continue working via a one-year extension of their expired contract.

The resident, a mother of three current students in the district, noted at the outset that she was a 1998 graduate of the high school, and that “over the years, I have learned of other alumni who have moved back to the district.”

Another board committee, now named the Ad hoc Resource Allocation Committee, recently reconvened, after a similar deliberation several years ago concluded that all five district school buildings should remain in use as is. At that time, part of addressing declining enrollment was noting difficulty in attracting “families with young children.” The resident who spoke on Nov. 2 noted her family’s current participation as including kindergarten, and fourth and sixth graders.

Among district teachers she lauded, she particularly noted kindergarten for all three of her children; an elementary literacy specialist; third-grade language arts, social studies, and math; second grade reading remediation; fifth grade class, featuring prep for middle school; and middle school math and reading. She also noted contributions from special needs professional staff, including a “school counselor who served as a safe go-to person for my son when he was overwhelmed.”

In another matter raised during public comment sessions at the Nov. 2 meeting, a resident called for review of sufficiency of competitive bidding efforts during the course of capital projects purchases.

While accepting the request for consideration, with support expressed by three board members, another noted that one competitive bidder on a recent major project, the new high school science wing, had to be disqualified as not sufficiently competent to do the job.

Meanwhile, at various Upper Bucks township board meetings in recent years, supervisors have noted difficulty in attracting bidders for a variety of projects.


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