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NH-S Upper Elementary School a Distinguished School


The New Hope-Solebury School Board met on Oct. 25 with the screams and raucous sounds of the Haunted Woods just outside the door. It was the annual ritual of fundraising with fun fear in the wooded area on the NH-S campus.

Acting Superintendent Charles Malone announced that the Upper Elementary School had been named a Distinguished Title I School and will be recognized in January.

The students reported on the new program ALICE written by the Homeland Security Department to prepare teachers and students with a plan in the case of an active shooter. Alert Lockdown, Inform, Counter Evacuate is being introduced differently with each age group but it is ultimately aimed at giving those involved tools of response.

Board member Dana Schwartz said that the ALICE program is being adjusted to suit special education students with firefighters and police coming in to meet the children so they will be familiar and not scary.

When board member Deirdre Alderfer mentioned combating the spotted lantern fly with an intention of spraying, member Mark Cowell questioned the use of toxic pesticides on school property for any reason.

Cowell insisted that plans to treat be tabled until all the related information is available, including effects on other wildlife. He said that some of the chemicals being discussed are possibly cancer-causing and toxic to bees.

The athletic director said that May is the suggested time of application which is the most active time for pollinators. The vote was tabled so information can be gathered.

Speaking for facilities, Alderfer reported that the construction project is almost complete with field none in the process of restoration and $25,000 overrun of the contingency fund. She commented that the request for New Hope Borough to refund a portion of the fees charged was denied.

Speaking for the Finance Committee, Cowell mentioned that with the cost overrun the amount left in the contingency account is zero. He gave a list of dates around creating and passing the next budget beginning with authorizing the preliminary budget on Dec. 20 with a goal to adopt it on Jan. 24.

The final budget is usually adopted in June. Cowell said at this point the plan is to keep the budget at or below this year’s 2.3 index. He said $35,000 is available in the Education Fund, awaiting applications.

Board member Lauren McDonough covers two areas, Policy and Human Resources which includes, things like coaching, advisors, clubs, the many opportunities provided beyond the textbook.

Those are part of the contract with staff but residents Mel Band and Ed Dufy asked from the audience that the duties be better defined, Band saying he hopes to have a place on a suggested committee around defining the EDRs but McDonough implied that membership is not for residents.

Board member Stan Marcus spoke of Middle Bucks Institute of Technology letting everyone know the student-run restaurant is open and many adult programs are in place for the public. The school has an enrollment of 787, with 13 from NH-S.

The instructional aides as they did at the previous meeting, ended the meeting with a plea for the board to revise the new contract with support staff to give them a living wage.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 29.