TA X R E B AT E S
If you are 65 years old, widowed or disabled, you may qualify for a tax rebate from CV. Look inside to see how much you qualify to receive.
How did CV fare in the state’s School Performance Profiles? Plus 2013 academic results, financial reports and district goals.
BUDGET O U T LO O K
Is another fiscal storm looming? See inside for CV’s projections, plus other projects the board is considering for the next school year.
w w w .C o n e s t o g a V a l l e y . o r g
NEW CV LEADERS
Meet CV’s new director of administrative services and new school board member, plus find out the meaning behind CV’s new motto and logos.
VO L . 5 1 N O . 1
P U S H I N G F O R T H E G OA L
Buckskin Boosters Capital Campaign Continues
enovations to Conestoga Valley High School’s athletic stadium are still on track to begin in the spring. What, exactly, those renovations will be has yet to be determined— and it depends, in part, on how successful is the Buckskin Boosters’ final push in their $3.4 million capital campaign. To date, the campaign has raised just shy of $1 million.
Current plans for the facility call for renovating the bleachers, replacing the dilapidated press box and concession stand, adding storage space and installing a synthetic turf field. The CV school
board late last year authorized the district to borrow up to $3.2 million for the project. “The Boosters’ campaign offers donors a five-year pledge period, > > C O N T. PAG E T W O
extent of the stadium renovations “ The depends, in part, on how successful are the Buckskin Boosters in the final push of their capital campaign. COMMUNITY
CONESTOGA VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
C A P I TA L C A M PA I G N > > C O N T. F R O M PAG E O N E
so financing the project was always a necessity,” CV superintendent Gerald Huesken said. “The school board needed to secure the funds now to take advantage of low interest rates and our district’s strong credit rating.” The new borrowing will “wrap” around CV’s existing debt level, which will drop significantly in 2019-2020, meaning the bonds can be financed without affecting future budgets or the district’s property tax rate. The campaign has already raised enough money to cover any interest To date, the “Sound Mind, Sound Body, Sound Future” capital campaign has raised nearly $1 million toward the $3.4 million project.
Are you eligible for a tax rebate? HOMEOWNERS INCOME
$0 - $8,000
$8,001 - $15,000
$15,001 - $18,000
$18,001 - $35,000
$0 - $8,000
$8,001 - $15,000
new borrowing will ‘wrap’ around “ The CV’s existing debt, meaning the bonds can be paid off without affecting future budgets or the property tax rate.
payments in the interim. Still, campaign leaders are urging CV supporters who have not yet contributed to the project to consider making a pledge to offset the use of taxpayer dollars for the project. “Any additional dollars we can raise saves district resources for
use in other areas of importance,” Huesken said. “Extracurricular facilities are still the responsibility of the district and School Board to maintain. However, our Board has been very proactive in their initiatives to establish alternative revenue sources to offset a total reliance on taxpayer dollars.”
TA X R E B AT E S S
ome residents may receive up to a $650 reimbursement for property taxes and rent paid in the previous year if they qualify. To receive the rebate, residents must be either: • 65 years or older; • Widowed and 50+ years old; or • 18 years or older and permanently disabled. The amount of the rebate is determined by household
income up to $35,000 for district homeowners. The income limit for renters is $15,000. This does not include 50 percent of Social Security payments and Railroad Retirement benefit payments. If residents are eligible, they should use booklet PA-1000 to apply after Feb. 15. Claim forms are available at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling 1-800-362-2050.
COMMUNITY SERVANTS CV staff members pledged $15,171 to the district’s annual United Way campaign. That total represents an increase of more than 16 percent in the district’s total giving, and it is one of the highest totals in the county. Congrats to Colleen Hovanec, Fritz principal, who coordinates the campaign. Brownstown students placed gifts in front of a Christmas tree in the lobby of the school, which were distributed to children in crisis by the Children and Youth Agency. The tree is sponsored by the Character Education committee. Fritz third-graders collected $367.70 in spare change for Water Street Ministries to help feed needy families over the holidays. Thanks to Giant Foods for matching what the students raised to present a check for $735.40 to WSM. Smoketown students collected food during the holidays for the “Extreme Power Pack Program,”
which is a service of the Conestoga Valley Christian Community Service Organization.
Boys soccer team captain Nate Delgado, right, was named Pennsylvania State Player of the Year by the PA Soccer Coaches Association after leading the Buckskins to the school’s first-ever District 3 soccer championship and an appearance in the state title game. Delgado set single-season and career records for goals scored. His coach, David Hartlaub, was named PIAA Class AAA Coach of theYear.
Students in CV’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society shared a cross-generational service project with residents of Evergreen Estates Retirement Community on Saturday, Dec. 7. Members of the club created holiday ornaments out of clay and then helped residents paint them. The residents kept the ornaments for their own decorations in their room.
The CVHS Fellowship of Christian Students raised nearly $1,000 by challenging every student to donate $1 during first block on Dec. 20 to help victims of the Philippines typhoon.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Commendations to seniors Thomas Fowler and Naomi Hess for Members of CV’s National Honor Society raised more being named National Merit than $6,000 to take 48 elementary students on a shopping Scholarship Semifinalists. They trip to purchase gifts for family are among the top 1 percent of members.After the trip, the students our nation’s seniors and among enjoyed a pizza party, courtesy of only 13 semifinalists from Pasquale’s, and a visit from Santa. Lancaster County. Four CV Congrats to NHS for their hard seniors were also commended work on this worthy fundraiser! students by the National Merit Corporation: Rachel Ashmore, Patrick Martin, Melissa Nielsen, and Joseph Reed. Commendations to Catie McClain and Brooke Mead for placing with the All-National Honor Ensembles in Band and Orchestra, respectively, in
Nashville last month as sponsored by the National Association for Music Education. Congrats to CVMS, which this year became the first middle school certified by the Olweus anti-bullying program.
EXCEPTIONAL EMPLOYEES Congratulations to CVHS art teacher John Myers, who received a second place award in a national juried art exhibition at Susquehanna University. Commendations to Brownstown principal Andrew Graybill and CVHS assistant principal Dan Sahd for both successfully defending their dissertations to earn a doctoral degree through Immaculata University.
LEARNING HIGHLIGHTS The Shippensburg University Brass Ensemble visited CVHS on Nov. 8 and performed for the CVHS > > C O N T. PAG E F O U R
> > C O N T. F R O M PAG E T H R E E
Weaver Sportsmanship Award from the officials chapter of the L-L League.
concert band as part of their Eastern PA tour.
The CV girls soccer team captured its second consecutive Section I title, and finished the year with a 17-4 record and a #2 seed in the District 3 tournament.
The CV girls volleyball team finished an outstanding season with a 12-4 record, good for third place in Section 1 and a berth in the District 3 playoffs.
Dr. Bradley Genevro, coordinator Commendations to the inductees for the masters in wind conducting into our CV Athletic Hall of Fame program and director of the wind for 2013: Lloyd Greiner (Active ensemble at Messiah College, 1962-1998), Shelby Weaver conducted clinics with CV Wagner (Class of High School students in CV Middle School student council leaders, below, celebrated raising ‘92), Lauren Mable November. $9,667.11 in the school's second annual Mini-THON fundraiser, nearly Bewley (‘02), Katie doubling the school’s goal of $5,000. Mini-THON benefits the Four Diamonds Ranck Byler (‘01), and Fund, which assists families with children battling cancer, supports the medical Daniel Chow (‘01). Ceramic artist Cathleen Repholz spoke with Fritz fourth-graders about a career in pottery.
team at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital and funds pediatric cancer research.
Brownstown Elementary held a “Marvelous Manners” luncheon in December to stress the importance of manners and meaningful conversation. The cafeteria was decorated with table linens and student-made centerpieces and enhanced by live violin. Many students wore suits and dresses to the occasion. News 8 meteorologist Dr. John Scala conducted meteorology demonstrations on Nov. 5 for CVMS 8 Blue students as part of their meteorology unit. The students also met with students studying meteorology at Millersville University. CVHS biology students and teacher James Hovan are in the process of hatching and caring for 380 brook trout as part of the PA Fish and Boat Commission’s “Trout in the Classroom” program. By early spring, Hovan will release 50-125 trout fry into the waters of Hammer Creek in northern Lancaster County.
ATHLETICS ROUND-UP Commendations of the CV football team, which received the Lamar
Academic Achievement, Growth Remain Strong
onestoga Valley School District uses data from Pennsylvania’s School Performance Profile (PA SPP) as part of regular, comprehensive evaluations of the academic performances of each of its schools. While schools previously received a No Child Left Behind designation known as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), all Pennsylvania public schools will now receive a performance score. The PA School Performance Profile provides a buildinglevel score for all schools in the commonwealth. It gives parents a measure to compare their child’s school with neighboring schools, informs teacher evaluations and encourages best practices. Acting state education secretary Carolyn Dumaresq said a score of 70 “starts to be the mark of moving toward success.” The score for a school is based upon indicators that define a high performing school. Many data elements contribute to the score (see page 6).
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE PROFILE SCORES 100%
Conestoga Valley “All schools posted scores the PA Dept. of Education calls ‘moving toward success.’ Brownstown Elementary
posted the highest score of any school in Lancaster County, and
J.E. Fritz Elementary was also among the county’s top scoring schools.
PSSA PERFORMANCE LEVELS (GRADES 3-8) In addition to proficiency, CV tracks the percentage of students who score advanced, basic and below basic on state reading and math tests. A plurality of CV students are advanced, including nearly two-thirds of all students in math.
A DVA N C E D
Superior academic performance; in-depth understanding and exemplary display of skills
Satisfactory academic performance; solid understanding and adequate display of skills
Marginal academic performance; partial understanding and limited display of skills
B E LOW B A S I C Inadequate academic performance; little understanding and minimal display of skills.
G E T T I N G R E S U LT S Commitment to Each Student’s Academic Growth AC A D E M I C G R OW T H - M AT H ( G R . 3 - 8 )
How are PA schools graded? % Proficient or Advanced
Academic Achievement (40%)
Student scores in math, reading, science and writing
Closing the Achievement Gap (10%)
Progress toward full proficiency among all students and lowperforming groups.
Academic Growth (40%)
PVAAS results (below) for % of students making academic growth.
Other Indicators (10%)
Including graduation and attendance rates, AP courses and PSAT participation.
Extra Credit (up to 7%)
For advanced scores on PSSA/Keystone Exams and 3 or higher on AP exams.
70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% -16
Average Growth Index (Across Grades)
AC A D E M I C G R OW T H - R E A D I N G ( G R . 3 - 8 ) 100%
% Proficient or Advanced
RIGHT: CV has long been committed to each student’s individual growth, more so than overall aggregate scores. Data from the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System (PVAAS) measures student academic growth from year to year. On the graphs to the right, CV schools are plotted above the aggregate results for all PA schools. CV students are showing both high achievement (vertical axis) and even higher growth rates (horizontal axis).
50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% -16
Average Growth Index (Across Grades)
2 0 1 3 K E Y S T O N E E X A M R E S U LT S ( C V H S ) High school students no longer take the PSSA Exams. They are now evaluated on end-of-course Keystone Exams, which are given as finals in Literature, Algebra I and Biology. These scores count for CVHS’s SPP score.
BASIC B E LOW B A S I C
A DVA N C E D
Diverse Students, Experienced Teachers CONESTOGA VALLEY
District Area ������ 56 Square Miles Population ������������������������ 31,804
Total �������������������������������������� 571 Teachers ������������������������������� 321 Administrators ����������������������� 18 Subject Area Supervisors ��������� 7
Caucasian ������������������������ 68.6% Hispanic ��������������������������� 15.5% African-American ��������������� 7.1% Asian ���������������������������������� 5.1%
District ������������������������������� 4,354 High School ������������������������ 1,382 Middle School ���������������������� 690
Support Staff �������������������������� 245
Other (incl. multi-racial) ����� 3.7% Native Languages in CV ������� 40+ Students Enrolled in ESL ������ 190
Brownstown �������������������������� 483 J. E. Fritz ������������������������������� 659 Leola ������������������������������������ 452
Avg. Years Teaching �������������� 14.3 One Year Experience ��������� 4.4% 20+ Years Experience ������ 28.7%
Smoketown ��������������������������� 688
Master’s Degree ��������������� 68.2%
Student:Computer Ratio �������� 4:3 HS Wi-Fi Internet ���� 600MB/room
Avg. Class Size Grades K-2 ����� 19 Avg. Class Size Grades 3-12 ��� 21
(direct-instructed and monitored)
GRADUATES Number of 2013 Graduates �� 319 4-year College ��������������� 38.3% 2-year College ��������������� 26.3% Missions or Military ��������� 2.4% Entering Workforce ������� 31.4%
OUR FINANCES Responsible Investment in Strong Schools BUDGET FAST FACTS
Per Pupil Expenditure ��������$13,344 2012-2013 Tuition Elementary ��������������������$8,307.61 Secondary ���������������������$8,491.47
Instruction Pupil Services Debt Service
Avg. Class Size (K-2) ������������������ 19 Avg. Class Size (3-12) ���������������� 21 New Teacher Salary �����������$44,000 Avg. Teacher Salary ����������� $59,794 Administration
State Subsidy Percent ��������������18% Millage Rate ������������������������ 14.528 vs. County Average ���������� 18.8369
Real Estate Tax
Instruction ������������������� $35,373,811 Pupil Services ���������������$4,978,008
Real Estate Tax ������������ $36,786,185 State Subsidies ��������������$9,239,355 Other Taxes & Revenue��$4,978,008
One Mill Generates ����� $2.6 million
Transportation & Support Services ������������ $3,865,438 Student Activities ����������������� $998,889 Other������������������������������������ $113,681
Avg. Single-Family Home �$166,341 Mill Costs Homeowner �������$166.34
Debt Service �����������������$7,321,784 Plant Operations������������$4,225,537 Administration ��������������$2,363,280
Wage Tax ����������������������$3,936,701 Federal Subsidies ����������$2,034,840
2012-2013 Total ����$54,262,420
2012-2013 Total ����$55,814,667
Act 1 Index 2014-15 ��������������� 2.1%
Amusement Tax ������������������� $348,836 Occupational Priv. Tax ���������� $234,704 Per Capita Tax ��������������������� $191,903 Other Revenues ���������������� $3,042,144
O U R G OA L S Improving Student
• The district will implement and
meet the requirements of the Keystones to Opportunity Grant (KtO) with midyear and year-end reports to the School Board in the following areas: • Building-level literacy plans • Student transition plans • Budget plan for staffing needs
• The district will institute two new
initiatives to help foster a learning environment for students, staff, and parents that encourage all post-secondary pathways and flexible career choices by June 2014.
• The district will initiate two new options for advanced learning by June 2014, such as early graduation, testing out options, online learning, etc.
PA R T N E R S H I P S • The district will sponsor at least
one new community-wide event that will be open to multiple school buildings and their stakeholders by June 2014.
• The district will continue its
collaboration with local school districts in order to launch open campus options for students by June 2014.
• The district will finalize a plan
to establish community-based providers of Pre-K programming by January 2014.
P R AC T I C E S • The district will investigate and provide options to the School Board by January 2014 for an operational audit to improve organizational practices.
• The district will inaugurate at
least two new initiatives to expand district connections with our stakeholders in the business community by June 2014.
• The district will support efforts
to broaden the community phase of the capital campaign as a new alternative revenue source to help support improvements in the stadium complex by June 2014.
T E C H N O LO G Y • The district will implement the 1:1 technology initiative at the high school with midyear and year-end reports to the School Board.
• The district will institute PA-ETEP
(Pennsylvania Electronic Teacher Evaluation Portal) to coordinate a successful implementation of the new teacher evaluation system mandated by the state with a report of progress to the Board by January 2014.
• The district will launch two new
initiatives to enhance two-way parent communications and programming, especially through the use of technology, by June 2014.
I N I T I AT I V E S • Preparation for the Common
Core Standards and Keystone Exams
• Data analysis to drive
curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development
• Formal implementation of the
CV Instructional Framework (CIA) into lesson planning and curriculum writing
• Response to Intervention and Instruction (RtII) at all levels
• Continued support of the ISTE
standards for staff and students
• School-wide positive behavior programs, including character education and bullying prevention
• Learning opportunities
(especially online options) beyond the regular classroom
• Subgroup achievement growth • Dependable connectivity to support mobile technology initiatives in all schools
saving energy initiatives
H E A LT H C A R E LO O M S L A R G E
B U D G E T U P DAT E CVSD FACING $500,000 IN LOST REVENUE Ten business have appealed to have their property assessments lowered, the results of which could further reduce the district’s revenues by nearly a half-million dollars. These losses are permanent—no future action by the board can reverse them.
PENSION CONTRIBUTIONS APPROACH $6 MILLION
Growing share of CVSD budget
he exploding cost of employee health insurance could cost the average Conestoga Valley homeowner hundreds of dollars annually if no changes are made to the district’s current plan, according to the district’s director of administrative affairs. Healthcare is one of several challenges the CV school board is
facing as it works on a proposed preliminary budget for the 20142015 school year. According to projections, the district’s health insurance costs will almost double from $3.76 million in 2011-2012 to nearly $6.5 million in 2018-2019. For next school year, health costs are projected to be 15 percent, or $750,000 higher than the current year.
2019, the projected cost of “ By employee health benefits will average
nearly $1,200 for every single-family homeowner—growing every year.
$7 $5 $3 $1 2011-2012
Employee and employer contributions to the state pension system, PSERS, are out of the board’s control. The state Legislature has set those contributions at 7.5 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively. This will cost CV taxpayers nearly $6 million in 2014-2015.
NEW STAFFING REQUESTS The school board is considering several new staff requests for next year, including full-day kindergarten teachers and technicians to enhance CV’s web and network infrastructure.
CAPITAL PROJECTS In addition to the stadium project, the board is considering additional technology upgrades, new science equipment, a new HVAC system at Smoketown, new Rill Gym bleachers and new band uniforms.
STRONG TRACK RECORD The CV school board has a long history of prudent fiscal management. The board’s budget for 2013-2014 came to $57.9 million and included a tax increase of just $40 per average homeowner. The district’s Act 1 index limits tax increases in 2014-2015 to 2.1 percent. 9
NEW LEADERS, LOGOS AT CV District selects “Character. Community. Commitment.” as motto
he design of Buckskin News is not the only new thing about Conestoga Valley in 2013-2014. The district welcomed a new director of administrative services in August and welcomes a new director to the school board following the November election. The school board also approved a new district motto: “Character. Community. Commitment.” In conjunction with the motto, the board approved a new district seal and associated school district logos, including new logos for CV’s athletic teams.
PHYLLIS HEVERLY FLESHER As director of administrative services, Phyllis Heverly Flesher provides strategic leadership in CV’s budgeting process, finance, policy, human resources, food service, operations and maintenance, transportation, security, records management and enrollment projections. She was previously the assistant director of business
affairs at Cornwall-Lebanon School District in Lebanon County and a senior managing consultant at Public Financial Management. Heverly Flesher holds a master’s in public administration from Penn State.
MICHAEL TALLEY Elected to the board in 2013, Michael Talley is a Procurement Manager for GlaxoSmithKline in Marietta. He was a Naval Officer for six years and holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University and an MBA from Clarkson University. He and his wife have three children.
NEW LOGOS The new CV seal represents the mission, vision and foundations of the school district. The three tenets of the motto are represented by three stars. The new district logo is a modern, clear textual and graphic representation of the school district. It features a bold “CV” and a star rising above the “V” to represent the district’s motto as areas of excellence and inspiration for all.
Community BULLETIN BOARD
C A M P IN V EN TI O N 20 14 : EA R LY B IR D SP EC IA L Camp Invention 20 14 will be held July 14-18 at the LancasterLebanon IU 13. Re gister before March 28 and save $25! Camp invention is a nationally-recognize d elementary enrichm ent program. For more, visit www.CampInventio n.org.
LU M N I WA N TE D : C V A
ding Recognize outstan mplished co ac e at in alums! Nom ized as CV alumni to be recogn ni or to be Distinguished Alum -2015 school featured in the 2014 calendar. s, contact For nomination form 7-2421, x1007 Adam Aurand at 39 e at: or download onlin a.us/alumni 2.p .k1 www.cvsd
SEN IOR GOL D CAR DS Senior Citizen Gold Cards are available for residents over 62 who want to attend CV sponsored activities, such as sports, concerts, etc., at no charge. Due to demand and increasing costs, free admission to drama department productions will be on Gold Card Nights only. Seniors will also be invited to a complimentary holiday breakfast at the high school in December. To sign up, contact Denise Martin at 399-1545.
LANCASTER DOLLARS FOR HIGHER LEARNING Applications are now available for interest-free loans from the Lancaster Dollars for Higher Learnings program. Loans are available to Lancaster County residents with demonstrated financial need who are pursuing post-secondary education. Applications are encouraged from non-traditional students, home-school students graduating in 2014, as well as from Lancaster County high school seniors. Visit www.lancdollars.org.
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â€œSteve A. did a great job yesterday. This is a new service for me and his work has given me great piece of mind for a winter with reliable heating I can count on.â€? - Myrna L.
24/7 Emergency Service www.onehourairlancaster.com
nsus The school district ce uary. br Fe e will be mailed in lat t no es If your household do by March receive a census form e Martin nis 15, please contact De 9-1545. 39 at in the district office ur Thank you for yo teop co eration in this sta mandated census. 11
Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage
Lancaster, Pa. Permit No. 957
2110 Horseshoe Road • Lancaster, PA 17601
CONESTOGA VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD John R. Smucker, President Merle Esh, Vice President Todd D. Shertzer, Treasurer Craig Esbenshade, Secretary Idette B. Groff Charles R. Maines Daryl Stoltzfus Michael G. Talley Elizabeth Ulrich Dr. Gerald G. Huesken, Superintendent The board generally meets the third Monday of every month in the Lloyd S. Greiner Board Room at the Harry W. Wirth Administration Center.
QUESTIONS? Contact Adam M. Aurand, Editor 717-397-2421 ext. 1007 Adam_Aurand@cvsd.k12.pa.us
Nothing is learned at an empty desk. Find YOUR seat at Conestoga Valley’s annual community forums.
These programs are for CV parents, taxpayers, students, and staff.
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m. @ J.E. Fritz Elementary 2014-15 Budget Report 12