Calls for respect and kindness amid board worksession


Julia Nardone

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Todd Bauer presents the proposed new Middle School schedule to the Board during the February worksession.

In a virtual setting for their February worksession meeting, the North Penn School Board addressed a hateful voicemail message directed at a certain teacher in the district and the situation regarding her allegedly controversial lesson that occurred early in 2021.

President Tina Stoll read out the official message from the North Penn School Board conveying the appreciation and respect the Board has for all teachers and staff, requesting that the community and those beyond the community treat others with respect.  

The threatening voicemail was then played for the community, having also now been handed over to the police, following the controversy of an A.M. Kulp teacher’s lesson in May of 2021.

“Whether you agree with every step the school district makes or not, we ask you to treat each other with kindness and respect. This is what we try to instill in our children and they are watching,” Stoll said. 

“Whether you agree with every step the school district makes or not, we ask you to treat each other with kindness and respect. This is what we try to instill in our children and they are watching.”

— President Tina Stoll

Multiple board directors also shared their opinions on the matter, showing support for their teachers and administrators, thanking them for their persistence and hard work.

Continuing with the agenda at hand, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Todd Bauer presented the new Middle School schedule plan for next year. Based on results from a Hanover study from last year, the new proposal is to have a combination of block scheduling and traditional scheduling, which will be an AB schedule that alternates what classes students have every other day. It would still be in block format (longer than 45 min) but the students would have their major courses all year, alternated every day. 

The proposed Middle School schedule will be an AB schedule that is a combination of a block and traditional schedule. (Julia Nardone)

There would also be a new block called Education Opportunity Time (EOT) which has multiple possibilities for what it could be utilized for. It could be an intervention period, time to see teachers for help, the incorporation of mental health and stress management, or time for students to take online education courses. 

The proposed schedule does not need action at this time, it is just for the board to be updated. For more information, watch the meeting on youtube here

In the Superintendent’s report, the Board welcomed Facilities and Operations director Mr. Thomas Schneider to present the Capital Project Update. Most outstanding in the presentation was the request to repair the Natatorium roof. Currently, there is a significant concern and possibility that the roof will blow off as it is lifting in multiple places.  

“The membrane is intact but the system is failing, if the membrane was failing and separating, that would be a different story, that would be under warranty, but the system and insulation is not,” Schneider said. 

This was discussed further at the facilities and operations meeting but the Board wanted to bring it to the workession because of the large amounts of money that are being discussed, wanting the community to be sure the money is spent well. 

Superintendent Dr. Curt Dietrich gave an update on the district’s Covid statistics since the last meeting. 

“We are now in three weeks of decline in our school district from some really incredibly high numbers, but we are still in a very high state of transmission within the community, namely with 320 cases per 100,000, and a positivity rate of 19.8%. We’re looking closely at that and pleased that the numbers are declining but we are still well above the threshold for high and substantial,” he said. 

Assistant Superintendent Dr. D’Ana Waters announced that the Black History Oratorical Competition will take place on Thursday, February 24 at North Penn High School. There were about fifty-eight students who submitted a video with four teachers currently revealing them. Students will know this Thursday who will move to the semi-final round. This is one of the many North Penn events that could not happen last year and many people are excited for its return.

The next school board meeting will be an action meeting on February 17, 7 pm, at Pennfield Middle School.