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Remediation plan update revealed

The East Penn Board of School Directors were shown an updated and highly detailed remediation plan to mitigate the pandemic-related disruption in learning at the April 26 virtual regular meeting.

School Superintendent Kristen Campbell introduced the team presenting the remediation plan update. They included both assistant superintendents, curriculum supervisors, school principals representing all grade levels, academic support personnel, educators and the director of special education.

According to Campbell, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund supports are to begin in the summer and continue through the 2021-2022 school year with the administration and educators monitoring progress of the program on an ongoing basis. She said they are looking to possibly extend the program into the following school year, as well.

The team spelled out the priorities and approximate cost of the program designed to help struggling students catch up after COVID-19’s impact on public schools.

Staffing requirements to address pandemic-related academic needs include two to four full-time substitute middle school math teachers, two full-time substitute middle school reading interventionists, one high school full-time substitute math teacher and one full-time substitute special education teacher.

There is a potential need for a full-time substitute high school English language arts teacher and four full-time substitute remote/Virtual East Penn Academy support teachers with math, ELA, science and social studies certification.

One-time ESSER subsidized expenditures would create high school and middle level remediation and credit recovery in summer school and after-school programs for the 2021-2022 school year with transportation options.

It is proposed 12 staff members receive Orton-Gillingham reading intervention training.

Resource purchases include Leveled Literacy Intervention Purple System and Gold System for Lower Macungie Middle School and Eyer Middle School and Leveled Literacy Intervention Blue System and Leveled Literacy Intervention Green System for special education students at Eyer Middle School.

The team is looking to purchase a pilot diagnostic reading program.

2021-2022 elementary ESSR-funded remote options are still in the planning stages for asynchronous and small group synchronous learning.

To achieve COVID-related academic needs for elementary students, the team proposed a summer learning academy for kindergarten through fifth grade. This would be July 12-Aug. 5 for students performing below grade level.

For 2021-2022, students in first through third grades would receive targeted instruction, with 11 current East Penn district teachers serving as interventionists. Eleven full-time substitute teachers would be trained to fill classroom roles paid for in ESSER funds.

After school support in reading, writing and math for students in third through fifth grades would also be offered at all the elementary schools September through May.

The directors were receptive to the presentation. Some expressed concern in being able to attract “the best people” to work in the district while competing with other districts.

The directors reviewed and commented on a proposed Adidas team agreement July 1 through June 30, 2026. Since the current 4-year agreement is about to expire, the district has an opportunity to renew it for another five years.

In conjunction with the Adidas proposal, SV Sports, which serves as the purchasing agent for Adidas products and other sports equipment manufacturers, offered a 1-year automatically renewed contract July 1 through June 30, 2026.

East Penn district athletic director Becky George fielded most of the board’s queries regarding the new deal offered by both Adidas and SV Sports.

With the Adidas contract, the district would purchase Adidas uniforms and equipment to receive promotional merchandise and rebates from the manufacturer on a 4-tiered basis.

In each year of the agreement, the district would receive the following:

• Tier 1 – A 10 percent rebate in the form of product at retail value for up to $50,000 in Adidas purchases for the year.

• Tier 2 – A 12 percent rebate in the form of product at retail value for $50,001-$75,000 in Adidas purchases for the year.

• Tier 3 – A 14 percent rebate in the form of product at retail value for $75,001-$100,000 in Adidas purchases for the year.

• Tier 4 – A 16 percent rebate in the form of product at retail value for $100,001 or more in Adidas purchases for the year.

In the first year of the agreement, the district would receive a $10,000 bonus in the form of product at retail value.

Bonus merchandise would include three custom banners and one custom wind screen free of charge and warm-up jackets to all members and coaches of teams winning a state championship.

The district would be eligible to purchase various Adidas products at a 35-40 percent discount.

Upon termination or expiration of the agreement, the district cannot enter into an endorsement or similar agreement with a third party without first giving Adidas an opportunity to match that offer. Director Ziad Munson expressed concerns about this section.

SV Sports would continue to serve as purchasing agent for the district in the proposed partnership agreement. SV Sports would provide 30 to 40 percent discounts on various non-Adidas merchandise, as well as provide a $7,500 product allotment each year valued at SV Sports then-current retail pricing.

All teams would exclusively wear and use “head-to-toe products” purchased by the district from SV Sports

SV Sports, co-branded with Adidas, would receive permission for placement of two banners for display on-field and on-court at agreeable locations.

SV Sports would be granted the right to reproduce and use game and facility photographs and audiovisual footage of the schools’ games and facilities subject to applicable NFHS rules.

A 5 percent rebate based on total purchases from SV Sports on non-Adidas product the previous year would be provided.

Adidas sales representative Tessa Kennedy and SV Sports representative Marisa Lozano were on hand to answer questions.

In her district update, Campbell said spring 2021 Pennsylvania System of School Assessments will be administered in late May.

Campbell mentioned Eyer Middle School’s spring musical “Into the Woods” is scheduled for May 14 and 15 as outdoor performances at Kalmbach Park.

Emmaus Student Government Association members Grace Comfort and Bella Haigney reported the SGA virtual painting program has been approved. The virtual spring musical “Tuck Everlasting” is scheduled to stream June 5 and 6. Two 2021 graduation ceremonies will be held at the PPL Center June 13.

In personnel matters, the directors acknowledged the retirement of Emmaus High School English teacher Susan Carville, Shoemaker Elementary School third grade teacher Lori Fritz and Willow Lane Elementary School second grade teacher James Repischak. All are effective mid-late June.

After applauding their combined 70 years of service to the district, Campbell expressed gratitude to the retiring educators. She also paid tribute to Willow Lane Elementary School teacher and administrator Jim Best who is to retire soon.

The board also accepted the resignation of Lower Macungie Middle School math teacher Matthew Greiling, for mid- June.

Assistant Superintendent Douglas Povilaitis provided a first reading on updates to board transportation policies addressing comparability of services, school bus drivers, school commercial motor vehicle drivers and drivers of other school vehicles.

President Ken Bacher said no executive session was held before the public forum.

No members of the public addressed the board.