Superintendent John Sanville staying around four more years

John Sanville

After announcing the intention to extended Unionville-Chadds Ford Superintendent John Sanville’s contract for another four years in January, the school board voted 7-1 in favor of its implementation at the meeting Feb. 18.

The new contract, which features an increase in salary and paid vacation days, will run from Sept. 1, 2014, until Aug. 31, 2018.

The raise in salary is a reflection of how he has run the district over his time at the helm.

“John’s performance over the last three years has been excellent and he deserves a raise that recognizes his excellent performance,” said board member Keith Knauss. “Even with a substantial raise, he will be only seventh out of 12 Chester County superintendents. Essentially, we are paying John for his performance.”

Everyone on the board echoed Knauss’ sentiments to how Sanville has done with the district, but there was one vote against the contract, but just the contract alone.

The lone vote against the approval came from Eileen Bushelow.

“While I respect each individual board member’s opinion, at the end of the day, I need to vote in a manner that allows me to sleep comfortably at night,” she said. “I agree the superintendent’s contract is not a terrible agreement, but I am not comfortable with some of the terms, therefore, I cannot support it.

“My vote in no way reflects how I feel about Dr. Sanville. I wholeheartedly believe Dr. Sanville is the best leader for Unionville-Chadds Ford.”

Sanville was thrilled for the news that he will be continuing in his role for another four years.

“I am just humbled and appreciative to be a part of such a great community,” “I’m also grateful to know I have your support as we look toward the future of Unionville-Chadds Ford.”

Communications contract

A 7-1 vote approved the communications contract with David Voss Associates for $25,000.

He will help the board with its communications plan, focusing primarily on crisis communications. The contract will run until the end of June or until all activities have been completed if it runs past the end of the month.

Board member Kathleen Do was not in favor of the contract and was the lone vote against it.

“In my mind, the most important part of this contract is the crisis communications plan,” she said. “A plan should not be a feel-good document and something you can check off a to-do list. In times of true crisis, a good communication plan can be the only thing to control a panic situation and possibly salvage the reputation of an institution.

“To date, I have not seen the documentation that indicates Mr. Voss can deliver a comprehensive crisis communications plan specific to this district.”

Do asked to see a plan similar to one which would be used in the district and, understanding the confidentiality concern, had no problem if certain items were deleted. Voss denied her request because he felt they were his intellectual property, Do said.

“I cannot support a contract for the creation of a crisis communication plan when I have no idea what that plan is going to entail,” she said.

Snow make-up

The board approved a new snow make-up schedule for the remainder of the year and which has also been posted on the district’s website due to the nine snow days already taken this winter.

Because the state only requires 180 days in the school year and the district has 182, two days are forgiven for students. The rest of the make-up time has been split between days students originally had off and days in the summer. Such was already done on President’s Day.

As it stands, the end of the year will be June 13. It will stay that way even with two additional snow days because those will be the first two days of Spring Break. After that, each snow day will be tacked onto the end of the year.

There was also a brief mention that with the ever expanding world of technology, there is an idea for snow days to instead become online days in the near future where students will stay home for safety in bad weather conditions, but will still get a day of learning in online.

Test dates widened

The state has broadened the time frame of the PSSA exams to allow schools to give them at a later date because of the havoc the winter weather has caused. An additional two weeks have been given for the PSSAs, which the district will take advantage of, though the dates have not been finalized. Administrators, principals and teachers are checking the calendar to make sure it doesn’t interfere with anything else.

Along the same lines, the district is in contact with the College Board to try and get an extension on the AP exams as well. The College Board does have some provisions and the district is trying to see if the snow days they have had will allow them to use the provision, which would give them five additional days.The Keystones, as of now, will not be moved.

No approval for credit change

On the agenda for the evening was the approval to take the Learning Support Resource Room from a full credit down to .17 credits effective with the class of 2018.

The motion to approve found no second, which automatically put an end to it without the need to go to a vote.

About the Author

Candice Monhollan

Candice Monhollan is a 2012 Temple University graduate. She loves to cover sports, especially hockey. She enjoys marching with the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps and has a love of U.S. military history, which includes reenacting. Reach the author at cmonhollan@dailylocal.com .

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