Chartiers Valley’s school board doesn’t meet in July, but here’s a recap of where we left off when we last saw them at the end of June:
The board voted 7-1 to approve a .4643 mill increase in the district’s real estate tax rate.
That brings Chartiers Valley’s overall rate to 17.071 mills, or about $1,700 in taxes for every $100,000 of a property’s assessed, taxable value.
Board member Jeff Choura was not present for the vote.
Darren Mariano voted against tax hike, arguing that district leaders have chosen to invest in new facilities at the expense of class sizes and teacher-to-student ratios.
“The biggest impact on a child is the teacher in the classroom,” he said. “When you raise class size, research shows that learning goes down.”
Although the district has not laid off teachers, it has opted not to replace some personnel who retired or otherwise left their jobs in recent years, Mariano said.
“I’m not talking about five or 10 [teachers gone], I’m talking about 50-plus,” he said. “Getting rid of teachers through attrition was an easy way to balance the budget, but it’s just not the right way to do things.”
New Computers for Students and Teachers
The board approved two lease agreements that will provide 300 new Chromebooks for students and 300 HP Windows laptops for teachers. The leases will cost a total of $187,000.
The Chromebook contract will cost $24,000 per year for three years. The new computers will go to incoming ninth-grade students. According to the district, “The result will be a 1:1 program which utilizes Chromebooks in grades sixth through tenth and Windows devices eleventh and twelfth.”
The Windows laptops will cost $38,500 annually for a five-year period. Some school directors expressed concern that the length of the lease could leave Chartiers Valley paying for outdated or obsolete equipment in a few years.
“I don’t believe that teachers should be saddled with a computer that’s five years old in today’s technology market,” said Darren Mariano, who voted against the Windows laptop lease. “You should be forward thinking, given that iPads and laptops change so much.”
New Printer-Copier Lease
The board also approved a $647,000, five-year printer-copier lease with ComDoc.
The vote was 7-1. Darren Mariano voted no.
McConnell Becomes Varsity Girls Basketball Coach
In 25 years at the helm of Chartiers Valley’s varsity boys basketball team, Tim McConnell proved himself one of the best coaches in WPIAL history.
His teams won six WPIAL championships, missed the playoffs only once, and McConnell reached the 500-win mark faster than anybody in league history.
This winter, he’ll try to bring the same winning ways to CV’s girls varsity team.
Chartiers Valley School Board voted 5-3 to hire McConnell as the new girls basketball coach. Voting no were Darren Mariano, Julie Murphy, and Brian Kopec.
Jeff Choura was not present.
This past season was CV’s worst under McConnell, and the team missed the playoff for the first time during the coach’s 25 years.
He told the Post-Gazette that he felt that he “wasn’t getting through to the players.”
Why would ultra successful boys basketball coach Tim McConnell go from Chartiers Valley boys to becoming the girls coach? McConnell tries to explain a little. pic.twitter.com/366D9SS5Sn
— Mike White (@mwhiteburgh) June 26, 2018
As head of CV’s girls team, he will coach his daughter Megan.