• This monthly e-newsletter summarizes decisions made by the Great Valley Board of School Directors at its regular meeting and provides student and staff related news from our schools. To subscribe to receive this monthly newsletter via email, please email your name and address to communications@gvsd.org.

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    July 2022

    New Position Provides Support for District-Wide Mental Health Initiatives

    The Great Valley School District created a new position for the 2022-23 school year that will ensure more consistent support for K-12 mental health efforts district-wide. The position will focus on both broad and targeted interventions for students.

    Dr. Karen Taratuski, who previously served as the coordinator of psychological services, is now the district’s supervisor of clinical services. She will work collaboratively with the district’s three social workers and five contracted mental health clinicians, and will serve as the district’s Student Assistance Program (SAP) coordinator. Taratuski will also oversee and supervise the implementation of Crisis Intervention and Threat Assessment procedures, including support of school-based crisis management teams. Her position will also allow for clinical leadership for safety and crisis events, and will facilitate greater coordination of metal health supports and social emotional learning, K-12, including a focus on increasing teachers’ sensitivity to experiences of stress for students, and providing increased supports to help students through difficult times.   

    “The pandemic has highlighted the feelings of isolation that children and adolescents experience during the normal stages of development, which has made dealing with the stressors of life more difficult,” said Taratuski. “Mental health challenges can interfere significantly with the ability of children and adolescents to access schooling and function socially. Over the last several years it has become clear that schools are essential support systems and safe havens for children as access to community-based mental health support has been limited and has become more complex.”

      

     

    Taratuski is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, as well as a certified school psychologist in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She has more than 30 years of experience in education, with the last four in the Great Valley School District. In addition to her experience in public schools as a behavior specialist, psychologist, and administrator, Taratuski also provides private therapy services for adolescents and adults.

     
     

    New Assistant Principal Named For Great Valley High School

    At its July 18 meeting, the Great Valley School Board approved the appointment of Christa Keister as the third assistant principal at Great Valley High School, a position that is new for the coming school year. Her appointment provides additional leadership and support for the increasing population seen at the high school, which now has a student enrollment of more than 1,400.

    Keister most recently worked as the K-12 ELD (English Language Development) Coordinator and a middle school administrative intern in the School District of Springfield Township. A member of the district’s Equity Team and Equitable Practices Committee, Keister actively restructured the district’s ELD programming, with a focus on creating processes and systems to support students and build collective efficacy among the staff. She also assisted with the creation of learning support schedules in the middle school, and co-created and implemented new summer programming focused on student growth and achievement. Prior to her experience in the School District of Springfield Township, Keister was the coordinator of curriculum and assessment for the Capital Normal University High School, based in Beijing, China, where she collaborated with Chinese administrators and program staff from Germantown Academy to improve professional development, student attendance, grading and transcripts, and the Advanced Placement program.

    Keister earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Eastern University, and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Pennsylvania State University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational administration and policy from Immaculata University. She has certifications as K-12 principal, ESL specialist, PK-12 Spanish, and private school certification in Spanish, K-12. In addition to her coaching/administrative experience, Keister was also a coach/assistant coach for soccer and track and field, and was herself named to Eastern University’s Athletics’ Hall of Honor in 2019.

     
    “As a school leader, I am most passional about people – the students we serve, the teachers we support, etc. – and building collective efficacy in our schools around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    In particular, I value work around students’ sense of belonging and creating safe spaces in our schools.”


    ~ Christa Keister

     

    Comprehensive Plan Available for Review

    Every three years, school entities must develop and implement a comprehensive plan. This plan must be made available for public inspection and comment for 28 days before it can be approved by the school entity's governing board. Great Valley's 2022-2025 Comprehensive Plan is now available on the District's website for public review. 

     

    Parents Asked to Share Transportation Needs for 2022-23

    As nationwide labor shortages continue to impact school districts, especially in areas like transportation staffing, GVSD once again emailed parents this month to ask about students' transportation needs for the 2022-23 school year. Parents received an email for each GVSD student and are asked to respond before August 5, to assist the District in planning its transportation services for the coming year. Similar to last year, families who plan to utilize District transportation should expect to see buses making more than one morning and/or afternoon run, resulting in earlier pick up times for some students and also later afternoon drop-off times. 

     

    The Great Valley Board of School Directors conducted a business meeting on July 18, 2022. Meeting links and agendas are available on the School Board page of the GVSD website.  

     

    Meeting agendas are available on our website. Meeting recordings are available online.

    Board Approvals

    The Board granted the following approvals at its June meeting. For more information on any item, please view in BoardDocs.

    • Minutes of May 16, June 6, and
      June 13, 2022

    • Treasurer's Report and Tax Collectors' Report

    • Invoices

    • Pro-Active Assessment Appeals

    • Advanced Protection Company Contract for 2022-2023

    • 3D Printer Donation to GV High School

    • Educational Services Contracts

    • Student Services Contract with Behavior Interventions

    • Student Services Contract with Fick Educational Services

    • Student Services Contract with Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

    • Student Services Contract with Working Wellness Yoga for ESY Services

    • Student Services Contract with Criticare, Home Health and Nursing Services

    • Student Services Contract with Valerie Piskorski

    • Contracts for School-Based ACCESS Program

    • Special Education Settlement Agreements

    • Personnel Items

    • Special Ed Plan 2021-2024 and GV Affirmation Statement

    • Adoption of Health & Safety Plan for
      2022-2023

    • Facilities - One Year Contract Extension with Charlestown Landscaping

    • Facilities - 5/6 Center Agreements & Easements

    • Food Service Approvals - Awarding of Bid Extensions

    • Food Service - Piggybacking on UDSD Disposable Bid

    • Food Service Approval - Piggybacking on UDSD Food Product and Distribution RFP

    • Food Service - SOS Contract Amendment

    • Food Service Approval - Piggybacking on NASD Milk Products and Beverages Bid

    • Food Service - Primero Edge Annual Subscription

    • Technology - Data Center Service Agreement

    • Technology - ePlus Bulk Services Agreement

    • Technology - Follett Contract Renewal

    • Technology - GVHS/GVMS Outdoor Wireless Access Points Installation

    • Technology - Purchase of 5 WiFi Access Points for the Middle School/High School Campus

    • Technology - Visual Sound Contract for Digital Signage Software and Hardware

     
     

    47 Church Road
    Malvern, PA 19355

     

    communications@gvsd.org

    610-889-2125

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