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Welcome from Dr. Barbara A. Russell
Collage of pictures of Superintendent Dr. Russell

Leaders must “first seek to understand, then to be understood.”

– Stephen Covey

Dear Parents/Guardians,

My vision as your Superintendent includes an emphasis on the areas of teaching and learning, safe schools, fiscal integrity, and community partnerships. Since the beginning of the school year, I have focused upon the teaching and learning component and the idea of "doing school different." I’m excited to say that in the weeks since school started, I’ve learned about some wonderful things our staff are doing differently to advance the experiences of our schools.

In this letter, I would like to share information connected to safe and supportive schools and District discussions about initiatives being considered for the future. The phrase “safe and supportive schools” encompasses a lot today, from the infrastructure of our facilities, to the physical well-being of our students and staff, to the interactions among individuals comprising our school communities. Safe and supportive schools include these subcategories, and then some, due to the many ways we try to ensure that our students feel welcome and respected in our communities.

We are fortunate in Perkiomen Valley to have strong and positive school communities. I recently met with high school students over lunches and during each of the conversations, I asked them what excited them most about school. Students commented on how much they like their teachers and feel connected to their school community. While the majority of our students’ experiences are positive and they feel safe attending, we are not without challenges. In past years, our District demographics have changed to include increasing enrollments, a wider variety of ethnicities and cultures, and increases in the number of students with diverse social, emotional and/or learning needs. These changes have not only prompted, but also obligated us to think differently about how we connect with our students and facilitate their learning.

There are numerous efforts in place to strengthen our positive school communities. Our elementary schools have initiated or implemented a positive school-wide behavioral support system that focuses on positive reinforcement and respectful interactions among all. They enhance these systems with character education, and at Skippack, with a school-developed program called Empathy-21. Our secondary schools are focusing on anti-bullying and respectful interactions through efforts such as, Olweus, Link Crew and Be the Change. There are some serious challenges and unsafe interactions occurring in surrounding school districts. Here in PV, we will continue to foster strong connections and respectful interactions as the unfortunate occurrences in other areas do not represent who we are or who we want to be.

Our efforts as a District will continue toward safe and supportive school communities. Positive school-wide systems are extending to the middle level and conversations to develop greater cultural competency are growing. On our recent half-day inservice, select staff attended a session offered by a local organization we have partnered with known as, “Be a Part of the Conversation.” This group will assist us and our parent community in having conversations with our students about drug and alcohol use. We are also working towards establishing outpatient mental health services in our four elementary schools to be provided by Holcomb Services, tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2018. Our safety efforts do not end here as we are also reviewing facility response protocols and considering the addition of a run/hide/fight component to our plans. Training for all staff is necessary before adding this component, as is lots more discussion.

Your thoughts on how we help our students to feel safe and supported are welcome. I encourage you to consider attending Superintendent's Roundtable discussions or communicating with me directly to share questions or concerns. We are preparing to embark upon our Comprehensive Planning process that will provide a level of focus to school safety and offer parents and community members a voice in how we can strengthen what is currently in place. 

As part of the Comprehensive Planning process, we will have a Steering Committee to guide the development of the overall plan, and then smaller committees (Safe and Supportive Schools is one) to address each of the sub-plan topics. If you are interested in being a part of this process, please make Mrs. Laurie Smith (lsmith@pvsd.org) or Dr. Kim Boyd( kboyd@pvsd.org) aware. They will inform you of when meetings are scheduled and how you can participate.

I look forward to hearing your ideas on how our students feel safe at school, can be supported socially and emotionally, and ultimately, engaged in the learning. Thank you for all that you do in support of our students. Our continued work together will surely make their experiences better!

Sincerely,

Dr. Barbara A. Russell
Superintendent, Perkiomen Valley School District
We inspire students!

Please enjoy this video from the Aug. 23 Opening Day ceremony held with faculty and staff. We look forward to a great school year! 

Opening Day 2017



Superintendent's Minute
Each month as part of my report to the Board of School Directors, I share a minute of video/photo footage to illustrate what's going on around our district. November's edition focuses on the professional development opportunities held on Oct. 24 and Nov. 7.




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Superintendent's Snapshot

  • "be a part of the Conversation" We have partnered with an organization known as, be a part of the Conversation.  This group will lead a parent meeting on November 14 at Middle School West entitled, Have ...
    Posted Nov 5, 2017, 10:15 AM by Barbara Russell
  • First Marking Period Concludes Today marks the end of the first marking period for secondary level students. Access to their grades will be available in HAC next week. Also, next week  on Election Day ...
    Posted Nov 2, 2017, 2:29 AM by Barbara Russell
  • First Day of School Wishing ALL a great first day of school and learning! The Perkiomen Valley School District looks forward to engaging and inspiring your child in the 2017-2018 school year!
    Posted Aug 28, 2017, 3:03 AM by Barbara Russell
  • School Starts for Teachers! On Monday, August 21 we welcome new teachers to the Perkiomen Valley School District. They will spend Monday and Tuesday acclimating to our schools and their new roles in preparation ...
    Posted Aug 19, 2017, 11:33 AM by Barbara Russell
  • Construction Projects The Campus Drive paving, renovations to the High School pool, roof repairs, and heating and cooling system updates are all on track to be completed by the start of the ...
    Posted Jul 22, 2017, 5:00 AM by Barbara Russell
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 7. View more »


JOIN US FOR THE NEXT SUPERINTENDENT'S ROUNDTABLE!
roundtable
All residents in the Perkiomen Valley School District are invited to attend a Superintendent's Roundtable discussion. These informal discussions are an effective way for parents and community members to communicate directly with the administration of the Perkiomen Valley School District to share concerns, ideas and suggestions. Dates for the 2017-18 school year will be:

Wednesday, Jan. 24
Monday, March 19
Wednesday, May 23

Roundtables will be held at the District Office, 3 Iron Bridge Drive, Collegeville, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. If you would like to be a part of a discussion, please contact Jessica Lester at (610) 489-8506, ext. 1142 or jlester@pvsd.org. Please indicate what date you would like to attend and what schools your children attend (if applicable).