Whitehall-Coplay School District held its 116th commencement ceremony virtually June 4, due to restrictions put in place by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, in order to combat COVID-19. The hope was that an in-person graduation would be possible later in the summer.
When it appeared conditions across the state might allow an in-person event to occur, WCSD administration and Whitehall High School Principal Nathan Davidson set a tentative date of Aug. 3 for the ceremony to be held at the PPL Center in Allentown.
At the Whitehall-Coplay School Board meeting June 8, members approved the 2020-21 homestead and farmstead exclusion resolution, providing $1,182,088.95 in total property tax reduction funds, or $172.65 for 6,847 approved homesteads or farmsteads within the district in accordance with Act 1 of 2006, the Taxpayer Relief Act.
Also at the meeting, Hackett thanked The Giant Company for the monetary donation in relation to its mission of “Connecting Families for a Better Future.”
Though school is officially over and summer is just beginning, Michelle Khouri, district registrar for Whitehall-Coplay School District, is helping families prepare for an important milestone — the first day of kindergarten.
According to Khouri, she has “the best job in the district” because she enjoys meeting the families and children and being involved in the beginning of their educational journey. Khouri, a WCSD alumna herself and the mother of two Whitehall High School graduates, knows what it’s like to send your children to school for the very first time.
Whitehall High School’s 116th commencement ceremony June 4 was the first in the history of the school to be held virtually, due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions set by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.
Whitehall-Coplay School District administrators, staff and students put much time and effort into ensuring the ceremony, which aired on YouTube, RCN and Service Electric, was as close to a traditional graduation as possible. The video, which is still available to view from a link on WHS’ website, was put together by Schaf’s Video Productions in Allentown.
At the Whitehall-Coplay School Board meeting June 8, the board approved the final Whitehall-Coplay School District 2020-21 general fund budget and enactment of taxes for the July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021, fiscal year.
The budget includes a 4.5-percent tax increase. The vote was 7-2, with Tina Koren and William Leiner Jr. opposed.
The $76,577,795 budget is an increase of 2.6 percent from the previous year and balances revenues with projected expenditures.
The past few months have not been easy for anyone in the education field, but Whitehall-Coplay Middle School Principal Angela Friebolin has found positivity in both her staff’s ability to adapt quickly to virtual learning, as well as her students’ capacity to use the new format. According to Friebolin, the students’ transition to online schooling has gone smoothly, since middle schoolers are comfortable using technology and are used to the Google Chrome platform.
When school began last August, no one could have anticipated districts around the world would be forced to transition students to online education. Teaching elementary-age children presented school administration and staff with a unique set of challenges requiring creative solutions.
Every year in June, high school seniors across the country look forward to graduation, coming together with their classmates one last time to celebrate an important milestone — a passage into adulthood. They walk across the stage one at time, accepting their hard-earned diplomas. Together, they throw their caps in the air to acknowledge the end of a 13-year journey.
This year, due to COVID-19, the Class of 2020 will likely miss out on that experience, in addition to other special senior events such as award ceremonies, prom and graduation parties.
During the May 4 Whitehall-Coplay School Board meeting, members approved the reappointment of Fox Rothschild LLP as Whitehall-Coplay School District solicitor from July 1 to June 30, 2021, based on a retainer of $19,500 per year, with a base hourly rate of $185.
Also approved was the purchase of food service terminals from Heartland Schools Solutions in the amount of $23,160, using the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative and paid for from the food service fund.
At the Whitehall-Coplay School Board meeting May 4, the board approved the adoption of the proposed final 2020-21 general fund budget.
The vote was 8-1, with Tina Koren opposed.
The total amount of the budget was $76,283,709, up 2.21 percent from last year. As it stands, the proposed final budget balances revenues with projected expenditures, utilizing the fund balance, at a tax rate of 18.8809 mills, an increase of 4.5 percent from the previous year.