ABINGTON -- At a recent meeting of the Abington School baord broadcast on YouTube, Dr. Jeffrey Fecher gave a statement regarding concerns raised to him over the past several weeks about the Abington Senior High School Galloping Ghost mascot.

Dr. Fecher referenced the mascot’s history dating back to the early 1930s and the unacceptable depictions of the Ghost that emerged in the mid-20th century, but are no longer in use today. Dr. Fecher shared the steps that Abington School District has taken since that time to remove such imagery, as these representations are offensive and painful to the school community. He reaffirmed Abington School District’s commitment to fostering positive and safe learning environments for all students, and explained that the mascot would be a priority topic next school year for the newly established Superintendent’s Committee for Equitable Practices, led by District Equity Officer Dr. Kristopher Brown.

Honors presented

Dr. Toni Butz, Director of Teaching and Learning, and members of the Teaching and Learning Department, presented the 2020 Silver Pen and Math Achievement Awards. The Silver Pen Award, sponsored by the Abington Educational Foundation (AEF), recognizes sixth grade elementary students who have exhibited outstanding writing abilities. The annual mathematics awards highlight winners of various mathematics competitions from across Abington School District’s seven elementary schools, as well as, Abington Junior High School.

Budget approved

Dr. Fecher and Mr. Christopher Lionetti, Business Manager, presented three versions of the budget: one that conformed to the state’s 2.6% index, one that included no tax increase, and another that was a 1.3% increase. The board ultimately voted to adopt the budget for the 2020-2021 school year in the amount of $168,238,648 with no tax increase. 

The board approved a Health and Safety Plan for Summer Sports and Activities.  Angelo Berrios and Todd Vaccaro, Athletic Director, provided a presentation on the Health and Safety Plan for Summer Sports and Activities. In order to promote the safe and orderly operation of the district’s athletic program during the COVID-19 pandemic, the board approved the Abington School District Health and Safety Plan for Summer Sports and Activities, effective July 6, 2020.

The board awarded a contract to Trox for the purchase of 2,241 Chromebooks for implementation of a one-to-one initiative at the seven elementary schools in grades 4-6. As referenced in the district’s Digital Transformation Plan, this purchase will provide device mobility and accessibility for all students in grades 4-6, and is identified in the plan as the third phase of one-to-one device implementation that will extend from grades 4-12 with take-home devices and grades K-3 with classroom sets of devices. Purchase of the devices at this time was recommended in order to ensure sufficient device availability for students’ return to school in the fall and preparedness in the event of additional school closure next school year. The devices would be used for instruction in a brick-and-mortar classroom setting or home environment.

Contracts were also awarded to: 

‒ Incident IQ LLC for a help desk and asset management system as part of the implementation of the one-to-one Chromebook initiative

‒ ClassLink for a single sign-on solution that will allow students to use one login to access all of their digital learning tools

‒ CDW Government LLC for wireless access point additions and replacements

The next board meeting will be7:30 p.m., August 11.

-- Compiled by Allie Artur, submitted by Abington School District 

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