School board offering Sanville new contract

On a night when the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board directors challenged the accuracy and propriety of a letter criticizing Superintendent John Sanville, the board announced reaching a new tentative contract that would extend Sanville’s position into 2018.

The contract, scheduled for a formal vote in February, increases Sanville’s pay to $210,000 per year and gives him five more vacation days, from 25 to 30 and there will also be a dollar for dollar match for retirement up to $8,400 per year, according to board President Vic Dupuis. Dupuis added that the new contract reflects “fair value” for Sanville’s services.

“It’s in the best interest of the district to retain Dr. Sanville,” said Director Keith Knauss during the Jan. 27 board meeting.

The full contract is to be published on the district’s Web site for public comment before the vote.

Not everyone in the district is pleased with Sanville’s performance, however. In a letter to the editor (found here), one district resident called for dumping Sanville. The writer cited the previously reported situation in which some non-district students were allowed into U-CF schools, along with an alleged increase in resignations because of low morale and an alleged decline in academic achievement.

Several directors took exception to the letter.

Knauss said the letter was unwarranted and unpersuasive.

Dupuis said the letter is “false, misleading and insults the intelligence of the community.”

He said all the allegations in the letter are false, that the letter writer’s Right to Know Request was handled properly, but it was denied because of ambiguity and “would have violated privacy rights of students and their families.”

He added that exit interviews conducted with people who resign show there is no morale problem and the district retains a “stellar reputation” as an employer and with regard to academic achievement.

“Our students continue to have among the highest SAT scores in the state and our National Merit qualifiers and finalists have never been higher in number,” Dupuis said. “There is no evidence to support declining academic progress…The letter is designed to hurt, insult and inflame a false sense of controversy.”

Other business

• The board formally adopted a timeline for hearings and votes on the 2014-15 district budget. A vote on the preliminary budget is scheduled for the Feb. 18 board meeting; a proposed budget presentation is scheduled for April 7 with a budget hearing set for May 5 and others, if needed, set for May 6 and 7. The proposed final budget will be voted upon during the work session on May 12 and the final budget vote on June 16.

As previously reported, the spending plan of $76 million calls for a tax increase of 4.12 percent for district residents in Chester County and 3.16 percent for residents in Chadds Ford Township in Delaware County.

The exact millage rates as proposed are 26.79 mills in Chester County and 22.5 mills in Delaware County.

• About a dozen students attending the meeting were made happy. The board voted to create a Unionville High School Rowing Club. It will be a club sport at the school — such as the hockey and rugby teams — not a PIAA activity.

According to Director Kathy Do, there is no cost to the district.

• The board also approved a Spanish Exchange Program for the 2015 spring break. UHS students will be able to visit Spain for a week.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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One Response to “School board offering Sanville new contract”

  1. Randy Carlson says:

    The Board is completely out of touch. A thirty thousand dollar raise is unconscionable at a time when money is tight that staff are being outsourced. Who gets 30 vacation days???? The resident is right. Dump Sanville and avoid the payout when the Board realizes that they made a mistake.

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