West Chester Weekly News Roundup

winter walk
Winter walk.

With so much going on around town. Catch up on what you may have missed.

It’s Friday, January 17. West Chester Area School District’s plan to save us millions, downtown celebrates a first and Borough Council gets a new president. Plus, how to fix High Street and West Chester’s best bars, for real this time. Grab a drink and let’s get going.    

bus
There’s no running for the bus in Cyber School…

Get your head in the cloud. The West Chester Area School District is getting into the cyber school business. Then new Cyber Program promises to leverage the district’s curriculum, resources and teachers to “provide a higher quality, flexible online education.” The program will launch with the 2020/2021 school year and will be available to students in grades six and nine. It will then expand to students in seventh and 10th grades the following year, and finally grades eight, 11, and 12 by the 2022-23 school year. 

A little back story: 

These changes align with two seperate challenges at the state level regarding the funding of cyber school students. The first is the current state funding formula, which states school districts must pay charter schools a per-pupil tuition based on a district’s expenditures and not the actual instructional costs of the students attending the charter school. The second is Senate Bill 34, a state proposal introduced last year, that if passed would require a family to attend the district’s cyber program if that program is “equal in scope and content” to alternative programs.

The takeaway:

The school district currently overpays to educate its cyber students. According to the Chester County Intermediate Unit, the average tuition cost for a non-special education cyber school student is $5,400 and $6,500 for a special education cyber school student. However, because of the current state funding formula, the school district pays a tuition rate of $12,620 for each non-special education students, and $29,565 for special education students. Moving the education of these students in house could save the district millions of dollars while providing students with a proven WCASD education.  

If you are interested in learning more about this new program, there was a meeting this week (oops) but you can always reach out directly.

everhart park_winter2020
Everhart Park, winter 2020

Design Day is here. Friends of Everhart Park want the playground redesign of one of West Chester’s most popular parks to be a success. They have reached out to the community and have received nearly 150 responses to their design survey. They have also partnered with Hillsdale Elementary PTO and will be getting student feedback as well. Then next Wednesday, they are sharing the results with the community in a big design day reveal. I’m excited! Mark your calendars, January 22, 7 p.m. Hillsdale Elementary.  

high st 4
West Chester Borough and PennDOT want your suggestions to improve the High Street corridor.

Speaking of feedback, West Chester Borough along with PennDOT and the Chester County Planning Commission are studying how to improve the High Street corridor for all users, and they want your feedback (cough) change the confusing turn lane (cough). An open-house style poster presentation is planned for January 30 at Borough Hall. It will run from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. with a brief presentation from the lead Traffic Planner at 6:30 p.m.  

I love me a good two for one deal. The West Chester public library is expanding their two for one DVD rentals to Thursday through Saturday. Now get two adult DVD rentals for the price of one all weekend long. Kids’ DVDs and documentaries are free to rent.

The warnings. Those IRS scammers are back again. The Chester County Sheriff’s Department wants to remind you not to send money directly to the I.R.S. Unpaid tax balances are due to the U.S. Treasury. A request asking for a check or payment to be sent to the IRS is a scam. Not sure if your payment letter is legit? Here are some more warning signs.  

Don’t smoke. And who knows, maybe you can live to be 100, too?

“That’s huge push for the program.”

-Henderson coach Rob Beighley

henderson
Henderson High School. (Sorry, this is the best I could do.)

The accolades. Shout out to the Henderson wrestling team which edged out Downingtown East in a tough divisional matchup this week. This victory puts the Warriors in a strong position to take the Ches-Mont National Division title. 

Also, congrats to Michael Galey who was selected Borough Council President, and Don Braceland, who was named Borough Council Vice President at last week’s Borough Council meeting. 

Finally, shouts of encouragement to Chrissy Devlin who is one step closer to reaching her goal of being a Phillies ball girl. If she is selected, she will be the oldest Phillies ball girl on record. There you go people, never give up on those dreams. Good luck, Chrissy!

clothes line
Temperatures were so mild over the weekend, one family decided to hang their clothes out to dry.

Pay it forward. The Clothes Closet of St. Paul’s Baptist church, (One Haggerty Boulevard, second floor) will be giving away free clothes on Martin Luther King Day. Select from a variety of new and gently used men’s, women’s and children’s clothes. Please share with anyone who may be interested. 

Also, if you’re still trying to decide how to give back this year, here’s some inspiration for you.

Hello. To Safe Harbor Body Adornment, downtown West Chester’s first piercing boutique. The shop located at 129 N. Church Street is owned by piercing veteran Eduardo Chavarria. All jewelry is made in the USA with implant certified metals and piercing clients can expect a clean, relaxing environment. So pierce away. 

Also, say hello to the second floor at East Goshen Elementary. The school completed its planned addition and moved in over the holiday break. 

Goodbye. After 34 years of service, Chief of Police Scott Bohn said goodbye to the West Chester Police Department last Friday. Above is a video tribute created by the West Chester Police Department. Thank you from all of us for everything you do. The search for a replacement is underway

Sterling pig
What’s the best bar in West Chester? I have the answer.

The freakin’ weekend. What are you up to this weekend? We have basketball games and birthday parties, and maybe a snowball fight? I wouldn’t put it past this crazy winter weather.

Plus, I’ve never been to a gospel concert, but the MLK concert at Melton Center sounds like it would be an experience, and remember, this is the last chance to hit the gym before cookie season. Girl Scouts will be out starting next week!

Mark your calendars: 

  • Martin Luther King gospel concert, Melton Center, Jan. 19 
  • James and the Giant Peach, Uptown! Performing Arts Center, Jan. 11 – Jan. 19
  • Who’s Afraid of Aymann Ismail? Speaker series, Uptown! Performing Arts Center, Jan. 21
  • Kindergarten 101, Peirce Middle School, Jan. 22 Event details
  • Everhart Park Design Day, Hillsdale Elementary, Jan. 22 (details above)
  • Live Planetarium Show: Venus, Mather Planetarium, Jan. 24
  • Belgium Comes to West Chester, Iron Hill, Jan. 25
  • Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2020, Uptown! Performing Arts Center, Feb. 1-2
  • An evening of Jazz: Love Songs, Uptown! Performing Arts Center, Feb. 14

That’s it. We are done. Here is last week’s Roundup, if you need it, and as promised, West Chester’s Top 10 Bars. I’m curious to know what you think. Don’t worry, I didn’t write it. It’s the well-researched work of our friends at Drunks of West Chester. Have a great one everyone.

Not following the blog, take a second and do it now. A weekly email is so much more reliable then social. (Plus, I promise to proof before I post from now on.)

 

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