The November 12, 2001 Board Meeting of the Southern Columbia Area School District Board of Directors convened in the High School Library at 7:30 p.m. with President Craig Roadarmel in charge of the meeting.
Pledge of Allegiance was said by all.
Vice President Porter welcomed everyone followed by a roll call of Board Members.
Francis Berger Linda Kreischer Craig Roadarmel
Elsie Bittner Karl Meyer-absent Daniel Yeager-absent
Dr. Alex Dubil, Acting Superintendent; Joseph Springer, Business Manager; Tresa Britch, Board Secretary; Alan Lonoconus, David Becker, Pat Shultz, Bill Hoffner, and Roy Clippinger, Administrators; district residents; and members of the media.
Dr. Dubil requested a brief Executive Session following adjournment to discuss some personnel issues, and he reported on the following topics: 1.) A copy of a letter from Harry Strausser, owner of Action Management, Inc., was included with the Friday letter. Mr. Strausser offered to match $1.00 for each K-6 student donation of $1.00 to the Afghan Children’s Program. The Southern Columbia staff coordinated the activities and raised approximately $735. in donations ranging from $1.00 - $5.00. The total contribution including Mr. Strausser’s match was approximately $1,100. Dr. Dubil commended the staff on accepting Mr. Strausser’s offer. 2.) The Fall Newsletter distribution did no go as planned. The Newsletter was printed and sent to the Post Office on October 19, 2001. It was intended to be delivered prior to the public forum on October 30, 2001, and well in advance of the November election. A large portion of district residents did not receive the initial mailing. The district had an additional 2,200 calendars printed and delivered them to the area Post Offices on November 2, 2001. 3.) The United Way Campaign was a great success. Last year’s district contribution totaled $1,846. This year’s goal was $2,500. The total district contribution was approximately $3,500. Dr. Dubil commended the Board for their incentive of “a day off with pay.”
Activities – Linda Kreischer, Chairperson, reported on the following topics: 1.) The district added Bowling as a team sport. It will be a mixed league available to 9-12 grade students. Practice will be held at Crown Lanes in Shamokin. Approximate cost to the district will be $3,500. - $4,000. for transportation. 2). Four new uniforms will be purchased for the Basketball Cheerleaders. 3.) The high jump and pole vault pits would probably make it through one more season. 4.) Frank Fullmer was presented with a plaque commemorating his 100th win as Coach of Girls Soccer.
Charlie Porter asked if the Activities Committee discussed the scoreboard issue. Mrs. Kreischer responded that the Activities Committee would probably revert that issue back to the Facilities Committee.
Curriculum – Elsie Bittner, Chairperson, reported the committee discussed the following topics at their last meeting: 1.) CTC Grant – Bloomsburg and Berwick also have the CTC Program. There are three training sessions, with one remaining. 2.) The 21st Century Grant-no report. 3.) Standard & Poor’s report – Southern Columbia had the lowest expenditure per student. 4.) The PSSA Writing and Math scores – Charlie Porter asked if the Board would be getting a copy of the testing results. Mr. Clippinger announced that he would present that information at the next meeting and would give the Board members a hand out following tonight’s meeting. Frank Berger asked if a copy of the report could be included with the Friday Letter. Mr. Clippinger responded affirmatively.
Facilities & Services – Charles Porter, Chairperson, reported on the following topics: 1.) The architect made some suggestions regarding the pavilion donated by HART. A contractor has already been selected due to the fact this is a private contribution. 2.) The committee looked at two plans for a gymnasium. The first plan is an 800-seat facility, which would possibly be used as a main gymnasium, and the second plan is practice gym on a smaller scale with reduced function. Mr. Porter stated it is too early in the planning process to discuss cost. The committee’s goal is to present two complete plans including cost for the Board’s consideration. The architect and Mr. Springer would have to address the State regarding funding. 3.) A local bank has agreed to donate funding for a baseball/field hockey scoreboard. They would provide an initial $1,500 and $250 per year thereafter. The total cost of the scoreboard is $6,634. 4.) The Weight Room expansion project still has a few issues to be addressed. President Roadarmel suggested that Athletic Director Terry Sharrow attend the committee meetings to provide input regarding the gym and weight room projects.
Finance – No report.
Negotiations & Personnel – Rae Atherton, Chairperson, announced that a meeting would need to be scheduled to discuss personnel.
Policy – Frank Berger, Chairperson, reported the committee met on October 15, 2001, and reviewed the following topics: 1.) Policy 006 Meetings - The committee discussed moving Recognition of the Public from the end of the meeting to the beginning. Initially, this change seemed appropriate, but several issues arose. It was a consensus of the Policy Committee that no action be taken to revise Policy 006. 2.) More structure is needed in the Superintendent Evaluation. Dr. Dubil provided a large packet of information from other districts and the CSIU. The information will be logically put together for the new committee and should be readdressed in January. 3.) The upcoming Policy Committee meeting scheduled for November 19, 2001 will be cancelled. 4.) Mr. Berger thanked Henry Hynoski and Linda Kreischer for all of their work on the committee.
CSIU – No report.
Vo-Tech – Craig Roadarmel reported there is consideration of building a field house for weight training equipment and wrestling mats. There is the possibility of a donation of in-kind contributions as a memorial. Rae Atherton recently attended an authority meeting at CMAVTS. The purpose of the meeting was to release funds to pay bills.
ITEMS – MINUTES/INVOICES
ITEMS – FISCAL
Charlie Porter questioned if the charges to the credit card should be itemized. Mr. Springer said that a breakdown of the charges could be included for Board approval. Frank Berger asked if that breakdown would be labor intensive. Mr. Springer responded that it would be an additional report but could be provided at the Board’s request. Mr. Springer also added that use of the credit cards is strictly monitored and no unauthorized charges are allowed and could be easily traced. President Roadarmel didn’t feel more detail was necessary due to the monitoring procedures in effect.
President Roadarmel asked for an explanation of Fiscal Item A. Mr. Springer responded that this item appears on the agenda annually. Since there is no regular meeting scheduled in December, it gives the Business Office authority to pay bills in January.
Mr. Springer handed out a one-page summary of the 2000-01 Audit Report (Appendix A).
President Roadarmel asked what projects would be involved in the Middle School Art Activity Account. Mr. Becker responded that this account was being established primarily for prize money that comes into the district from the Bloomsburg Fair.
On a motion by Atherton and second by Bittner, accepting the donation of an elementary playground pavilion to be constructed at the expense of the Hartman Alliance of Residents and Teachers (HART) organization in a location designated by the Administration, was approved. The estimated value of this donation is $10,650. Motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
ITEMS – PERSONNEL
On a motion by Kreischer and second by Berger, the resignation of Charles R. Winters from the position of Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds effective November 2, 2001, was accepted with regret. Mr. Winters has been in this position since September 14, 1998. Motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
On a motion by Bittner and second by Atherton, the resignation of Ned Breech from the position of 1st Shift Secondary Custodian effective November 16, 2001, was accepted with regret. Mr. Breech has been with the district for 27 years. Motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
On a motion by Berger and second by Bittner, the resignation of Debra Breech from the position of Elementary Head Cook effective November 19, 2001, was accepted with regret. Ms. Breech has been with the district for 20 years. Motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
Frank Berger asked about time utilization for Technology Lead Teachers. Mr. Clippinger responded that the Technology Lead Teachers perform their extra duties before and after the regular school day and during the summer months.
Rae Atherton asked how many applications were received for the aide positions. Mr. Hoffner responded there were 9 internal and 26 external applications received.
Frank Berger asked for clarification on Personnel Addendum Item P. Dr. Dubil responded that Solicitor Roberts recommended that Paula Gardner, School Psychologist, be included under the ACT 93 Administrator Compensation Plan. This addendum would make her eligible for everything under the plan except vacation time, since she is not a 12-month employee.
On a motion by Yeager and second by Berger, rescinding the appointment of Shannon Jeffrey as National Honor Society Advisor due to the fact that she declined to accept the position, and to approve Heather Hanlon for this position, was approved. Motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
On a motion by Meyer and second by Kreischer, changing Brenda Webb from substitute Van/Bus Driver to the position of full-time regular run Van/Bus Driver (pending completion of all employment requirements), salary per Collective Bargaining Agreement, effective October 9, 2001, was approved. Motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
ITEMS – POLICY AND PROGRAMS
Frank Berger stated there is funding available to restore one-room schoolhouses in the area. He suggested that the person in charge of the Historical Society be notified of the available funding. Mr. Porter said that his understanding was that the Board would look for grants to fund this type of project and the Historical Society would coordinate the project. President Roadarmel asked who would contact Wayne Petro, President of the Historical Society? Mr. Springer said that he would contact him.
Charlie Porter asked about the status of the grant-writing program. Dr. Dubil responded that nothing was in the process at this time and that any prospective grant would first be discussed administratively and then with the Board. Mr. Porter asked if the district is actively searching for grants and suggested that it be incorporated as a class project for students. Dr. Dubil said that he would rely on the administrators in this area. He said that several programs are on hold due to the September 11th events
Mr. Porter asked if the district is pursuing funding through the Safe and Drug Free Schools Program and the Safe Schools Initiative. Mr. Hoffner responded that the district applies annually to these programs. These grants help fund the Student Assistance Program (SAP), assembly programs, the D.A.R.E. Program in 5th grade, and various trainings.
Mr. Porter asked if the district is considering Middle States for the elementary. Mrs. Shultz said that she did not favor Middle States because of the benefits compared to the investment, but she was encouraged to participate one more time. Mr. Porter questioned the cost of Middle States. Mrs. Shultz replied the costs included dues of approximately $600, which is based on the number of students, and the expense of accommodating the visiting team. Mr. Porter asked if there was a better way, possibly an employee incentive program. His concern is that when the high school went through Middle States, the visiting team limited their scope to what we presented to them. Mrs. Shultz stated that her staff could go through the same process as Middle States without paying an outside source. Dr. Dubil stated that Middle States has lost its value over the past decade. Colleges accept students from non-accredited schools. Dr. Dubil said that a firm decision regarding Middle States would be made at the next meeting. Charlie Porter stated that he felt Middle States was good in that it allowed employee feedback. He would like to encourage the implementation of a system that would acquire staff input.
Mr. Porter suggested that the Board approach future projects in a more structured manner. He proposed a Formal Impact Statement consisting of three main entities:
1.) The Board should require written reports on new or major initiatives. The reports should address the areas of Program, Facilities, Personnel, and Finance.
2.) The Board should place a great emphasis on its evaluation of the Superintendent, as well as all administrators – receiving complete and correct information
3.) The Board should embrace a system of receiving employee feedback and an incentive program for that feedback.
Mr. Porter offered this proposal for Board consideration.
Frank Berger asked that Dr. Dubil report on the Strategic Plan at the next meeting. Dr. Dubil will defer that report to Mr. Clippinger.
RECOGNITION OF THE PUBLIC
Press-Enterprise Reporter, Jonathan Evans, asked if any decisions would be made following the Executive Session. Dr. Dubil responded negatively.
On a motion by Berger and second by Porter, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m. Motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
Tresa J. Britch