The February 11, 2002 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.


The Pledge of Allegiance was said by all.


President Roadarmel welcomed everyone followed by a roll call of Board Members.



Rae Atherton                                  Marvin Johnson                           Michael Orn

Elsie Bittner                                    Gary Londis                                Craig Roadarmel

Linda Kreischer                              Karl Meyer                                 Daniel Yeager



Dr. Alex Dubil, Acting Superintendent; Joseph Springer, Business Manager; Tresa Britch, Board Secretary; Roy Clippinger, Bill Hoffner, Alan Lonoconus, Dave Becker, Pat Shultz, Administrators; a district resident and members of the media.


President Roadarmel announced that an Executive Session was held after the last Board meeting to discuss personnel items.



President Roadarmel announced that Personnel Items A through I on the agenda would be considered action items.



Dr. Dubil reported on the following topics:  1.)  He announced that three administrators would give presentations on staffing needs for the 2002-03 school year. 

Mrs. Shultz began her presentation with a handout listing student figures from the current and upcoming years (Appendix A).  She is not expecting any additional staffing needs based on projected class sizes, but Kindergarten registration will be a determining factor.  Mrs. Shultz prefers to keep the class sizes at 18 or less, as this has proven to be successful in early learning.  The average Kindergarten class size is 20 for the current year.  She does not expect a large increase in 1st Grade due to the full day Kindergarten program.  Mr. Becker’s proposal is to move one teacher from 6th Grade to 5th Grade to improve class sizes for the upcoming year.  The teacher would return to 6th Grade the following year.  He is not expecting any additional staffing needs.  Mr. Hoffner reported that he anticipates no change in the Special Education K-6 staff for the 2002-03 school year.  2.)  Dr. Dubil announced that three reports would be given at the March meeting regarding the staffing needs of grades 7 and 8, grades 9 through 12, and Special Education grades 7 through 12.  3.)  The FBLA achieved outstanding success at the Region 7 Leadership Conference.  Southern Columbia had 36 students place in the top five of each respective category.  Fourteen members qualified for state competition.  This is quite an honor for the district since our chapter is only in its third year of competition.  There was $2,500 budgeted, but it will cost approximately $3,800 for all qualified members to attend the state competition.  A budget transfer is on the agenda for discussion. 

4.)  Dr. Dubil requested an Executive Session following the meeting to discuss personnel.         5.)  The PSBA School Law workshop will be held on February 21, 2002, in Williamsport.  Board members should notify the Board Secretary by Wednesday if they wish to attend.



Activities – Linda Kreischer, Chairperson, reported the high jump pit is in and the pole vault pit has been ordered.  Bowling will be a winter sport with matches and practices being held at Crown Lanes in Shamokin.  Randy Young has asked to use the baseball field the month of August for an American Legion baseball team consisting of varsity and junior varsity girls and boys.  The Activities Committee received a letter from teachers and coaches asking for the consideration of a paid weight trainer to cover the weight room after school.  The suggested hours being 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 or 6:00 p.m.  The weight-training program would be open to all students, not just athletes.  Karl Meyer asked if this would take place every day.  Mrs. Kreischer responded that it would depend on participation, but it would begin at two or three days per week.  President Roadarmel added the rate for this position would be $7.70 per hour.  Dr. Lonoconus stated that the weight room is unsupervised when coaches leave with their teams.  Non-athletes are then left there alone.  Michael Orn reported that Southern Columbia is one of the last schools in the area to offer this type of program. President Roadarmel stated that this is a liability issue and someone should be responsible for that area.  Mrs. Atherton agreed that the weight room should be made available to all students, not just athletes.

Curriculum – Elsie Bittner, Chairperson, reported the additional non-instructional day under the new contract would be fulfilled on February 20 and 21.  The additional hours on those days will be used for grade level assessment mapping, learning plans and a strategic plan staff survey.  These additional hours, along with the extended work days on November 5 and 6, would fulfill the requirement.

Facilities & Services – Dan Yeager, Chairperson, reported that members of the Strategic Planning Committee were present at the last meeting.   The following items were discussed:      1.)  Gymnasium Project - A feasibility study for the gym project would cost approximately $7,500.  In view of the current financial situation of the district, the committee agreed to table all action on the gym project until the district is in a more favorable financial condition.  2.) High School Auditorium - the stage is too large, seating was lost during the last renovation, and there are wiring and lighting problems.  3.) Restroom Plumbing - Randall Campbell, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds, reported to the committee that he would like to standardize the restroom plumbing.  This would make repairs easier as the maintenance department would only have to stock one type of replacement parts.  Currently, there are five or six different types of flush valves in the commodes throughout the district.  The new commodes purchased for the last renovation have only a 1.6-gallon flush capacity and this is causing excessive blockage.  Mr. Campbell also recommended consideration of electric hand dryers, battery operated faucets, and flush valves.   4.) Hockey Field - it was discussed that the hockey field would be moved to the lower field area near the boy’s soccer field.  A dual-purpose scoreboard would no longer be needed to accommodate both baseball and field hockey.  5.) Elementary Fire Alarm System - There is a problem with the existing panel in the alarm system.  A new panel will cost $12,350.  The existing system is obsolete.  There is no room for expansion.  6.)  Elementary Water Pump -  The water pump was replaced in the Elementary Center and the system is now working properly.

President Roadarmel asked what the next level would be in regard to Mr. Campbell’s recommendations.  Mr. Yeager responded that Mr. Campbell would develop a plan to address the items in stages.  Dr. Meyer asked for clarification on Fiscal Item D regarding the scoreboard.  Mr. Springer explained that part of the committee’s plan is to add a hockey field in the lower area near the football practice field and soccer field.  The area is laid out for a playing field.  The scoreboard being purchased should be a single purpose scoreboard for baseball.  A group of volunteers is willing to build a scoring stand for the proposed new hockey field similar to the soccer scoring stand.  The agenda item for the next meeting will reflect a change to a less expensive single-use scoreboard.  Dr. Meyer asked if the revised price was known.  Mr. Springer responded that it would be $1,500 less than the dual-purpose scoreboard.

Dan Yeager stated that he neglected to mention the weight room expansion project.  Dr. Lonoconus added that a weight lifting course will be offered next year, and equipment has been donated, but it is still being stored in a local barn.  A group approached Dr. Lonoconus and assured him they could raise $50,000 toward the expansion project.  These funds along with booster contributions would amount to approximately $70,000.  The group wanted to know if the Board would be willing to match the money raised by the group.  President Roadarmel stated it would be premature to make a decision at this time.  He would like the Board to see the budget and make sure funding is available for existing programs.  Dr. Londis questioned the identity of the group.  Dr. Lonoconus said he would find out if they wanted to remain anonymous and inform the Board accordingly.  President Roadarmel stated that he would prefer to hold off on any decisions at this time.  Dr. Meyer agreed and questioned if the group was just looking for direction as whether or not to start the fundraising.  Dr. Lonoconus responded affirmatively and added that the group’s timeline would change according to the Board’s response.

Finance – Karl Meyer, Chairperson, reported the committee looked at the budget calendar, staffing numbers, and retirement costs.  The district cost will increase approximately $155,000 due to the losses in the state retirement fund.  The committee recommended that the district rely on Berkheimer Associates to collect the Earned Income Tax authorized by Act 50.  The next Finance Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Negotiations & Personnel – Rae Atherton, Chairperson, reported that the Superintendent Search has begun.  The Advisory Committee consists of Susan Lunger, Catawissa; Zanna Cohen, Numidia; Mike Yeager, Elysburg; Sue Welkom representing AFSCME, Betty Showers representing PSEA, and Pat Shultz and Joe Springer representing the Act 93 group.  Dr. Dubil will be lending his support and guidance throughout the process.  Seven applications have been received to date.

Policy – Gary Londis, Chairperson, reported the committee would meet on Monday, February 18, 2002, at 6:15 p.m.

C.S.I.U. – No report.

Vo-Tech – Dan Yeager reported the CMAVTS Operating Committee has plans to build a field house.  They will take advantage of student and volunteer labor and contributions from an alumni association.  A Board Orientation program will be presented at CMAVTS on February 21, 2002, at 6:30 p.m.





President Roadarmel asked if it is still necessary to keep the Bond Fund as an actual bond fund.  Mr. Springer responded that in March, the Board would be approving a final withdrawal that will zero out that fund.  President Roadarmel asked if there are any maintenance fees on this fund.  Mr. Springer responded negatively.

Karl Meyer asked for clarification on the Gifted Activity Account mentioned in Fiscal Item A.  Dr. Lonoconus responded that this account would be set up for fundraising activities to offset the cost of field trips for students in the Gifted Program.

President Roadarmel asked if the $20,000 for cyber-charter schools tuition was budgeted.  Mr. Springer responded that it was not, as the district did not foresee any students attending cyber schools, however, it will be included in next year’s budget.

Dr. Meyer asked if there were any wet areas in the proposed site for the hockey field.  Mr. Springer responded negatively.  Linda Kreischer asked if the whistles from the nearby soccer and football practice fields would be an issue. Mr. Springer said that the fields would be separated by some type of trees and/or shrubbery that would minimize that issue.


On a motion by Yeager and second by Londis, authorizing the administration to submit PDE-3074(b) to the Pennsylvania Department of Education requesting authorization to waive advertising requirements to replace the fire alarm system panel at the G. C. Hartman Elementary Center, was approved.  The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.



On a motion by Meyer and second by Bittner, the resignation of Bobbi Lynn Markle from the position of Secondary General Science Teacher, effective March 22, 2002, was accepted with regret.  Ms. Markle has been in this position since July 26, 1999.  The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.


On a motion by Londis and second by Yeager the resignation of Michael J. Meyers from the position of Junior Varsity Baseball Coach, effective January 24, 2002, was accepted with regret.  The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.


On a motion by Kreischer and second by Bittner, adding Samantha Ryan (Physics) to the 2001-02 Instructional Substitute List (pending completion of all employment requirements), was approved.  The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.


On a motion by Atherton and second by Londis, an eight-week Childbearing/Childrearing Leave for Andreia Walshaw, beginning on or about March 24, 2002, was approved.  The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.


On a motion by Atherton and second by Londis, a six-week Childbearing/Childrearing Leave for Michele Petro, beginning on or about May 19, 2002, was approved.  The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.


On a motion by Meyer and second by Atherton, an FMLA/Childbearing/Childrearing Leave for Lori Erdman beginning on or about March 7, 2002, was approved.  The FMLA portion of the leave shall not exceed 12 weeks.  The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.


On a motion by Bittner and second by Atherton, an FMLA Leave for Donna Zimmerman beginning on or about January 25, 2002, not to exceed 12 weeks, was approved.  The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.


On a motion by Johnson and second by Meyer, changing John D. Carl from Substitute Van/Bus Driver to Permanent Accommodation Run Driver for Bus 10, effective January 21, 2002, was approved. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.


On a motion by Atherton and second by Londis, employment of the following college graduates and college seniors as after school tutors effective as listed below, for the remainder of the 2001-02 school year (pending completion of all employment requirements), at a rate of $10 per hour, which will come from the proceeds of the 21st Century Grant, was approved:

Ø   Kathryn F. Tribendis      -        January 22, 2002

Ø   Christine D. Lindo          -        January 22, 2002

Ø   Nicole Delgatto              -        February 12, 2002

Ø   Amy Yamrock               -        February 12, 2002

Ø   Annie Soleau                  -        February 12, 2002

Ø   Julie Bishop                    -        February 12, 2002

Ø   Nicole Wolset                -        February 12, 2002

Ø   Seth Ashman                  -        February 12, 2002

Ø   Jayme Rudolph              -        February 12, 2002

Ø   Jill Eichelberger -            February 12, 2002

The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.



President Roadarmel asked the purpose of the revision to Policy 217, Graduation Requirements.  Dr. Dubil responded the revised policy would permit the school district to present high school diplomas to World War II veterans.  President Roadarmel asked if we have anyone interested.  Dr. Dubil responded that three men have already inquired about it.

President Roadarmel asked for clarification on the reciprocating agreement with the Distance Learning Consortium.  Dr. Lonoconus reported we currently offer a Social Sciences Course, which includes Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology and Philosophy.  An advanced placement course in foreign language may also be offered in the future.  The district fulfills its obligation to the consortium by offering one course, whether or not anyone elects to take that course. 





Press-Enterprise Reporter, Mike Lester, asked for clarification on the problem with the elementary fire alarm system.  Dan Yeager responded that it is an old system and needs to be replaced, but it is currently operational.

District resident, Charles Porter asked if volunteer labor could be utilized for the pending gymnasium project.  Dr. Lonoconus responded that he could not commit to that at this time but would look into the matter.







On a motion by Meyer and second by Johnson, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.  Motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.


                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,




                                                            Tresa J. Britch

Board Secretary