The March 18, 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.
Elsie Bittner Gary Londis-Absent Craig Roadarmel
Linda Kreischer Karl Meyer Daniel Yeager
Dr. Alex Dubil, Acting Superintendent; Joseph Springer, Business Manager; Tresa Britch, Board Secretary; Richard J. Roberts, Jr., Solicitor; Roy Clippinger, Bill Hoffner, Dr. Alan Lonoconus, Pat Shultz, Administrators; district residents; and members of the media.
Dr. Dubil reported on the following topics: 1.) He announced that several students from the music and choral programs would give performances and he asked Mrs. Letha Stone to give a report on their achievements. She reported the students have excelled at the local, district, regional, State and Eastern levels. Liz Krieger played a selection on the French horn and Amy Lazarski, Charity Maurer, Lance Bittner, and Southern Columbia graduate, Spencer Bittner, gave a choral presentation. On behalf of the students, Charity Maurer thanked the Board for giving them the opportunities to participate in the music and choral programs, enhance their talents, and meet students from other districts who are involved in similar programs. President Roadarmel thanked the students for their performance and commended them on their outstanding talent.
2.) Mr. Clippinger gave the following update on the Communities That Care (CTC) and 21st Century Learning Programs:
CTC Program - Community Mobilizer, Barbara Lombardo, was at State College three days to go over the programming of the grant. Out of 21 CTC programs, Southern Columbia was one of three that did not have to resubmit any part of the report. The level of funding has not yet been determined. One of the goals of the grant is a family center, which would offer a means of servicing families of preschool children to foster good development. Mr. Clippinger was approached by Columbia County regarding another grant, but turned it down due to a required outlay of $7,500.
21st Century Learning Program - The after-school tutoring program is currently serving between 50-80 students on a weekly basis (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) and will continue into May and June. Plans are currently underway for the Summer Program.
3.) Mr. Springer handed out the first draft of the 2002-03 budget (Appendix A). He explained the purpose of the first draft is to put together all expenditures and revenues the district is aware of. The draft is showing a 7.5% increase over the current year’s budget. The majority of the increase lies within the increased retirement costs of 3% and salary increases of 2.8%. Fixed expenses, such as Special Education costs for out-of-district students, AVTS and bond costs contribute to the increase, as well as the additional secondary professional staff. Revenue is increased by approximately $560,000, which is a 5% increase over the current year. The implementation of Act 50 makes up the majority of this increase. Mr. Springer added that the district budgets conservatively, and the upcoming year will be a transition period. President Roadarmel stated that we are nine months into the current budget, and questioned the current financial condition. Mr. Springer responded that although the investment revenue is down, costs (such as heating oil) were kept to a minimum, one-half of the budgetary reserve remains, and he feels that financially, the district is in good shape at the current time. President Roadarmel asked if Act 50 has actually helped the district. Mr. Springer responded affirmatively and added that the 5.4% increase is more than the district has asked voters for in years. President Roadarmel asked if the budget was work in progress. Mr. Springer responded affirmatively and said that a tentative budget would be presented in April. President Roadarmel expressed his appreciation to Mr. Springer and the Finance Committee for their hard work involving the budget process.
4.) Southern Columbia Area School District is going to receive the United Way Presidential Recognition Award for the largest percent of increase in employee contributions in the 2001 Columbia County campaign. There was a 121% increase in contributions, for a total of $4,083. The Board’s in-kind contribution of a day off with pay was a great incentive and certainly contributed to the success of the district’s campaign.
5.) Dr. Dubil requested an Executive Session following adjournment to discuss Act 50 tax appeals.
6.) The first draft of the 2002-03 School Calendar was discussed at the last meeting. Input from the Board regarding school ending in the first week of June, has resulted in a revised calendar. Dr. Dubil distributed the revised calendar and said that it would replace the existing Exhibit A, which is up for approval. The calendar is similar to those of other districts in the Vo-Tech Consortium.
On a motion by Meyer and second by Johnson, the Treasurer’s Reports were approved. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
MINUTES AND INVOICES
On a motion by Bittner and second by Yeager, the Minutes of February 11 and 18, 2002, were approved. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
On a motion by Johnson and second by Yeager, General Fund Invoices in the amount of $310,023.45, Capital Reserve Fund Invoices in the amount of $3,640.00, and Bond Fund Invoices in the amount of $4,622.00 were approved. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
ITEMS – FISCAL
On a motion by Meyer and second by Johnson, adding one (1) middle school special education teaching position beginning with the 2002-03 school year, contingent upon approval of the final 2002-03 budget, was approved. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
On a motion by Yeager and second by Meyer, increasing a part-time (0.63) high school mathematics teaching position to full-time (1.00) beginning with the 2002-03 school year, contingent upon approval of the final 2002-03 budget, was approved. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
ITEMS – PERSONNEL
On a motion by Bittner and second by Meyer, adding Maria E. Duda (Secondary Math) 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 Johnson and second by Meyer, adding Carl Latsha to the 2001-02 Classified Substitute List as a Van Driver (pending completion of all employment requirements), was approved. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
On a motion by Bittner and second by Johnson, the resignation of James A. Becker from the position of Head Varsity Wrestling Coach, effective March 12, 2002, was accepted with regret. Mr. Becker has been in this position for 10 years. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
On a motion by Meyer and second by Johnson, a salary adjustment to $27,253 for Kathryn Holleran, Cafeteria Manager, effective March 19, 2002, was approved. Cafeteria salary and benefits are paid from the Cafeteria Fund. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
ITEMS – POLICY AND PROGRAMS
Dan Yeager thanked Dr. Dubil for spearheading the United Way Campaign and suggesting the day off with pay as an incentive. Craig Roadarmel expressed his appreciation to the staff for their contributions.
Dr. Meyer attended Career Day, and said that it was a great idea. He felt the students really appreciated the activity and hoped that it would continue. Dr. Lonoconus reported that Greg Capoccioni organized the program and it will be an annual project. He also reported that he attended the annual play production and it was an excellent performance. He commended everyone involved.
President Roadarmel referred to the letter from Allentown School District that was enclosed with the Friday letter. The subject of the letter was a resolution regarding Act 9 of 2001. The resolution would support full state funding to cover increased contributions to the Pennsylvania School Employee’s Retirement System. He would like the Board to consider adopting a similar resolution. Dan Yeager stated he would definitely support such a resolution.
On behalf of the Board, President Roadarmel authorized Solicitor Roberts to devise a resolution for approval in April.
RECOGNITION OF THE PUBLIC
District Resident, Martha Krieger, expressed her concern regarding the choice of only one elective for students going into 7th grade. This presents a problem for students who would like to take both Music and Chorus as an elective. She stated that in the past, students were allowed to take both electives. She added that this limitation would severely affect the band and choral programs. Elsie Bittner reported that she had the same problem last year and she questioned Mr. Becker regarding the course selection booklet at last months meeting. In Mr. Becker’s absence, President Roadarmel asked the administrators for guidance in this matter. Dr. Lonoconus explained that there are nine periods in a day. Seventh grade requires five periods for core subjects (including reading), two for unified arts and one for lunch, which leaves one open period. Students in the Gifted Program are not required to take reading, so they have the choice of two electives. Eight graders do not have reading, so they have the availability of two electives. Dr. Dubil said that he and Mr. Becker discussed a solution to the 7th grade situation. Students who selected both Band and Chorus would have Band every day and would be exempt from General Music, allowing them to have Chorus 30 days of the first semester and 30 days of the 2nd semester. The students would have 180 days of Band and 60 days of Chorus in 7th grade. Mrs. Krieger was concerned about informing parents of the change. Dr. Dubil said he would discuss it with Mr. Becker and the Middle School would send information home to parents.
Press-Enterprise Reporter, Jonathan Evans asked for the amount of increase to the Cafeteria Manager’s salary. Mr. Springer responded the increase was approximately $3,000. Mr. Evans asked about the limit of six hours per week for homebound instruction. Dr. Dubil responded that the six hours is one-on-one instruction as opposed to classroom instruction, and it fulfills the state requirement for homebound instruction.
On a motion by Meyer and second by Yeager, the meeting was adjourned at 9:02 p.m. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
Tresa J. Britch