The April 8, 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 Vice President Karl Meyer in charge of the meeting.
The Pledge of Allegiance was said by all.
Vice President Meyer welcomed everyone followed by a roll call of Board Members.
Elsie Bittner Gary Londis-Absent Craig Roadarmel-Absent
Linda Kreischer-Absent Karl Meyer Daniel Yeager
Dr. Alex Dubil, Acting Superintendent; Joseph Springer, Business Manager; Tresa Britch, Board Secretary; Roy Clippinger, Dr. Alan Lonoconus, Dave Becker, Administrators; district residents and members of the media.
Vice President Meyer announced that all Personnel items on the agenda would be considered action items.
Dr. Dubil reported on the following topics: 1.) As a reminder, he announced the PSBA Region 6 dinner/meeting would be held May 1 at Tedd’s Landing in Shamokin Dam. Anyone interested in attending should contact the Board Secretary. 2.) The PSBA Summer Workshop is scheduled for June 28-30. Anyone interested should make reservations through the Board Secretary. 3.) Dr. Dubil attended a recent Choral and Jazz Band concert. He reported that it was an entertaining performance and was attended by a large, mixed audience. 4.) The Spring issue of the newsletter has been sent to the printer for publication and should be mailed to district residents within the next two weeks. 5.) Dr. Lonoconus reported that Mrs. Hanlon, Mr. Jones, Mrs. Deibler and students raised money for the 911 Relief Fund. They visited ground zero in New York City and hand delivered the check. The group recently received a plaque from a New York City Fire Department in honor of their donation. Dr. Lonoconus also reported that Southern Columbia students placed first in three of four categories at the recent Pennsylvania State Computer Fair at the CSIU. Those placing were Christa Hartenbach and Sarah Latsha in Multi-media Presentations, Chase Parsons and Nate Hartenbach in Digital Video Presentations and Jennifer Abraczinskas in Web Design. Dr. Lonoconus commented that these accomplishments are proof that our students are technologically ahead of their peers. 6.) Mr. Clippinger reported the district was awarded $19,908 for improving 8th grade reading, writing and mathematics PSSA scores. Another $19,908 was awarded to the district for improving the 11th grade PSSA scores. The scores had to increase at least 100 points in the categories of reading and math to qualify for the awards. Assessment testing for 2002 is scheduled for next week. A new achievement test, the TerraNova Second Edition CAT Multiple Assessments, will be used in place of the MAT7. New World Geography, World History, American History, Civics and Geometry textbooks are on display in the District Office. Mr. Clippinger will make them available to board members at the next meeting. Reporting on the activities of the 21st Century Grant is due to the Unites States Department of Education next week. The next report regarding test scores is due in October. Work on the Strategic Plan is underway and a planning committee is working on the Professional Development Plan.
Activities – No report.
Curriculum – Mr. Clippinger reported the Curriculum Audit was completed last week. Five team members, led by Cathy Hummel from CSIU, participated in the audit. The team looked at policies, student test scores and written curriculum, and did an actual walk-through of the buildings. The main focus of the audit was reading and mathematics. The district should receive the team’s audit report in two to three weeks.
Facilities & Services – Dan Yeager, Chairperson, reported the last meeting was April 3. The district is proceeding with bids for replacement of the elementary gym floor. Sokol, Inc. would do excavation of the new hockey field at a cost of $7,995. The well pump at the football field was replaced at a cost of $3,300. Dr. Meyer asked if the hockey field would be graded for the best possible water run-off. Dan Yeager responded affirmatively.
Finance – Karl Meyer, Chairperson, reported that Mr. Springer would give a report on the tentative budget later in the meeting.
Negotiations & Personnel – Rae Atherton, Chairperson, reported the High School Principal position has been advertised and applications are being received.
Policy – No report.
C.S.I.U. – No report.
Vo-Tech – Dan Yeager reported that the CMAVTS approved a Clerk of Works for the 2nd Phase of Renovations. They will be connecting to the town water supply. There were 289 student applicants for the 2002-03 school year and 175 of them were accepted. Out of the 175 students accepted, 27 are in the special education program.
ITEMS – MINUTES/INVOICES
ITEMS – FISCAL
Michael Orn asked if the two new buses were being purchased to replace existing buses. Mr. Springer responded, that the district is on a schedule to replace two buses annually. The oldest buses or those with the most trouble would be replaced.
Mr. Springer distributed a copy of the Tentative Budget for the 2002-03 fiscal year. There are a few changes from the draft previously distributed. A reduction in expenditures of approximately $35,000 (some duplication was found and eliminated) and an increase in revenue of approximately $10,000 (due to an increase in a pass-through grant) resulted in a decrease in the budget gap by approximately $50,000. Mr. Springer feels the district is in better shape than it was three years ago and that year it broke even. Mr. Springer is asking that the Board approve the tentative budget in this form to meet budget timelines. Two proposals are pending that may effect the budget. The first would require the Department of Education to take over all aspects, including funding, of special education. The second is the “Fairness in Education Funding Act,” which establishes a basic education funding formula that would require a $5.7 billion increase in state dollars and an equal $5.7 billion decrease in local school taxes. Both plans establish maximum annual local tax increases and would require referendum to exceed the maximum. Mr. Springer reported that he is currently looking into interim real estate tax billing, which would allow collection of taxes on a pro-rated basis from the time the taxpayer actually occupies the property. Dr. Meyer asked if that information would be easily available. Mr. Springer responded that the information is continually updated through the tax rolls.
ITEMS – PERSONNEL
On a motion by Bittner and second by Johnson, employment of Crystal Piparato as Assistant Cheerleading Coach for the 2002-03 school year (pending completion of all employment requirements) at an annual salary of $573 was approved. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
On a motion by Atherton and second by Orn, employment of Christina de la Torre as an after school tutor effective March 18, 2002, 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. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
On a motion by Atherton and second by Yeager, employment of the following teachers as after school tutors effective as listed below, for the remainder of the 2001-02 school year, at a rate of $20 per hour, which will come from the proceeds of the 21st Century Grant, was approved:
Ř Robert Horne, effective March 11, 2002
Ř Marc Longenhagen, effective March 13, 2002
The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
On a motion by Yeager and second by Johnson, adding Hillary J. Kichner (Elementary Education) 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 Yeager and second by Bittner, Shawn McClintock was approved as a Volunteer Weight Room Supervisor effective April 9, 2002. The motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
ITEMS – POLICY AND PROGRAMS
Marv Johnson commented that he recently attended a function sponsored by the Wrestling Boosters, honoring the wrestlers and cheerleaders. He commended the booster organization on their nicely organized program.
RECOGNITION OF THE PUBLIC
District resident, Richard Gotshall asked Mr. Yeager for clarification on the water situation that he mentioned in his committee report. Mr. Yeager explained that his report regarding “town water” related to the Columbia-Montour Area Vo-Tech School, and that our district water supply is not a concern at this time.
District resident, Charles Porter, asked what the Capital Reserve Fund balance would be after completion of the elementary gymnasium floor replacement project. Mr. Springer responded that we are starting with a balance of approximately $800,000 and ending with $595,199. Mr. Porter stated that he has noticed a disturbing trend. He reported that over $400,000 is to be taken from the General Fund balance this year and we are looking at $700,000 for next year. He added that 70% of these costs are labor related. He stated that projections for student numbers are down, but personnel numbers are up 30%. He suggested the possibility of a personnel inventory. Karl Meyer reassured Mr. Porter that the Board would be taking a hard look at the budget and that the public would be involved. Dan Yeager added that the increased contributions for pensions and the poor return on investments have made this a difficult budget year.
Mr. Gotshall congratulated Dr. Lonoconus on being selected as the new Superintendent.
On a motion by Bittner and second by Yeager, the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m. Motion carried by unanimous affirmative voice vote.
Tresa J. Britch