BY PAT FARNELLI
Mountain View School District had a full panel of administrators in attendance Monday night at their board of directors meeting in the high school library. Newly hired Curriculum Director Dr. Michael Elia was introduced by Dr. Christopher Lake, who previously served in that position but assumed the role of elementary principal last year after that position became vacant. Lake continued in both positions for the remainder of the school year until Elia was hired.
The board approved a $5,000 retroactive stipend for Superintendent Karen Voigt, who took on the additional responsibilities in January of Director of Special Services after Dr. Patricia Pasierb was killed in a car accident until Stephanie Anuszewski was hired as Director of Special Services.
“She (Voigt) did both jobs and did them really well,” remarked a district paraeducator in the audience on Monday.
Also in attendance was Jim Bernosky, the district’s school resource officer. He said he will be dividing his time between the elementary and high school buildings and that he is looking forward to the start of the school year.
He was asked if he will carry a concealed or visible firearm and replied that his gun will be visible. He said that the students have been informed about his presence on school grounds and are familiar with the parts of his uniform. “This is part of my uniform,” he said.
Voigt said that Peter Quigg of the Endless Mountains Community Foundation has procured a $1,400 grant for the district to provide school safety training.
Maintenance Director Bob Taylor reported on the current construction and renovation projects going on at both the elementary and high school campuses. He said that the work on the high school roof should be completed and that the contractors are performing factory startups to ensure that all the equipment will be in working order. He said that the school’s sewage plant is ready to transfer to a new tank by the end of the week.
Taylor noted that a major glitch has occurred in building permits. He said that while Harford Twp. requires building permits, there is no cap on how high a permit fee can be charged. The current rate is $40 per $1,000 in construction costs. He said an invoice was received for $20,000 for the building permit fee for installation of a new boiler, “which was the smallest of the mechanical projects we did this summer. He said that he plans to attend a meeting with Harford Township Supervisors on Tuesday night to ask for a waiver of building permit fees.
Business Director Thomas Witiak said that he met with the Pennsylvania Department of
Transportation (PennDOT) in Montrose regarding flood damage to roads and bridges. He said that a number of district roads are closed for up to a year and that bridges are out. The equipment being used on the Route 374 bridge construction project has washed away.
The electronic school sign, donated by Joe Loomis, has arrived but has not yet been erected because of the wet weather.
On Monday, Sept. 10, the school board meeting will return to the conference room in the administration wing of the elementary building. Tours of both buildings will be held to show the changes after construction and renovations.
Voigt noted that the district no longer has an athletic trainer. For that reason, the district is contracting with Pivot, formerly ProCare in Montrose, to provide athletic trainers, and will also rotate EMTs as needed from Clifford, Harford and Hop Bottom’s ambulance departments.
Voigt said that the administrators took a field trip to the Harford Fair to watch the school group, the Chimettes perform in the shade pavilion and to enjoy orange or lemonade at the district’s fundraising stand. They were able to view student exhibits at the fair during a brief walk-through, she said.
High School Principal Robert Presley noted that PSSA test results are in and that the high school students’ scores “beat four out of five of last year’s state averages.”
He said that the students’ scores on the Keystone exams also excelled over state averages in two subject areas.
A second reading of Policy 204–Attendance was held, with numerous revisions.
The district’s pre-kindergarten program class has not been filled, with currently 14 students enrolled. “We have advertised it three times,” Lake said.
Several board members had questions about the fund account into which royalties from Cabot Oil & Gas wells are deposited. School director Kenneth Decker said that he felt these funds should be considered free money to be used for the students. “Use it for the kids, not teachers, not Bob’s projects,” he said.
Board member Sondra Stine said that the board had been told that these funds would be accounted for separately.
Witiak explained that the royalties can only go into one of two accounts: the general fund and the capital reserve fund. If they are deposited into the capital reserve fund, they can only be used for capital building projects. That is why they are put into the general fund. However, the funds are coded so that they can be tracked. Witiak said that he will provide the board members with account information at future meetings.
The board approved indoor sports admission fees: $3 for adults, $2 for students, and no charge for children under five years old, veterans and senior citizens.
A family pass can be purchased by parents or grandparents. If parents with a family pass attend the game with grandparents, a $3 per adult fee will be charged to the grandparents unless they are senior citizens.
Sophie Till, director of the Marywood University String Program, gave a presentation at the start of the meeting on the outreach project at Mountain View. The board did not take action on whether to approve the proposed development of the program but said that a presentation can be made on Back to School Night to inform parents. Till said that the program will cost students $275 per year, which amounts to about $10 per lesson for 28 weeks.
An executive session was prior to the start of the meeting for personnel and real estate matters.