Homan to continue as Montrose board chair

In a reorganization vote Monday evening, the Montrose Area School Board re-elected Mary Homan as president and elected member Richard Jordan as vice president. Jordan represents Region 2, which includes Franklin, Bridgewater and Liberty Twps.
Jordan’s was appointed to vice president by the board following the resignation of Amy Lyden in September.
In late October, the board appointed Pamela Staats, a former Montrose Area school board member and the Director of Special Education in the Elk Lake School District, to fill Lyden’s vacant Region 1 seat. Region 1 is comprised of Montrose Borough and Jessup Twp.
Other changes on the board include the November resignation of Madeline Arnold, a Region 2 school director. Region 2 is comprised of Bridgewater, Franklin and Liberty townships. Arnold’s post has since been filled by member Gretchen Backer.
Montrose School District parents may see a new early morning school notification on their televisions, laptops or hand helds this winter: Superintendent Chris McComb announced Monday that the district may go to a three-hour delay on bad weather days.
“One of the things we have discussed is the possibility of adding a three-hour delay as another option so that we have a better likelihood of getting to school as opposed to canceling,” McComb announced Monday night.
Schools currently use a two-hour delay which, McComb explained, doesn’t always give road crews enough time to address slippery, snowy roads.
“There are a number of days when myself or Mrs. Harris (district transportation director) will talk to the township supervisors, or even the state crews, and they’ll say, ‘If you could only give me another 45 minutes or another hour, we could get the roads ready so you can get to school,’ “ McComb said.
“The more time we can get students in our building, the better,” he said.
The Montrose school district has received $25,000 in grant funds designated to help the school improve campus safety from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Craig Owens, the district’s director of technology, said Monday. The $25,000 is part of a total $60 million the state legislature made available to schools for safety through the PCCD.
In Montrose, the $25,000 will be spent on a new safety computer application and on special window films which Owens said make it difficult to see inside classrooms.
“We felt that we wanted to insure that it was difficult to see into the classrooms from the hallways,” Owens said. The films would also provide “additional structural rigidity to the windows,” he said.
The district is in competition for “somewhere between $75,000 and $80,000” in additional PCCD grant funds, Owens said. He added that he expected to hear more about those grant funds early next year.
In other business, the board:
*Went into closed session discussions for 15 minutes to discuss a personnel issue before emerging to table a motion to approve an Act 93 Administrative Compensation Plan as submitted retroactive to July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021.
“We need to look at this contract again as a board,” said member Richard Jordan.
*Passed a motion ratifying a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the school district and the Montrose Education Support Professionals Association for a term of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021.

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