Mountain View assesses storm damage

MVES Students of the Month
The following students were chosen for March Students of the Month at Mountain View Elementary based on having determination. Front row: Samuele Piasecki, Isaiah Walker, Hudson Decker, Caroline Holman, Lillian Gesford, David Ditchey, Mikey Budzinski. Second row: Mason Barlow, Aiden Empet, Ian Anuszewski, Justin Higby, Gage Talbert, David Creps Phillips, Liam Padgett, Aubrey Urda, Marietta Milunic. Back Row: Raven Richardson, Jordan
Totten, Max Madura, Gabrielle Lavelle, Michael Billets, Haley Bills, Tori Teel and Principal Dr. Christopher Lake. Absent from photo: Mia Marie Hendricks and Parker Krall

A storm that brought a confirmed tornado to the Harford area last week, also damaged the roof of the Mountain View High School, knocked down more than 20 trees, and destroyed a batting cage as it rampaged through the area.

Mountain View Maintenance Director Bob Taylor reported during Monday’s school board meeting that two rows of trees were blown down, shingles were torn from the concession stand, flashing was peeled from the high school roof, and 33 poles were broken from the home run fence of the baseball field. “There’s no hope for that batting cage, the frame is crushed,” Taylor said. The concrete pad can be reused.

The cover on the pole vaulting equipment was picked up by wind and tore out a fence nearby, Taylor said. The pole vault mats blew over Tripp Road.

High School Principal Robert Presley said that while this year’s track team has no pole vaulters, there might be a problem accommodating a visiting team for that event.

Taylor said that there was no damage to the new building. A neighboring tree farm owner is advising him on what trees to plant in place of those that toppled. Because that area tends to be wet, trees with a deeper rooting system might be more suitable. Many of the fallen trees had been donated, school board members said.

Superintendent Karen Voigt and Curriculum Director Michael Elio presented a summary of budget information focusing on federal and state grant programs at the start of Monday’s public meeting. Voigt reported on the Federal “Ready to Learn” Grant, formerly known as the Accountability Grant. She said that this funding has held steady for years, and is designed to help the basic education formula. Of those funds, $180,000 is used for kindergarten teacher salaries. This grant also is used to implement a hybrid learning model in the elementary school.

Now that the elementary school has fully implemented hybrid learning, the seventh and eighth grade teachers were approached, and so far three teachers are interested, Voigt said.

Title 1 money is used for teacher salaries. Title 2 is used for professional development.

Voigt said that she and Dr. Elia will be going to a conference on federal programs in May. She said that these funds are designed to provide a well-rounded education.

Voigt noted that the district is also mandated to provide opportunities for students to observe and explore potential careers.

Elia presented the proposed curriculum budget and also discussed the PASmart Grant program. One highlight was a new program for college and career guidance, called Noviance. “This is a massive gamechanger,” Elia said. The Noviance program utilizes student information to match them with college or vocational opportunities, and can predict a student’s chances of acceptance at a given school or at a selection of schools in a chosen area.

Presley then presented the proposed athletic budget. He said that the budget is $500 less than last year’s, with less supplies needed. Board member Ken Decker asked how much the district brought in by charging admission to athletic events. Presley said he would get a figure, but that the money was put back into the activity fund.

The board approved a renewal agreement with the Red Cross for the 2019-20 school year. Voigt explained that four years ago, the district entered into an agreement regarding the use of the high school as an evacuation center for the county in case of a disaster. This renewal is for another four years.

The board approved The Nutrition Group as the food service management company for 2019-20 with four optional 1-year renewals for 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24. The contract was approved for one year only at a cost of $207,263.79.

The board accepted a letter of resignation for retirement purposes from Susan Penedos from her paraprofessional position, effective the last school day of the 2018-19 school year.

The board accepted Jamie Bottger’s resignation from her Special Events Coordinator position, effective immediately.

The board accepted a letter of resignation from Kelly Miller from her cafeteria monitor position, effective Apr. 26.

The board approved a motion to vacate all coaching and supplemental appointments at the end of the 2018-19 school year, and to authorize advertising for coaches for fall/winter sports for the 2019-20 school year. These include: Cross Country Head Coach, Assistant Cross Country Coach, Golf, Girls Volleyball Head Coach and Assistant Coach, Boys Soccer Head Coach and Assistant Coach, Boys Junior High Soccer Head Coach, Girls Soccer Head Coach and Assistant Coach, Girls Junior High Soccer Coach, Boys Basketball Head and Assistant Coach, Boys Junior High Basketball Coach, Girls Basketball Head and Assistant Coach, Girls Junior High Basketball Coach, Wrestling Head Coach and Assistant Coach, Junior High Wrestling Coach, and Cheerleading Advisor for the 2019-20 school year.

A second reading was held of Policy #012–Nepotism, with some discussion and changes made. The policy committee also amended their procedure for the reading of policies aloud at board meetings, with Policy #003 Functions.

The board approved the special education plan report, which will be available for view on the district website.

The Student Government Association held a Spring Fling dance, and the proceeds were donated to Relay for Life.

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