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MARION CENTER AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT: Directors schedule meeting on school security

by on February 26, 2013 3:00 PM

MARION CENTER — The first hour of the Marion Center Area School District directors’ March 18 work session will be a dialogue with district parents and taxpayers to get their opinions on the possibility of placing armed security officers in the schools and other security options.

The directors Monday agreed to hold the expanded public comment session after discussing whether a survey of parents and taxpayers would adequately sample the public opinion on placing officers in the schools.

Topics for discussion at the public comment period will include developing a job description for an armed school security officer; development of a school security officer staffing model with considerations on the extent of coverage of school district buildings and property and the hours per day and the events that would have protection; and the minimum qualifications for applicants who may have local, county, state, federal or military police or security detail experience.

The March 18 public comment session will begin at 7 p.m.

Director Ron Oswald suggested that parents or district taxpayers who cannot attend could contact their school board representative in advance or send their comments with a friend or family member who will attend.

On another security issue, the board authorized district administrators to develop specifications and get prices for adding more security cameras to the district’s three school buildings.

The district will save $196,153 through a refinancing of $6.7 million in a 2008 bond issue.

PNC Capital Markets was the successful bidder for the refinancing during an Internet bond sale Monday.

Before the sale, interest rates on the debt were between 3 percent and 3.4 percent. Under the refinancing, the true interest cost will fall to 0.95 percent.

The directors had set a goal for the bond sale of saving the district at least $107,000.

According to district business manager Rick Martini, the bond issue, among other things, helped finance improvements at the McCreery Elementary School. The debt will be paid off during the next five years, he said.

The 80 musicians in the high school’s marching band may be sporting new uniforms by fall, or perhaps sooner.

The directors accepted the base bid for 104 new band uniforms and 50 color guard uniforms from Stanbury Uniforms Inc., of Brookfield, Mo., for $57,464.10, and agreed to buy 10 additional uniform units (jumpsuits, jackets and plaques) for $3,910.05.

The band members, in grades 7 through 12, are now wearing uniforms that are 12 years old.

Also during Monday’s board meeting, high school Principal Matthew Jioio, high school Assistant Principal Jeff Putt and Charles Adamchik, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, made a presentation on how classroom diagnostic tools provided by the state Department of Education are used to identify students’ strengths and needs and to make instruction modifications.

In other action the board:

n Approved the 2013-14 school calendar. The first day of classes will be Aug. 28, the Wednesday before Labor Day.

n Approved a request by teachers Suzanne Murphy and Joan Wilden to lead an educational trip for students to Scotland and Paris April 4-14, 2014.

n Approved a 1.5 percent increase in the collection rates in each of the next four years for the district’s 10 tax collectors.

n Accepted a $2,700 donation from Akers National Roll Steel and ATI union members to the Beatty Memorial Fund. McCreery Elementary students Amanda Beatty, 11, and Sara Beatty, 6, and their mother, Christine Beatty, 33, were murdered by the girls’ father, Lewis Beatty, on June 1, 2012. Lewis Beatty was employed by Akers National Roll. The donation will be used for playground equipment at the elementary schools.

n Added the following people to the professional substitute list: Jennifer Smith, Tara Pardee, Hannah Senft, Allison Langer and Cindy Brown.

n Approved Justin LaMantia and Ryan Lightcap as volunteer baseball coaches.

n Hired Luke Sitosky as an assistant track coach at a salary of $2,500.



Randy Wells has been a reporter and staff writer at The Indiana Gazette since 1988. His regular assignments include coverage of the Indiana County commissioners, Indiana Borough council and the Marion Center Area School District. His email address is rwells@indianagazette.net.
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