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United hires Pre-K instructors

by HEATHER BLAKE hblake@indianagazette.net on August 23, 2013 10:50 AM

ARMAGH — The United School District Board of Directors on Thursday hired two elementary instructors under the Pre-K Counts grant the board accepted at its Aug. 13 meeting, as well as a reading specialist/art instructor.

Kim Burda and Kayla Graham were hired as instructors with initial assignments at United Elementary School starting Monday at $41,000 and $40,000, respectively.

Jill Shinsky was hired as a reading specialist instructor with initial assignment at the high school and elementary school and as an art instructor with initial assignment at the high school at $41,000. She also will start Monday.

The board accepted the Pre-K Counts grant fund for $235,800 last week from the Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

The program is aimed at helping financially disadvantaged pre-kindergarten children.

The grant was awarded for three years to pay for two elementary teacher positions and two paraprofessional, or qualified aide, positions, which the board created at its July meeting.

The Pre-K Counts grant is for 30 students all together. Superintendent Barbara Parkins said the district is still looking for eligible 4-year-olds for the program.

“We still have some slots open, but we’d like to fill it to capacity since we have opportunity to do so,” she said.

Board President Don Davis said parents can contact the school for information regarding the program and registration.

Hiring for the two aide positions will be done at a later time, Parkins said. Because it’s the district’s first year on the grant, the district is given a 20-day waiver from the state Department of Education from the first student day until Sept. 23 “to fully staff and fully recruit for our students,” she said.

The board also approved Jean Dumm for a media coordinator position and Ashley Misterka for a media production coordinator position, each at $700.40. Parkins said they will work on a district newsletter as “another form of being able to communicate with the community” regarding what’s happening at the schools.

Parkins said she wasn’t sure how many issues they will have for the 2013-14 school year.

In other matters Thursday, the board:

• Accepted the resignation of Terri Myers as the elementary school nurse, effective immediately and subject to being held by the district for a period not to exceed 60 days from Thursday’s meeting.

• Approved a donation of $50 from Diamond Drugs Inc. for the gifted program.

• Accepted an agreement between the district and EduLink Inc. for PAETEP, an electronic teacher evaluation portal for the district to manage the teacher evaluation process at an annual licensing fee of $2,616 for one year, and to renew automatically for additional one-year periods unless terminated by either party.

• Approved a letter of agreement with Armstrong-Indiana Drug and Alcohol Commission Inc. to provide services for the Student Assistance Program Initiative for the upcoming school year.

• Adopted the Creative Curriculum System for preschool and the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment tool from Teaching Strategies for $4,936.67; funding is provided from the Pre-K Counts grant.

• Approved the acceptance of a check received from Ebensburg Auto Auction for $925 from the sale of the district’s 95 Ford truck.

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