Blairsville High School sign

BURRELL TOWNSHIP — The Blairsville-Saltsburg School District has been awarded a grant of nearly $54,000 from the Tri-County Workforce Investment Board to provide services related to career preparation.

According to a copy of the grant agreement, the district will use the money to provide services to a minimum of 48 students ages 17 and 18 during the upcoming school year.

Students in the program will participate in a variety of “career awareness and exploration activities,” according to the guidelines.

Aspects of the program include employability instruction time, 16 hours of job shadowing, mock interviews and a career research paper.

The district must establish at least eight job-shadowing sites in what are known as “high-priority occupations,” those “that are in demand by employers, have higher skill needs and most likely to provide family sustaining wages,” according to the Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information & Analysis.

Participants will also attend field trips to Westmoreland County Community College and Penn College of Technology, according to the guidelines.

Another aspect of the program will include increasing “parent awareness of highly skilled polytechnic occupations available in our region along with the training and education needed to attain these careers.”

According to the guidelines, 20 percent of the participants must be from households that qualify for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Family benefits program.

The grant was sought by Regina Geesey, the district’s director of special education.

In other business, the board:

• Agreed to purchase 30 Chromebooks for use by students in the Blairsville Elementary School library. The board also agreed to purchase 30 desktop computers — 15 for each side of the district — at a cost of about $400 each. • Approved, with regret, the resignation of Leigh Free, transportation coordinator/child accounting/personal information manager/board secretary effective Aug. 21, due to retirement. Free has been with the district since February 1988.

• Approved on a 6-2 vote a motion added to the agenda at the meeting to accept a claim identified as 19050-16-17as. Board members Beverly Caranese, Linda Brown, Holly Hall, Marlene Joyce, Anthony “Tim” Canzano and Michael Bartolini voted in favor, and Rick Harper and Mary Whitfield voted against the motion. Molly Stiles was absent. The district’s solicitor, Krisha DiMascio, would not provide any information regarding the claim.

• Terminated an employee identified only as #1998.

• Approved the district’s participating in the mandatory annual special education notice with other districts served by ARIN IU 28 at a cost not to exceed $140.

• Approved an agreement with the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission for the student assistance program.

• Approved a three-year agreement with Westmoreland IU for eAcademy consortium membership services at a cost of $16,000 per year.

• Approved the services of New Story for special education for the 2017-18 year.

• Approved the district’s participation in the ARIN IU 28’s online drivers education course as an elective at no cost to the district.

• Approved a memorandum of mutual aide with members of the ARIN IU 28 for emergency management for the 2017-18 school year.

• Approved the transfer request of Tammy Gromley, paraprofessional, from BES to Blairsville Middle/High School for a life skills support classroom.

• Authorized the administration to post and/or advertise any support staff vacancies.

• Approved a memorandum of agreement with the Blairsville-Saltsburg Education Association that outlines the guidelines for parent teacher conferences during the school year.

Margaret Weaver has served as a Gazette staff writer since 2006. She covers Clymer Borough, the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District and Blairsville court, and also works in the areas of layout, design and editing.