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INDIANA: School directors add girls' lacrosse team at high school

by on May 16, 2013 11:00 AM

Another sport has been added to the lineup at Indiana Area Senior High School.

The school board on Monday sanctioned the girls’ lacrosse team for competition as a spring sport beginning in the 2013-14 school year. The team will play its home games at Andy Kuz-neski Field.

The girls’ lacrosse program has already drawn outside interest.

The board approved a cooperative sponsorship agreement with the Armstrong School District to allow a student attending Ford City High School to join Indiana’s team. The Blairsville-Saltsburg school board on Wednesday agreed to a similar agreement, and a deal with Marion Center is pending, said District Superintendent Dale Kirsch.

Team representative Joe Roth told the board that the school will field two teams of different age groups with a total of 28 players.

Supported entirely by the players, their parents and other boosters, the team will operate at no cost to the district.

In other business, the school board:

• Restored district funding of $9,000 to the athletic program, to be taken from alternative revenue sources, and to include ninth-grade boys’ basketball in the 2013-14 budget and to discontinue funding of the team by basketball boosters beyond the current school year.

• Formally voted to remove discussion of a “pay-to-play” program from 2013-14 budget consideration.

• Established athletic admission rates for 2013-14 including varsity football: $6 reserved, $5 gate, $2 students; wrestling: $4 adults, $2 students; basketball: $5 adults, $2 students; volleyball: $4 adults, $2 students; soccer: $4 adults, $2 students, for evenings and Saturdays; and junior high football: $2 adults, $1 students for evening games. Season passes for football and basketball are $4 per home game for adults and $10 for families, not including varsity football reserved seating.

• Approved compensation rates for game officials and event staff and a list of people and organizations entitled to free admission to athletic events for 2013-14. The free ticket list runs seven pages.

• Approved payment for six nurses at per diem rates and six support staff at their hourly rates to conduct sports physicals on June 15.

• Awarded contracts for more than $165,000 of work to modify classrooms at Indiana Area Senior High School.

CNC Construction, of Penn Run, was hired as general contractor at $92,500; MARC-Service Inc., of Windber, was hired at $31,885 for HVAC work; and Mashan Inc., of Home, was named the electrical contractor at $41,200. The companies will remodel a garage bay to house the digital media class and remove walls to form two large classrooms from four small ones in the main academic wing.

• Approved change orders for the energy efficiency project for $8,825.14 for additional gutters at Ben Franklin Elementary School and $20,583 for extending the HVAC system to the planned digital media class area at the senior high school.

• Approved Jennifer Helm to serve as a temporary principal for the 2013-14 school year at her contracted salary plus $2,000 under a memorandum of agreement with Indiana Area Education Association. The agreement extends her appointment in August as principal of Horace Mann Elementary School.

• Ratified an agreement with the AFSCME union to compensate part-time cafeteria workers for unused sick and personal days at a rate of $7.25 an hour multiplied by their average daily hours worked and their accumulated days. An agreement to transfer the workers from the school district payroll to become employees of the Chartwells food service company beginning in the fall does not provide for carrying over the unused days. Most of those workers are assigned 2ᄒ to 5ᄑ hours a day.

• Approved an agreement with Pennsylvania State Police to provide assistance as requested at schools in White Township at hourly rates to be determined by the rank and seniority of the officers who are assigned to the schools.

• Joined with other school districts in a letter-writing campaign to ask state legislators to revise the formula for funding charter schools and to eliminate the pension “double dip,” which would save taxpayers $500 million in the next six years, according to the letter.

• Approved the purchase of materials for a new math curriculum at a total cost of $297,000 using $142,000 of the 2012-13 budgetary reserve and allocating the remainder in the 2013-14 budget, at the recommendation of the administration and the board’s academic committee.

• Approved tuition rates of $50 per student and $80 per family and half-price rates for income-qualifying students taking part in summer instrumental music instruction.

Board member David Ferguson joined in the unanimous vote of support but encouraged the board to look at it as an essential program to be offered at no charge.

• Hired music teachers Jason Olear, Scott Kemerer and Jason Rummel as instructors for the summer program at per diem rates.

• Hired Sandra Monsilovich as the primary summer-school facilitator and Matt Scaife as the secondary summer-school facilitator at per diem rates for no more than 50 hours.

• Hired Monsilovich as the IDEAL program facilitator for up to 100 hours at a per diem rate.

• Hired Scaife, Joy Dress, Heather Walton, Melissa Nibert, Steve Cochran and Erin Fulton as summer remediation instructors at a minimum of three hours a week at per diem rates.

• Authorized the administration to post openings for full-time speech and elementary teachers and a half-time art teacher, and to post extra duty-extra pay positions for the 2013-14 school year.

• Authorized the art department to make plans for a scholarship fund for art students.

• Heard a summary of grant activity from Barbara Hauge, a grant writing consultant, who reported that three of four major applications came to fruition during the school year.

The district won two grants and a designation through her efforts, including the “Playful City” designation announced last week, which qualifies the area for as much as $30,000 in grant funds for school playground development.

• Hired Steve Cochran and Robyn Bailey-Orchard as SAT preparation course instructors from July 30 to Aug. 9 at per diem rates, and approved a $50 tuition fee for students taking the course.

• Approved the extension of the work day by 15 minutes for para-educators in the junior and senior high schools, reflecting the earlier change to a 10-period class day.

• Hired Gayle Devlin, Jennifer Helm and Leanne Jack as teachers in the STARS Summer Literacy Program.

• Approved one teacher for one day to prepare courses for the IDEAL distance learning program at the workshop-attendance rate.

• Approved professional development training on hybrid learning and digital content for as many as 16 teachers for up to three days at the workshop compensation rate. Kirsch said the district has applied for $400,000 of funding to pay for the training.

• Accepted a notice of resignation from food service worker Ruth Wilson, effective June 7. She has worked 26 years in the district.

• Granted a request by senior high school Principal Wade McElheny to waive his $500 bonus and apply the money to the high school budget.

• Appointed Jared Cronauer as district treasurer and designated S&T Bank and PNC bank as depositories for district funds, all for one year beginning July 1.

• Appointed Anise Markle as school board secretary for four years ending June 30, 2017, at a salary of $4,000 a year.

Chauncey Ross is the Gazette’s fixture at Indiana Area and Homer-Center school board meetings, has been seen with pen and notepad in area police stations and courts, and is something of an Open Records Act and Sunshine Law advocate. He also manages the Gazette’s websites and answers your questions about them.
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