UNITED: School board rejects IT service agreement
ARMAGH — The United School District Board of Directors on Tuesday rejected a two-year IT management services agreement for the district due to differences in start dates.
The board voted 4-4 on the measure, with members Robert Dill, Ronald Moyer, John Poorbaugh and Robert Lichtenfels voting no. Board member Norma Carpenter was absent.
The district currently has a contract with In-Shore Technologies to provide standard IT management services to all employees and non-employees who are part of the district. Board President Don Davis said the board is hoping to start the contract in July to coincide with all other service contracts and agreements for the district.
When In-Shore first came to the district, it was in October, Davis said. He said the board will “discuss it some more” to see if they can come to an agreement.
“We’re still with them until October, so we can discuss whether we want to renew it in October or whether we want to put it out (for a bid),” Davis said, adding that he and Superintendent Barbara Parkins “are satisfied with them.”
The agreement the board denied Tuesday between In-Shore and United is for $74,250 for the first calendar year and $74,500 for the second calendar year.
Tuesday’s vote may put a snag in another item that passed, which was to grant permission to In-Shore to use SmartResale and EWaste to dispose of technology waste for the upcoming school year. Poorbaugh, Moyer and Lichtenfels voted against the measure.
Also Tuesday, the board voted to continue to use National Network of Digital Schools to provide online education services, courses and curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade under the name Lincoln Interactive.
Davis said the district would like to get more people involved in its cyber school, which currently has four students enrolled. Parkins said the state is pushing for online courses and encouraging more online courses such as algebra and biology with approval.
“I can see that in the future there’s going to be a lot of, in my opinion, blended education going on, traditional plus the online for a lot of schools,” Parkins said.
She said the online program, which started at United last year, has “helped a lot of kids.” There have been some students in and some students out of the program throughout the school year, she said, but “what it’s really helped with are kids that are struggling toward the end and thinking that they may drop out. They have another option to attempt … prior to just dropping out.”
Parkins said the online program “saved at least two of our kids this year.”
“We would like to have a local option for those students who may choose other cyber schools that are available,” Davis said, with Parkins adding that those students can graduate from the district’s cyber school with a United diploma.
“That’s the difference instead of choosing one of the others that are out there,” she said.
The board also recognized and honored two athletes before the start of the meeting.
Senior Kennedy Fletcher was honored for placing second in districts with a throw of 107 feet 7 inches in the discus, and second in javelin with a throw of 109 feet 10 inches. She placed seventh best in the state in discus with a throw of 116 feet 2 inches, and eighth in the state in javelin with a throw of 118 feet 9 inches.
Shawn Lichvar, who graduated last week, was recognized for being a six-time state qualifier, the only one in United history. His freshman year, Lichvar qualified for the boys’ cross-country team and the 4x800 in track; 4x800 his sophomore year; individually qualified for cross country his junior year; and qualified for cross country and the 800-meter run in track his senior year.
“He was a rare and exceptional athlete in track and field,” said high school Principal Michael Worthington.
Track coach Bill Lichtenfels presented three banners to the district to be hung in the high school gym. The banners were to honor the 1958 and 1959 state champion track and field teams and the 1957 state runner-up team coached by Tom Madill.
Lichtenfels said the banners will replace the three trophies that were lost in the first high school renovation.
“I believe the accomplishments of these three teams are one of the best-kept secrets in all of Indiana County,” he said. “To win a state championship is a tremendous honor; to do it two consecutive years is really an unbelievable task, and to be runner-up the year before the state championships just adds more honors to this feat.”
With Lichtenfels Tuesday were Lanny Dixon, who was on the 880-yard relay team that won first in state his junior year and again his senior year with a state record, and Ernie Widmar, who also was on the 880 relay team.
In other business, the board:
• Hired Lance Holupka as the head football coach for 2013-14 at $4,801.53. Dill and board Vice President Trudy DeRubis voted against the hire.
• Accepted the resignation of Chris Matava as the junior high boys’ basketball coach, effective immediately.
• Approved the layout and colors of the elementary gymnasium floor from HHSDR as well as a standard form of agreement between the district and Mid-State Construction Inc. for replacement of the floor for $137,600 with completion by Sept. 23. Parkins said the floor should be finished by the start of the school year.
• Allowed committing a portion of the fund balance as of June 30 for future increases in medical premiums, PSERS retirement increases or retiree health insurance liability; future building maintenance projects; future salary increases and any other unforeseen needs.
• Approved a guest teacher consortium with ARIN IU for the 2013-14 school year for $600.
• Approved a contract with Bayada Nurses Inc. to provide nursing services for 2013-14 at $44 an hour, effective July 1 through June 30, 2014.
• Entered into an agreement with Citizens’ Ambulance to provide ambulance service for the district’s students, staff and visitors while on school premises or while participating in school functions or activities, including all junior high, junior varsity and varsity home football games, at $2,650 for the 2013-14 school year.
• Approved a contract with Vantage Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation to provide athletic training services for athletes from 2013-16, beginning with the first day of the 2013 football camp until the last day of the 2015-16 school year at $5,500 annually.
• Renewed a contract with Camco Physical and Occupational Therapy LLC to provide physical and occupational therapy services to students with special needs, at $56 per contract hour of services from Aug. 1 to July 31, 2014.
• Approved the Act 48 Program Placement Agreement for services with Adelphoi Education for 2013-14. Costs for alternative education will be $72.75 per day and $80.10 for special education. The same amounts apply for Your Education Success costs.
• Approved an annual maintenance and support agreement with Esber Cash Register for $450 for two machines for the elementary school and $570 for three machines for the high school for the 2013-14 school year.
• Approved the renewal of Vision Benefits of America from July 1 to June 30, 2014, at a monthly rate of $11.75 per composite unit; Delta Dental insurance rates effective July 1 through June 30, 2014; and the renewal rates with Blue Cross/Blue Shield from July 1 to June 30, 2014.
• Approved the purchase of a worker’s compensation package issued by Highmark Casualty Insurance Company and the Reschini Group for $26,702 from July 1 to July 1, 2014.
• Granted tenure to Darla Kiefer, Casey Buchkoski, Kayla Erwin and Megan Rensko for completing six satisfactory semesters of employment.