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UNITED: School directors add bus to pick up school students

by HEATHER BLAKE on December 12, 2013 10:50 AM

ARMAGH — In response to drivers in an area of Route 22 that apparently have not been following school bus laws to stop for school bus red-light signals, the United School District Board of Directors on Tuesday approved an agreement with Krise Bus Service Inc. to add a 24-passenger mini-bus with a red-light system to transport students living in that area.

Board President Don Davis said the area on Chicory Mountain, close to the Cambria County line, has been seeing a lot of drivers that are “running the red lights of the bus,” which is against the law, making it a “dangerous situation for students.”

“I think a lot of people are not familiar with the school bus law regarding red lights,” he said.

Lewis Kindja, the district’s elementary principal and transportation director, presented the alternative of the mini-bus to the board after having the area looked at, Davis said.

It will cost $223 for each day that the students are transported. Service started Wednesday and will continue for the rest of the 2013-14 school year.

The mini-bus can pull into students’ driveways to pick them up, making it “a lot safer than stopping along Route 22 with the red lights on,” Davis said.

“People just weren’t stopping for the buses,” he said.

Nine children will be transported on the mini-bus.

“It was just what we thought was a dangerous situation that, for a little bit of money, we could make it safer,” he said.

Davis also said Tuesday that United placed third for the high school’s video entry in the Trib Total Media Lip Dub 2013 Contest.

“We just thought ours was a great unifying experience for our district,” Davis said. The participating students lip-dubbed Aretha Frank-lin’s “Respect,” which “went along with one of our themes of the year: respect for others in the school,” he said. “We were really happy with it.

“It also involved just about everybody in the school. I think all the kids had at least a minor role in it,” he added.

Davis said United lost to “some really large districts,” and said that it was his understanding that in the future, the size of the districts are going to be taken into account, because “when you have a really large school, if half of their people vote and all of our people vote, we still come in third,” he said.

The video was submitted for a chance to win a $5,000 cash prize. The contest included public and private schools from eight counties.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

• Approved the participation in the Western Pennsylvania Gasoline/Diesel/ Heating Oil Consortium, which is managed by the Allegheny IU for the 2014-15 school year.

• Approved participation in the financial support of the ALPHA Program through the Community Guidance Center for a stipend of $3,942.59 for the 2013-14 school year.

• Approved a contract with North American Fencing Corp. in the amount of $5,496 for fencing at the elementary school.

• Approved the Armstrong, Indiana, Clarion Drug & Alcohol Commission “Too Good for Drugs” program for middle and elementary school students in grades 4-6.

• Approved an activity request from Cullen Stokes to attend the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association Conference from March 18-21 in Hershey at $1,326.79.

• Approved an activity request from Kristie Good to attend the Pennsylvania Farm Show and FFA Mid-Winter Convention from Jan. 6-7 in Harrisburg, provided students are eligible to attend, at $1,370. Approximately 25 students will attend.

• Approved a memorandum of understanding between the Pennsyl- vania State Police and the district.

• Approved a supplemental salary adjustment for the district’s golf coach for the 2013-14 school year to now reflect $2,193.43, due to a miscalculation.

• Approved Michael Balsley as the Junior Academy of Science adviser at $265.30 and Tyler Capitosti as the assistant junior high wrestling coach at $2,400.77.

• Appointed Kathleen Jones and Darlene Sexton as homebound instructors for so long as such services are required during the 2013-14 school year at $36 per hour.

• Accepted the resignations of Richard Szelong as assistant junior high football coach effective after the 2013 season; Greg Mytrysak as weight room supervisor; and Allison Mintmier as assistant softball coach, both effective immediately.

• Approved Jennifer Schau, Laken Brendlinger and Donna Rosenberger as ARIN guest teachers for 2013-14.

• Hired Bonnie Stiffler as a substitute custodian for 2013-14.

• Hired Stacy Colson as a long-term substitute to fill the temporary vacancy in the position held by elementary teacher Erin Staruch, who is on an approved leave of absence without pay, starting Jan. 1 through Feb. 6, 2014, or as determined by Staruch’s return date.

Becca Shaffer, the long-term substitute originally hired for the position, accepted a position at another school district.

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December 12, 2013 10:49 AM
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