The school directors approved more revisions to United School District’s phased school reopening health and safety plan Tuesday regarding changes to the reopening of sports activities.
The updates concern the wearing of masks during athletic activities, where masks are to be worn at all times, including during heavy exertion unless a player has submitted and gained approval for an exemption from a doctor.
Regarding levels of participation, under an order from Gov. Tom Wolf or the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association for a full shutdown or remote learning, no in-person gatherings are allowed; athletes and coaches may communicate via an online platform; athletes can participate in individual home workouts; and all school facilities remain closed as per state guidelines. Under the district’s hybrid learning model or in-person instruction, low- or moderate-impact sports may resume, and high-risk sports such as football, wrestling and cheerleading may begin full person-to-person contact and competition.
The updated plan also lists guidelines for pre-workout/
contest COVID-19 screening; limitations on gatherings; cleaning of facilities, such as creating and following adequate cleaning schedules for athletic facilities and wearing appropriate clothing/shoes in the weight room to minimize sweat from transmitting onto equipment surfaces; physical activity and athletic equipment recommendations, including that students should refrain from sharing clothing or towels, athletic equipment used by multiple individuals should be cleaned intermittently during practice and events as deemed necessary, and hand sanitizer should be used periodically; and hydration guidelines, which state that students must bring their own water bottle and bottles must not be shared, and that hydration stations may be used but must be cleaned after every practice or event.
The directors approved the revised plan 8-0; board member Tommey Heming was absent.
Also Tuesday, the board hired John Sokol as a secondary math instructor with initial assignment at the high school, with an annual salary of $49,482.
In other business, the board voted to approve:
• An activity request from Jennifer Charney and Jocelyn Hudson to attend the National High School Cheerleading Championship from Feb. 4 to 8 in Orlando, Fla., at no cost to the district.
• Piloting the United Esports Team as an extracurricular activity for spring 2021. The cost to pilot the program is $20.20 for the 2020-21 school year that includes unlimited participation for students age 13 and older. Michael Lee and Chad Green will act as volunteer advisers.
• The purchase from Webster’s Fitness Products Inc. for replacement fitness equipment for the high school weight room at a cost of $10,915 and the purchase of an additional power rack and accessories at a cost of $3,670 for a total purchase of $14,585.
• Attorney Ronald Saffron as district solicitor for a one-year term starting February 2021 to February 2022 at an annual retainer of $6,000 per year, with additional services billed at $85 per hour as needed.
• The Trugreen commercial contract for lawn services and vegetation control applied to the district football, softball and baseball fields at a cost of $1,136.23 for the year.
• The contract with Music Theatre International for the production of “Godspell Jr.” to be performed live and streamed by the high school March 19-21, with two shows on March 20, at a total cost to the district of $1,470; and a limited streaming license agreement at a cost of $75 where the district is granted the rights of streaming the production. All streaming royalties will be collected via ShowTix4U with the minimum per-performance royalty of $35 or 15 percent of gross receipts, whichever is greater.
• A bleacher inspection and service proposal presented by Maffei Strayer Furnishings to service and inspect the telescopic bleachers in the elementary and high school gymnasiums at a cost of $1,950.
• The addition of a Digital Video Productions II class for the second semester of the 2020-21 school year.
• The adoption of the Principles for Governance and Leadership, where the school directors collectively and individually will advocate earnestly, lead responsibly, govern effectively, plan thoughtfully, evaluate continuously, communicate clearly and act ethically.
• The following supplemental positions for the 2021-22 school year, with salaries to be determined at a later date: Kevin Marabito, head football coach; Sean Mack, assistant football coach; Richard Hixson, assistant varsity football coach; Zachary Hnatko, head junior high football coach; Louis McElwee, junior high assistant football coach; Robert Penrose, cross country boys’/girls’ coach and musical tech assistant; Alexis Smith, varsity volleyball coach; Lyda Bartlebaugh, assistant varsity volleyball coach; Daeva Simmons, junior high girls’ volleyball coach; Lorynn Stiles, junior high girls’ assistant volleyball coach; Christopher Wirick, varsity girls’ soccer coach; Christopher Johnson, varsity boys’ soccer coach; Michelle Dunn, musical director; Luke Hamilton, musical instrumental director; Acey Gongaware, musical vocal music director; and Brianna Adkins, musical choreographer.
• The creation of the supplemental position of varsity head boys’/girls’ track coach at a salary of $5,500 and the supplemental position of assistant track coach at a salary of $1,903, and that the positions be advertised.
• Nathan Henry as game manager, as needed, at the cost of $30 per game.
• The resignation of Darlene Sexton from her supplemental position of high school math department head effective Feb. 12.
• Kacey Raible as a substitute at the elementary building for PK-4 and special education Pre-K-12.
• Patricia Shakespere and Dennis Koscho as van drivers for the current school year.