IHS sign 002.jpg

Stock photo of the IHS sign. Indiana High School

The Highmark Foundation has awarded the Indiana Area School District a grant of $7,500 to help school nurses to identify emerging health trends among students, and to find evidence-based practices to promote better student health, social and academic success and healthy communities.

The Indiana Area school board on June 14 formally accepted the grant from the “Always Growing, Always Prepared” program and commended the corps of nurses for winning the grant funds. The money will also help the district to promote the role of the school nurse as a health leader in the school setting and aid in integrating leadership concepts through professional growth, development and responsibilities to optimize the roles of certified school nurses in the school district, according to a district news release.

District spokesperson Amy Neal said the district faced heavy competition for the award, as Highmark Foundation received more than 190 applications that requested $1.2 million of funds. Highmark Foundation, Neal said, is “a great catalyst for community and family health and for supporting school districts to bridge the gap between healthcare and academic achievement.”

Certified School Nurse Tracy Pecora wrote the grant application.

In other business last week, the board:

• Approved an audit of Title 1 federal funds and accepted the recommended corrective actions.

• Agreed to an update of the Attendance, Behavioral Guidelines and Discipline handbook. High School Principal Wade McElheny said the revision in athletic eligibility provisions is intended to allow dual-enrollment students, who may spend much of their day, physically, in Indiana University of Pennsylvania or Westmoreland County Community College to count their off-site, for-credit classes toward the requirement that students attend certain on-site classes to maintain eligibility for athletic competition.

• Authorized the administration to take part in the “Redefining Ready Cohort” of the AASA for $2,000 plus expenses for three administrators to attend one site visit.

• Authorized the administration to explore and participate in the CKLA pilot program for the sixth grade, if it is found to be appropriate.

• Named directors Tom Harley, Julia Trimarchi Cuccaro and Tamie Blank to serve as voting delegates to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association convention on Oct. 23.

• Employed Dan Antonacci as a summer school instructor of business and information technology and Jamie Edmonds as a summer school biology teacher.

• Hired Alexandria Teeter as a summer learning camp tutor at $30 an hour and Tara Maharaj as a teacher aide at the daily pay rate.

• Approved the district’s Emergency Instructional Time Template for the 2021-22 school year.

• Granted a leave of absence for an unspecified employee from Aug. 23 to Oct. 1.

• Approved leave for an employee from May 17 to the start of the 2021-22 school year.

• Authorized leave for an employee for the first semester of the 2021-22 school year.

Staff Writer/Web Editor

Chauncey Ross represents the Gazette at the county courthouse; Indiana Area and Homer-Center schools; Blairsville, Homer City, Clymer, Center and Burrell; and is something of an Open Records, Right to Know and Sunshine Law advocate in the newsroom.