MONESSEN – Monessen School Board Tuesday accepted the resignation of five teachers, two of whom will stay with the district until replacements can be found. The board also voted unanimously to bring back two teachers furloughed earlier this year due to budget problems and declining enrollment. The district in June furloughed six teachers and demoted three others to half-day positions. It has since recalled all but two of the teachers to fill positions created by resignations.
Superintendent Dr. Leanne Spazak said due to a rise in kindergarten enrollment, those classes will be split into four and one of two teachers that remain furloughed will be recalled to fill that position.
The board also voted unanimously to table a motion to renew the district’s agreement with Mon Valley Emergency Medical Services to provide an ambulance at Monessen home football games at an annual cost of $2,824, which equals $706 per game, until officials can look further into the matter. Vice President Roberta Bergstedt said she thinks the fee is “outrageous.” She said other districts using EMS services are paying roughly $200 to $300 per game.
“I think they are just gouging us,” Bergstedt said. She said the district has time to look into this matter to try to find a better price.
Spazak said since the ambulance service is close to the school, the district is not required to provide an ambulance at the games but offers it as more of a courtesy. She said the distict has had a contract for this service since before she started working for the district. The contract is year to year and now is up.
Spazak said last year the district paid $5,000 for this service. Other ambulance services in the area were contacted but they either don’t have the fleet to service Monessen or aren’t available when needed. She said since the ambulance service is so close to the school, officials could call 911 for an ambulance if one is needed.
The board voted against the proposed 2017-18 school musical “Chicago.” Spazak said the reasoning behind this decision had to do mainly with the content of the musical being presented in a school setting. “The material couldn’t be cleaned up to the point to where we thought it would be acceptable for a high school play,” Spazak said.