Renovation plans move forward at Carmichaels

November 21, 2013

CARMICHAELS – The Carmichaels Area school board approved a motion authorizing Hayes Design Group, district architect, to submit design development documents for the district’s $25,275,000 renovation project to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The work in the district is tentatively scheduled to begin in the spring. Work will take place in unoccupied areas of the buildings for the safety of the students. Board members will receive drawings and photos of portable classrooms for its approval at the December board meeting.

District maintenance manager, Dave Franks, told the board a gate has been installed and the exit widened for the entrance to Green Street that will accommodate buses. The work was completed in preparation of the renovation project.

In response to concerns of overcrowding in the district’s kindergarten and first grade classrooms addressed at the September board meeting, the board approved hiring four paraprofessionals; Lisa Quesada, Chelsee Ritz, Gina Treece and Kimberly Lockhart. They will be shared among the kindergarten and first grade classrooms for the remainder of the 2013-14 school year.

Remuneration for these employees will be at an hourly rate of $9.80 with no other benefits, effective Nov. 25.

In another matter related to staffing, the board approved Kim Willis as a guidance intern to work with guidance counselor Corey VanSickle from Jan. 21 to May 9.

The board approved its annual agreement with Greene County Human Services for drug and alcohol prevention and mental health services. It also approved the 2013-14 Tri-State Area School Study Council agreement with the University of Pittsburgh. The cost of the agreement is unchanged at $1,500. The agreement helps the district with its strategic plan to ensure that it is prepared per the department of education requirements.

The board discussed its policy regarding overnight trips for student groups of more than one night after it was noted by board member Melodie Berardi that a requested 3-day trip for the varsity softball team was not on the agenda. Board member Richard Krause asked for the policy to be reviewed by the activities and athletics committee prior to the December board meeting. The committee, as well as all available board members, will meet Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. to consider if changes to the policy are necessary and appropriate.

Berardi said she just wanted to see a consistent policy applied across the board. “What is fair is fair and what is right is right,” she said.

The most notable exception to the policy is the trips taken by the high school band and choral groups to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Baily said overnight trips, with the exception of senior trips, are to provide an educational experience, per district policy. Acting assistant superintendent John Menhart said the senior trip by nature of the plane ride and visiting a new place can be considered educational.

The board approved an overnight trip for the senior class trip to New Orleans, La. February 27-28. A trip for the senior high band and chorus was approved for May 9-10 to Hershey Park and for the jr. high chorus King’s Island in Cincinnati, Ohio May 16-17.

The reorganizational meeting for the board will take place at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in the high school resource room with the regular December board meeting immediately following.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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