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Curwensville school board mulls over cafeteria changes
Friday, January 18, 2013
By Dianne Byers Staff Writer
CURWENSVILLE - Curwensville Area School Board mulled over changes to the cafeteria system at Penn-Grampian Elementary School and learned a district employee received a prestigious award for partnering in the education of students during last night's work session.
Paul Carr, district business manager, reviewed changes proposed for student payment and cafeteria numbers calculations at Penn-Grampian. If the board approves, at Monday's meeting, a computer system similar to the one used in the cafeterias at the Curwensville complex would be installed.
Carr said the system is more efficient than the current method. It would eliminate students having to use tickets to show they purchased meals, teachers from passing out tickets daily and staff counting tickets to keep track of how many meals are purchased. It would also allow parents with computers to keep track of deposits into their children's meal accounts and pay funds into multiple accounts with one check even if their children are not students in the same building.
Carr said because the wiring was installed several years ago during the building's renovation, the cost would be $593.50 for the first year for equipment, installation and licensing fee and $93.50 per year for subsequent years for the license.
The board heard Margie Yescavage, secretary at the Curwensville Area Elementary School, is the recipient of the 2012 Lauretta Woodson award presented by the Clearfield County chapter of the state Association of State Retirees. Kenneth Veihdeffer, elementary principal, who nominated Yescavage for the recognition program, told the board the award is given to a support person who plays a vital role in the education of children. He noted only one award was given in the eight school districts in Clearfield County and that was to Yescavage.
He said although he originally wrote a 500-word essay to nominate her, he said he can sum up her daily performance with three words "hardworking and dedicated."
Yescavage, who attended the meeting, showed the board the plaque, medallion and pin she received and told them "I love my job. The children mean the world to me. I could take 500 or 600 home with me every night and think nothing of it."
Dr. Norman Hatten, district superintendent, said Yescavage does "a great job" and "the district is blessed to have her because her dedication to the students is tremendous."
The board also discussed the following for consideration at Monday's meeting:
• acting on the recommendation of the board's activities, buildings and grounds committee, to request the polling place for Penn Township residents at Penn-Grampian Elementary School be relocated. Jim Thorp said because of recent national events the board believes it is safer for the school's students not to have the doors unlocked at the building to allow voters to come and go.
• changing course names and adapting courses to align them with the Keystone Exams. The Keystone Exams are end-of-course tests given in Algebra I, literature and biology. The changes suggested are for the learning support department where the new names for mathematics and English courses will more accurately reflect students' abilities, academic and general science and academic and general English will be combined for students in grades 9 and 10 and high school mathematics department sequences will prepare students better for what they would experience in the Keystone Exams. The new sequence will be Algebra I, Algebra II and geometry.
• granting permission for the varsity baseball team to travel to Virginia April 4-6 for a spring training activity at no cost to the school district.
In preparation for the 2013-14 budget, the board heard a report from Carr concerning contributions made by the district to the retirement accounts of staff.
He said for proposed wages of approximately $6.5 million, the district would be expected to contribute $505,665 into its pension account next year - an increase of $136,000 over the 2012-13 amount. He said 3.37 mills would need to be dedicated to covering the district's share and projected similar amounts of mills would be dedicated to the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years if no changes are made to the system.
He said he would keep the board briefed through its 2013-14 budget preparation process and added he is hoping state legislators will take action to bring some relief to school districts that are struggling to pay their shares and balance budgets.
Hatten said he expects Gov. Tom Corbett to address pension contributions next week during his address and said all of the state's school districts are under pressure to find ways to make their contributions.
At the close of the meeting, the board held an executive session for personnel and negotiations matters.
The board will meet Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the administrative offices' conference room.
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