SALISBURY TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
At the April 18 Salisbury Township School District school board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss congratulated student representative Maisie Oliver for her achievements in the Pennsylvania All-Around Gymnastic Championship.
“For the second year in a row, Maisie is the Pennsylvania All-Around Champion in gymnastics,” Ziegenfuss said.
Following the student representative reports, Ziegenfuss presented a plaque to Human Resources Coordinator Nancy Spadt and board Vice President Samuel DeFrank. The plaque was in recognition of the distinction that the Salisbury Township School District had been voted as one of the top 60 work places in the Lehigh Valley.
On March 16, the Morning Call revealed the best places to work in the Valley, and for the third year in a row the Salisbury Township School District found its name on the list.
The district was also recognized in the same survey for their achievements in training in the workplace. Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Lynn Fuini-Hetten thanked Directors Carol Klinger and Mary Ziegler for their efforts in working with the board to provide training opportunities.
Ziegler gave thanks to the staff and administration for initiating the opportunity for the training programs and subsequent utilization of the skills learned by members of the staff.
Board Secretary Robert Bruchak said the public presentation and discussion of the proposed final 2018-2019 budget will take place 7 p.m. May 7 at the administration building.
Bruchak noted there is an area of concern regarding the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s act of rescinding the guidelines for PDE-363 concerning funding for charter schools.
The recent change to the guidelines could have a negative effect on the proposed 2018-2019 school year budget as an increase in the tuition fees for charter schools was not a consideration at the time of budget’s inception.
“The 363 is supposed to be done in August for this year’s tuition rates; they actually have changed the guidelines for this current year. We are expecting to get new invoices for charter schools at a higher rate.”
The board approved the Pathways to Professional Excellence Agreement between Cedar Crest College and the district effective Feb. 20 and an overnight extracurricular trip for the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science students from the middle and high school May 20 to 22.
George Gatanis, chair of the operations committee asked for approval for the request of the use of the district’s facilities by the Salisbury Youth Association for a wrestling competition, and baseball and softball team pictures, the Southern Lehigh Soccer League youth soccer state playoff game and the Iglesia Evangelica Apostoles for a church event. Members of the board unanimously approved all items proposed.
In personnel news, the position of the assistant business administrator has been eliminated.
Tanya Garcia Warren resigned from the position of part-time nurse assistant at Salisbury effective March 28.
Joy Wernick resigned from the position of full-time guidance counselor at SHS effective June 12.
John Wagner resigned, due to retirement, as a full-time math teacher at SHS effective at the end of the school year.
Patricia Sabo, full-time emotional instructional assistant at Salisbury Middle School and Gloria Hinkle, full-time emotional support instructional assistant at SHS have also resigned due to retirement effective at the end of the school year.
Kelly Pauling’s employment as a part-time interim supervisor of instructional practice has been extended through the end of June.
The original agreement between Celeste Green and the district for psychological services and bilingual evaluations has been amended.
Corinne Ramunni, Theresa Bruns, Beth Neitz and Karen Orlemann have been approved as tutors for the summer months for four students in the district.
Part-time, one-to-one instructional assistant Ellen Winkler was approved for transfer to SHS from Harry S Truman Elementary School effective April 23.
The board also approved a listing for the additions and deletions of substitute teachers.
Final approval was given by the board for policies including grades and reporting of student progress, extracurricular activities, co-curricular activities, interscholastic athletics, contracted services and the use of aircrafts and drones on district property.
Chairman of the student activities committee Joseph Gnall said he and Director of Student Activities Monica Deeb continue to work on a mission statement to evaluate what the students are taking away and what they are achieving from participating in student activities.
Ziegler reported the district has 214 students who use services provided by the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21, with 158 in the speech and language pathology program.
Nine students from Salisbury are involved in the work-based learning program and each of the students goes to work three to five times a week at one of the 165 businesses involved in the program. One job coach is assigned to three to four students with an age range of 16 through 21. The program eventually leads to either the Project Search program which will have the students working either half or full days or Lifehouse, an independent living program.
Students in the program, as reported passionately by Ziegler, evolve from shy students with little confidence to individuals who want and can do things that “everyone else can do and that we take for granted.”
The board unanimously approved the eLearn 21 agreement between CLIU Unit 21 and the district through 2020 and the CLIU 21 facilities plan committee report.
Lehigh Carbon Community College has received grant money for the career path program. DeFrank said 100 local business are involved with the program where local business leaders discuss skill sets employees need to attain a career or those needed to gain career advancement.
The Guided Pathways to Success at LCCC focuses on new students, helps guide them in a career direction and helps determine what classes are needed to achieve their career goals.
Along their learning path, students in the program are given personalized notes from their teachers to help keep them encouraged and moving in the right direction. Links to career choices help highlight the need for classes involved within a specific field of study and career.
House Bill 564 recently passed the house by a overwhelming majority of votes, according to Director Susan Lea. The bill would require students in grades seven through 12 to pass an exam similar to that of the one taken by individuals seeking U.S. citizenship.
Senate Bill 1095 regarding an alternative test module to that of the Keystone exam required for graduation is currently in the legislative stage.
Lea noted Senate Bill 2 concerning tuition vouchers is picking up momentum and as discussed at a prior board meeting is of some concern to the district.
House Bill 1213 addressing the practice by local townships and school districts of appealing the local county’s assessment of a specific property is also gaining ground in the legislature, according to Lea.
Members of the board unanimously approved Bruchak as the voting delegate to the 2018 Pennsylvania School Board Legislative Policy Council.
In order to get the Salisbury community involved with policy issues that may be impactful to the district, an Advocacy Talking Points blog post was created where discussion can emerge between concerned citizens in the district and state senators and representatives.
The next board meeting will be held 7:30 p.m. May 9 at the high school.