Salisbury Press

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

SALISBURY TOWNSHIP SCHOOL BOARD A school resource officer may be assigned to Salisbury Middle School

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 by MARGE HOPKINS Special to The Press in Local News

The Salisbury Middle School may be the home to a new school resource officer in the fall.

School Board Superintendent Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss opened the May 7 Salisbury Township School Board operations meeting by speaking about discussions between the school and the township regarding a new resource officer at the middle school.

“The township has agreed to fund a new resource officer by 50 percent.”

The remaining cost for the officer has already been built into the 2018-2019 school year budget.

Director of Maintenance, Buildings and Grounds William Brackett said during the week of May 17, the district could apply for the “Safe School Initiative Program” offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The grant offers funding to schools for additional safety measures to assist in the reduction of crime.

The grant is two tiered, with funding offered for safety equipment as well school resource officers.

Brackett noted the funds are offered only for the initial implementation of the equipment or officer in the first year. The district would be responsible for covering the expense thereafter.

The SRO will be selected by the Salisbury Township Police Department in conjunction and through discussions with the school board.

As the district wraps up the 2017-2018 school year summer projects are scheduled at several buildings.

Brackett said the second round of bids for the varsity girls softball dugouts are due the first week of June.

The door hardware at Western Salisbury Elementary school will be updated and the camera system at the high school will go digital with additional units scheduled to be installed.

The fuel bid for the 2018-2019 school year will result in increasing transportation costs for the district as the cost for diesel fuel is set to increase by $13,787, while 87 octane fuel will increase by $1,700.

At the end of this school year Salisbury’s resident Executive Chef Dustin Seymour, with Southwest Foodservice, will leave the district to head to another school district in Texas. Seymour will be replaced by SFE’s Camille Laszczak.

Laszczak received her bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management and comes to Salisbury from a larger school district in Minnesota.

“I am excited to be here and partner with you all, work with you for the rest of the year, and have a great start to the 2018-2019 school year,” Laszczak said.

Members of the board took turns thanking Seymour for his work within the district during the first year with SFE on board.

Seymour responded, “It has been a great time seeing the transition in the kids and the enjoyment that they got out of the new food selections. We appreciate your support in this partnership.”

While reviewing the line items on the budget for the school lunch program, Director Mary Ziegler expressed some concern there were 93,000 à la carte items purchased by the students during school lunches.

Seymour responded the à la carte items are all healthy food choices compliant with the state and the items allow for more options for the students who prefer variations in their lunch choices.

Ziegler commented on the choices and efficiency by the cafeteria staff during a recent twirling competition hosted by Salisbury. Ziegler reported she worked in the cafeteria during the event and it “went off without a hitch.” Ziegler thanked Seymour and SFE for their efforts.

The adoption of the 2018-2019 final budget will be held June 13. Bruchak said the district has been working diligently on shaving expenditures for next year including replacing full-time positions with part-time positions, reducing the athletic and technology budgets and the elimination of the Paragon school bus for two special education students. Bruchak noted the two students will be transported by an intermediate unit school bus.

Expenses for the school in the upcoming year are projected to be $37.5 million while revenues are projected at $36.5 million.

Without cutting any programs, in conjunction with the utilization of $350,000 from the school’s fund balance, and a tax increase of the ACT I index of 2.4 percent, Salisbury will have a balanced budget.

Bruchak remarked the teacher’s contract may impact the budget and may change the parameters.

Gnall remarked the district used $400,000 from the district’s fund balance for the current budget, and along with the $350,000 for next year’s budget the fund balance is being depleted at a rapid pace. Gnall also noted that, should the district continue to tap from the fund balance there may not be enough money to cover unforeseen emergency expenses.

Ziegenfuss agreed and responded that the district trimmed expenses “close to the bone” for the 2018-2019 budget and unfortunately going forward, the board may have to examine cutting some programs.

Bruchak commented that after all expenses are drawn the fund balance will be below $5 million.

Board policy changes set for approval during the May 9 board meeting included adding Albuterol to the list of emergency medications, destroying psychological records for students, disciplinary procedures for district employees and changes for the use of the district’s facilities.

The next operations meeting is scheduled June 4.