2010-02-25 / Front Page

SF Reaches Decision On Future Of Football

Hears nature trail update
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

On the heels of a recent meeting between the county’s three superintendents and parents and organizers of the Fulton County Cowboys football team, the Southern Fulton School Board turned its attention last week toward possible district involvement and making the team an official, sanctioned PIAA team.

Southern Fulton Superintendent Ralph Scott announced last Tuesday many facets must first be looked at before the district decides to become involved with turning the countywide team into a varsity PIAA program. Scott, who has been on the football field sidelines as a coach for 27 years, noted issues needing attention include transportation, cost to the district, student interest, scheduling, and preseason training and conditioning.

Board President Kenny Wuertenberg questioned if football was offered at the district, what type of impact would it have on currently offered fall sports? Areas that could suffer would be soccer, and attention would also have to be given to marching bands and cheerleaders in connection with football.

Scott reminded those in attendance the football team would no longer be dubbed “Fulton County” Cowboys as Fulton County is not recognized by PIAA. The team would have to be taken over by one of the county’s three school districts and renamed appropriately. Furthermore, that school’s athletic director would also likely be placed in charge of scheduling.

Scott questioned if the board wanted the administration to poll or survey the students to determine interest before a possible cost sheet is developed. Not one of the board’s nine members expressed any interest in pursuing the matter beyond their discussion on February 16.

During the citizens’ participation portion of the meeting, certified public accountant Chuck Frame of Boyer and Ritter gave the district a “clean opinion” on its basic financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. Frame also reviewed several internal control deficiencies, including lack of district staff training to prepare financial statements and disclosures; lack of segregation of duties; and updating check signing cards. In the area of compliance issues, Frame elaborated on lack of information on file for free and reduced lunch/breakfast participants.

Frame went on to make note of some hourly employees being paid in a similar manner to salaried workers. Those employees were being paid for hours they had not yet worked, and recommendations were made by Frame to compensate the employees for only hours documented on the time card.

The administration noted there were no instances where an employee was under or overpaid at the year’s end, but the board did launch into a conversation on whether a computerized time clock could be utilized.

Teacher Herb Brambley presented the board with a brief overview on progress being made with the district’s nature trail. Two sources of grant funding from the Department of Labor and Industry and Department of Environmental Protection helped cover materials and labor costs associated with the trail.

Issues tackled were rerouting the trail around a steep hill and wet area, thereby creating an allseason trial. In addition to an amphitheatre, an informational kiosk has also been constructed to provide users with rules, maps and a registry.

The trail was also recently utilized as a training facility by Penn Trails in Carlisle, which provided work crews with a firm understanding of what the project would entail.

Brambley concluded the trail has been utilized four times annually by students enrolled in grades kindergarten through six over a two-year time frame. Those 3,538 students did not suffer any injuries nor was anyone lost while using the trail, Brambley said.

The board learned Ayr Township has opted to resign from the Fulton County Parks and Recreation Commission. In accordance with the commission’s intergovernmental agreement, the township’s participation with the group will end December 31, 2010.

Under personnel, the board granted an unpaid leave of absence to Amanda Keiper through the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993. Keiper’s absence is tentatively slated to begin May 15 through the conclusion of the school year.

An unpaid leave of absence was also granted to Valerie White.

The board agreed to allow the administration and nurse Sandy Crouse to coordinate use of the Mobile Dentist Program for the 2010-11 school year. Superintendent Scott noted the program has been very successful at Southern Fulton, which was one of the first districts in the area to participate in the program.

Building and ground requests approved include:

• WAYS soccer to use available fields at the high school March 15 through May 31 between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

• Semper Fi Memorial to utilize the track, front parking lot, lobby and restrooms for a 5K run/walk on April 17 between 7 a.m. and noon.

• Beta Sigma Phi will hold a basket bingo at the high school on April 25 from 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The proceeds will benefit the Steven Szwydek memorial trip to Washington, D.C.

• Fulton County Extension Office will use the elementary gymnasium and library on March 4, 11, 18, 25 as well as April 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. for a family fitness program for students in grades three through six.

• The extension office was also granted permission to use any available space in the elementary on February 17, 19, 22, 24 and March 1, 3, 5 and 8 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to conduct a Friends Helping Friends class for students enrolled in sixth grade.

The cheerleaders were authorized to travel to Williamsburg, Va., for the ECA National cheerleading competition scheduled for March 12-14.

School vehicle turnaround signs will be placed at the 5056 Thompson Road home of bus contractor David Smith.

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