2012-03-29 / Front Page

SF Accepts Teacher Retirements

To eliminate Bus #14 route
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Southern Fulton School District Superintendent Kendra Trail informed her board of directors last Tuesday evening that a lot of experience will be walking out the door when three longtime teachers retire at the conclusion of the 2011-12 school year.

The board listened to letters of resignation submitted by firstgrade teacher Joan Peachey, third-grade teacher Darlene DeShong and fifth-grade teacher Larry Truax. The letters were accepted with regret on a 8-0 rollcall vote. Board member Timothy Hull was unable to attend the March 20 meeting.

Following a 70-minute executive session held to review a variety of issues such as possible litigation, real estate, negotiations and student issues, the board reconvened to appoint the firm of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman

& Goggin as school solicitor for the remainder of the school year. The firm was hired at an hourly rate of $200 to handle litigation services as per the recommendation of Ohio Casualty.

The board appointed Jamie Shaw to serve as a long-term substitute for Aaron Harris beginning April 20. In addition, Amanda Schetrompf will be a long-term sub for elementary teacher Herbert Brambley retroactive to February 21. Shaw and Schetrompf will receive a daily rate of $115 for their duties.

Pending the completion of necessary paperwork, Patricia Divelbliss was added to the district’s substitute teacher’s aide list for 2011-12.

Under transportation, the board heard from Superintendent Trail on current bus routes, the projected enrollment for next school year and her subsequent recommendation to eliminate Bus #14 route. The group discussed liability issues in connection with the possibility of having overloaded buses. A motion by Pat Bard and Danny Crouse to eliminate the route was accepted on a 6-2 roll-call vote. Board members David Smith and Allen Morton dissented.

Having discussed the matter at length in February, the superintendent announced there had been an unexpected error in the district’s intent to bid out the activity run currently held by contractor Dave Smith. Trail stated she neglected to send out a letter, as is dictated in the run’s contract, four months in advance letting Smith know of the district’s desire to not renew his contract. As a result, the district is required to renew the activity run contract with Smith for one additional year.

The board and administration also launched into another conversation regarding the bidding out of their special van/vehicle contract. Since last meeting in February, a total of four bids had been submitted for the route and remained unopened as of last Tuesday’s meeting. Trail questioned the board how it would fairly decide to award the contract based on price per mile for three scenarios. It was agreed the district should rebid the route asking for only one price.

Several contractors were on hand to hear the board’s findings, including Dave Smith, Corey Snyder and Travis Fogal.

The board went on to update the wording to its bus contracts. Trail told the “News” bus contracts currently dictate that contractors are paid 100 percent of the state formula. The new wording would take into account the proposal on deck by Gov. Tom Corbett to eliminate the state formula. In the event the proposal is accepted by the state, the district will need to meet with the bus contractors to renegotiate payment.

Financial issues addressed last week include approval of the budget for Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11; acceptance of the 2010-11 audit report presented at the January meeting by Dan Simpson; approval of the tax exoneration list as presented by the business manager; and acceptance of a $150 bid from M&C Lumber Co. for a John Deere tractor. Tim Mellott refrained from voting on the exoneration list.

The board went on to accept the first reading of Policy 113, Programs, Special Education and second reading of Policy 707.2 Property, Athletic Field Advertising. Board members Danny Crouse, Dale Sigel and Sam Souders voted against the athletic field advertising policy. Crouse suggested the proceeds from the advertising go to student activities or possibly be earmarked for certain activities to benefit the kids. Fellow board member Allen Morton stated the board shouldn’t tie their hands by earmarking funds and the money should go into the general budget.

High school gifted students are slated to travel to the Ice House Theater in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., on April 26. The trip is covered by the gifted program budget.

The current school year calendar was amended to reflect an Act 80 Day on August 19, 2011, while the calendar for the upcoming 2012-13 year was approved as recommended.

A memorandum of understanding listed as #1 of 2011-12 was approved as presented to the board.

Debbie Hiller from the Fulton County Center for Families spoke to the board on the “Young Lungs at Play” initiative that encourages schools to adopt a policy that promotes health and safety at student playground areas. By submitting a signed policy to the Center for Families, the district will receive signs to place on the grounds that discourage smoking.

Student recognition included a presentation by second-grade teacher Suzette Knox and her students, Tyler Mosemann, Zachary Price, Justin Fandl and Caroline Sears, on the construction of a castle made from recyclable materials.

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