2013-01-16 / Front Page

Central Fulton Looks Into Security Upgrades

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz


Like many schools in the area still reeling from the tragic deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., the Central Fulton School District is continuing to review possible security enhancement options for its facilities.

Speaking with board members last Tuesday evening, interim Superintendent Richard Daubert discussed some low-cost but effective ideas to better protect the district’s staff and student body. The improvements can be completed in part or in their entirety by district maintenance employees.

“We can’t solve all the problems, but we can look at some ways to improve,” Daubert told the board. “ ... It’s not a lot of dollars, but it’s well spent dollars.”

Board member Roger Strait suggested having an outside group come to the district and complete a security analysis. Daubert responded some resources may be available to the school through Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11. Additional options such as having an architect take a walk-through to review issues such as entry and exit could also be completed but would cost the district some money.

In other financial matters, the board approved the 2013-14 preliminary budget as presented. Total preliminary expenses for the district are tentatively listed at $13,675,405, while income is at $13,235,811, resulting in a shortfall of $439,594. The board could opt to use some of its fund balance to offset the difference in income and revenue, but that has not yet been discussed, Daubert said.

Daubert also stated in order for the district to achieve a balanced budget, the millage rate would have to be increased by approximately 2.49 mills. One mill represents $175,000. However, Act 1 only allows taxes to be increased here by .6560 mills unless an exception is granted.

The district is looking at increases in several categories of expenditures, including retirement costs ($125,000), healthcare ($80,500), salaries ($129,000) and Skyward software costs ($50,000). In turn, administrators are continuing to look at cuts in expenses, such as reductions in professional and technical services.

The board also moved forward with accepting a proposal presented in November 2012 by technology director Jason Carbaugh for the implementation of a student account and information system software from Skyward.

Carbaugh had previously indicated the new software would replace the existing student information system that is outdated and soon-to-be unusable. The new system would have the capabilities of storing all of the district’s information in one location; eliminating the need for duplicated manual entry of student information; and establishing one online site for parents.

Board member Strait voted against the decision to accept the proposal for the software as well as a follow-up motion that outlined the funding of the software. According to Daubert, Skyward start-up costs, which include training and uploading existing district data, is $97,575. That amount will be broken down into two payments of $48,787.50 in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 budgets.

Strait said even though he fully understood that the district’s current software is “outdated,” he did not feel the timing of the project is in the best interest of the district.

Annual approval was given to the management discussion and analysis report in accordance with Government Accounting Standards Board Statement 34.

Approval was also given by the board for governance training through the Early Head Start Program.

Board member Gary Shives was nominated and approved to serve as the school district’s representative on the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11’s Board of Directors. Shives’ term of office is slated to begin July 1, 2013, and run through June 30, 2016.

Numerous individuals were placed on the 2012-13 extracurricular salary scale. Among those receiving approval were:

 Donna Fisher, academic awards, $406.67

 Shelly McMullen, academic awards, $406.67

 Carleen Grissinger, academic awards, $406.67

 Erica Sexton, musical director, $3,195

 Noreen Mann, musical director, $3,020

 Nancy Shearer, musical producer, $3,020

 Melissa Horton, costume designer, $860

 Susan Cubbage, set/construction design, $1,745

 Marjorie Sexton, assistant costume designer, $672.50

 Carolyn Kerlin, musical accompanist, $1,920.

Steve Truax was approved for the baseball coach position.

Angela Marshall was appointed to serve as board secretary at the current rate of $1,860. Her salary will be prorated from July 1, 2012. Board member Rick Marshall abstained from voting during the roll-call vote.

Deborah Cooper of Waterfall, McConnellsburg residents Caroline Binder and Erin Lane and Laura Gough of Needmore were added to the district’s professional substitute list. The women have completed the emergency certification process offered by Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11.

The Elks Hoop Shoot was scheduled to be held Sunday, Jan. 13, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Michelle Eichelberger will be taking Varsity Club members to the Bryce Jordan Center on January 26. The trip will be at no cost to the district.

The district entered into an addendum to seek liquid fuel reimbursement on behalf of its transportation contractors.

In other transportation issues, the board increased the daily rate for Route #033 to Chambersburg contracted with Lynn C. Reeder. The rate jumped from $145.58 to $189.45 retroactive to Nov. 30, 2012, due to another student requiring transport to Manito.

Changes were made to the daily rate of Route #022 to Mercersburg Academy contracted with Gary and Eileen Decker. According to reports, the increase was prompted by students moving into the district near Cowans Gap. The Deckers are slated to receive $41.54 on days when they haul Mercersburg Academy students; $122.43 for Mercersburg Academy and the students from Cowans Gap; and $107.19 when only Cowans Gap students are hauled.

In a follow-up motion, the board approved a request from the Deckers to purchase a new bus for Route #013. The current bus is 11 years old and will be replaced with a new bus before the conclusion of this school year.

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