Recent concerns about the railroad crossing near the Panther Valley Elementary school may be addressed in the near future.

A letter from the Reading and Northern Railroad that was read at last month's meeting angered school director Anthony DeMarco, who felt that the railroad was not concerned with the welfare of the children who had to travel through the crossing area to get to and from school.

However, a letter from Wayne Michel, president of Reading and Northern Railroad, addressed to board Solicitor Robert Yurchak and copied to the TIMES NEWS, indicated that a request to install an arm across the crossing had not, in fact, been made to the company.

"Had your letter inquired about placing 'an arm', we would have shared with you the process by which you could go to the PA Public Utility Commission and request a crossing device be installed," wrote Michel. "Upon your application, the PUC would be able to hold a field meeting to determine whether arms were needed and if so, who should pay."

Superintendent Rosemary Porembo stated that she asked George "Smokey" Krajnak, the maintenance supervisor, to begin looking into the matter of application to the PUC.

"In a round-about way, we came to where we need to be," she said.

DeMarco added that he is "glad that words have become actions. I'm glad that he has responded. I do not regret what I said. Now, we are aware of the safety of our kids."

In personnel issues, the board hired Megan Kusko as an intermittent library aide at the high school, effective Dec. 7, at a salary of $11.56 per hour. The position is for five hours a day to assist the Classrooms for the Future coach.

Also, JoLynn Gazo was added to the list of guest teachers for the 2009-2010 school year; Ron Slivka was approved as a volunteer to assist the administration of the H1N1 vaccine in the district; Andrew Michalik was hired as an assistant boy's basketball coach for the 2009-2010 season, with a salary to be determined at a later date; and Belinda Roberts was transferred from grade 6 learning support to grade 8 learning support, effective Jan. 18, 2010.