Academic growth is alive and well in the Northern Lehigh School District.

That was the message communicated to the school board on Monday during a presentation from administrators.

The board heard reports from Peters Elementary Principal Paul Rearden, Slatington Elementary Principal Linda Marcincin, Northern Lehigh Middle School Principal Jill Chamberlain, and Northern Lehigh High School Principal Aileen Yadush.

Yadush spoke on the Middle States Accreditation for Growth protocol that just recently received approval.

The high school endured a two-year Self-Study, and received its Middle States Accreditation as a result.

In all, 101 seniors demonstrated academic growth on their Pennsylvania System of State Assessment scores from Grade 8 to Grade 11.

Karen Nicholas, assistant to the superintendent, praised both Yadush and high school Assistant Principal Donald Allen.

"I'd like to congratulate Don and Aileen with their presentation on Middle States," Nicholas said.

Yadush said the process was a win-win situation.

"It was a very positive experience for us," Yadush said. "They looked at every aspect of it, and it was a positive atmosphere for the kids."

Director Lori Geronikos concurred.

"They looked very proud," Geronikos said. "And I had to agree."

Also on Monday, Nicholas told the board the district's Headstart program is off to a successful start.

"Classes started in October," Nicholas said. "We have 20 kids, and there is a waiting list."

Nicholas said the children did "very well" on their performance-based assessment.

"We're able to give them a good start for their kindergarten," she said. "They can be really proud; they're doing a great job."

On a side note, board President Edward Hartman recognized the high school football team for its successful season.

In other business, the board:

Ÿ Passed an Act 1 Tax Levy Resolution that it will not increase any school district tax for the 2010-11 school year at a rate that exceeds the index as calculated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Ÿ Agreed to award the field hockey fencing project bid to Abel Fence LLC, at a cost of $11,759.

Ÿ Rescinded the appointment that was approved at the Nov. 9 board meeting of Sally Kasztejna as high school cook's helper, at a rate of $7.50 per hour, 5 1/2 hours per day, five days per week as per the 2005-09 NL Education Support Personnel Association Collective Bargaining Unit Agreement, effective Nov. 10, 2009. She was to have replaced Linda Nails, who resigned, and was to have had a 60-day probationary period ending on or about Jan. 8, 2010.

Ÿ Accepted the resignation of Lisa Martinez from her position as middle school detention monitor, effective the end of the work day, Nov. 19, 2009.

Ÿ Accepted the resignation of Carleen Binder from her position as elementary scholastic scrimmage adviser, effective immediately. Competition dates for the scholastic scrimmage have been moved this year and she will not be able to attend the competition dates.

Ÿ Agreed to appoint Debra Knerr and Dawn Tulio as administrative detention supervisors in the middle school. Knerr will cover the Monday detentions from 2:20 to 3:20 p.m., while Tulio will cover the Wednesday detentions from 2:20 to 3:20 p.m. They will work throughout the 2009-10 school year on Mondays and Wednesdays that warrant detention coverage. Their salary will be $20 per hour worked.

Ÿ Approved the request of Gloria Kern, High School Special Education Aide, to take an additional 12-week unpaid leave of absence beginning on Dec. 1, 2009, in accordance with school board policy #539 Uncompensated Leave. Kern is requesting the extension of her unpaid leave for medical reasons.

Ÿ Approved the request of Kristie Borger, Slatington Elementary teacher, to take a 12-week family leave beginning on or about March 5, 2010. She plans to return to her current teaching position upon the exhaustion of her 12-week family medical leave.

-Approved James Yadush, Social Studies, Gregory King, Math, Renee Evans, English, Christine Leslie, Science, Erwin Prutzman, Business/Technology, Sharon Hunsicker, Special Education, and Tanya Simms, K-12 Wellness/Fitness, as Content Area Coordinators from Sept. 2009 through Nov. 2009. The stipend for this position is $180 per month for a total stipend of $540 per coordinator paid through Project 720 funds. Their payment will be disbursed upon receipt of funding from the state.

Ÿ Approved Jo Lynn Gazo as CLIU Guest Teacher, Earl Kunkel as CLIU Guest Teacher, Kathryn Bonilla, Music, Wendy Gremling, Elementary, and Deborah Magnotta, Elementary, as substitute teachers at the 2009-10 substitute teacher rates as approved on the Supplementary Personnel Salary Schedule. Both Bonilla and Gremling are pending verification of missing paperwork.

Ÿ Approved Heather Hughes as substitute cafeteria worker for the 2009-10 school year at the 2009-10 substitute rate as approved on the Supplementary Personnel Salary Schedule.

Ÿ Approved Claire Danko as substitute instructional aides for the 2009-10 school year at the 2009-10 substitute rate as approved on the Supplementary Personnel Salary Schedule.

Ÿ Approved Jeffrey Mann as substitute custodian for the 2009-10 school year at the 2009-10 substitute rate as approved on the Supplementary Personnel Salary Schedule.

Ÿ Approved Patrice Arnold, Middle school/High School Dance Team Adviser, Dianna Hoch, Middle school/High school Dance Team Adviser, LeAnn Hoch, Middle school/High school Dance Team Adviser, and Andrea Nuschke, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach, as cocurricular volunteers for the 2009-10 school year. Nuschke is pending verification of clearances.

Ÿ Appointed Sweet, Stevens, Williams & Katz, LLP, as special counsel for the 2010-11 school year. The hourly rate for nonroutine matters will be $185 per hour. The rate for routine or general advice will be $140 per hour. These amounts for both routine and nonroutine advice equate to a $10 per hour increase over last year's rates.

Ÿ Granted permission for Gail Lafferty to attend a Title I Improving School Performance Conference from Jan. 31, 2010 through Feb. 3, 2010, at the Sheraton Station Square, Pittsburgh, PA, at an approximate cost of $962.98 through a Title I Grant. She will receive $406.98 for lodging, $171 for travel, and $50 for meals.

Ÿ Granted permission for Marilyn Steckel to attend the Title I Improving School Performance Contract from Jan. 31, 2010 to Feb. 3, 2010 at the Sheraton Station Square, Pittsburgh, PA, at an approximate cost of $791.98 through a Title I Grant. She will receive $406.98 for lodging, and $50 for meals.

Ÿ Approved the agreement with Washington Township for the printing of per capita tax bills. Both the school district and township tax will be printed on one bill form. All fees charged for processing and mailing of the bills will be shared equally by the district and township.

Ÿ Approved changes to school board policy #539, classified employees, uncompensated leave, as presented.

Ÿ Granted homebound instruction for a 12th grade student, student No. 1015400, for five hours per week, effective Nov. 23, 2009, and continuing until June 1, 2010.

Ÿ Granted homebound instruction for a 12th grade student, student No. 1003250, for five hours per week, effective Dec. 1, 2009, and continuing until further medical notice.