The Tamaqua Area School District has moved to improve its fire alarms at West Penn Elementary School.

At Tuesday evening's regular monthly meet, the district's board of education approved a state contract bid from SimplexGrinnell for West Penn Elementary fire alarm control.

The contract was approved at a cost not to exceed $11,602 by an unanimous vote. Board Vice President Dr. Thomas A. Rottet was absent.

In other business, the board approved two One-on-One Service Agreements with Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29, MarLin, for the current fiscal year. One contract is for the tentative amount of $27,736.46, while the other is for $6,962.53.

The board also authorized Business Manager Connie Ligenza ro advertise for bids for heating oil, gasoline, liquid propane, as well as the following supplies: science, industrial and graphic arts, paper, health, custodial, art, cafeteria and general, for the 2011-12 school year.

The district will participate in joint bid through a consortium where applicable.

Ligenza will also submit applications to the federal e-rate program, which provides discounts for services such as local, long distance and cellular telephone, Internet and web-hosting.

The board also approved one student for the KidsPeace Children's Hospital Tutorial Program, at a rate of $27.82 per hour for five hours per week.

The request of the Tamaqua Area Soccer Boosters to place a four by eight foot display board was approved, upon prior agreement of the district's administration.

An agreement with Grand Canyon University, an on-line college in Arizona, to accept student teachers was approved.

The board accepted a $750 math and science grant from Exxon Mobil, with the money to be used toward library books.

The request of Middle School Principal Christopher Czapla to apply for the General Mills Sales Community Grant for an award of $10,000 was approved.

The board ratified Superintendent Carol Makuta's action of Nov. 9 to approve Schuylkill County Tax Claim Bureau Repository Sale, for school district approval, for a parcel on West Union Street in Tamaqua.

The board held a 23 minute closed executive session for legal matters.

School calendar

In other action, the board approved the district's schedule for the 2011-12 school year.

According to the schedule, teachers will report for four in-service days from Aug. 22-25, 2011. The first day of school for students will be Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. The last day of school for students will be Thursday, May 31, 2012.

The schedule will have four weather emergency make-up days built into it, in the following order: All in April on 11, 10, 5 and 9.

Early dismissal

Makuta announced that the district's schools will have a two-hour early dismissal on Wednesday, Nov. 24, for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Makuta also set the board's annual visitation of the district's school buildings for Wednesday, Dec. 22.

During her report, Makuta recommended the district increase the cost of reproducing its documents from 15 cents per copy to 25 cents per copy, and for audio tapes from $7 to $10. She said those costs are based on what other districts are charging.

Makuta also said district personnel worked well into the evening on Thursday, Nov. 11, to correct the electrical systems due to a morning power outage in the Tamaqua area. Makuta noted the secondary schools remained in session during the one-hour blackout, while the elementary schools had previously been scheduled to dismiss early that day.