Members of the CCTI Administration presented status updates to the Joint Operating Committee at their regular meeting last night.

A relatively new face to the school, Supervisor of Special Education Dr. James Warfel was glad to officially introduce himself to the committee.

A proud grandfather of two who lives in New Tripoli, Warfel earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education and political science from La Salle University and his Ph.D. in special education administration from Temple University, both of Philadelphia.

Retiring after 41 years as an educator, principal and superintendent in a number of school districts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, he is also currently doing adjunct work at Lehigh University.

When asked if he ever thought he would find himself at a technical school, he replied "No, but I'm happy to be in a place with a new learning curve."

He reported to the committee that there were 102 students with special needs, over 85 have specific learning disabilities, several have behavioral needs, and several students have ADHD and similar disabilities.

Warfel was encouraged that "all of them are included into the technical shops without any direct assistance from the special education staff. All of their needs are being addressed through a combination of teachers in all the shop areas, and it's happening quite successfully."

While he is pleased that all of the teachers are working to help these students, he is also happy with the full-time special education teachers whom he calls "veteran teachers... who understand all the compliance issues and the content they're delivering."

Principal Brent Borzak was impressed by how smoothly pilot and practice exams have been administered this fall and is confident that spring semester testing in literature, algebra I and biology will have few bumps.

Borzak attended a convention in Valley Forge for Penn. Department of Education's Standards Aligned System, and is putting together an action plan based on the "exciting, new system."

"This year's turning out to be another successful year," Borzak anticipates, especially since last year's 96 percent attendance rate is expected to be repeated.

Jeffry Deutcsch, CCTI Business Administrator, says the 2011-2012 budget he is working on is "very basic, very straightforward." Salaries are tied into contracts, supplies and equipment are fixed.

He is expecting healthcare increases of 6 percent and retirement increases of 10 percent. The district share increase was originally expected to be 4.35 percent, but is now projected at 3.75 percent, meeting his goal of keeping the rate under 4 percent.

Factored into the 6 percent healthcare increase is a motion passed by the committee to allow qualified adult children or dependents of CCTI full-time employees to be enrolled in the employee medical plan until the age of 26. This measure, which goes into effect December 1, 2010, is a regulation of the national health care reform bill passed this March.