The age of ever-evolving technology prompted the Panther Valley school board to consider, but ultimately reject, joining others in hiring a legal firm that specializes in determining how potential breaches of privacy should be handled.
The school board on Thursday voted 6-3 against entering into a Technology Pool Counsel Legal Services Consultation agreement with other districts that are members of the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit. The Unit is composed of 14 school districts, not all of which have agreed to join the pool.
As it stands now, Panther Valley would pay $9,000 a year for the service. That amount would decrease as more school districts signed on.
Superintendent Rosemary Porembo explained that on occasion, students have taken pictures with cell phones or other electronic devices. Local police, not sure exactly how to handle the images, deleted them. Porembo did not detail the images.
Voting against joining the pool were school directors Michelle Markovich, Irene Genther, Richard Zabroski, Koreen Nalesnik, Roy Angst and Bill Hunsicker. Voting in favor were Anthony DeMarco, David Hiles and board President Jeff Markovich.
In other matters Thursday, the board:
*Agreed, with Genther opposing, to approve a contract with SWIS, to be used with the district;'s positive Behavior Program, at a cost of $250. SWIS is a software program that logs behavior problems.
*Agreed, with Michelle Markovich opposing, an agreement with Markley Actuarial to provide GASB 45 evaluation services, at a cost of $3,300. The valuation, of the district's health insurance program, is required by the state to be done every three years. It was last done in July, 2010, at the same price.
*Approved a bond refinancing that will save the district a significant amount of money.
*agreed, with Genther and Angst "not voting," to approve an agreement between the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit #29 and the district to provide Title 1 services to Panther Valley students enrolled in St. Jerome's Regional school, Tamaqua, at a rate of $367.20 per student. The district also must pay an 11 percent Catapult Learning administration fee to the IU.
*Accepted the resignation of teacher Richard Pondish as of Feb. 28, according to an agreement among Pondish, the school district and the Panther Valley Education Association.
*Tabled acceptance of the 2011-2012 single-audit report done by Jones & Co., school district auditors.
*Approved spring assistant coaches for this year: Track and field: Frank Damian and Candice Gimbor at $1,500 each; and volunteers Fenton Black, Justin Christman, Paul McArdle, Pat Crampsie, and Michelle Markovich. Softball: Jill Zwiesdak, transferred from $1,325 to $1,675; and Ray Trevora, transferred from $1,675 to $1,325.