The Tamaqua School District plans to expand the opportunities students have for "dual enrollment" – earning college credits while attending high school.
During the school board's committee meeting Tuesday, Superintendent Carol Makuta said that beginning with the second semester of the 2013-14 school year, high school seniors will be able to take Engineering Design 101, offered through Penn State University's Hazleton campus. Students who pass the course will earn three college credits, she said.
That adds to the three dual enrollment courses offered presently through Luzerne Carbon Community College, which are Marketing, Public Speaking and College English.
The district will also team with Penn State's Hazelton campus to offer a Robotics Camp for all elementary students from grades 2 through 5. The camp will run at Tamaqua Elementary School from June 17 through June 21.
Makuta said that although the cost for the camp is $165, the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation will sponsor $115 of the amount.
"The (Blue Raider) Foundation is always ready to help fund new and educational opportunities for our students," she said.
Directors also adopted the proposed final budget for 2013-2014. Although the budget for 2013-14 includes a $1.4 million shortfall, the Tamaqua School Board is opting to hold the line on taxes by making up the difference from the district's general fund balance.
Revenues are projected to be $25.3 million and expenses $26.7 million.
The ending general fund balance for the 2012-13 school year will be $4.7 million; at the end of the 2013-14 school year the ending fund balance is projected to be $3.3 million. The picture doesn't get better for 2014-15, according to projections which predict a $2 million shortfall between revenue and expenses.
In other action, the board:
Accepted the resignation of elementary teacher Christopher Charest, effective at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.
Recognized high school students who scored higher than 600 on the SAT scores in Reading, Writing and Math. "SAT's are the key instrument for getting in to good quality schools," board President Larry Wittig said to the students. "You should pat yourself on the back."
Recognized two high school seniors, Molly Betz and Shane Mulligan, who were selected for the Pennsylvania Music Education Association band. Both plan to attend West Chester University, where Betz will study Marketing and Mulligan will study Music.