Geometry is returning to Tamaqua Area High School.

It's not that the school hasn't taught the subject as part of its mathematics curriculum, however.

The school district's board of education approved the addition of two geometry courses, worth one credit each, during its monthly meeting Monday night.

The courses, one of which is an Honors course, were added at the request of Tamaqua High Principal RuthAnn Gardiner.

Assistant Superintendent Raymond J. Kinder explained that the high school uses Saxon Math courses, which haven't featured separate geometry courses but incorporated it within its advanced classes.

"It was covered, but not emphasized," said Kinder.

Kinder noted that the school's math teachers would supplement their lessons by teaching geometry in order to prepare students for the PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) examinations.

Superintendent Carol Makuta said that Saxon added a geometry course and textbook two years ago, but they did not fit in with the district's sequence of math classes.

"We felt we wanted to have a proper geometry course in the high school," she stated.

School Board President Larry A. Wittig said Pa. is introducing a series of Keystone Exams that schools can offer in lieu of finals. To graduate, students have to pass the PSSA or some type of local assessment of proficiency, he said.

Gardiner found out that there will be Algebra I and II and Geometry tests in the math series, and that students would have to pass two of three. Adding the geometry classes will allow students to prepare for those tests, Wittig said.

Gardiner mentioned in last week's education committee meeting that the Honors Geometry class probably wouldn't be offered next year but will be available as a catalog course for future students.

The board also agreed to add a Cooperative Education class, ranging from one-half to three credits, for students who might take a job related to their future careers. The class is targeted for seniors who would have otherwise finished most of their graduation requirements.

Personnel moves

The board also approved the following moves regarding personnel.

Mark Beltz was hired a Drama Club Technical Engineer, at the stipend of $571.

Rebecca Ndikwiki and Kellie Hegarty, Tamaqua, and Debi Dodson, Coaldale, were approved as guest teachers.

Two high school teachers had unpaid leaves of absence approved: Mary Ruth Taylor, for April 8-9, and 12; and Lauren Harvilla, from April 6-8.

Middle school teacher Tara M. Krajcirik, received approval of an Intermittant Family and Medical Leave, retroactive to March 1.

The resignation of Sharon VanBuskirk as a part-time paraprofessional was accepted.

Donna Light, Barnesville, was hired as part-time paraprofessionals, at salaries of $7.75 per hour and $7.25 per hour, respectively.

Karen Berezwick, Tamaqua, was approved as a cafeteria worker at the rate of $9.33 per hour.

Kelly Lehman, Tamaqua, was added as a substitute custodian.

Technology grant

In other business, the board accepted a $50,000 E-Grant that will be used to purchase Smart Board technology. The grant also includes $12,500 for professional development, said Makuta.

The purchase of an aluminum platform for the track and field pole vault landing pads at the stadium from Sportsmans, Johnstown, Pa., was approved, at a cost not to exceed $4,888.

The request of Band Director John Potlunas to take the Raider Band on a trip to Great Adventure in New Jersey on May 22 was accepted.

Three agreements with Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29 were approved: for One-on-One Emotional Support Services, at the tentative amount of $26,753; for One-on-One Multi-Handicapped Support Service, for the tentative amount of $6,541.44; and for One-on-One Life Skills Aide Support Services, for the tentative amount of $13,913,13.

Powell, Rodgers and Speaks, Harrisburg, was rehired to collect the district's delinquent assessed occupation and per capita taxes for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

The district agreed to purchase and ID system from Idville, at the cost of $4,260, and to the purchase of the Follett Software Company's Destiny Resource Management solution for its schools' library system, at the cost of $23,266.84.