Communications among the Panther Valley high, middle, and elementary schools will become much clearer thanks to a $40,025 telephone system upgrade at the elementary school.

The school board approved the project, to be paid through the district's capital improvements fund, at a public meeting Thursday.

Telecommunication Enterprises, Clarkes Summit, Lackawanna County, will do the work.

The system ties the elementary school's communications system to the high and middle schools via wireless Internet. The high and middle schools are already connected via a wire system, said Maintenance Supervisor George Krajnak.

In other matters, the board:

*Approved the purchase of a yearly small games of chance license. The district will charge a 5 percent administration fee of collections for each raffle. The license will allow booster and other clubs to hold raffles;

*Elected Anthony DeMarco board treasurer;

*Approved a real estate tax installment payment plan. The plan now allows small business owners (those with fewer than 50 employees) to use installments to pay their tax;

*Agreed to replace the sound system in the meeting room at a cost of $6,732.37;

*Approved a one-year agreement with Educare of Lehighton to provide a state certified Supervisor of Special Education and a Special Education coordinator at a cost of $96,000, the same as last year;

*Approved an agreement with the ReDCo Group Behavioral Health services;

*Approved minor changes to the district's student dress and grooming policy. The policy will be on the district's website by early summer, Superintendent Rosemary Porembo said;

*Denied Teamster grievance #04-2012;

*Approved an unpaid leave of absence for one year for Truant Officer Gail Yasson, effective immediately;

*Appointed School Director Irene Genther as an alternate representative to the Carbon Career and Technical Institute;

*Hired Matt Davis a long-term substitute math teacher at the middle school;

*Hired Lynn Mayo as long-term substitute school psychologist at $135/day;

*Hired Jennifer Hood as a substitute secretary and instructional aid.