Several changes will be considered by the Tamaqua Area School Board at its regular meeting on Sept. 18, from curriculum to program stipends to the bidding process.
School board committee meetings were held Tuesday with agenda items for the education and finance committees. Directors Thomas Rottet and Aaron Frantz were unable to attend.
The first changes for directors to consider were changes to the curriculum. In one case, it's simply changing the name of a course of study, from Cooperative Education to School To Work. The other change is to approve Accounting I as an Independent Study Course. Assistant Superintendent Ray Kinder explained the course could not be taken as a substitute for the required math courses, such as algebra and geometry, but as an additional course, basically adding some flexibility for students carrying a full course load. There would not be any actual class time involved. Superintendent Carol Makuta noted the independent study course is not an online course. The students would be expected to complete the classwork during the school day. Their work would be overseen by an instructor, but students would be expected to complete the course on their own, in addition to their regular studies. Students would get one educational credit for the course.
Directors also considered adjusting the teacher stipend for the M.A.G.I.C. Program from $20 to $22. This program is available through a grant and the salary fits into the grant guidelines.
The board is also considering changing the policy for purchases subject to the bidding process. Currently, any furniture, equipment, text books, school supplies and other appliances expected to cost $10,001 or higher is subject to the competitive bidding process. The district must prepare the bid specifications, advertise and then open the bids at a public meeting, awarding the purchase to the lowest qualified bidder. Any purchase between $4,000 and $10,000 may be made without the formal bid process, but still subject to seeking a minimum of three written or telephoned quotes. The proposed change will also affect construction, reconstruction, repairs and maintenance work required by the district. Items and services with a cost of $18,500 or more must follow the bid process, advertised once a week for three weeks in not less than two newspapers of general circulation. Any projected cost of less than $10,000 may be done by district employees.
The district is currently seeking bids for its waste management services. While the bidding process will be open until Sept. 19, finance committee members Daniel Schoener and Robert Betz approved a motion to authorize business manager Connie Ligenza to award the projected three year contract to the lowest responsible bidder. Otherwise, the board would have to hold a special meeting or wait until its Oct. 16 meeting to award the bid.
Other items the board will process at its regular meeting include approval of numerous tax exemptions/refunds and changes related to naming Berkheimer and Associates as the delinquent tax collecting agency, replacing Centax.
The Sept. 18 meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m., in the large instruction room at the Tamaqua Area Middle School.