Resident asks if there's a dress code for faculty
Those interested in whether Palmerton Area School District intends to implement a new dress code policy are urged to stay tuned.
The issue was revisited on Tuesday when resident George Ashman asked the school board if there was a dress code for faculty members, and how it was established and enforced.
Superintendent Carol Boyce told Ashman the dress code is enforced through "administrative observation and report to the superintendent."
Ashman said he brought the matter up for discussion because he was unable to attend last week's special board meeting that dealt with the dress code issue.
Board President Barry Scherer then explained the purpose behind that meeting, in which Larry Wittig, president of the Tamaqua Area School Board, volunteered to speak on the successful dress code that was implemented in the Tamaqua Area School District five years ago.
"The intent of inviting Larry Wittig was to hear the pitfalls, problems, and why they established that policy," Scherer said.
That meeting was held in response to a request by junior high school Principal Thaddeus Kosciolek, who earlier this month said instances where the dress code is violated has only continued to escalate.
Kosciolek also said at that time he hoped the district would consider the adoption of a dress code similar to one adopted by the Tamaqua Area School District.
Panther Valley and Pleasant Valley school districts have also adopted new dress codes, as did Jim Thorpe Area School District, which last week announced that a new dress code will go into effect for its students at the start of next school year.
However, Ashman attributed the adoption of dress codes in those districts to an "influx of people from urban areas."
"I don't think we have a similar situation in this district," Ashman said. "If that is the reason for [the potential] dress code, I don't think this applies."
Resident Tiffani Christman encouraged the board to not consider a dress code policy.
Scherer said the matter may be discussed at the board's committee meeting at 5 p.m. May 4.
"The dress issue is not a done deal," Scherer said. "We did get a lot of feedback last Wednesday, and a lot of feedback since then."
Also on Tuesday, the board approved the employments of: Peggy Washburn, substitute inst./non inst. assistant, effective April 21, 2010, at a rate of $7.25/hour; Matthew Kosciolek, substitute inst./non inst. assistant, effective April 9, 2010, $7.25/hour; Amy Kline, substitute inst./non inst. assistant, effective April 26, 2010, $7.25/hour, and substitute secretary, effective April 26, 2010, $8.45/hour; BillieJo Moyer, substitute inst./non inst. assistant, effective April 26, 2010, $7.25/hour, and substitute secretary, effective April 26, 2010, $8.45/hour; Kathy Malarkey, substitute secretary, effective April 26, 2010, $8.45/hour; Nicole Huzela, substitute teacher, effective April 26, 2010, $70 per day; Ashley Krutsick, substitute teacher, effective April 26, 2010, $70/day; Jason Shellhammer, substitute teacher, effective April 26, 2010, $70/day; Patricia Steigerwalt, high school/junior high school cafe pizza maker, effective April 21, 2010, $9.90/hour; and Dawn Burke, junior high Language Arts teacher, effective the 2010-11 school year, at a salary of $38,259, Step 2B.
All salaries are based on the current negotiated contract.
The board also approved, on a 4-3 vote, with one abstention, a resolution Supporting the Strike-Free Education Pact (HP 1369 & HB 2092).
Directors Michael Ballard, Susan Debski, Clarence Myers, and board President Barry Scherer voted in favor. Directors Carl Bieling, Carol Dwyer, and Stuart Henritzy were opposed. Director Tina Snyder said she abstained because she is a teacher in another school district.
In other business, the board:
• Awarded the 2010-11 Athletic Supplies and Athletic Medical Supplies bids in the amount of $20,831.
• Approved the renewal of the contract for Driver Education services with Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 at a cost to the district of $2,150 for the 2010-11 school year.
• Tabled the request for consideration of a waiver for insurance coverage for Palmerton Community Band's usage of the Palmerton High School.
• Accepted the High School Language Arts and Elementary Science textbook adoption for the 2010-11 school year.
• Adopted the 7th Street Field Lease agreement.
• Approved the request of the Student Council for a one day field trip to the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island in New York City, with advisers Tammy Recker and Travis Fink on Monday, May 10, 2010, expenses paid for by the group and the students with the cost to the district of about $200 for two substitutes.
• Approved the transfer of Brent Harris from .33 Social Studies teacher at the junior high school to a full-time Social Studies teacher in the high school at Bachelor's step 2 at the rate of $38,259, effective the 2010-11 school year.
• Acknowledged the step movement of Melisa Beahn, effective Nov. 20, 2008, from Bachelors 3 $38,638 to Bachelors 4 $43,775 for the rest of the 2008-09 school year, and adjusted from Bachelors 4 $43,775 to Bachelors 5 $45,139 for the 2009-10 school year.
• Approved the appointment of Shannon Holubowksi to the position of Instructional Assistant, effective April 21, 2010, at the rate of $12 an hour.
• Approved the participation in the Carbon/Lehigh Intermediate Unit Guest Teacher Program for the 2010-11 school year.
• Accepted Diane Hanna, Linda S. Brown, Kris W. Hoffner, and Thomas Porambo for the position of Training Advisor for 2010-11, 2011-12, and the 2012-13 school years.
• Accepted the irrevocable retirement notices from Hanna, Brown, Hoffner, and Porambo, at the conclusion of the 2012-13 school year.
• Approved the memo of understanding for Training Advisor/Special Training Advisor.
• Granted approval to Bob Dailey, Robert Palazzo and Mary Brumbach to attend the PDE/PaTTAN Response to Instruction and Intervention in PA: and All Education Standard Align Initiative at Hershey on June 14-16, 2010. Dailey was approved at a cost of $231; Palazzo at a cost of $229; and Brumbach at a cost of $235; all to be paid for from out of the district's Accountability Block Grant funds.
• Granted approval to Dan Heaney to attend ASEOP Certification at Exton on June 16-17, 2010, at a cost of $971 to be paid out of the district's Accountability Block Grant funds.
• Approved Darlene Yeakel, as a representative of Palmerton School District, to attend the PSBA 2010 Legislative Advocacy Conference in Harrisburg on April 25-26, 2010, at a cost of $299 to be paid by the district.
• Approved the second reading of and approval of Policy 903, Public Participation in Board meetings.
• Approved the revised 2011-12 school calendar.
• Approved the 2009-10 and 2010-15 bus contract addendums.
• Approved the request for homebound instruction for student #10320, effective March 23, 2010 through June 7, 2010; student #10267, effective March 29, 2010 through June 7, 2010; student #13142, effective March 24, 2010 through June 7, 2010; and student #11303, effective April 12, 2010 through June 7, 2010, for medical reasons.
• Approved the attached tuition reimbursement.