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2 teachers are restored in Palmerton School District

Published August 03. 2011 05:02PM

A high school English teacher and an S.S. Palmer Elementary teacher have been restored to full-time work in the Palmerton Area School District.

The school board agreed to the measure on an 8-0 vote at a special meeting on Tuesday. Director Stuart Henritzy was absent.

That decision will restore James George from a 50-percent teacher to a 100-percent teacher at S.S. Palmer Elementary, and reinstate Dawn Burke to 100-percent English teacher at the high school.

The district will reinstitute the 1.5 teaching positions through $115,408 worth of Accountability Block Grant funds. Of that, $94,600 will be used for salary/benefits for the 1.5 teaching positions; $14,335 will be used to reinstate dual enrollment courses; $5,873 will be use to reinstate the after school program at Towamensing Elementary; and $600 will be used for instructional supplies.

The plan is to combine the half position at Palmer with a half kindergarten teacher position that currently exists to make it a full-time third-grade teacher position and allow for class size reduction.

As a result, third-grade class sizes will be reduced from about 30 to the lower 20s, while sections will be added for high school English to reduce class sizes from over 30 to the lower to mid-20s. Also, AP English could be brought back as well.

In other business, the board:

• Approved releasing the bid for replacing the poles and lights at the football stadium.

• Approved the memo dated June 29, 2011 from Barry Isett & Assoc., stating the correction of the bid tabulation sheet and recommendation to award bid to Fred Lesher, G.C., should have been listed as the base bid amount of $54,000, the amount submitted by the contractor and agreed upon in the contract, and not $55,000.

• Approved the work order change for the Towamensing Elementary wooden deck replacement, to add $678 for the installation of a secondary vinyl hand rail on both sides of the ramp leading to the new deck as per the building inspector.

• Denied Palmerton Area Education Association grievance #2011-05.

• Accepted the donation of playground mulch, two poly picnic tables, one poly bench, six rubber mats, deck stain, paint for the swing set frame/bars, white paint for basketball shooting lines and six new swings with rubber chains from the Towamensing PTO for the Towamensing playground.

• Approved the dissolving of the High School PYEA and Lookin Out Clubs, as well as the transfer of the remaining funds for PYEA to the Student Benefit Club account, and funds from Looking Out Club account, to Erie Insurance, which was grant money.

• Added Brittany Hunsicker, special education/elementary education; Jennifer Brown, elementary education; Aaron Fital, technology education; Carol A. Judd, special education/elementary education; and Tonia Schaeffer, elementary education/bus-computer-info tech K-12, to the day-to-day substitute teacher list for 2011-12.

• Approved, on a 7-1 vote, with director Tina Snyder opposed, to allow Donna Les, interim business manager, to attend the PSBA Leadership Conference at Hershey on Oct. 20. The total estimated cost is $243.

• Granted Kathy Egan, high school principal, permission, to attend the PAESSP conference at State College from Oct. 23-25. The total estimated cost is $1,174.

• Approved the Legal Services Agreement for the 2011-12 school year at a cost of $5,000, paid from the general fund.

• Accepted the status that a specific member of the senior class of 2011 has completed the graduation requirements set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the board of education of the Palmerton Area School District.

• Tabled the service contract for "The Doctor" DJ services for Towamensing School dances.

• Accepted the first reading of Policy #620, Fund Balance.

• Accepted the substitute teacher handbook.

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