Palmerton to continue interdistrict busing agreement with Pleasant Valley
Palmerton Area School District will continue on with an interdistrict busing agreement for the time being.
The school board on a 7-1 vote Tuesday approved the authorization of the superintendent to permit the busing of the Pleasant Valley School District St. John Neumann Regional School students until Sept. 8, pending a signed contract between the district and Pleasant Valley School District. Director Susan Debski was opposed. Director Tina Snyder was absent.
Prior to the vote, board President Barry Scherer called for an amendment to the meeting agenda to include the motion on the agenda.
Scherer told the sparse crowd on hand that the district has an interdistrict busing agreement, whereby Pleasant Valley St. John Neumann Regional School students are transported to St. John Neumann's Palmerton campus, where they are then transported to St. John Neumann's Slatington campus.
"We have a draft agreement from Pleasant Valley," Scherer said. "Our solicitor has several questions for their solicitor."
Sister Virginia Stephanie, principal of St. John Neumann's Palmerton campus, noted the school begins classes on Monday, Aug. 29, and questioned how she would be able to notify parents of the situation.
But, Scherer assured Sister Stephanie the matter will be addressed one way or the other.
"We will know if we have a signed agreement from Pleasant Valley School District," he said. "I'm sure if we don't, we will discontinue the transportation of the Pleasant Valley students."
Board solicitor David Shulman said at a special board meeting held earlier this month that the district learned in late-winter, early spring, that Pleasant Valley was sending its students to Palmerton, which would then transport them to St. John Neumann Regional School's Slatington campus.
The problem, Shulman said, was that the Pleasant Valley students were being transported well beyond a 10-mile radius at no cost. The district is not obligated to provide transportation to nonpublic schools for students within their own district.
Shulman said at that time the issue was whether the district wanted to continue to transfer Pleasant Valley students beyond the 10-mile radius at no cost.
In other business, the board:
• Accepted the resignation of Mark Weiss, districtwide ESL teacher and high school German teacher, effective date to be determined according to the collective bargaining agreement.
• Approved the amended General Fund Operating budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year with a real estate tax levy of 49.144 mills, budgetary expenditures of $26,713,705, Section 769 Per Capita Tax of $5, and Act 511 taxes of earned income tax of 1-percent per capita tax of $10, realty transfer tax of 1-percent and Local Services Tax of $5.
• Accepted the memoranda of understanding between the district and both the Palmerton Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police.
• Approved the additional work on the high school roof at no additional bond cost since it is a material allowance.
• Approved, on a 7-0 vote, with one abstention, the change order for the high school chem lab project in the amount of $1,350 for the reconfiguration of ductwork. Scherer said he abstained from the vote because his son-in-law works for the company.
• Removed substitute teachers Jackie DePue, Andrea Eberhardt, Barbara Fitzgerald, Brittany Herman, Frank Johannes, Jr., Earl Kunkel, III, Sara Pysher, Ashlynn Rumble, Keith Smith, and Joshua Wuchter, due to lack of communication.
• Removed substitute guest teachers Adam Busocker, Michael Dee, Ann Forrestal and Patrick Visconti due to lack of communication.
• Removed substitute nurse Shawn Borger due to lack of communication.
• Removed substitute secretaries Cynthia Grosso, Brenda Heckman and Lisa Zupa due to lack of communication.
• Removed substitute cafeteria worker Xiao Fei Brown due to lack of communication.
• Removed substitute custodian Jeffrey Hausman due to lack of communication.
• Removed substitute noninstructional/instructional aides Hunyang Cerbone, Grosso, Patricia Guedes, and Lisa Zupa due to lack of communication.
• Made a motion to reconsider the motion to approve the dissolving of the high school PYEA and Looking Out Clubs, and transfer the remaining funds for PYEA to the Student Benefit Club account and funds from Lookin Out Club account to Erie Insurance, which was grant money.
• Approved dissolving Lookin Out Club and transfer the remaining funds from Lookin Out Club account to Erie Insurance, which was grant money.
• Approved the transfer of the remaining funds for PYEA to the Student Benefit Club account.
• Accepted the second reading and approved Policy #620, Fund Balance.
• Accepted the first reading of Policy #003, Local Board Procedures, Functions; Policy #006, Local Board Procedures, Meetings; Policy #006.1, Local Board Procedures, Communication Technology; Policy #008, Local Board Procedures, Organization Chart; Policy #707, Use of School Facilities; and Policy #810.2, Employee and Volunteer Driver History Records.
• Approved the service contract for "The Doctor" DJ services for Towamensing Elementary School dances paid by the Towamensing PTO.
• Accepted the 2011-12 Palmerton Area High School Faculty and Student handbooks; Palmerton Area Junior High Faculty and Student/Parent handbooks; Towamensing Elementary Parent/Student, Professional Staff, Instructional Assistant and Kindergarten handbooks; S.S. Palmer Elementary Parent/Student handbooks; and Palmerton Area School District Athletic handbook.
• Approved disability leave in conjunction with family medical leave beginning on Oct. 20, 2011, for employee #8708. The return to work date is approximately March 1, 2012.
• Approved the attached tuition reimbursement.