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Contract still lacking, but Palmerton agrees to busing plan

Published September 07. 2011 05:01PM

Palmerton Area School District will forge ahead with an interdistrict busing agreement as it awaits the receipt of a signed contract.

The school board, on a 6-2 vote at a special meeting on Tuesday, agreed to permit the busing of Pleasant Valley St. John Neumann Regional School students.

Directors Michael Ballard, Carl Bieling, Darlene Yeakel, Stuart Henritzy, Tina Snyder and board President Barry Scherer were in favor. Directors Susan Debski and Clarence Myers were opposed. Director Carol Dwyer was absent.

Last month, the board agreed to permit the busing of the Pleasant Valley School District St. John Neumann Regional School students until Sept. 8, pending a signed contract between Palmerton and Pleasant Valley.

But, as of last night, Scherer said the district has not received the agreement from Pleasant Valley. However, Scherer said the district has been told that Pleasant Valley School Board plans to vote on the matter when it meets at 8 p.m. Thursday.

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.

Board solicitor David Shulman said at a special board meeting last 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:

• Agreed to let the minutes reflect the receipt of approval from the Department of Education for PlanCon Park K, "Project Refinancing" for the general obligation bonds, series of 2010. The permanent assigned reimbursable percentage has been set at 33.82 percent, subject to the district's market value aid ratio.

• Approved the bidding of the high school auditorium renovations; junior high gym renovations; and stadium bleachers and weight room building replacement.

• Suspended, with pay, support staff employee, effective the close of business on Aug. 22, pending resolution of legal investigation.

• Removed Thomas Heinick as S.S. Palmer chorus adviser, effective Aug. 23.

• Appointed Ken Mettam as S.S. Palmer chorus adviser, with payment of $1,433 as per the negotiated teacher's contract for the 2011-12 school year.

• Granted an exoneration of school district property taxes for the years 2005 through 2011 on the following parcels: 42A-49-D46; 42A-49-F1; 42A-49-D1; 42A-48-G42; 42A-47-C21; 42A-47-C22; and 42A-48-F38.01; pursuant to the acquisition of real estate properties (formerly owned by the Zinc Corp. of America) by the borough of Palmerton.

• Approved the change order for UST removal construction project-Environmental Restoration. The contract sum will be decreased by this change order in the amount of $150 - credit to the owner the value of the allowance for the removal and legal disposal of 500 gallons of sludge based on the unit price included on the bid form dated April 18, 2011.

• Approved the change order for SS. Palmer generator replacement - Thomas L. Hoffman Company, Inc. The contract time will be increased by 45 days. The date of substantial completion as of the date of this change order therefore is Sept. 29, 2011.

• Accepted the resignation of Linda Kleintop, Towamensing Elementary cafeteria worker, effective the close of business on Sept. 16.

• Tabled approval of Josie Sterling to the position of assistant chef assigned to Towamensing Elementary, effective Sept. 7, rate of pay $10.60 per hour, plus an additional $1.75 per hour for the additional responsibilities of the assistant chef position. The total hourly rate of pay would be $12.35 an hour.

• Removed Marybeth Altemus and Janice Blose from the substitute cafeteria workers list per their request, effective Sept. 7.

• Approved the following as student teachers from East Stroudsburg University from Aug. 29 to Oct. 14: Krystallynn Reis with Joyce Paulinho, grade 1 at Towamensing Elementary; and Tanner Duncan with Rodney Strohl, physical education at Towamensing Elementary.

• Approved the following student teacher from the University of Phoenix from Sept. 6 to around Nov. 29: Tara Green Engle with Jean Calpas, grade 3 at Towamensing Elementary.

• Approved the salary adjustments of Mark Weiss from MS to MS +15, and Roberta Beckley from MS +15 to MS +30, for horizontal movement on the respective salary levels per the teachers' negotiated contract, effective the first semester of the 2011-12 school year.

• Approved the Carbon Monroe Pike Drug & Alcohol contract.

• Approved CLIU contract to service nonpublic Title I students funded through Title I as a requirement of federal programs.

• Denied 40-day sick leave for Kathy Jo Bollinger.

• Approved Bob Dailey to attend the Eastern Special Education Conference at Hershey, Oct. 26-28, at Hershey, at the estimated cost of $450, to be paid through IDEA funds.

• Accepted the gift of $200 from Mary Ann Mitchell, grandmother of Tyler Svetik, for the purpose of entry fees for the Northampton Cross Country Invitational on Sept. 17.

• Denied grievance #2011-3.

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