No honors chemistry II class at Palmertonschool raises concern
A decision to not offer an honors chemistry II class at Palmerton Area High School this coming school year has raised some concern.
Resident Tina Snyder told the school board on Tuesday that she believes students looking to enter the science and medical field would be at a great disadvantage when they enter college.
"That Chem is really important for kids going into that field," Snyder said. "What's available for them?"
Superintendent Scot Engler attempted to address the issue.
"I'm working with [high school guidance counselor] Vicki McHugh, and we're looking at the options," Engler said. "It's something we need to look to increase our ability in that area."
Snyder's concern stemmed from Engler's announcement earlier this month that the class would not be offered at the high school due to the fact that the district doesn't have an honors chem. II teacher available for the position.
Also on Tuesday, Engler expressed thanks to the board, as well as everyone else who has helped make his transition smooth since he officially stepped into his new position July 1.
"It's been an outstanding few weeks," he said. "I'm thrilled to be here."
Engler also heaped praise on several district employees.
He said Joe Amorim, a custodian at S.S. Palmer Elementary, has never taken a sick day during the 10 years he's been employed by the district.
Engler noted that Sofia Mendes, a part-time custodian at Parkside Education Center, has done a spectacular job.
In addition, Engler thanked junior high school Principal Paula Husar for her involvement in the Summer Reading Program, and noted she's "gone above and beyond in getting us some resources that are sorely needed."
Engler also recognized board secretary Deb Scheckler, whom he gave a "big thank you" to.
Also, Engler complimented the new-look junior high/high school courtyard area, and urged those who haven't yet seen it to stop by for a visit.
In other business, the board, on an 8-0 vote, with Director Susan Debski absent:
• Approved the awarding of the athletic bids for the 2013-14 school year in the amount of $20,764.
• Approved the awarding of the janitorial bids for the 2013-14 school year in the amount of $28,404.
• Approved the awarding of the general school supplies bids for the 2013-14 school year in the amount of $21,509.
• Approved salary adjustments for horizontal movement for Anna Corby from M+45 to M+60 on the respective salary level per the pending teachers' negotiated contract, effective the first semester of the 2013-14 school year.
• Approved the transfer of Ralph Andrew, Jr. from Grade 6 teacher at Towamensing Elementary to math teacher at Palmerton Junior High School, effective Aug. 21, 2013, at his current salary of BS, Step 1 ($37,882), pending contract negotiations.
• Approved the transfer of Rebecca Sabo from .8 elementary art teacher at Towamensing Elementary to 100-percent art teacher at the Palmerton High School, effective Aug. 21, 2013, at her current salary of Masters, Step 8 ($52,165), pending contract negotiations.
• Approved the transfer of Raymond Saxe from custodian to lead custodian at the junior high/senior high school, effective July 18, 2013, at the same rate of pay of $38,560, as per the pending negotiated contract, plus an additional stipend of $1,500 for lead custodian.
• Approved Ricky Muffley to the part-time flexible custodian position, effective July 18, 2013, at the new hire rate of $11.65 an hour, five hours per day, pending contract negotiations.
• Approved the transfer of Diane Benner from part-time custodian at Towamensing Elementary to full-time custodian at the junior high/senior high school, effective July 18, 2013, at the new hire rate of $36,724, prorated, pending contract negotiations.
• Approved Christopher Moser to the part-time custodian position at Towamensing Elementary, effective July 18, 2013, at the new hire rate of $11.65 an hour, five hours per day, pending contract negotiations.
• Retroactively approved an additional one hour per day, for an additional 16 hours, for Katherine Gilmartin, ESY Program Teacher. The additional time is for daily prep. The program runs from July 8 through Aug. 2, 2013. The cost of the additional hours is approximately $562, including benefits.
• Accepted the resignation of Angela Harris as library/gifted teacher at Towamensing Elementary, effective immediately.
• Removed Harris from the substitute teacher list, effective July 17, 2013.
• Removed Steven Kelhart as a summer employee, effective June 18, 2013.
• Approved the service contract with Delta Dental, effective July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014, for the cost of claims incurred, plus $5.35 per month for each primary enrollee administrative fee.
• Approved the contract for services with Behavioral Health Associates.
• Appointed Director Darlene Yeakel as voting delegate to attend the 2013 Legislative Policy Council on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013.
• Accepted the second reading, and approved Policy 806, Child/Student Abuse.
• Accepted the second reading, and approved Policy 249, Bullying/Cyberbullying.
• Approved resolution #07.16.13 urging the removal of Article XVI-C (Athletic Disclosure Reporting) from the Public School Code of 1949, as suggested by Pennsylvania School Board Association, to House and Senate members of the Palmerton Area School District, and a copy to the Honorable Gov. Tom Corbett.
• Accepted the status that Matthew Bertalan, of the senior class of 2013, has completed the graduation requirements set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Board of Education of the Palmerton Area School District.
• Accepted the Palmerton Area School District Athletic Handbook.