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Teaming Up Tamaqua and Penn State

Published June 13. 2013 05:04PM

Go Blue, Go White ... and again, Go Blue, Go White ...

Tamaqua Area School District and Penn State's Hazleton Campus are joining forces to benefit students from the elementary to high school levels, according to ventures discussed by the school board during a meeting Tuesday.

Starting June 17, over two dozen Tamaqua students from second through fifth grades will be attending a weeklong Robotics Camp at the Tamaqua Elementary School.

Superintendent Carol Makuta said that once students took home flyers about the camp, responses came quickly. The camp filled with 25 students, and more on a waiting list.

The cost for the camp is $165, and the Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation is sponsoring $115 of the amount.

Through another cooperative effort with the Penn State Hazleton campus, next year's high school seniors will be able to take a college-level introductory engineering course.

Thirteen students are enrolled in the course, which will be conducted partly at the high school and partly at the Hazleton campus, where students will have access to using the CAD system in a lab. Students who pass the course, which will be offered spring semester, will receive three college credits.

Other matters approved in committee, which will be on the agenda for the board's regular meeting next Tuesday include:

• Purchasing a diving platform for the school pool, with a cost not to exceed $9,000. The Swim Boosters will pay one-third of the cost, with the remainder covered by a donation from the Shepp fund.

• Discussing the possibility of building a 30-foot by 60-foot pavilion at the elementary school.

• Approving new Teacher Evaluation Forms, to be in use for the 2013/14 school year, as required and approved by the state Department of Education. The forms, models and modes include administrative assignment and placement of professional employees and specialists in a four-year cycle of administrative supervision.

• Approving a one-year lease agreement between the district and the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit #29 beginning July 1, to conduct a preschool program at the elementary school. That's a renewal for the program, which was launched during the past school year.

• Putting the final stamp of approval on the final budget for 2013-2014. Although the budget for 2013-14 includes a $1.4 million shortfall, the Tamaqua School Board is opting to hold the line on taxes by making up the difference from the district's general fund balance.

Revenues are projected to be $25.3 million and expenses $26.7 million. The real estate tax rate will remain at 33.36 mills.

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