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Palmerton board eyes reducing energy costs

Published October 02. 2013 05:00PM

Palmerton Area School District may consider a performance contract that could result in energy cost savings over a 20-year period.

Superintendent Scot Engler broached the idea at a workshop meeting of the board of school directors on Tuesday, at which time he noted it could be a "pretty exciting opportunity for us."

Engler said the district has met with representatives from Trane to discuss potential energy savings. Trane is a leading global provider of indoor comfort solutions and services and a brand of Ingersoll Rand.

Joe Faenza, director of facilities, said the high school windows, as well as the junior high school boilers, are among projects within the district that could benefit from such an agreement.

Engler stressed to the board that the discussion was only in the preliminary stage, and added "It's similar to the process that you went through with Johnson Controls."

In Aug. of 2007, the district agreed to enter into a performance contract with Johnson Controls, Inc in the amount of $1,946,798.

Also on Tuesday, the board heard a presentation from elementary school psychologist Rob Palazzo about the Pennsylvania Youth Survey.

Palazzo said the survey attempts to monitor factors such as school climate and safety; more specifically, bullying, substance abuse, and other risk factors.

The survey is administered every two years, said Palazzo, who noted that Palmerton participated in 2011.

Students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 participate in the survey, he said. Student participation is anonymous and confidential.

The way it works is students are given a survey booklet that contains the question items and a place for them to record responses.

Palazzo said the survey includes questions related to alcohol, tobacco and other drug use; violent behaviors; other health risk behaviors; and related risk and protective factors.

He said passive parental consent forms are sent home to inform students about the survey, and that parents who do not wish for their child to participate can opt their child out of the survey. If a parent does decline, their son or daughter will be allowed to read or participate in some other alternative activity while other classmates take the survey, Palazzo said.

Palazzo said "We would hope that most of our parents allow their children to participate.

In other business, the board approved the following personnel matters at a brief special meeting:

• Approved Melissa Maupin, science; Amber Kistler, elementary, mid-level English; Michelle Hock, English 7-12; Alyssa Keiser, elementary, mid English, ESL; Tina Martin, elementary, special education; and Elizabeth Garambone, elementary, as day-to-day substitute teachers, effective today.

• Approved Lisa Dixon, instructional assistant; and Rosann Saylor, cafeteria, as day-to-day substitute support staff, effective today.

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