Changes coming to Mt. View board meetings

BY STACI WILSON

Mountain View school board meetings will see some changes in 2011.

Board members decided at the Nov. 22 meeting to hold only one public voting meeting per month. That meeting will be held the third Monday of each month.

In preparation of that meeting, the board will meet at an open, public, work session on the second Monday each month.

The board also agreed to start the meetings at 7 p.m., a change from the current 8 p.m. meeting time. Executive sessions for personnel and legal issues will be held prior to the meetings on an as needed basis.

Meeting times and dates may not be the only changes coming to the district.

The board also approved a procedural change to the way coaching positions are handled post season. Coaching positions will no longer be vacated by the board after the conclusion of a season. With the approval of the high school principal, coaches will be able to hold their positions from year to year.

Business manager James Mirabelli would also like the board to consider changing the way the school purchases general supplies.

Mirabelli told the board that streamlining the supply ordering process through online ordering could save the district from over-ordering and the build-up of unused items in classrooms.

Mirabelli acknowledged that ordering supplies on an as-needed basis does not yield as competitive a price as a bid situation but said the current process is labor intensive and creates a lot of guess work for teachers when planning their supply needs.

Finance committee chair Kevin Griffiths asked Mirabelli who would be watching the overflow and buildup of the supplies.

Mirabelli said, “I need to find ways to reduce the wasteful buildup.”

Board member Dava Reinhart-Cowan said she was concerned that catalog prices may rise leaving the district to pay higher prices than a bid process would establish.

No decision was made by the board regarding future the ordering of supplies.

Dr. Andrew Chichura said the Keystone Exams go operational this spring with tests in Algebra I and Biology.

Mountain View participated in the state’s field test of the Algebra I and Biology exams in early November. Chichura, however, said the district would not be participating in any of the spring field tests, instead the district will just participate in the operational exams for all grade levels.

Eighth grade students enrolled in Algebra I who score with a proficient or advanced grade on the test will be able to use the exam to meet their graduation requirements.

Current eighth graders are now required to pass four Keystone Exams during their high school careers in order to meet state graduation requirements.

The district will also offer the operational Biology and Literature exams to students enrolled in those courses.

Chichura said those two tests will be used by the district on an informational level to see where the students are scoring. The test scores will enable to district to look at the scope of its curriculum and make modifications to the curriculum and course sequence if needed.

High School Principal Andrew Doster told the board the anti-bullying campaign, Rachel’s Challenge, will be coming to the school Dec. 15.

Rachel’s Challenge is a public awareness campaign about school bullying that was borne out of the Columbine school shooting.

Mountain View will also be hosting the ACT college entrance exams for the first time on Dec. 11. The ACT exams will be administered at the school two times per year.

The district already hosts SAT exams twice each year.

Susquehanna County Farm Bureau president Donna Williams encouraged the board to consider hosting the Mobile Agriculture Science Lab.

The lab has various experiments geared for students in kindergarten through eighth grade and comes equipped with a certified teacher who leads students through the scientific experiments that have an agricultural link.

The next public board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m. for the purpose of reorganization. The meeting will be held in the board room of the elementary school.

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