New Montrose Area admin building open

BY PAT FARNELLI

The Montrose Area School District’s new administration building is now in use, with most of the physical move already completed and staff working in their new offices, superintendent Michael Ognosky told the school board Monday.

 Ognosky reported that much work remains to be completed by each of the contractors, and that the district will not release the remaining payments until each contractor completes the “punch list” of work to be done.

“We still owe $100,000 to the general contractor,” business manager Michelle Lusk said.

Ognosky thanked Rickie Clapper and his team for the successful move of furniture and files, and Craig Owens and his technology team for the tech set up of the office building.

 Board member George Gow said he would “really love to see an open house scheduled for the new administration building, when it is completely done, so the public can see what they have paid for.”

Choconut Valley Elementary School was recognized as a Distinguished Title 1 School based on the improved PSSA scores of their IEP students, in particular, with a 27% improvement. As part of the recognition, Choconut received a $5,000 award from the federal Title 1 program.

  In other business, the board approved an agreement with Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19 for Regional Transport Services 60-month contract for Internet Services delivered over the Regional Wide Area Network with a 24 month contract at a monthly cost of $2,509.00.

Ognosky explained that this contracts for internet service across the intermediate unit. According to board member Chris Caterson, the monthly cost will be “less, for more robust service.”

The board also approved a new contract with NEIU 19 for the provision of special education programs and services for the 2011-2012 school year at an estimated cost not to exceed $257,192.42.

A dual enrollment agreement was approved between the school district and Luzerne County Community College for 2011-2012 allowing students to earn college credits for high school courses.

The board named Russell Canevari as Head Football Coach, along with six assistant football coaches. (See separate story.)

Kristi Hoffa was also hired as Junior High Assistant Field Hockey Coach at a salary of $1,240 retroactive to Sept 7. Damien Botts was hired as Assistant Wrestling Coach at a salary of $1,320 retroactive to Jan.11. Thomas Lewis as Assistant Track Coach at a salary of $2,530 for the 2011 spring sports season. Heather Rieman was hired as Junior High Assistant Softball Coach at a salary of $1,600 for the 2011 spring sports season.

The board accepted with regret the resignation of Heather Winn as Junior High Assistant Track Coach and Janet Ross, high school social studies teacher.

  Board member Chris Caterson announced his decision not to run for reelection for school board. He said that he hoped interested persons would obtain the required forms to run for the region 2 slot, which is comprised of Bridgewater, Franklin and Liberty townships.

Douglas Wilcox, board president, was appointed to represent the district on the Intermediate Unit 19 Board of Directors from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014.

During the work session, Ognosky discussed the school district’s policy of allowing coaches to hold events or practices weather permitting, on days for which the school was closed in the event of snow or ice storms. He said his previous practice has been to allow coaches to have a practice or event if the roads are clear, but on a voluntary basis.

Recently, students from Choconut area showed up for such a practice, then hit snow squalls on their return trip. After discussion, Ognosky said that he will only allow practices or events if the situation is safe for all participants.

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