Elk Lake expansion project near ready

BY PAT FARNELLI

The Elk Lake School Board approved payments for the Susquehanna County Career andTechnologyCenterexpansion project Thursday during its July meeting.

The building is close to completion, and SCCTC director Alice Davis announced a ribbon cutting ceremony to be held on Saturday, Aug. 25 at10 a.m.

The grand opening will include tours of both buildings, with refreshments available in a tent in the administrative parking lot.

The SCCTC was accredited by the Commission on the Council of Occupational Education on July 1.

Sue Heed asked if adult students attending the career center are required to obtain clearances from the State Police or other agencies before they attend classes there.

She was told that it was not necessary as long as they were under teacher supervision.

Heed replied that it seemed to her that these adult students should have to gain clearances because they would be attending classes along with high school students.

A new billboard advertising adult training for high skill/high wage careers available at the SCCTC was designed by Park Outdoor Advertising, and will be erected on Route 29 in South Montrose. The advertising contract will cost $450 a month.

SCCTC instructors for small engine repair, protective services, and auto body repair were hired, and a one-year plumbing instructor position will be posted. Two consultants for the SCCTC were also hired.

Several resignations were accepted with regret during the correspondence part of the meeting. Assistant girls volleyball coach Cambria Ely submitted a letter of resignation, and Daryl Jayne, a special education assistant, also resigned.

Bush reported that the district will no longer contract with outside agencies or programs for alternative education. Formerly, students who were expelled from the district were placed at thePATHprogram in South Montrose, formerly known asBethesda. An in-house program will be implemented instead, and behavior modification teachers and a coordinator will need to be hired.

The principals reported that summer school and special education programs were going well, and that the elementary building was clean and sparkling.

High School Principal Ken Cuomo gave a fairly lengthy report on changes in teacher evaluation methods.

The state will be changing its methods of evaluating teachers over the next three years, and several new domains of data will be included that are not yet implemented, Cuomo said.

Eventually, domains like building data, classroom environment, and other elective data will be incorporated in teacher evaluation according to a pie chart provided by the state.

Cuomo said that only 50 percent of that pie chart is currently used for formal teacher evaluations.

He said that training based on state recommendations will be incorporated in two teacher in-services this year. The training will be based largely on the work of Charlotte Danielson.

“She focuses strictly on what goes on inside classroom,” Cuomo said.

The new teacher evaluation will include a pre-observation meeting with the teacher as well as a post observation meeting. During the post observation meeting, the administrator will act as both facilitator and interviewer.

Cuomo said that the new evaluation model is “intense, and will take one-third more time to conduct.”

“It is teacher centered and teacher driven,” he said.

Danielson herself and her group of trainers will come toElkLakeand do the first in-service with secondary and career center teachers. “Next year, we will roll the model into the elementary school,” he said.

Although four teachers and eight staff members were furloughed fromElkLakelast month, no one attended the meeting to represent the teachers union.

Superintendent Bill Bush said that since the state uses a grade grouping of kindergarten to fourth grade as elementary, fifth through eighth grades as middle school, and ninth through twelfth grades as high school, “We might want to realign the grades.”

While performing repairs to the school roof, contractors ran across a “unique situation,” Bush said. Under the roofing material were layers of Styrofoam in the peak of the roof.

The contractors had to adjust the new roof to correct the slope to the drains, Bush said. Cost of the roof repair project was $375,710, and the payment due after previous payments were subtracted was $46,373.40.

The board approved a Title I budget for the 2012-13 school year. The total instructional costs for the program were $352,439.17, and the total budget was $358,860. This represents an increase of $26,807 over last year, Bush said.

The Susquehanna County Court of Common Pleas requested permission of the school district to sell a home with four acres free and clear at a tax sale. The house has fallen into disrepair, and the notice contains a caveat statement about letting the buyer beware. The board approved the sale of the property under the requested terms.

In other business, several items which were advertised for sale recently had bids opened, and the board accepted bids for a scissor lift, an emergency generator, and a 2001 Freightliner school bus with rust and high mileage. The board voted to accept the bids submitted. The scissor lift was sold for $400, the emergency generator for $505, and the bus for $2005.

The SCCTC recently received a donation of cleaning supplies and batteries from Procter & Gamble for the preparation of the new building.

School board member Donica McGee is employed by P & G.

Vicki LaRue was hired for the library associate position. She is a longtime district employee, having worked as a hall monitor and substitute secretary in the past.

Eric Emmerich and Anne Teel were selected as PSBA voting delegates to represent the district and the career center.

An executive session was held at6 p.m.for personnel reasons: another was held during the meeting.

The August school board meeting will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at7 p.m.