EL/SCCTC board splits meetings

BY PAT FARNELLI

Board members who serve both the Elk Lake School District and the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center, will have separate meeting dates for the future, it was decided at last Thursday’s board meeting for both.
The SCCTC board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month, while the Elk Lake School Board will meet on the third Thursday of the month. If necessary, special meetings for either school can be held on the other meeting date, and the technology committee meeting could be held at 6 p.m. prior to a school board meeting.
Also on Thursday, the Elk Lake School Board began publicly entertaining thoughts of increasing the use of one-to-one technology by students.
President Anne Teel suggested allowing students to use their own electronic devices, such as laptops, tablets, and iPhones, while in classes and study halls, and formed a committee in January to investigate these options further, and to see if this could work well at Elk Lake.
The committee is a sizable one, and includes all of the district’s administrators as well as many faculty and staff members.
According to the committee’s research, several schools in Pennsylvania have conducted pilot programs, usually on a B.Y.O.D. (“Bring Your Own Device”) basis. The school would purchase devices for those who have none and cannot afford to purchase their own.
Elementary Principal Charles Pirone reported that one district piloted a similar program for its eighth grade class only, with successful results, and is considering expanding the use of technology in the higher grades next.
He said that another district south of Pittsburgh had allowed students to use their own devices in the classroom.
Pirone attended a conference on student technology use recently, and said that some of the activities were a bit of a stretch for him.
“I asked a question, and others looked at me and said, “Oh you must be a principal,” he said. “There were 2,500 IT techs there, and me.”
Pirone said that students in the pilot programs seemed to benefit organizationally from the device use, and noted that teachers observed students who would forget their pencils and paper “but won’t forget their smart device.”
Teel said that the committee would meet separately from the school board, and that meetings would be public and advertised.
“This committee is an investigative one, and as such will not make decisions, but will gather information to bring back to board members for discussion, and they can vote on it.”
It was announced that Williams pipeline company sent a letter notifying the board of its plans to construct the Church compressor station for transporting natural gas from the area near the Elk Lake School campus.
The letter informed the district about increased truck traffic in preparation for the project. It also provided information about a meeting to be held with neighbors who live within a mile and a half radius of the proposed facility.
That meeting was set for Friday, Feb. 22, at Montrose Area High School. The notice said that the meeting would provide information about the routes contractors will be travelling, and said that the meeting was by invitation only.
In regards to the pipeline proposed for the Elk Lake Campus, Bush said that the district has not been contacted by Williams, and that when he spoke with a representative of the company earlier that day, there was nothing to report at that time.
The January royalty payment received from Cabot Oil & Gas was $25.659.09.
An executive session was held for items of safety and security for the building and students, Bush said.
A Licensed Practical Nurse program for the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center was to be officially approved on Tuesday, Feb. 26, by the state, director Alice Davis said.
She noted there are 402 in the career center’s present enrollment at this time, and 150 applicants are signed up so far for the LPN program, which once ready can take 40 students to start for each term.