Mt. View summer school proposed

Mt. View School Board presented certificates of achievement to drama club members of the cast and crew of the plays presented during the 2013-14 school year, which included (left to right), Jolie Winemiller, David Miller, Sarah Alessi, Josie Evans, and director Margaret McCarty.  (Photo by Tom Fontana)

Mt. View School Board presented certificates of achievement to drama club members of the cast and crew of the plays presented during the 2013-14 school year, which included (left to right), Jolie Winemiller, David Miller, Sarah Alessi, Josie Evans, and director Margaret McCarty. (Photo by Tom Fontana)

BY TOM FONTANA
Correspondent

Mt. View is looking at a proposal to revive its summer school program this year.

At the April 14 board meeting, high school principal Robert Presley offered the district a plan for a three-week, 15-day program – from July 7 to 25 – with two sessions each day to allow students to take up to two remedial courses.

“Make-up classes would be offered in math, social studies, science and English,” Presley explained. “Students who scored as low as 62% in a course during the school year would be eligible.”

Presley also suggested a class in “Strategies for Success” for 7th and 8TH grade students.

He estimated the cost to 9th to 12th grade students for core subjects would be about $1,003, and $2,006 for the ‘Strategies’ class. Those figures cover teacher instructional and planning time at a rate of $26.75 per hour. District business manager Joseph Patchkoski pointed out that teacher contract benefits may have to be added to that rate.

Presley added that students from outside the district could apply for the program at a slightly higher rate than district students.

“This might help to meet the quota of 10 students per class,” he stated. “But we’re not doing this to make a profit, and I’d actually be fine if we lost money. The important thing is the benefit summer school would be to our students.”

Board members agreed to consider the summer school proposal and discuss it again at its next meeting.

Budget projections for the 2014-15 school year were presented for three departments: Curriculum and Federal Programs; Special Education; and Administrative Support Services.

Karen Voigt, director of curriculum, showed a budget of $38,000, down from $42,519 this year, explaining the decrease due to “carry-over” funds. (Voigt is also serving as ‘substitute superintendent’ for the district until June after the board approved a medical leave of absence for superintendent Francine Shea.)

Director of Special Services Gail Wnorowski posted a proposed budget item increase from 200,000 to 299,000 because of a projected need for added ‘professional contracted services’ through NEIU #19 for students with special needs.

Patchkoski listed costs for superintendent, administrative and board services at $169,000, up from $121,000. He explained this is mostly due to the need for ‘special legal services.’ (At the meeting, the board approved the hiring of Attorney George Shovlin, of Pittston, to represent the district in a ‘personnel matter.’)

Patchkoski also announced that the district is close to implementing an on-line cafeteria account system, probably in time for the next school year. “The charging system could be used to add funds to students’ cafeteria balances using a credit card,” he said. “It would work just like when making purchases on line. Parents would be able to access their student’s account and know when money needs to be deposited.”

Patchkoski also predicted that the cafeteria would be taking a financial loss this school year, “and probably a more severe lost next year.” He said the deficit could be between $30,000 and $40,000, and that the district may want to consider raising meal prices.

Maintenance director Robert Taylor related that the baseball fields have been difficult to maintain due to drainage issues. As a result, some scrimmages and home games have been cancelled.

Presley suggested that because money has been saved on transportation costs due to meet cancellations, those funds could be used to purchase needed equipment this season rather than waiting for the 2015 season budget. He estimated that about $12,000 has been saved in the transportation fund.

The board agreed to allow the use of those funds, but only for equipment that is deemed necessary based on safety concerns for the players.

The board presented certificates of achievement to the drama club casts, crews and director Margaret McCarty for the fall and spring productions.