The Loyalsock Township School District has received a total of $1,363,292 from various grants over the past 18 months as part of COVID relief according to a presentation by Superintendent Gerald McLaughlin made to the school board at a recent meeting.
The district is also set to receive $1,934,711 as part of the American Rescue Plan.
The PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency grant totaling $177,914 was completed last year and was used for iPad leases and PPE supplies. The first round of funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund and the state Department of Education totaled $223,884, which the district used for Chromebooks, PPE supplies, online learning platforms and technology. That funding was also completed last year.
Budgeted through the current school year, the second round of funding, $956,494, which is budgeted through the current school year was used to maintain the existing staff, the Schick and Middle School summer program, after-school programs, custodial equipment and HVAC software system upgrade.
A special education COVID-19 impact mitigation grant of $5,000 runs through Sept. 30 and was used for educational programs.
Funds from the American Rescue Plan, which is budgeted for 2022-23 and 2023-24 must include at least a minimum of 20 percent or $386,942, to address learning loss. According to McLaughlin’s presentation those monies will be used for the implementation of evidence-based interventions such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day and comprehensive after school programs.The interventions must respond to students’ academic, social and emotional needs.
“When looking at the number of students who pursued an online option, the number of students who were unsuccessful, addressing learning loss has to be our number one priority throughout this school year
and throughout the summer months,” McLaughlin said.
“We are allocating lots of resources, looking how to best provide resources for students in an afterschool program, a summer school program, looking at extending the school day and anything we can do to address student learning loss,” he added.
The remaining unassigned fund balance of $1.5 million would be used to support upcoming capital projects, McLaughlin said.
Two revised board policies, one dealing with meetings and the other dealing with public participation in board meetings were approved to be on the agenda for the next meeting.
According to McLaughlin, the changes include posting public agendas on the district website 24 hours prior to meetings, if an emergency meeting needs to be held and if any business arrives within 24 hours of the meeting it could be added to the agenda.
He added that the recommended changes have been made to school districts across the state in order to be in compliance with Act 65. The language for the changes was sent from the state’s school board association.
It was noted that the changes don’t inhibit interaction in any significant way, but ensure increased communication and sharing of information between the school board and the public.
Under personnel items, the board approved appointments and rates of pay, if applicable: Kama Bennett, transfer from part-time to full-time paraprofessional; Brenna Segraves, full-time paraprofessional, $12 per hour; Tyran Fisher, school van driver; and various non-teaching substitute positions and a revised fall athletic personnel.
The retirement of Robert McQuay, school bus driver was acknowledged by the board. Resignations of Nicole Selleck, part-time paraprofessional and Holly Lehman, full-time paraprofessional were also acknowledged by the board.
In other agenda items, the board approved:
• The purchase of a 1999 F-550 Ford Truck from Lecce Electric at a cost of $14,000. According to Dan Egli, business manager, the truck replaces a 1984 bucket truck which was used to replace light fixtures in parking lots and flags. Funds for this purchase will come from the capital projects fund.
• The sale of a 2007 John Deere mower to Wayne Diehl, Bethlehem at a cost of $11,800. Egli said that the mower was too large for the district’s needs and that proceeds from the sale will go to purchasing a smaller mower.
• An addendum to the proposal for architectural service for facility improvement projects from Robert Lack, Lewisburg.
• A memorandum of understanding between the district and the Loyalsock Township Education Association to provide clarification regarding the dean of students for the 2021-22 school year.
• A salary adjustment from $45,618 to $53,000 for Scott Moll, technology specialist, effective Sept. 13, 2021.
Board members present: Charles Edmonds, Hal Gee, Valerie Komarnicki, Robert D. Leidhecker, Carolyn Strickland, Melvin Wentzel and Michael Zicolello. Absent: Christina Kiessling and Marissa Moore.
The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 6. The location for the meeting will be posted on the district website.
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