The minutes of the August meeting were approved.
The Administration gave reports. Superintendent Gordon stated that “this is Day 71 of the [Pennsylvania] budget impasse.” He said that Governor Wolf had proposed $400 million in funding while the legislature had passed $100 million. “The Governor is not giving in,” he said.
Mr. Gordon added that the Governor has announced a one-year moratorium for meeting the PSSA standards. Most districts failed to meet the benchmarks of last year’s more rigorous test. “At least [the government] sees the problem,” Mr. Gordon said. “It is not fair to compare apples and oranges.” He did say that the Keystone Exams will continue to be used.
Mr. Gordon said the opening of the 2015-16 school year was “remarkably smooth.” He thanked all of the staff and employees for “making the first days of school so effective...the free lunch and free breakfast programs went very well.”
Mr. Gordon attributed the district’s success to “the four P’s...Proper Planning Prevents Problems.”
He invited all district residents to register their Tops cards. Last year the district made $500 through that program with Tops.
Thirty-two Canton students are attending the Northern Tier Career Center. The NTCC is seeking a new director.
The board approved the list of co-curricular advisors. Mr. Gordon acknowledged their contributions and service and added, “We would welcome with open arms a Theater Advisor.”
Mr. Gordon invited the board to the Patriots Day ceremony to be held September 11.
A memorandum of understanding with the Canton Borough Police Depart. is being revised. Mr. Gordon stated that the MOU was due at the end of June. “The tardiness has absolutely nothing to do with the school district,” he said.
Elementary Principal John Rimmer also said that the start of school went very well, “and continues to go well.” He announced the Fall Book Fair would be held next week and the PTA Family Night was scheduled. The district Open House will be September 24. “A huge crowd is anticipated,” he said.
School pictures will be taken on Sept. 28.
Enrollment is 493, with 58 in Kindergarten. Each number is down one from the projected enrollment.
High School Principal Craig Coleman said, “We had a great start. The kids are starting to learn and to be accountable.”
The Homecoming game and events will be September 26 and the Cavalcades of Bands will be held at Towanda.
The free breakfast program has attracted more patrons than expected. “In the last two or three years we had been averaging thirty. We had wondered what the secret was to boosting participation. The key of free food. We have over one hundred students at breakfast daily.” He said the NTCC students “grab it and go” to eat breakfast on the bus.
Mr. Coran gave the special education report. He expressed his appreciation to the learning support and paraprofessional staffs for a great start to the school year. He said “there were a few problems, but problems come with progress.” He said that professional development sessions for paraprofessionals would be held, and said that the paraprofessionals “are not just thermometers but thermostats – they set a favorable climate [for education]”
Six Gifted students in the fifth grade, taught by Mrs. Cindy Black, have the opportunity to test out of some math material and be advanced into “critical thinking activities.” Mr. Rimmer said that opportunity is extended to other students in the class as well.
Currently, 166 students have Individual Education Plans, 36 are in the gifted program, and 26 have 504 service plans.
Business Manager Mark Jannone reported that the transportation program was in full swing. He commended the bus drivers for their “outstanding” performance, and acknowledged that he should have accepted Mrs. Sourbeer’s offer to paint lines on the parking lot a few months ago. “I stand corrected,” he admitted, saying that he personally helped to repaint the lines.
He said the free lunch program was “blowing away” the projections. “Participation in the high school has quadrupled and in the elementary school has doubled. It has been outstandingly received. We appreciate the ability to enter into this program for our students.”
Mr. Gordon noted that the Athletic Committee would be invited to interviews for coaching vacancies.
The board took up its agenda:
These items were approved on one motion:
Treasurer’s Report; Bills lists; list of Tax Adds, Exemptions, Exonerations; transportation changes;
summary of transportation rates for the 2015/16 school year; Letter of Agreement between the district and NHS Human Services as the SAP liaison provider agency; the contract to purchase meals from schools between the district and Bradford Tioga Head
Start, Inc. for the 2015/16 school year; a one-year Agreement between the district and Snyder’s Driving School to assist CHS students to obtain a PA automobile operators license and promote safe driving habits; an Authorization for Expenditure in the amount of $10,500.00 to purchase a 2015 Chevrolet Van; permission to accept the low quote for repairing the elementary boiler and the authorization for expenditure not to exceed $11,700.00.
The purchase of the Chevrolet van, from Cole and Burd, also included the trade-in of the driver ed car. Mr. Jannone said, "Cole & Burd basically donated a large portion of the expense."
It also was noted that no students will be allowed to drive the new van, and all its drivers must undergo a driver record check, must be authorized through the business office and must have insurance.
These items were taken up under personnel matters:
• Accepted the resignation of Courtney Grieve, basketball cheerleading coach, effective immediately. No applications have been received.
• Approved these coach employments for the 2015/16 sport season, pending completion of all required paperwork:
Michaela Gaiotti, Junior High Volleyball Coach at a stipend of $3,659.59 retroactive to September 9. all paperwork has been completed
Nicole Siedhof as Assistant Softball Coach at a stipend of $3,874.86.
• Approved the 2015/16 co-curricular winter sports coaches, pending completion of all required paperwork:
Brock Kitchen, Varsity Boys Basketball Coach, $5,597.02; Jim Williams, JV Boys Basketball Coach, $4,520.67;Jason Foust, JH Boys Basketball Coach, $4,305.40; Ryan Van Noy, Varsity Girls Basketball Coach, $5,166.48; Casey Aylesworth, JV Girls Basketball Coach, $4,520.67; Lyle Wesneski, Varsity Wrestling Coach, $5,166.48; Chris Landis, JV Wrestling Coach, $4,520.67; Tim Ward, JH Wrestling Coach, $4,305.40
Earlier in the meeting the board approved a motion to create a second Junior High Assistant football coach position and to post the position. Thirty-five players are out for the Junior High team and it is felt this is too many for one coach. Mr. Herman said, "This is something we promised [to do] in the past."
The 2015/16 co-curricular non-sports list was approved (see separate article).
Approved additions to substitute list, pending completion of all required paperwork:
Joshua Ellenberger, custodian; Carol Edwards, cafeteria worker; Tim McAninch, teacher; Hannah Busch, nurse; Mariah Smith, teacher; Jana Hughes, van driver
• Approve additions to the volunteer list as all required paperwork has been submitted:
Rebecca LaMont, cheerleading coach; Greg Bellows, Craig Route, Tim Ward, Lucas Bailey, George Schoonover, football coaches; Becky Bellows, Brandy McRoberts, volleyball coaches;
Becca Jennings, Harriet Rathbun, Cheerleading coaches.
The revised Kindergarten/1st grade/2nd grade report cards were approved.
Prior to tonight's meeting the board held an executive session for personnel and legal issues.