TA signs contract with NEIU over special ed
BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Wyoming County Press Examiner
The Tunkhannock Area School Board signed off Thursday night on a contract with the Northeast Intermediate Unit for special education services for 2013-14.
The cost of the contract is $37,214.24 and it passed unanimously with almost no discussion.
The board also okayed a service agreement with Sunbelt Staffing for a speech therapist to provide services for someone presently on maternity leave.
The board considered a $12,540 contract with McClure which has been overseeing energy audits of the various school buildings.
Business manager PJ O’Shea said the school was withholding payment of a $25,000 bill for work nearly completed.
Maintenance director Gary Franko said a couple of reports were still outstanding, but the project was 99.5 percent complete.
It was unanimously agreed to make a McClure payment.
O’Shea also spoke to referendum exceptions as applies to the 2013-14 school district budget and said that looked favorable regarding retirement and special education costs anticipated during the next school year.
“The exception keeps our options open,” O’Shea said.
In the superintendent’s report retirements of high school nurse Cecelia McCann and chemistry teacher Daniel Austin were noted.
In the public comment period, parent Philip Farr spoke to a blended school initiative the district was committing to and asked if the district was speaking to parents of children before they had made up the decision to leave the district and enroll their children in cyber schools.
“It seems like an extreme uphill battle if you wait until the exit interview to make a pitch,” he said.
Assistant superintendent Ann Way agreed that it was a last ditch effort, and said they would like to reach out sooner.
Amy Yuhas asked a question about clearances of parents’ volunteering in the elementary schools, and if an exception might be made for those who maybe only volunteer once a year.
TASB chairman Marty Migliori said, “We’ll look into it.”
Anne DeMarco said she wanted to give the board a compliment for its recent fifth grade ‘Meet the band’ program set up by new music teacher Wayne Bishop.
“It was outstanding. Thank you for starting my daughter’s drum career,” she said.
And, Bruce Garinger read a couple of paragraphs from the American Academy of Pediatrics on mental health problems for adolescents as a result of too much exposure to violence.
He asked about the reading component of the curriculum for eighth graders and what works now represented the horror genre.
Way said the information was available at the tasd.net website.