First BASD Meeting of the Summer Deals with Budget, New Hires

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) — The Brookville Area School Board held a special meeting Monday to talk about the upcoming budget, among other things.

BASD Business Administrator Ellen Neyman addressed the board regarding the proposed budget, an item that has taken center stage in all recent meetings. During the last board meeting, it approved the proposed 2017-18 budget by a 6-3 vote.

Neyman didn’t have any new budget information to present to the board. Instead, she presented them with the tax form that would be mailed out to Brookville residents. The form is a green sheet that requires taxpayers to self-assess what professional bracket they fall into, and lets them know how much is owed based on that information.

The proposed budget of 2017-18 would incur an income tax increase for Brookville residents to the tune of $105 for professionals/managerial, $85 for skilled labor and $50 for laborers.

Brookville taxpayers may also request an exemption from this tax if they fall into any of these categories: retired, homemaker, unemployed, active U.S. military, clergy, full-time student, or moved out of the Brookville Area School District.

The finalized 2017-18 budget will be voted on Monday, June 19.

Anyone is free to view the proposed 2017-18 budget in the BASD Administration office, located at 104 Jenks St. Brookville.

For more information call 814-849-8372 and choose option 1 for District Administration.

Other matters that were discussed included whether the board’s solicitor should be present for future meetings, student prescription notifications to the school nurse, a list of teachers and staff that have resigned from the Brookville Area School District, the graduation ceremony, a charitable donation by the graduating class of 2017, new equipment for the high school cafeteria, a new website, and the official hiring of Robert Fiscus as the Director of Buildings and Grounds, effective August 1.

During the last school board meeting, the BASB’s solicitor was present via Skype, a service which incurred a $300 fee. During last night’s meeting, the board discussed whether this service would be required in the future.

Melinda Hall made the argument against having a solicitor present at all future meetings, “I find it an inefficient use of resources – both hers and ours – to have her present at meetings on a regular basis, when we do in fact have the prerogative to contact her for any sort of legal counsel that we need.”

In the end the board agreed that it would make more sense to have a solicitor present at meeting on an “as needed” basis only.

The next portion of the meeting dealt with items for board action. The following policies were presented for a first reading: Attendance Policy, Use of Medications Policy, Food Services Policy, Conflict of Interest Policy, and the Policy on Public Participation in Board Meetings.

All were approved unanimously, but Roberta Ganoe brought up her concerns with the Use of Medications Policy, fearing that it was too strict.

The policy indicates that any student bringing a prescription drug onto school grounds must store that prescription with the school nurse, unless previous arrangements have been made. Parents/Guardians are also required to sign a medication administration consent form.

K-12 Administrator Ruthanne Barbazzeni bolstered the argument for the policy by providing several recent examples of prescription drug abuse that had taken place within the school district.

The following policy was presented for a second/final reading: Extracurricular Activities. The motion was approved unanimously.

The following food distributors were awarded contracts with the BASD for the 2017-18 school year: US Foodservice or food and supplies, Nickle’s Bakery for bread and Turner’s Dairy for milk and dairy.

The Hold Harmless Agreement, which allows BASD students to participate in the robotics program through the DuBois Area School District was approved unanimously.

The revised 2017-18 school calendar was approved unanimously.

The Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth, act 48 Program Agreement for Services with Pathways for 2017-2019 was approved unanimously.

A contract for a web filter with vendor, SmoothWall (Trebon Company Inc.) was approved unanimously, pending solicitor review.

Kerith Strano-Taylor reprised her role as the BASD IU6 Representative for another three-year term.

Leslie Caylor’s supplemental contract as a Mentor Teacher for the 2016-2017 school year was approved.

Patricia Gordon’s supplemental contract as a Child(ren) Specific Aide was approved.

The following BASD staff were approved for extended school year staffing: Martha Cunningham (nurse) and Morgan Easterbrook (teacher).

The following teachers were approved for summer school: James Overly (Math), Ken Shaffer (History), Olivia MacGarvey (English/Reading), Tim Pospisil (Science).

Robert Strawcutter’s request for leave under FMLA was approved unanimously.

Samantha Szumigalski was awarded long-term substitute status, effective May 24, 2017.

Robert Fiscus was approved as the new Director of Buildings and Grounds effective August 1st, 2017.

During the Administrative Reports, Dr. Robin Fillman expressed her gratitude to those BASD staff that have submitted their letters of resignation after the 2016-2017 school year.

They include:

Leslie Parrott – Elementary Art Teacher – 37 years
Doug Nixon – High school Tech Ed Teacher – 31 years
Mike Rakovan – High school P.E. teacher – 24 years
Marcia Berfield – Elementary Secretary – 19 years
Carol Emery – 22 years
Mary-Ann Brown – Director of Special Education – 37 years
Rod Osborne –  Director of Buildings and Grounds – 41 years

Ruthanne Barbazzeni commended the senior class of 2016-2017 on a successful graduation and on a very generous donation of $3,400 which will go toward a mural in the gymnasium.

The next Brookville Area School Board meeting will take place at 7 p.m., Monday, June 19 in the Hickory Grove LGI room.

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