Jeff Tech Students Highlight BASB March 13 Meeting

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – February is National Technical Education Month, and Monday night’s Brookville Area School Board Meeting (Work Session) was filled with some of the most talented and eloquent young students that the Jefferson County-DuBois Area Vocational-Technical School (JEFF TECH) had to offer.

After a brief introduction by Jeff Tech administrative director, Barry Gillman, students from varying educational fields – including Computer Tech, Graphic Design, Carpentry, Building Trades, Culinary Tech, and Health Assisting – approached the podium and shared stories of their success, projects they’d worked on, and an overall admiration for their education. One of the main themes presented by the students was expressing how Jeff Tech helped them find their path.

“When you go to Jeff Tech, you find other people who want to strive to succeed just like you,” said Mikayla Glenn, a senior at Jeff Tech in the Health Assisting program. “It might be in a different field, but your ultimate goal is in the workforce.”

The next item on the agenda was a revenue presentation by Mrs. Ellen Neyman. Neyman provided those in attendance with some historical information, graphs showcasing what factors makeup Brookville Area School District’s local, state, and federal revenue, and the formulas used to project the 2017-18 budget amounts. This discussion was a continuation from an earlier presentation made by Neyman.

Neyman explained that they were still awaiting a response from the Pennsylvania Department of Education on their referendum exceptions request. Until that response was received, and a consecutive discussion was held about the Brookville Area School District’s expense projection, no discussions could be held about a potential tax increase.

Superintendent Dr. Robin Fillman brought up the topic of moving kindergarten students to Pinecreek schools. Fillman explained that the BASB’s plans were to keep the kindergarten student in Northside throughout the 2017-18 school year since money is still owed on that building, and it was the “best move to make financially at this time.”

Fillman went on to explain that the topic would be re-presented to the community in the fall.

BASB President Frank Bartley brought up the discussion of whether the other board members approved of having an additional Community Comments section added to the BASB meetings, and if policy should be changed to reflect this. All board members agreed that the second Community Comments section added local value to the meetings.

Dr. Fillman opened up the Administrative Reports section of the meeting by thanking the BASD special education staff for participating in a state training called Project Max, which focuses on maximizing a student’s ability to access grade level curriculum and standards. Students, parents, and teachers have all reported an overall success with implementing this new training.

Next up was the Director of Special Education Mrs. MaryAnn Brown who pointed out a few highlights from the BASD. According to Brown, Brookville’s 4th grade team finished 4th in the Elementary President’s Competition, and the 5th/6th grade divisions had three Brookville teams finishing 2nd, 4th, and 5th.

Katie Muders has been selected as a delegate at the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Boston, MA. Fundraising options to send Muders to Boston are currently being explored.

Brookville took 1st place in the DuBois Area Twentieth Annual Junior Scholastic Challenge thanks to the efforts of Chase Evans, Bay Harper, Abby Keith, Kyle MacBeth, and Jonas Parson.

Brown also notified the board that the Brookville Area High School’s Life Skills class will be touring a 911 Center at the end of March, experiencing a 911 simulation at the Jefferson County History Center, and will start participating in Yoga as a form of exercise.

K-12 Principal of Student Services Mrs. Ruthanne Barbazzeni along with Mr. John Lesjack talked about how much planning and implementation was going into the PSSAs and Keystone Exams. Students in grades 3 through 8 will take the PSSAs, while students in 9 through 11 take part in the Keystone exams.

Barbazzeni also discussed a new rewards program that she and Mr. Lesjack have implemented among the students. Students who have not completed their work are granted extra time to complete their projects, while those that have completed their work are rewarded with a recreational activity such as an ice cream social or recreational time in the gym.

K-12 Principal of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Mrs. Brigette Matson discussed some personalized learning opportunities that are currently being utilized by Indiana Area Middle School and Hydetown Elementary School and how these new personalized curriculums might be beneficial to Brookville Area School District. She also presented the board with some new learning materials that were recently presented to the 7th and 8th grade students.

Director of Food Services Mrs. Rebecca Kammerdeiner discussed the possibility of BASD implementing a summer feeding program for children of low-income households through the USDA. The program would provide these children with an allowance of thirty dollars per month, which could be used to purchase foods on an approved list.

Kammerdeiner’s remarks ended the Administrative Reports section, and with no Informational Items or additional Public/Community Comments the meeting was adjourned.

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