Board hears about sports after school closing

BLOSSBURG – Southern Tioga School Board heard its first report Monday on what its new district reorganization facilitator has been doing since being appointed last month.

With the impending closure of Liberty High School and the possible closure of the elementary school in Blossburg, Will Schlosser was appointed to assist Superintendent Keith Yarger with the task of making as smooth a transition as possible in the fall.

At Monday’s board work session, Schlosser gave a PowerPoint presentation that focused on athletics and how they could be divided between Mansfield and North Penn high schools as evenly as possible.

Mansfield would have soccer, softball, baseball, golf, cross-country, volleyball, basketball and cheerleading. North Penn could have boys and girls tennis, football, wrestling, track and field, basketball and cheerleading.

All students would practice either at North Penn or Mansfield, none at Liberty, Schlosser said.

“After practice, we will add a route to Liberty to return students. We are still figuring out who will be there at Liberty when they do (get dropped off),” he added.

Other items Schlosser said he is working on are collecting community concerns, taking physical inventory, creating a moving cost analysis, standardizing and streamlining permanent student records, conducting external public relations with an online blog and a column in the local weekly paper, rebranding with input from students, cost analysis, athletic reorganization, and student activities accounts and working with the business office on busing.

“We are looking at making bus routes more publicly accessible online,” he said.

In budget matters, Business Manager Laura Perry asked the board to allow her to place a lease by the district of Island Park for North Penn athletics for $15,000 per year for five years.

There is no increase in the lease from what the district currently pays Blossburg Borough for the use of the park, she said.

On the tax study commission, Perry said only three applications were received from members of the public to sit on such a commission to study changing the way the district collects revenue from an earned income tax to a personal income tax.

“Act 1 requires at least five members to sit on the committee, so due to lack of interest, I’d like to recommend the board postpone it and look at it next time,” she said.

Board President Ivan Erway noted they would vote on the recommendation to postpone it at next board meeting.

In citizen recognition, Liberty resident Dorothy Norman, who has vocally opposed the closing of Liberty High School since the beginning, asked the board one more time for “adequate information” about how the district will be better off with Liberty closed.

“No one has mentioned what it is doing the community and students. What is the most cost effective solution to this whole mess?” she asked.

Liberty Township resident Harry Gerrish asked how the North Penn building project would be paid for if “the state didn’t give us money back,” referring to the reimbursement normally received when building projects are done.

“I asked this once before and I got a shrug. Would you need to get rid of more teachers and more sports?”