WASD ready to launch state safety initiative

In his report to the board Tuesday, Williamsport Area School District Superintendent Dr. Timothy Bowers told the group that the district will be participating in the new state initiative, “Safe2Say” which launches Jan. 14.

A bill passed last year sets up state-administered programs to distribute school safety grants and makes it easier for people to report dangerous activities and threats of violence in the school setting.

“It is a state-wide tip service that families can utilize if they feel there is an emergency, there is some sort of a safe school tip or something going on in the district they think is life-threatening. They can use the anonymous tip service to get that information to us,” he said.

He noted that it took a lot of preparation in the district, once the legislation had been passed, in order to prepare for instituting the program. The state launches its program on Jan. 14, Bowers said, and after that staff and students in grades 7-12 in the district will begin training on how to use the program.

“It’s something that hopefully has the potential to save lives,” he added.

Under personnel matters, the board approved the retirements of: Scott E. Fergueson Sr., full-time custodial supervisor at the high school and Narcissa Weimer, part-time aide at the high school.

They approved the resignations of: Bella M. Guinter, part-time food service worker; Nadera F. Hoyt, teacher at Curtin; Mary Jane Meckley, part-time administrative support; Michele M. Peterson, part-time aide; Theodore C. Scaife, part-time custodian; Jody A. Miller, full-time supervisor of pupil transportation and school safety/school police officer; Susan E. Gottschall, part-time food service worker and Natasha L. Marnon, part-time aide.

The board also approved hiring Joella M. Harvey and Stefanie L. Kriner as long-term substitute teachers for the second semester of the current school year.

The next meeting of the board will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 22 at the District Center, 2780 West Fourth St.