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Many IU schools opt for ‘Common Cents’

November 15, 2007
By HEATHER GACH - hgach@sungazette.com
Nine of the 19 school districts in Intermediate Unit 17 opted to participate in the state’s “Common Cents” grant initiative, John Brenchley, director of management services for IU 17, reported at Wednesday’s unit board meeting.

Brenchley said he submitted the applications to the state Wednesday for Athens, Montgomery, Montoursville, Northeast Bradford, Sayre, South Williamsport, Southern Tioga, Towanda and Wyalusing school districts.

Under the initiative, school districts compete for grants valued at $1 million to fund consultants’ visits to districts for analyses of potential cost savings through sharing of resources or services. The consultants’ findings are non-binding, but many districts that opted out did so expressing concerns about the plan because they feared some form of consolidation as a result.

Resolutions to participate were submitted to the unit to proceed with the application process. Applications are due to the state today, Brenchley said.

In other business, Bill Martens, assistant executive director, said IUs 17, 9 and 10 and Lock Haven University were awarded a Best Practices grant from the state.

With the money — $160,620 a year for three years — Martens said districts within the IUs can nominate “exemplary” teachers to be featured in a video of best classroom-teaching practices for addressing inclusion of special needs students in traditional classroom settings.

Martens said the video will be available as a professional development tool.

“We’ll accumulate a video library of best practices of teaching to support staff in inclusionary settings,” Martens said.

In personnel matters, the board terminated Kristyn Scott, a speech therapist from the Canton office, for abandoning her position after failing to respond to correspondence requesting she provide a valid Instructional I Teaching Certificate. The termination is effective immediately.

The board held an executive session prior to the start of the regular meeting.

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