Montgomery board sets faculty goals for next school year

MONTGOMERY — The Montgomery Area School Board approved the 2018-19 district level goals Tuesday night with a unanimous vote.

“These are the goals we work toward all year,” Superintendent Daphne Bowers said.

Bowers explained that the goals start at the district level, which then are used to develop year-long goals for each school, influencing the performance evaluation process for principals and teachers.

“I really believe this is what keeps us focused as a school district,” Bowers said.

The goals this year focus on individual growth for teachers to develop content, a blended learning environment, a curriculum with interactive digital content, the inclusion of parents in the learning process and monitoring tools and devices. Improving special education through “professional development for inclusion and co-teaching practices” and improving the schools’ cultures and climates through a positive behavior program also are mentioned in the list of goals.

Financial matters were another major topic at the meeting, with the board voting unanimously on four expenditures and on a fee schedule for the Montgomery Athletic and Community Center.

The board voted to spend $21,107 on wall pocket tables and benches for the elementary school from P.E.M. Co., $11,345 on a water reel and booster pump from Rain-Flo Irrigation LLC, $8,210 on a water hydrant and installation by Dave Gutelius Inc. and $7,831 on security cameras for the Montgomery Athletic and Community Center and high school gym.

Board member Jon Desantis abstained from the vote on security cameras and board members Chris Johnson, Dana Pick and Tony Wright were absent.

The board approved membership fees for the Montgomery Athletic and Community Center in the amounts of $50 a year or $10 a month. The board also approved hours of operation for the center, with DeSantis requesting the board revisit the issue once community members have a chance to form and share opinions.

In personnel matters, the board approved the hiring of Tara Rippey as an autism support teacher at a salary of $51,011 and Amanda Kustanbauter as a volunteer girls’ softball coach.

The board accepted an agreement with the West Branch Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission for services for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.

Michael Sherman, from Montgomery Area American Youth Soccer Organization, shared details about the group’s progress with the board. He said a small field built on Route 54 with a contribution from Clinton Township is nearly complete, with the field surface down and walls up.

“We have a couple hundred screws to put in,” Sherman said.

He said the field will be used for 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 games.

“It’s kind of first of its kind,” he said.

He said due to the past support of the school district and other entities, the program had its “most successful season ever.” The organization will host a camp in August at the park, and due to the generosity of area businesses it will be the most affordable camp in the region for young soccer players. He added three or four soccer players from the Harrisburg Heat professional team are expected to visit the camp.