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South Williamsport board discusses student policy

The South Williamsport Area School Board Monday night discussed a policy to allow parents or guardians of students to hold them at their present grade levels for another school year due to the pandemic.

The board agreed to table action on the policy to allow for more discussion.

Some board members felt the May 1 deadline for requests to retain students at the same grade level was not late enough in the school year.

School director Erica Molino, for one, said she felt the date should be pushed back on the calendar.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Stamm said the May 1 date gives teachers enough time to plan for additional students in their classes the following school year.

“The reason for the May 1 date is planning,” he said. “I need to give my staff adequate time.”

He noted that everyone has been impacted by the pandemic.

“I have reservations about parents holding their kids back because of the pandemic,” he said.

In other matters, the board set a minimum amount of $250 for scholarships or gifts to students from individuals and organizations.

The board agreed to establish a committee to review a compensation plan for athletic coaches.

In personnel matters, the board approved the hiring of Joella Harvey as a long-term substitute at $150 per day plus benefits.

Stamm noted the position will support elementary students at the Mountie Academy and enable the enrollment of additional students into the program.

The board accepted the resignation of Heather Bower as junior high cheer coach for the winter season and approved Mackenzie Miller to fill the position for a stipend of $1,170.

The next board meeting is 7 p.m. on Feb. 1.

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