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Loyalsock board to reconsider quarantining

The Loyalsock Township School Board is taking a hard look at changing its policy for quarantining students.

Superintendent Gerald McLaughlin told the board it may be time to consider not quarantining those who are asymptomatic of COVID-19, even if they come in contact with infected persons.

Other schools in the area, he noted, have taken such steps.

“The concern for the administration is we are trying to close the learning gap,” he said.

Other administrators noted the problems of students missing school and trying to learn remotely.

McLaughlin said school officials are doing the best they can monitoring COVID-19 infections, including with contract tracing and communicating with nursing staff.

However, board president Carolyn Strickland warned that COVID-19 infection rates are high and likely to only increase this winter.

“We need to make decisions based on what the medical community says,” she said. “We are all in this together.”

No action was taken on the issue.

However, the board may meet in special session next week to reconsider the matter.

In other actions, the board approved the transfer of a total of $600,000 from the general fund for upcoming projects.

Business manager Daniel Egly said $250,000 will go to the technology assigned fund and $350,000 to the capital projects fund.

The board approved the school calendar for 2022-2023 which includes later starting and ending dates for students.

McLaughlin noted that the calendar calls for students to report to school Sept. 6 and finish June 16.

Normally, students are in school from the last week of August until the first week of June.

The later starting date is expected to help prevent school building renovations this summer from interrupting classroom time.

The calendar also includes several half days of school for Act 80 days needed for professional development.

Those days are Oct 7, Nov. 11, Feb. 10 and March 17.

The board approved building inspection services with CMT Laboratories, State College for $41,000.

The services include testing for soil, concrete, metal and other needs involving building construction.

In personnel matters, the board approved the hiring of Jennifer Snyder as a part-time high school secretary at $13 per hour.

The board acknowledged the resignation of Mary Rucker as a part-time food service employee.

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