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Decision about Stevens Primary School coming next month

“Time’s ticking,” Dr. Timothy S. Bowers, Williamsport Area School District’s superintendent, told the school board at their meeting this week, as the decision on whether to close the Stevens Primary School, which is scheduled for next month, approaches.

No one from the public was on hand at the meeting to voice their opinion about the closure.

Bowers urged anyone who would like to voice their opinion on the pending decision to contact the district at wasd.org or attend a school board meeting to address the board.

“We encourage anyone who wants to go on record, please do that,” Bowers said.

In his comments to the board, Bowers also stressed that although the board had approved filling several staff positions during the meeting, the district still has a lot of hiring to do.

“We still have positions out there administratively and obviously lots of teachers and support staff,” he said.

“We are working hard going through all those applications and interviewing processes and recruiting processes. Our goal is to be fully staffed as soon as possible. We’d like to go into the summer fully staffed,” he said.

Typically in the summer, some staff make last-minute decisions about not returning to their positions so the district wants to have as full a staff complement as possible for that possibility.

Bowers urged board members to encourage people who might be interested in working for the district to apply.

Under personnel items, the board approved hiring the following people at the rate of pay listed:

• Bethanny J. Boyce, temporary professional employee, to teach Special Education at the Middle School, $53,633 plus $200.

• Kelsie S.Buckwalter, temporary professional employee, to teach third grade at Stevens Primary, $53,633.

• Laurel A. Denham, temporary professional employee, to teach art at Curtin Intermediate, $53,633.

• Christopher S. Gorman, temporary professional employee, to teach music at Lycoming Valley Intermediate, $53,633.

• Courtney R. Hamm, Director of Educational Data Analysis, $55,000.

• Brice E. Hoffman, temporary professional employee, to teach fourth grade at Curtin Intermediate, $53,633.

• Macy T. McCarthy, temporary professional employee, to teach fourth grade at Lycoming Valley Intermediate, $53,633.

• Dillon C. Perchinski, temporary professional employee, to teach welding at the High School, $59,882.

• Sherri L. Schirmer, temporary professional employee, to teach fourth grade at Curtin Intermediate, $59,882.

• Scott J. Williams, temporary professional employee, to teach fourth grade at Curtin Intermediate, $53,633.

The following persons were approved as Academic Recovery-5th marking period teachers at the high and middle schools, from June 13 through July 1, at a rate of $31.20 per hour: Brittany T. Naculich and Jacob T. Anderson, mathematics; Tyra J. Crews and Kaylie F. Schans, English; Caylin M. Hartley and Allison E. Huber, social studies; Marcia L. McCann and George H. Plowman, special education; and Christie M. Peck, school social worker.

Other personnel actions included hiring the following persons as temporary summer work intervention specialists at the High School at the hourly rate of pay listed: Michelle M. Derrick, $21.12 and Olivia K. Erb, $18.51.

Rebecca L. Harding was also approved for temporary summer work as an attendance compliance specialist at a rate of $21.12 per hour.

The following substitute state was approved at the rate listed: Shoneez Frelin and Delaney K. Jean, as substitute teachers at a rate of $120 per day for the first 45 days and $130 per day beyond that time; Rebecca A. Brocious and Tammi L. Laurenson, substitute administrative support/aides, $12.00 per hour up to 180 days per year.

A position change for George P. Kinley, third grade teacher at Stevens Primary School who will now teach fourth grade at Lycoming Valley Intermediate School was approved.

The board agreed to accept a grant from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools LLC for $5,000 for the “Better Together” student project. The project, led by Randy Williamson, instructor with the construction trades program, will work with two students from the High School to complete work at Brandon Park. In conjunction with this, the board approved an agreement between the district and the City of Williamsport for the Brandon Park Dugout Restoration Project funded through the grant.

Other actions by the board included approving the following bids and contracts:

• A proposal for JMSI Environmental Corp of Swoyersville to provide asbestos abatement project management and air monitoring for the asbestos abatement projects within Cochran and Hepburn-Lycoming Primary schools at a cost up to $26,300. Funding comes from 2019 bonds proceeds.

• An agreement with Sargent Enterprises, Inc. of Jim Thorpe for the completion of the asbestos abatement work at Cochran and Hepburn-Lycoming at a cost of $148,876. Any additional asbestos found during the project is at a unit cost of $5.60/SF. This will be paid through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) II funds.

• Carpet removal and LVT tile installation projects at Cochran, Hepburn-Lycoming and Jackson Primary schools and Curtin Intermediate. The project is utilizing the Keystone Purchasing Network Contract (Shaw Integrated Solutions) and the installer, Spectra, of Harrisburg. The cost for each school is: Cochran, $370,587; Hepburn-Lycoming, $258,900; Jackson, $473,994; and Curtin, $719,155. Funds come from ESSER II.

The board approved awarding contracts to various companies through the Cooperative Purchasing Program of the Keystone Purchasing Network to replenish the warehouse stock of art supplies at a cost of $9,125. They also approved the district’s participation in the same program to award contracts to various companies for general supplies at a cost of $18,483.

Curriculum items approved by the board included: the purchase of three Magicard ID card printer systems plus related equipment and software from Easy Badges at a cost of $10,720; an independent contractor agreement between XLR8ED Therapy Services, LLC and the district to provide Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy-Sensory Integration evaluations for a special education student. The amount of the contract is not to exceed $1,260.

The board also approved having Andrew Leigey, Automotive Technology teacher at the High School teach a Pennsylvania Vehicle Safety Inspection update course for adult auto technicians. The course will be offered during evening hours next month. The fee charged will cover the expenses of the teacher and materials needed for the course. Leigey will be paid for up to 40 hours at the established rate of $31.20 per hour.

The next meeting of the board will be at 6 p.m., May 3, at the District Service Center board room, 2780 West Fourth St.

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