MIFFLINTOWN - A deeper understanding of the school district comes from inside the classroom, said Juniata County School Board Director Glenda Leister during a board meeting held Thursday evening in Mifflintown.
Leister praised district principals for their recent hospitality as she paid unannounced visits to each school in the district. She said being in the classroom helped her to better see and understand what's happening at the schools.
While the district has made some changes with limited finances in mind, "We can't be a district that becomes about money," she urged.
Leister encouraged other directors to take time to visit the schools.
In other new business, the board approved the purchase of two lots of land from Danny and Christine Shadel, of McAlisterville.
The property is located adjacent to the western side of East Juniata High School and consists of two lots. Lot 3, which is 1.98 acres, and Lot 2 is 1.52 acres, were available for $55,000.
Superintendent Richard Musselman further recommended approving the EJHS building trades class and administration to use Lot 2 for the development of plans and permits to construct a speculation home. A motion was made to commit JCSD to fund the project, with proceeds from the sale being used to fund future building trades projects.
The motion failed with no second.
Also during the meeting, the board approved a geothermal test boring at Juniata High School at a cost of $7,800. Musselman said the test will be conducted by Northeast Geothermal Services Inc. and is part of an ongoing feasibility study of utility efficiency at the school.
In other business, the board approved:
Revised Juniata County School District Policy 137, Home Education Programs.
A contract with Easter Seals Interpreting Services for the provision of interpreting services for the 2013-2014 school year.
Financial reports for August 2013 and a listing of bills for payment.
A list of taxpayers exonerated from paying 2012 per capita taxes.
A revised JCSD meal charges policy.
Christine Gloss, Brenda Jones and Jay Leroy Stewart as sub-contractor drivers for Rohrer Bus Service.
A contract with Youth Advocate Programs Inc. to provide mental health liaison services to JCSD Student Assistance Program teams.
A contract with Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf to provide dorm supervisory services for a JCSD student for the 2013-2014 school year, at a cost of $42,111.
Universal Community Behavioral Health to collaborate with the district to provide the BHRS Brief Treatment Model, including mobile therapy or behavioral specialist consultant services, in the school setting.
Three to four weeks of homebound instruction for a Juniata High School student.
Agreements with school dentists to provide examinations in the schools during the 2013-2014 school year.
Resignations from: Paraprofessionals Rebecca S. Ehrenzeller, Tobi A. Dowling and Terri J. Arnold; Athletic Director Stephen D. Dreibelbis; part-time custodian Glenn T. Dressler; and translator/interpreter Angela Maria St. John.
An adjustment to the hourly rate for paraprofessionals Nichol L. Strauser, Courtney L. Everitt and Thomas R. Brotzman, to 80 percent of the hourly rate approved upon their hiring at the August board meeting.
Establishing three Level 2 paraprofessional positions designated for life skills classrooms at Tuscarora Valley Elementary School, JHS and EJHS.
The employment of the following paraprofessionals; Shannon L. Coudriet, Tricia J. Erhard, Jasmine D. Rodriguez, Dana C. Spade and Michila N. Carolus.
Substitute teachers Christine E. Gloss and Brett M. Leister, substitute paraprofessionals Michila N. Carolus, Linda M. Drewes, Tricia J. Erhard, Rebecca E. Freed, Paula Hepner, Susan E. Kerstetter, Kelly S. Renninger and Keila M. Richmond; and substitute custodians Ken A. Gesselman, Gregory J. Yesco and Timothy Yohn.
Establishing the position of home and school visitor to replace the currently vacant elementary guidance counselor position.
Jessica L. Berkheimer as a TVES teacher. She replaces Stephanie Bonnell, who transferred to a Thompsontown-Delaware Elementary School position created by Barbara Bassler's retirement.
An agreement to waive provisions of Article IX, Section G of the negotiated agreement between the JCSD and the Juniata County Education Association to allow retiree Barbara M. Bassler to receive $200 per month compensation for health care premiums.
The following candidates for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association: Mark B. Miller, president; Larry B. Breech, vice president; Otto W. Voit III, president; Kathy K. Swope, at-large representative for regions 4, 5, 6, 9 and 12.