MIFFLINTOWN - So far, 2014 has proven to be a year of change in the Juniata County School District.
During a Thursday meeting, the school board voted unanimously to purchase and install new telephones in all district classrooms. Administration said a test of the phones went off without a hitch. The phones, model 673li IP Aastra, will provide two-way communication between school offices and classrooms. Cutomizable settings allow for volume control to counter noisy classrooms.
The phones also offer all-call and intercom features to contact every classroom at once. If a phone is already in use, an emergency message can be sent to interrupt the call and play in the background. The emergency message will only be audible to the person on the district end of the line.
Upgraded communication has been a recent topic of discussion among the school board, and the new phones provide peace of mind for schools that previously had no two-way communication between offices and classrooms. The purchase includes 260 phones at a cost of $26,390.
The board also took another step toward finalizing renovations, alterations and additions at East Juniata High School, Juniata High School and Tuscarora Junior High School. It was resolved Thursday that the board will incur nonelectoral debt by general obligation bonds in the amount of $13.9 million. The district agreed to pay issuance costs and expenses, accept an underwriter's bid to purchase the bonds and pledged the district's full faith, credit and taxing power to secure the bonds. In the same vote, the board agreed to appointing a paying agent and a sinking fund depository and authorized related actions and documents.
A related vote approved a resolution to follow the Post-Issuance Tax Compliance Procedures for Tax-Exempt and Notes or Bonds. The district's bond counsel said certain requirements are made of the district after the bonds are issued. The action approved Business Manager Richard Meily to provide required financial updates from the district, relating to the bonds issued.
Before closing, the school board voted to use April 21, the Monday after Easter, as a snow make-up day.
In other business, the board:
Approved a pilot elective course, Career and Consumer Sciences, at EJHS. Administration said the new course will be taught by the current family and consumer sciences teacher. It will be the third family and consumer science course at the school.
Approved Tremco Incorporated to perform infrared scans and moisture analysis of roofs at Lack-Tuscarora and Thompsontown-Delaware elementary schools. Cost is $2,525.
Approved homebound instruction for two students; one from JHS and one from EJHS.
Approved the following substitute paraprofessionals: Steven Harris, Teresa E. Hobbs, Tracy L. Peters, Brooke Reichenbach, Leanna Speece, Nicole M. Waddell and Tanya Wolfe.
Approved Christine L. Holderman's attendance at the annual Pennsylvania Association of Federal Programs Coordinators Conference, set to be held from April 27-29 in Champion.
Approved the establishment of a ski club at EJHS. Michelle Elsasser will serve as volunteer advisor and will coordinate activities with Midd-West School District's ski club advisor.
Approved the establishment of an assistant tennis coach position, at a base salary of $800, with ten incremental steps of $90.
Approved the following positions for the 2013-2014 school year at JHS: Nicholas Beward, varsity baseball coach; Joshua Haines, junior varsity baseball coach; Brian Sheaffer, varsity softball coach; Victoria Tornambe, junior varsity softball coach; Alan Musselman, tennis coach; Kimberly Hart, head track coach; David Portzline, assistant track coach; Nick Bodley, assistant track coach, Michael Burdge, Edward Apple and Ryan Marker, baseball coaches; and Theron Miller, Trevor Miller, Gary Price and Lindsay Sheaffer, track coaches.
Approved the following positions for the 2013-2014 school year at TJHS: Brian Strawser, head girls' soccer coach; and Christopher Alderfer, assistant girls' soccer coach.
Approved the following positions for the 2013-2014 school year at EJHS: Timothy Brubaker, varsity baseball coach; Don Troup, junior varsity baseball coach; Joseph Schilling, varsity softball coach; Mark Ritzman, head track coach; Cory Benner, assistant track coach; Simon Cameron, assistant track coach; Lori Goodling, junior high girls' soccer coach; and Jodi Strawser and Stephanie Dressler, junior high field hockey coaches.