By Libby Rosequist
Superintendent Dr. Michele Hartzell went over her superintendent report and thanked Earl C. Davis Primary Principal Dr. Jennifer Ritter and the Title One teachers for hosting a dinner at Gravel Pit Park.
Dinner was provided by St. Joe’s and was served by Title One staff.
After dinner, children enjoyed the playground while parents were given a presentation on what the teachers have planned to help their students, and how the parents can be involved.
Every child was given a gift bag and a pumpkin from Burch Farms.
“Thank you to Dr. Jane Blystone for attending on behalf of the board of directors and capturing photos,” Hartzell said. “Also, thank you to the Title One teachers. I know that it took a lot of work to put this together and thank you to Dr. Ritter. Your time and efforts are much appreciated.”
Hartzell also thanks Fuller and Crescent Hose Co. for visiting the elementary school to promote fire safety and prevention to the students.
“We are so thankful to have such a hands-on fire department willing to set up their equipment and take the time to teach our students the importance of fire safety,” Hartzell said. “Also, thank you to our board member Joe Cancilla who volunteers for the fire department.”
The minutes from the regular meeting on Sept. 16 and the special meeting on Sept. 28 were approved unanimously.
Under business, the board authorized the filing of facsimile signatures with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for Nicholas Mobilia, Paul Behnken, Jeffrey Fox, Nathan Otis, William Renne, Brian Emick, Tina Gruber and Denise Pyle to sign on behalf of the North East School District.
Moving on to personnel, the board approved the resignation of Christopher Fornalczyk, bus mechanic; Sherri Rhoades-Herman, long-term substitute; and Brian Fallon, instructional aide.
The board approved hiring 10 new district employees:
• Kathryn Schultz, Davis Primary Instructional Aide
• Suzanne Wisniewski, Intermediate Instructional Aide
• Keegan Fordyce, Intermediate Instructional Aide
• Zachary Moyer, Davis Primary Instructional Aide
• Jeanette Horton, Intermediate Instructional Aide
• Amber Lucas, Middle School Instructional Aide
• Maxwell Kehl, full-time elementary custodian
• Luke Brooks, transportation department mechanic
• Kimberly Adams, full-time nurse for NEHS and NEMS
• Christie Austin, medical assistant
Family medical leave was approved for Amy Brown, Christina Luke, Patricia Schultz and Gail Wadding.
The board also approved the transfer of Andrea Bartlebaugh from non-CDL driver to CDL bus driver.
Public comments were opened and North East parents were able to voice concerns.
Chelsea Best and Carolyn Brown summed up what many parents voiced during the meeting.
“I am here again to address what I feel is the diminished learning our children have received over the last 18 months,” Chelsea Best said. “I am concerned about our PSSA test results and even more concerned about the inconsistencies our district has over masks, quarantining and remote learning. Our children are missing out on so many educational learning opportunities and students are still getting detentions for wearing masks incorrectly while teachers and board members are not being held to the same standard. This is unacceptable to me and many other parents and I want to know what we as parents can do to get on the same page and understand the regulations that are in place. I am sure your intentions are the same as ours, so please let us work together.”
“You want us parents to understand you are doing the best you can and wonder why we are upset,” Carolyn Brown said. “It’s almost like you are not paying attention to us. Let me refresh the last few school board meetings have consisted of parents concerned about the use of masks during physical activity, specifically during team practice, last meeting parents upset because they never received a response for who was responsible for making their children wear a mask during physical activity, and yet, here we are again talking about children wearing masks during physical activity. You think you’re tired of hearing about it, we are tired of talking about it and just want some answers.”
Nick Mobilia thanked the parents who spoke during public comments.
Half-day dismissals are scheduled on Nov. 4 and 5, for parent conferences.
The next board meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m.