CASD Reorganizes, Takes Action on Former Middle School Demolition and Hears Financial Results

CLEARFIELD – Larry Putt was retained as board president and Mary Ann Jackson as vice president during last night’s Clearfield area school board meeting. Beard Legal Group remains as solicitor and Kayla Caragein as board secretary. 

The meeting schedule for 2017 will include workshops on Jan. 16, Feb. 20, March 20, May 15, June 19, Aug. 21, Sept. 18 and Oct. 16. 

Regular voting meetings will be Jan. 23, Feb. 27, March 27, May 22, June 26, Aug. 28, Sept. 25 and Oct. 23. 

Combined meetings are scheduled for April 24, July 24 and Nov. 20 and the re-organization and voting meeting will be held Dec. 6.

Board member Gail Ralston asked about having workshops in April and November, noting that it is very helpful for the board to have an opportunity to discuss certain matters prior to voting on them. 

Superintendent Terry Struble explained that combined meetings were scheduled because the traditional voting meetings would take place just after holidays when there would not be staff on hand to prepare. 

After some discussion, the board voted to leave the schedule as is but to advertise workshops for those months as-needed.

After re-organization, the board took action on several items, most notably the demolition of the former middle school on Mill Road in Clearfield. 

The combined bid of $628,990 for asbestos removal and demolition from Natalie’s Excavating and Demolition LTD was approved out of 16 submitted bids. 

Only eight of those were combination bids for both, and while there was a lower bid for asbestos removal, Struble said the administration thought it was better to have one company do both. 

Natalie’s bid was for $280,000 for asbestos removal and $348,990 for demolition.  The district budgeted $850,000 for the project.

The district was notified there were at least one, and possibly two, time capsules on the property of the school.

One was from 1974 when the school was changed from the high school to middle school, and one from 1954 when the school first opened. 

The capsule from 1974 has been found, but it was filled with water.  It has been taken to the River Road building and is drying out to be opened later.

Board member Jennifer Hughes said she thought there might be a third capsule from the class of 2000 on site, as well.

Anyone with information on other capsules and their locations is asked to contact the district with information so that they can be located.

Business Administrator Sam Maney presented the financial results of the 2015-2016 school year.  The press release stated:

“The Clearfield Area School District ended the 2015-16 school year with a $539,542 surplus.  The district originally anticipated a $3,934,258 deficit for the 2015-16 school year. 

“The positive results can be primarily attributed to increases in local tax revenues and additional state and federal revenues over projected amounts coupled with considerable savings in major expense categories, such as personnel, transportation costs, tuition and general supply costs. 

“The district’s general fund balance as of June 30, 2016 was $12,735,514 and included $2,914,880 of reserves restricted for debt service obligations, $1,330,201 committed for PSERS (retirement) increases and $403,723 assigned for real estate tax appeals.

“The food service department of the Clearfield Area School District experienced a $34,403 deficit for the 2015-16 school year. The district originally anticipated a $66,524 deficit.

“The reduction in the deficit was primarily the result of an increase in federal meal subsidies and a savings in anticipated depreciation expense.  The fund balance of the food service fund was $404,499 at June 30, 2016.”

When elaborating on the information, Maney said the district picked up additional tax revenue than anticipated and other things also did better than anticipated, including the two auctions held and the settlement from Girard-Goshen school.

Personnel items were voted on and included Jessica Bailey transfer from ESL teacher/technology coach to Grade 5, effective TBA; Mark Bender, as assistant special education director at a base salary of $76,000 with benefits per Act 93; homebound instructors Zachary Bash, Michael Knepp, Linda Wingate, Edward Yescavage and Kathy Shugarts; Kevin Lykens, volunteer wrestling coach, effective Nov. 30; Garrett Spence, volunteer girls’ basketball coach, effective Nov. 30; Jason Gill, volunteer boys basketball coach, effective Nov. 17; Gerald Stewart, volunteer boys basketball coach, effective Nov. 17; Michael Shipley, volunteer swimming coach, effective Nov. 7 and Sara Tubbs, resignation as head volleyball coach.

Also, a kindergarten teacher requested a leave of absence for maternity effective March 1-10 using sick days, and then family medical leave act leave March 13 through June 5, or the last day of school, utilizing any remaining sick days.

The second readings for seven policies were approved: field trips, use of medications, administrative regulations-use of medications, possession/use of asthma inhalers/epinephrine auto-injectors, controlled substances/paraphernalia, hazing and responsibility for student welfare. 

After some discussion, the board agreed that policies regarding drugs should be reviewed every two years and updated whenever needed.

Three field trips were also approved.  The first is a request to take 100 students to Washington, D.C., for the presidential inauguration.

Thanks to donations, the cost per student will be $30 and is open to the first 100 students to bring in their money for the trip.

The district was able to secure two coach buses for the trip, and Struble said they would not be able to get another bus, so 100 is the absolute limit.

Spanish teachers Stephanie Wittie and James Poleto requested to take up to 45 students to the Carnegie Science Center Feb. 8 with the Spanish Honor Society paying for the tickets. German teacher Barb Simpson also requested taking 40-50 students to the center Feb. 16 with German Honor Society paying for the tickets.  Both trips were approved.

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