The Northampton School Board met Monday, October 10 to discuss updated policies on meetings and record retention, as well as moving forward with the Act 34 Hearing.
The board unanimously approved a revised list of professional and support staff transfers for this school year, the resignation of Eric Schoeneberger from the position of maintenance, the resignation of Lindsey Strunk from the position of cafeteria monitor, the resignation of Maggy Alexander-Michel from the position of curriculum secretary, the resignation of Robin Zamadics from the position of special education counselor, three unpaid leave of absences, the revised master district volunteer list for this school year, and the additions and deletions to the substitute listing for the current school year.
The board also unanimously approved all items listed under New Business Personnel Roll Call Vote, which included revised teacher mentors for the current school year, the revised listing for extra-curricular and supplemental positions for this school year, the revised listing of 68-day short-term substitute teachers for this school year, the revised listing of traffic duty monitors for this school year, the revised listing of athletic event staff for this school year, the attendance of Susan Hertzog at the Attendance/Child Accounting Professional Association Conference in October, various individuals and 20 Northampton cheerleaders to attend the UCA Nationals Cheerleading Competition in February, the attendance of two individuals from the business office to attend the PASBO Annual Conference in March, the participation of April Krempasky and Courtney Schnyderite in the 2022-2023 German American Partnersship Program in June with accompanying district students to Germany for the exchange visit in June and coordinating and hosting the visiting German students to our district, Zachary Vilkauskas as Maintenance employee Tuesday through Saturday, Wendy Arner as long-term substitute certified school nurse, the listing of 2022-2023 winter season head coaches and assistant coaches, Ashley O’Brien as a 12-month school psychologist, Jill Nevenglosky as 12-month curriculum secretary, Brendan Schlegal as a 10-month district school police officer, Brenda Oswald as cafeteria monitor at Franklin Elementary, Laura Karns as PE special education teacher at Lehigh Elementary, Jennifer Getz as a school-based behavioral health counselor through June 2024, Philip Wasko as middle shift maintenance employee Monday through Friday, the mandatory attendance of school police officer Brendan Schlegel at the 2022 Basic School Resource Officer Training Course in October, the attendance of Richard Hasonich at the PASBO Facilities, Transportation, and Security Conference in October, and Steffanie Breininger as a school-based behavioral health counselor through June 2024.
Next, the board unanimously approved revised policies for Policy 006 – Meetings and Policy 826 Record Retention Schedule. Beginning in November, the school board meetings will be recorded through audio and video and will be uploaded to the district website within 24 hours. Additionally, the streaming will be kept on the district website for approximately 30 days. The redaction clause was eliminated from the streaming policy.
The board voted to move forward with the Notice of Public Hearing and authorizing the district administration to advertise the Act 34 Hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the NASD middle school cafeteria and by resolution, authorize a “maximum project cost” of $73,406,193 (includes $3,043,193 in financing costs) and a “maximum building construction cost” of $44,707,536 in connection with the project. All present board members except Doug Vaughn voted in favor of moving forward with the Act 34 Hearing. The booklet will be made available on the district website for 30 days following the hearing.
In other business, the board unanimously voted to approve agenda items listed under Finance, which included the disposal of obsolete technology equipment, parts, and components, BerkOne to prepare and mail the Homestead applications on behalf of the district, adopt the resolution involving Act 57 of 2022 that amended the Local Tax Collection Act, the authorization of the administration to prepare and solicit annual bids for maintenance/custodial supplies, instructional/general supplies, gasoline/diesel, and fuel oil/natural gas for the 2023-2024 school year, a two year extension with Provident Energy Consulting to purchase electricity through the fiscal year 2025-2026 at a rate of $0.001 per kWh, the settlement of the real estate tax assessment appeal against Rock – Lehigh Valley pursuant to the settlement stipulation, the contract for two special education teachers to provide instruction In the Home services not to exceed $10,030 for the current school year, the settlement agreement and release for a special education student, the settlement agreement and release for a regular education student, the bills for payment, and the treasurer’s report.
The board also authorized the Northampton School Board Secretary to cast the NASD’s Board of School Directors vote for PSBA Officers in accordance with the PSBA voting requirement, which was approved unanimously.
During public comment, Maggie Kemp spoke against the proposed 329 elementary school and asked the board to wait until adequate traffic studies can be completed due to the tractor trailer traffic that will occur from various warehouses being built near that area. Kemp explained that she does not believe the location will be safe for elementary school students.
Another resident shared her child’s story in hopes of future action being taken to prevent homophobic bullying at the middle school. The resident noted that her child and others are being targeted daily by their peers and do not feel safe.
Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik expressed that the board acknowledges the complaints regarding the safety of children at the proposed Route 329 elementary school and that he will look into the bullying at the middle school and discuss it at their staff meeting.
The Act 34 Hearing will take place on Thursday, December 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the NASD middle school cafeteria, located at 1617 Laubach Ave.
The next Northampton School Board meeting will be held on Monday, November 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Northampton Area High School auditorium, located at 1619 Laubach Ave.