LEWISTOWN - Mifflin County School District faced an extra surprise cost this year - transportation for nine students to a new charter school satellite site in Juniata County.
The Tuscarora Blended Learning Charter School opened a satellite site in Juniata County at the beginning of the school year, transportation director Nancy Craig told the school board during a workshop meeting Thursday.
The state requires school districts to transport charter school students to sites within 10 miles of their borders, and the TBLC site qualifies for Mifflin County, Assistant Superintendent Edward Curry said.
The additional cost to transport these students is approximately $31,000, Craig said. Charter school students are transported up to three times every day, which amounts to approximately 200 miles, she said.
Overall, the school district's transportation costs are up by approximately $150 per day, she said.
Curry added that the charter school did not notify the school district about transportation until the beginning of the school year.
Also during the meeting, Jerry Myers from Reynolds Construction said the new Indian Valley High School project is on schedule.
The trailers will be moved out of the school parking lot to the project site by next week, Myers said.
To work during the winter, the crews have temporarily enclosed Area A, Myers said. Area B has not yet been enclosed because the contractor would like to install the windows and lay the brick first, he said.
"Our goal is to get enclosed so we can work through the winter," Myers said.
The brick on the back areas D and E are complete, and a shipment of brick for Area B arrived Thursday, Myers said.
Crews also are working on the restrooms and interior masonry petitions, he said.
Myers did not have information about change orders, but he said he would attend the Nov. 19 meeting with any changes that arise.
In other business, board member Walter Harpster said a parent approached him with concerns about her son, who will have seven study halls today. With Juniata County School District having an in-service day, Mifflin County students who attend the Mifflin-Juniata Career and Technology Center do not have classes at the center.
Dianne Shearer, of the Education Association of Mifflin County, said the IVHS principals and staff have been working hard to make the day educational for the tech school students.
"I'm sure Lewistown (Area High School) is doing the same," Shearer said. "No one will have seven periods of study hall."
IVHS will open its computer labs, physical education classes and resource rooms to the students, Shearer said.
Superintendent David Runk explained that the reason for the change is because the school districts did not work together to develop a schedule for the 2009-2010 school year.
"Juniata County approved their schedule early without talking to us," Runk said.
Also during the meeting:
Richard Buck from the U.S. Census gave a presentation about the upcoming questionnaires and the importance of educating the public.
Census data determines the amount of funding that school districts receive from the federal government, Buck said. He encouraged educators to teach their students about the census.
Curry told the board that the Harrisburg Area Community College is getting ready to begin spring semester classes in Mifflin and Juniata counties.
New this spring, the courses will be open to high school juniors and seniors, Curry said.
"This is a good opportunity for students and others," Curry said. "Students can get a jump start on education."
Chief Financial Officer Sean Daubert discussed refinancing options with the board members.
He said the market is difficult during the holidays and recommended waiting until January to pursue refinancing options.
The school board discussed a request by the Burnham Bulldogs, a special needs team, to play two benefit games on Nov. 15 at Mitchell Field.
The board members agreed that they would allow the team to use the field.
Runk said Indian Valley High School is preparing to move into the new school.
The Mifflin County School Board of Directors will hold a voting meeting at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Administration Building, Eighth Street, Lewistown.