MCSD gets safety grant

Board considers timing of technology purchase

LEWISTOWN – Mifflin County School District has been awarded $495,000 in school safety and security grants.

Superintendent James Estep notified the district’s board of directors on Thursday evening during its monthly voting meeting.

According to a press release provided by the office of Kerry Benninghoff, R-171, this funding is made available to every school district in Pennsylvania. Money is to be used toward security measures deemed most critical by the receiving district. Other districts in Benninghoff’s legislative district received $35,000 to $45,000.

Also during the meeting, Doug Cunningham, director of information systems, provided a biannual technology department update.

He said the department is due to replace 650 desktop computers and 464 laptops in 2020, as part of routine updates. His plan includes an upgrade to the CNC router at the Academy of Science and Technology, as well as hardware for Windows 10 compatibility.

However, the school board has to decide whether to make the changes this fiscal year or hold off until next year. The deciding factor may be the progress of coronavirus in coming weeks.

Estep said he hoped, for budgetary reasons, to hold the purchase for another year. If the coronavirus continues to impede manufacturing at factories overseas, supply may not be able to keep up with demand for new devices in the short-term. If that becomes reality, prices may increase and the school district will have to pay a higher cost for less technology.

Estep asked board members to consider whether they wish to wait, as planned, and potentially face higher costs later or allocate money from the capital reserve fund to purchase devices this year.

After discussion, directors decided to wait until their March meetings to revisit the issue.

During the meeting, the board approved:

¯Minutes of January meetings.

¯Treasurer’s report for January.

¯List of bills for payment, real estate and per capita tax collector reports and the cafeteria financial report.

¯Offer on repository for unsold properties.

¯Request for permission to bid athletic supplies for the 2020-2021 school year.

¯Kevin J. French as bus driver.

¯Resignations of Kristy L, Manbeck, fiscal technition, administration building, effective March 6; Anita J. Ingram, reading specialist teacher, East Derry Elementary School, June 2; Lucas R. Shinskie, Alpha math teacher, June 30; Terrance L. Young, school psychologist, Feb. 12; Michelle L. Bower, life skills teacher, Lewistown Elementary School, Feb. 14; Christine M. Morgan, chemistry teacher, Mifflin County High School, at end of 2019-2020 school year; Kelli A. Anderson, paraprofessional, EDES, Feb. 4; Jayme R. Hockenberry, paraprofessional, LIS, Aug. 10; Stephen E. Whalen, multi-craft maintenance, March 9; Kaleena M. Beers, part-time cafeteria substitute, Jan. 27; Brenda L. Hutchinson, part-time cafeteria substitute, Feb. 17; Rebecca J. Fultz, part-time cafeteria substitute, Feb. 17; Serena L. Dreese, part-time cafeteria substitute, Feb. 17; Elizabeth A. Pent, part-time cafeteria substitute, Jan. 30; Jennifer L. Baines, part-time cafeteria substitute, Feb. 17; Lori A. Aultz, paraprofessional at MCMS, at the end of the school year; and Natalie S. Love, MCHS English teacher, at the end of the school year.

¯Termination of Employee C, effective Jan. 31

¯Three-day suspension without pay for Employee A.

¯Transfer of Lyndsay M. Clark, paraprofessional at LES, to paraprofessional at EDES, effective Feb. 12; Alison M. Bubb, paraprofessional at Indian Valley Elementary Center, to paraprofessional at LES, Geb. 19; Caleb M. Beers, full-time custodian at MCHS to full-time custodian at Mifflin County Junior High School, Feb. 24; and Melissa L. Basom, from part-time paraprofessional at LIS to full-time paraprofessional at IVEC, Feb. 26.

¯Kathy J. Criswell, custodial substitute, effective Jan. 2. Further approved resignation of Criswell due to personal reasons, effective Feb. 6.

¯Morgan E. Daddario, custodial substitute, effective pending completion of pre-employment paperwork and clearances.

¯Rachelle R. Strouse, part-time cafeteria substitute, effective pending completion of pre-employment paperwork and clearances.

¯Casey A. Charles, part-time server/dishwasher at Mifflin County Middle School, effective pending completion of pre-employment paperwork and clearances.

¯Danielle R. Williams, part-time cashier at LES, effective pending completion of pre-employment paperwork and clearances.

¯Following teachers to receive tenure: Amber M. Oliver, Cody A. Lorson, Amber S. Fuller, Erin E. Benitez, Tiffany D. Mistrella, Teresa M. Gipe, Rachael M. Beahm, Jenny S. Fortson, Jamie C. Beeler, Andrew T. Baker, Tiffani M. Davidson, Samantha J. Gates, Heidi L. Stewart, Kaby-Ann R. Speck, Kelly J. Walker and Marissa A. Jabco.

¯Coaches, pending clearances, Paige K. Johnson, volunteer softball; Colton J. Craig, football; and Daniel C. Schomaker, junior high soccer.

¯Neil A. Breneman, volunteer track and field coach, for the 2019-2020 track season.

¯Jack S. Xanthopoulos, volunteer junior high and varsity boys soccer coach, for the 2019-2020 season.

¯Hope Baker, School Nutrition Program director. Baker will receive a pro-rated $4,000 stipend.

¯Resolution calling for charter school funding reform.

¯Posting three technology intern jobs for summer 2020.