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District moves on sports upgrade

CRT resolution tabled

LEWISTOWN — A site survey for the potential sports complex and fundraising for the athletic field upgrades highlighted the voting meeting of the Mifflin County school board on Thursday.

The board approved by a vote of 8-1 for the ELA Sport/ELA Group Inc. to complete the site survey and utility locating for $51,805. This work will be done to obtain existing conditions, topographic and amenities surveys, partial property boundaries and subsurface utility locations.

This information from the four areas of the MCSD properties will be used to prepare a base map and existing conditions plan for land development and construction drawings for athletics and amenities improvements.

Properties to be evaluated include the area in front of the high school where the existing track is located, the Highland Park property across Sixth Street from the high school, the existing baseball field area, and the existing grass field area in front of the junior high school.

The proposed improvements include removing the existing track and the current natural grass field within the track and building a new stadium with synthetic turf, bleachers, athletic lighting and field-associated equipment such as new football goalposts; construction of a new eight-lane, all-weather surface track with a second artificial turf field within the interior of the track with athletic field lighting on the Highland Park property; building the long jump, triple jump and high jump venues within the ‘D’ areas of the track and constructing throwing events (discus, javelin, shot put) outside the track area; providing pedestrian access pathways and connections to the new facilities; and creating additional parking areas.

Also, the board gave consent to a community group to begin soliciting pledges for funding for athletic field upgrades, with the understanding that in the event an acceptable amount of community and corporate funds are raised (90% of its share of the construction costs) that the board will commit money to support the project, with a minimum of $4 million and a total amount not to exceed $4.5 million.

Final approval for this project will be on or before Dec. 15, 2022. The vote was 7-2 in favor.

Separately, the board tabled a resolution to prohibit implementation of Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project, including downloadable lesson plans, to a future date until editing the resolution for clarity.

Some board members are concerned about Critical Race Theory being minimized as diversity, inclusion and equity and the ease in downloading the information. They want downloading documents and the addition of the new diversity, inclusion and equity curriculum to be prohibited along with Critical Race Theory and the 1619 project.

The board also took the following action:

• Approved the minutes of the Special Voting meeting held on Aug. 18; the Committee of the Whole meeting held on Aug. 18; and the regular board meeting held on Aug. 25.

• Recommended approval of the following draft policies as a second reading and final approval to replace the board’s previously adopted board policies of the same number: Trauma-Informed Approach (New), Enrollment of Students, Admission of Students, Eligibility of Nonresident Students, Immunizations and Communicable Diseases (New), HIV Infection, Attendance, Postgraduate Students (New), Assignment Within District, Confidential Communications of Students, Withdrawal from School, Health Examinations/Screenings (New), Food Allergy Management (New), Diabetes Management, Possession/Administration of Asthma Inhalers/Epinephrine Auto-Injectors (New), Reporting Student Progress, Class Rank (New), Naming Rights (Revised).

• Recommended approval of the following Board Operations Guidelines (BOGs) as a second reading and final approval: Filling a Board Vacancy, Board of School Directors Vacancy Application Form, Board Standing Committees, Functions of Standing Committees, Abstention for Conflict-of-Interest Memorandum.

• Recommended approval of the following draft policies as a first reading to replace the board’s previously adopted board policies of the same number: Promotion and Retention, Student Records, Graduation, Tobacco and Vaping Products, Use of Bicycles and Motor Vehicles, Care of School Property, Searches, Controlled Substances/Paraphernalia, Hazing.

• Recommended approval of the following financial items: Review of Treasurer Reports for the month ended August 31, 2022–Kish Bank, PSDLAF / PSDMAX, Temporary Investment Report and Summary, Capital Projects Fund (PLGIT), Athletic Project, Review of listing of bills for payment, Review of Revenue and Expense Summaries, Real Estate and Per Capita Tax Collector Reports.

• Recommended approval of the Cafeteria Financial Report for August 2022, Request authorization to pay Cafeteria Bills for August 2022.

• Recommended approval of the following drivers: Megan Stundon (Fisher Brothers), Ray Hartzler (Fisher Brothers), Wanda Shields (Krise), Ashley Fultz (Krise).

• Recommended approval of Cassandra Goss as Title I Parent Engagement Co-Coordinator for the 2022-2023 school year at a stipend of $500 at LES. These stipends will be fully funded by Title I funds. One percent of Title I funds must be spent on parental engagement activities. Half of the Title I stipend will be paid in December and the other half in May.

• Recommended approval of the resignation of Josh Snook as paid Jr. High Assistant Football coach. He wishes to continue as a Volunteer Assistant Jr. High Football coach, effective Aug. 30.

• Recommended approval of the following coaches for Spring 2022-23: Bailey Hetrick (volunteer baseball), Cody Heane (assistant varsity baseball), Brett Leister (varsity baseball), Isaac Maclay (varsity baseball), Kalen Gearhart (varsity baseball), Josh Nichols (varsity baseball), Cole Knable (varsity baseball), Ray Hoppel (varsity baseball), Tamara Sechler (assistant track), Greg Loht (assistant track), Allen Hepner (assistant track), Floyd Ciccolini (assistant track), Jen Freed (volunteer assistant track), Richard Yearick (volunteer assistant track), Neil Breneman (volunteer assistant track), Skylar Ciccolini (volunteer assistant track), Lauren Kuykendall (volunteer assistant track), Shannon Specht (volunteer assistant track), Ella Spriggle (volunteer assistant track), Brooke Coburn (volunteer assistant track), Deion Curry (volunteer assistant track), Jeff Mazurek (assistant boys tennis), Steven Hugendubler (volunteer assistant boys tennis), Carolyn King (head junior high girls soccer), Barrett Knepp (assistant junior high girls soccer), Jenna Slepicka (head junior high girls volleyball), Aimee Seitz (assistant junior high girls volleyball), Terry Henry (assistant varsity softball).

• Recommended approval of the following coach for Fall 2022-23: Josh Parson (assistant junior high football).

• Recommended approval of the following event staff for the 22-23 school year: Kelly Parks.

• Approval for the Mifflin County School District to donate the “school bell” from the former Reedsville High School to the Mifflin County Historical Society. The bell would become part of the society’s extensive collection of county school memorabilia.

• Recommended approval of an amendment to the agreement between Mifflin County School District and Folium, Inc. d/b/a Laurel Life Services for expansion of junior/senior school transition classrooms for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 school years. The amendment includes the addition of a Behavior Coach to expand the current Laurel Life Program at the MCHS at a rate of $87,500 per school year. The amendment depends on the MCSD receiving $175,000 funding from the PCCD Mental Health and Safety Grant.

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