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South Butler County School District approves robotics course

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Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 12:51 a.m.

The South Butler County School Board on Wednesday approved piloting a high school robotics course during the second half of the school year.

The course would be taught by computer science teacher Michael Losk, who is the adviser for students who participate in an annual robotics competition.

Students learn and use computer science, engineering, math and other concepts during the time leading up to the competition and those same principles would be a focus of the class.

The semester begins Jan. 22.

“I'd like to thank the board for taking a chance on this,” said Assistant Superintendent Michael Leitera. “I think it's going to work out to a great advantage.”

High school Principal Todd Trofimuk noted that Penn United Technologies in Jefferson Township recently donated about $2,500 worth of tools and equipment to the robotics program.

Trofimuk said he talked with people he knows at Penn United and asked if they'd be able to help the district with getting any of the specialized items needed.

“Mr. Losk provided an extensive wish list of all the things they need and (the company) came back and had purchased everything,” Trofimuk said. “I just wanted to publicly acknowledge them. It was very nice to them to donate that to us.”

District may run program

The board will consider whether the district will take over the Life Skills Support Class at the high school.

The class provides educational and other services for developmentally disabled students. Students in the Life Skills class may receive services until age 21. The class is run by the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV.

“Most IU-run programs include students from various school districts, but all 10 students assigned to the program are South Butler County students,” said Vincent Mariotti, director of special services. “Some of the students have gone through the Learning Support Program so my staff has worked with these students. So the time is right, right now to take over the class ourselves.”

There will be a cost savings to the district, but Mariotti wasn't sure how much.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or

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