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Ligonier Valley tackles planning and negotiations

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Bill Pribisco | for the Ligonier Echo
Members of the Ligonier Valley Education Association line the road before Monday's school board meeting, holding signs regarding the ongoing contract negotiations between Ligonier Valley School Board and the district's teachers. The teachers have been working approximately 436 days without a contract, according to LVEA representative Amy Salay.
Bill Pribisco | foe the Ligonier Echo
Ligonier Valley teachers stand near tthe entrance of the high school Monday evening prior to the school board meeting.

As Ligonier Valley school board heard details of the district's comprehensive plan, its teachers reminded them of contract negotiations that have not reached a resolution for more than a year.

Before the meeting, members of the Ligonier Valley Education Association lined the road leading up to the high school holding signs with statements regarding the contract issue, such as “Voice your concerns,” “400+ days without a contract,” and “LV Teachers Still Waiting.”

Dr. Chris Oldham , the district's superintendent, said talks are continuing.

“I think both sides are wanting to reach an agreement, and we'll continue to work towards that,” she told the board.

During the public comment portion of the board meeting, association representative Amy Salay addressed the school directors about contract negotiations as LVEA supporters, wearing their signature blue shirts, stood at their seats.

“I do not have a formal statement this evening, but I would like to thank the many parents, students, families and community members who are supporting us as we attempt to move forward in the collective bargaining process,” Salay said.

“I would also like to thank my colleagues who are in support of the many students and families in this district, who have continued to work for approximately 436 days without a contract. There has been no disruption in the educational process for our students,” she said. “It is my sincere hope that we can continue the collective bargaining process to arrive at a fair and equitable agreement that truly reflects our worth as educators.”

A draft of the district's comprehensive plan will be on display until Oct. 7 after the board approved the document for public review.

Oldham presented a slide show outlining the plan's components, such as district concerns, accomplishments, action plans and the results of a needs assessment. The comprehensive plan addresses the district's goals for July 2014 through June 2017.

“That document is substantial, and I think it provides us with an outstanding road map for the next three years,” Oldham said.

Members of the public can view the plan at any of the district buildings.

They can provide feedback by calling the administrative office at 724-238-5696 or sending an email to

After feedback is considered, the plan will be up for board approval at the October or November meeting. If it is approved, it will be submitted to the state Department of Education for approval, Oldham said.

The board approved providing meals to students at Holy Trinity Elementary School at no cost to the district. Cost of the meals will be covered by the price of the meals for Holy Trinity students.

The board approved a fee-for-services contract to Thomas Kayda to provide athletic director services for the 2013-2014 school year, pending receipt of required clearances and documentation.

The next school board meeting will be held Oct. 14.