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Four Belle Vernon Area students disciplined

| Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, 6:33 p.m.

The Belle Vernon Area School Board agreed Monday to discipline four students, but none had to do with a drug incident last month at the high school, the superintendent said.

Superintendent Dr. John Wilkinson said after the school board meeting that the actions involved two elementary students and two special education students.

The two pairs of students were involved in separate recent incidents, he said.

Wilkinson could not disclose specifics of the incidents.

The drug incident involved a 19-year-old student at the high school who has since been placed in an alternative educational program, Wilkinson said.

A question arose during the meeting from parent Dan Kovatch, asking the board about what drugs, if any, were found on school property.

“I just wondered where we, as parents, could get more information in terms of specifics to what drugs were found and what criteria was considered for consequences,” Kovatch told the board.

Board President Aaron Bialon said public information is limited because it is “a disciplinary matter.”

“Unfortunately, we can't disclose any of that information, whether it be drugs or a fistfight,” Bialon said.

“That's surprising,” Kovatch replied.

The board revised the 2013-2014 school calendar. Students and teachers will now have class on April 17 and 22. The days were scheduled ahead of time as weather make-up days and will take the place of school cancellations that occurred Jan. 28 and Feb. 3.

New books

Wilkinson said the district is considering the purchase of new algebra II and geometry books and that the curriculum and instruction committee should have a full report by April “at the latest.”

In other business, the board:

• Accepted the following resignations: physical education department head Jane Ann Mizikar, fine and practical arts department head James Falis and high school teacher Lou Rood.

• Reappointed auditor Mark Turnley for three more years at $12,500 per year.

• Entered into a maintenance program with Reno Bros. Inc. for work and maintenance on heating, ventilation and air conditioning units through February 2017 at an annual cost of $82,464. The maintenance agreement is part of the district's energy service contract with Chevron USA Inc.

• Voted to advertise for bids for supplies and equipment – including a 72-passenger bus – for the 2014-2015 school year.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-684-2635.