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Shaler Area, communities join forces to improve area

| Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 7:27 p.m.

Shaler Area School District officials are reaching out to municipal leaders in the four municipalities that make up the district to promote communication and collaboration.

The newly created Community Outreach Committee of the Shaler Area school board met with the managers and select council members of Etna, Millvale, Reserve and Shaler on April 30 in the second collaborative meeting for the committee.

“It's an opportunity for them to become familiar with the board,” said John Fries, Shaler Area school board member and the chairman of the Community Outreach Committee.

Fries said the meeting allowed leaders from all five governing bodies — the school district and four municipalities — to meet together to discuss how best to serve each other and act as liaisons to make Shaler Area better.

Meeting attendees discussed tax-collection procedures and how they can improve communication with district residents, as well as work together to verify the residency of families and students to ensure the schools are educating students who live in the district.

Fries suggested creating a subcommittee to develop a streamlined process to verify district residency with the processes in place in the four municipalities.

The next meeting will be scheduled for sometime in June, when Fries hopes to discuss in more detail some of the issues all five governing bodies face.

“They'll help us develop what our agenda is,” Fries said about the municipal leaders. ”I think it's a great opportunity to have them as part of the discussion and (provide) input, as well, so they feel we're approachable.”

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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