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Emergency phones will be wired properly in Penn Hills district

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
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School board officials approved a new fee schedule for the use of facilities like the Linton Middle School pool.

Luckily, there hasn't been an emergency at the new Penn Hills High School.

If there had been, police might not have known where in the building to respond.

District technology manager Roger Myers told the school board at its March 11 meeting that the building's “code blue” phones, set up to dial Penn Hills police directly, did not have the proper wiring installed.

When correctly wired, the phones transmit to police the location from which the call originates in the high school.

“Without those lines, the address shows up as the building's front door,” construction manager Dennis Russo said.

“The problem has been identified and addressed.”

Myers said the proper lines have been ordered, and should be arriving this week.


The board unanimously approved a group of new and updated policies. Board president Joseph Bailey Jr. was not present.

The policies include:

• Concussion management and sudden cardiac arrest: Two policies outline procedures for determining when an athlete has suffered a concussion or a heart attack, when that athlete can return to the field of play, penalties for coaches who violate rules.

• Volunteers: Volunteers are categorized in terms of how much contact they have with children and the types of clearances they need. The policy includes “guest volunteers,” who attend a single event. Guests cannot exceed 10 hours in a school during a school year.

• Recording devices: The policy, which outlines how public meetings may be recorded, was crafted in response to school board members who asked for a legal opinion on the Penn Hills Education Association's recording of monthly board meetings. The policy designates an area at the back of the board room for recording. Meetings in other locations also will have a designated recording area. Handheld-recording devices, such as camera phones are exempt when being used to capture such events as public acknowledgements of students or district employees. Recording devices may not be operated while concealed or plugged into a municipal outlet. Devices also may not be used to record private conversations between audience members or district officials.

The board also updated fees, including renting cafeterias, auditoriums, the Linton swimming pool and the Fralic Center.

Much of the policy committee's discussion centered around the Penn Hills Dolphins swim club, which is the only group that uses district facilities on a daily basis nearly year round.

The fee schedule includes a clause stating that exceptions may apply for daily use.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or

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