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Penn-Trafford sets negotiation session

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Negotiators for the Penn-Trafford School District and the union representing custodians, secretaries and paraprofessionals to discuss a new contract is scheduled for Tuesday.

Before the past contract expired at the end of June, some paraprofessionals and parents of special-needs children confronted school board members about what they said was a district proposal to outsource paraprofessional work. District officials have declined to comment about the negotiations.

Though the paraprofessionals, who work with special-education students, are without a new contract, they bid on their assignments to work with particular students or classes and are set for classes to begin Aug. 22, said Matt Harris, interim superintendent.

Along with those staffers, the secretaries and janitors are preparing for the school year as usual, he said.

“Everyone's just planning on going on as is,” Harris said.

Ryan Terrill, contract field representative for Service Employees International Union 32BJ, did not respond to messages requesting comment.

School safety

The in-service day for teachers the day before classes start will focus on school safety, Harris said.

The discussion will be a follow-up to a previous meeting administrators had with Penn Township police, Penn Township Ambulance Rescue 6 and the Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety after the deadly December school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The session will include a consultant, Upper St. Clair police Lt. John Sakoian, who provided incident-command training to all township police officers since last fall.

“We just want to kind of share our findings with the staff and kind of go over what we're doing with our crisis plan,” Harris said.

Aerial mapping

The school board voted unanimously Monday to approve paying Morris Knowles & Associates $10,700 for topographic and aerial mapping of Penn-Trafford High School. The contract is related to the district's high school remodeling project, which the board has capped at $32 million.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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