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Penn Middle School gym bleachers will be replaced in fall

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By Chris Foreman
Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Unsafe bleachers are being removed from the Penn Middle School gym, but the replacements might not be in place until October or November.

The district's maintenance staff is ripping out the existing bleachers, but Penn-Trafford officials are paying C.M. Eichenlaub of Forest Hills $34,972 for four new sets.

The company also installed the new bleachers at the high school two years ago.

Assistant Superintendent Scott Inglese said the maintenance staff will try to have the old bleachers removed by the start of school on Aug. 21. Fans might have to use lawn chairs or blankets to watch sporting events for a couple of months.

“We hope to have them ready for the fall basketball season,” Inglese said.

Garet resigns

Michael Garet, the high school Spanish teacher accused of stalking a 17-year-old student, has resigned.

The school board on Monday voted 6-0, with Jay Tray, Scott Koscho and Phil Kochasic absent, to accept Garet's resignation as of Aug. 12. Garet, who hasn't taught since February, had been on unpaid suspension. A district judge has scheduled a Sept. 9 hearing in the case.

Student data

A Pittsburgh-based company is providing the software for Penn-Trafford administrators to compile student data in one place and sort information to be able to address students' learning deficiencies.

The district is paying OnHand Schools $25,000 for the software this school year. Teams of district educators will be able to compile reports to track their growth, Inglese said.

Norwin and Gateway school districts also have used OnHand, Inglese said.

Library funding

Manor Public Library is getting a $2,000 contribution from the school district in the 2014-15 budget.

The school board, which typically reserves $12,000 annually for local libraries, also is giving $7,000 to Penn Area Library and $3,000 to Trafford Community Public Library. Both contributions are a $1,000 decrease from recent years.

The Manor library hadn't previously received a donation from the district.

School board members voted 5-1, with Rich Niemiec dissenting, to approve the payouts to the libraries.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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