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Expensive mistakes, cyber security camp & back-to-school stories: 5 things to know today

Jamie Martines
| Monday, July 31, 2017, 9:39 a.m.
Students at the Pitt CyberCamp work together to prevent a simulated cyber attack.
Jamie Martines| Tribune-Review
Students at the Pitt CyberCamp work together to prevent a simulated cyber attack.

It's the last day of July. That means the first day of school is right around the corner!

The TribLIVE Education Team is getting ready. Are you? We want to hear what educators, students and families are looking forward to as the new school year gets underway.

Tell us your back-to-school story by Tweeting using the hashtag #b2sTrib, or by emailing us at

Here are five things you need to know about education to get your week started.

1. $17K MISTAKE: The Pennsylvania Department of Education owes the Gateway School District $17,000 because the district incorrectly reported the number of non-public and charter school students it transported for three years.

By law, public schools must provide transportation for students who live in the district but choose to attend charter or non-public schools. Districts are reimbursed for transporting these students.

2. INCREASED SECURITY AT PLUM: District officials recently discussed adding additional cameras, metal detectors, gates and an exterior security booth to Plum High School.

Superintendent Tim Glasspool said that the proposed changes were largely in response to the seven bomb threats that occurred last school year.

A presentation was posted on the district's website. View it here.

3. SETTLEMENT IN SEX-ASSAULT LAWSUIT: Plum Borough School District has reached a tentative settlement with a former student who accused school officials of failing to investigate accusations of sexual assaults by a politically powerful teacher, court records filed Thursday show.

The amount of the proposed settlement was not disclosed.

Separately, attorneys for Plum school officials are still working to resolve a second civil lawsuit filed in January by another female student.

4. NEXT-GEN CYBER SECURITY EXPERTS: About 200 high school students from the Greater Pittsburgh area attended a free cyber security camp held at the University of Pittsburgh last week. Students learned to defend computer systems against cyber attacks and hackers.

5. SUB SHORTAGE: The substitute teacher shortage is an ongoing problem for Western PA schools. One factor keeping subs away: low pay.

Suburban schools out east are trying to attract more subs by raising the daily pay rate, with schools now paying between $110 and $150.

Questions? Story ideas? Send them to

Don't forget to follow the TribLIVE Education Team on Twitter:

•Emily Balser @emilybalser (Valley News Dispatch newsroom)

•Debra Erdley @deberdley_Trib (Greensburg newsroom)

•Natasha Lindstrom @NewsNatasha (Pittsburgh newsroom)

•Jamie Martines @Jamie_Martines (Greensburg newsroom)

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-850-2867, or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.

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