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Frazier asked to change district start, end dates

| Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, 12:16 a.m.

Changes in the Frazier School District calendar might become necessary over the next two school years.

Revisions would allow abatement work to be completed in time so that demolition of Perry Elementary School and the construction of a new elementary/middle school building can begin.

Dave Disque, project manager for Massaro Construction Management, requested the changes. He said some of the abatement work could be completed next summer and a shorter work period during the summer of 2015.

Disque said that earlier work would involve removal of the floor tiles using a chemical process.

“I've done numerous projects where I've done floor-tile removal prior to demolishing another building or doing finish work where kids have been in buildings with abated floors for a year, a year and a half,” he said.

Several board members asked if the project would present any hazards to students in the building following the tile removal.

Disque said the areas would be tested following the tile removal and before the students would return to the building to ensure that air quality would be safe.

He said the school calendar should be adjusted so that the 2013-14 year will end by June 1 and begin after Labor Day. He asked for the changes so that bid-specification changes could be made immediately. This would allow the bids to be received as specified and with the possibility of some savings to the district because of the lower, less intense need for labor.

During public comment, Francy Angelo, a district resident who is also running for the school board, asked about the possibility of her son being excused if he develops allergy problems because of mold.

Dr. David Blozowich, district superintendent, said the policy is to allow absences because of such conditions with a doctor's excuse.

Blozowich reported on possible changes by the Pennsylvania Department of Education with Chapter 4, including language that makes clear that the regulations apply only to public schools — not private, religious or home-schooled students for now. It also states there will be no required statewide curriculum or will Pennsylvania participate in the development of a national curriculum. The state also won't expand the collection of private data on individual students.

Beginning with the Class of 2017, students will be required to show their proficiency in Algebra 1, Biology 1 and comprehensive reading. The program will expand to other areas in the following years.

Blozowich said one development that has him excited is a trend to developing student interests, so that through their school years, students can develop a plan to have an idea of what they want to do after they graduate and be able to develop their plans in choosing their education path and preparing a resume.

In other action, the board:

• Discussed the boys freshman basketball program, which will be continued for another year,; the program will be reviewed then. The problem: Only a small number of boys participate, putting them at a disadvantage when they play schools in WPIAL Class AAAA and Class AAA categories.

• Approved appointing Paul Harvey as co-Athletic Director until Dec. 13, then as athletic director for the remainder of the school year. The motion passed with Deborah Vargo Alekson and Lisa Strickler voting against the motion.

• Heard reports from Christian Katic, 17, and Anna Lazar, 17, student representatives, who are both seniors.

Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at kpolacek@tribweb.com or 724-626-3538.

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