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Connellsville cafeteria workers voice concern over noise levels in elementaries

By Rachel Basinger
Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, 6:42 a.m.

Elementary school cafeteria employees in the Connellsville Area School District are concerned with the level of noise the students generate at lunchtime.

Clifford N. Pritts Elementary cafeteria employee Audrey Cain told school board members Wednesday she has safety concerns with the noise at the school.

“We have two students who have diabetes, and one child has passed out several times,” Cain said.

She said workers can't hear the students who are in line requesting food.

There is one aide and one teacher in the cafeteria during lunch at her school, Cain said, and the children do not listen to either.

In the past, the board had approved a policy that does not allow for quiet time or the turning out of lights near the end of lunchtime.

Director Gary Wandel said when it made that policy, the board was under the belief that the noise level should never get out of control.

“The principal in each building needs to set some kind of criteria or disciplinary policy and the follow through with consequences if the policy is not met,” he said.

Superintendent Dan Lujetic said procedures have to be taught to the kids. He added that he will look into ways to address the situation.

During the meeting, directors agreed to extend the contract of Solicitor Christopher Stern for three years under the same terms and conditions with no increase in salary. Stern's current contract is set to expire at the end of November.

The board appointed Eckels Construction Services to create a feasibility study at a cost of $13,500 and a master plan for $5,000. Stern said this is something the school code requires of the district.

Under buildings and grounds, directors approved a 20-year lease with the Connellsville Area Pony League, as well as a lease agreement with the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette Inc. Head Start of Fayette County with a rental cost of $1,100 a month.

In other buildings and grounds business, directors approved the payment of nearly $51,000 in change orders to Walter Mucci Construction and over $7,000 to Main Line Commercial Pools for the high school renovation project.

Under the Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center report, directors approved a motion to accept an equipment grant from the state Department of Education in the amount of $23,104.89 to purchase equipment for the CACTC.

In personnel, directors approved Nicholas Miller, health and physical education; Gina Gentilcore, 4-8 science and English; and Kathleen Williams, nurse to the professional substitute list.

The board also approved Kimberly Fleck in the supplemental contract position of senior high school newspaper advisor at a salary of $2,459.

Directors agreed to cancel the regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 11 and move the work session to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 13, before the voting meeting at 7 p.m.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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