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Connellsville Area School District revises school calendar

| Thursday, March 11, 2010

Connellsville Area School District revised its school calendar to make up for the days canceled during February's snowstorms.

The school board Wednesday voted to set the last day of school and commencement for June 11.

Make-up days include April 1, which was an In-Service Day; April 5, which was Easter Monday; Tuesday, May 25, which was an Act 80 Day, and Thursday, June 3, which was clerical day.

Make-up days going into the summer will include June 7 to 11.

The district has already made up two days -- January 18, which was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and March 5, which was an Act 80 Day.

May 24, Kennywood Picnic Day will now be an Act 80 Day. All other Act 80 and clerical days will be rescheduled.

In other business, the board accepted the Junior High and Senior High School Guidelines for district personnel and faculty use of the schools' wellness centers. Board member Francis Mongell cast the only negative vote.

Mongell said he was against the request because he doesn't think the taxpayers would like teachers that can afford to join a gym using the school wellness centers. He said granting the request could hurt business at the other wellness centers and workout facilities in the area and the activities would be unsupervised, leading to used and damaged equipment that will need repaired.

Board members Gary Wandel and Jon Detwiler said that healthier faculty means less trips to the doctor, which could lead to health insurance reimbursements to the district.

"It's a win-win situation for everybody," Wandel said.

Also last night, George Stash of Dunbar Township and the former president of the Dunbar Township Elementary School's PTO asked the board if it could overturn a decision made by the school's principal, Kristen Porter. Stash said he received a letter from Porter that he cannot go onto the grounds of the elementary school or attend activities without permission.

Stash said the decision occurred after two incidents where he was accused by school officials of writing something about a teacher on a local Internet messaging board. Stash said school officials alleged that he followed that same teacher too close in a car one weekend, flashing lights and honking his horn.

Board President Kevin Lape told Stash that the board would discuss the matter before making a decision.

Wandel said that since the banning from the school was made late last year when a previous board was present, the current board will have to interview the principal and become familiar with the situation.

"Give us a chance to look at it to be fair and give us a chance to make a decision," Wandel said.

In other business:

• The board approved the following elementary schools to operate summer food programs: Bullskin Township, Dunbar Township, South Side, Springfield and Zachariah Connell.

• The 2009-2010 Form 471 E-rate grant, which provides money to schools and libraries for telecommunications services, has been awarded in the amount of $1.3 million for Clifford N. Pritts, Junior High East, Junior High West, Connellsville Township, Dunbar Borough, Dunbar Township, South Side, Springfield and Zachariah Connell elementary schools.

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