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Monroeville

Gateway board OKs pupil services job, school repairs

| Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 10:12 a.m.
Gateway School District (Source: Monroeville.pa.us)
Gateway School District (Source: Monroeville.pa.us)

The Gateway School Board appointed Heather Bungard, former director of special education, to the new director of pupil services position for the district.

Board members voted unanimously on Tuesday to move Bungard into the new role, with a $110,000 salary.

Gateway has had a director of pupil services in the past.

“We have a director of special education, a supervisor of special education, a school psychologist and an administrative assistant,” Superintendent William Short said. “This position… really broadens the oversight of the whole department.”

The pupil services director will ensures the district is working correctly with a state information system that includes all students' identification numbers.

Bungard also is to oversee the special education department, as she does now, and ensure that the special education, gifted and other programs that involve state reimbursements are managed well.

Following are other items from Tuesday's meeting:

Work set for buildings

The Gator Café is to get its own room at the high school, as part of several board-approved projects and repairs totaling $350,000.

The café has been a coffee cart station in the school's library, and is related to a life skills class that provides students with work experience. Under a $35,000 project, the program will move from the library to its own area.

Other changes include about $37,000 to replace windows in the Gateway High School press box and $47,000 to refinish the gym floor in the sports complex to include bare wood, plus multiple door replacements.

The work approved Monday is part of $3.8 million in improvements to be carried out through the 2017-18 year. Money is coming from the district's capital reserve fund.

The board also approved contracts for $728,439 in plumbing, electrical and air conditioning repairs district-wide.

Technology coach named

Jessica Whetstone, a teacher in the district, was appointed as an acting technology and learning coach for the next school year.

The district has been adding technology in recent years, and opted recently to spend nearly $1 million on tablet and laptop computers for instructors and students. The technology and learning coach is to focus on helping teachers to effectively use technology in the classroom.

Meal prices rising

The 2017-18 school year will bring price increases for school lunches and breakfasts at all seven schools.

Lunches will cost 10 cents more. Elementary school and Moss Side Middle School prices will jump from $2.40 to $2.50, Gateway Middle School prices will rise from $2.55 to $2.65 and high school prices will increase from $2.65 to $2.75.

Administrators attribute the increase to the district's compliance with a section of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

The board also passed the final cafeteria budget of $1,942,000, a 3 percent increase from last fiscal year.

Policy resolution failed

School director Chad Stubenbort's proposed transparency policy failed to pass, in a 5-4 vote.

The policy called for at least four days' notice before a board members could present a resolution at a meeting.

Voting for the policy along with Stubenbort were Mary Beth Cirucci, Neal Nola and John Ritter. Valerie Warning, President Scott Williams, Stephanie Byrne, Steve O'Donnell and George Lapcevich dissented.

This isn't the last time that the board will see this proposal, Stubenbort said.

“It's a shame that tonight we voted down a motion to allow for individuals to have four days, and simply give a motion four days in advance to let the public be able to view something beforehand,” Stubenbort said.

“This is something we need to very seriously consider… I hope we can do that in the near future because we really need to be more transparent.”

Christine Manganas is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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