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CAHS board to decide on roof bid, new courses

| Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Connellsville Area School Board members will attempt to make several decisions Thursday, ranging from whether or not to award bids for roof replacement at Junior High East to adding a publication course into the secondary curriculum.

At the agenda-setting meeting this week, director of secondary curriculum and high school principal Tammy Stern said the request to add the publication course comes from low yearbook sales.

"We only sold 309 yearbooks this year and we thought this would be a way to get the students involved in the process," she said.

The district is hoping that student involvement will spark interest in the yearbook itself.

Stern said the students were surveyed about adding the new course, and out of 400 surveys returned, 90 students said they would be interested in the course.

Directors will consider another new opportunity for students.

Superintendent David Goodin informed directors that if they want to add a Junior ROTC program, the application process takes nearly a year. He asked how they wanted him to proceed. He also informed them it would cost the district approximately $150,000 to pay for the two officers to run the program as well as other expenses.

"We would have to hire two military individuals, an officer with the rank of colonel and an NCO (noncommissioned officer)," Goodin said. "The military would pay half their salary, but we would be responsible for the other half."

While no formal vote will be taken Thursday, the majority of the board directed Goodin to go ahead with the application process since that part does not cost anything.

Beginning with the 2009-10 school year, administrators hope to survey the students to see what kind of interest is out there for this program.

Director Jeff Harvey said the district has had a high number of students join the military out of high school and felt the program would be a good opportunity.

Director Ed Zadylak said the program would provide another window of opportunity for the students.

Director Kevin Lape agreed, adding that whether students are planning on entering the military right out of high school or choose to go to college, the program could help a lot of students.

Director Sam Martin said he was part of the ROTC program at Duquesne University when he was a student there and said it helped him mature and grow as an individual his first two years of college.

In addition, directors:

• Will be asked to take action on allowing the administration to hold a summer transition camp for students coming to the senior high school with all costs to be covered by secondary federal funds.

With the decision to move the ninth-graders to the senior high school for the upcoming year, the district will have to prepare the students.

At the end of the transition camp, the students will receive their schedules and be able to walk through the high school and locate their classes before school actually begins.

• Will be asked to award the bid for replacement of Junior High East's roof to Cuddy Roofing of Pittsburgh, the lowest responsible bidder, with a base bid of $864,911 and alternate costs of $153,003.

Business Manager Eugene Cunningham said the project could be paid for from the capital reserve fund.

After the 2009-2010 allocation, approximately $112,000 would be left in the fund after the project, even if the board chooses to go with the alternate costs, he added.

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