AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

Local News

April 29, 2014

Search for superintendent progresses

SLIPPERY ROCK — Slippery Rock school directors reported Monday they’re making great progress on finding the district’s next leader.

“We were very happy with it,” the Rev. Michael Scheer said of the response to the job posting for the superintendent’s position; Dr. Kathleen Nogay is retiring June 30.

Scheer, chair of the superintendent search committee, said they received 26 applications and expect to conduct the second round of interviews in early May.

The committee also got a good response from the survey that was posted on the district website and designed for community members as a way to share their input on what qualities the next superintendent should have.

Committee members are still compiling the survey results and expect to post them on the district website within the next few weeks, Scheer said.

In a related personnel move, board members voted in favor of eliminating the director of curriculum and instruction position, which is vacant, and creating the position of assistant superintendent, effective for the 2014-15 school year.

The district had an assistant superintendent at one time, but that person retired and wasn’t replaced, board President Polly Shaw said, with other directors adding the time seems right to reinstate that position.

In other business, board members on Monday:

• Heard a brief report from Cessar on the preliminary budget for 2014-15 - as of right now the spending plan is 5 mills out of balance.

The board is expected to adopt a tentative budget at their May 20 meeting and they are required to pass the final version before June 30. Current rates are 89.15 mills.

The Act 1 index for the district is 2.5 mills - or $324,000; the district has been approved by the state for referendum exceptions, Cessar said.

Act 1 is a state program that dictates how much a district can raise property taxes without needing voter approval or permission from the state.

Referendum exceptions allow a district to raise property tax rates above the Act 1 index.

Also, projected enrollment for 2014-15 is up by 21 students, an increase for the first time in 13 years, Cessar said.

About 63 percent of projected expenses will go toward salary benefits, and medical insurance rates are on the rise by 6.7 percent; retirements costs are also going up.

The district may receive a Ready to Learn Block Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education of up to $303,000, which would be great since there aren’t a lot of restrictions on how that money can be spent, Nogay said.

• Held a 45-minute executive session before the meeting for personnel and student matters.

• Heard from Lynette Colvin that she is concerned about class sizes for the 2014-15 school year, as she has a 5-year-old set to attend kindergarten.

She asked if the board would consider adding another teacher to reduce the class size; current enrollment figures show there would be 25 kids per kindergarten class. Shaw thanked her for speaking to the board personally.

• Approved the district’s special education plan report effective July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2017, as required every three years by PDE.

• Approved increasing the number of student engineering and technology education books from 25 to 40 at a cost of $62.47 each plus shipping for the high school through Pearson Publishing, as there has been more interest in the related class.

• Approved the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV 2014-15 general operating budget of $3,848,553.

• Approved the purchase and installation of a cooler/freezer unit in the middle school kitchen at a cost of $42,135, pending review by the district’s solicitor, Michael Hnath, and business manager, Paul Cessar. The board also authorized Hnath and Cessar to seek bids for the project if necessary.

ä Heard from operations committee member Greg Angerett that he’ll be sending out two designs next week for the new field as part of the stadium renovation plans, and board members will have to decide which one they prefer.

Board members then authorized Cessar to write checks not to exceed $10,000 for necessary permits related to the stadium project to keep it moving forward between board meetings.

Published April 16, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

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