School board approves full-day kindergarten
The Northwestern Lehigh School Board has approved full-day kindergarten starting with the 2018-19 school year.
Board President Bill Dellicker said, during the June 21 meeting, the issue has been discussed for more than a year.
District Superintendent Mary Anne Wright said everything there is to say about the plan has been said.
School Director Darryl Schafer said Wright had spoken passionately about having full-day kindergarten.
Wright said she was delighted with the approval vote.
“I was on the fence until I did the research and found it best for the children,” Wright said.
“I am anxious and excited to see the results.”
In other matters, Boy Scout Ben Surman of Troop 89, which meets at Ontelaunee Rod and Gun Club, attended the meeting as a step toward earning his communications merit badge.
Dellicker congratulated students and staff on having a successful school year.
Superintendent Mary Anne Wright said the just completed school year was interesting with many plans being implemented and she looks forward to the next.
Wright said they will be celebrating the 25th year of the middle school.
Approvals were given for a number of items discussed in the committee meetings. A learning management system, Canvas, was approved for purchase.
Board member Todd Hernandez voted against the sexting policy.
He said the policy put too much fault on the administration, was too subjective and was not fair to students as students may be incorrectly blamed.
Regarding the wellness policy, Hernandez also said the wellness policy was mandated to encourage students toward the state’s end.
In addition, he said classroom parties students enjoy should not be stopped and the policy would be too restrictive.
Board member Paul Fisher said the mandates were an overextension from the government but the district has no choice.
All three passed with Hernandez’ “no” votes.
Approval was given to renew Blackboard software and services. The agreement is being reviewed by the solicitor.
Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Holman said everything would be transitioned to the new version.
Blackboard keeps auto-call records with phone and email records for all parents in addition to the information in the matter under review. Students’ names are only listed at parents’ request.
Refinancing of Series 2012 bonds will save the district $200,000, net of all issuance costs and state reimbursement.
Pricing was set for the end of June with anticipated closing by the end of July.
The board approved the refinancing.
Membership was renewed with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association at a cost of $13,632.
Schafer said PSBA had handouts about grants and other free materials at its last meeting.
KRE Security Services of Hamburg was approved for all security issues at the school for 2017-18.
The Northwestern Lehigh Education Foundation Golf Tournament is scheduled for Aug. 11 at Old Homestead Golf Club, New Tripoli.
Fisher said Lehigh Carbon Community College had its graduation on May 18 with Dr. Ann Bieber presiding.
Northwestern Lehigh students who graduated included: Beth Alboucq, Angela Allred, Jessica Bear, Jaime Cleary, Erin Crawford, Amy Everett, Madison George, Colleen Hughes-Behler, William Hunsicker III, Sean Landis, Karina Okulova, Roseanna Pergosky, Josephine Rex, Jacqueline Schantz, Thomas Schleicher Jr., Edward Toth, Lauren Warmkessel, Samantha Wessner, Erica Zimmerman and Matthew Zuercher.
A talk was given by Andrew Johnson, director of athletics, about “Who Are the Cougars,” the LCCC teams, because many people do not realize the sports possibilities at the school.
There was a new bus parked outside for any who were interested in seeing it and smelling the new car smell.
Approval was given to the Northwestern Recreation Commission’s updated bylaws with the change of one word.
Fisher asked why the school had two votes.
He was told the school district helps care for the recreation grounds and other caretaker duties instead of paying cash for its shares.
Activities Director Jason Zimmerman said sports is getting started for fall.
Forms can be completed and emailed.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 1