Mr Robert Hume, Live Streaming, and the Preliminary Budget

Yesterday’s Regular School Board Meeting had all Directors in attendance. There was no presentations, no visitor comments related to agenda items, and no informational items. Before the Action Items, the Board voted to approve the General Fund Report, for period ending October 31, 2013, and a list of bills for payment.

Recommended Action Items

Of the Action Items voted on, most revolved around personnel issues: requests for Family Medical Leave, Resignation Approvals, Hiring Approvals. The majority were unanimously approved without debate or discussion, except those I will note here.

The Octorara Board of School Directors had been scheduled to vote on the first reading of two policies. However, Policy 806 “Child/Student Abuse” had not yet returned from the Solicitor. It was therefore removed from consideration. Policy 801 “Public Records” was approved unanimously.

Action Item “H” was passed with an unusual 5 to 4 split. The item states:

H. That the Octorara Board of School Directors approve Ms. Melanie Schillinger as a long term substitute Instructional Support Teacher at the Octorara Primary Learning Center effective October 28, 2013 through December 20, 2013. Ms. Schillinger’s rate will be $140 per day. (Ms, Schillinger in an approved substitute and is replacing Krista Lease.)

There was no discussion or debate before the vote.

Mr Ganow, Region 2, questioned language for Action Item “P,” and that language was changed to reflect a prorated salary for Mr Jason Ralston, a long term substitute emotional support teacher, based on income already paid to date. With no other concerns or questions, the Item was passed unanimously.

Finance Committee Report

Shawna Johnson explained that the Committee reviewed the annual fiscal audit by Herbein & Company. It will be posted to the website some time today (and I will repost it here). The audit did include action plans for 3 issues.

Also, briefly mentioned was a property tax reduction for a commercial property on Valley Rd, a $403,000 medical claim, and the 2014-15 budget. Ms Johnson explained the District will opt-out of the use of exemptions, and the next budget will not be exceeding the index. As a result, the District will not be required to approve a Preliminary Budget in January.

Policy Committee Report

Mr Ganow reported the Policy Committee Meeting was all of 2 minutes long, consisting of discussing “minor changes” to Policy 801.

Visitor Comments

Jere Zimmerman, Christiana, thanked the new faces appearing, and who are showing interest and support for school resource officers. He reminded the Board that a 2-part grant, for hiring school resource officers, has an initial deadline on the 22nd. The 2nd part of the grant will be due in December.

Spencer Fox, Octorara Senior, presented the Board with the Octorara Holiday Music Performances schedule. The calendar begins with the OES Chorus Concert on December 9th, and ends with an OIS Band Performance at the PLC Open House on January 16th. I will post the full schedule shortly.

Saying Goodbye to Mr Robert Hume

Dr Newcome presented Mr Hume, Region 3, with a plaque for his 16 years of service on the Octorara Area School Board. Mr Hume decided not to run for another term, and this was his last Regular School Board Meeting. Newcome fondly shared memories of Mr Hume’s activist adventures. Ms Bowman & Mr Stoltzfus also expressed their appreciation and reminisced.

Live Streaming

Live streaming of Board Meetings began this evening, which can be found on the High School Cube website. The meetings will also be archived, and interested citizens can watch them at their convenience. Yesterday evenings meeting can be found here. The sound quality is poor, but I suspect this will improve with future events.

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