Franklin board moves ahead on citizen committee

Staff writer

Franklin Area School board will appoint members to its new citizen advisory committee next month.

Board members approved a motion at their meeting Monday to appoint four staff members and eight parents to the 16-person committee.

Rounding out the group will be board members Major Smith, Ronald Richburg, Cheryl Ferry and Marcia Patton.

Smith came forward last month with the idea of a citizen advisory committee following high tensions between parents and the board over bullying and school security issues.

The school district has faced two separate threats in the past two months. One involved three high school students making threats on Feb. 23, and the other involved 34-year-old Joshua Stone, of Polk, who made a threat against Sandycreek Elementary School while in police custody on March 6.

Parents approached the school board during both of its meetings in March regarding bullying issues and the lack of reporting throughout the school district.

Smith’s first priority for the committee would be to address and reform the current bullying policy.

Superintendent Pamela Dye said Monday night that the committee will allow parents to bring forth concerns on hot topics including bullying and school security.

Members of the public may attend future citizen advisory committee meetings, but they will not be able to provide input if they are not appointed to the group.

In other business Monday, the sale of the district administrative offices at 702 Liberty St. to Child Development Centers closes today.

The school district will begin to rent office space in the building until the new administrative offices are complete this fall at the junior/senior high school.

Other notes from Monday’s session included:

– An agreement between Riverview Intermediate Unit 6 and the school district was approved for IDEA-B Pass Through funds in the amount of $507,435 for the 2017-18 school year.

– Board members gave buildings and grounds director Leon Billingsley the go ahead to move forward with a $79,980 project to repair cracked boilers in the junior/senior high school.

The funds will likely come out of the 2018-19 capital fund budget.

– Franklin Junior/Senior High School students placed in the SkillsUSA State Competition held last week.

The competition showcases career and technical education and rewards students for their involvement in industry.

Kayla Chatley and Zach Murdoch received third place in the natural resources event, and James Austel and Michael Smith placed third in the welding event.

– Peter Greene, a junior/senior high school English teacher, will retire after 37 years of service, effective June 29.

– Maureen Hager, a junior/senior high school health and physical education teacher, will retire after 11 years of service, effective June 30.

– The board accepted the resignation of French teacher Breanna Morris, effective June 4.

– The board approved the termination of long-term elementary teacher Michelle Tock, effective April 16.

The board will next meet at 7 p.m. Monday, May 14, in the junior/senior high school library.