OC schools getting virus related funding

Oil City School District has received more than $900,000 in COVID-19 related grant money from the federal government.

District Superintendent Lynda Weller told school board members Monday the district is getting $729,441 in CARES funds.

Weller said the money can be spent on a variety of costs related to COVID-19 such as increased food costs, increased transportation costs and hand sanitizer.

The funds must be used by September 30, 2022, according to Weller.

The district also received a $199,814 grant that has been spent on technology for the district, Weller said.

The money was used for devices such as Chromebooks and iPads so each student in the district will have a device to use, Weller said.

Weller also said administrators have been told the district may get an additional grant of $53,130.

Meanwhile, there was very little discussion at Monday’s meeting about the 2020-21 school year, but Weller did say administrators are working on plans to reopen school in the fall and will update parents in the near future.

The school district has plans corresponding to Gov. Tom Wolf’s green, yellow and red reopening phases.

In the green phase the schools would reopen and in-person classes would resume, Weller said.

In the yellow phase there would be a hybrid of in-person and online instruction, she said.

And if schools were to close again in a red phase instruction would continue remotely, according to Weller.

There were no other comments from school board members or administrators regarding school year plans.

In other business Monday, two high school students, Layla Hollis and Tori Stanish, were named to the Pennsylvania Music Education Association all state choir, which wasn’t able to meet in person due to the coronavirus, Weller said.

Hollis has also been named as an alternate to the national choir, Weller said.

She is the first Oil City student to be honored in this way as far as anyone can remember, Weller said.

Weller said it is hoped the national choir scheduled for November in Orlando, Florida, will be a face-to-face event.

School board member Mark Kerr said meetings are continuing between a board committee and a soccer parent group regarding efforts to continue a soccer program in the district. Kerr said “we are making headway.”

Weller said there will be no spectators at district sporting events per coronavirus guidelines.

And board member Fred Weaver referenced rumors on social media about a three-on-three basketball tournament on district property. Weaver said the tourney hasn’t been approved by the board.

Weller said the proposed tournament will not occur Aug. 1 at the basketball courts because those organizing the event don’t have permission to use district property at this time due to COVID-19.

Weller said there is a possibility the event could be scheduled for a later time.