By THOMAS SCHMITT
Correspondent 

Spring Cove Lines Up Grants; Approves $29 Million Budget

 


Spring Cove School District Superintendent Dr. Betsy Baker spoke of the district’s 2020 graduating class with pride at the Monday, June 22, virtual school board meeting.

Baker said, “I am extremely pleased that all 142 seniors completed their graduation requirements, and wish them the very best as they move forward with their future plans. We are also extremely appreciative of the support we received from our school community in planning and implementing the Promenade including staff, local police, fire companies, bus contractors, Dragon Pride Foundation, athletic dept. and area businesses which all pulled together to help us make the event so special for the graduates." The school year ended with four days of appointments for returning school supplies and picking up report cards and personal items.”

Dr. Baker also reported to the board that the school district distributed 30,822 total meals through the free Grab and Go lunch program during the school closure.

Grants

She also announced that in addition to the $294,864 which the district would receive through the CARES Act’s (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) grant, the district is now eligible for a merit-based Pa. Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) School Health and Safety Grant of $194,336. The grant will be used to help offset the COVID-19 related expenses.


The PCCD application was just released last week and needs to be submitted by the end of the month, Dr. Baker said. Additionally, the district is being told that it should receive an additional $44,366 through this same grant at a later date.

Also, Baker informed the board that the district was recently notified that the district’s Bayer Fund America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Grant application has been selected to move to the final round of consideration. Notification will be given in early August of grant funding.

2020-21 budget

The board unanimously approved the general fund budget for 2020-21 at $28,849,650. The school board also approved tax rates for the 2020-21 year with a final real estate tax rate of 11.03 mills.

Other taxes approved include a per capita tax of $5 under Act 14, Section 679 of the school code; per capita tax of $5 levied under Act 511, a one-percent earned income tax levied under Act 32 (to be shared between the district and municipality); a flat occupational tax of $10; and a local services tax of $10.


Other business

The board approved the services of the Metz Organization, Metz Culinary Management, of Dallas, Pa., which came in at a lower total cost for district food service management than the other bidder, Nutrition Group of Irwin, Pa.

District Business Manager Kathy Hazenstab told the board that Metz cannot purchase food service equipment for the school district. However, the company indicated that no additional food service equipment would be required.

In additional business, the board unanimously passed the following motions:

• providing and installing a complete fire alarm system at the Bean Hill Gymnasium Building at a cost of $29,940

• an amendment to the Spring Cove Middle School vestibule electrical project at no increase to original cost

• replace three existing water inlets in the Central High School paving project in the amount of $5,325

• add the COVID-19 amendment for the high school paving project.

All employees salaries were approved for the upcoming school year. Approval was also given to the district support staff substitutes and their salaries.

Boardmembers Amy Acker-Knisely and Linda Smith were appointed as representatives to the Pa. State School Board Association.

Next meeting

There was discussion by the board about how the next board meeting should be held, either virtually or a live, in-person meeting. School Board Vice President Amy Acker-Knisely said that an in-person board meeting is necessary because important discussions will be held about the 2020-21 school year regarding COVID-19 related matters.


The remainder of board was in agreement. However, the board will need to find a meeting facility in which social distancing is possible. The meeting will still be held on Monday, July 20.

 

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