The Austin Area Board of Directors approved the 2019-20 general fund budget in the amount of $4,766,854 representing 48.8 mills in real estate taxes (no increase) and no increase in Act 511 taxes. Earned Income Tax approved at .5%, per capita $5.00 per person, Real Estate Transfer Tax is .5%.

The budget includes a 2.5% wage increase for support staff and a 2.7% increase in wages for Superintendent Kimberly Rees. The Board noted a 100% was given on Rees’ evaluation along with a 93.7 rating.

The Board approved hiring Noah Leightley and Payton Shupe as a part-time cleaning/maintenance workers for the summer of 2019 only at a rate of $9/hour, approximately five hours a day, five days a week for approximately 10 weeks.

Kevin Chelton was named the athletic director.

The Board will be re-advertising for the positions of National Art Honor Society Advisor and Freshman Class Advisor. Anyone interested in serving in either of these positions should submit a letter of interest to Mrs. Kathy Jeffers; Board Secretary.

Rees noted she is working on E-Grants for the upcoming school year and hopes to have all submitted by July 1.

Dan Eskesen, guidance counselor and principal reported all state mandated tests were completed as required and went very well. End of the year activities were successful and well attended. The district is averaging between 30-40 students for summer lunch program and encourages the community to take advantage of this program through the end of June.

Rees has been working on new schedules for next year. Rees noted there will be one hour periods with a six day rotation to allow additional teaching of the core subjects.

Eskesen noted James Kinney will be completing the emergency certification process to become an ESL instructor as an ESL student has enrolled in our district for the upcoming year.

IT Instructor Ray Cope noted he will be setting up Chromebooks for teachers, staff and students this summer. Quotes have been requested for 85 new Chromebooks. Secondary students will be assigned a Chromebook at the beginning of the school year and must adhere to all rules for technology; the Chromebooks will be linked back through the school servers.

Business manager Pam Terrett has completed her 8-hour food safety certification. Terrett reported the district has received a mini-breakfast grant just under $5,000 and will be purchasing a breakfast cart for grab-n-go breakfast.

The Board adjourned to executive session to discuss school safety.

The next regular meeting will be held 6 p.m. Monday, July 8.