Austin School

Austin Area School receives a facial upgrade as the district prepares for the start of the new school year on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

AUSTIN — The Austin school board accepted a letter of resignation from elementary teacher Karen Crosby, who has been with the district for 21 years.

Superintendent Kim Rees said Bethany Brown, the newly-appointed art teacher, will start Oct. 3. If her current employer finds a replacement before that, she will begin sooner. Brown plans to be at back to school night to meet parents and students.

The board approved a supplemental agreement between Crosby and the Austin Area board of directors for a health care incentive benefit of $24,000 to be paid out over a four-year period in the form of a non-elective employer contribution into a Healthcare Reimbursement Account. There is no cash option to this severance incentive benefit.

The district approved the following bus/van drivers for the 2019-2020 school year:

  • Bus: Dan Bollhorst, Frank Langan
  • Subs: Jim Dynda, Dugan
  • Van: Nancy Langan, Corey

The transportation routes were approved and the superintendent is authorized to add or delete stops as needed during the school year.

The board approved the substitute list for the 2019-20 school year as follows:

  • Professional substitutes: Kellie Allison, Cindy Foringer, Bill Hrrier, Mark Benson, Barb Campbell, Janet Eubanks, Marylee Lux, Dale Miller and Madison Daisley
  • Cafeteria and classroom aides: Dott Moody, Deb Barr
  • Custodian: Edgar Heslep

Upon resignation of Jody Bailey, who served as girls JV basketball coach, the board unanimously appointed Jon Ogden as the girls JV basketball coach for the 2019-20 season

Ray Cope, technology coordinator, reported the Chromebooks have been set up and are ready for distribution; iPads are set up with Apple configure and Meraki.

Rees reported the One to One Program is ready to begin. She noted that a six-day rotation schedule will be implemented this year with one-hour classes and six periods per day. The modified block schedule will allow the teachers to work on more projects and increase student engagement. The new schedule will also eliminate elementary students changing classes and eliminate some of the homework. Rees stated the teachers will be able to collaborate and work together more with the students.

Rees noted one of the biggest challenges with the new schedule will be lunch periods. All high school students will eat together, and all elementary students will eat together. Lunch time incentives will allow students with the Gold Card more benefits during the lunch period.Erin Andrews has been appointed as the mental health specialist, hosted by Dickinson Mental Health and Potter County Human Services.

The next Austin Area School Board meeting is Monday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria.