COUDERSPORT — A request to accept the resignation of the superintendent and changes to the 2020-21 school calendar were among the agenda items approved at the Coudersport Area School Board meeting on Tuesday.
Jackie Canter submitted a request to approve her resignation for the purposes of retirement. Several members of the board expressed gratitude and appreciation to Canter for her service to the district.
As part of her monthly report, Canter requested the board approve the 2020-21 school calendar, which passed unanimously. The upcoming calendar includes adding one more instructional day that in previous years and giving students the day off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Canter also advised the board that enrollment between kindergarten and 12th grades totaled 767, reflecting an increase since December.
Board Member Sharon Deutschlander initiated discussion about raising the substitute teacher pay. Deutschlander suggested setting a uniform amount between $110 to $120 per day, regardless of how many days the sub works.
“We’ve got to attract more substitute teachers,” Deutschlander said.
Canter advised Deutschlander the varied amounts offered are based on the level of responsibilities allotted to long-term subs versus one-day subs and Board President Russ Streich requested that the finance committee research when the pay rate was previously raised.
Casey VanWhy, an elementary school teacher in attendance, thanked the board during public comment, for considering raising the substitute teacher pay.
“If you want to compete, you have to do that,” VanWhy said. VanWhy advised the board that there are days when there are no substitute teachers at the school, despite the ongoing need.
“It’s important that we think about our kids,” VanWhy said.
Under personnel agenda items, the board unanimously approved the addition of Thomas Kerek as a new substitute elementary and secondary teacher for the existing school year, after discussing implementing a screening process for future applicants.
Jason Streich resigned from his position as assistant varsity softball coach. The board also tabled the recommendation to appoint the new coach until issues regarding the applicant’s current position could be addressed.
Other agenda items included:
- Business Manager John Abplanalp’s report, including advising the board a projected $300,000 deficit in the existing budget, a decreased amount from the 2018-19 school year.
- Approval for applications for three PA Smart Grants to fund various facets such as field trips, labs and equipment.
- Approval to bid for the structured cabling and installation of a building security camera system at both school buildings.