The Ligonier Valley School Board made changes to the way the district will provide security guard coverage at Laurel Valley Elementary, voting at Monday’s meeting to hire two school security guards as district employees.

Superintendent Dr. Christine Oldham said the motions approved Monday replace approval last month to hire a school security guard as an independent contractor to cover Laurel Valley Elementary.

The changes don’t affect the memorandum of understanding between the district and the Ligonier Valley Police Department to provide a school resource officer to cover the three school buildings at the southern end of the district — R.K. Mellon Elementary, Ligonier Valley Middle School and Ligonier Valley High School.

The school resource officer and school security guard positions are funded through a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). The district initially approved for the school security guards at Laurel Valley Elementary to be independent contractors hired by the district, but quickly learned that arrangement wasn’t feasible.

“The cost of them obtaining liability insurance (as independent contractors) is just astronomical,” Oldham said. “So the solution is that they would become school district employees, because there’s not any additional cost for coverage to us. But the PCCD would have to approve that we could use the grant for them to be hired by the district.”

To facilitate the changes, the school board approved a new district job description for school security guard and hiring Clint McChesney and Robert Rummel to the position, contingent upon the PCCD approving the grand revision.

The school board also approved the creation of a new faith-based extracurricular club called “TEAM Rams,” an affiliation of Game Changer Sports Ministry.

“We use a platform of sports to teach our four values: Teamwork, Excellence, Authority and Maturity,” Game Changer president and founder Marty Martinosky said of the organization. “We are student-led and student-run. We offer schools full and complete training on how to run their club and how to build their club.”

Game Changer got started about two years ago, Martinosky said. The first extracurricular clubs affiliated with the organization were at Connellsville Area and Philipsburg Osceola high schools.

The organization, in addition to supporting student-led clubs at high schools also hosts faith-based “Game On” sports camps with coaches from Grove City College, Geneva College, Liberty University and St. Francis University.

Martinosky said Charles Burd will be the on-campus advisor for the TEAM Rams club, which got rolling after several LVHS athletes met with Martinosky to learn more about the program.

In other business, the school board approved:

  • Payment of Pay Application No. 18 to Constellation NewEnergy Inc. in the amount of $590,321.12;
  • An agreement with Epic Communications for E-Rate services for the 2020-21 school year;
  • Retroactively, an agreement with New Story to provide educational services at a cost of $308 per day, from Aug. 27 through June 3, 2020. The daily rate represents an increase of $9 per day compared to the 2018-19 school year;
  • An Educational Services Agreement for a life skills support classroom with Greater Latrobe School District at a cost of $21,000 per learner for the 2019-20 school year;
  • An agreement with Ignite Education Solutions for Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth (AEDY) to purchase one seat in the Greater Johnstown Career and Technical School at a maximum cost of $8,609.69 for the 2019-20;
  • Authorizing business manager Michelle Krebs to serve as the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit (WIU) Joint Purchasing Consortium representative and for Oldham to serve as alternate representative for the joint purchase of supplies and also the WIU Joint Purchasing Consortium for fuel;
  • To advertise jointly as a member of the WIU Joint Purchasing Consortiums for the purchase of multi-purpose paper, unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel;
  • For Kathy Carns and one additional teacher to attend the 2019 Integrated Learning: The School-To-Career Connection at Penn State on Nov. 6-8 at a cost of approximately $700;
  • A cooperative agreement with St. Francis University for the College in High School Program for the 2019-20 school year;
  • A concurrent enrollment agreement with Mount Aloysius College for a dual-enrollment program for the 2019-20 school year;
  • Retroactive approval to the SAP Drug & Alcohol Treatment Services Agreement with Outside-In for the 2019-20 school year;
  • The following learning progressions as the district’s Guides for Planned Instruction: Primary English Language Arts; Intermediate English Language Arts; Middle Level Reading; Middle Level Writing; Middle Level Math; Algebra;
  • The job description for Paraprofessionals and Paraprofessional evaluation framework;
  • Accepting the resignation of Marie Perry, cook at Ligonier Valley High School, effective retroactive to Aug. 26;
  • Hiring the following substitutes for the 2019-20 school year, pending receipt of required employment paperwork: Destiny Stenson, PK4; Samantha Kissel, Math 7-12, Social Studies 7-12, Grades 4-8; Alyssa Myers, English 7-12; Alaina Pecora, BCIT; Robin Hegan, Kelly Steffey and Laurie Turnbull, emergency teacher substitutes; Jan Yardley-Erny, Shannon Deemer, Rhonda Beaufort, Jaime Lucchetti, cooks; Allison Conrad and John Silk, custodian/matron;
  • Hiring the following cooks for the 2019-20 school year, beginning Sept. 10 at an hourly rate of $10.25: Jan Yardley-Erny, 4.5 hours; Holly Miller, 4 hours; Devyn Langvain, 4 hours; all at the high school; and Shannon Deemer, 3 hours at the middle school;
  • Hiring Deneen Herrholtz-Clise as a school nurse at R.K. Mellon Elementary for the 2019-20 school year, beginning Sept. 23, at a salary of $45,517, to be prorated;
  • Heather Will as a varsity cheerleading program volunteer;
  • Hiring the following supplemental positions for the 2019-20 school year, pending required paperwork: Christian Perry, assistant girls’ soccer coach, $2,876; Cletus McConville and Brooke Grimm, co-assistant musical directors, $1,536 to be shared;
  • Final approval of policies and administrative procedures regarding lesson plans, student activity funds and transportation;
  • Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) candidates: President-elect, Art Levinowitz; vice-president David Hein; trustees, Kathy Swope and Mark B. Miller; Central at large, Julie Preston; Section 1 Advisor, Sabrina Backer; Section 3 Advisor, Ron Cole; Section 5 Advisor Marsha Pleta and Section 7 Advisor Tricia Steiner.

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