The DuBois-Jefferson County Vocational technical School (Jeff Tech) Operating Committee held its regular meeting on March 25. The biggest item on the agenda was the budget for the 2019-2020 school year.
Business Manager Sherry Hasselman provided a presentation that outlined the budget for the coming year. It totals $8.7 million dollars, with $6.6 million coming from the four sending districts, DuBois, Punxsutawney, Brookville, and Brockway (to see their contributions, click here).
Overall, the budget is down 2.473 percent. Hasselman contributed that to decreases in payments and salaries due to retirements.
The presentation also showed that the school has been able to save money on utilities, specifically electricity and natural gas, due to conservation efforts and renegotiating contracts in 2018.
“We have cut $21,700 from the natural gas and electricity line items over the last two budget cycles,” she said.
The budget was approved by the directors. It will be sent to the school boards of the four sending districts and put on public display in preparation for adoption by mail ballot on April 23.
School goals and programs
In his part of the presentation, school director Barry Fillman talked about school goals. He discussed new courses that will be offered next year. They include a Keystone remediation class, a Business Math class for entrepreneurship, a Foundations for Life course, which will offer various coping and soft skills to freshmen, and a Headlines and News course in the social studies curriculum.
Fillman also talked about the success of the Diesel Mechanic/Heavy Equipment program. This year there were 16 students, the first year of the program, with 11 already signed up for next year. He said there are over 200 jobs a year projected to be available in this region alone for students with these kinds of skills.
“We are going to have a very big program and meet this community’s needs,” he said.
School to Career
Director Fillman also informed the committee members of the success of the School to Career program, where students are connected with businesses and industries in their field.
In 2010, there were 13 students in the program. In March of this year, there are 41.
Fillman had high praise for the program coordinator, Rose Weaver.
“Rose has done a phenomenal job,” he said.
However, Weaver’s retirement was approved by the committee later in the meeting. She retires with 29 years of service. A new coordinator will be hired.
The committee voted to terminate the independent contractor agreement with Creative Garden, LLC, for the Childcare Center effective June 8, 2019. It was at the request of the contractor.
Director Fillman, however, said the center will continue.
“We are committed to provide this service for Reynoldsville and the students of Jeff Tech,” he said.
Revised school calendar
The committee approved a revised school calendar to finish out eh 2018-2019 school year. The last student day will be June 7. Graduation will be held that evening beginning at 7 p.m.