DuBois School Board approves summer school, athletic plans. Story by Glenn Schuckers

Assistant Superintendent of schools for the DuBois Area School District Dr. Brigette Matson and Superintendent Wendy Benton presented a plan for conducting summer school for students in the District at the Board’s regular June meeting.

The plan included practices to both provide for students’ educational needs as well as protect them against the Covid 19 virus. It includes methods for social distancing and safety protocols for students and all staff. Restroom use will be monitored and class breaks will be staggered to cut down on crowded halls and classrooms. Signs will be posted to promote safe distancing and students will be spread out on buses to cut down on contact. Anyone coming to the schools from outside will undergo a daily health check, and all teachers and paraprofessionals will wear face masks.

Any student or staff who presents any symptoms will be checked and will go to a separate area and anyone exhibiting symptoms will be sent home. Anyone who is diagnosed with the virus not return for fourteen days.

Both the plan for summer school and the athletic plan were approved by the seven members present with the lone dissenting “no” vote on the athletic plan cast by Dave Schwab, who voiced the opinion that the athletic plan may be “moving a little too fast” in light of a 25% increase in virus cases in the county over the past ten days. Schwab emphasized that he is not opposed to athletics and activities, but that in light of the current status he would rather be “safe than sorry.”

Benton stressed that this will be a community effort and a shared responsibility to keep the area in the “green” stage so that in-class learning can continue. She said she wanted to thank everyone in advance for their cooperation in helping the schools continue with their mission.

Following their presentation, Benton introduced Athletic Director Chuck Ferra who presented the Board with a plan for both summer and fall athletic programs. He said some summer sports activities will begin but all activities will follow the CDC guidelines. All summer activities are voluntary and students and staff who participate will undergo health screenings. All who take part will bring their own water bottles and contact will be kept to a minimum at all times. Enhanced cleaning of all the equipment and facilities will be done, and coaches will watch the athletes at all times.

Following PIAA regulations fall sports practices cannot begin until August 17 at which time schedules and other details will be  determined. In regard to spectators, Benton said she does not want to prohibit parents and relatives from watching students perform and that since the stadium accommodates some 5,000 people, she feels spectators can be trusted to follow guidelines. As to the band participation she said she will meet with the band director soon to work out details of band participation.

In routine business the Board approved the 2020-2021 budget in the amount of $62,095,176. Millage and property taxes will remain the same as the past year despite the fact that expenditures will increase slightly. The per capita, personal, 1/2% wage tax, 1/2 % real estate transfer tax and $5 local service tax also remain unchanged.

A number of banks were approved as investment depositories and NexTier Bank was approved  as the school’s Depository for School Funds.

A number of bids for school supplies, equipment and services were also approved as were personnel matters, and requests to attend conferences.

Janice Bart was appointed Officer -In Charge for School Safety and Security , Dennis McFadden was appointed Assistant, and William Mostyn was approved as Offcer-In -Charge of Criminal Investigations, all for the 2020 and 2021 school year.

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