CLEARFIELD – Information from the Clearfield-Jefferson Drug and Alcohol Commission and a report about the Presidential Inauguration topped last night’s Clearfield Area School Board meeting.
The school board has been concerned with drug and alcohol problems within the schools and addressing the issue early and consistently.
Board member Mary Ann Jackson reported on a meeting with the Drug and Alcohol Commission and said they would like to begin by holding a meeting for parents and other adults to help educate them on what to look for and where to seek help in regards to drugs and alcohol use by their children.
The board is tentatively planning the meeting for April 26, and more information will become available closer to the event.
Jackson also noted they hope to get an intervention specialist full-time in the district to work with teachers and students. Board member Gail Ralston added that the district would need to apply for grants to fund the position.
Currently the commission does presentations at the elementary school on an invitation basis, mostly with the fourth-grade students. Jackson said they hope to begin educating students all through elementary school and eventually on up through the high school grades.
The board also heard from teacher Robbie Tubbs, who was one of the teachers involved in organizing taking students to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration. Tubbs said the social studies department and others worked to make the trip happen and they were able to take 99 students.
He said it was a great opportunity to bring what the students are learning in school to life, and the students were very interested and amazed to witness the event. They were also amazed at being part of such a large crowd.
Tubbs said they also had opportunity to show the kids some of the monuments, as they walked to the capitol and the students also encountered people of all walks of life. The teachers and students also had a dialog regarding the First Amendment being exercised by protesters at the inauguration.
Tubbs concluded by saying the department would like to consider doing this again in the future and thanked the board members for their support.
The board received reports from the various departments in the district. It was noted kindergarten registration begins Wednesday and is entirely online this year. Once parents register their students, the school will then call them and set up a time to visit the school for screenings and to meet the teachers.
A Casual for a Cure event was held at the schools to raise money for a kindergarten student who has stage four cancer, and the event was successful. Another student also reportedly has cancer and the district is offering prayers and support to the families.
Work on the budget is underway and currently the state budget is projecting a $603 million deficit. Revenues are projected to be $425 million off due to corporate taxes, personal income taxes and sale and use taxes being down.
Business Administrator Sam Maney noted the current plan is to have some increases but to cut transportation funding to districts. He added federal revenues do not appear to be increasing this year.
During approval of the field trip list, Ralston again noted concerns about field trips, especially funding for them and educational value of trips such as amusement parks and baseball games.
Often, she said, the request forms do not include the cost to the district. After some discussion, the board agreed in the future they do need to look at how the forms are filled out.
Superintendent Terry Struble noted that the district has 2,300 students and if they payed $15 per student to go on trips, it would still be less than what the district spends to send students to “extra season” events, such as district and regional competitions, which the departments budget for.
“Cost is not the issue,” he said, adding that part of the district’s job is providing experiences for students. The entire board approved the field trip list.
The board also approved putting the Girard-Goshen Elementary School for sale via submitted bids. The district will also be doing an enrollment projection with the Pennsylvania Economy League.