News Briefs

Beattie project expanded

The A.W. Beattie Career Center board has decided how to spend the last of the excess bond funds.

Approximately $3 million in bond funds were left over when bids for the renovation project came in under what was projected. The board already had decided how to spend $2 million of that money, with about $1 million going towards paying down the debt created by the bond, and another $1 million going towards more energy efficient repairs.

Avonworth School Board member Marybeth Sommers said that the entire 18-member Beattie board had approved spending the final $1 million to add a large meeting room.

The meeting room, which is something Beattie currently does not have, also will be able to be used by the districts that are part of Beattie.

Garbage policy change

Rental property owners who pay Bellevue for garbage collection service will want to make sure that they are being billed for the correct number of units. Borough officials are considering a policy change that will put a statute of limitations on getting a refund.

Director of administrative services Connie Flasher said that a property owner recently sought a refund for eight years of garbage payments made for three units instead of the two units apparently present in the building.

Municipalities base their garbage fees on an annual price obtained through bids that take into consideration the total number of billable units in the community. In the recent Bellevue case, the borough would have had to pay the garbage contractor for the unit for which the owner is seeking a refund.

Flasher said that Bellevue does not have a policy on how far back refunds will be awarded. The borough does have an ordinance requiring apartment building owners to report census information.

Under the proposed policy change, the owners of multi-family units will have only one year to report a reduction in the number of units or a discrepancy in the number of units billed.

A public hearing on the policy will be held Aug. 5.

Tax collection up

A report read at Avonworth School Board's meeting on Monday said that delinquent tax collection has increased by about $36,000 from last year at this time.

Solicitor William Andrews said at the July 13 meeting that so far the district has collected approximately $231,000 this year, which is up from about $195,000 last year. Andrews noted that there was no real basis for the increase.

Andrews also said in his report that real estate tax assessment appeals for the 2009 year are not far along and just being scheduled now. He noted that the district has brought in $41,700 from 2008 real estate appeals.

The board unanimously approved a real estate tax appeal settlement for property owned by the Shannopin Country Club that will bring in an estimated $44,500.

According to director of fiscal management Brad Waters, the settlement has been negotiated for the last few years.

Board president David Oberdick and member Jeff Schmid were absent.

New tractor

The purchase of a new lawn tractor was approved by the Avonworth School Board at its meeting on July 13.

The tractor will cost $14,111.20.

Board president David Oberdick and member Jeff Schmid were absent.

Portable radios

Bellevue Council authorized the purchase of portable radios at its regular meeting on July 7.

The equipment will replace old radios in the police department, according to director of administrative services Connie Flasher, and could cost up to $1,500.

Athletic trainer coverage

A three-year agreement between Allegheny General Hospital Sports Medicine and the Avonworth School District was approved at the school board's meeting on Monday.

The agreement is for athletic trainer coverage beginning with the 2009-10 school year at a cost of $8,500 per year.

Avonworth personnel

A number of personnel decisions were made by the Avonworth School Board at its regular meeting on July 13.

The board approved Hillary Frankenstein as band director and band camp instructor for the 2009-10 school year. The assistant band director will be Adam Wazenegger, who also will be the brass instructor. Jeff Frankenstein will be the visual instructor. Julia Kinross will be the instructor for the color guard.

Jen Kroniser was hired as a partial-year, long-term substitute with benefits, and will be working as an elementary school teacher from August to March.

Kristen Weber was hired as a full-year, long-term substitute teacher, and also will be working at the elementary school. Weber was a partial-year, long-term substitute prior to being hired for the full year.

Becky Kolesar was hired as a long-term substitute elementary school teacher, with benefits.

Ashley Mohr was approved as the varsity head cheerleading coach for the 2009-10 school year.

Jenifer Neiss was authorized to take a Family and Medical Leave Act leave for 12 weeks beginning Oct. 23, with an expected return of March 18, 2010.

Language services

Professional development and supervisory services for Avonworth school district's speech and language programs were approved at the school board's combined work session/regular meeting on July 13.

The Allegheny Intermediate Unit will provide the services, which could cost an estimated $6,100.

Board president David Oberdick and member Jeff Schmid were absent.

Teaching service

An agreement for travel instruction services between the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) and Avonworth School District was approved at the school board’s meeting on July 13.

The AIU service provides instruction for students that are unable to leave their homes to go to school, according to director of fiscal management Brad Waters, and will be used on an as needed basis.

The service will cost $80 per hour for the first 25 hours and $60 per hour after that.

Diversity training

A contract with Rhymes Consulting Services was approved by the Avonworth School Board at its regular meeting earlier this week.

The board approved the contract, which is for inservice training on diversity for Avonworth's staff, at its meeting on July 13.

The training is a part of Avonworth's strategic plan. It will cost $2,000.

Scout project

An Eagle Scout project, proposed by a local youth, was approved by Bellevue Council at its regular meeting on July 7.

Council approved a proposal from Brian Halligan, of Troop 226, to build a war memorial honoring local residents who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Code enforcement officer Mike Lutz said that the memorial would be placed in the parking lot at Lincoln and North Jackson avenues.

Council members Linda Woshner and Lisa Blaney-Stewart were absent.

ESY teachers

A number of extended school year (ESY) teachers and aides for summer work were approved at the Avonworth School Board's combined work session/regular meeting on Monday.

The board agreed at the July 13 meeting that the teachers will be paid an hourly rate according to their contracts, while the aides will make $15 per hour for the programs that have been running since June 22.

Pamela Rawlings is the teacher for the kindergarten and first grade class, which has eight students, with Sue Byrne as an aide and Gina Manni as a helper. Manni will be paid $7.25 per hour for 36 hours.

The second grade teacher is Mike DaVia, Trish Schellar is the aide, with Amy Armstronge as a personal student aide. The second grade class also has eight students.

The third through sixth grade classes total five students. The teacher is Janelle Schweitzer, with Debbie Hunt as an aide, and personal student aide Jodi Molinari.

A summer camp program held at the Sewickley YMCA also has a teacher and five aides. The camp is designed to help students with social skills. The teacher is Jennifer Kaltenbach, with aides Tayrn Byrne, Tara Pagone, Kathy Leach, Armstronge and DaVia. Kaltenbach will be teaching one student from 8 until 9 a.m., and also will be working with two other students for six weeks. Byrne will be working with a student for 10 weeks. Pagone, Armstronge and DaVia will be working for six weeks. Leach will be working with two students from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for six weeks.

Board president David Oberdick and member Jeff Schmid were absent.

Handicapped parking

A motion for a handicap parking space at 405 Orchard Ave. was approved by Bellevue Council at its meeting July 7.

Representative appointed

The Avonworth School Board appointed its representative to the Northern Allegheny County Tax Collection Committee at the July 13 board meeting.

The board named director of fiscal management Brad Waters to the committee.

The members of the committee will be responsible for deciding whether collection will be done by a new or already existing company, setting a system for tax appeals and creating by-laws for the committee.

Board president David Oberdick and member Jeff Schmid were absent.

Curriculum guides

A number of curriculum guides and payments were approved unanimously at Avonworth School Board's meeting on July 13.

Diane Neuhaus will be paid $625 for writing the sixth grade social studies curriculum.

The seventh grade life science curriculum was written by Kelly Compeau, who also will be paid $625.

Laura Dzadovsky will be paid $1,600 for writing the fifth grade science curriculum.

The kindergarten social studies curriculum was written by Mary Ann Mihalko, who will be paid $625.

Jennifer Duker will be paid a total of $1,250 for writing both the academic and advanced chemistry curriculums.

The seventh grade life science curriculum was written by Kelly Walbush, who will receive $625.

Gail Lipchak will be paid $1,600 for writing the second grade science curriculum.

Julie Oberdick will be paid a total of $2,225 for writing both the third grade social studies and third grade science curriculums.

The biology curriculum was written by Julie Selep, who will be paid $625.

Lauren Zivic was approved $1,600 for writing the first grade science curriculum.

The fourth grade social studies curriculum was written by Karen Monier, who will receive $625.

Facilities request

A request from Ben Avon Heights to use Avonworth School District facilities was approved at the school board's regular meeting on July 13.

The request is apart of Ben Avon Heights emergency management plan. The borough will use district facilities in case of any borough emergencies.

Grants wanted

The Avonworth School Board pre-approved two staff members to apply for grants. The action came at the board's regular meeting on July 13.

Samantha Abate was approved to apply for a $5,000 Exemplary Inclusive Practices grant from the state.

Phil Coffin will apply for a $10,000 Antelopes in Action grant through the Highmark Foundation, which will be used for exercise equipment if the district receives the grant, according to director of administrative services Brad Waters.

Education contracts

A contract with Wesley Spectrum for special education services was approved at Avonworth's School Board meeting earlier this week.

The contract, authorized at the board's meeting on July 13, will be for services for two special education students at a cost of $2,200 each.

Board president David Oberdick and member Jeff Schmid were absent.

Increased days

The number of days worked by the district's nurses was increased by the Avonworth School Board at its meeting on July 13.

The days increased from three to five for both Kathy Butterini and Mara Alterio.

The district was required to increase the number of days after finding out that it needed two full-time nurses to comply with the state school code.

Mentors approved

The Avonworth School Board approved a number of mentors for the 2009-10 school year at its meeting on July 13.

Year-one mentors include Jeff Boggess, Marnie Arnold and Amy Besterman. Jen Gould was approved as a year-two mentor.

New and old

A new science book was approved by the Avonworth School Board at its meeting held on July 13.

The board also authorized discarding an old science book.

A conceptual physics textbook was approved for an 11th and 12th grade physics class. It will cost $1,798.50.

The board also voted to remove 150 copies of a seventh grade life science book.

Board president David Oberdick and member Jeff Schmid were absent.

Old table

A table, purchased 15 years ago was declared unnecessary by the Avonworth School Board at its meeting on Monday.

The board approved donating the table to the Verland Foundation, or disposing of it if Verland does not want the table.

Board president David Oberdick and member Jeff Schmid were absent.

Emergency services

The Avonworth School Board approved an agreement for ambulance service for the 2009-10 school year at its meeting on July 13.

The agreement with Ross/West View Emergency Medical Services Authority will cost $750.

Math club approved

The Avonworth School Board has approved the middle school math club as a provisional club for the 2009-10 school year.

The club's sponsor will be Scott Miller, who will be paid a stipend.

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