Band, reading camps are back this summer

By on June 4, 2012

By: KIMBERLY MARSELAS Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

Two popular summer programs will return to the Cocalico School District this year after a one-year hiatus.

A band camp and Camp Read-A-Lot were suspended in 2011 due to budget constraints, but at a school board meeting May 21, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment Ella Musser reported that both camps are slated to operate again in 2012.

Musser said the district’s Camp Read-A-Lot program has been restructured to require fewer teachers, with students entering third, fourth and fifth grade able to participate online. She said many parents struggled to get their children to the program during the summer, and more students might participate regularly given an Internet option. Overall, Musser said the program would operate at 20 percent of what was once budgeted.

The summer band camp has also been redesigned, with students expected to attend for just one week and pay a fee for participation. Musser said the program will still culminate in a public performance.

Also on May 21, the board approved a number of contracts to prepare for the 2012-13 school year. Among them were joint purchasing agreements that will allow the district to purchase supplies in bulk through the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit, or IU 13. Costs for classroom, office and art supplies are expected to rise about three percent, while prices for copy paper and custodial supplies dropped compared to this school year.

The board also agreed to continue its special education services with the IU, approving fees for classroom, itinerant and technology services, as well as agreements for speech and language, job training and physical and occupational therapies. Superintendent Dr. Bruce Sensenig said the contract is approved annually and establishes a payment schedule, but final costs are determined by how many services the district actually uses each year. Most years, the district receives a refund for "overages."

The board also agreed to seek permission from the state to pursue about $80,000 worth of carpet, tile and stair replacement district-wide. Another project would repair a cafeteria partition at Adamstown Elementary School at a cost of about $14,000.

In other action, the board established a student activity fund for the National Junior Honor Society at Cocalico Middle School. Teachers and students from the club spoke at the meeting about their core tenants of scholarship, leadership, citizenship and character and their efforts to promote service initiatives. The organization has inducted 44 students in the last two years and has begun fund-raising for various causes.

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