School board back in session

By on August 28, 2019

School board also back in session EASD selected to do presentation at EdLeader21 conference in Houston

Programs created to match the Ephrata Area School District’s mission statement to educate and inspire continue to garner notice from other school districts across the country, Superintendent Brian Troop told school board members Monday evening at the first board of directors’ meeting of the new school year.

The EASD has been selected to make a presentation on “Design Challenges” at the annual EdLeader21 conference in Houston in October.
The district’s presentation will focus on the state-of-the-art renovations to the district’s media centers.

Innovations in the high school media center have created a space for students to learn in new ways, with an eye toward a future full of technology. Students had a significant amount of input in the design of the media centers.

At the conference, district leaders will share how they implement and inspire innovation and risk-taking through student-led design challenges and the district’s Life-Ready Graduate profile.
Specific examples to be shown will include student design challenges associated with both the Ephrata High School and Ephrata Intermediate/Middle School media centers and the EASD MakerBus, as well as others.

The MakerBus is a renovated and purple-painted school bus that now carries equipment and information aimed at helping students to learn STEM &tstr; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

It isn’t only new equipment that will help the students, but teachers with foresight, willing to find new ways to teach.

“We want to encourage teachers to be risk-takers,” Troop said.

Last week’s “Launch Week” presentations set the tone for the whole year, Troop said, with enthusiasm and positive attitudes running high.

Troop also thanked the behind-the-scenes work done by the maintenance and technical staffs over the summer.

The new Ephrata Intermediate School Media Center will be ready for students by mid-September, Troop said.

In another matter, student Tyler Shue was recognized for winning the national 800-meter race and being named an All-American athlete.

Shue was given a resolution honoring his accomplishments by Board President Timothy Stayer.

Shue won the 2019 PIAA Class AAA 800-meter run championship with a school record-breaking time of 1:51.55, which was faster than the standard time required to compete at the 2019 New Balance Nationals Outdoor in the 800-meter run.

Shue won the 2019 New Balance Nationals 800-meter run with a school record-breaking time of 1:50.55, which earned him the All-American honor. His time at that championship run was the fifth-best time in the 800-meter run in the United States in 2019 and the ninth-best time in the 800-meter run all-time for a Pennsylvania runner.

School board also back in session EASD selected to do presentation at EdLeader21 conference in Houston. Submitted photo.

Stayer praised Shue for his diligence and months of conditioning, practice and hard work in achieving his goals. Also honored with a resolution was the district’s Director of Technology Timothy McCormick for achieving his doctorate.

Troop thanked McCormick, the district’s director of technology since 2014, for his commitment to serving the students of the district.

“Dr. McCormick is a good addition and brings technology expertise to the district,” Troop said.

“We’re happy to have you on our team,” Troop told him.

Gregg Shulenberger, the district’s coordinator of information services, received the Superintendent’s Recognition Award for his service. Shulenberger had served as assistant principal at the middle school, but was chosen last year to head the information services.

“We saw his potential in finance and dealing with numbers and data and we moved him to take better advantage of his talents,” Troop said. “I knew he was going to be good in this position and we knew he would fulfill our expectations, but we didn’t know he’d exceed them so quickly.”

In other business, Board member Judy Beiler, a representative for the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center’s joint operating committee, told the board that 84 district students were enrolled this year for the CTC.

“The CTC is really impacting our community and I think some really great things are happening there,” Beiler said.
Board member Tim Stauffer, the representative for the Lancaster/Lebanon IU13, said the IU offered nine summer enrichment camps for children this year, with 256 campers participating.

The camps had different focuses, including a chess camp, as well as the usual outdoor camping experience.

The IU13 also offered scholarships for those students who needed financial assistance to attend.

The Lancaster “Books-A-Million” store had a book drive in support of the IU, asking shoppers to donate a book. At least 12 boxes of books were collected, Stauffer said.

Board member Glenn R. Martin, PSBA legislative liaison, told the board that the Pennsylvania School Board Association conference will be held in Hershey from October 16 to 18.

A legislative platform will be voted on at that time, Martin said, and discussions about charter school reform and changing property tax laws are expected.

A memorandum of understanding was approved for the “Children Deserve a Chance Foundation,” with the Attollo Prep Program. The training program focuses on helping high school students to gain access to college.

The cost for the program will be $10,350 to serve up to 35 juniors for a total of 1,080 student hours.

The district will also compensate Attollo for the 22 current seniors who are still engaged in Attollo programming at a rate of $340 per student for the 2019-20 school year.

The board also approved a special education supplemental contract with the Eastern Lancaster County School District regarding contracts for special education services for the upcoming school year,

Five secondary and three elementary students will receive autistic support at a cost of $37,925 per student for a total of $303,400.

Two secondary and one elementary student will receive multiple disabilities support at a cost of $32,287 per student, for a total of $96,861.

The board also approved an agreement with the Janus School for a student for the upcoming school year. The cost is $28,250.
An agreement with Vision Corporation will provide vision services and help educators learn how to work with students’ limited vision, while helping students to learn to work with their disability.

The cost of the services is $115 per hour, through June 20, 2020.

The next school board regular meeting will be Monday, Sept. 23, beginning at 7 p.m., in the district office at the high school.

Marylouise Sholly is a freelance feature writer for The Ephrata Review. She welcomes your comments and questions at weezsholly@verizon.net. 

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