Verizon, dancers and housekeeping
On Aug.12, the Northumberland County School Board declined to enter into any agreements with Verizon regarding use of school land in Lottsburg for a cell tower.
Instead, following a closed session, the board voted to deed the property to the county and let the County Board of Supervisors make any agreements with Verizon that seem appropriate.
After the meeting, board member Dick Saxer said that the agreements Verizon wanted might have obligated the schools and that the board felt it safer to let supervisors, who actually control the county’s finances, deal with the matter.
The board had another closed session to consider the request of high school dance team members Lauren Self and Katie Crowther for aid and approval of their dancing in the next Macy’s Parade. They had been seen in regular school competition and invited to participate.
Why a closed session would be needed for the request was a mystery to many attendees since the students involved and the subject matter were already part of public discussion.
Saxer later explained that the board wanted to discuss creating a policy regarding participation of students in non-school sponsored events and
that the names of other students who may be involved in such things in the future could have come up in the discussions.
The board voted to approve the two dancers’ participation in the parade.
The board also voted on a number of housekeeping items such as reimbursement rates for teachers who get additional education.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rebecca Gates advised the board that the schools would start the new year with 80 days in the “sick leave bank.” The sick leave bank is a program where staff can donate unused sick leave that is made available to other staff members that use up all their own sick leave before they are able to return to work. Gates said that school employees had used 45 days from the bank which had started with 125 days in it last year.
Gates said that all required student fees would be listed on the schools’ website before registration for the coming school year.
Saxer suggested that a fee be included for lost and damaged calculators issued to the students.
Board member Myrtle Phillips wondered what would happen to children whose families couldn’t afford the fees.
“There are about six programs that can help,” Saxer said.