At last week's Austintown Board of Education meeting, a report was given regarding the start of the 2013-14 school year. With new security and two brand new buildings, Superintendent Vince Colaluca said everything went well.
"Our kids just had the longest summer break in the history of the school district," Colaluca said. "We had to extend the summer break to get the new schools ready."
He said a tight time line was placed on the construction crews and they came through. The buildings were ready to receive the students on day one with a lot of credit going to the janitorial crew.
"Our custodians moved over 10,000 boxes in six days, during 90 degree temperatures," Colaluca said. "That was the contents of 24 storage trailers that were brought to the schools."
He added the teachers also deserve credit for coming in, unloading those boxes, and turning "a construction building into an elementary school."
He said there was still the issue of landscaping and moving a few large dirt piles, but that would take place soon. In the kindergarten-through-second-grade building, also known as Austintown Elementary School, there is a parking area that will allow parents of kindergarten students park and pick up their children. Colaluca said there would be a crossing guard stationed there for safety.
Principals of AES and Austintown Intermediate School thanked members of the PTO who helped direct students and traffic on the first week of school as parents and students adjusted to the new system and roadways on the campus.
Board member Kathy Mock said, "Our students love their new schools. Over 6,000 people come on our campus now on a daily basis."
On the security side, Director of Instruction David Mullane reported the new systems are in place to keep the students safe. He said there is even a security scanner that guests slide their driver's license through. It instantly checks for sex offenders who aren't allowed on school grounds, and tracks anyone while they are on the campus.
He said, in May, the entire district staff attended training provided by the Ohio Attorney General's office dealing with school security and lockdown issues. Along with all the steps taken, Mullane said the key is the partnership the district has with the Austintown Police Department.
"Our partnership is second to none," he said.
He told board members that the department is currently working on a grant that will provide two more full-time officers for the campus.
On another issue, Jim Sobien spoke during public presentation and said he had two questions he would like answered. The first involved one of the old elementary buildings that will house a county preschool and board offices. He asked why it is costing the district $200,000 when the old schools were supposed to be closed down. His second question involved the student supply fee.
"How much is collected and what is it used for?" he asked.
Colaluca responded to the school fees and told Sobien, "There are 14 districts in Mahoning County and all charge student fees. We are the lowest in the county and the fee goes towards buying supplies the students need in the classroom."
In other business:
The following personnel appointments were approved: Peggy Murray as Fitch sweeper cleaner, Abby Cooper as AIS paraprofessional, and Kendra Corpier as ACTV multimedia technician.
Resignations were accepted for the following: Bruce Montgomery as Key Club advisor; Bill Klein, assistant drama coach at Fitch and assistant band director at Fitch; Betty Rosser, food service at Fitch, Angie Mraz-food service at AES.
The board approved supplemental contracts for the following teachers: Kim Freisen, Lisa Marucci, MariJo Matune, Carol Kuchta, Kristine Mazzella, Alicia Burnfield, Stacy Zoccali, Megan Rust, Michele Best, Heather Wukelich, Steven DiBacco, Ron Johnson, Regina Sylvester, Heather Carcelli, Carlo Trafficante, Rebecca Caruso, Brian Fedyski, Joseph Matulek, Maribeth McGlynn, Robert Frazzini, Gina Cardillo, and Bill Klein.
Volunteers approved by the board included: Tomas Totterdale, girls soccer; John Griffiths, robotics team; and Spring Harriger and Raymond A. Pallante, food service satellite program.
The following intervention tutors were approved: John D. Kubacki, AFHS; Lori Leecue, AIS; and
Michael Frazzini, AMS. Falcon Pride Online tutors approved were: Susan Aguilar, Lauren Wilson, Jarrod Galbincea, Jaclyn Galbincea, Kristine Hofus, Allison Masters, and Jessica Tomic.
The board approved the following food service substitute personnel: Eileen Benedict, Laura Blakeman, June Bohr, Kelly Constance, Lisa Fitzpatrick, Julie Hager, Beverly Hannon, Paulette Henry, Linda Kaip, Jamie Lowry, Lorinda Medley, Linda Mikula, Debbie Miller, Jenine Mitchell, Jennifer Toth-Pratt, Phyllis Riley, Patrice Rosko, Colleen Ruman, Heather Scott, Shelly Vakasy, Fred Dangelo and Jamie Fromel.
Approval was given for the varsity and junior varsity softball teams to travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for the Grandstand Softball Classic tournament competition April 14 to April 18, 2014. Coaches and team parents will chaperone and carpool to Myrtle Beach and expenses will be self-funded by the team. No days of school will be missed.
The board approved employing the following 2013-14 fall event staff: Kathy Senvinsky, Terri Bowlen, Debbie Bundy, Bonnie Grantz and Becky Feicht.
The board approved employing the following Falcon Pride Online teachers: Angela Walls, Jessica Uplinger, Joseph Paris, Heather Wukelich, Anthony Parker, Dorothy DelBoccio, Sheila Palombo and Andrea Folsom.