Salisbury board approves final budget
At the June 15 Salisbury Township School Board meeting the board approved the final budget, recognized five district employees as they retire and approved funding for many of the programs that provide services for the betterment of the district’s student body.
At the start of the meeting the board took the time to acknowledge the dedicated service of retiring teachers and staff members. Proclamations were read and personal stories of how each retiree made a difference in the lives of students were recounted.
Among those retiring are Donna Besz, instructional assistant – 19 years, Barbara Jaindl library media specialist – 33 years, Tami Johnson, instructional assistant – 21 years, Susan Knight, second grade teacher – 19 years and Trudy Murray, ESL teacher – 12 years.
Also given special recognition was Michael Del Priore, assistant director of facilities, who earned the Pennsylvania State Education Association Presidential Legacy Award for his 40 years as a hardworking and respected leader in the Salisbury Township School District.
Bill Brackett, director of facilities, spoke to Del Priore’s drive to make the district’s facilities the best they could be for the students over the past 40 years.
During the curriculum and technology portion of the meeting the board gave approval for service agreements for the 2022-2023 school year with the Community Services for Children, Inc. which provides the Pre-K Counts Program, a contract for service with the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20, The Seton Hall University Accelerated High School Program, Moravian University Dual Enrollment Program, a dual enrollment agreement with Lehigh Carbon Community College, extending a partnership with St. Luke’s for sports medicine services and technology agreements for service with Zearn, FastBridge and Learning A-Z.
The Special Education Plan for the 2021-2024 school year was also approved as well as a list of steering committee members for the comprehensive planning committee. Appointed committee members are Christina Held, Patty McClain, Mary Bishop, Mary Ann Kelley and Kelly Liggitt.
The board approved the final budget by a 6-2 vote. Members Rebecca Glenister and Carol Klinger raised questions about the eliminated librarian position in the budget. Neither member was in favor of eliminating the position citing the fact that once a position is eliminated it is very difficult to get the position reinstated. Both cast the dissenting votes.
It should be noted board member Joseph Kuzo was absent from the meeting so he was not able to cast a vote.
Also approved by a 6-2 vote was the School Bus Stop-Arm Enforcement Program with BusPatrol. Laura McKelvey and Thomas Spinner cast the dissenting votes. McKelvey referred to her expressed reservations during the work session meeting concerning videos of students and their locations being viewed by people without criminal history reports or child abuse background checks.
The board also approved adding a finance committee which will start in September. The committee will explore financial resources in an effort to meet the future financial needs of the district.
An agreement with Allentown Central Catholic High School to allow Salisbury High School students to play junior varsity and varsity mens and womens lacrosse on the Central Catholic team was given board approval. This will afford students the opportunity to participate in a sport not currently available within the district.
Approval was granted for an agreement with the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit for Overdrive which allows access to digital library books and Discovery Streaming service.
During the superintendent’s report, Lynn Fuini-Hetten thanked the members of the high school leadership team, support staff and the custodial staff who worked many extra hours to make graduation a memorable night. She also recognized the Salisbury Elementary School staff who developed and facilitated the kindergarten screening and registration. Parents of kindergarten age students are reminded to call the SES office to register their children.
Additionally, she acknowledged the fifth grade team, transitional learning support staff and the leadership team for facilitating a successful transition opportunity for the fifth grade students.
Fuini-Hetten also informed the board the district’s allocation for some federal programs has decreased which is due in large part to a decrease in poverty for children ages 5-17 based on 2020 census information.
She also noted there are several open positions which need to be filled and the district is actively seeking applicants.
The next scheduled board meeting will be 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17 in the administration building, 1140 Salisbury Road.