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Tyrone School Board adopts updated policy on drug awareness

The Tyrone Area School Board of Directors unanimously approved revisions to its policy concerning drug awareness at its meeting last night.
The board revisited a policy that was adopted in 1995 due to an incident during the past school year.
“We had an incident last year in which the administrations hands were tied because of the old policy,” said Dr. William Miller. “With the policy that was adopted last night, the district has much more latitude in what it can possibly do.”
In the revised policy, a student found to be under the influence, in posession of or selling of drugs on the school campus can face expulsion on the first offense.
There was an incident during the last school year in which a student was arrested on school grounds and charged with posession of heroin. The student received only a 10-day suspension.
“This policy puts more teeth in the punishment aspect,” said Miller. “The administration now has the ability to expell a student who is in posession of drugs, under the influence of drugs or selling drugs on campus.”
“I want to add for the record that the students want this policy to be tougher than it was,” said board member Pete Dutrow. “From the interviews that Dr. Miller conducted with last year’s seniors, they want harsher punishments when it comes to drugs at the school.”
The board also adopted revised and new policies concerning homebound instruction, use/posession of tobacco products, hazing and violence in the workplace.
In personnel issues, first grade teacher Carol Louden resigned effective last night to accept a position as elementary principal with the Northern Bedford School District.
“She has been a wonderful teacher,” said board vice president James Crawford in accepting Louden’s resignation. “Our loss is definitely a gain for the Northern Bedford school district.”
In other personnel news:
• the board accepted the resignation of elementary special education aide Susan Moseman;
• accepted the resignation of middle/high school renaissance homeroom advisor Cynthia Johnson;
• accepted the resignation of Snyder Township census taker Charlene Shultz;
• transferred Janice-Ann Rupp from grade two teacher to Title I reading specialist;
• hired Kandi Winters as a substitute kindergarten teacher for the 2003-04 school year at a salary of $31,000 and full benefits;
• hired Amanda Golden as a substitute first grade teacher for the first semester of the 2003-04 school year at a salary of $15,500 and full benefits;
• hired Laura Rice as a permanant fill-time kindergarten teacher at a salary of $31,000 and full benefits;
• hired Rachel Miller as a full-time second grade teacher at a salary of $31,000 and full benefits;
• hired Larissa Dittman as elementary home school visitor at a salary of $36,600 and full benefits;
• hired Dawn Whited as a full-time first grade teacher at a salary of $31,679 and full benefits;
• hired Molly Muir as middle school home school visitor at a salary of $42,000 and full benefits;
• hired Robert Drager as part-time elementary therapeutic support teacher at a salary of $16 per hour and no benefits;
• hired Tim Walk and Merle Woomer Jr. as full-time custodians at a salary of $7.75 hourly; and
• hired Naomi “Peg” Bowers to be the Snyder Township District I Census Taker at a fee of forty-five cents per individual.
The board approved Hayes Large and Associates as the architect for the renovations and addition to the middle school. The rate is seven percent for renovations and six percent for additions.
The board also voted to:
• enter an agreement with Altoona Hospital for counseling services at the cost of $40 per hour for an estimated 675 hours for the 2003-04 school year;
• enter a contract with Easter Seals for the 2003-04 school year to provide occupational therapy at $52 per hour, physical therapy at $70 per hour and speech and language therapy at $52 per hour;
• enter an agreement with Pyramid Healthcare, Adelphoi Village and Extended Family Program to comply with the district’s alternative education grant;
• entered an agreement with the Tyrone Area YMCA for two district-provided classrooms for YMCA operated programs at no charge covering the period of July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004.
The board also voted to approve the awarding of three signs for the scoreboard at Gray-Veterans Memorial Field. The first business to sign a contract is Diehl’s Garage.