Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

The Bellwood-Antis School Board approved two separate sales agreements at Tuesday evening’s Board meeting for properties located along Martin Street, near the Myers Elementary building.
The Board approved the sales agreement between Jeffrey R. Beam and Bellwood-Antis School District in the amount of $40,000 for the property at 217 Martin Street, Bellwood.
The sales agreement between Elmer C. Myers, Jr. and Bellwood-Antis School District in the amount of $77,500 for the property at 215 Martin Street, Bellwood.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Rodney Kuhns, said that the properties will be used for additional parking for the school district.
A $30,000 check was presented to the Board by Solicitor David Andrews for the sale of the southside property to the Excelsior Number One Volunteer Fire Company.
School board members presented an update on the Campus Planning project dealing with the auditorium renovation at the high school. Kuhns asked the board to have the contract completed by November’s meeting with the architects, L. Robert Kimball & Associates.
Kuhns stated, “The architects contract has to be reviewed in terms to finding the scope of the project. Secondly, to be sure that part of the legal aspects of the contract had been reviewed by our solicitor.”
The Board has also set an additional time where committee members will visit some of the auditoriums the architect has renovated, and look at the features that have been added. Board members want to be sure they have seen some of the work the architects have done.
There were policy changes accepted by the Board to update the policies with regard to the use of ‘electronic signatures’ on checks issued by the school district.
Policy number 608 added the following: ‘All disbursements by check shall contain the signatures of at least three of the following officers: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. The use of facsimile and/or electronic signatures is authorized. The secretary shall secure the electronic file.’
Policy number 616 added ‘or an electronic file’ to the next to the last paragraph.
In Policy number 618, lines 13 and 14 on page one of two is now revised stating, ‘designated principals who shall sign all check requests drawn upon them.’ Lines 31 and 32 on page two of two is now deleted, ‘All checks shall be signed by the person authorized to approve such disbursements.
Board Treasurer Kenneth Swanson explained, “The electronic signatures will be now implemented in the school district. It’s going to provide a more secure system in terms of forgery and likewise will improve internal controls.”
In the Superintendent’s report, Kuhns talked of the consistent results the Bellwood-Antis School District students have shown in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) test scores.
“What I am happiest about is that we are consistently above state average and that we are consistently within the predicted band for our school district,” said Kuhns.
He added, “But I’m most happy about the independent evaluation service that looked at Bellwood-Antis School District and said that our school district is one of the best buys in public education, because of our high PSSA test results in our low spending.”
The PSSA tests are taken by fifth, eighth and eleventh grade students across the Commonwealth. Writing assessments are completed by sixth and ninth grade students. A complete break down of PSSA test results and the importance of them for the students of the Bellwood-Antis School District will appear in The Daily Herald in the coming weeks.
Other issues approved by the B-A School Board last evening were an ESL (English as a Second Language) Policy for students in the school district where English is not the primary spoken language at home. Presently, there are six students in the school district that the policy pertains to.
“It’s for the kids and there will be requirements,” said Kuhns. “We’re going to have to do some training and teaching to be able to work with those kids, which will require a number of hours per week that must be given to support this situation.”
The Board approved a bid from AAE (Aluminum Athletic Equipment) in the amount of $10,770 for the purchase of new pole vault equipment as mandated starting the 2003 sport season. The new equipment, which includes an expanded pit and a larger mat, will provide a more safe and secure event for athletes.
After an executive session last night, the Board unanimously accepted the support contract proposal prepared by the fact-finder to settle their end of negotiations. The 50-employee support staff at Bellwood-Antis, represented by the Service Employees International Union, have not yet approved or rejected the proposal prepared by Bill Caldwell.
The Union is required to approve or reject by the end of business hours October 10. If there is no agreement, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board will make the recommendation public. The Labor Board releases that information.

By Rick