Pottsgrove Students Approved for Wallops Island Trip

Pottsgrove school directors Jim Lapic and Charles Nippert (at top from left) and district Business Administrator Ron Linke all were busy with computer work before the start of Tuesday’s school board meeting

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – In a series of fast-moving actions on agenda items, unanimously passed Tuesday (Sept. 28, 2021) without public comment, the Pottsgrove school board gave conditional approval for an annual trip to Wallops Island, authorized a mentor for a teacher, and said yes to four professional services contracts.

Headed for Wallops Island

Selected students in grades 10-12 at Pottsgrove High School can be scheduled, following unanimous board approval, for overnight travel April 20-22 (2022) to Wallops Island VA. They’ll “examine environmental changes, diversity of an ecosystem, and patterns of natural changes” during classes and field work at its marine biology center.

About 25 students accompanied by two Pottsgrove High teachers are expected to attend. Students pay $450 each for the trip, which includes transportation. The cost to the district is about $600, to cover the payments for teacher substitutes. There is a conditional “if,” however: overnight trips are possible only if health advisories permit.

The Wallops Island excursion has been an annual adventure at Pottsgrove for many years.

Mentor and teacher

Pottsgrove High special education teacher Melissa DeStefano was approved by directors to serve as a mentor during the school year for teacher Cassidy Lannen, also in special education. The mentor relationship is part of an “induction program” for district procedures and instructional practices required by the state Department of Education.

Business agreements and contracts

Board members authorized the district to enter into four separate service contracts with varied providers. They are:

  • An agreement for school psychology evaluations to be offered as needed by independent provider Dr. Angela Curry, at the rate of $80 per hour;
  • Relying on the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit to provide short-term support in the district’s use of a state-operated medical billing program, at a cost of about $63 hourly. The task usually is handled by a district employee currently on leave. Funds generated by the program cover portions of some employee salaries, administrators said.
  • A different agreement with the intermediate unit to perform child accounting functions, also while an employee is on leave, at a cost of about $75 hourly. It additionally will cross-train district staff members on child accounting processes, so the work can be handled internally by others in the future.
  • A contract with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, of which the district is a member, for assistance with drafting administrative regulations. Pottsgrove uses the association’s service to keep abreast of, and incorporate into its policies and procedures, new or revised local regulations that result from legal or other changes elsewhere. The discounted annual cost amounts to $764.

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