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The August 27 public meeting of the Mt. View School Board contained, as seems somewhat typical this summer, good news for the district as well as a fair dose of conflict. Topics covered included grants and awards, appointments and legalities, and car contract compromises (or lack thereof).
In between executive sessions early in the meeting, Mr. Ty Yost presented a short introduction to the Classroom of the Future Grant. Mt. View formally voted to accept this grant at the meeting. Mr. Yost, who was later appointed as “Grant Coach” for the project, began his presentation with a video encouraging educators to utilize the technology already used by students to engage them in learning. He then proceeded to explain the grant, and what it might mean for Mt. View in particular. The program was designed through the Rendell administration to assist in the implementation of technology in core subject instruction. Unlike past grants, which provided money to buy equipment which then sat unused by staff, this program hires a tech coach to foster proper implementation. It also requires participating educators to undergo a certain number of hours of training, provided by PDE. Susan Pipitone, elementary principal, spoke of how the grant would not only benefit the high school, where it is implemented, but the elementary school as well, as some of the replaced secondary equipment could be passed down. The grant money would be used to put laptops in certain classrooms for student and educator use, which would increase computer accessibility. Currently the secondary school has only one computer lab open during the day, with three other labs in existence but attached to classes. The grant could also allow for an electronic portfolio of student work to be created and stored in a network, provide more interactive white boards, etc. It has not yet been released how much money the district will be receiving, but what money is received is slated to go to good use.
The Harford Township Supervisors continued to mull options at their meeting on August 28. With work on two major projects at a standstill, the three decided to convert a half-million-dollar loan that took months to arrange to a line of credit.
The money is to be used to replace a bridge over Butler Creek on Pennay Hill Road, and to install a larger sluice under Stearns Road at the outlet of Tingley Lake. The Pennay Hill Road bridge was washed out during flooding in late June, 2006; the partial collapse of the Stearns Road sluice caused the lake to back up and flood homes during the same storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) have pledged funds to rebuild the bridge; some of the loan money will be used to bridge the FEMA payments. So far, the entire cost of the Stearns Road project will be on the shoulders of Harford Township taxpayers.
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