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Clarion Area School Board Reviews Reports, No New Taxes Planned

Friday, June 14, 2019 @ 12:06 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

Clarion Area SchoolCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion Area School Board held its monthly workshop meeting on Tuesday night with several items on the agenda.

Although it did not take any action, it appears property owners will still not see any tax increase when the final vote is taken on a 2019-20 budget at the Tuesday, June 19 regular board meeting.

Tax rates are projected at:

  • Real Estate – 65.73 Mills (no increase)
  • Earned Income – 1 percent (1/2 percent collected by the school district)
  • Occupational Assessment – 25 percent
  • Per Capita – $5.00 under School Code
  • Per Capita – $5.00 under Act 511
  • LST – $52 – Clarion Borough, Monroe, Highland & Paint Townships
  • ($5.00 collected by the district for Borough, Monroe & Paint Townships; $10.00 Highland Township under Act 511)
  • Real Estate Transfer – ½ percent for Clarion Borough, Monroe, Paint & Highland Townships

School Board members will also be considering approval of a variety of appointments, volunteers, and other actions, including:

Robotics Advisors: Tracy Craig – Step 1 $1,694.00 and Brian Burford – Step 1 – $ 1,694.00.

Senior High Student Council Co-Advisor: Tracy Durish – Step 1 – $358.00 (1/2 of $717).

Federal Funds Program Administrator: Natalie Miller-Martini, $6,800.00 (paid from Title I Funds).

Resignations:Madison Meyers – Paraprofessional – June 10, 2019 and Nicholas Cullo – Paraprofessional – May 31, 2019.

VolunteersSoccer 19-20 season-Ashley Montgomery and Stephanie Lias; Golf 19-20 season-Dave Brueck; Cross Country 19-20 season- Bill Grove; Football 19-20 season-Troy Cyphert and Bill Smith; and Volleyball 19-20 season-Samantha Beichner and Mattie Thornton.

Disposal of Textbooks: High School – Chemistry, Physic 8, Physics 32, and Conceptual Physics 35; Elementary – 4th grade Science.

Technology was one of the administrative reports to the School Board.

“Several irons are in the fire with the technology program at Clarion presently,” reported Technology Director Jim Smyton. “First off, I am going to give a brief description of upcoming upgrades and work. The first of which and one of the larger costs initially is the District firewall and content filtering system.

“The existing Fortinet firewalls are now seven years old and being dropped from support as of 2020. The units play a crucial role in the operation of the District networks from WiFi management, content filtering (CIPA compliance,) activity logging, and threat protection areas. We run Fortinet hardware not only as it is enterprise grade equipment and can handle the scale of a network system as large as Clarion Area’s, but more critically as it is one of only a small group of companies that charges a base contract and zero dollars per user or device. I am looking at the Fortigate 300E appliance for each building to replace the older hardware in place.”

Looking at multiple vendors, costs now range between $20,636.00 to $23,694.46 for the two servers. Smyton is also looking at updating many desktop computers instead of replacing them.

“In the interest of NOT breaking banks this summer and for the upcoming year, I am completing pricing on upgrading several computer systems in the district instead of replacing them. The Lenovo All-in-One machines in several of our labs have proven to run well with Windows 10 and SSD (solid-state drive) hardware upgrades. The SSD unit is roughly $75 per machine and the RAM upgrade to bring them to 4GB for Windows 10 is around $30 per machine, and likely lower on a larger volume order. I expect these upgrades to prolong our ability to run these machines effectively for at least another few years.”

The flow chart shown below is under consideration.

Who's in Charge? Flow chart under consideration

Who’s in Charge?


A final reading of School Wellness Policy 246 outlines the purpose of the policy.

“Clarion Area School District recognizes that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to students’ physical well-being, growth, development, and readiness to learn. The Board is committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education and promotion, and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience. In a healthy school environment, students will learn about and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices that can improve student achievement.”

To ensure the health and well-being of all students, the Board establishes that the district shall provide to students:

  • A comprehensive nutrition program consistent with federal and state requirements.
  • Access at a reasonable cost to foods and beverages that meet established nutrition guidelines.
  • Physical education courses and opportunities for developmentally appropriate physical activity during the school day.
  • Curriculum and programs for grades K-12 that are designed to educate students about proper nutrition and lifelong physical activity, in accordance with State Board of Education curriculum regulations and academic standards.

An executive session for a contract discussion was held at the end of the meeting. No action was taken.

School Board directors attending the workshop meeting were President Hugh Henry, Dave Estadt, Shane Kriebel, Julie McCormick, Zachary Shekell, Superintendent Joseph L. Carrico, and Board Secretary Jill Spence.

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