Tussey chief says masks work | New


Tussey Mountain School District Superintendent Dr Jerry Shoemake told school board members this week that wearing protective masks appears to be helping to keep COVID-19 infection rates low.

During the school board’s monthly work session, held at the high school, Shoemake said the number of people in quarantine continued to decline, a sign – at least for now that COVID cases have declined.

“I am very happy with the numbers,” said the head of the school district. “The cases are going down. “

As of October 11, the primary school listed seven people quarantined and three positive cases discovered. The college reports five students in quarantine and one positive case. At the secondary level, four quarantined cases were reported and no positive cases were detected.

“I thank the staff and students for wearing masks. They seem to help bring the numbers down, ”Shoemake noted.

Last month, a large delegation of parents appeared before the school board to oppose Governor Tom Wolf’s mask-wearing requirement and urged Tussey officials to challenge the mandate.

During the September session, school district attorney Carl Beard told parents and citizens that the board has its hands tied and faces serious consequences if it does not implement the mandate of the State.

Although the number of COVID-19 cases continues to drop in Tussey, the district has no idea what winter will bring in terms of COVID infections.

In an unrelated case, the council listened to Eva Beth Sichko, president of the 85-member Tussey Mountain Education Association TMEA, who inquired about the district’s position on the possibility for educators quarantined and working at home not to have to use their sick leave. days.

The president of TMEA approached the board of directors last month about the matter, but did not receive a response from the school board and administration. In response to his Monday night request, board chairman Harry Watkins said the association president would have a response during next Monday night’s board voting session.

There was a discussion regarding supply teacher rates and the need to increase rates. “The district is struggling to find replacement teachers,” said Shoemake, who suggested that the district consider raising fees as a way to encourage retired educators in Tussey to fill the void.

The board has agreed to investigate a rate hike and may act on the matter next week.

The district’s investment of funds in financial institutions offering better interest rates was also broadcast on Monday evening, as the district continued to explore potential sources. Currently, the district is investing money in a Pennsylvania Government Investment Trust (PLGIT) account with less than desirable returns.

When council members meet next week, they will be asked to accept a cheaper bidder to do work on the high school baseball field next to the school. The council is also considering other improvements on the ground.

The board of directors also plans to recognize a replacement van driver for the firm Figard / Stevenson Busing.

With the deer hunting season quickly approaching, council will consider allowing district support staff to choose between day one or day two of deer season. This will require approval from both the school district and Tussey Mountain educational support professionals.

Two resignations will be accepted next week from district staff: one for a preschool classroom assistant, the other for a library assistant.

Also in the context of personnel matters, the Board will respond to a transfer request for an employee to move from a full-time Special Needs Assistant to a part-time Library Assistant.

Other motions to be considered next week include approval of ten policy improvements, two workshop requests and three field visit requests.

After Monday night’s workshop meeting, President Watkins called for an executive session on staff matters.

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