QuickTopic logo Create New TopicNew Topic My TopicsMy Topics News
Skip to Messages
************************************************************
"Troop 84 has a paper drive" every third Saturday of the month, weather permitting.
They will be picking up next to the water tower at Bartís Centenary Methodist Church on E. King St.

 
************************************************************
mailto:mar39intown@yahoo.com
^     All messages            16576-16605 of 16605  16546-16575 >>
16605
major momPerson was signed in when posted
07-17-2018
04:52 PM ET (US)
Fire Dept's new building is moving right along!
16604
CapricornPerson was signed in when posted
07-03-2018
07:02 AM ET (US)
Ref.1663: Ours is the highest it's ever been. There's only 2 of us, the kids are gone, no appreciable drop.
16603
GrouchoPerson was signed in when posted
07-02-2018
04:10 PM ET (US)
Did anybody's water/sewage go up?
16602
Sandy Conrad, Borough SecretaryPerson was signed in when posted
06-27-2018
11:58 AM ET (US)
The Borough Council at their June 26, 2018 meeting adopted the following ordinances.

Animal Ordinance

Handicap Ordinance
Edited 06-27-2018 12:03 PM
16601
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
06-21-2018
08:01 AM ET (US)
This article in the Times is interesting. A Board member admits he didn't understand what he was voting for when he voted last time. Then a board member makes a motion and votes against her own motion? Huh?

LASD reverses on drivers' education
BY MARY GRACE KELLER

After the retired driver's education instructor spoke up at Littlestown's school board meeting, members decided to revisit their decision not to test students for their driver's license.
Sharon Klunk retired from teaching this year, but she will work for the district as the behind-the-wheel instructor. The board accepted her bid last month of $15,000, or $150 per student for six hours. The district covers the majority of the cost, leaving students with a bill of $50 if they choose to take the non-mandatory course.

At Monday's meeting, Klunk said it benefits students to take their license exam with her and voiced concern for the future of the behind-wheel-program. Her speech sparked discussion amongst board members, who then passed a motion that could lead to driver's license testing being offered at Littlestown.

Board members originally decided they did not want the behind-the-wheel instructor to offer the driver's license test to students, preferring they go through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Liability was cited as a major concern. As a result, the district sought bids for someone to serve as a training instructor, but not to test students. Klunk offered the lowest bid and was awarded the contract.

Let them test

"I really feel the liability issue is non-existent," Klunk said.
Before a student takes the license test, Klunk puts the liability on the parents by having them sign a form that signifies their student spent 65 hours behind the wheel and they are ready to get their license, she said.

If she doesn't feel a student is ready, Klunk won't test them. On average, Klunk spends about 600 hours per year with 16-year-old student drivers.
"I have a pretty good gut feeling as to whether they're going to be a safe driver," she said. "I don't have any problem failing them."

If a student makes an error during a test due to nerves, Klunk may pass them if they can tell her how they would correct their mistake and if she knows they are normally a good driver, she said.
"There are students that may pass my test that wouldn't have passed at the DMV, but I still know that those students have the skills to be a good driver," Klunk said.

If students can't test through the district, they'll have to go to the DMV or a third-party testing site. Klunk said these third-parties can charge students whatever they like, while at the DMV they could face long wait periods.
Klunk has known some students to struggle getting $50 for behind-the-wheel training.
If it comes down to having to choose between paying for behind-the-wheel or the license test, Klunk suspects students will pick the test.
"I think they're better drivers after spending six hours" in behind-the-wheel training, Klunk said.
If Klunk does not test anyone for a year she will lose her certification and the district will have to put the program out to bid again, she said.
Klunk expressed concern that fewer students will take behind-the-wheel and the driver's ed program will suffer as a whole.

Board reconsiders

Moved by Klunk's speech, board member Lauren Nace made a motion to revisit license testing in-house. District Solicitor Dan Altland jumped in to say the board cannot change the terms of a contract that has already been advertised and awarded.

Altland said Klunk would have to rescind her contract for the board to bid on a new contract with testing terms included or wait until her contract expires next year. The bid process would be open to everyone, and the district would have to take the lowest responsible bidder's offer, which may not be Klunk's.

"It's a gamble on all ends," Superintendent Christopher Bigger said.
Board member Jim Witt said he's learned a lot since they voted on the matter.

"I certainly would like to be able to change it, but I don't know how to do that," Witt said.
The majority of board members expressed similar feelings.
Just when the board seemed ready to accept its fate and drop the idea, Business Manager Mike Statler chimed in.

"What if I do an RFP (request for proposal) just for the testing piece of it?" Statler said.
The request for proposal process, which is different from a regular bid, does not require the district take the lowest bidder, according to Altland.

Witt made the motion, noting the change would come at no extra cost to the students. The board approved the motion 6-1, with Nace having a change of heart and voting against.

"I don't want to make a knee-jerk decision," Nace said.
Randy Mosebrook and Jennifer McClay were absent.

At this point, the board only authorized writing the RFP, so the hiring of someone to conduct testing would require additional board action.
16600
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
06-19-2018
07:51 AM ET (US)
Littlestown hikes taxes

BY MARY GRACE KELLER
Times Staff Writer

Littlestown Area School District hiked taxes 3.1 percent and devoted a chunk of its $32.8 million budget to improving school safety.

A property assessed at the district average of approximately $189,000 will pay an additional $68 per year under the 0.3589-mill increase, according LASD Business Manager Mike Statler. The board adopted the budget unanimously at its Monday meeting after discussing the final details in a work session prior to the regular meeting.

Statler projects $32,870,596 in expenses for 2018-2019 and $32,532,976 in revenues. The district will have to pull the difference from its fund balance to balance the budget. LASD will also dip into its technology reserve for $413,432 to fund technology improvements such as hiring technology-focused staff, buying iPads for students, and updating servers.

After several safety committee meetings and a public forum with local safety experts, the board settled on allocating $180,000 for safety improvements. This breaks down to classroom locking systems for $50,000, hiring a "school safety person" for $50,000, and hiring a mental health counselor or social worker for $80,000, Statler said.

Superintendent Christopher Bigger said a school safety person would ideally be someone who can train staff, be a "champion" of safety who keeps everyone on track, and also serves as a deterrent. Bigger said the district is exploring several options for this position.

The plan is to hire someone for 12 to 18 months and then re-evaluate the position, according to Bigger.
In April, the district prioritized hiring a Teach for Learning coach, but decided to discard that idea in favor of putting more money toward school safety.

"We took a hard look internally about our needs and realized that the schools' safety outweighed the technology for learning coach in priorities," Bigger said. "We felt that the safety arose as a much greater priority."

The district already has one such coach, according to Bigger.

The board also plans to add security cameras to the middle and high schools and utilize a security card check-in system, both of which will be funded through the capital projects fund, according to Statler. Whenever a visitor comes to school, their license or identification card will be scanned and printed on a badge for them to wear, Statler said.

The changes in security are expected to occur over the next year, with the latest projected date being camera installation in December of 2019. Cameras are expected to cost $131,000 for the high school and $15,000 for Maple Avenue Middle School, according to Statler. The security card system will cost about $10,000.

Board member Carl Thompson suggested using card keys to swipe in and out of doors instead of regular keys. Bigger noted the district has done that for external entrances at Alloway Creek, but not for inside doors.

"You can do the internal doors, if you like. It is a great expense," Facilities Manager Victor Trone said.

He assured Thompson the district has a system in place that keeps keys from being copied.
Additionally, Statler recommended the board keep school lunches at the same price, $2.75 for elementary students and $2.90 for secondary schools.
16599
Johnny SooshiPerson was signed in when posted
06-19-2018
12:25 AM ET (US)
You know what's cool? WHen Randos don't add me to their stupid chats about their cucked state.
16598
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
05-21-2018
02:16 PM ET (US)
Interesting, so they knew it was going to cost the taxpayers big time to build the soccer field. Not consistent with the previous public statements.

In 2015, LASD received $14 million in bond money for a HS roof project, ACES project, and an
athletic _eld project. At that point, the district understood these projects would exceed the $14
million. The district is getting close to spending all of the $14 million. The amount needed to
complete the athletic project is around $1.5 million. The funds to complete the project will
need to come from the capital reserve fund.
16597
major momPerson was signed in when posted
05-13-2018
02:34 PM ET (US)
Snowbird - Don't have the details. Probably Alpha would have to enlighten us on that!
16596
snowbirdPerson was signed in when posted
05-13-2018
06:20 AM ET (US)
Why did they have to stop work?
16595
major momPerson was signed in when posted
05-10-2018
10:42 PM ET (US)
Harry - I don't know about the soccor fields but one of the Contractors for Alpha is the same as for the school and they had to stop work.......
16594
CapricornPerson was signed in when posted
05-10-2018
04:04 PM ET (US)
I have to believe the springs under the NE side of what was Rolling Acres, which everyone (including the contractors) had to be aware of, are a big cause of concern. There were pumps running almost 24/7 during wet Springs and Falls on the bottom floor of that part of the building. In hind sight, that addition never should have been below street level. Before Alloway Creek was built a geological survey was done of the District area. The findings were that there is a large lake underneath most of that area which feeds numerous springs. Those springs and lake run out through what is now Meadowview. In fact numerous houses in that area have sump pumps running after every significant rain, some built right on top of or very close to springs.
Edited 05-10-2018 04:10 PM
16593
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
05-10-2018
07:59 AM ET (US)
Mom - I don't think that is correct about the soccer field. Can't always believe the official spin.
16592
major momPerson was signed in when posted
05-09-2018
04:15 PM ET (US)
Contractor issues for both......
16591
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
05-09-2018
07:58 AM ET (US)
So is the soccer field. They are just spinning it as the contractors fault and they are just "getting it right".
16590
sunloverPerson was signed in when posted
05-08-2018
11:17 AM ET (US)
Heard fire hall having issues, but no one is talking about it.
16589
snowbirdPerson was signed in when posted
04-28-2018
03:58 PM ET (US)
What is going with work stoppage @ old fire hall and school?
16588
Hey YouPerson was signed in when posted
04-27-2018
03:47 AM ET (US)
I went through the center of town today for the first time in a long time and was surprised to see they finally tore down the old community center. D'you suppose they'd let me have a pile of used bricks? Does anyone know whom I would ask? Thanks
16587
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
04-25-2018
09:06 AM ET (US)
I hear the super and AD cancelled the athletic awards. Sad.
16586
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
04-24-2018
07:48 AM ET (US)
They follow like sheep............
16585
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
04-24-2018
07:47 AM ET (US)
LASD to hike school taxes

Littlestown Area School Board offered its 2018-19 proposed budget which includes a tax increase, as well as recognized staff accomplishments and made changes to driver's education during its Monday meeting.

The proposed budget would raise taxes to the state index with a 0.3589-mill increase. A property assessed at the district average of $189,000 would pay an additional $68 per year under this increase, according to district Business Manager Mike Statler.
The board approved the proposed budget unanimously without discussion, though there was banter over the budget at last Monday's study session in which few board members voiced concerns about raising taxes. The increase is attributed to growing needs in the district, such as technology, staff, and school safety.
The budget will be available for public view until it comes up for final vote on June 18. The finance committee will meet to discuss the proposed budget May 15 at 6 p.m.
In other business, the board recognized elementary school teachers Dawn Kelley and Kristin Snyder for being part of a committee that recently received an award from the United Way of Adams County.
"I think it's just a testimony to their work outside of school in addition to their teaching job," Superintendent Chris Bigger said. "I think early childhood, pre-K, is where the future of education is going."
Kelley and Snyder are part of the school readiness committee, which received the 2018 Education Award, sponsored by the United Way.
The school readiness committee advocates for the successful transition of pre-school students to kindergarten and is made up of teachers from every school district in the county, pre-school directors, and other early childhood specialists, according to Kelley.
The committee was formed 16 years ago by United Way's ready to learn group at the request of pre-school centers and kindergarten teachers, Kelley said.
"Adams County early educators realized collaboration and communication would ensure a seamless transition from pre-school to kindergarten," Kelley said.

The committee helps incoming students by having kindergarten teachers meet with local pre-school directors, hosting a kindergarten preview night in May, and holding kindergarten orientation the week before school starts, according to Snyder. In the past, the committee received a grant to create a DVD for children to take home to introduce them to teachers and show them a "day in the life" of a kindergarten student, Snyder said.
"All of these events are held to prepare our incoming kindergarteners for the transition to school and alleviate anxieties for both children and families," Snyder said.
Kelley and Snyder said they were surprised, honored, and humbled to receive recognition from the United Way.
Additionally, the board approved a $9,000 year-long contract with Shield Driving School to provide online driver's education to 150 students for next year. The 30-hour course replaces a classroom instructor and will allow students to study at their own paces, according to district officials. The current driver's education instructor will retire at the end of this year.
Bigger said the district is still considering which provider to select for behind-the-wheel instruction. The board will further discuss the matter in May, he said.
Alloway Creek Elementary School teacher Ashlie Rittle will be the school's new assistant principal. Rittle has been with the district 10 years and currently teaches the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) class at Alloway Creek.
The school has gone without an assistant principal this year and shared duties among staff instead. Rittle's new position will become effective June 25.
16584
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
04-23-2018
09:20 AM ET (US)
They are having all kinds of problems with this boondoggle and instead of addressing them they are worried about the color of the "L" on the field. Sort of like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic after it hits the ice berg.
16583
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
04-23-2018
08:13 AM ET (US)
Littlestown sports stadium behind schedule
• BY MARY GRACE KELLER Times Staff Writer
 
The Bolts will have to wait another season before they can play under the nighttime lights of a new sports stadium.
Project Manager Anthony Colestock of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates told the Littlestown School Board Monday it can expect the stadium to be completed in November or December.
Recent plans called for Rolling Acres Elementary demolition by Feb. 15 and the stadium rising in its place by Aug. 15, Colestock said. However, that schedule went out the window when razing Rolling Acres fell behind.

Board member Carl Thompson said at last month's meeting that the demo company, Smart Recycling Inc., may have been affected by snow. Superintendent Chris Bigger previously said it appeared to be a quantity of work issue, not quality.
Moving forward, Colestock outlined two possible timelines. If the demolition is done by May 17, stadium construction can start the following day and be substantially finished by Nov. 14. If the demolition is not finished until June 17, the stadium wouldn't be done until Dec. 15, according to Colestock. He said he will be able to provide a more definitive completion date later.
"You would have no events that would take place in the fall, however, on the bright side you go back to having your first event being your graduation in 2019," Colestock said.
The original hope was for the stadium to be ready for the 2018 commencement ceremony.
Athletic Director Jeff Laux said athletes can continue to use Memorial Field in the meantime.
"The issue is going to be bathrooms and concession stand," Laux said.
Director of Facilities Victor Trone said they could utilize portable toilets. The concession stand will likely have to sell pre-packaged food since there will be no plumbing while the sewer line is unhooked during the construction of the new concession stand, Trone said. Laux will contact the booster club about other food options.
Board member Melinda Jones asked if the delay in construction will change bid prices. Colestock said the contractors are "locked in" to the agreed upon prices.
"Nobody has given us any indication that they are walking away from the job," Colestock said.
Even though contractors aren't on site, they're still working and submitting shop drawings to Crabtree, according to Colestock. He said this is a "very good indication" they are committed to the job.
Colestock presented The Landtek Group general contractor's rendering of the multipurpose field, which will be monochromatic green with "Bolts" written in blue in the end zones. "Littlestown Thunderbolts" will be written in the field outside the sidelines facing the home bleachers, which will be yellow and flag blue to match the school colors. A large blue L and a yellow thunderbolt will grace center field.
The stadium is part of Phase 1 of a greater campus improvement project. The stadium and all its amenities were projected to cost about $3.6 million in construction, though some bids came in higher than expected in January.
16582
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
04-19-2018
10:08 AM ET (US)
So they are raising taxes, claim they have no choice but are going to hire three new IT staff members? Bought a $73,000 airplane sculpture, $4-5,000,000 soccer field etc. etc.

Here is a novel idea, stop spending more money!
16581
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
04-19-2018
07:54 AM ET (US)
LASD preps to hike taxes
4BY MARY GRACE KELLER

Times Staff Writer

A tax increase is on the horizon for Littlestown Area School District.

The school board discussed a possible 3.1 percent tax increase, the maximum allowed by the state, at its work session Monday.

A property assessed at the district average of approximately $189,000 would pay an additional $68 per year with the possible 0.3589-mill increase, according to LASD Business Manager Mike Statler.

Statler projects about $32.4 million in revenues and $32.7 million in expenses next year. The district will need to pull about $751,000 from its savings to balance the budget and meet technology proposals - approximately $337,600 from its fund balance to address "district priorities" and $413,400 from technology reserves for one-time technology expenses, Statler said.

The finance committee helped identify several "district priorities" for the budget and brought them to the board for discussion Monday. The priorities include hiring a technology integrator for the high school, an IT technician, and a software specialist, Statler said.

Other priorities are funding professional development in math, providing maintenance/transportation support, and funding extra-curriculars like soccer, track, or other activities at the middle school, according to Statler and Superintendent Chris Bigger.

Board member Melinda Jones asked for clarification of the three proposed staff positions.

Director of curriculum and technology Lori Stollar said the tech integrator would assist teachers, the software specialist would handle device databases and software, and the IT technician would work with the devices.

Board member Jennifer McClay voiced concern over what would happen to the tech integrator after they've "worked themselves out of a job" and integrated technology into the high school.

Bigger said this individual could fulfill a number of roles if they choose to continue working in the district. Hypothetically, this person could use their teaching degree to fill a teaching position or, if an assistant principal leaves, the tech integrator could become an assistant principal, Bigger said. He noted it is important the administration continue to have expertise in technology as staff come and go.

"We believe the tech integrator is the future of our future administrators, that's the future of what we see teaching and learning to be," Bigger said.

He emphasized the importance of having additional technology-focused staff to match the growing number of devices.

"When we put this commitment of devices in the teachers' hands, they need that support," Bigger said.

Board Vice President and finance committee member Randy Mosebrook said if these priorities are too much for the board's liking, they can go back and re-evaluate. The finance committee will discuss the budget further May 15 at 6 p.m. in the board room of Alloway Creek Elementary School. The meeting is open to the public.

Upgrades and savings

Also on the table are several one-time expenses to update technology, which would be funded by pulling money from technology reserves.

Updating access points and switches, servers, and Vmware, plus adding iPads to grades 10 through 12 and providing Macbooks to middle school teachers, would cost about $413,400. After taking this money from the technology reserves, the district would have about $200,000 left for future tech-related expenses, according to Statler.

In the wake of school shootings across the country, the district is also considering allocating funds for improved security. Statler is waiting for an exact number from the school safety committee on what these improvements could cost, but temporarily earmarked $100,000 for the project.

In total, tech updates, additional staff, and school safety improvements could leave Littlestown with a need to pull approximately $751,000 from reserve funds.

Over the past few months, the district has sought several cost-saving opportunities.

The district saved about $258,800 recently by leaving a vacated fifth grade teaching position unfilled, realigning driver's education (which is pending), experiencing tax base growth, and a receiving retirement system rate adjustment, Statler said.

Board member Melinda Jones voiced opposition to raising taxes all the way to the state limit, also known as the index.

"I know a lot of people, they're tired of their taxes being raised, and I know we need the money," Jones said.

When the finance committee met last month to discuss its recommendation to the board, Jim Witt voted in favor of recommending the board raise taxes to the index. Witt, also a board member, explained his position Monday.

"No matter how we cut it, whatever we do, we're short," Witt said. "I think it's fiscally responsible to get as close to balancing it (the budget) as we can."

The board will have to pull money from its fund balance whether taxes go up or not. Witt said it "scares" him to see the board dip into its savings to balance the budget year after year, leaving the district in "no position to defend ourselves if there's a disaster." He noted the board previously used its fund balance to make payroll when the district had to operate without a state budget.

Mosebrook said there was no increase in discretionary spending, only increases in mandated expenses like benefits and wages.

"If you want to start digging deeper, we're going to have to start cutting into programs," Mosebrook said to Jones.

Last year, the board voted to raise taxes by 2 percent, which was the first time the board didn't raise taxes to the index since 2006.

The board will vote on the proposed final budget at its 7 p.m. meeting April 23, which will make the budget available for public inspection. Board members will cast their final votes on the budget June 18.
16580
CapricornPerson was signed in when posted
04-17-2018
07:05 AM ET (US)
K-12: How Our Schools Make Monsters
......
"In general, Rand applauds Maria Montessori and indicts John Dewey. She condemns Whole Word, for example:

    The comprachico technique starts at the base. The child's great achievement in learning to speak is undercut and all but nullified by the method used to teach him to read. The 'Look-Say' method substitutes the concrete-bound memorization of the visual shapes of words for the phonetic method which taught a child to treat letters and sounds as abstractions. The senseless memorizing of such a vast amount of sensory material places an abnormal strain on a child's mental capacity, a burden that cannot be fully retained, integrated or automatized. The result is a widespread 'reading neurosis' – the inability to learn to read – among children, including many of above average intelligence, a neurosis that did not exist prior to the introduction of the 'Look-Say' method. (If the enlightenment and welfare of children were the modern educators' goal, the incidence of that neurosis would have made them check and revise their educational theories; it has not.)"


Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2....html#ixzz5CvW90CS1
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook
16579
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
04-09-2018
08:08 AM ET (US)
Mom,

I saw three cars with tickets on East King Street Saturday morning.

Thanks,
16578
major momPerson was signed in when posted
04-05-2018
06:59 PM ET (US)
Harry - I understand. I've asked that same question many times but all I get are the "deer in the headlights" look. I spoke to Doug Hoffman today and he had already spoken to the owner of the sofa and it will be gone in the next day or two. They are cleaning out, have a drop off container and trying to get other things in to put the sofa on top.
16577
Harry C,Person was signed in when posted
04-05-2018
10:12 AM ET (US)
Mom,

Thanks. I will but, you'd think though if I notice them, constantly on East King Street that the police who drive that street constantly would also notice. I don't see tickets on the vehicles. It does seem to be a lack of enforcement issue.
Edited 04-05-2018 10:13 AM
16576
major momPerson was signed in when posted
04-04-2018
07:29 PM ET (US)
Harry - I'm saying I don't know but I would assume that the police should be called. Seems to me it would be a traffic law. If they say no then I'd call the
Borough Manager who is also the Police Chief and let him know. You need to give addresses too!
^     All messages            16576-16605 of 16605  16546-16575 >>

Print | RSS Views: 468050 (Unique: 37505 ) / Subscribers: 29 | What's this?