January 21, 2015

A brief summary of the topics presented and information shared during discussion is provided below.

Changes to Pennsylvania Child Abuse Laws

Mr. Tom Burnheimer, Director of Pupil Services, provided the group with an update on new requirements regarding child abuse reporting and background clearances. Due to the new reporting requirements, any person to whom a child discloses abuse must report the incident. Previously, referrals were handled primarily by the school nurse, building principal, or other designated individual to make the report. Reports can still be made via telephone or via a new web-based electronic system. Under the new requirements, District employees are required to update their clearances every three years.

In addition to these updates, there was a very lengthy discussion on “volunteers” and “visitors.” Beginning July 1, 2015, volunteers will need to obtain a minimum of two clearances, State Police and Child Abuse. Based upon PA residency for the last 10 years, a third clearance may be required, which is the FBI clearance. Total cost for all three clearances is approximately $50.00. We are still determining who will be defined as a volunteer versus a visitor, but it is clear changes from our current practice are forthcoming.

Proposal to Combine the High School Marching Bands

Dr. Stoltz provided a brief overview of the proposal to combine the high school marching bands, and the many factors that were being considered. The group was representative of many perspectives, ranging from the desire to combine bands, athletics, and other programs to the desire to maintain separate programs. Dr. Stoltz indicated additional discussions would be held with the Board at future meetings. For additional information or to view the presentation shared with the Board on February 12, 2015, click here.

 Community members are reminded they can submit ideas for future topics of discussion to any District Voice representative.

Next Meeting: May 6, 2015

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