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Montour Board Raises Questions About Students' Trip

School officials would like to hear more details before granting approval.

Approval of a trip by a student group often is routine business for school officials.

But one such item on which Montour School Board is scheduled to vote has drawn a few questions and calls for clarification.

As the board was wrapping up its agenda planning Thursday night, an upcoming trip by the high school marching band prompted a round of discussion, primarily because the destination is the Bahamas.

Board member Duane Faith requested clarification of the proposed action, which is stated on the meeting’s printed agenda: “Approve the Montour High School Marching Band 2013 Spring Trip.”

“I want to be very clear on what I am asked to approve,” Faith said.

Dr. Donald Boyer, superintendent, assured the board that the measure merely grants permission for students’ absences.

“If they weren’t going on school days, they wouldn’t be covered by our liability policy,” he explained.

The band trip, along with two others on which the board will vote at its Nov. 29 meeting—the varsity softball team’s trip to Lexington, NC, and the baseball squad’s excursion to Orlando, FL—are not financed by the school district.

Still, some board members expressed concern about approving a group’s trip outside the United States.

“It’s not uncommon under certain circumstances to allow students to go out of the country,” Boyer said, citing foreign-language studies as an example.

Dr. Fran Serenka, director of special education and pupil services, said she would gather further information about the band trip prior to the board’s vote.

Also at Thursday’s meeting:

• The board reviewed change orders pertaining to the athletic center renovation at the high school. School officials said last month that they expect the $17 million project to wrap up in February.

The change orders, which total more than $90,000, address a variety of issues, including wall removal, masonry, painting, ceiling installation, door framing and electrical work and signage. The board will vote Nov. 29 on approving the expenditures.

Boyer said the district also must renew builder’s risk insurance on the athletic center for six months. A similar policy covered about $800,000 in damages caused by an April 2011 fire during the high school renovation project.

• David E. Williams Middle School students of the month were recognized by the board: Abby Rathway and Ryan Gallagher, fifth grade; Gabriella Talerico and Noah Kendall, sixth grade; Megan Frey and Zachary Boburka, seventh grade; and Rachel Schwartzmiller and Eric Macadangdang, eighth grade.

• Recognition also was given to Montour students who achieved Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 1 honors: Lani Coleman, Sam Froehlich, Joan Stamatakis, Marsha Stamatakis, Richard Tran and Therese West, PMEA Honors Choir; Therese West, PMEA Honors String Orchestra; and Cara Bullock and Michelle Shine, PMEA Honors Band.

tom PETRUNICK December 07, 2012 at 10:11 PM
There is absolutely no reasonable explanation for this knid of usage of tax payers dollars1 This is typical of the brainless spending of funds; for what purpose?If the parents of the students affected want to fund such foolish spending,let them! Taxes are way too hight;enough is enough!
tom PETRUNICK December 07, 2012 at 10:13 PM
SORRY FOR THE TYPO MISTAKES ABOVE! "WHEN YOU`RE HOT ,YOU`RE HOT!! AND THIS BULL JIVE MAKES ME HOT;AMEN!!

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