‘Contentious topic’

School board members, administrators talk class rank at Monday’s meeting

Clarendon Borough Mayor Tom Eaton addresses the Warren County school board during Monday night’s committee meetings regarding the borough’s possible uses for the former Allegheny Valley Elementary School.

It’s time for another discussion of class rank.

During the meeting of the Warren County School District curriculum, instruction, and technology committee, board members and administrators talked about future possibilities.

The district’s current policy that features a valedictorian, salutatorian, and historian at each school has been discussed many times over the years.

“Continuation, elimination, pros and cons,” Superintendent Amy Stewart said. “This is always an interesting conversation. It is a difficult topic. It is a contentious topic.”

“Recognizing kids for academic excellence is a good idea,” she said. But, “not everyone is walking the same walk.”

“Does the administration feel as though the students are taking the best courses for them… or are they taking the courses they need to be one of these three?” board member Joe Colosimo asked.

“There are definitely kids who are in the classes to win the game,” Stewart said. “It’s academic competition.”

Board member Paul Mangione suggested that during major changes coming to the district through education reform, in addition to budget season, may not be the best time to consider such a complex issue. “Let’s get that signed, sealed, and delivered before we get another iron in the fire,” he said.

Board President Donna Zariczny said the discussion will need to continue anyway because only six members were present for the committee meetings. The issue was moved to the agenda for the next CIT meeting on April 30.

Allegheny Valley

Clarendon Borough Mayor Tom Eaton addressed the physical plant and facilities committee again regarding possible uses for the former Allegheny Valley Elementary School.

At a previous meeting, Eaton outlined a plan to use the space for a shelter for homeless veterans and to provide space for veterans clubs. On Monday, he clarified that the borough would be responsible for the space.

The borough would move its offices from fire department building, which was originally a school building, too, would use the building as its voting precinct, allow current renters to remain, and keep the tenants separate.

He said some stakeholders took a tour of the building. They encountered someone from EOC Head Start, who asked how long they would be allowed to continue to use the building.

“We agree that any agreements that the board has, the borough would definitely honor that,” Eaton said. “The last thing we want to do is kick the EOC out.”

He said the second floor could be the homeless shelter because the elevator provides accessibility.

The gymnasium and auditorium spaces would be used by the veterans clubs.

The borough would “seal off the classroom areas.”

The school could also provide space for the borough library, Eaton said.

Auction

“From time to time our storage capacity becomes filled,” Director of Buildings and Grounds Services Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht said. “A lot of things have been piling up.”

He suggested that the board auction some materials that have been saved and stored. “We are able to secure an auctioneer for April 27,” he said.

Among the many items that could be sold are various industrial kitchen items, tables and chairs, cabinets, pianos, sewing machines, kilns, air conditioners, weight room equipment, and four vehicles.

The board may vote on the auction possibility at its regular meeting on April 9.

Budget

The board may schedule a special meeting for budget discussion in April. Zariczny suggested a special meeting on April 23.

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