Board members unanimously voted to approve a resolution calling for charter school funding reform during the Bradford Area School Board meeting Monday.

“Each year, school districts spend millions of dollars in taxpayer money in mandatory payments to brick-and-mortar and cyber charter schools,” said board President Shane Oschman. “The Bradford Area School District supports the Pennsylvania School Board Association’s efforts to change the existing flawed charter school funding formulas for regular and special education.”

In addition, Superintendent Katy Pude discussed the new school calendar, which is different from previous calendars in that it has 184 days, instead of 180 days with no identified snow days.

“This is in an effort to stop absenteeism in April,” noted Pude. “Before, when we missed a day, we had to make it up at the end of the school year.”

Pude added that any of the added days that aren’t used for snow days during the year will be added on to Easter vacation.

During the discussion, board member Fraces Forbes asked Pude what would happen if the school district incurred more than four snow days, in which she responded “As with anything, things are unpredictable. We would have to go over at the end of the school year. By law, we have to have 180 days.”

Pude noted that 22 of the school district’s career and technical students traveled to New Castle in January to compete in the District 10 Skills U.S.A. Competition.

“They did an amazing job with 9 students winning medals,” she said. “They are moving to the state level competition on April 15-17 in Hershey. This is a huge accomplishment by these students and their instructors.”

Gold medalists included: Kate Huber (Advertising Design), Brandon Moore (Automotive Service Tech.), Brianna Barger (Customer Service), Kyle Auteri (Extemporaneous Speaking), Dylan Austin (Maintenance & Light Repair) and Frances Tyler (Precision Machine Tech). Silver medals were earned by Haleigh Reid (First Aid & CPR) and Ethan Little (Medical Math), while Parker Geist won a bronze medal for Basic Health Care.

Pude also commended Fretz Middle School for being selected as one of the top 5 schools in the nation for the Teach Kindness Challenge, which they have been a part of for a year. The challenge looks for a school that “embodies kindness to improve school culture and to create a safe supportive place for all students to thrive.”

To participate in the challenge, Fretz had to complete a phone interview and submit answers to questions regarding what they initiated to promote kindness. The winners will be announced next week. For more information, visit https://weteachkindness.org/.

In other business, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Kelly Compton discussed an upcoming three-module training for school staff regarding providing trauma-informed care to students.

Student Council Representative Liz Miller, discussed the recent Winter Carnival and dance, which she said was well-attended by students. In addition, she mentioned students would be having a Valentine’s Day fundraiser where students would get the opportunity to purchase wooden roses, to be delivered to other students on Feb. 13. Lastly, students will be selling T-shirts for Down Syndrome Awareness, to be delivered on March 20.

High school Principal David Ray talked about additions to the BAHS registration guide, in an effort to better prepare students for post-secondary education. Courses included Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles, Advanced Placement Statistics, Art IV, Engineering Technology, Physical Science, Personal Finance, Virtual Business, and World Literature. The board unanimously voted to approve changes to the registration guide.

Resignations were approved for several personnel, including GGB 1st-shift custodian, Robert Craft, effective Jan. 31, after 22 years of service; School Street Elementary learning support teacher, Hali Schloder, effective Feb. 14, after 3 years of service; and part-time bus driver, Jason Sharp, effective Feb. 6 after 2 years of service.

Additionally, hiring was approved for several staff members, including Marcia Copeland for BAHS part-time general aide, Robert Kumher, for BAHS social studies teacher and James Maze for GGB 2nd shift custodian. Proposed hiring for numerous coaches for the upcoming spring/fall was tabled for later.

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