SMETHPORT — The Smethport Area School Board on Monday approved an agreement with Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit Nine’s Career and Technical Center’s School to Work Program for extra technology help during the current school year.

Among the student’s responsibilities will be computer and Chromebook maintenance, basic troubleshooting and installing ink and toner.

Kevin Kolivoski, the district’s technology director, said, “This is a great opportunity for a co-operative education student from the CTCs networking class to join the workforce and gain experience in the field of study.”

Directors also approved the compensation rates for supplemental positions for 2021-22 as stated in the collective bargaining agreement. According to that contract wording, “If the temporary work position, extra hours, season or activity are not completed, these positions will be paid for on a prorated basis from the date of student-involved activities until the end of the activity work. The district will consider any future guidance on supplemental pay that clarifies an appropriate direction related to paying supplemental positions for activities not completed.”

As part of this motion, the following coaching appointments were OKd: Colby Austin, head baseball; Jon Peterson, head softball; Justin Tanner, head track/field; Chad Smith, assistant girls’ basketball; Amanda Davis, volunteer assistant girls’ basketball; and Ashley O’ Connell volunteer assistant fall cheerleading.

In other personnel matters, directors accepted the resignation for retirement purposes from Troy Raszman after 35 years of employment as a custodian, effective Oct. 14. Joni Britton was hired as his full-time replacement.

Also, Cyndee Smith was approved to provide educational services at the county jail.

Administrators provide their monthly reports.

Superintendent Brice Benson noted that the Department of Health quarantine exceptions exist if both a positive COVID-19 case and a close contact are properly wearing a face mask. The exception does not exist if students are inside of three feet. “We have done our best to limit those opportunities at school, and we continue to see very few contact traces from school,” Benson said.

In his legislative update, Benson reported bi-partisan opposition defeated a bill that would provide vouchers for students to attend a different school if the resident district did not offer full-time in-person instruction. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association also opposed this House bill.

Addressing the school bus driver shortage, Benson said a resolution has been offered in the state senate urging Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation to ease the commercial drivers license requirements for a school bus endorsement. “A major shortage of available bus drives is occurring in parts of the Commonwealth,” Benson noted.

Director of Special Education Kerri Dach reported 100 percent parent participation, either in person or via telephone, for IEP (individualized educational programs) and 504 students.

This is the year for the district to be monitored for Indicator 13 transition that has the goal of providing students aged 15 and older who have IEPs to experience appropriate plans that helps them meet post-secondary goals.

The Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit 9 transition coordinator will work with the secondary faculty throughout the year. The high school teachers are required to complete a six-hour course by the end of March as part of the monitoring, according to Dach.

Kolivoski reported that the district is again using KnowBe4 for the district’s security awareness training. “This is a popular integrated platform for security awareness and simulated phishing attacks, those attempts to acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity that tries to evade spam filters.”

The directors also:

*recognized the following Students of the Month: Mia Fuqua, intermediate level; Serenity Dunkle, primary level; Dominic Dudley, junior high; and Carson Dunn, senior high.

*approved elementary building roofing repairs from TREMCO in the amount of $9,145; and

*approved a kindergarten field trip to Pumpkinville in Great Valley, N.Y., on Thursday.