Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The Easton Area School District sent out message Tuesday morning that its schools are participating in 'active shooter' training this week and next.
Schools in the Easton Area School District are participating in "active shooter" training exercises this week and next, according to an alert sent out to parents Tuesday morning. The school district is teaming up with local law enforcement to conduct the training, which will take place later in the day after students have been dismissed from the buildings, according to an automated telephone message sent to parents today. Training is set for the week of May 20 and the week of May 27, school officials stated in the alert.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Upgrades to Easton school buildings will cost nearly three times more than expected.
The first phase of security upgrades at Easton Area schools could cost $1.4 million, the school board learned Tuesday night. That figure—provided to the board by D'Huy Engineering—is nearly three times larger than the $500,000 district officials projected two months ago. D'Huy's proposal shows the construction for the security upgrades—assuming the board started looking for bids right away—happening between October 2013 and February 2014. But the board came to no consensus on the work Tuesday, with D'Huy planning to return in June with an updated proposal. "To me this is a good start," said district chief operating officer Michael Simonetta. "I don’t think this is something we should hurry into." In March, Simonetta proposed a five-point…
Monday, April 29, 2013
Easton Area superintendent candidates are bailing, taxes are rising, school board members are bickering and the teaching staff is getting shredded.
The Easton Area School District is a mess. There's no easy way to say it. It's the case. And anyone who would just look at the information coming out of the district these days would be able to make that same objective observation easily. While most school boards have already finalized their 2013-2014 preliminary budgets, our school board is still deciding what kind of tax hikes and staffing cuts should be attached to it. And, by the way, let's offer a zero percent tax option—Read My Lips: No New Taxes—but threaten to cut music and sports programs in the process. Scare tactics. The kind of scare tactics that forced my 13-year-old nephew to have to go before the school board and plead that music programs stay safe. No child should have to …
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Roof work is slated for Easton Area High School, along with masonry work at Paxinosa Elementary this summer.
The third phase of work to replace the 30-plus-year-old roof at Easton Area High School will begin this summer. Easton Area Schools Business Administrator Michael Simonetta announced that phase three of the project for asbestos abatement on the roof has been awarded to Sergeant Enterprises, which came in with a low bid of $10,224. The roof work started in 2011 with the first phase replacing 50,000 square feet. The entire 110,000-square-foot roof replacement project is expected to cost $1.4 million. The project is expected to replace the roof and flashing, demolish two abandoned chimneys and include other repairs. Replacement of the roof has been in the works since 2010. A facilities study performed on district schools in 2009 suggested …
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Palmer Elementary's Odyssey of the Mind teams shows the Easton Area School Board what they've learned.
How do you demonstrate how e-mail works in an eight-minute skit? How do you do it when you're 8 or 9 years old, without help from adults? Can you answer those questions? The Palmer Elementary School Odyssey of the Mind team can, as it demonstrated Tuesday to the Easton Area School Board. The team—made up of Palmer third- and fourth-graders—came in fourth place recently at the statewide Odyssey of the Mind competition. The competition challenges teams to demonstrate how to solve problem with a short skit. This year, the team problem was "The E-mail Must Go Through," with the Palmer team using a Rube Goldberg-style contraption to demonstrate three different types of e-mail: one with artwork attached, one with a return-receipt request, and …
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Easton Area School Board can't decide on tax increase, but says music won't be cut.
Although it was unable to decide on whether to raise taxes Tuesday night, the Easton Area School Board did come to one decision: Easton's elementary school music programs are off limits. The board made this decision after hearing from parents and students speaking in favor of the elementary music program, which would have been cut had the board voted for a no-tax-increase budget. The zero percent tax increase is still a possibility, as are budget scenarios that raise taxes by 1.7 and 2.1 percent, the option recommended by the school district administration. School officials—who had planned to wake up Wednesday with a preliminary budget approved—will instead continue working on balancing the $134.8 million budget for 2013-2014. But no …
Monday, April 15, 2013
Robert Culp tells Easton school officials he's no longer interested in superintendent job.
Yet another candidate to become the Easton Area School District's new superintendent has decided he doesn't want the job. Robert Culp, assistant director of Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21, has withdrawn his name, according to the Morning Call. He had been named as one of two front-runners for the position last month. Board Member Pat Vulcano told the newspaper another candidate might be waiting "in the rafters," but declined to say much more. But his colleague Frank Pintabone contacted Easton Patch Tuesday morning to say he's not sure what Vulcano was talking about. "We have no third candidate. I've been to every meeting he has," Pintabone said. "We had two candidates, two withdrew. I wish we had a third." Culp's decision comes just …
Saturday, April 13, 2013
With waves of tax hikes and staff cuts, Easton Area School District just trying to keep head above water.
It's the game plan for the Easton Area School District right now. And with a vote Tuesday on whether to once again raise taxes and reduce staff, school officials revealed what that game plan is. "Survival." "What we're looking at is surviving," Business Administrator Michael Simonetta stated to school board members at Tuesday's worksession. "Surviving the hand we're being dealt right now." Simonetta tried to explain to school board members that there really isn't any wiggle room to avoid another tax hike and more staffing cuts. The board is expected to choose among three tax hike/staff cut options when it votes on its 2013-2014 preliminary budget at next Tuesday's school board meeting. Simonetta showed a few charts that sum up where the …
Also this week: schools could see job cuts, and a superintendent candidate drops out.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was one of two world figures to come to Lafayette College this week. Blair paid tribute to Margaret Thatcher, whose death was announced hours before his talk. He also spoke about the Middle East and the world economy, saying, this is "the toughest time to be a leader." World famous primate expert and conservationist also visited Lafayette College this week. What has her time studying chimpanzees taught her about humans? "We've been jolly arrogant," Goodall said. "We're part of the animal kingdom. We're not separate from it." Easton Area School Board hears three options for staff cuts/tax hikes at work session Tuesday. One of two men in line to become the Easton Area School District's new …