Franklin considers kindergarten boot camp program

A new kindergarten boot camp program could be coming to Franklin Area School District next year.

Superintendent Pamela Dye reported on the program at Monday’s school board meeting, describing one that is taking place for identified at-risk students in Mercer Area School District.

The Mercer program, called “Success by Six,” runs six weeks in the summer and teaches students classroom etiquette and fundamental skills, Dye said.

The classes would be of use to children not quite ready to enter kindergarten, said Dye, referencing the increasing number of special needs students enrolled in kindergarten for the 2018-19 year.

Back in April, board president Brian Spaid noted a doubling of incoming kindergarteners either identified or showing signs of needing special needs services.

Dye reported Monday night that kindergarten enrollment for the upcoming year stands at Central Elementary, 69; Sandycreek Elementary, 53; and Victory Elementary, 18.

Going off the Mercer program, which is funded through United Way and educates 20 students from throughout the district, Dye said she would like to fund a similar program with a grant, enough to pay for student meals and a teacher’s salary.

“I do think it’s worth it,” Dye said.

Other business

– Board members approved the replacement of various doors throughout the junior/senior high school in an amount not to exceed $65,000, to be purchased with capital funds.

– The board accepted a donation of $44,800 from the Red and Black booster club for various sporting improvements including new dirt and sheds for the baseball and softball fields, maintenance equipment for the sports fields and a rubber floor for the physical education room.

– The board accepted a donation of $2,500 from the Class of 1973, to be applied to lunch accounts.

– Board members approved the hires of Darrellyn Freeman as the Sandycreek Elementary art teacher and Olivia Govan as the junior/senior high school French teacher, both at the start of the 2018-19 year.

– The board approved the resignations of Heather Moore, seventh grade English teacher, and Jessica Souchik, junior/senior high school art teacher, effective for the 2018-19 year and July 24, respectively.

– A correction was made to the salary of George Svolos, assistant principal for grades 10-12. An agenda from a board meeting in June stated Svolos’ salary as $81,748.88. The corrected salary is $79,950.

– Following an executive session, the board decided to gather additional information before making a decision on the hiring of a school resource officer and/or security guards for the schools. Board members will seek information from law enforcement personnel during the executive session at their Aug. 13 meeting.

Franklin Area School board will next meet at 7 p.m. Aug. 13, in the junior/senior high school library.