School Board Discusses Driver’s Ed, Business Week and Perry School Sign

In addition to written and verbal statements by the Ellwood City Little Wolverines, the Ellwood City Area School Board discussed several other issues at its agenda setting meeting on Monday, Oct. 6.

Board Member Renee Pitrelli asked if the “behind the wheel” portion of driver’s education could be restored. The school district used to offer the course after school which, when completed, provided a driver’s insurance deduction.

According to Vice President LeRoy Cortez, the school board eliminated the course in 2011 simply because of a budget shortage due to Harrisburg’s statewide public education subsidy reduction. Board Member Bob Stevenson said that between the vehicle, instructor and insurance, reviving the course would be costly.

Pitrelli said she had been asked about the program by insurance agents.

“I wonder if any of the insurance agents would be interested in paying for it,” Cortez said.

Cortez ended the discussion by suggesting the administration and board try to think of inventive ways for the course to be funded.

Petrelli also asked if there were plans to bring back Business Week, a program where seniors established mock businesses. The event had been cut for the 2014-15 school year.

Superintendent Joe Mancini said the week typically cost around $15,000 and although students raised some of the money back, the event never broke even.

Visitor and school board candidate Jennifer Tomon asked if Perry School’s sign, which is visible from State Route 488/Portersville Road, can be repaired. She said the sign had been vandalized and was in horrible condition.

Steve Schuster, building and grounds superintendent, said it would be fixed within a week and dispatched a maintenance team to the sign Tuesday morning.

The Board was appeared confused by a notification from Borough Manager Bob Villella involving a renewal of the agreement with the police department.

Historically, the district negotiated directly with the police department union.

When contacted, Villella said while in the past borough council had a willingness to allow the police union to enter into negotiations with a third party, council has decided to recognize proper channels of government in an issue that involves borough funds. As before, executive decisions, such as how many officers will be assigned to school district events, will be conducted by the police department and mayor. Per borough code, the mayor is in charge of the police department.

The regular, voting meeting for the Ellwood City Area School Board will be this Thursday at 7 p.m.

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