EC school board

Senior Privilege is Working Well, According to Administration

The Lincoln High School administration reported that senior privilege, a scheduling policy for the 2016-17 school year, has been working fantastically. At the Ellwood City Area school board agenda meeting on Tuesday, Lincoln assistant principal John Sovich presented the board with statistics and feedback on the policy. Following the feedback, the board, which was skeptical of the policy last year, overwhelmingly approved of senior privilege. Senior privilege is a scheduling policy in which seniors may opt to come in at 10 a.m. or leave two hours early rather than taking electives. This is not due to a lack of elective…


One of Perry School’s Boilers to Be Replaced

In a unanimous vote on Jan. 14, the Ellwood City School Board decided to replace a broken boiler at Perry Lower Intermediate at a cost of $90,000. Perry has two boilers but only one is needed to properly heat the building. Both are over 50 years old and are well past their expected years of service, according to Business Manager Richard Zarone. “It could last five years, it could last five minutes,” Zarone said regarding the functional old boiler. Zarone presented the board with an option to replace both boilers at a cost of $150,000. Replacing both this year would…


Three School Board Members Wish to Change Ellwood City Festival’s Relationship with District

Although they were shut down by a majority vote on Jan. 14, three Ellwood City school board members wanted to change the district’s relationship with the Ellwood City Festival Committee. Erica Gray, Jennifer Tomon and Danielle Woodhead, all new members as of December, voted no on a routine annual motion to approve the Festival Committee’s request to use district property. “It’s our property. We should negotiate directly with the organizations that will be using it,” Tomon had said at Monday’s agenda meeting. The property specified in the motion includes the old Ewing Park School ground and the parking lot on…


School Board January Meeting Brief

The following is a brief summary of the Ellwood City Area School Board meeting held on Thursday, Jan. 14: Awards/Recognitions Perry Lower Intermediate was recognized as a 2016 Distinguished Title I School. Only five percent of Title I schools in the state receive this recognition and this is the second year in a row Perry earned this honor. Maddy McCommons was undefeated in three rounds of Linguistics, an academic competition, and thus qualified for the state competition. Molly McCommons, a 7th grader at Lincoln, went undefeated in Propaganda Identification, an academic competition, and also won another competition, Presidents, for which…


EC School Board Gives the Go Ahead for Two Makerspace Labs

The Ellwood City school board granted conditional approval for makerspace labs at Hartman Intermediate and Lincoln High School in a 6-2 vote yesterday. The motion, as passed, approves the administration’s plan for two workshops and will provide the necessary funding to adopt the programs for the 2016-17 school year. In addition, the board will hire a teacher for the Lincoln workshop. This is a significantly different wording than originally proposed, which would have committed to providing $150,000, which the administration said is the minimum cost required to have two functional workshops. The board plans on launching a community fundraising campaign,…


Student Brings BB Gun to School

A Lincoln High School student was charged with possession of a weapon on school property following an incident on Jan. 6 According to the police report, officers were called to Lincoln around 3 p.m. on Jan. 6 by Principal Kirk Lape in response to a student possessing a weapon. The offender, a 14-year old male, had displayed a semi-automatic BB pistol in the main gym. The model mimics the appearance of an actual handgun. He was reported by students. Officers questioned the defendant, who admitted to having stolen the pistol on Jan. 4. After shooting a vehicle, the male hid…


Ellwood City Athletic Director Proposes Reforms for Equipment Purchasing and Field Upgrades

At Monday’s agenda setting meeting, Athletic Director Darin Morella presented several major ideas to the Ellwood City Area School Board. Foremost, Morella, who was appointed AD this past summer, wished to reorganize the method with which the athletic department purchases equipment in order to cut down on wasted equipment, save money and have equipment arrive in a more timely fashion. His proposal is in cooperation with Richard Zarone, the district’s business manager. As it is currently done, all sports order their equipment at the same time, around May. The athletic department then is responsible for ensuring the orders arrive and…


Ellwood City School Board to Vote on Makerspace Funding Tonight

The Ellwood City Area School Board will vote on a motion tonight that will give approximately $150,000 in funding for makerspace workshops in Hartman Intermediate School and Lincoln High School. As of now, the board appears to be split 5-4 into two factions. The larger faction supports the full amount and the smaller faction, a reduced amount. However, the motion will be presented to the board for the full amount. A makerspace workshop is a creative space with high tech equipment such as 3d printers and robotics. Unlike a traditional classroom, students guide the learning through trial and error with…


Parent-Teacher Organization Attributes Membership Decline to FBI Clearance Requirement

Ellwood City Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) numbers have dropped from 565 to 72, according to a comment made by school board President Renee Pitrelli. This is an 87.3% drop, although the time span for this drop was not mentioned. At the Ellwood City Area school board agenda meeting on Monday, visitor Kathy McCommons, president of the PTO, attributed much of the decline to an Ellwood School District FBI clearance requirement for volunteers providing services to the district. All district volunteers, whether PTO members or coaches, must obtain three clearances. Two of those, a clearance statement and state police background check, can…


Abundance of Half Days this Fall Helped Students and Local Restaurants

If you work downtown, you may have noticed that every other Friday, there were groups of high school students flocking Lawrence Avenue. Of the 15 Fridays this year, students had a half day on eight of them. However, that pattern has concluded. For the Ellwood City Area School District, this school year has no more than usual half days, but they were grouped into the first three months. The next half day won’t be until May. While for students, half days mean less school, for teachers, they mean Act 80 days with several hours of training. According to Superintendent Joe…