Trail superintendent discusses contracts

First Posted: 9/9/2014

Superintendent Matthew Rakauskas discussed district contracts at the Lackawanna Trail school board meeting on Sept. 8.

He said the occupational therapy contract, in which the district will share Abington Heights’ full-time occupational therapist, will both save money and keep a high level of quality care.

“We’re very happy with the quality of the person they’ve put forth, and it’s going to be a fairly substantial savings to the district as well,” he said. “So, we’re very excited about this, and that will be starting in a few weeks.”

Rakauskas said Trail will have a full-time, K-12 social worker, who will help expand some of the counseling and rules that might be difficult to complete during regular school days. This is part of a contract with the Children’s Service Center of Wyoming Valley.

“Miss Russell (director of special education Stephanie Russell) put forth a great deal of effort in interviewing different agencies and trying to find the best fit for Trail,” he said.

Also, in his elementary report, principal Brian Kelly said that law enforcement liaison Darilyn Carr visited all four kindergarten classrooms. He said that she spent 15 to 20 minutes in each classroom, and discussed safe items students should always bring to school and unsafe things students should never bring to school.

“I want to thank Darilyn for coming in this morning,” said Kelly.

Kelly also discussed that Trail is working on a school-wide positive behavior support program which he hopes will be fully implemented at the elementary center in a year or two. He also said that Trail Elementary will work with high school principal Dr. Mark Murphy, having formed a committee for this project.

“We have a lot of great ideas and enthusiastic staff who are willing to put some extra time and volunteer for this committee,” Kelly stated.

In his secondary education report, Murphy said that Trail’s Class of 1964 visited Lackawanna Trail Jr./Sr. High School for its 50th anniversary high school reunion. He said that two juniors, Gabby Samsock and Andy Lukasewicz, stayed after school and gave the 35-40 alumni a tour around the school. He passed photos of the Class of ‘64 around to fellow board members.

“They (Class of ‘64) really had a great time touring the building and just seeing what had changed,” said Murphy. “Their pride was evident.”

Murphy suggested to the board to make a 50th anniversary reunion an annual event.

He also listed some events for the homecoming in October. He announced that Trail’s singing competition called Lion Idolwill be held on Oct. 2 during school hours and a bonfire later that evening. He also said that on Oct. 3, Trail will have its homecoming game against Carbondale Area Jr./Sr. High School and he mentioned a homecoming dance on Oct. 4.

Also, assistant principal Brian Kearney said that he and Murphy hosted class meetings with students in grades 7-12 to reiterate requirements of what the school expects of them.

“I thought it went extremely well,” he stated. “The kids are excited to be back.”

Kearney lauded the marching band under the direction of Kevin Dikeman, the cheerleaders and the football team for their performances last Friday night. He also commended all of the other teams, including volleyball and field hockey.

“One of my goals was to try and encourage students to come out for extracurriculars,” he said. “We’re still pushing that. It might take a little while, but I think we’re on the right track so it’s been an exciting time.”

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