Board says no to tuition students

First Posted: 2/22/2012

CLARKS SUMMIT- The Abington Heights School Board decided to put the idea of accepting tuition students on hold during its monthly meeting held Feb. 15.

Superintendent Michael Mahon, Ph.D., proposed the idea of implementing a policy to accept tuition students in January. During a February work session, board members asked if it would be possible to charge different tuitions based on students’ needs.

On Wednesday, Mahon was still uncertain if the district would be able to charge different tuition rates, but asked board members, hypothetically, if the district could, would they be interested in implementing the policy and begin taking tuition students during the 2012-13 school year.

The majority of the board members said they were uncomfortable approving the policy for the 2012-13 school year, but did express interest in continuing discussion on the matter and possibly implementing it in the future.

“I am not prepared to do it for this year,” said Treasurer Louise Brzuchalski.

“For myself, I need to study more of the charts that you gave us, and look at our population, and look at our projected enrollment.”

In other business, student representative Alexa Abdalla spoke to the board in an effort to keep one school tradition alive.

Abdalla informed the board that there are rumors at Abington Heights High School that the school may not hold the annual Senior Recognition Day, which Mahon described as a “day off in school” for the senior class.

Seniors were told by school administration Feb. 9 that Senior Recognition Day was a reward to the seniors for not having a “senior skip day.” On Feb. 10, 55 percent of the senior class was not in attendance.

Abdalla, who did not confirm whether or not Friday was a “senior skip day,” argued that senior classes in years past have held a “senior skip day” and have not had the Senior Recognition Day taken away.

Mahon said he was unaware of any day when that many students were not in attendance at the same time.

“Never, as I understand this…never, last year or years before… was there an organized “skip day.” That’s my understanding, that may not be true but that’s my understanding,” said Mahon.

“In this case, we understand there was Facebook planning way in advance and we had 55 percent of our seniors out on that day, which is about 159 kids,” said Mahon.

Mahon added that a decision has not been made yet, and that decision will be up to school administration. He encouraged members of the senior class to discuss the matter further with school administration and work toward a solution.

The board also heard from several members of the community who are concerned with the state of the pool at Abington Heights High School.

Glenn Pettinato, president of the Comets Swim and Dive Parents Group, informed the board that the group has received a letter from Les Richards, the rules interpreter for PIAA swimming, which stated, “It has been brought to our chapter’s attention that conducting a meet at Abington is not in the best interest of swimming,” read Pettinato.

A reason Richards gave was that individuals working the scoring table at a recent diving meet did not record the judges’ scores. The referees at the meet were recording the scores, but if they had not been, Abington Heights’ team would have lost all diving points.

The letter also stated that the lane equipment was not acting properly and needed to be tested before each meet.

Mahon said he had been made aware of the problem, and he has been told the equipment problem is being resolved.

The school board will meet again for its monthly work session March 7 at 6:30 p.m.

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