quipped that, as an indication that the program is going well, on day one, five of the 18 students were crying and clinging to their parents and, in the following week, “we’re down to one crier.”
Gorham then said of Delluso, “Joe has done an outstanding job. It’s because of his leadership that the program is a success.” An information session on the program is planned for February and the district plans to add more classes next year, including bringing the program to Fairview Elementary.
Bonnie Gregory, co-principal of the secondary campus, then spoke of the success that older, college-bound students in the district are having this year with the Early College program. One part of the program, previously called Young Scholars, allows students with high grade-point averages to take college-level English or history courses at places like Luzerne County Community College, Wilkes University, and King’s College, and receive credit for those classes taken.
A newer aspect of the program, implemented last spring, allows students of any academic profile to take college courses in any area they’re interested in, with the goal of figuring out what to study in college or what not to pursue further. Classes taken this year by 141 students include math, welding, electricity, graphic arts, and journalism. One student has progressed so far that, when he earns his diploma from Crestwood, he will earn a degree in welding from LCCC at the same time, Gregory related, making both his family and the district very proud.
Of the program, she went on, “In talking with the students, they’ve really enjoyed it. There’s been a lot of life lessons learned. They’ve all shared with me that’s it’s been a worthwhile experience.”
In other business, the board added March 16 and 29 back to the school calendar to make up two of the recent snow days. A reminder was made that Friday, Feb. 2 will be an in-service day for teachers and students will not have school.
The board also adopted the Luzerne Intermediate Unit’s operating budget, in the amount of $352,031 and Director Randy Swank noted that Crestwood’s member contribution for this year is $28,895, a decrease of $4,117 from last school year. Crestwood’s curriculum contribution is $34,588.
Also approved was a new support staff contract, between the district and its cafeteria workers, maintenance staff, and teachers’ aides, that will go from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022. While the terms of the contract were not discussed, Board President William Jones stated that the process of creating it went smoothly and he thanked the support staff for “their hard work and professional negotiations.”
The board made several staff appointments as well, including: Mary Ellen McFarland, as a full-time secretary at Rice; Brandon Mulaski, as a student teacher from Marywood; AreZoo Samimi, as a learning-support substitute; Kaley Dixon, as a cafeteria worker; and Karyssa Balliet and Josette Moyer, custodial workers.
Salary adjustments were also made for three boys’ basketball coaches. James Lavan, Michael Boutanos, and Cole Wasco will all receive $3,066.
The next school board meeting will fall on a different night next month than usual. It will be on Tuesday, Feb. 13.