Hollidaysburg Herald - Reliable News for Hollidaysburg

By Thomas Schmitt

Hollidaysburg School District Plans Future Technology, Summer School

'E-sports' Student Activity Approved


Last updated 3/22/2021 at 4:27pm

The Hollidaysburg School District Board of Directors Virtual Committee of the Whole Meeting meeting was held Wednesday, March 10.

The biggest topic of discussion was the district's technology budget. Jason Arthur presented an overview of an updated five-year plan and detailed annual budget projections. Arthur said the focus was expanding bandwidth and the district's live-streaming capabilities. He stated, "the use of the internet role has changed greatly over the last 12 months. Expanding the scope of technological services in the district is a must. There will be a change to what is going on in the classroom. Break-out rooms and chats can be utilized while learning."

A motion to award internet service provider request for proposal (RFP) to Atlantic Broadband effective July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2026, was unanimously approved by a 7-0 board vote at a total five-year cost of $422,280. Superintendent Dr. Robert Gildea updated the board on the 10-year history of cyber-charter school expenses. The in-house cyber charter school is a "huge savings" over using outside providers for cyber-charter school services, according to Supt. Gildea.

The HASD Summer School plan for 2021 was reviewed. The administration recommended the approval of the 2021 Summer School plan since it will allow students to attend either virtually or live for classes. Mrs. Mitchell and building principals presented tentative plans for addressing struggling students and summer learning opportunities. There are plans set for helping in quarantining students and meeting with students virtually on Fridays. After-school tutoring begins March 22. The elementary schools report on Summer School indicated substitute teachers have become virtual tutors and there are plans for a summer camp at elementary schools.

The 2020-21 Investment portfolio for the district revealed $5,493,800 was the total invested with 24 financial institutions and $1,135,824 was the total invested in four money market funds.

Two new student activities were approved by the board. Junior/Senior High Peer Tutoring Club will help students in grades 7-12 regarding schoolwork, and give them the option to communicate with peers and offer better understanding. The Hollidaysburg Area Senior High E-sports Team is a recreational and competitive activity that has been established through video games and teaches participants many relevant skills, such as streaming, production, programming and management. The disposal of obsolete books and equipment was approved by the board. A slide presentation was offered by Scott Sheehan, Alysia Watt and Stephanie Everett reviewing efforts made during the current school year related to the arts and requested that the board to adopt the "Arts Are Education" resolution promoting continued support of arts in the schools. The board unanimously approved the resolution.

The appointment of Donald Wagner was approved as deputy tax collector for Duncansville Borough in the event elected Tax Collector Susan Koronowski becomes incapacitated.

In new business, the board was asked to review Maxwell Transit Systems, Inc., payment schedule due to the COVID-19 constraints. Anyone wishing to make public comments during the public comment section of the agenda should call (814) 693-3820. This is for comment only, no dialogue will be conducted or questions entertained.


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