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JSASD to eliminate hybrid school due to low enrollment in option

JERSEY SHORE – When the second marking period begins Nov. 2, students in the Jersey Shore Area School District will have just two instruction options available as the board approved eliminating the hybrid model of instruction at their meeting Monday night. Instruction for students K-12 will only be available in person or totally remote in the district’s online program, JSOL.

According to Dr. Brian Ulmer, district superintendent, the recommendation to eliminate the hybrid option was made due to declining enrollment in that program. He noted that at the Middle School level there had originally been 48 out of the school’s total enrollment of 650 students choosing hybrid, but that number had decreased to 22 at the present time. He indicated that the numbers at the other schools were even lower.

Ulmer attributed the decline in enrollment to the success of the district’s health and safety procedures.

“We attribute that to our kids doing a great job with health and safety. Our faculty are doing a great job monitoring those health and safety procedures and we are making families comfortable being in schools,” he said.

Members voting for the proposal were: David Becker, Harry Brungard, Patrice Doebler, Wayne Kinley, Nancy Petrosky, Michelle Stemler, Mary Thomas and Craig Allen. Angela Grant voted no.

Parents will be notified beginning Tuesday about the board’s decision to eliminate the option.

In other business related to the pandemic and school sports, the board, some members reluctantly, agreed to abide by the governor’s recommendations to keep attendance at sporting events at 250 for outdoor events and 25 for indoor. This relates to the overall number of people allowed in a stadium, including teams, band members, cheerleaders and all essential personnel.

Board member Thomas urged the public to contact their local legislators to urge them to address this issue.

Recently the state legislature had passed a bill with bi-partisan support which would have put the decision for attendance at sports events in the hands of local school boards. The governor vetoed the bill and the legislature did not have enough votes to override the veto. Until the bill passes, districts are being advised to abide by the governor’s recommendations.

In other business, the board approved a memorandum of understanding with the Jersey Shore Area Education Association, regarding flexible instruction days for the current school years. The education association must now approved the MOU in order for it to be enacted.

Under the agreement, days where school is canceled due to an emergency such as snow or flooding can be counted as school days because students will be able to receive instruction remotely. The plan calls for five flexible instruction days to be incorporated in the plan.

Under personnel, the board accepted the resignation of Delores Fazler, part-time food service worker.

They also approved the following appointments and stipends or rates of pay:

* Grace Walk, lunch monitor, $9.24 per hour.

* Brody Smith, assistant 7th grade boys’ basketball coach, $2,960 stipend.

* Joshua Eichenlaub, assistant varsity girls’ basketball coach, $3,774 stipend.

* Chelsea Sweeley, fulltime custodial, $14.05 per hour.

* Terry Karichner, assistant middle school football coach, $2,734 stipend.

* Mark Sundberg, volunteer cross country coach.

* Dale Hess, game staff.

* Mary Kanoski, bus driver with Mardenás Inc.

Adrienne Johnston, Justin Armbruster, Elizabeth Segraves, Kyle Fera and Kenneth Dady were appointed as the 2020-21 Safe 2 Say Something contact team members.

The board also approved several updated board policies at second read.

The placement of surplus textbooks on Municibid.com was approved by the board. If no bids are received, the books will be disposed of.

The next board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 12. Meetings are currently being livestreamed.

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