As part of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Deliquency School Safety and Security Grant Part A awarded to Juniata Valley School District late last year, members of the Juniata Valley School Board approved a quote to replace the intercom system at the elementary school and upgrade the high school’s system at the monthly board meeting Wednesday evening.

The quote was from Sage Technology Solutions Inc. for $29,992 to replace the intercom at the elementary school and price of $4,850 to upgrade the high school system.

Superintendent Michael Zinobile said he’s grateful to the board for approving the replacement and upgrades to the intercom systems.

“It will be helpful as far as safety, because we’ll be able to do announcements districtwide,” he said. “This will allow us to tell everyone what’s going on and what we need to do in the event of an emergency.”

The district received $25,000 for the grant, so the remaining $9,850 to pay for the upgrade and replacement came from the capital reserve fund.

“The grant covered a large portion of the project, but I just want to thank the board to approve using the rest of the funds (from the capital reserve fund),” said Zinobile.

Information technology director Joshua Wakefield said the district is also working on ways to best spend the $35,000 the district was awarded in grant funds as part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, a workforce development initiative that helps connect people in the state with resources for working and training in the state.

“We’re excited to receive the money, and though we haven’t gotten far, we’re looking at ways to incorporate more STEM integration,” he said, also noting they’re working on applying for a Monsanto grant that could benefit the district as well.

“If we’re able to get (the Monsanto grant), we’re targeting that toward a program called Google Expeditions, where we would get classroom kits that have a virtual reality headsets,” he said. “Teachers can pass those out to kids, and teachers would have a tablet, and they can have a virtual reality experience anywhere in the world.”

Wakefield said they were also able to get a 360-degree camera where they want to do a project to map out Alexandria and Petersburg, and if they receive the grant, they can use the camera to create their own virtual reality experiences.

Also Wednesday, cafeteria manager Tammy Vinglas said they are using grant money from the U.S. Department of Defense to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to the school district.

“We got $3,000 this year to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables, and it’s working out really well,” she said. “We’re getting really nice stuff, and the students seem to be liking the quality of what we’re getting.”

Vinglas said they’ve only spent $900 of the $3,000 allotted to the district for the year, and they’ve been allotted $5,000 for the 2019-20 school year for the program.

In other business, board members approved:

— a request from Jim Rivello for time off without pay March 22.

— request from Laura Gregory for time off without pay March 26.

— a quote from Fink Brothers Supply for school district signage at a cost of $2,422.00.

— lowest quote from Deere & Co. for a grounds-keeping lawn tractor at a cost of $11,348.49. Funds will come from the capital reserve fund. Board member Aden Russell abstained from the vote.

— quotes for the gym scoreboard from Varsity Scoreboards at a cost of $13,192.26; gym scorer’s table from GV PRO at a cost of $3,196.00; and a softball scoreboard from Varsity Scoreboards at a cost of $2,945.67 for a total cost of $19,333.93. Funds will come from the capital reserve fund.

— adding Julie Pheasant and Cloyd Norris as van drivers and Shae Harkleroad as a sub bus driver pending receipt of required documents and clearances.

— an agreement with Franklin & Marshall to place a college graduate as a college adviser in the high school for the 2019-2020 school year at a cost of $10,000.

— Zinobile to attend the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11 superintendent retreat in Gettysburg April 9-11 at a cost of $750.

— authorizing the election TIU 11 Board members by official individual ballot, including Julia E. Dovey, Central Fulton School District, Janice R. Metzgar, Huntingdon Area School District; and Benjamin F. Whitsel, Southern Huntingdon County School District.

— the requests for exoneration from collection of school per capita taxes for the 2018 tax year, contingent upon compliance with guidelines.

— Cheryl Latten as mentor teacher for new teacher Kyle Bartlett for the remainder of the 2018-19 school year.

— the payment of maintenance costs for the CHAMP event March 1f for $1,118.99. Zinobile explained that districts have covered the costs in the past to keep it from being taken out of the total raised during the 12-hour dance marathon.

— allowing one student to attend the Region III Choral Festival at Glendale High School March 20-22.

— allowing 20 students to attend the state FBLA conference in Hershey April 7-11.

The April board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, as Zinobile will be out of town for the superintendent retreat during the regular board meeting time.

Kylie can be reached at khawn@huntingdondailynews.com.

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