One person spoke about ongoing teacher contract negotiations at last week's Greencastle-Antrim School Board meeting and each side in the contract talks has a public event planned in the near future.
Tara Clopper, who teaches in the STEAM (science, technology, education, arts and mathematics) program at Greencastle-Antrim High School, appeared before the board as a resident of the district.
Clopper said she and her husband moved to Greencastle a year and a half ago from Chambersburg because they have an 8-year-old daughter and want her to have G-A teachers.
She said they knew that they would pay more for their home as well as higher taxes, and took a hit selling their home in Chambersburg.
While Chambersburg has more in terms of resources, Clopper said in her opinion the district does not have the faculty that Greencastle does.
She said G-A teachers have limited resources, but work tirelessly all year long with creativity and innovation.
"As a resident I am willing to pay more taxes," said Clopper.
She explained she received a salary increase of $14,000 when she was recruited to G-A from Waynesboro by G-AHS Principal Jack Appleby 15 years ago.
Clopper wondered how G-A administrators can recruit good teachers now with salaries only $3,000 to $5,000 higher than other districts.
"My daughter has had amazing teachers, but how long will it last?" Clopper asked, wondering if they will have to move back to Chambersburg or send her to private school.
Members of the Greencastle-Antrim Education Association have been working under the terms of a contract that expired in August. In December, the teachers twice accepted a fact-finder's recommendation, while the board twice turned down the findings. The teachers authorized a strike if necessary.
Upcoming meetingsA state-of-the-district presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, in the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium.
The purpose of the meeting is to give an overview of where the district is financially and what has been done in the past to help control costs, according to Dr. Kendra Trail, superintendent, who will speak along with Jolinda “JC” Wilson, chief financial support services officer.
A school board member may give an overview of information presented to the fact-finder as part of the ongoing contract talks with the G-AEA.The G-AEA will hold Teacher Talks at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, in the Life Center, 35 N. Carlisle St.
There will be a short information session followed by questions from community members, coffee and information discussion.
G-AHS program of studies changes approved
Three additions to the Greencastle-Antrim High School program of studies presented at a school board meeting last month, as well as a change in where some business courses will be offered were approved by the board last week.
Business courses that G-A students previously took at Hagerstown Community College will now be offered by the district's Franklin Virtual Academy.
Students may still take classes at HCC, but it will be at their own expense. Ed Rife, high school principal, said the move has nothing to do with HCC, but puts HCC in line with other local colleges like Penn State Mont Alto, Wilson College and Shippensburg University.
"HCC was wonderful to work with, but it came down to making it like other dual enrollment courses at college," Rife explained.
In addition, it was a difficult curriculum to budget for because some years just a few students would enroll, while this year there are more than 20 and costs are around $400 to $500 per student per course.
Classes available via the virtual academy will be essentials of business, personal financial literacy, small business entrepreneurship, money matters A and money matters B.
Additions to the program of studies in 2018-19 are:College readiness math. A half-credit course for students who completed their mathwork early would be a refresher for college placement and coursework. German III and IV.
Rife said the German program is building steadily at the high school.AP computer science principles.
Rife showed a slide indicating that computer jobs are the No. 1 sources of new wages in the United States.