Board OKs reimbursement for successful summer school completion

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Following a lengthy discussion, the Punxsutawney Area School Board agreed to charge parents/students for all classroom, cyber-school and Behind the Wheel Driver Education classes and receive reimbursement if the student completes the course.

“Everything concerning summer school is about students not being able to schedule all their classes and some extracurricular activities, too, during the regular school year,” PAHS Principal David London told the board during a recent meeting.

He said there are a number of students who are on work release or taking dual enrollment courses during the regular school year, and thus, don’t have time to schedule all of their courses.

Superintendent Dr. Keith Wolfe said the board should make the costs the same across the board, so parents/students receive the same reimbursement. The cost of a course is based on a $22 per hour wage and does not cover the teacher’s insurance, he said.

Board President Gary Conrad said since last Wednesday’s meeting would consist of no votes, he would take a straw poll of the board members.
Board Vice-President Francis Molinaro asked about families that can’t afford to pay, while board member Melissa Snyder said by charging a fee, it would give the students ownership: If they complete the course, they would receive a portion of their money back.

Board member Roberta Dinsmore said she thought charging for summer school should have been discussed six months ago, while board members agreed that it would be OK to charge for all summer school classes, with a refund due to the parents/students if they complete the course.

In a statement, London said the district would charge for the regular summer school classes offered in a traditional classroom setting.

Each class will cost parents/students $75, due upon registration. Upon successful completion of the course with a passing grade and return of any materials, the district will refund $25 or $50 for the course, with the cyber school final cost to parents/students of $25
London said the classes begin June 4, with no classes held July 4-6.

All listed offerings are pending final board approval at Tuesday’s voting meeting.

All classes will be held at the high school, and may be cancelled if certified teachers aren’t available or there is insufficient enrollment.
“There are strict attendance requirements for summer school,” London said. “Students are permitted to miss a total of three days. Any student who is absent more than three days may be dropped from the program.”
Students who drop out of summer school or fail the course will not receive a refund.

The board also agreed to offer cyber summer school courses.
American History II and World Cultures are available to students via summer cyber-school. For American History II via cyber school, Advanced Academics will provide the online teacher.

He said for World Cultures, the district will provide the teacher via the new eAcademy.

The World Cultures teacher will hold office hours at the high school for students who wish to come in for help, London said.

He said the cost for American History II is $150 per student, and World Cultures $75 per student.

Parents/students must pay the total cost at the time of registration.
London said the district will offer courses for credit recovery that were failed during the regular school year.

Math, science, social studies, language arts and health classes may be taken with approval from the administration. London said the cost of these courses is anywhere from $125 to $325 per student. There will be no reimbursement, and all fees must be paid up front prior to registration.

Students who have failed a course and wish to repeat the course through cyber services may do so, London said, adding that students must pay for the course and complete it by the designated course end date and will not be reimbursed for it.

London said registration for credit recovery courses closes June 8.
If necessary, students may be able to retain their school-issued MacBooks for their cyber course, London said.

London said applications for summer cyber school are available in the guidance office.

Questions should be directed to Amy Hand, cyber services counselor, at 938-5151, ext. 6513.