School board hears details on budget
Catasauqua Area School District Superintendent Robert Spengler gave an overview of the 2020-21 budget during the March 10 school board meeting. He reported his preliminary budget is aimed at being fiscally responsible and preparing proactively for the future.
Spengler noted the district took into account data from the districtwide needs assessment, as well as administration and board input. It was said some of the areas needing attention are safety and security, academic offerings, class sizes, arts integration, the stadium project and faculty projects.
Safety and security updates include the addition of a third school resource officer and a fourth mental health professional for the district.
Additional teachers will be hired for Sheckler Elementary School and Catasauqua Middle School to control class sizes. The district is also exploring new ways to integrate more performing arts into the curriculum.
When it comes to operational costs, the district is working on the Alumni Field stadium renovation project, in addition to upgrades and updates in the school buildings, such as door replacements, carpeting, sidewalk repairs and more.
An updated phone system, a STEAM lab at CMS and Apple TVs at Catasauqua High School are among technology upgrades.
According to Spengler, the district is looking at a 2.63-percent overall increase in revenue, for a total of $33,870,230. He stressed this budget may change as new information is received.
In other business, Travis Brett was unanimously approved to take over as head football coach at CHS. Brett has served as the coach for the CMS football team for six years, including two undefeated seasons.
“We’re proud to have a Rough Rider in the coach position,” said Thomas Moll, district director of student activities.
“My staff and myself are excited to get started,” Brett said after thanking the board for his appointment.
Eric Dauberman, principal at Sheckler Elementary, introduced the February Students of the Month. The students include Avery Tomecek and Ayesha Widrig from first grade, Christian Oduardo and Zoey Weidaw from second grade, Jason Coffin and Javaeha Lafond from third grade and Joseph Conway and Greg-Anthony Rodriguez from fourth grade.
CMS Principal Melissa Inselmann took time to honor the February Star Players of the Month. They are Jayden Gruver, fifth grade; Stephanie Robinson; sixth grade; Amanda Tedesco, seventh grade; and Delaine Popa Nina, eighth grade. Delaine was not able to make the meeting.
The school board members approved extracurricular positions including Janine Hemond as assistant track coach and Tyler Soltis as indoor winterguard assistant, both as volunteers. Mary Anne Haney was approved as the CMS German Club adviser at $221.16 and Brett as the spring weight room monitor at $600. Roger Scheirer was approved as a game worker for the 2019-20 school year.
The board also approved to adopt a resolution for charter school funding reform.
New textbooks were approved, including English language arts books for fifth grade and sixth through eighth grades, as well as a new high school physics textbook.
The school board next meets 7 p.m. April 14 in the district board room in the administration building, 201 N. 14th St.