The Catasauqua Area School District Board of Education delayed a vote on the renewal of Innovative Arts Academy Charter School at the Aug. 13 meeting. Following the hearings May 21 and 22, the question remained whether or not the board would approve the charter.
IAACS was originally approved in February 2016 for a three-year charter. The school is now seeking a five-year charter renewal. According to a Jan. 16 letter between the charter school and CASD, grounds for charter nonrenewal would include the school’s failure to meet Pennsylvania Department of Education standards.
Catasauqua Area School District has been actively working to improve the district for the benefit of the students. In the 2018-19 school year, some changes included the addition of two school resource officers and Salisbury Behavioral Health mental health professionals in the schools. There is another group working to help the students, and it is growing and becoming more focused.
Most of the Lehigh Valley was intently watching the news and social media July 12 after word spread that a man climbed the blast furnaces at SteelStacks in Bethlehem and was refusing to come down. Emergency personnel were on the scene attempting to talk the man down. He stayed up on the structure for approximately 21 hours and came down just before 4:30 p.m. July 13, ending the standoff without major incident.
Constantly aiming to make the school district a better and safer place, Catasauqua Area School District administration and Catasauqua Police Department decided to add a second school resource officer.
“When the school district suggested adding a second school resource officer, Officer Best was the logical choice considering his experience,” Police Chief Douglas Kish said.
Officer Patrick Best attended Parkland High School and graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1980 with a degree in criminal justice. He was hired as an officer in Catasauqua in 1982.
At the June 11 meeting of Catasauqua Area School District School Board, members unanimously approved a revised service contract with Lehigh Valley Health Network for sports medicine services for a term spanning July 2019-July 2031, with a three-year optional renewal term.
These services are provided at no cost to the district.
Catasauqua Area School District Board of Education met June 11 to adopt the final budget, approve new hires and conduct other business in preparation for the 2019-20 school year.
The 2019-20 budget has general fund expenditures of $32,932,278. The anticipated revenues and expenditures are balanced with real estate tax rates of 19.5127 mills in Lehigh County and 61.1112 mills in Northampton County.
The Catasauqua High School gymnasium was buzzing with excitement June 3 as family and friends filed in to witness the graduation of the Class of 2019. About 100 students marched together to the familiar sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance.”
Carter Weinhofer, valedictorian and class president, presented a speech on the past.
“These past few years were, in a word, indescribable,” he said.
Catasauqua residents and teachers, staff, families and students of Innovative Arts Academy Charter School filled the Catasauqua Area School District administrative board room May 21 and 22 for the charter renewal hearing before the board of education. Representing CASD were academic review team members Robert Spengler, CASD superintendent; Dr. Christina Lutz-Doemling, director of curriculum and assessment for CASD; and Eric Dauberman, Sheckler Elementary School principal. Marc Fisher represented the charter school. He was joined by IAACS transitional CEO Brad Schifko.
Whitehall resident and Whitehall High School graduate Angela Stella is a cadet with the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 752 at Wilkes University.
According to Lt. Col. Robert Hartmann, U.S. Air Force commander of ROTC Detachment 752, Stella has received several Air Force ROTC medals and honors for her outstanding performance.
“In the fall of 2018, she received the Meritorious Service Medal for her dedication, drive and devotion to duty as the cadet wing commander (highest cadet position),” Hartmann said.
One of the priorities at the May 7 Catasauqua Area School District Board of Education meeting was to fill the board seat left vacant by the resignation of Christine Nace. It was unanimously voted to elect Jillian Emert, who will be officially sworn in before the May 21 meeting.
There remains an empty seat on the board after the resignation of Rodney Nace.
Donald Panto was voted to continue in his role of board treasurer. It was a unanimous vote, with Panto abstaining.