The Fairfield Area school board approved the hire of several more employees on Monday evening, helping put the district in a strong position to begin the 2022-23 school year.
The board approved hiring a handful of new teachers, a middle school counselor, a part-time special education aide, a part-time office aid and a coordinator of instructional technology. Those present during the meeting introduced themselves to the board.
Lisa Sturges, the board’s legislative liaison, said she was grateful for the new employees as other districts struggle to hire enough employees.
“Continued staffing shortages are throughout the commonwealth, but I did want to give a big shout-out to (Superintendent Thomas) Haupt and all of his administrative team for fulfilling our vacancies and making sure that we are going to have a great start to our year,” Sturges said.
Sturges advised the board of updates at the state level, noting that the Pennsylvania Department of Education is releasing, “Finding Your Way in PA,” an app designed to help homeless students and their families find resources that can help them.
Sturges added that the district also has the opportunity to apply for grants for mental health support.
She said she was also happy to report that an investigation into Pennsylvania PSERS (Public School Employees’ Retirement System) resulted in no charges. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and PSERS leaders announced on Aug. 2 that the investigation had been closed.
“So we can all breathe a sigh of relief, because that was worrying some of us when that first came out,” Sturges said.
No one spoke during the time for public comment.
The board held a closed session before the regular meeting in order to discuss personnel and legal issues, according to Jennifer Holz, president of the board.
The board will hold its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22 in the district board room.
Meetings are also livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel, Fairfield Area School District PA.
Imari Scarbrough is a freelance journalist. She was a staff newspaper reporter for five years before becoming a freelancer in 2017. She has written on crime, environmental issues, severe weather events, local and regional government and more.
You can visit her website at ImariJournal.com.