Seven new faces on the LASD School Board

Seven new faces were added to the Littlestown Area School District (LASD) Board of Directors at the annual reorganization meeting last evening. New member Duane Sullivan was elected president of the board and current member Carl Thompson was elected treasurer. LASD grad Nick Lovell was chosen as vice president of the board. Other new board members include Fred Miller, Danielle Brenneman, Mary Brenneman, Steven Yerger, and Janell Ressler. Brian Lawyer continues his term.

Board members approved the 2024 meeting dates for work sessions and board meetings. Work session meetings are scheduled for the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. and regular board meetings will be on the third Monday of the month a 7:00 p.m.

LASD Board Photo

It was recommended that all committee meetings take place on Tuesdays. Curriculum, co-curriculum, and policy committee meetings will take place Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. with finance, property, and supply meetings following at 6:30 p.m. before each work session meetings.

In the regular work session, it was reported that LASD had received top marks in the audit report presented by Zelenkofske Axelrod LLC, Certified Public Accountants. A spokesperson for the company, senior associate Tim Mirra, said there were no issues in the internal control of the financial reporting system. “No issues were found,” he said. Mirra also said no issues were found with the district’s use of American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) government funding.

Director of Educational Services Eric Naylor presented the district safety report, saying his team would meet with the administration on Wednesday to review threat assessment protocols. “There are threat assessment teams in every building including district personnel that augment those teams,” he said. The goal is to have consistency of process throughout the system. “It’s really understanding how serious a threat is and whether or not a student makes a threat versus posing a threat,” he added.

Technology safety is also an important part of the district’s safety plan, especially as the date for the mandated online Keystone assessments nears. Naylor said the district is upgrading its digital firewall, which acts as a gatekeeper for information coming in and going out of the computer systemsai. Naylor also heads the Thunderbolt Cyber Academy, which provides online learning options for students across all grade levels. He said the academy currently supports the needs of 62 full-time and hybrid cyber students and said the program it can provide opportunities for students to take classes online that are not offered in the school building.

In a report on the science, technology, engineering, environmental, literacy, and sustainability program, (STEELS) Assistant Superintendent Timothy Mitzel said the district is working to upgrade the program for the 2025-2026 school year. Also being upgraded are the English Language Arts and Math programs “to make sure we are adhering to our state standards and making sure that we have competencies and behaviors ready and prepared for our teachers to be able to assess our and their progress towards achieving those standards,” he said.

The next regular LASD board meeting will take place Dec. 11 at 7:00 p.m.

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Judith Cameron Seniura is a freelance reporter. She began her journalism career in the early ‘70s and has written for newspapers, magazines, and other media in Ontario, Canada, Alaska, Michigan, Nebraska, San Antonio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

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