Upper Adams set to begin school year with full teaching staff

One week before the start of school, Upper Adams School District is fully staffed with teachers, coaches, and bus drivers.

“I just want to take a moment to thank all the administrative team and central office staff who have worked tremendously to make sure that we are fully staffed,” Superintendent Wesley Doll said at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Among the new staff are 17 teachers across the elementary, intermediate, middle, and high schools, plus a social worker who will serve the whole district, according to Joseph Albin, UASD director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

The new hires are the result of staff leaving for a variety of reasons, Albin wrote in an email.

“As with all school districts across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Upper Adams was not immune to retirements and opportunities for some current staff members to seek positions closer to their home or look for career advancement,” he wrote.

The newest Canners include five elementary school teachers, one at the intermediate school, four at the middle school, and five at the high school, plus two new hires who will serve both the elementary and intermediate schools.

The district was still seeking to hire another instructional assistant and one to two personal care assistants as of Tuesday, according to Director of Student Services Brad Showers.

The school board regretfully accepted the resignation of middle/high school Assistant Principal Nathan Becker, who is heading to South Western School District. With his absence, the board moved Assistant Principal Jared Mummert from the intermediate school to the middle/high school assistant principal position. The district will seek applicants for a new intermediate school assistant principal.

Heading into the new school year, all students will be able to continue getting free breakfast across the district.

On average last school year, about 832 students got free breakfast each week at the high school, 343 students per week at the intermediate school, and 935 students per week at the elementary school, Business Administrator Shelley Hobbs said, citing data tracked between September through February.

In other business Tuesday, Doll acknowledged the construction scene outside the board meeting room. A brick wall had been knocked down to make way for renovations to the locker and team rooms at the secondary campus. Ladders, tools, and mounds of dirt filled the space.

Heavy demolition recently took place and concrete is expected to be delivered this week, according to Doll. He said a barrier will be installed to separate students from the ongoing construction. Hallway floors are expected to be cleaned in preparation for the first day of school Aug. 23.

Doll said contractors have been working “non-stop” at an impressive rate. Renovations are projected to be complete near winter break.

Additionally, the board settled on a plan to pay its portion toward Cumberland-Perry Area Vocational Technical School renovations.

School districts that send students to Cumberland-Perry for educational training, including Upper Adams, are contributing funding toward the project. Doll said how much each district owes is based on a formula that includes the number of students each district sends to the tech school. Upper Adams’ contribution is expected to be approximately $787,400.

This week, the board considered different types of payment plans. Members agreed to pay the sum in full without financing.

Gerald Walmer, Chris Fee, Cindy Janczyk, and James Rutkowski were absent Tuesday.

The school board will next meet Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m. for curriculum, extra-curricular, and business and operations committee meetings. The policy committee will meet Sept. 7 at 9 a.m. The next regular board meeting is Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.

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Mary Grace Kauffman, freelance reporter, worked six years as a full-time reporter for newspapers in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She has covered topics including business, crime, education, government and features. Mary Grace has a bachelor's degree in communication/journalism from Shippensburg University. She resides in Adams County.

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