When: Cocalico School District School Board Meeting, Jan. 24.
What happened: The board approved an amendment to the district’s immunization and communicable disease policy guidelines to allow exemption from immunization “based on a strong moral or ethical belief similar to a religious belief.”
Fund: The exemption was authorized for “religious or medical reasons”.
The result: The policy requires students to be immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, hepatitis, chicken pox and meningitis. Vaccination against COVID-19 is not mandatory.
Salary increase for substitute teachers: To facilitate the hiring of substitute teachers, the board approved an increase in substitute pay from $125 per day to $150 per day, increasing to $160 per day after 20 days.
As well: The meeting was highlighted by the recognition of educators, students and leadership. Among the teachers retiring after long years of service are elementary school teacher Lori Good, 32; elementary school music teacher and band manager Howard Boots, 31; and ESL teacher Jeffrey Shenk, 26. Administrative Assistant Katherine Schweitzer is retiring after 25 years. Superintendent Ella Musser recognized the middle school’s eighth-graders for their elective projects. Since this month is School Board Appreciation Month, Musser announced that school library books will be purchased in honor of the board’s support of community education.
When a parent has a question: The Reverend Kevin Eshleman, chairman of the council, has asked that parents with questions about education follow the prescribed chain of command from teacher to principal at the council.
Overdue taxes: The 160 properties in arrears with school tax payments will be referred to the Lancaster County Tax Claims Office. The county office can accept the installment payment of back taxes, which the school district cannot.