Contract negotiations re-opened in Shikellamy


SUNBURY – Shikellamy teachers and the school board will be back at the bargaining table in a few weeks. The two sides haven’t met since September and the union recently authorized a strike. According to Mark McDade of the Pennsylvania State Education Association the strike vote sent a message to the board that teachers are serious about negotiating, “I believe it’s important to underscore that the authorization of a strike does not necessarily mean that the teachers are going to strike. It’s to send a message that the current state of negotiations is not acceptable and that we need to move forward.” McDade said the initial proposal from the district is unrealistic, but the union…

Teacher: Prepare kids for back to school

school, lewisburg

SUNBURY – While school may not start for a few days, now is the time to start preparing students. Local teacher Melissa Yankowski says there are things parents can start doing now to make the transition a bit easier on students.   “If you are going back to school within the next week or two, now may be the time to get your kid on a schedule,” Yankowski said. “You need to get them used to getting up early in the morning, because that shock of waking up early can be pretty brutal. I know as a teacher, it’s been pretty brutal for me this week waking up early every day to get my classroom…

Lewisburg building plans still facing opposition

school, lewisburg

LEWISBURG — While some people continue to oppose the building of a new Lewisburg High School, Superintendent Dr. Mark DiRocco says the district is moving forward.   “Absolutely,” DiRocco said.  “The board voted to move forward with a timeline for implementing the plan back in November.  We are now in the process of putting all of these steps in place to break ground in the fall of 2014.”   On the other hand, Dr. Erin Jablonski, a member of the Downtown Dragons group, says they are hopeful that they can still turn the process around.   “This is information the public needs to have. They need to know all the costs associated with the project.  They…

Superintendents say decision to close is tough


SELINSGROVE — As many schools across The Valley closed Tuesday, you may be curious as to how districts make the big decision.  Area superintendents say it is a complex process with many factors.   Selinsgrove Superintendent Chad Cohrs says one of the first thing they do is double-check the accuracy of the forecast locally.  He said, “There were a couple of things that we took into consideration.  With the wind chill we looked at the amount of time that students would be standing outside waiting for busses in the morning, as well as the students who would be walking to school.”   He said, “We had to look at the wind chill factors and frostbite…

Milton lockdown lifted


MILTON — A lockdown that effected schools within the Milton School District has been lifted.  According to the district’s website, the High School and Middle School complex was on lockdown due to an external threat.  Police were on site looking into the incident for several hours Tuesday afternoon. County Communications tell us the lockdown was just a precautionary measure.  All students were safely locked in their classrooms with restricted movement.  No one was allowed in or out of the building until the lockdown was lifted just before 4:00p.m. Tuesday afternoon.  We will update you with more details as they become available.  (Codi Jade) Follow

Grant for new laptops in Sunbury


SUNBURY — The Shikellamy School District is the recipient of 500 laptop computers.  It was announced Thursday that the district will be getting a grant from Apple at the cost of $70,000 for four years.  That will cover about 250 of the laptops and the Degenstein Foundation in Sunbury will match the grant, which will help bring in another 250 laptops for the school district. (Sarah Lagerman) Follow

Danville school to open amid traffic delays


DANVILLE — While the nearby intersection is causing traffic delays, the Danville School District is no less excited to reopen their middle school on time.  Superintendent Cheryl Latorre said they’ve been anxiously awaiting this moment.   “We are so excited, it’s unbelievable,” she said.  “To go down and see the building is amazing.  To see in it, after two years, it just doesn’t even feel real.”   As for the traffic delays, Latorre says they’ve been planning ahead.  She met with contractors Thursday morning to go over a strategy.   “We will be brining in some of the buses in the front of the middle school building, and others in the back of the building,…

Shik appoints new Director of Ed.

SUNBURY — The Shikellamy School Board voted on Monday to appoint a new Director of Education.  Abbey Walshaw-Wertz was unanimously chosen to fill the position.  She is currently the middle school principal in the Upper Dauphin Area School District.   Superintendent Patrick Kelley spoke very highly of Walshaw-Wertz.  He said, “We are very thankful that we now have a Director of Ed.  Abbey Walshaw-Wertz comes to us with a great deal of experience and we are glad to have her work with us.”   Walshaw-Wertz received the appointment with a smile.   She said, “I’m very excited to be working for Shikellamy and working with the staff here to be giving our students the best education…