Preparing for the upcoming budget season, the Loyalsock Township School Board was asked Wednesday to consider replacing a position in its music department that will be vacant due to retirement.
The department will "undergo significant change" when Robert Barrett, high school music teacher, retires at the end of the year, said music teacher Aegina Leidecker. The department has grown its programs and participation and replacing the position would continue that progress, she said.
Her presentation to the board included a short performance by the fifth-grade orff ensemble. Orff instruments include xylophones, gramophones and other tone bar instruments.
Lee Saville-Iksic, high school music teacher, said that through the program, students are engaged in the subject at all times, both during and outside the school day. He credits the support of the board and community for the opportunities.
"We couldn't provide these opportunities without that support," he said.
Leidecker said she understands budget decisions soon will be made but hopes Barrett's position will be replaced.
"We have a plan in place to ensure the very best candidate," she said.
After the meeting, Superintendent Robert Grantier said he hopes to fill the position because the department is "critical" to the district. But, he added, each position will be examined during the process.
"You have to go through the budget process. You have to be fair to everyone. You have to look at each position," he said.
He also said that the passion of the teachers is what makes the department so successful.
"What our kids do and what (the teachers) do with our kids is absolutely outstanding," Grantier said.
Grantier also updated the board as budget season is set to begin. He said the district plans to create a newsletter about the process for the community. He said this would make the public better aware about what the district's plans are.
"The board takes it very seriously," he said.
In other business, the board voted 8-0 to approve increasing the substitute nurse hourly rate from $12 to $15. Board member Christina Kiessling was absent.
Gerald McLaughlin, business manager, said the district has had problems finding substitute nurses.