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West Side CTC to have ‘record enrollment’ in fall

340 of 544 coming from WVW, despite withdrawal from school joint operating committee.

PRINGLE -- A year after the withdrawal of one of its member school districts raised questions about the future of the West Side Career and Technology Center, the school’s administrative director announced the 2009-10 school year will start with “record-breaking enrollment.”

“We have 544 students enrolled already, and that’s before summer enrollment starts,” said the school’s director, Elizabeth Ellis, noting that’s the school’s highest enrollment in more than five years. “We’re ready to welcome them with open arms.”

Three hundred forty students will come from Wyoming Valley West, which withdrew from the school’s joint operating committee last year in a dispute over representation on the committee. The district’s students still attend the school and Valley West pays tuition for each student it sends.

Ellis said the increased enrollment brings challenges, but the committee took action Monday to deal with two of the most pressing issues. The board approved paying J.L. Associates $8,450 for architectural services for the expansion of the school’s culinary arts facilities. Ellis said the estimated $175,000 project is necessary because enrollment in that program has swelled to more than 50 students. “Hotel and restaurant management is big in this area,” she said.

The board also approved advertising for an additional health technology teacher. Board members approved the unbudgeted position by an 8-1 vote because Ellis said it was necessary. “We have 50-plus students enrolled in that program,” she said. Richard Orlowski cast the “no” vote, saying he needed more information on the enrollment and cost of the position.

The first readings of new student policies on admissions, cell phones and electronic devices and structured attire and accessories were approved, but only after the board directed Ellis to formulate an equivalent cell phone police for staff and to see if the staff dress code needed revision.

In other business, the board approved Samantha Piperato as a main office secretary and Daryl Shaver to a maintenance position, both at salaries per the bargaining agreement. Janet Mitchell was reappointed as board secretary.

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