CLAYSBURG — Claysburg-Kimmel School District sent out emails and text alerts Wednesday after investigating a possible school threat that turned out to be rumor.
The administration discussed the district response to the threat during the school board’s voting meeting Wednesday.
The district alerted parents and guardians that it had fielded the rumor that a student had a knife in school early Wednesday, but after investigating, found no knife or safety concern.
Superintendent Darren McLaurin said the matter was turned over to the school resource officer and the administrators to look into the matter.
“We turned it over to the (school resource officer) and she took over,” McLaurin said. When the matter was resolved, families were alerted.
Two mothers of students in the district said they were glad of the message received to let them know the situation was resolved.
Michelle Crist said she notices increased messaging from the district which she appreciates. “I get more emails now, that I know what’s going on, than I used to and I’m very reassured.”
Julie Helsel also said she was on board with the response.
“I was OK with the way it was handled,” she said.
Board member Jeremy Knott said he, too, approved of the way the supposed threat was handled.
“I felt like it (the alert) was a good amount of information,” he said. The message, to him, said “this is resolved and we’re informing you about it.”
Helsel said her daughter texted her to let her know about the supposed knife threat and wanted to know what she should do.
Helsel said she called in to the school to ask about the incident and was put right through to the principal.
But, she suggested that the district come up with a practice of letting students know when the threat is over that the safety concern has been handled so they know as soon as possible.
McLaurin said Helsel’s suggestion warranted an additional consideration for students; that perhaps teachers and staff could inform the students in their classrooms once the situation is resolved.
The board also heard about more technology that may be headed for the district in the coming months.
McLaurin said district officials met with the Claysburg Education Foundation representatives recently to talk about new equipment for students and staff that may include bionic kits, drones, more 3-D printers, and possibly a digital lathe and/or laser cutter.
The district’s STEM curriculum is partnered with the foundation’s annual summer classes that will occur in three sessions.
The foundation is sponsoring a 12-day “STEM and the Arts 2019 Program.” The dates are: June 10-13; July 15-18 and July 29-31 and August 1 at Claysburg-Kimmel High School from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. for students.
According to the foundation, the program is coordinated with Claysburg-Kimmel School District. Registration on-line is now open to Claysburg-Kimmel students going into grades 5 through 12.
Board member Craig Burket, who provided a legislative report, said the state is looking at addressing vaping among students.
McLaurin said there is a “loophole” in the law now that the state may address to make possession of e-cigarettes an offense. Claysburg-Kimmel students now are punished for having one of the devices, he said, but nothing that could be charged as a minor criminal offense.
U.S. health regulators said they are moving ahead with a plan designed to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of teenagers by restricting sales of most flavored products in convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies and other retail locations. (See related story.)
In other matters, the board approved these spring sports positions:
—Michael Barbarini as head varsity softball coach, with a stipend of $3,566; Karen Dugan, assistant varsity softball, ($2,206); Allison McMullen, head junior high softball ($2,192); Dale Troutman, assistant junior high softball ($1,200);
—Justin Harris, head varsity baseball coach ($3,395); Tim Oakes, assistant varsity baseball ($2,437); Ben Chamberlain, second assistant varsity baseball ($1,538); Matt Campagna, junior high baseball ($1,350); Tyler Claar, assistant junior high baseball ($1.050)
The board also accepted the resignation of Allison McMullen as varsity volleyball coach and the sale of iPads which will be offered to seniors first and then to staff.