Posted on Jan 13, 2015

The Marion Center School Board heard an overview of the upcoming STEM Academy that will eventually be added to the Indiana County Technology Center, offering students three new tracks: Energy, Applied Science and Engineering Technology, and Bio-Medical Health. The cost of the program would likely be around $430,000 split among the seven school districts in Indiana County based on school size and students attending ICTC. Superintendent Dr. Frank Garritano reported that Marion Center’s portion could cost about an annual $75,000, though that number could change depending on how many students actually take part in the program.

The STEM Academy would provide students the chance to get real world experience and certification. Though no time line is officially set for the project, it could be completed for the 2016-2017 school year.

At next week’s meeting, the board will appoint one of three interested individuals to fill the position left open by recently resigned board member, Ron Oswald. This appointment will last through 2015, then will become open for elections.

Budget decisions are beginning to progress, with the board set to vote on a preliminary budget in February. The board agrees that it’s likely they will not increase real estate taxes more than state-approved index of 2.6 percent.

Other issues that will be voted on at the next meeting on Jan. 19 include changes to high school curriculum, as well as changes to how the administration deals with students who are in debt on their lunch accounts. It has been proposed that the high school math curriculum be changed from Algebra I, Plain Geometry then Algebra II instead to Algebra, Advanced Algebra then Geometry to better fit Keystone Exam requirements. It’s also been proposed that administration begin dealing with delinquent lunch accounts more severely, contacting parents sooner and possibly holding students’ report cards until the account is paid.



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