Penn Manor extends cyber school contract
BY ELAINE J. JONES, Correspondent
The Penn Manor school board agreed to extend the district's contract with Lancaster-Lebanon Virtual Solutions for three years, even though Superintendent Michael Leichliter on Thursday said, "We don't save money by sending a student to a virtual school."
The district is nearing the end of its first two-year contract. The cost of another two-year contract would be $32,000.
Leichliter said the three-year, $36,000 commitment to be included in the cyber school consortium is "a worthwhile insurance policy for that extra year."
The object, Leichliter said, is one of "cost avoidance." He said the costs are based on a one-year, $24,000 contract with Intermediate Unit 13.
Penn Manor currently pays an annual membership of $24,000 to the IU, plus a tuition of $4,850 per student. The per-student tuition is much higher for district residents attending other cyber charter schools. Fourteen district students are currently enrolled at LLVS, including 10 regular and four special education students.
Saying it is too soon to rely solely on the Open Campus project to retain students, Leichliter stated, "We are seeing a return on our investment and would like to offer an alternative in a few years through our own program."
The new Open Campus Initiative -- involving Hempfield, Manheim Township and Penn Manor high schools -- allows students in those districts to take some classes outside of the usual classroom environment.
In other business:
n Administrators outlined new state guidelines for measuring teacher effectiveness, including formal observation of tenured teachers every four years, self-directed projects and peer coaching.
n The district announced it is holding an eyewear event from 3 to 8 p.m. March 14 at Penn Manor High School. For every two pairs of glasses purchased, Modern Eyes will donate a pair of glasses to a needy student in the school district. All community members are welcome to attend and support the Penn Manor Family Fund.
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