When: Cocalico School District school board meeting, Jan. 24.
What happened: The board approved an amendment to district policy guidelines for immunization and communicable diseases to allow immunization exemption “on the basis of a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief.”
Background: Exemption has been allowed for “religious or medical reasons.”
The upshot: Policy requires student immunization for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, hepatitis, chickenpox, and meningitis. COVID-19 immunization is not required.
Substitute teacher pay raise: To aid in recruiting substitute teachers, the board approved an increase in substitute pay from $125 per day to $150 per day, going to $160 per day after 20 days.
Also: The meeting was highlighted by recognition of educators, students and leadership. Teachers retiring after long service include elementary teacher Lori Good, 32 years; elementary music teacher and band director Howard Boots, 31 years; and ESL teacher Jeffrey Shenk, 26 years. Administrative Assistant Katherine Schweitzer is retiring after 25 years. Superintendent Ella Musser recognized middle school eighth-graders for their elective projects. Because this month is School Board Recognition Month, Musser announced that school library books will be purchased in honor of the board’s support of community education.
When a parent has a question: The Rev. Kevin Eshleman, board president, asked that parents with educational questions follow the prescribed chain of command from teacher to principal to board.
Delinquent taxes: The 160 properties delinquent in school tax payments will be referred to the Lancaster County Tax Claim Bureau. The county bureau can accept installment payment of back taxes which the school district cannot.