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Students head back to school as Columbia Borough School District kicks off the 2018-19 school year on Monday, August 20, 2018.

When: Columbia Borough School District board meeting, Dec. 10.

What happened: The board adopted a resolution limiting the district from raising real estate taxes more than 4.5% for the 2021-22 school year. That amount represents the state tax cap, or adjusted Act 1 index, assigned to the district.

Why it matters: The district’s tax rate is currently 26.46 mills. For taxpayers who own a property assessed at $93,350, the district average, a 4.5% increase translates to an additional $111 per year. However, the district does not have to raise taxes by the full allowable amount.

What’s next: Because an opt-out resolution was approved, a preliminary budget will not be released for public inspection. The board will vote on a proposed final budget in May and adopt a final budget in June.

Attestation form: In accordance with a new requirement from the Pennsylvania departments of Health and Education, school districts in counties with high COVID-19 rates must fill out and submit an attestation form, which is a formal agreement that administrators will adhere to the state’s latest health and safety guidelines. The district, according to its official attestation, has reviewed the most recent “public health guidance,” affirmed its administration “is complying and will continue to comply with and enforce” state mitigation strategies, and met the Nov. 30 submission deadline. A digital copy of the attestation form is available on the district’s website.

Face coverings: The district, according to a statement from Interim Superintendent Gregory McGough, will take “a stronger stance on universal masking” and require “staff members to use cloth face masks on district property and only allow face shields for those individuals who have a medical exception with a doctor’s note.” This change will take effect Dec. 14.

Committees: The school board appointed chairpersons Devon Fisher for curriculum and instruction, Kathy Hohenadel for finance, Kate Keyser for property, Lauren VonStetten for extracurricular, Sandy Duncan for personnel, Robert Misciagna for policy review, and Rebecca Young for discipline.

Other appointments: Board members were appointed as representatives to the following assemblies: Rebecca Young to the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, Sandy Duncan to the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, Kate Keyser to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, Keith Ramsey to the Lancaster County Tax Collection Bureau, Kate Keyser to Community Development, Devon Fisher to the Columbia Education Foundation, and Kathy Hohenadel to the Land Bank.

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