New Castle News

Neshannock

January 28, 2012

In The Schools: Neshannock settles with parent

NEW CASTLE — The Neshannock Township School District has reached a settlement with the parent of a special-needs child.

At its meeting this month, the board agreed to pay attorney’s fees and put money aside toward the boy’s education. Board members also agreed to pay for the student to attend a life skills program at The Watson Institute Behavior Support Academy in Sewickley. The district will be charged $42,000 per year, to be paid on a pro-rated basis for the first year.

This agreement was negotiated between the family and district, rather than handled as a lawsuit, said attorney Jeffrey Ruder of Pittsburgh. A growing number of children diagnosed with autism places a strain on the districts’ budgets, Ruder said.

The board also:

•Agreed to pay the district’s share of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center’s 2012-13 budget.

•Hired Robecca McLean as a paraprofessional to replace library aide Rhonda Dolin, whose resignation was accepted retroactive to Dec. 22.

•Authorized a student to attend a life skills program at John F. Kennedy Elementary School beginning Jan. 19. Tuition paid by the district will be $105.56 per day plus $15 per hour for a one-on-one aide.

•Named Jackie Julian Russell as a student teacher for the second semester.

•Received a Keystone Achievement Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Education indicating adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years, the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.

•Approved substitute elementary teachers Candace Fava, Krystle Fava and Nikki-Jo Piccirillo; substitute secretary, para-professional and playground supervisor, Maryanne Ascione and Tracy Romano.

•Approved a new commercial art and design course.

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