The Montoursville Area School Board this week approved a health and safety plan for this year that will make students and staff more comfortable.

The plan also requires the district to consider the requirements of the state health department to comply with the health department’s requirements and other options such as the Centers for Disease Control and/or the health department.

The verbiage for searching for contacts was changed from previous language that required the component “Continue to follow the requirements of the Department of Health.”

The vote was 8-1 in favor of the plan.

Yes voters were Dale Ulmer, Ron Snell, Susan Beery, David Young, Dave Shimmel, Todd Badger, Daniel Albert, and Joseph LeCrone.

Dottie Mathers voted no.

In discussing the plan, Mather said he felt it was important to follow the CDC and state recommendations.

“There is danger in the community,” he said.

He also said that he does not feel comfortable not following the advice of experts.

To board member Ron Snell said, “How did the professional opinion catch you last time?”

Mather said he is concerned about health and the law.

“I think morally, ethically, it’s better to follow the advice of experts,” he said. “I don’t want to teach our students that we always fight the government.”

Shimmel asked who the experts were.

“This is what has been surprising for two years,” he said.

Albert said appropriate decisions will be made as the situation arises.

“As a district, we will do what we have to do,” he said.

Shimmel noted that state employees are following COVID-19 protocols.

In 2021, parents of more than a dozen Montoursville Area School District students filed a lawsuit against the state over COVID-19.

However, these cases were dismissed when the district went to the mask of choice.

Dan Taormina, the district’s assistant superintendent, thanked the board for keeping the plan the same.

He also said that this will help settle down for everyone who is going to a new school.

In other business, the board approved an agreement with BLaST IU 17 to host the website and the Lycoming-Clinton Joinder Board for student services this year.

The board agreed on the first count of rules regarding participation in extracurricular activities and school-sponsored activities including disqualification based on the use of controlled substances.

In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignations of Brenda Lewis, cafeteria worker, and Lauren Guinter, health care worker.

The board approved the hiring of Angelina Santalucia as a part-time employee at $12.75 an hour.

Mikayla Arnold was accepted as the head girls softball coach at a cost of $3,000. Arnold replaces Michael Tate.

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