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Crafton Elementary is receiving accolades from the Sprout Fund for the school's STEAM Studio, which is featured in the film, "Kids+Creativity: Building a Regional Learning Network."

The film can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/59490781.

The studio is designed for student-centered exploration. The studio, or designated classroom, enables students to engage and develop connections among the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, or STEAM.

A $20,000 grant from the Grable and Benedum Foundations provided the initial funding for the studio.

As the primary founder of the STEAM Studio at Crafton Elementary, principal Jacie Maslyk was appointed to the advisory committee of "MakeShop" at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum. And, representatives of Chicago Public Schools plan to send teachers to Carlynton this summer to view the studio and learn more about its benefits to student learning.

• The school board approved an agreement with district Act 93 employees -- principals, buildings and grounds and technology employees -- retroactive to July 1 that more clearly defines the level of performance required for future annual salary increases.

Board members voted 7-0 Feb. 21 to make those employee salaries more competitive with the average salary of their peers in Allegheny County.

Members Betsy Tassaro and Sandra Hughan were absent.

Salaries for 2012-2013 for administrators are Laura Burns, junior-senior high school assistant principal, $64,715; Robert Susini, junior-senior high school principal, $91,690.

Carla Hudson, Carnegie Elementary principal, $69,103; Jacie Maslyk, Crafton Elementary principal, $87,589; Lee Myford, director of pupil services, $82,746; Hillary Mangis, elementary school psychologist, $58,041.

Holy Child

Students will partner on Friday with Bishop Canevin's St. Ignatius Society honor students to celebrate National Reading Day.

Moon Area

Directors voted Monday to authorize payment of $46,396 to J.C. Pierce, LLC for additional services related to the middle school construction project due to the default of Reginella Construction. Payment will come from the 2010 bond fund.

"We are holding funds in reserve for this. We are not adding to the debt by approving this tonight," Director Jerry Testa said.

Also, members approved the $18,150 purchase and installation of 117 lockers for the high school from Tri-State Lockers.

• The last day of classes will be June 12.

• The middle school eighth grade concert choir will perform in the State Capitol on Tuesday as part of Music-In-Our-Schools month. Students will tour the Capitol and the State Museum of Pennsylvania.

• High school choral director Lori Cole recently was named Music Educator of the Year by the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.

The award is based on an educator's contribution to the field and is used as recognition for lifetime achievement.

South Fayette

The South Fayette school board has approved a $43.37 million preliminary budget for the 2013-14 school year with a property tax rate of 24.64 mills.

The rate includes a proposed increase of 0.80 mill, expected to generate about $913,000 for general and retirement expenses.

A final budget will be approved in June.


Business director Sheila Lubert has received her Pennsylvania Registered School Business Administrator four-year certification.

For certification, she earned 24 credit hours over the past three years.

She is a former president of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials' west central region and has been with Sto-Rox since July.

Directors also voted last Thursday to create a bank account for the Sto-Rox Alumni Association using the district's tax identification number.

The account will require three signatures, including one of a board member.

West Allegheny

School board members have approved a $55.5 million preliminary budget for 2013-14 containing a property tax rate of 19.08 mills.

Last year's rate of 22 mills was reduced to a base rate of 18.44 mills because of the Allegheny County reassessments.

An increase of 0.64 mill is proposed -- including 0.38 mill for general expenses and 0.26 mill for special education and retirement expenses.

School directors voted 5-3 Feb. 20 to approve the preliminary budget, with member Eugene Sciulli absent.

Robert Ostrander, Tracy Kosis and Linda Diffendal voted no.

Superintendent John DiSanti said it's early in the budget process, and no figures are official until a final budget is approved in June.

"There has been no decision on whether we're going to need a tax increase, but [the preliminary budget] does give the flexibility to give that option," he said.



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