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C-K approves firefighter credit

CLAYSBURG — The Claysburg-Kimmel School Board unanimously approved a plan to allow volunteer firefighters to earn up to a $200 tax credit on Wednesday.

The Volunteer Service Credit Resolution is intended to incentivize community members to join or remain in the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company.

According to the board’s solicitor Krystal Edwards, volunteer firefighters who meet the required criteria will receive a tax credit of up to $200 a year off of their current income taxes.

“We appreciate everything the fire department does for us,” Superintendent Darren McLaurin said. “We wish we could give a lot more money. Not too many people want to take that time and volunteer.”

During the superintendent’s report, McLaurin demonstrated how the district’s current COVID-19 case numbers could be viewed. Anyone can access the district’s website and click on the link that reads COVID-19 Updates & Resources about a quarter of the way down the homepage. From there, they should see a table that lists how many student and adult cases are currently active at each school. The numbers are a weekly count that McLaurin updates every Friday.

It was also announced at Wednesday’s meeting that the district had won an Emergency Connectivity Fund grant from the Federal Communications Commission worth $336,257.50. According to the FCC website, the grant program is meant to help schools and libraries provide the tools and services their communities need for remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency. It stated that the grant program nationally will help millions of students, school staff, and library patrons and close the homework gap for students who lack necessary internet access or the devices needed to connect to classrooms.

McLaurin said that the district replaced all of the schools’ iPads with the grant money.

“They said that any device that was three years or older wasn’t sufficient, and our devices are three years old,” Michelle Smithmyer, the district’s business manager, said. “We planned to replace them anyway so that is fantastic for us.”

In addition to the ECF grant, the district was awarded a $10,570 grant that it will put toward the district’s social worker’s wages, according to McLaurin.

In other news, McLaurin stated that the Claysburg-Kimmel Elementary School had been dubbed a Distinguished Project Lead the Way School. Project Lead the Way is a nonprofit organization that develops STEM curricula for use by elementary, middle and high schools across the country.

According to the group’s website, the PLTW Distinguished Program recognizes districts and schools committed to helping students by increasing student access, engagement and achievement in their PLTW programs. It states that recognized districts and schools empower their students to unlock their potential by developing the in-demand, real-world knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in life beyond the classroom.

“We got that award because we have so many students that we provide a good STEM education to,” McLaurin said. “That thanks goes back to the [Claysburg] Education Foundation who started the PLTW here about three years ago.”

Mirror Staff Writer Rachel Foor is at 814-946-7458.

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