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At Elk Lake's 2019 graduation, valedictorian Hannah Decker leads a silly string campaign as Superintendent Ken Cuomo exits the stage after conferring all diplomas. 

The Elk Lake School District has settled on plans for sending off the Class of 2020.

During a virtual Elk Lake School Board meeting on June 3, Superintendent Ken Cuomo detailed an adjustment to the district’s previously announced plan for graduation.

“Instead of having two possible dates of June 13, and then a bunch of ‘if then’ statements, and then possibly June 20, we are setting the date of graduation to June 20 at 10 a.m.,” he said.

This is regardless of factors like the weather and which phase Susquehanna County is in with Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to reopen Pennsylvania, he added.

If the county is still in the yellow phase and there’s been no notification of transitioning to the green phase by June 19, students can expect a drive-thru diploma processional with a virtual component.

However, if Susquehanna County goes green in time, then Elk Lake could hold a somewhat traditional ceremony in the high school gym with no more than 250 people following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

With approximately 75 graduates, each would get two tickets for guests.

“That would put us at about 225 in the gym, and then when we add all the support staff to run the graduation, that would put us pretty darn close to 250,” Cuomo said. “We will be livestreaming it if we are in green.”

Afterward, the board gave permission for the district to apply for approximately $300,000 in the form of a Marcellus Legacy Fund grant, which requires a 15% match, for a stream reclamation project.

“Over the years, a lot of the runoff from the school has damaged some of the woodline to the Springville side of the school,” he said.

This would also involve installing a walking trail for the community, he added, which would be handicap accessible.

During the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center portion of the meeting, SCCTC Executive Director Alice Davis said career center students will participate in a drive-thru ceremony on June 16 at 6 p.m., which will have a virtual component as well.

There’s potential for 140 high schoolers from Elk Lake and the sending districts, plus 20 adult students to participate, she said.

“We’re doing the best we can and they’re just glad we’re having something and that we’re having it in June,” Davis said.

A separate graduation for the licensed practical nursing program has been slated for June 26, with details to be announced.

The new commercial driver’s license program, which has been delayed since March, was given permission from the state to begin on June 22.

The board accepted a donation of $98,400 from Cabot Oil & Gas for the purchase of a CDL simulator that students in the program could use in addition to actual experience on the road.

The board also approved the following:

  • The transfer $307,753 in surplus from the 2018-19 budget year to capital reserves, with the intention of it being used for capital projects in the 2020-21 budget (EL).
  • A maternity leave request for Kathleen Upright (EL).
  • A stop loss agreement for the 2020-21 school year with Resolute Underwriting Strategies (EL).
  • A memorandum of understanding with the Pennsylvania State Police at Gibson (both schools).
  • Medical insurance rates for the 2020-21 school year (both schools).
  • An agreement with Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit for the 2020-21 school year (both schools).
  • Vacation time carryover for Denise Gieski (8.5 days) and Karen Killian (3 days) (CTC).
  • An annual clinical nurse supervisor contract with Killian (CTC).
  • Janitorial bids for the 2020-21 school year (CTC).
  • A one-year agreement with Cipafilter (CTC).
  • The donation of a 2009 Peterbilt tractor from Meshoppen Stone for use in the CDL program (CTC).
  • A bid for seal coating from Pocono Spray Patching, Inc. for $21,150 (CTC).
  • Renee LaRue as the Pennsylvania School Boards Association delegate for the CTC (LaRue was absent from the meeting).
  • Harold Bender as the board treasurer (CTC; Bender abstained from the vote).

The board is scheduled to meet again on June 18 at 7 p.m., which Cuomo said may occur in person in the high school auditorium with a virtual option. Information will be posted on elklakeschool.org and sent out via Remind.

Staff Writer

Brooke joined the Wyoming County Press Examiner staff as a reporter in December of 2018 after graduating... Read More...

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