Penn Hills School District officials changing meeting procedures to adhere to coronavirus safety guidelines - Penn Hills Progress

Penn Hills School District officials changing meeting procedures to adhere to coronavirus safety guidelines

Thursday, March 26, 2020 | 8:09 PM


Penn Hills School District officials have altered their upcoming school board meeting to adhere to safety guidelines and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

It will still take place Monday at Linton Middle School, 250 Aster St.

However, business will be conducted in the lobby instead of the auditorium so officials can use the office phone system to participate remotely.

It’s also scheduled for 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. because there will be no executive session prior to business, Superintendent Nancy Hines said.

“We’re trying to conduct business as best we can being safe and being smart,” Hines said. “We are trying to keep the community part of it to the level that they’re comfortable. Everything is structured purposefully so that there wouldn’t be anybody up close.”

Most of the nine school board members and district Chief Recovery Office Dan Matsook will to join by phone.

Hines, board President Erin Vecchio and board Treasurer/Business Manager Eileen Navish are expected to be in the building.

“It’s the times were living in,” Vecchio said. “We have to take every precaution we can. I don’t want anybody sick.

“We have to have a meeting because we have to vote to pay the bills. Everybody else is going to be on the phone but a couple administrators, and we won’t be sitting anywhere near each other. After this meeting, hopefully, we go back to our regular meetings after this passes.”

There will be public seating available in the lobby and the cafeteria. No more than 10 people can occupy the same seating area.

Speakers will be installed to project meeting dialogue so everyone spread out can hear, including people outside the main entrance so they can practice social distancing.

District Solicitor Bruce Dice, or one of his firm’s associates, will serve as both legal counsel and board secretary to help minimize officials in attendance.

Residents who do show up will be given time to comment. People can also submit their comments to the superintendent via email to be read into the record.

Those submitting emails should put “public comment” in the subject line and send them to nhines@phsd.k12.pa.us.

Submitters have to include their name and address in the email.

Hines said all messages would be screened to prevent possible pranks.

The solicitor reserves the right to reject any/all emailed remarks that may be viewed as lewd, profane, or offensive.

An audit report from CPA Mark Turnley on the district’s 2018-19 finances are among the actions, besides votes on bills and resolutions, to take place at the meeting.

Vecchio said the district practiced similar safety measures at committee meetings earlier this month, and she does not anticipate a large crowd on Monday.

More information on how the district’s handling the coronavirus outbreak and other matters is available at phsd.k12.pa.us.