Here’s what you missed at last night’s East Penn School Board meeting:
A New Therapy Dog Program
The district is looking at adding three full-time therapy dogs to the schools. Mike Milhaulik, the district’s Secondary STEM Supervisor, explained that the dogs would be an integral part of the school community, add warmth and comfort to the schools, and provide a host of other social-emotional benefits. The dogs will be specially trained for school environments, and the district will develop a system in all schools to designate dog-free areas for those who may have severe allergies or fears (school buildings have already been addressing this issue, as at least six East Penn schools have hosted dogs in recent years as part of various programs). The annual costs of the program would be paid for through donations and fundraising. Board members expressed strong support for the program. No specific timeline for implementing it was discussed. Watch the presentation and discussion for yourself here.
Giant Foods Helps with Student Lunch Debt
The board accepted a $29,747 gift from Giant Foods to help pay down student lunch debt in the district. This major donation is welcome news to those families in our schools that have struggled with food insecurity. I thank Giant for recognizing the scope of this problem in our community and reaching out to help. Watch Superintendent Campbell talk about the donation here.
In Person Graduation (and Board Meetings)
In case you haven’t already heard the news, the district will hold in-person graduation ceremonies this year at the PPL Center in Allentown (watch the announcement here). In addition, the school board will return to in-person meetings next month. Our June 14 meeting will be recorded and made available the next day on YouTube, while the district hopes to resume livestreaming the meetings this summer (once the needed equipment is installed in the board room). Watch the discussion here.