Hamburg Area School District directors vote in favor of hiring new social services coordinator

Hamburg Area school directors voted, 8-0, to name Pamela Witman to the newly created position of social services coordinator for the district on July 14, .

Some of Witmans duties will include working with at risk and dysfunctional students and their families, as well as, providing training for staff members.

She will be connecting students and families with the social services they need, Superintendent Steven Keifer said. She will also be training our staff, (including) guidance counselors and psychologists.

Witman, who most recently taught in the districts alternative education department, was thankful that administrators recognized the importance of social services for students.

Educating people on how to handle mental health (issues) is part of my goal, Witman said.

Fewer out of district placements and a lower dropout rate are two results that Keifer expects.

Social services are provided at the county seat in Reading. Students and their families contact that department to find out what is available and need to drive to Reading to receive services.

Often families have one car or parents work multiple jobs which makes it hard to get to where the services are, Witman said.

Keifer hopes to give parents an alternative.

Once Perry (Elementary) is completed we will have space at Tilden (Elementary Center), Keifer said. We hope to invite agencies to have an office in the school, which will bring services here.

In other news, school directors voted, 8-0, to increase breakfast and lunch prices by 10 cents across the board.

Lunch prices for secondary and elementary students will increase to $2.50 and $2.30, respectively.

Breakfast prices for secondary and elementary students will increase to $1.70 and $1.60, respectively.

In other news, Keifer said that he will make a decision on Aug. 4 regarding when students will be able to move into Perry Elementary Center dedicated to Esther H. Ludwig.

Keifer plans to meet with the general contractor, code enforcement officer, architect and the construction management firm prior to the announcement.

The next meeting of school directors is Monday, July 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the James A. Gilmartin Community Room.