SALEM After-school assistance planned

Volunteers will be sought for a program intended to help youngsters with homework.
SALEM -- Salem High School students struggling with academics soon will be able to get some after-school help.
The school board approved a homework assistance program Monday that's expected to start next month.
The district is likely to assign two teachers to the effort who will be paid extra for the work, Superintendent Dr. David Brobeck said.
How much they will be paid is still being determined.
Besides teachers, the program also will depend on help from volunteer tutors. The school district will be asking area residents to assist with homework assignments.
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call the superintendent's office.
Times for the assistance program are still being worked out.
Student attendance in the program will be voluntary.
The school board agreed to consider a request from the city administration to begin sharing the cost of employing crossing guards.
City Safety Director Scott Cranmer said the city is spending about $19,150 annually on salary and benefits for four regular and two substitute guards. The guards are paid $6.42 an hour.
Retirement incentive: The school board authorized a cost-saving program that encourages teachers to retire at 30 years instead of the traditional 35 years.
Those who retire under the incentive program can be replaced with new teachers at beginner salaries of about $25,000 annually. That's nearly half of what an experienced teacher with a master's degree earns.
To encourage the early retirements, the district is offering to pay eligible teachers 35 percent of their final teacher salary as a bonus.
The retiring teacher also would be eligible for his normal state-paid retirement.
About 25 teachers in the district qualify for the early retirement program, Brobeck said.
Investigation: The district is continuing to review a situation in which police said suspected illegal drug items were found in a junior high school teacher's car last week, Brobeck said.
The teacher remains assigned to normal teaching duties during the review, Brobeck added.
The Columbiana County Drug Task Force is investigating. No criminal charges have been filed against the teacher.

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