Niles board gives ID cards 2nd look

A board member wants the swipe-card system by year's end.
NILES -- A year after shelving the idea of instituting a pupil identification card system, the board of education is reconsidering it.
Board member Robert L. Marino Sr. reintroduced the swipe-card system Thursday because too many qualified students are not using the district's free and reduced-price lunch program to which they are entitled.
As a result, Marino argued, students are unable to study properly because they are hungry.
Superintendent Rocco D. Adduci said he will appoint a committee to looking into using the cards.
The pupil identification system was rejected in March 2006 because of the cost, including hiring a person to oversee it. Also, some parents voiced opposition out of concern that the information on the card might in some way be made public.
Advocates of the swipe-card system have maintained the card would eliminate the reluctance by pupils to eat lunch because their identities would be hidden.
"I hope as a board we can get together," Marino said, adding he would like to see the swipe system in use by year's end. "I feel we have to pursue it."
Board member Wanda J. Burns said she isn't against such a system but is against creating a new position to oversee it.
Board President Marlene O. Rhodes said that because voters have twice rejected an issue to fund construction of a new high school, two elementary schools and a sports complex is no reason for the district to be stagnant.
Burns pointed out the system also could be used to take attendance of pupils and staff.
Other action taken
In other business, the board:
Agreed to affiliate with the All-American Conference athletic league beginning in the 2008 school year. The district has been a member of the Metro Athletic League. Adduci said he rejected the notion that the district become independent. Niles will be in the red division that includes Howland, Canfield, Poland and Beaver Local. The division is based on the number of students enrolled in the district.
Recognized Sandra Bilovesky, a second-grade teacher at Bonham Elementary School, and Michele Gentilcore, a Title I teacher at Washington Elementary School, for being inducted into the National Honor Roll's Outstanding American Teachers.
Recognized Laurie Williams, a third-grade teacher at Washington, for authoring a book, "Archie's Amazing Adventure," a story about her beagle.
Approved the retirement of David Pappada, a high school math teacher, effective June 1.
Hired Pamela Gargano as a full-time general data and operations clerk in the treasurer's office at 30,742 annually.
Approved one-year supplemental athletic contracts for Joseph Ifft, seventh- and eighth-grade girls track coach, 1,834; Thomas Puskar Jr., assistant boys track coach, 1,572; and Thomas Thompson Jr., speech and debate assistant coach, 1,834.

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