At their August meeting, the Board of Education approved the district’s goals for the 2014-2015 school year.
The goals have two themes. The first deals with Pennsylvania’s Core Standards and the corresponding accountability system for educators. The second theme involves the safety and security of our schools.
Elementary, middle, and secondary teachers are continuing their work on the alignment of the district’s curriculum to the Pennsylvania Core Standards. We are focusing this year on science in grades 5-12, and math and English/language arts in grades K-12. An important part of this curriculum work will be to develop common student assessments in Algebra 1 and English Literature courses, English Language Arts and math at the middle school, and English Language Arts at the elementary schools. Throughout the year, teachers will also be working with their principals to use each student’s performance (on both informal and formal assessments) to design instruction that will reinforce the student’s strengths and provide further instruction in areas of need.
This is the second year for implementation of Pennsylvania’s Teacher Effectiveness System. Last year was the first year for classroom teachers. This year, the system is being implemented for support teachers, such as reading specialists, and for principals.
Implementing procedures to keep everyone safe in school continues to be a very important task for schools. Last year we began to work with staff and students to teach them to be aware of their surroundings and to know how to quickly evacuate in case of an emergency. This year, we will practice when they should evacuate, and when they should stay in place. This procedure will include where students and staff should go when they evacuate the building. These strategies are appropriate when an emergency occurs in any location where people gather. Changes have also been made to enhance the physical security of our buildings, and we have implemented a new procedure for the screening of visitors.
An important part of being safe in school is teaching and promoting appropriate behavior. We are all aware of the increased problem with bullying. With the addition of the high school this year, each school in the district is implementing a School Wide Positive Behavior Support Program which teaches and promotes positive and respectful behavior.
Through the completion of our goals this year, we will align our curriculum to the new Pennsylvania Core Standards, increase the use of assessment data to meet students’ needs, and help prepare all of our students to succeed in their studies. They will also teach everyone in school how to respond to an emergency, regardless of whether they are in school, at the mall, in a movie theater, or any place where people gather.
The Board of Education will hold meetings on Sept. 9 and 16 at 7 p.m.