2012-10-24 / Front Page

So. Fulton Gets Good News On PSSA Results

Board talks about member attendance
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

Southern Fulton School Board received the good news last Tuesday night that its student body at both the elementary and high school made adequate yearly progress during PSSA testing in the 2011-12 school year.

Elementary Principal Theresa Corle, along with fifth-grade teacher Cindy Flaherty gave a brief overview of test results in reading and math. According to Flaherty, the students worked very hard to get the results and made AYP in all areas.

Flaherty reported 96.2 percent of third-grade students tested advanced or proficient in reading, and 100 percent of the same class were advanced or proficient in math. Weaknesses identified over the summer months were concepts and organization of nonfiction text as well as measurement.

Flaherty went on to provide similar reviews of student test results for grades four, five and six. Results shared were as follows: fourth grade, over 92 percent proficient or advanced in math; fifth grade, 76 percent in reading and 84 percent in math; and sixth grade 70.6 in reading and 91 percent in math. She added that there is more work being done with the core standards at this time.

Her children wrapped up the presentation by presenting outgoing

Superintendent Kendra Trail with a card and bouquet of flowers.

In her Powerpoint presentation, junior/senior high school Principal Meredith Hendershot noted scores are calculated differently at the high school level because of grade spans. She said the building is really being carried in the newest set of test results by seventh- and eighth-grade math and reading scores.

She went on to say that science is currently only measured by participation, and that the 11th-grade science PSSA test will be replaced by a Keystone Exam in biology.

In other curriculum-related matters, Principal Corle took a moment to recognize sixth-grader Ethan Pelton, who was a Class 2 division winner last year for Fulton County and the Council in the American Legion Essay contest. Pelton shared his essay on how he shows patriotism in the community.

The band and color guard were granted permission to take part in Festival Disney at Orlando, Fla., from April 25-28. It was noted student contributions and Band Boosters will be covering the expenses associated with the trip.

The senior class was scheduled to visit Antietem Battlefield on October 23. The cost of the trip is paid by the Mellott Co.

The district’s comprehensive plan was approved as presented. The document will be placed for public review on the district’s Web site and then turned over to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Thanks was given to Diane Younker, Jon Diffenderfer and Kathy Cutchall for their assistance in getting the plan finalized.

Personnel

The board confirmed Eric Barnhart as its newly appointed board member to replace Dale Sigel. Barnhart was administered the oath of office by board President Timothy Mellott.

Board member David Smith cited school code and led a discussion related to school board members missing two successive regular school board meetings, which entitles the board to declare a vacancy. Barnhart mentioned it has been questioned what the policy is on board meeting attendance and why there has not been full attendance at the meetings.

Sam Souders was not on hand during the board’s September and October meetings. In Souders’ defense, Danny Crouse noted Souders is a hardworking man and even though he tries his hardest to attend, he can’t always make it to meetings. Crouse added that if missing meetings was the case at hand, then they could be losing another board member for lack of attendance.

Smith stated the discussion was nothing personal and that it has nothing to do with the individuals themselves. Meanwhile, Patrick Bard pointed out that not everyoneisabletoworka9a.m. to 5 p.m. job, and that he wouldn’t want to question Souders’ loyalty because “when you’re working, you’re working.“ However, he did state that it’s difficult to know what’s going on when you’ve missed a group of meetings and that it has caused issues due to not having enough members to vote on certain subjects.

President Mellott was instructed to contact Souders on the topic.

Pending the submission of necessary paperwork, Joan Mellott, Courtney Schriever and Haley Strait will be permitted to serve in the capacity of substitute teacher. In addition, Dawn Wigfield was added to the substitute custodian list pending the receipt of paperwork.

Lindsay Clark received authorization as a long-term substitute for third-grade teacher Wright beginning around December 12. Clark will receive a daily rate of $115.

An unpaid leave of absence through Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 was granted for special education teacher Linda Bolden. The leave is tentatively scheduled for October 26 through December 31.

Following a nearly hour-long executive session to review personnel, negotiations and a student matter, the board reconvened to hire Stephanie Mills as a day-shift maintenance assistant custodian. Board members Allen Morton and Barnhart refrained from voting during the roll-call vote.

The board also accepted the collective bargaining agreement between the district and the education support professionals. The newest five-year agreement will begin effective July 1, 2013. Morton and Barnhart again abstained.

Superintendent Trail told the “News” the biggest changes from the current agreement include employees going to a high-qualified healthcare deductible. The plan mirrors that of the teacher’s agreement aside from the district contributing 75 percent of the deductible for support staff.

Trail also stated the five-year agreement stipulates the district will only pay for the employee’s healthcare in the case of any cafeteria employees hired after July 1, 2013.

Building and grounds

The volleyball team was given permission to use the high school gymnasium on November 8 between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. for a charity game to raise money for breast cancer.

Melanie and Lanette Deneen will use the high school lobby, restrooms, parking lot, track and shed on November 10 between 7 a.m. and noon for a 5K run/walk. The event is part of a senior project.

The board again discussed storage options for documents kept at the old elementary school, which will be torn down in the near future by Phantom Fireworks. Building and grounds supervisor John Bain estimated the cost of building a pole building at $16 per square foot, while Superintendent Trail provided estimates for the digitization of records. Board member Mark Mosemann noted that digitization is a one-time cost and the job could possibly be done in-house. Furthermore, he reminded the board any thoughts of future use should be considered when building a structure.

Following a short discussion, the board agreed on a 7-1 roll-call vote to advertise for bids to digitize documents. David Smith voted against the measure.

Finance

The board agreed to relocate $1,100,000 from the district’s unassigned fund balance and to the budget’s committed fund balance retroactive to June 30. The money can now be used for future capital improvement projects.

Transportation

A school bus turnaround sign will be placed at 1592 Flickerville Road, Warfordsburg. It was noted the sign will be placed part way down the mountain at the Mellott residence.

A brief discussion was held pertinent to the activities route contract currently held by D&K Transport. Dave Smith of D&K noted after the fifth year of his contract he is entitled to five oneyear extensions unless he or the district decide to cancel the contract with a four-month notice. He is currently in the seventh year of the contract and would like to hold on to the route for at least one additional year. No action as taken.

Policy

The board gave a nod of approval for the second reading of eight policies. Barnhart abstained during the roll-call vote.

Citizen participation

Kindergarten teacher Deanne Baker thanked the board for hiring additional staff in September, which has made an existing situation at the elementary more manageable. “You did a very good thing,” she said in thanking the board members for their vote.

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