Central Fulton Hears Updated Curriculum Plan
Central Fulton School District Superintendent Dixie Paruch opened up the first school board meeting of the 2013-14 school year with a brief, but informative, presentation on the approval of a No Child Left Behind waiver for the commonwealth.
Paruch told the board and fellow administrators the original provisions of No Child Left Behind required all school districts to achieve 100 percent proficiency in standardized testing by 2014. As a result, states across the nation, including Pennsylvania, applied for a special waiver that will allow their districts to continue promoting accountability while eliminating adequate yearly progress (AYP).
Pennsylvania, according to the superintendent, was one of the last states to apply for the special waiver, which was recently approved by the federal government.
Paruch stated the waiver will allow Central Fulton to focus on topics such as college and career readiness for graduating students and improving and supporting effective classroom instruction and school leadership.
As a replacement for AYP, districts will be given a designation of priority, focus or reward school, with reward being the highest designation in the accountability system. In addition, the new system also focuses on four annual measurable objectives that include at least 95 percent test participation; an 85 percent graduation rate of 90 percent attendance rate; closing the achievement gap by 50 percent over a six-year period; and closing the achievement gap of historically underperforming students by 50 percent over a six-year period.
To help monitor the district’s progress, students, parents and taxpayers will be able to access their school’s performance profile or report card, Paruch said. The profile, which will be released this fall, will be easy to understand, she added.
In the event Central Fulton would be listed at some point as a priority or focus school, interventions can be imposed. Paruch noted the district could see a redesign of its school day, week or year to include additional time for learning; using more data to inform instruction; improvement of school safety and discipline; improvement of teacher instruction; and promotion of family and community engagement.
She emphasized that standardized testing, such as PSSAs and Keystone Exams, will still be implemented, even though the indicators for AYP will not be taken into consideration.
In other curriculum matters, the review cycle for the district’s curriculum was approved for grades K-4 through 12 for the years 2013 to 2018. Superintendent Paruch told the board that the cycle ensures that each subject or curriculum is reviewed every five years.
A summary of the 2013-14 field trips for middle and high school students was accepted as presented. Meanwhile, two trips to New York City to see a Broadway show were approved. Teacher Greg Strine was given permission to take high school band and chorus students to a show and other various attractions for a weekend in late March or early April 2014. In addition, Trent Matthews will be taking the Spanish IV students between November 8-11.
Board members Roger Strait and Gary Shives congratulated the administration and staff on a successful Back-To-School Night and teacher in-service as well as high teacher morale. Paruch added later that student engagement is off the charts and morale is high.
“I think we’re off to a great start this year,” she added.
Adele Clippinger was appointed by the board to serve as a home visitor for the Early Head Start program. According to the September 10 agenda, Clippinger is slated to have the same salary and retain the same position, but the move is considered to be a lateral transition as she is moving
from Parents as Teachers to Early
Letters of resignation were accepted as presented by junior varsity basketball coach Jeremy
Wible and junior high assistant
basketball coach Dane Pollock.
Multiple coaches and advisors
were placed on the 2013-14 extracurricular salary scale. Among
those receiving approval were:
Allison Fraker, junior high
girls basketball coach, $2,495
Mary Buterbaugh, junior
high girls assistant basketball
John Heuston, head softball
Candace Bard, softball assistant coach, $2,620
Doug Seiders, softball volunteer coach
Brian Ramsey, baseball junior high coach, $1,830
Russell Miller, baseball volunteer coach
Denny Swope, boys varsity
basketball coach, $3,820
Dane Pollock, boys junior
varsity basketball coach, $2,245
Tracy Kendall, girls first assistant track coach, $2,045
Noreen Mann, elementary
musical artistic director, $1,920
Michelle Eichelberger, varsity club advisor, $695
Cathy Richards, elementary
band/chorus director, $2,920
A designated professional employee will be permitted to take a
family medical leave of absence
beginning September 16. The
leave will last six weeks, with the
employee using accumulated personal and sick leave. The name of
the employee was not released by
Kimberly Pryor and Danielle
Suders, both of McConnellsburg,
were added to the district’s supportive substitute list retroactive
to August 28.
In a follow-up motion, the
board hired Pryor to serve as an elementary paraprofessional effective
Mallory Welsh of McConnellsburg was approved as an extended substitute retroactive to August 26, while Greencastle resident Emma Weber was also hired as an extended substitute beginning effective September 16. Weber’s employment is slated for a six-week time frame.
Violet Williams, McConnellsburg, was appointed to serve as a substitute security/transportation officer for the 2013-14 school year.
A first reading of policies pertaining to employment of athletic coaches and tax collection was approved as presented.
The daily rates for the 2013-14 school year were approved as proposed to the board as were a list of transportation contractors, drivers and substitutes.
Transportation coordinator Angela Marshall is slated to attend the annual Transportation Conference held in Harrisburg on October 10 and 11.