New Kensington-Arnold gets state grant to pay for 3 new teaching positions
State grant money will pay for three new teaching positions at New Kensington-Arnold School District this school year, including two jobs geared toward improving early-childhood education.
The district already was participating in the Keystones to Opportunity grant program, which is aimed at improving literacy.
However, thanks to the quick work of several employees, including program coordinators Dana Fularz and Nicole Bitar, the district was able to apply for additional money when it became available over the summer.
Superintendent John Pallone and Business Manager Jeff McVey on Thursday announced the district will receive all of the additional funds requested — nearly $200,000.
The money will pay for a half-day preschool teacher, a full-time kindergarten liaison with local day-care programs and a full-time sixth-grade literacy specialist.
All are one-year special assignments; if the grant money is not renewed, the positions will be eliminated.
The school board on Thursday agreed to hire Leslie Ward to fill the preschool position. She previously worked as a long-term substitute teaching kindergarten; Pallone said she will earn about $43,000 per year, which is the starting salary for a district teacher.
Ward will be tasked with teaching a new section of preschool at Fort Crawford Elementary School for half the day, then filling other duties for the second half of the day, including overseeing the elementary gifted program. Pallone said most of her salary will be paid through the KTO and other grants, although the district will cover a portion of it.
Pallone said the other two positions are fully grant-funded and will be offered to current teachers first. Anyone who takes one of the new jobs can return to a regular classroom if the new positions are eliminated in subsequent years. Long-term substitutes will be hired to teach the vacated classrooms.
The kindergarten liaison will identify district students who need additional help and work with them while they attend child-care programs.
Pallone said the liaison will be beneficial as the district transitions from full-day to half-day kindergarten this school year.
Finally, the sixth-grade literacy position will pick up where the elementary reading specialists leave off, identifying children who need extra attention.
“We're trying to address the needs of the community,” Pallone said.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 3 charged with selling heroin that killed Lower Burrell woman
- Months of hard work go into Alle-Kiski high-school musicals
- PennDOT, Pa. Game Commission give falcons new nest in Tarentum
- Oakmont hit-run probed
- Record-breaking temps could make February the coldest one since 1979
- Apollo to improve safety
- Student suicide brings issue of bullying to fore in New Kensington-Arnold
- Mia Z (Zanotti) of Hyde Park advances on NBC’s ‘The Voice’
- Harrison mom, boyfriend charged in abuse of young boys
- Leechburg man charged with molesting girls, watching child pornography
- Springdale Township standoff ends peacefully