South Butler board still fuzzy on state scoring system
South Butler School District officials hope Friday's rollout of the state's new Performance School Profile shows positive scores for the district.
The new system, however, seemed to be in a state of flux during Wednesday night's board meeting, less than 48 hours before the ratings will become official.
The profile system replaces the Annual Yearly Progress measurement formerly used by the state.
As evidence of the confusion, Assistant Superintendent Michael Leitera said the state gave him three updated scores for Knoch High School on Wednesday.
Knoch had an 87.7 rating around lunchtime Wednesday. By 3:20 p.m., he said the rating was 83.5.
Officials noted that the figure could change again by the time the state releases Friday's official figures.
And South Butler administrators say the state plans to release revised figures in January once the bugs have been worked out of the system.
When asked by reporters what the ratings number meant, Leitera said that officials won't know until Friday when South Butler's scores can be compared to other districts.
“It's a complicated process,” Leitera said. “We don't know what the norm is. There is more data considered than before, and the goal is greater transparency and accountability for districts.”
Students who attend vocational/technical schools also will be considered.
Each school in each district will be rated. In South Butler's case, the primary, intermediate, middle school and senior high buildings will get their own numerical rating.
Starting on Friday, parents, community members, businesses and institutions, real estate agents and others can log onto the state Department of Education's website, www.pde.state.pa.us, and find the scores of districts in the School Performance Profile box in the lower-right corner of the department's home page.
In other business
• The district hired Lou Ann Ross as a part-time grant writer at a salary not to exceed $25,000.
Ross' duties will include seeking governmental and private industry grants available to the school district as what officials are calling “alternate revenue sources.”
Ross also will work as a liaison to the newly-formed Knights Foundation, a group designed to seek other forms of funding for school district activities aside from taxation and subsidies.
• Representatives of The Nutrition Group, responsible for the district's food service, talked about a new program called Farm to Fork.
The district is working with local produce farmers through Monteverde Produce to provide food items not often seen on school menus such as butternut squash and zucchini.
The goal is to get students to eat more healthy foods.
Cafeteria officials said a sample tasting area is available to students unfamiliar with local produce items.
Elementary students who bag their lunches also are getting heavy-duty lunch bags, courtesy of the nutrition group, that feature games and puzzles.
Officials say 50 to 60 students a day have become part of the new program.
George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Springdale trestle bridge deemed structurally sound
- New Kensington woman struck by vehicle, injured
- Alle-Kiski Valley deemed medically underserved
- Rural residents need medical specialist services
- Saxonburg Area Artists Cooperative closes its doors
- January temperatures, snowfall unremarkable in Western Pennsylvania
- Burrell honors sports heavyweight Butch Liput with scholarship
- Driver leaps from sliding truck just before it topples down hillside in Fawn
- Burrell wrestling wins 9th consecutive WPIAL title
- Pittsburgh Street in Springdale closed until Monday
- Police: Woman thwarted abduction at Jefferson Township convenience store