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New programs, policies, people for school year at Chartiers Valley, Carlynton

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

As the countdown to back to school dips toward single digits, officials at Chartiers Valley have been working since June to make upgrades and institute new programs and policies, including school safety measures, new curriculum leaders and new principals.

School safety

Superintendent Brian White said the district received a state grant that will outfit all four school buildings with RaptorWare Visitor Software. The software will require all visitors to the building to present and swipe a driver's license, which will be checked against a database. They will then be issued a temporary visitor ID card with a photo.

In addition, the guard booth and the middle and high school will no longer be worked in-person. The gate will be monitored and operated remotely, which will allow campus safety to monitor other video displays around the school while still operating the guard booth.

Curriculum leaders

Curriculum leaders are a group of teachers from various subject areas charged with helping align the district's curriculum to state standards. White said the leaders are those teachers who will model best practices in instruction to other faculty members.

The leaders will work an extra 20 days each year in order to both teach and work on the district's curriculum model.

Primary principals

Former primary school assistant principal Julie Hopp was promoted over the summer from assistant principal to principal.

Taking over the spot of assistant principal is new hire Stephanie Faith, who takes over after serving as principal of State Street Elementary in Ambridge, where she also served as assistant coordinator of special education and school psychologist.

Faith received her bachelor's degree in education from Miami University and her master's in education from Duquesne University.

At Carlynton, both elementary schools will start the year with cooler classroom temperature with the installation of a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. The system has been being installed throughout the summer, and will be partially operational by the start of school, according the school spokeswoman Michale Herrmann.

Plans to relocate the elementary school offices has been put on hold until next summer, she said.

In addition, students at the Junior-Senior High School will find a new student handbook and code of conduct Aug. 28. The biggest change, Herrmann said, is the institution of a new discipline plan and the employment of an In-School Suspension Monitor.

Also new on the policy front is a new dress code Herrmann said will be actively enforced. The changes include: No visible skin/undergarments shall be exposed on the torso; Shorts and skirts must be longer than fingertip length when arms are extended alongside the leg when in standing position; Baggy, saggy shorts or pants are prohibited; Clothing with holes or clothing that is blatantly not in good repair; Articles of clothing that display offensive words, may be threatening, display offensive gestures or symbols, or promote illegal activities

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or

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