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District hopes math program increases scores

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Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

McKeesport Area School District officials are counting on new adaptive math instruction to help increase test scores.

School directors approved a $30,730 contract with Think Through Math at Wednesday night's school board meeting.

The one-year contract begins on Tuesday.

“It is a web-based system that is a system of curriculum proven to raise math achievement,” said assistant superintendent Rula Skezas.

Think Through Math is available for students in grades 3 through Algebra I. The program works on three different tiers so it differentiates instruction.

“We're always looking to be able to enrich our current programming,” Skezas said. “It's nice because (students) can do the program two to three times a week. It's online so the kids can use the program outside of the school day. It's just a very good supplemental program to target the kids who need remediation, need supplemental instruction.”

Some McKeeport Area schools used the program previously when it was known as Apangea.

“Our middle school really sees it helps with the enrichment and remediation for the kids,” Skezas said.

The assistant superintendent credited the program with impacting the Keystone Exams eighth-grade scores.

The board accepted resignations from high school music teacher Katelyn Panza; permanent day-to-day substitute Michael Sisley at Twin Rivers Intermediate School; long-term substitute special education teacher Ashley Smith at Founders' Hall and high school long-term substitute business-computer information teacher James Zager.

The board hired Brianna Morchieid and Emily Denman as Founders' Hall special education teachers; Kristen Sherer-Stingi as a high school business-computer information teacher and Peter Yannopoulos as a permanent day-to-day substitute at Twin Rivers Intermediate School.

Sharon Spada resigned as the English Department head. Eric Guadalupe was approved as Spada's replacement.

Kim Moore replaces Brad Braverman as Children's Play director. Sandra Criscuolo retired as a lunch aide at Founders' Hall Annex.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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