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California Area likes Cal U program

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By Christina Walko
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 1:56 a.m.

California Area School District Superintendent Brian Jackson and elementary Principal Michael Sears praised the Professional Development School Collaborative at a Wednesday school board meeting.

The collaborative is a program in which California University of Pennsylvania and five school districts work to advance the field of teaching.

“It is a total win-win situation,” Sears said. “New theories, strategies for teaching, research and data gathering are being implemented to make the teaching and learning process better.”

The program, through which Cal U student-teachers come to area schools, began two years ago in the elementary levels and has advanced to the high school level.

“The first year was mostly brainstorming,” Jackson said. “Now it's being put into practice.”

Student-teachers and classroom teachers develop co-teaching models and relationships to provide better learning experiences for students.

The California Area, Washington, Uniontown Area, Elizabeth Forward and Connellsville Area school districts participate in the program.

District news

Nadia Uhall, on behalf of the California Education Association, had several announcements:

• The drama club will present “The Pajama Game” 7 p.m. Feb. 27, 28 and March 1 in the high school auditorium.

• Eighteen high school students will participate in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science program.

• Two students will participate in a math competition April 5.


• Alexandria Zahand, Kelsey Despot, Donald Richardson, Linda Balmer and Ashley Levino were added to the substitute teacher list.

• Chad Pappasergi was named varsity boys' assistant basketball coach; Ron Baron, assistant baseball coach; Elizabeth Dorman, volunteer middle school softball coach; Mary Jo Blitski, assistant middle school volleyball coach; Raymond Huffman and Phil Stuart, high school girls' volunteer assistant basketball coaches; and Cabe Powell, middle school boys' assistant coach.

• Dave Watkins resigned from his position of assistant varsity soccer coach.

The board also:

• Approved a $1 increase in admission to athletic events, which will now be $4 for adults.

• Approved $5,200 for the repair of storm damage to the high school gymnasium roof.

Christina Walko is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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