Belle Vernon Area chief paints rosy picture of district
Dr. John Wilkinson recently gave teachers in the Belle Vernon Area School District a challenge for the new school year – push 15 students per grade toward proficient on the state assessment tests.
“We have a very good school district now,” the BVA superintendent of schools said during a school board meeting Monday night. “We want to be great.”
Just one day into the new school year, Wilkinson presented an overview of the district's goals for school facility improvements and academic enhancements.
Students in Advanced Placement courses are receiving iPad minis this year, Wilkinson said.
Four Chrome book labs have been opened in the regular classrooms so students do not have to relocate to a computer lab to do work.
Every high school student is receiving a complete set of new textbooks.
Wilkinson also reviewed renovations at the high school. A visual arts lab and broadcast suite were built. The chemistry labs are being renovated and enlarged. A freshman academy wing was designed to help incoming ninth graders make the transition to the high school.
The computer labs received new carpeting and a PAES Lab was created for life skills students, replicating work-like settings.
But the biggest change is in student engagement by the staff, Wilkinson said.
“We want the focus on every student being engaged in each lesson,” Wilkinson said. “I challenged the teachers last year, asking, ‘How do you know the students got it at the end of the day?'”
The district is also upping the ante on assessment scores. The goal is to increase the percentage – already high – of students at proficiency even higher.
For example, pushing third grade reading proficiency from 71 percent to 78 percent, or eightth grade reading from 87 to 93 percent or high school biology from 74 to 81 percent.
Board member John Nusser Jr. credited Wilkinson, saying, “We're hiring the best people to educate our people properly.”
“I've seen more progress academically and with facilities this year than the previous four years I've been on the board,” director Joe Grata added.
Wilkinson said the teachers accepted his challenge.
“There's a sense of pride,” Wilkinson said. “I did not hear one person say they couldn't do it.”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 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.
- Fayette man allegedly exposed self to Charleroi children
- Discord drives Monessen meeting
- North Belle Vernon man accused of stalking girl, 13
- Wiltz still helping kids as Mon Valley YMCA volunteer
- Westmoreland firefighters get training to save pets
- Ringgold investigates knife incident
- 2 city men charged in Dec. 29 Monessen arson
- Rampound brings cheers to Ringgold athletic events
- Your viewpoint is never the whole truth
- Organizers plunge ahead with 2nd ‘Frosty Frolic’ to benefit California Area
- Mid-Mon Valley maintains strong ties to proposed Army museum