ShareThis Page
News

Connellsville OKs math, reading improvement plans

| Friday, Dec. 11, 2009

Connellsville Area School District directors Thursday took action to help improve reading and math scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests.

Six schools -- the senior high school, Junior High East, Junior High West, Dunbar Township Elementary, Zachariah Connell Elementary and Springfield Township Elementary -- are all in school improvement for failing to meet adequate yearly progress for several consecutive years.

Last night, directors approved school improvement plans that offer additional instruction for students. Directors also approved applying for Title I federal grant money to pay for implementing the plans. Ron Keefer, director of federal programs, said the grant is federal stimulus money and the district should receive the funds. He anticipated the grant amount to be about $450,000.

As part of school improvement, the district must offer school choice when available. Keefer said 20 elementary students have transferred at parent request to schools that are making adequate yearly progress. He said transportation will cost about $70,000 for these students. In addition, the district has to offer outside tutoring. Sylvan, ATS and Huntington provide the services at no cost to parents. The district will pay $406,000 for the tutoring, an amount set by the state. Keefer said 259 students have signed up for tutoring, with 196 from Dunbar Township, 33 from East, 24 from West and six from the high school. Last year, no parents chose the services, but Keefer said the district has made rooms available for tutors, so parents do not have to drive to Greensburg for services. ATS is home-based through a provided computer.

Directors also received an update of the Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center project.

The final phase of the renovation has begun, with work likely complete in January.

John Pappas, Eckles Construction manager, reported Phase 5, building the masonry, electrical, auto body and auto mechanics rooms, has begun. He said crews are working 24 hours a day, five days a week, excavating rock and preparing foundations for the rooms. Directors approved change orders totaling more than $66,000 in order to convert a former boiler room into a classroom, small-group instruction room and storage area. Pappas said about $500,000 of the project had been reduced and this pool of money is being used for change orders.

In other business, directors hired Lisa Hampe as supervisor of special education. She will be paid $81,252 and begin when she is released from her current employment. Ira Chrise will retire in February and help Hampe in the transition.

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.

click me