Canton apprises staff of PDE initiatives
CANTON - Canton Area School District Superintendent Matt Gordon recently reported on some changes at the state level concerning education.
During the last school board meeting, Gordon noted that there is a new state Acting Secretary of Education, Carolyn Dumaresq. She was appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett on Aug. 26.
Gordon said there are some "huge statewide initiatives" related to the No Child Left Behind waiver. These were "rolled out" to the teachers and staff during the in-service days.
When asked for comment by The Daily Review, Timothy Eller, press secretary with the state Department of Education, said these initiatives will be used to satisfy Pennsylvania's federal accountability under the approved waiver.
The School Performance Profile is a web-based system that will provide parents, students, taxpayers, educators and schools with information on how students are performing in each public school building, based on multiple measures of student achievement, Eller said.
He noted that a new educator evaluation system is being implemented as required by Act 82 of 2012, which puts into place a new educator evaluation system that uses multiple measures of student achievement as a factor in an educator's evaluation. The School Performance Profile will be used as one measure in the educator evaluation system.
Finally, Pennsylvania's Core Standards update the state's academic standards, which are statements of what students are expected to know and be able to do at specific grade levels, Eller said. Academic standards focus on the essential concepts, knowledge and skills necessary for students to succeed and are designed to increase student achievement, he said.
"As the state provides us with more clear expectations for all these initiatives, we'll continue to share and train our folks throughout the year in these new initiatives," Gordon told the board.
Gordon thanked everyone recently for an "extremely smooth and effective first day of school."
He commended and thanked all the teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, administrators, maintenance workers, custodians, cafeteria workers and bus drivers for making it a success.
This was accomplished despite some last-minute personnel changes, last-minute student registrations and "many other last-minute logistical problems," he said.
Gordon said "everybody worked together very well to make for a very seamless opening day."
Also, Gordon noted that the district also had some new faces this year, a new food service director and a new special services coordinator.
"On behalf of all the students and parents, I thank you very much."
Gordon congratulated the three new teachers that were on the agenda to be hired at the meeting, and their mentors.
He commended those on the interview committee for "their due diligence in the selection process."
During the meeting, the board:
- approved the Authorization for Expenditure for elevator repair in the amount of $16,789
- approved the winter maintenance agreement between Cuz Excavating and Canton Area School District, effective immediately through April 30, 2016
- approved the 2013/2014 residential placement agreement between The Meadows Psychiatric Center/UCBH and Canton Area School District
- approved the 2013/2014 referral agreement between Northern Tier Counseling, Inc. and Canton Area School District
- approved the 2013/2014 SAP agreement between Bradford County Human Services/Drug and Alcohol and Canton Area School District
- approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Canton Area School District and the Canton Area Education Association to amend Appendix C - Wages and Salary Provision of the Collective Bargaining Agreement
- approved a request for a sabbatical leave of absence by Elizabeth Cole, kindergarten teacher, effective the first semester of the 2013/2014 school year (Aug. 22, 2013 through Jan. 17, 2014)
- approved the following resignations: Luann Seeley, paraprofessional, effective Aug. 21, 2013; Mary Thompson, hearing impaired/special education teacher, effective August 15, 2013; Keri Holland, second grade teacher, effective Sept. 13, 2013; and Laura Heller, biology teacher, effective September 13, 2013. Board member Eric Anderson thanked them for their years of service, and expressed regret at their resignations.
- approved Katie Foust as a long-term substitute kindergarten teacher, effective Sept. 16, 2013, on a per diem basis at $100 per day
- approved the following new hires: Chelsie Apker as biology teacher, effective Sept.16, 2013, at $51,957; Cody Martin as second grade teacher, effective Sept. 16, 2013, at $51,107; and Michelle Harkness as special education teacher, effective Sept. 23, 2013, at $49,007, all pending completion of paperwork.
- approved the following additions to the 2013/2014 co-curricular (non-sports) pay list, pending completion of all paperwork: Richelle Ann Spiak, Band Front, $2,870; Robin Kneller, mentor to long-term substitute Katie Foust, one-half year, $470; Cindy Dewey, mentor to the new second grade teacher, $940; Don Cron, mentor to the new biology teacher, $940; Ronda Ayres, mentor to the new special education teacher, $940; Jessica Watson, Student Assistance Program (SAP) Chairperson, $834; Deb Keppler, SAP Junior/Senior High School, $501; Kathy Coleman, SAP Junior/Senior High School, $501; Rich Harstead, SAP Junior/Senior HS, $501; Jenna Boyce, SAP Elementary, $501; Kelsey Weed, SAP Elementary, $501; Brandy Heatley, SAP Elementary, $501; Teresa Allen, SAP Elementary, $501; Holly Keegan, SAP Elementary, $501; and Cynthia Mitstifer, SAP Elementary, $501.
- approved the following additions to the 2013/2014 co-curricular (sports) pay list, pending completion of all paperwork: Brock Kitchen, Varsity Boys Basketball, step 5, $5,129; Ryan Van Noy, Varsity Girls Basketball, step 1, $4,287; and Kathy Coleman, Junior High Girls Basketball, step 2, $3,445.
- approved the following additions to the substitute list, pending completion of all paperwork: Carolann Ward-Spencer, elementary/special education; Mercedes Carpenter, paraprofessional
- approved the following additions to the volunteer list, pending completion of all paperwork: David Machmer, football; Eric Anderson, classroom; Mary Herman, library; Eugenia Schoonover, classroom; Marty Watson, football; Brandy McRoberts, volleyball; Scott Lewis, football security; Jeremy Seeley, football security; Matt Williams, football security; Timothy Hartzig, football security; Carl Hartford, football security; Terry LaMont, football security; Nancy Acresti, football security; Casey Aylesworth, cross country and track; Lianne Landis, girl's basketball
- approved the second reading of the Electronic Devices policy
- approved the cooperative sports agreement between Troy Area School District and Canton Area School District, with respect to Girl's Soccer
There was an executive session held prior to the board meeting at 6 p.m. to discuss personnel and negotiation issues.
The next regular board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10 in the Canton Area Elementary School Theaterette in Canton.
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.