YATESVILLE — Pittston Area School District administrators presented their Comprehensive Plan on education for the 2017 through the 2020 school years Tuesday at the monthly school board meeting.
Administrators said, while educational numbers may be down when compared to other districts at this point, the progression and growth students are showing is heading in the right direction, especially from 2015 to 2016.
Pittston Area High School Principal John Haas, Martin L. Mattei Middle School Principal Patrick Bilbow, Intermediate Center Principal Coreen Milazzo and Pittston Area Director of Special Education Amy Linnen each presented their respective areas of expertise.
The Comprehensive Plan will be available for public view for 28 days and the school board will have a chance to approve the plan at the next meeting. The plan can be viewed at www.pittstonarea.com.
Pittston Area Superintendent Kevin Booth also presented the district’s plan as a whole, touching on using multiple data sources over the next three years to meet the needs of students.
“What we need to do as a district is to gather all the states and put them into one place,” Booth said. “That will give us a whole picture of the student, not just the PSSAs.”
Booth also would like to see the district identify academically at-risk students early and support a process that provides guidance for each student.
Currently, administrators are working to use a Multi-Tiered System of Support. “There are students at all different levels and they will all learn differently,” Booth said. One of the plans being discussed on a weekly basis is to establish a time during the school day to cater to specific students who may be lagging behind in their studies.
“These plans are three-year plans,” Booth said. “I hope it doesn’t take three years, but you have to start somewhere. We’re at ground zero right now with this stuff.”
All four presenters talked about academic concerns they see within their respective buildings. The high school, Haas said, is failing to meet the Pennsylvania Academic Growth in Literature, Algebra 1 and Biology, according to a three-year PVAAS (Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System) data analysis.
Haas said the high school’s SSP (School Performance Profile), which is basically the school’s report card, has increased 13.3 points – from 66 in 2014-15 to 79.3 in 2015-16. Information for the Middle School, Intermediate Center and Primary Center can be found on the district’s website.
In other business on Tuesday, the board adopted a resolution for Financial Solutions LLC to seek nearly a $100,000 refund in regard to its 2012 General Obligation Bonds. The 2012 bond is scheduled to amortize, or reduce/extinguish, on July 15 of each year from 2017 through 2028.
If the board waits for the bond to amortize in the summer, it would lose out on the savings because interest rates are steadily rising. According to Financial Solutions LLC, the approval will refund the 2012 bonds and pay the costs of issuing the 2016 bonds.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick