SALISBURY TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
The Salisbury Township School District curriculum and technology committee met Jan. 29 at Harry S Truman Elementary School.
Board members were given thank you gifts from students at the elementary, middle and high school schools.
Teacher Jessica Shirk and four of her students - Reina Escobar, Jaiden Reyes-Turner, Ryland Lopez and Cassie Daw gave a presentation on their journey to creating a flexible seating classroom.
The video shows a flexible seating classroom elevates student engagement with flexible book shelves, different types of chairs, pillows - all providing a learning environment kids need. “Sit where you work best,” is the theme which promotes creativity and collaboration.
When Shirk showed her students the video, they embraced the idea.
The students created a pro/con list, put sticky notes on areas where they would like to sit in the classroom and prepared a drawing of the classroom with the proposed changes.
The challenge of creating this space with no money was met with donated chairs, other furniture and buckets from Lowe’s.
There was no cost to the district to create the space and students said they love doing projects in the classroom, they like picking their own learning space, it has helped students focus and one student said, “It feels like my second home.”
Salisbury Middle School Principal Ken Parliman presented a proposal for electives for eighth grade students which, if approved, would be implemented for the next school year. Proposed electives include a lifetime fitness course, culinary arts, STEM classes and a performance-based music class.
Students would choose a physical education class and three other offerings for the year. Parliman said it would help the eighth grade students with the transition to high school where they have the opportunity to choose electives.
Part of the proposal is the highly debated fitness room, a health room which would be converted to accommodate 10 students at a time. The room would be equipped with fitness equipment and would be used for an elective class and middle school students athletes.
Brought up at previous meetings, the board members liked the idea but many hesitated because of the cost. Even though the money would be taken out of the capital expenditures budget, the board is concerned there are many other more important items which need to be addressed.
Knowing this, Parliman has reached out to St. Luke’s University Health Network and Highmark Blue Cross for a grant. He has sent emails to equipment manufacturers for sponsorships.
In Phase I, a rubberized flooring is proposed, as well as an exhaust fan and electrical work which would be done in-house.
Equipment on the wish list includes two treadmills, two ellipticals, one stationary bike and a universal gym.
Approximately $2,000 would come from the facilities budget and approximately $13,000 would come from the capital budget.
“I’m struggling with the cost,” Director George Gatanis said. “I’m having a hard time approving something we don’t absolutely need.”
Director Joseph Gnall agreed with Gantanis in spending the money.
Directors Mary Ziegler, Audrey Frick and Susan Lea all saw the benefits of the room but were concerned about the money.
Director Frank Frankenfield said the room would need to be locked and when open, would need to be supervised. He asked to move a vote to the operations meeting to get a better look at the budget. “I need to look at the numbers more closely.”
Parliman said he would need to know as soon as possible so the work could be completed in the summer.
Salisbury High School Assistant Principal Brian Muschlitz presented some changes to the program of studies for 2018-2019.
In arts and humanities, the prerequisite was deleted for photography I for digital imaging. Music production will be an elective offered in alternate years starting in 2018-2019. The new board-approved electives were added: concert band and beginning guitar.
DIY and 3D printing were deleted as they are an alternating year elective. Sculpture and ceramics II and drawing and painting II were added (alternating year electives).
A new gifted seminar course description was added for ninth grade.
Game programing and Advanced Placement computer science principles were added and computer science A, advanced computer skills, database, multimedia design and web page design were deleted (alternating year electives).
A required summer reading assignment was added to English 11 and a fiction and film elective was added. Classical mythology and creative writing were deleted (alternating year electives). The course description for media messages was changed to reflect the scope and curriculum for the course.
The course descriptions for world cultures II and AP world history were revised. Street law, sociology, government and tolerance and diversity courses were added and ancient and classical empires, economics, psychology and rebels, robbers and rogues were deleted (alternating year electives).
AP U.S. history dual enrollment course was deleted because no teacher is qualified to offer the course as dual enrollment. The course will still be offered as an AP course for credit.
The next curriculum meeting will be 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at SHS.