SALISBURY TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
Members of the curriculum and technology committee of the Salisbury Township School District School Board met April 23 at Salisbury Middle School for a presentation by the Digital Aces club.
Teacher David Beyer introduced Jake Zellin, Samantha Peffer and Trent Renelli who provided demonstrations on the various programs used at the middle school.
Jake demonstrated programming with Sphero, a robotic ball which moves by the programs written by the students. Samantha showed the committee members and staff the “how to” tips available to students, such as how to check storage on the computer and how to move documents from the hard drive to alternate storage. Trent provided a demonstration on Photoshop, a photo editing software for students and staff to use.
SMS Principal Ken Parliman said the students in the Digital Aces club enrich learning through technology and pass the skills on to other students. They also help students who are new to the district who may not have the computer skills needed. The students make videos and provide step-by-step instructions on various programs.
Parliman said Digital Aces is just one of the many clubs available to students at the middle school. Clubs meet every morning 7:45 to 8:25 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
Other clubs available to students at middle school include, archery, makerspace, guitar, songwriting, skiing, yearbook, school blog, interact, student council, SMS Live, PJAS, What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?, chorus and puzzle.
Parliman said the archery club is very popular with about 80 students meeting twice a week.
In other business, teacher and Department Chair for Business and Computers Sherry Wetherhold gave a presentation to the committee on a new textbook for Advanced Placement computer science. Wetherhold is requesting 13 textbooks which will be used for 12 years, accompanied by e-Books.
The book, Computer Concepts 2018, is very visual for the student, Wetherhold said. The cost is $136 for each book and Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Lynn Fuini-Hetten said the cost is in the budget. The class is taught every other year, alternating with the course on computer concepts. This year’s class is on computer programming.
Wetherhold said the book has continual assessments and the credits could be used at any college who would accept them.
Wetherhold teaches LifeSmarts, AP computer science A, Java I, Java II, visual basic I, visual basic II, game programming, advanced computer skills, web page design, global corporate perspectives and marketing.
In the assessment update, Salisbury High School Principal Heather Morningstar and Assistant Principal Brian Muschlitz explained the remediation used for students who have been identified as struggling with the Keystone tests. Remediation includes daily warm-ups in algebra and geometry, the use of graphing and scientific calculator strategies, the use of released item samplers and online resources through Khan Academy for students to use at home to reinforce skills in math.
Remediation in literature includes the use of Study Island which provides quarterly benchmarking, practice sets and released item scoring samples and scheduled time for those students who are struggling.
The Falcon period is used for those students struggling with the biology portion of the Keystone tests. Students are also invited to attend an after school review session with the high school science department. Early dismissal days and Saturday morning review sessions are also offered.
Morningstar said Science Department Chair and teacher Megan Basile also uses pod casts for the students.
“Biology has been the toughest of the Keystones,” Morningstar said. “About 40 to 50 students need help.”
Director Carol Klinger said students only take biology once, in ninth grade and then move on to physical science in 10th grade.
In some cases, students are removed from the biology content of the Keystones for two years, they said.
An update was provided for TL2020 including project-based learning.
The next curriculum and technology committee meeting will be held 7 p.m. May 21 at the administration building.