Salisbury Press

Saturday, March 23, 2019


Thursday, November 8, 2018 by Debbie Galbraith in Local News

High school proposes to update tobacco use policy

The Salisbury Township School District Board of Directors met for a special meeting and a curriculum and technology meeting Oct. 29 at Lehigh Carbon Technical Institute, 4500 Education Park Drive, Schnecksville.

In the special meeting, the board accepted the retirement of full-time music teacher Elizabeth Gaston effective on the last day of the 2018-2019 school year and the resignation of Marci Stappung as a part-time instructional assistant at Western Salisbury Elementary School effective Nov. 16. The board also accepted the resignation of Joseph Pacitti as a full-time English teacher at Salisbury High School effective with an end date to be determined.

In the curriculum and technology committee meeting, Salisbury High School Assistant Principal Brian Muschlitz proposed a change to the tobacco use policy in the handbook. On page 31 of the handbook, any student found in possession of “tobacco, smoking paraphernalia or other smoking and/or vaping products in or on school property” will be given two Saturday detentions and police notification.

Muschlitz proposed the following change to the consequences for any student found in possession of “tobacco, smoking paraphernalia or other smoking and/or vaping products in or on school property” to a one or two day school suspension or on a first offense, a choice to attend a smoking/vaping cessation training session for eight weeks.

Muschlitz said the thought process is to encourage the students to lead a healthier lifestyle. If the student attends the eight week program, they would not be suspended.

Both SHS Principal Heather Morningstar and Muschlitz said tobacco and vaping are addicting and currently there are no studies completed on the long-term effects of vaping.

Board Vice President Sam DeFrank asked how many tobacco incidents have been addressed this year. Morningstar said this year there have been none and within the last 10 years, there have been fewer than five incidents.

The bigger issue, Morningstar said, is vaping. “We are already well in excess of those numbers this year. A lot of the liquid people are vaping contains cannabis. If you can prove it, it is handled with the police as drug possession.

DeFrank asked for a report at each grade level periodically to see the extent of usage.

The board agreed to place the item on the agenda for the next regular meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Lynn Fuini-Hetten provided an assessment update for the curriculum committee, giving a presentation on the Future Ready PA Index, which is a new one-stop location for comprehensive information and data on school and student success which will be introduced in mid-November.

The Future Ready PA Index was introduced by the Pennsylvania Department of Education under the direction of Gov. Tom Wolf.

The Future Ready PA Index is designed to communicate school progress in clear, concise terms, show areas of success and those areas in need of improvement, show overall school performance, establish context for measures through comparison to statewide averages, provide transparency around student group performance, identify values at the community level, not the state policy level and show progress toward state goals over time.

In addition to PSSA and Keystone proficiency measures, college and career measures are monitored, including graduation rates, career standards bench mark, industry-based learning, percent advanced on industry competency, rigorous courses of study and postsecondary transition to school, military or work.

All statistics will be displayed on a dashboard which is said to be easy to read and understand.

Fuini-Hetten also provided demographic information on students in the district.

In October of the 2018-2018 school year, there were 1,608 students; as of Oct. 1 of this year, there are 1,616 students.

It was announced Harry S Truman Elementary School has been honored as a top performing Title I school in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Federal Programs.