SALISBURY TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
The issue regarding the district calendar debated at the Salisbury Township School District curriculum meeting March 25 is whether the students should come back to school Jan. 2, 2020 which is a Thursday or have the students report back to school Monday, Jan. 6, 2020.
Board members continued the discussion with Director George Gatanis asking the educators their opinions.
Salisbury High School Principal Heather Morningstar said to bring the students back on a Thursday after the holiday break is an attendance issue as many families travel over the holidays. Western Salisbury Elementary School Principal Dr. Grace Hartman agreed with the attendance issue. Harry S Truman Elementary School Principal Zachary Brem said having off the Thursday and Friday would just mean those days would be added to the calendar at the end of the school year.
Other board members said having the students report on Thursday helps them get back into the routine of going to school after the holidays so their focus can be on learning Monday.
Superintendent Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss said surveys regarding snow days added into the calendar or not have always been answered on an almost 50/50 split.
And split it was when board members were polled at the curriculum meeting on what their opinions were on this calendar issue.
Two 2019-2020 calendars will be presented to board members at the meeting April 10 for a vote.
Since the meeting was held at WSE, Hartman introduced Guidance Counselor Shannon Stokes, Comprehensive Support Teacher Tracy Merrill and Reading Specialist Michaele Hippauf who introduced the schoolwide behavior intervention system. The presenters said this program is designed to improve school culture and supports bullying prevention, builds skills for life, reduces special education referrals, supports academic achievement, reduces discipline referrals and is designed with a preventive focus.
Signs are posted throughout the school with “Be responsible – Be respectful – Be safe.”
Staff has been trained and students can earn “Western Wonder Bucks” for displaying any of the three traits listed above.
In other business, Director of Teaching and Learning Kelly Pauling, Salisbury Middle School Principal Ken Parliman, Brem and Hartman gave presentations on strategies they are utilizing to improve student achievement. SHS will present at the next curriculum meeting.
Directors Joseph Gnall and Courtney Gibbs asked for a separate meeting to discuss the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment and Keystone tests, the value and importance of these tests and the impact on the students involved. Associate Superintendent Lynn Fuini-Hetten said a separate meeting could be arranged.
The Act 158 graduation requirements impacting the Class of 2022 were discussed.
Fuini-Hetten said there are now five pathways to graduation which include Keystone proficiency, Keystone composite, alternative assessment, evidence based or career and technical education. There will be more discussion on the pathways at a future curriculum meeting.
Moravian College has approached the district to offer dual enrollment courses at SHS. Salisbury would be the first district to enter into a dual enrollment agreement with Moravian College. The courses for dual enrollment would be German V, Spanish V, Introduction to Statistics, Calculus and Psychology. There is no cost to the district and students would pay for the college course at a greatly reduced rate. The directors were in favor of this agreement.
The next curriculum meeting will be held 7 p.m. April 29 at Salisbury Middle School.