Baldwin-Whitehall Schools' 2013-14 Calendar Debated
And other notes from Wednesday night's B-W School Board meeting.
2013-14 Calendar Debated
District Superintendent Dr. Randal A. Lutz said that the calendar—not yet approved by the board—shows a starting date for students of Tuesday, Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day. And the graduation ceremony for Baldwin High School seniors is proposed for Tuesday, June 10.
The calendar also proposes six scheduled two-hour delays—regardless of weather. Lutz said that those two-hour periods would be used for educators' clerical work and professional development.
Board member Larry Pantuso is not a fan of the two-hour delay days, saying that they are not good "learning days" and that they are inconvenient for parents' schedules.
"(Most students) would tell you that the day's a waste," Pantuso said, "because they get there, they put their stuff in their locker, and they go to lunch."
Board member Martin Michael Schmotzer called scheduled two-hour delays a "terrible idea," and fellow board member Diana Kazour suggested that learning suffers enough when unexpected delays are necessitated by poor weather.
Board President Nancy Sciulli DiNardo said that she can see the value in having at least some two-hour delay days scheduled so that teachers can get out-of-classroom work done.
DiNardo also said that she would like to see the district consider canceling classes in 2013-14 for the first day of deer hunting season since many district employees take a personal day then.
Board member Kevin J. Fischer suggested that the school year start in August. Schmotzer prefers having school start after Labor Day, however.
Whitehall Resident Concerned Over Bus Cleanliness
Whitehall Borough resident Terry Choate used public-comments time during Wednesday's meeting to express his dissatisfaction with the cleanliness of district buses.
Choate said that he is a 35-year administrator of transportation, and B-W Board records show a "Terry Choate" approved as an extra bus driver in the district on Nov. 14.
"I have never seen so many rules and regulations not followed at that (Baldwin-Whitehall) bus garage," Choate said. "You can't sweep bacteria out of a bus with a broom."
Following Choate's speech, board member Nancy Lee Crowder said that she expects Lutz to address Choate's concerns over cleanliness. Crowder said that she has heard from many district drivers that they do not have adequate supplies to clean their buses.
Pantuso Wants Update on Project
Pantuso asked Assistant Superintendent Denise Sedlacek for an update on a project that he requested be done that would show how students are doing every nine weeks in areas of study that are directly tested for proficiency by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
The idea behind the project, Pantuso said, is to see if students are underperforming over the course of the school year and then intervene before they do poorly on standardized tests.
"It seems to me that, if we're nine weeks into something and we see a problem, then we have 27 more weeks to intervene," Pantuso said.
Sedlacek said that she will have figures to report back to Pantuso soon.
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Baldwin H.S. Gets Interim Principal
No Duquesne City Students in Baldwin-Whitehall ... at Least for Now
Read through other Baldwin-Whitehall School Board items here.
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