Adequate Yearly Progress Across the Board
All five schools in the are expected to meet adequate yearly progress, or AYP, levels, for the 2010-11 school year, B-W Superintendent Dr. Lawrence C. Korchnak said at a school board meeting on Wednesday night.
Korchnak said that the official AYP announcement should be made sometime in late August or early-to-mid September.
"It's very exciting," Korchnak said in an interview after the meeting. "It's a testament to the work. We have some special challenges in this district that other school districts don't, with the diversity of population, the number of free and reduced lunch (programs), our ESL (English as a Second Language) population.
"We've worked very, very hard. The teachers and the principals have worked very, very hard, and it's exciting to finally get there."
B-W's Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Dr. Randal A. Lutz called specific attention to the performance of , which made dramatic improvements over previous AYP rankings in a number of areas.
For example, Lutz said that Whitehall Elementary's individualized educational program, or IEP, reading level saw a 29.8-percent gain in achievement.
Board member Kevin J. Fischer, among others, congratulated the district's employees and students.
"I think that is cause for celebration in this district," Fischer said. "It's been a long time since I can recall seeing five Keystones here (all five schools meeting AYP)."
Fischer stressed, however, that the district should not be content with simply meeting AYP and should aim to perform better and better each and every year.
"It should always be all five (schools)," he said. "That should be the minmum goal that we set for us every year.
"It's AYP, with 'A' being 'Adequate.' Not commendable, or not a highest ranking, but it's 'Adequate.'"
(CLARIFICATION: B-W's students are not tested for AYP.)
High School Basketball Coaches Search
Korchnak told the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch in another interview after Wednesday's meeting that the B-W School Board is not yet ready to vote on the hiring of any new basketball coaches for . (The district that it would open all of its high school basketball coaching postions for the 2011-12 school year.)
Korchnak said that the district recently came close to hiring a new head boys varsity coach but that the lead candidate took himself out of consideration in order to accept an NCAA Division I head coaching job.
Korchnak had no update on the girls side yet, as he is only recently returning from vacation time.
BHS Stadium to Be Re-Painted Before First Home Football Game
Although Wednesday's gathering was an agenda meeting, the board still took action on a few items, including the awarding of a contract to Nasoco, LLC, in the amount of $78,800 to paint Baldwin High Stadium.
Nasoco is expected to complete the painting job in time for the high school's first home varsity football game: Friday, Sept. 2, against Fox Chapel Area High School.
No Opportunity to Review Action Items
Before the board voted on any items on Wednesday, district resident Eric Crane, of 301 Southvue Drive in , used public-comments time to complain that the public did not have access to any of the meeting's agenda items ahead of time in order to prepare comments.
Board President George L. Pry agreed, saying that this issue has been discussed before and that the district website should display descriptions of action items by at least the morning of board meetings.
Pry asked district administration to rectify the problem.
Schmotzers Disagree Over Skirts' Lengths
Although board member John B. Schmotzer was absent on Wednesday night (as was Kevin A. Stiffey), a comment made by fellow board member Martin Michael Schmotzer was still challenged by a family member.
Martin Schmotzer and Victoria Schmotzer, Martin's daughter and the district's new sophomore class representative to the board, disagreed—albeit playfully—over the enforcement of district regulations concerning short skirts and shorts as displayed by district students, especially girls.
Martin Schmotzer said that he noticed a number of female students during the 2010-11 school year displaying skirts and shorts that are in violation of the district's dress code, i.e. too high above the knee. Martin Schmotzer wanted the district's administrators to enforce the dress code better.
Victoria disagreed, saying that shorter sizes are in style, within reason.
Board member Laurencine Romack said that the district is facing more important issues than skirts' and shorts' lengths and that it is often difficult as a parent to find longer clothing options for girls.
"I'd rather their (school administrators') focus be on how students are performing and their (students') safety than if a student's shorts are above her knee," Romack said.
"I'm just saying, 'Let's be realistic and not make that our complete focus.'"
Young Scholars Update
B-W's Assistant for Finance & Operations Tammy Caponi said that 38 students from the B-W School District are now expected to attend the in this fall, up from .
A representative from Young Scholars told the B-W Patch earlier on Wednesday, however, that the count was at only 35 students.
UPDATE: Young Scholars is claiming to have 10 kindergarteners, six first-graders, three second-graders, six third-graders, seven fourth-graders and three fifth-graders from B-W.
Syllabus on Web
B-W's Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Dr. John D. Wilkinson announced that the syllabus for each district course in grades 6-12 has been published on the district website.
B-W's Director of Technology Tim Winner announced that Baldwin High will be the host of a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh videoconferencing event for students during the upcoming school year. Winner expects the event to happen around Dec. 8.
The Pride Is Alive
Fischer instructed B-W's assistant to the superintendent for finance and operations, William D. McKain, to retrieve the purple spirit banners that are currently being stored in the on Macek Drive in Baldwin Borough and hang them on utility poles around district schools.