St. Marys Area School District principals presented updates about their schools during a recent school board workshop.
South St. Marys Street Elementary Principal Bob Grumley presented information about the school's Accelerated Reader program, with 488 out of 618 students reaching their goals. Each student is given an individual assessment at the beginning of the school year in determining what their Accelerated Reader goal is. Of those students, 85 percent are comprehending what they are reading, with the goal of 90 percent comprehension for next year.
Grumley said his staff is sharing new ideas in regard to the Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTII), which is a data- driven process to improve reading and math instruction. It is an assessment and instruction framework for conceptualizing, organizing, and implementing Pennsylvaniaâ€™s Standards Aligned System (SAS). The overarching goal of RTII is to improve student achievement using research-based curriculum, instructional practices, and tiered interventions matched to the assessed needs of students.
As a member of the district's LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) team, Grumley said the team will be returning to Harrisburg for additional training and is pleased with what's going on with the team.
"We're doing really well, academically, as well as with the total child," Grumley said.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is a federal law in which children with disabilities are required to be educated with non-disabled children. School personnel conducted IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) for disabled students in order to determine what type of supports, such as supplementary aides or services, are needed to allow the student access to his or her LRE. LRE is an individual decision based on the individual needs and strengths of the student. LRE for one student does not have to look the same for another student.
Grumley also highlighted some of the recent programs which have been held at the school recently, among them a presentation about energy and electricity by the Bureau of Lectures in January. A mini Relay for Life also took place at the school.
SSMSE Character Counts luncheons will continue take place each month, recognizing students for good behavior practices. Kindergarten registration was also recently held, with 78 new students being enrolled. Although the average number of new kindergartners being enrolled is 100, Grumley noted that the school is on target for its February numbers.
The school's third grade musical, entitled "Mighty Minds," is being presented on Friday, Feb. 25 at 1:30 p.m.