Waynesboro Area School Board briefed on changes at middle school

January 10, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Daily life at Waynesboro Area Middle School differs from a year ago because of teacher layoffs and curriculum changes.

The middle school principals presented changes to the school-day schedule and building layout to school board members on Tuesday. They showed new and old student schedules, teacher schedules and building maps to illustrate the differences.

Principal Brian Richter and Assistant Principal Kim Calimer explained to the Waynesboro Area School Board what they did in response to staffing constraints and curriculum adjustments in late 2010-11 and early 2011-12.

Changes at the middle school in 2011 included the loss of five teachers when the reading and English programs combined into language arts, Richter said.

The middle school now has eight periods a day, rather than nine. This gives each period six extra minutes, plus administrators eliminated study halls that were tied to health and physical education class schedules, , Richter said.

When teachers and their “teams” moved into different classrooms, Richter said he wanted to pay attention to the flow of students in hallway. He increased supervision in hallways to try to curb harassment and bullying.

Lunch was consolidated to one period, which also shares time with new enrichment and intervention classes. Students excelling in subject areas can learn practical applications such as basic banking skills, while students who need additional assistance can receive it in special programs.

“Student progress is monitored for these groups,” Calimer said.

The middle school had 74.2 percent of its students rank “proficient” or “advanced” in the latest round of Pennsylvania System of School Assessment testing in math. In reading, 75.4 percent of students reached the same classifications.

However, the school did not meet “adequate yearly progress” as determined by the state because of academic performance by learning support students.

Board President Edward Wilson commended Richter and Calimer for thinking “outside the box” when they faced challenges in 2011.

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