The Centennial School Board Education Committee gathered Tuesday for a brief meeting, their first of the new school year.
Jane Schrader Lynch and Cyndi Mueller were in attendance on behalf of the committee. Dr. Andrew Pollock, who is also sits on the committee, was not present.
After introductions and the approval of the previous minutes, Assistant Superintendent Joyce Mundy gave a presentation detailing the results of Centennial’s PSSA tests.
Prefacing her discussion by saying there was much to celebrate, Mundy said there was much to celebrate because for the sixth straight year Centennial has made adequate yearly progress (AYP).
All Centennial elementary and middle schools made AYP for the 2011 testing; William Tennent High School achieved AYP in participation, but not in performance for “all student cohorts.”
Mundy noted that factors contributing to Centennial’s success on the exam include consistent data analysis, strategic application of resultant data to inform and alter teaching and learning, new intervention tools, a move to standards-based IEP’s and partnerships with the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Netword (PaTTAN), and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Mundy went on to note that examination of Tennent's results will focus on the sub-population of IEP students who dropped from proficient in 2010 test scores to basic and below basic in the 2011 testing.
The bulk of the gathering, however, was taken up by presentations from all of CSD’s school principals, detailing the first couple weeks of the new school year.
Adaptating and moving forward were key words heard by many of the district’s principals as they discussed the complicated transitions taking place as the schools consolidate.
The news about the transition was overwhelmingly positive from the evening’s speakers, with all the elementary school principals presenting together.
“It’s a new year with new beginnings,” said Willow Dale Principal Michael Donnelly.
Currently at 886 students (consisting of former Leary and the old Willow Dale students) Donnelly said the schools teachers are excited about the year ahead and are working well together.
The school recently unveiled their new mascot, voted on last year by the students, the puma. Their school colors are yellow and blue.
“In the end, [the new Willow Dale’s success] comes down to the support we’ve had from the greater community,” he said.
Committee Member Jane Schrader Lynch said she “[hasn't] heard anything but goodness from people about Willow Dale.”
Across the district, Stackpole, in its final year, opened to just under 500 students. Principal Kelley O’Leary said that despite all that goes into the transition, everyone’s just trying to make it “business as usual.”
“The kids got right to work,” said O’Leary. “We’ll spend a lot of time getting ready for next year and make sure they’re prepared to enter the new Davis.”
As for the middle schools, not much has changed. Free of the consolidation and construction issues facing the other grade levels, it really has been business as usual for Bucky Clark and Dennis Best, principals of Log College and Klinger respectively.
“We enjoy being a little less interesting than the elementary and high schools,” chided Best.
“There’s an electricity going through the staff,” said Clark, working on his fifth decade at Log College. “It’s a very, very tight family and I’m very pleased.”
He also concluded his presentation with a joke.
“The principal is vertical, taking nourishment, and beginning his 40th year at Log College,” he assured the committee.
The meeting concluded with Tennent's Principal Eileen Poroszok showing a brief video, touting the new building and interviewing the students and staff about the major changes.