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Comprehensive plan goals recapped for school year

During the Whitehall-Coplay School Board special meeting and monthly committee meetings Aug. 14, Dr. Robert Steckel, Whitehall-Coplay School District superintendent, and Renee Sallit, director of teaching and learning, recapped the comprehensive plan goals for the 2022-23 year and included insights into the unified goals to be implemented throughout all schools in the upcoming year.

This starts with a complete profile of what a WCSD student/graduate looks like. The goals are created to inspire and motivate each student to aspire toward this profile.

One step toward this goal is consistency between schools focusing on communication across campuses. Efforts toward this goal have started with a communications memo that was sent to students and their families directing everyone with the system for communication.

The 2023-24 year will see the complete implementation of the equity, inclusion and belonging plan that was introduced in 2022-23. The comprehensive plan will also address modernizing the district operations such as online time sheets and time clocks, student service plan and the consistent communication and board policies. Technology will play a bigger role with the use of Board Docs for curriculum mapping so it is unified throughout the district.

Also reviewed was the implementation of a daily schedule to streamline arrival and dismissal times at the schools.

Another aspect of the comprehensive plan is professional learning for staff. These areas are first identified by what the teachers thought would be most beneficial for students and could aid them in the classroom. Another area is additional trainings in school safety that will be utilized across all campuses, including a streamlined method of reunification of students with families in case of an evacuation.

The operations/transportation committee discussed renaming the current Gockley Elementary School building to Whitehall-Coplay Learning Center once construction has been completed on the new elementary school, where kindergarten and first-grade students will attend for the 2024-25 academic year. This will be effective July 1, 2024.

The operations committee also reported on the repurposing of items either no longer suitable for WCSD students or too costly to update or repair. Repurposing includes selling outright or auctioning items when they no longer serve the needs of the district. An example discussed was the fate of four buses the district can no longer use being placed for auction. The district replaced the dated buses with newly purchased buses.

The finance committee discussed post-employment benefits for retirees. Retirees contribute toward their post-employment health insurance, but the cost is higher for both the retiree and the district since retirees tend to be older.

The board also discussed the cost of school lunches for adults in the school. A la carte lunch will be $2.55 for adults as per the new lunch provider. Adults can log in to see menu and cost.

Cassandra Herr, WCSD supervisor of math and science, presented to the curriculum committee justification to add a pre-algebra course for grade 9 students. This course would lend a better foundation for assorted mathematical pathways, preparing students for forward thinking and actual application of mathematical training, she said.

The education/student activities committee continued policy work to review and audit policies in an attempt to update jargon. This will go through a review process by the board.

The next regular school board meeting will be 7 p.m. Aug. 28.