Clairton City School District officials are preparing to reconfigure grade levels for next school year to better align their curriculum for standardized testing.
School directors unanimously approved at Wednesday night’s meeting authorizing the administration to look into starting the process of redesignating sixth grade from the elementary level to the high school level.
“The elementary school’s still aligned to the (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment), but they have star ted to align secondary schools to what they call a Common Core (state standards),” superintendent Wayde Killmeyer said. “It’s a nationwide system of school curriculum alignment. For those purposes, PDE aligns g rade six with the high school. We’ve considered grade six part of our elementary school.
“If we reconfigure, all it’s going to do in name is put the sixth grade under the high school umbrella so that it’s on the same curriculum alignment as the rest of the high school. (There will be) no structural changes. Nobody’s going to move any classrooms. It’s almost strictly a paperwork thing.”
Killmeyer said reconfiguring was not mandated.
“The elementary school’s aligned their curriculum to the PSSAs,” Killmeyer said. “The state is moving away from PSSAs to the Keystone Exams. The Common Core is part of that move ... We could leave it the way it is, but then that would make things more difficult for the elementary principal, for the elementary teachers because we try to keep the same curriculum (kindergarten) through sixth (grade). Now sixth grade is going to have to be in a different alignment. We’re hoping to get that started for next school year.”
The school district reconfigured grade levels about five years ago when there was an elementary school with kindergarten through fifth grades, a separate middle school with sixth, seventh and eighth grades, and a high school with ninth through 12th grades. It reconfigured to its current alignment of kindergarten through sixth grade in elementary, and seventh through 12th at the middle/high school level.
School directors were recognized at Wednesday night’s meeting as part of School Board Recognition Month.
District spokesperson Alexis Trubiani said students and staff throughout the district worked on different projects to show their appreciation for the board.
Senior and student council representative Iyannah Grant presented school directors with gifts on behalf of her group.
Current board members are president Richard Livingston, vice president Paulette Bradford, and school directors Robert Harrigan, Gloria James, Barbara Roberts, Gloria Ruffing, Roger Tachoir, Sue Wessel and Jennifer Williams. Livingston announced pay for substitute teachers was increased from $75 per day to $90 for the first 20 days and $105 per day after that for the remainder of the school year.
He said the pay was increased so the district would have more competitive wages for substitutes.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.