First Posted: 9/17/2014

The Dallas School Board announced the receipt of federal grant monies received through Pennsylvania’s Title 1 and Title 2 programs. Jack Wega, federal programs coordinator, said the district would receive $254,222 under Title 1 and $90,751 under Title 2 for the 2014-2015 school year. Wega cautioned the amounts would not be finalized until February 2015.

Wega said the Title 1 program is a supplemental education program that provides assistance directed at improving educational opportunities for district children. Title 1 programs are designed to help children meet state content and performance standards in reading, language arts and mathematics. Title 2 program monies are directed at improving the skills of teachers and the quality of instruction in core academic subjects.

Wega said, although the percentage of district students meeting the definition of impoverished, has risen to 23%, the amount received this year has fallen from the amount granted in 2012-2013 because of a reduction in funding at the federal level.

Poverty levels are determined by information provided to the school lunch program.

Superintendent Frank Galicki said the district may also be able to apply for additional funding later in the year for unallocated funds. Wega cautioned that application for such funds must be directed to a specific district project.

Wega, who previously taught in the district, said the programs assist students in the district who start at with a disadvantage.

“No student learns when he is hungry,” he said.

In another matter, the district announced results of standardized testing for 2013-2014.

Jeffrey Shaffer, Dallas High School principal, told members of the board that academic indicators of the district’s high school students are “the highest they have ever been.”

With an average SAT score of 1064, math and reading combined, he anticipated the school’s averages would be the highest in the region.

He said the scores represented a 59 point jump from the previous year.

Shaffer was especially proud of students who had taken the Advanced Placement calculus test, with 60% scoring a “5,” the highest possible score.

The district’s middle school increased its Keystone Exam scores by 43%, which Thomas Duffy, assistant to the superintendent, attributed to the motivation of teachers in assisting students in learning in alignment to Pennsylvania Common Core standards.

Thomas Traver , principal of the both the district’s elementary schools, cited PSSA scores in math and reading averaging either “advanced” or “proficient” for over 90% of students at both schools.

Traver anticipated receipt of the Governor’s Award for distinguished standardized testing results reflected in the schools’ Pennsylvania School Performance Profile.

In another matter, the Committee to Consider Options for Elementary Programming will meet in the near future to explore the option of an all-day kindergarten, with input from district kindergarten teachers.

Galicki said he looks forward to meeting with Dr. Thomas Viviano, Administrative Director at West Side Career & Technology Center, in the near future.

He also announced a meeting of the parents advisory board at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 1.

In another matter, the board acknowledged the retirement of Nancy Merithew, secretary to the superintendent.

“When Nancy walks out that door, she takes a great deal of knowledge and experience with her,” said Galicki. “She will certainly be missed.”

The next regular meeting of the Dallas School Board will take place on October 13th at 7:00 pm.

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