Hollidaysburg schools receive grades

Institution’s ‘report card’ can be seen online

If people are snowed in today, they could go to the state Department of Education’s Future PA Ready Index website to check on the score of a child’s school.

The indexes are the department’s new public report card on each school in the state. They are scheduled to be released today on futurereadypa.org.

At Hollidaysburg Area School Board’s regular meeting on Wednesday, Superintendent Bob Gildea gave a brief presentation about how to use the information.

“This is a change in how districts are evaluated by the state,” Gildea said. “The previous method was 80 percent based on standardized tests. But that’s not what schools should be all about. So Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Education realized that and designed a system that would do a better job looking at the child holistically.”

Gildea said that the index for a school is broken down into three categories. The first category is state testing.

“We will always have state tests,” he said. That category will show number of students who scored proficient on Keystones and PSSAs.

The second category is geared toward tracking attendance, and the final category in the index is college and career readiness.

There is one piece of information that Gildea clarified about the high school’s score in attendance on the index.

“We know the school has great attendance. If student goes on an educational trip, it is an excused absence, but state interpretation is that it is still an absence,” he said.

Five of nine board members attended the meeting, all decisions were unanimous except for one personnel vote.

Melissa Mitchell voted no to approving Michael Moore as junior high head wrestling coach at a salary of $2,706.

“I have some concerns about the program,” she said after the meeting.

The board also learned the district’s cost to abide by Hollidaysburg Boro­ugh’s upgraded sewer main system is far less than what was budgeted.

The total came to $150,000 instead of the originally budgeted $242,000 said Physical Plant Director Philip Smith.

Gildea commended Smith for working to ensure the pipes at the junior high, senior high and elementary schools successfully passed the borough’s pressure tests.

Among the board members absent Wednesday was Jim Gregory, who won election Nov. 6 to represent the 80th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Gregory’s letter of resignation from the board was accepted. Board President Ron Sommer thanked Gregory and declared his seat on the board vacant.

The board will begin the application process for filling the vacancy. The appointed member would finish the rest of Gregory’s term, which expires December 2019. Gregory’s replacement will be installed by the board’s reorganization meeting before the new year.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.

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