Why are PSSA scores so low for students at the Panther Valley Elementary school?

School Board Director Jeff Markovich thinks he may have found part of the answer. Referring to recent parent conferences that were held at the elementary school, Markovich noted that there were 194 conferences that ended with a no-show from either parent or guardian of the student. In total, 557 student conferences were conducted and 44 conferences were conducted via phone.

"That's almost 33 percent no-show," said Markovich. "Any study shows that parent participation leads to better students."

"Why can't we get 400 people to take some participation in their elementary school kids," he asked. "That is pathetic. What is their excuse?" Director David Hiles also noted that if parents could not make the conference, it could be rescheduled or conducted over the phone. "I'd like one of those 33 percent to come forward and say why they couldn't make it," added Markovich.

Superintendent Rosemary Porembo also informed the board that the district has been the recipient of a $15,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. "We will be able to send a team of teachers to train on the new Pennsylvania standards aligned system," she said. The grant also includes the use of a website that will allow teachers to do research, set up assessments, and other work online."

The board also commended the recent performance by the football team. "I really have to hand it to the football team. We only have four small towns, and we made it to the 2nd round of playoffs," said Markovich. "I thank the players, the coaches, and the parents for supporting them, for an excellent season." Members of the board also congratulated the other fall sports teams for their performances and noted that the winter sports season is underway.