A new method to measure teacher effectiveness will be implemented in the Palmerton Area School District in the fall of 2013-14.
The school board on Tuesday was apprised of the Teacher Effectiveness System Act 82 of 2012 by Sherrie Fenner, director of curriculum and instruction, and Christine Steigerwalt, principal, Towamensing Elementary.
Both Fenner and Steigerwalt attended the Standards Aligned System conference Dec. 2-5, of which they suggested between two to four representatives be required to attend any future SAS conferences.
Fenner said the new Teacher Effectiveness System is comprised as follows: 50 percent, evidence observation; 15 percent, building level data; 15 percent, teacher specific data; and 20 percent, elective data.
Director Susan Debski questioned the effectiveness of the system.
"What sense does this make," Debski said. "How do they think that they're even linking this together."
Director Sherry Haas also voiced concerns.
"I'm just afraid that lack of readiness ... they're expecting much too much in such a short amount of time," Haas said. "How will this affect our district."
Fenner then discussed the Keystone Exams, which she said will be taken in January. The results will be given to districts in March, while the retest will be in May, she said.
In addition, Fenner noted students will need to have "supplemental instruction" before retaking the Keystone Exam.
Also, she said the Pennsylvania Department of Education has not provided guidance on what is considered supplemental instruction.
Lastly, Fenner said all students currently in eighth grade will need to show proficiency on the Algebra I, Biology, and Literature Keystone exams, or through Project Based Assessment.
In other business, the board:
- Approved the 2013-14 proposed secondary budget for Carbon Career & Technical Institute, which calls for receipts and expenditures in the amount of $7,266,566, to be forwarded as presented to the boards of school directors in each of the participating school districts for final adoption by resolution.
- Approved the National Junior Honor Society's field trip to Washington DC on May 17, 2013, with Brad Landis as chaperone, at the cost of a substitute to the district.
- Approved the Trans-Bridge Lines, Inc. Bus Transportation Service Contract for the PHS National Jr. Honor Society's field trip to Washington, D.C., on May 17, 2013.
- Approved Dan Heaney to attend the PETE&C Conference at Hershey, PA, from Feb. 10-13, 2013, at the cost to the district of $543.
- Approved Sherrie Fenner to attend the Annual PAFPC 2013 Conference at Pittsburgh, PA, from April 14-17, 2013, at the cost to the district of $1,416.
- Approved change order number 001, CMG of Easton, Inc., project #1059010.014A. The contract sum will be decreased by this change order in the amount of $3,665, and the new contract sum including this change order will be $99,335.
- Changed the retirement date for Lisa Koller, Learning Support teacher at the junior high school, from the end of the 2012-13 school year to the last day of the first semester of the 2012-13 school year.
- Approved Suzanne Lynn as a Learning Support teacher at the junior high school, effective the first day of the second semester of the 2012-13 school year at Bachelor's Step 2 of the pending teacher's negotiated contract. Lynn has been the long-term substitute for Koller in her absence.
- Approved the transfer of Karen Keck from head chef at the high school, to cafeteria worker at the high school, per her request. Hours worked will be $6.75 per day, with the same base hourly rate, minus the additional compensation as head chef.
- Approved the resignation of Ian Klansek, Physics teacher at the high school, effective Dec. 12, 2012.
- Approved Randi Ortelli as a long-term substitute Physics teacher in the high school, and day-to-day substitute, effective Dec. 12, 2012.
- Approved leave beginning Dec. 19, 2012, for Kimberly Gardner, Grade 6 teacher. Her return to work date is tentatively Jan. 7, 2013.
- Approved leave beginning Jan. 3, 2013, for Danielle Bowman, Learning Support teacher, junior high school. Her return to work date is tentatively March 25, 2013.
- Accepted the second reading, and approved Policy 239, Foreign Exchange Students/Study Abroad.
- Accepted the second reading, and approved Policy 616.1, Electronic Records & Electronic Signatures.
- Accepted the second reading, and approved Policy 247, Hazing.
- Approved the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit Agreement for IDS Services (Interlibrary loan) for the 2012-13 school year at a cost of $250.
- Approved the contract between the district and CCTI regarding student #13028.
- Accepted the gift to the district from the Towamensing Elementary P.T.O. in the amount of $849 to pay the Towamensing yearbook adviser stipend for the 2013-14 school year.
- Accepted the gift of instructional materials in the amount of $500 from Kris Schaible.
- Retroactively approved paid professional leave from Sept. 28, 2012, to Nov. 2, 2012, for employee #8628912.
- Approved the attached tuition reimbursement.