New Castle News


October 11, 2012

New Castle to meet, detail AYP goals

NEW CASTLE — The New Castle Area school superintendent is calling a meeting of school board members and educators to detail AYP goals.

Teachers and other curriculum professionals also will be included in the session, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Adequate Yearly Progress is a target that the district missed this year through testing its students in reading and math. The state raised the proficiency bar in 2012 from 67 to 78 percent in math and 72 to 81 percent in reading, meaning that percentage of students tested must reach proficient or advanced levels.

Superintendent George Gabriel claims those increases caused many schools statewide to miss the AYP target this year.

Last year, 18 districts statewide were in the warning category. This year there are 166, he said.

“But that’s no excuse,” he told the board at its public work session Tuesday.

Stan Magusiak, assistant to the superintendent, said the state’s bar will be raised again for 2013, requiring an even higher percentage of students to be proficient or advanced in both subjects, and by 2014, all districts must meet those marks with 100 percent of their students.

 That is, unless the No Child Left Behind Act changes before then, Gabriel said.

In presenting the AYP numbers for individual schools in the district, Gabriel told the board, “The bright news here is that we still have solid scores in our primary centers (in math). What’s disheartening is that only 52 percent were proficient or advanced in the junior/senior high school.

“I’d like to say this is a fluke this year, but I don’t know. I want to bring people in to give you a glimpse of what our teachers do on a daily basis. We’re not making excuses for this. We’re going to drive it into our kids that they have to score better than this.” “I’m so against this business,” said board Mary Ann Tofel, who is a teacher herself, referring to the PSSA system of judging school districts.

Magusiak pointed out that it is an unfunded mandate.

Rather, there have been funding cuts that have affected education, Gabriel said.

He explained that the district has had to increase class sizes and the district has had to reduce its support staff.

“All the tutors are gone,” he said, “and that’s strong in terms of supporting a child. The tutors ran with it when we told them what needs work. We’re working with a skeleton crew right now.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Yauger.jpg Yauger’s Mercer County trial on hold

    A pending criminal trial for the former Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV executive director has been continued again in Mercer County.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yauger.jpg Yauger now facing federal charge

    With Mercer County court proceedings pending this week, Cecelia Yauger faces federal prosecution for alleged business credit card misuse.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty

    The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week. The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todora.jpg Board, staff bids farewell to superintendent

    Dr. Mary Todora will retire Monday from the Neshannock school district. “I remember eight and a half years ago when Dr. John Dietz (then-board president) called to tell me I got the job. I was thrilled,” Todora said at her final board meeting.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rich.jpg Vo-tech administrators get bonuses, no raises

    Lawrence County Career and Technical Center administrators will get one-time bonuses instead of raises next year. The joint operating committee approved one-year agreements that would freeze the salaries of director Leonard A. Rich and the principal, head custodian, cafeteria supervisor and computer technician.

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • FrankAloi.jpg Frank Aloi: 50 years of school spirit in Ellwood City

    Frank Aloi is a true Wolverine. Aloi, who turned 73 Friday, spent the past half-century affiliated with the Ellwood City school district and its sports teams.

    June 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • FrankAloi.JPG Frank Aloi Retiring: Ellwood superintendent leaving amid budget woes

    Frank Aloi is retiring next month as Ellwood City’s superintendent of schools. Aloi, a 50-year district employee and its superintendent for nearly 12, submitted his retirement notice to the board during an executive session prior to Thursday’s meeting. His last day is July 16.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District mulls building sale options

    The New Castle school district is considering selling its three recently closed buildings through a sealed bid process.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perfect.jpg Your Education: Shenango grad never missed a day

    They say nobody’s perfect. But for 13 years, Jenna DiGiammarino certainly was. When Jenna left last night’s commencement ceremonies at Shenango High School, she did so not only with a diploma in hand, but also with a flawless record of attendance dating back to Day One of kindergarten.

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • 03.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Three New Castle schools close today for good

    Today is bittersweet for New Castle Area School District elementary students and teachers. Three buildings packed with history as longtime learning institutions are closing their doors for good.

    June 5, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

Do you talk to yourself when you're alone?

Yes, but I’m basically just thinking out loud.
No, that would be weird.
I don’t know. Next time I’m alone, I’ll ask.
     View Results