New Castle News


January 17, 2014

In The Schools: New Castle staffers heading to San Diego

NEW CASTLE — New Castle school district personnel are heading to California to continue improving their approach in teaching students to read.

The school board Monday gave permission to George Washington Intermediate School principal Joseph Anderson, elementary principal Debra DeBlasio and district facilitators Shelly Bucci and Andrea Martin to attend the Success For All reading conference Feb. 5 to 9 in San Diego.

The cost for all four will be $8,226 and will be paid from the district’s Race to the Top grant, district superintendent John Sarandrea told the board. The expenditure covers $1,922 for airline tickets, $2,720 for conference registration, $2,824 for hotel rooms for four nights, $200 for car rental and $560 for food allowance.

Terence P. Meehan, assistant to the superintendent, said the district has implemented the Success For All program for several years in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade.

Pending board approval, the program next school year will be extended to fifth and sixth grades, he said.

Success for All is a whole-school approach for all grades for teaching students to read with newer ways of meeting common core standards and increasing the district’s state assessment performance profile ratings.

The standards require students to learn and use a more complex level of reading, thinking, speaking and writing skills to ensure readiness for college and careers, according to information from the Success For All website.

The program’s effectiveness has been proven in federally funded gold-standard research and in schools across the country for 25 years, according to website information.

Meehan said it has been four years since school district members attended the conference. So the staff members have not gained the common core aspects of the program, he said.

“Constant updating of information involves changes and there is ongoing research,” he said. New developments such as common core standards are incorporated into the training.

“It’s always evolving and updating new technology and methods, and that’s what the conference provides,” he explained.

 The district traditionally has a May inservice day for teachers, when conference attendees share the material with all district teachers, he said.

“Our reading scores on the elementary level certainly are an indication that it’s working,” Meehan said.

However, according to recent academic performance scores for 2012-13 posted on the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile website, the district has room to improve. Only one elementary school — West Side — attained a grade equal to a B in reading.

John F. Kennedy School scored 82.2 percent overall and a 78.8 percent in reading; Thaddeus Stevens, 70 percent overall and 64.70 in reading and West Side, 88 percent overall and 84.85 percent in reading.

All were higher than scores at George Washington Intermediate School — which is for students in grades four, five and six. It had a failing grade of 57 percent overall, and a lower grade of 51.48 percent in reading.

The Race to the Top grant available to the district equals $155,000 spread over three years, Meehan said.

More information about Success for All is available by visiting


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Bobby_Ferrara.jpg Ferrara comes home after life in the ring

    Former New Castle resident Bob Ferrara has spent much of his 77 years inside a boxing ring. A Pittsburgh Golden Gloves champion in 1958, Ferrara — who was known then as Bobby Ferry — continued to find success long after leaving his hometown for the sunny skies of Tucson, Ariz.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • VerySpecial.jpg Jameson Hoyt Atrium display spotlights artwork of special needs kids and adults

    Artwork from dozens of area students will take center stage Thursday in the Hoyt Atrium of Jameson Hospital. The Very Special Arts exhibit will kick off with an opening reception at 5 p.m., and the works will remain on display in the glass-enclosed walkway through Oct. 4.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to authorize Speaker John Boehner to sue President Obama for allegedly overstepping his legal authority with the way he's handled Obamacare. Good call?

Yes. Obama's been overstepping his authority since day one in office. It's time he pay the piper.
No. The allegations are ridiculous and the law suit is a waste of time and tax payer money.
I don't know. I'm not a huge fan of Obama, but the suit seems a little extreme.
     View Results