ANDOVER TOWNSHIP — The Pymatuning Valley Local School board received a report on the district’s new literacy emphasis and a look at the financial future of the school district.
Principals of the primary, middle and high school’s provided written and verbal reports on the work of literacy coach Kristina Mucci that seeks to coordinate efforts to increase literacy throughout the district.
The school received a $500,000 grant that is being used to increase teacher focus on reading through Mucci’s work at all three buildings but focused on the middle school where the grant is focused.
“I’ve had a lot of teachers ask me to come in [to their classes],” Mucci said.
She said the school district is encouraging the teachers to use vocabulary in all subjects to help increase literacy.
Mucci said a student may have trouble with math because they don’t read well or understand the terms to comprehend the material.
Pymatuning Valley Local Schools Treasurer Thomas Brockway said the district is in good financial shape thanks to the work of the school board in defining a path through difficult economic times.
“This five-year forecast shows our school district being on very solid ground financially in the short term. But please make no mistake that this is solely because of how our school district continues to use our Federal COVIS Stimulus Relief funding,” Brockway said.
He said the district will start coming back down to reality in 2024.
“We’ll have to continue to be cognizant of living within our means as this period of federal stimulus will eventually come to an end,” Brockway said.
He praised the school board for taking a “wait and see” approach after a warning came from state officials that a 10-percent state funding cut was likely on the way.
In other business:
• The board approved a variety of substitute workers, athletic coaches and accepted the retirement letter of Doris Beckwith. She also addressed the board and thanked the district for her many years in the district and described the schools as her “home away from home.”
• Approved an out-of-state trip for the high school band to the Meadville (Pa.) Halloween Parade and for the cheerleaders to an event in Pittsburgh, both in late October
• PVLS Superintendent Chris Edison said the district did a survey regarding the handling of COVID-19 protocols and received 167 responses. He also provided a four-page sheet with questions and answers ranging from residents highly supportive of present policies to those who wanted a completely different focus.
He said most of the responses were in favor of the present school policy of wearing a mask at the discretion of the family. “It is our recommendation that we continue to do what we are doing,” Edison said.
• The Pymatuning Valley students of the month were honored during the meeting with primary school representative Madison Hussing and middle school winner Cody Knapp. High school award winner Baleigh Alderman unable to attend due to a volleyball match.