Reilly staff changes seen for reading program

SALEM- Staffing will change at Reilly Elementary in anticipation of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, according to Principal Cindy Viscounte.

Viscounte told the city school board Monday night that the Ohio Department of Education’s proposed Third Grade Reading Guarantee, which will require students to achieve at a specific level on assessments in order to advance to the fourth grade, will require the school to change how the third grade is staffed. The program requires all students not performing at the required level to be taught by a teacher holding certain state credentials. Currently three of seven third-grade teachers, as well as both Title I teachers, hold the credentials at Reilly, she said.

As a result, instruction will be split into morning and afternoon sessions. Math will be taught in the homeroom, with students on multiple learning levels, while language arts will be taught in the other session, broken into smaller classes that will be taught by credentialed teachers, Viscounte said. The students will be assessed at various times in each grade level to determine if they are “on track” or “off track” for the reading guarantee program.

“We’re trying to look ahead and meet the students’ needs the best way possible,” she explained.

Viscounte said all kindergarten through second grade teachers will have to be credentialed by 2014-15.

Viscounte also expressed concern that the program will not make IEP students automatically exempt from the program, meaning teachers could see students with two separate reading plans as well as a high number of special education students being retained, creating classrooms with multiple learning levels.

In similar news, Cathy Sanor, curriculum director and director for federal programs, reported on changes in how students are assessed.

She said the ODE is moving toward a web-based assessment that encourages analytical and critical thinking and problem solving. She said the assessments will use multiple representations (table, formula, text, graph) of the same concept and require the students to combine the information to get an answer. She also told the board that the assessments will be given in two sessions, instead of just the spring, with considerably longer hours.

Currently the assessments are not available on tablets, but it is moving in that direction, she said.

Also at the meeting schools Superintendent Tom Bratten reported that the district will be on a two-hour delay Thursday, May 16, and Monday, May 20, for staff at each building to receive ALICE crisis training program.

Bratten recognized 30-year staff member Carol Baillie, high school physical education, and 25-year members Susan Wolfgang, junior high; Nancy Crum, library; Susan Kalan, Reilly Elementary; Lisa Frederick, high school; Gina Powell, Reilly Elementary, Mary Beth Shivers, Southeast Elementary; and Lisa Lorubbio, central office.

The board accepted the retirements of Director of Special Education Sally Mainwaring, who has been with the district 12 years, effective May 31; Charleen Petrucci, Title I reading and math at Southeast Elementary, with the district 28 years; Ruth Baker, junior high science, with the district 28 years; and Carolyn Kaufman, Reilly Elementary, with the district for 34 years.

The board approved for the remainder of the 2012-13 school year Terry Allbaugh, Mayss Bittar, Rosalie Davis and Amy Johnson as certificated substitute teachers; and John Ritchey as a classified substitute. The board also approved Dan Rudibaugh as a volunteer JV softball coach for the 2012-13 school year and hired Roxanne King as part-time office assistant at Hannah E. Mullins School of Practical Nursing, retroactive to Feb. 26.

The board accepted the resignation effective the end of the school year of Matt Peters, machine trades teacher at the high school.

The board approved resurfacing of the Reilly track by Heiberger Paving Inc. for $49,200 out of permanent improvement funds.

Kindergarten registration is scheduled at Buckeye Elementary for 9 a.m. to noon April 13, 4 to 6 p.m. April 16 and 4 to 6 p.m. April 18.

Kevin Howell can be reached at