Towanda Area School District

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Superintendent's Message

 

Dear TASD Staff, Parents, and Community,

 

Welcome back to the 2017-2018 school year. As a district, we have been awarded a Pre-K Counts grant and will be able to offer full day K4 for the 2017-2018 school year. We are excited about the new program and look forward to serving our youngest students in an all-day program!  We will again be having a staggered start for our K4 and K5 students.  Open house this year will be September 20th, (JAM 5:00-6:00 PM, TAES 6:00-7:00 PM) please be sure to mark your calendars.

 

The Towanda Area School District welcomes volunteer participation in our schools, and we provide a myriad of opportunities to actively participate in our educational program. If you would like more information regarding the process to volunteer, please refer to our website for more information. The role that families play in the educational process affects the education, welfare, and values of their children. The Towanda Area School District believes that working together with families is essential for the well-being of children. To learn more about how to get involved in your child’s education contact the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

 

Reminder that the YMCA offers childcare to families before and after school. The program is located at J. Andrew Morrow and serves school aged childcare for elementary students.

 

There have been changes to the district attendance policy 204. These changes were made to remain compliant with PA School Code. There is a growing body of research demonstrating that chronic absence from school, typically defined as missing 10 percent of school days for any reason, is a primary cause of low academic achievement as well as a powerful predictor of which students will eventually drop out of school. Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) believes chronic absenteeism is a national problem that seriously undermines our collective efforts to improve education and life outcomes among youth.

 

To address and support communities in eliminating barriers to students’ daily attendance and meaningful engagement in school they have released the Community Toolkit to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism. Together, we can dramatically improve the academic life and outcome of students who have been disengaged from a daily, supportive school experience, and we need parents, community, and business support.

  • A student acquiring (3) three or more unexcused absences will be classified as truant.
  • In addition, accumulation of (6) six or more unexcused absences will be classified habitually truant.
  • The critical age of student attendance is (15) fifteen-years-old. The district is required to refer habitually truant cases to County Youth Services (CYS) after school and referral to the district magistrate.

 

PA School Code has been amended in March 2017 with changes to the school immunizations. Changes may be found at the Division of Immunizations on the PDE website. School vaccination requirements for attendance in PA schools is for ALL children.  Please make sure you have checked with your healthcare provider and are prepared for the school vaccination requirements. Should you have questions or concerns regarding immunizations please contact Ms. Jacqueline Vanderpool RN (Policy 203). In compliance with School Code, the Board requires participation in health examinations and screenings (Policy 209).

 

The Comprehensive plan is under construction.  In the Fall of 2017, we are in the process of updating and revising the plan to include new goals for the upcoming school years. The plan will be made public October 16th on the district website.

 

We welcome back Mr. Dennis Peachey, High School Principal; Mr. Bryan Bechdel, Assistant Principal; Mrs. Susan Higley, Elementary Principal; Mrs. Karen Beirne-Getz, Primary Principal; Mrs. Dawn Hart, Director of Special Education. New to the administrative staff is the Principal of Academic Affairs, Mr. Joel Spinney. Reminder to parents that we are an Elementary Title 1 Schoolwide program and you can learn more about this on our district website.

 

Our new faculty members for the 2017-2018 school year include:

 

The Towanda Area School District does not support unlawful harassment and strives to provide a safe, positive learning climate for all (Policy 248). The Board believes in equal opportunity, nondiscrimination for all students to achieve their maximum potential through the programs offered at the Towanda Area School District. (Policy 103). Students with disabilities are afforded equal opportunity, nondiscrimination to reach their full potential and would ask that parents who believe they have been subject to discrimination or harassment to promptly report incidents to their building principals (Policy 103.1).

 

The district also believes that parents or guardians should have an opportunity to review instructional materials regarding curriculum, standards, instructional materials, as well as assessment techniques and strives to continue to make this a transparent process (Policy 105.1).

 

We look forward to serving the Towanda Area School District students and parents in the 2017-2018 school year,

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Amy Martell

Superintendent

 

Annual notice of policies: