Elk Lake Elementary receives ‘distinguished school’ designation

Elk Lake Elementary has been named as a Title 1 Distinguished School by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the 2018-19 school year, reported Superintendent Kenneth Cuomo at the Thursday, Oct. 18 school board meeting.

The district will be honored and have an opportunity to present at the state’s Title 1 conference slated to be held Jan. 13-16, 2019 in Pittsburgh.

The Division of Federal Programs honors top five percent of Title 1 schools each year based on PSSA performance in both math and English Language Arts and attainment of annual measurable objectives.

Cuomo said students had done “incredibly well” on state assessments. “That’s part of being deemed ‘distinguished.’”

Elementary Principal Mark Weisgold offered the designation is for the entire elementary school, and not just the Title 1 programs, and recognizes students growth and performance.

Cuomo said, “It recognizes our staff works hard and so do our students.”

Director of Special Education Pamela Staats reported Children’s Service Center will take over the school-based behavioral health in the district. The therapists that had been working with Merakey providing services in the district will join Children’s Service Center. Merakey has withdrawn from providing services in the area, effective Nov. 1.

The therapists will receive CSC training on weekends so they will not be pulled out of program for that, Staats said.

Elk Lake High School Theater will present three shows of the musical Once Upon a Mattress, Nov. 1-3, reported High School Principal Brian Mallery.

He also noted several upcoming student trips, including a senior class trip to Ellis Island and the Sept. 11 memorial.

Weisgold noted programs held in the past month, including the start of Real Men Read in kindergarten classes. The program, sponsored by the United Way of Susquehanna County brings male role models from the community to the classrooms to read a book. Students also receive a copy of the book to add to their personal library.

He also noted the upcoming Halloween parade and said first grade students will be traveling to Gracious Living Estates, a personal care home in South Montrose, for a Halloween visit and parade.

The first elementary school news cast was set to air this past Monday, Weisgold said. The weekly program will offer up interviews with faculty and staff, as well as the recess weather report and a “joke of the day.”

Assistant High School Principal John Warnero spoke about the addition of School Resource Officer Donald Macrae in the district.

“We’re seeing the impact on so many levels, it’s great,” Warnero said, adding, “We really got lucky. He’s a great addition to the school.”

Warnero said the SRO position is not just about safety, but also provides another resource for students.

Cuomo told the board a full drill will be conducted within the next couple of weeks to test the district’s ALICE training and response. Parents will be notified of the drill. The superintendent also said state police, emergency services and the Susquehanna County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in the drill.

“The more we do it, the better it is for the whole system,” Cuomo said.

Board member Erich Emmerich discussed the new PIAA transfer guidelines, saying the tightening of the rules may have gone too far.

The new rule would prohibit junior and senior athletes that transferred into a district from participating in post-season play.

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