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LASD begins after school “Kitchen Table” program; honors students

At the LASD Board work session meeting on February 7, 2022, teacher Cortney Golden presented a plan for an after-school program at the Maple Avenue Middle School. The program is called “The Kitchen Table” and will help build community with the students.

Golden said there would be between 6 and 8 teachers available 3 days per week to help students work together with other students on homework and to ask questions. “It’s a safety net for students who may be struggling,” said Golden. The goal is to provide the type of “kitchen table” experience that many of the students’ parents and grandparents remember from their days in school. There will be snacks and some fun activities thrown in as well.

The LASD Board unanimously approved the program which will be funded by Federal Covid-related ESSERS grant funds. More details on the program will be forthcoming on the LASD app and website.

Superintendent Christopher Bigger reported on plans for the high school renovation, saying the guiding coalition of 25 people that helps with supporting the building project would be meeting again after school hours.

“We spend hours analyzing where should 6th grade be in the design, should we be by department, by grade levels when you organize, and answering a lot of questions,” commented Bigger. “Also, all this week the architects are meeting with all of our teachers in the secondary schools to ask what they need in a building project based around their classrooms.” Feasibility studies and other information can be found on the LASD website.

The board recognized the retirement of well-loved Roger Gouker. Mr. Gouker spent 30 years as a police officer before retiring to become a LASD crossing guard. He has been keeping LASD students safe on their way to and from school for the last 30 years.

The January Students of the Month were presented to the Board by their teachers. Representing Alloway Creek Elementary School are 1st grader Sadie Seymore and from 4th grade, Aiden Gochenour. The middle school Student of the Month is Arya Harris, 7th grade.

High school Students of the Month are seniors Bradin Peart and Victoria Phillips. Peart is a member of National Honor Society and Varsity Club. He plans to study business after high school graduation. Phillips plays field hockey and is also a member of National Honor Society. She will study illustration with a minor in creative writing after graduation.

Discussion was held about the need for additional substitute teachers in the LASD buildings and whether these substitutes would need to be factored into the budget for future years when ESSERS funds were no longer available. Additional substitutes have been essential during the COVID pandemic.

“All building substitutes, including these additional building substitutes are all year-to-year contracts,” said board member Carl Thompson. “So, it’s not something we have to build in as they are not guaranteed a position at the end of each year.” The Board approved the additional substitutes for all three LASD buildings.

The board approved three policies from the Curriculum, Co-Curriculum and Policy Committee. Policies 109 Resource Materials, 113.4 Confidentiality of Special Education Student Information, and 203 Immunizations and Communicable Diseases were all approved unanimously. These draft policies can be accessed through the LASD website at https://lasd.k-12.pa.us.

Also approved unanimously was the 2022-2023 Littlestown High School Course Selection Guide and an added course to the LHS math curriculum, Introduction to Statistics.

The next meeting of the LASD board will be on March 21, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room.

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Christina Grim grew up in Shippensburg, PA, Franklin County, and graduated from Shippensburg Area High School. She is an experienced interviewer, researcher, and news reporter, having worked for the Shippensburg News-Chronicle as a staff reporter during college. Driven by the desire to know the facts and answers to today’s issues, she takes seriously the importance of providing the best reporting possible. Ms. Grim earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Messiah College and has worked in her field, either in print or radio/streamed media for the last 25 years. As a single mother, she has learned that the best things in life come from hard work and multi-tasking. She is the mother of two adult children and two cats

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