Rhonda Rose was put in the Staff Spotlight at Monday night’s Littlestown Area School District (LASD) school board meeting. The Spotlight highlights the work of LASD staff who have made substantial contributions to the district.
Rose has worked for the Lincoln Intermediate Unit since 1983 and has been at LASD since 2010. She currently works at the Maple Avenue Middle School in the Multiple Disabilities Support Classroom.
Rose has helped many severely disabled students in different capacities and venues. “I work with that 1 percent of students that takes the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) test that is given to those with most significant intellectual disabilities,” she said.
Rose said she felt like home at LASD because, like the current situation at LASD, she attended a school where grades K-12 were all in the same building.
Rose enthusiastically shared memories of her work and her personal experiences with students, saying she was working this year with four students, each with different schedules.
“The students and staff have opened their arms and kind of hugged us,” she said.
She said she had been given more from the students than she had ever been able to give them.
Rose said she was expecting to retire at the end of the school year.
Board members praised Rose, thanked her for her service, and gave her a round of applause for her work.
Dr. Fissel and Mrs. Hahn reviewed the substantial learning gains preschool students had made during the Early Childhood Summer Academy that has been held over the past two years. Fissel said 30 students participated in the program at a cost of about $1,000 per student. The program is paid for using federal Covid-19 (ESSERS) money.
Fissel cited substantial gains in among the students in emotional maturity. “It’s huge,” he said.
The four-week program includes teaching basics such as following directions, keeping hands to oneself, and lining up for the bus.
Fissel said he did not know what the future of the program would be. “We need to do something for our students,” he said.
Board members asked whether there was research demonstrating the long-term improvements of the program and Hahn said the school was tracking the performance of the students.
Hahn said the students who had been through the program had not had any difficulties integrating.
The board also spent some time discussing the Adams County Technical Institute and the ways it might grow in the future.
The board will sponsor an informational meeting for people interested in running for school board on Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom.
The next regularly-scheduled board meeting will be Oct. 17.