RASD terminates contract with CENTAX

The Ridgway Area School District officially terminated its contract with the Central Tax Bureau of Pennsylvania (CENTAX) at its monthly school board meeting Tuesday night at Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School. The contract was originally dated for Feb. 29. The approved motion directs CENTAX to deliver all records, returns, uncashed checks and electronic records to H.A. Berkheimer by Aug. 31. "We're still receiving money from CENTAX," finance manager Brent Rhoads said. Rhoads said employers will be contacted within the next couple of weeks in regards to what they need to do with this changeover. Board member William Seely asked Rhoads about having more meetings to discuss Act 130/24. Rhoads said he in the process of collaborating with those involved to find open dates for more informational meetings. Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School principal Anne Herzing said the fifth grade teachers will be more compartmentalized and specialized, teaching one specific subject to different classes for the upcoming year."In fifth grade, we looked at PSSA scores from the past 10 years," Herzing said. "We have not seen much growth, we have seen slight movement one way or another but not as much as we wanted to see. What have we done and what haven't we done? We looked at the structure of the fifth grade in the elementary school here for the past five years. We also looked at what the middle school is doing in order to get the awesome results in PSSA they've gotten. The answer is we have done everything but departmentalize in fifth grade."Herzing went into detail about how the subject will be divided up among the four fifth-grade teachers at the school."This year, we're going to restructure fifth grade and departmentalize," Herzing said. "There are four teachers in fifth grade. One will teach literacy to all the students, one will teach math to all the students, one will teach science to all the students and the other teacher will teach writing, grammar and social studies. Their preparation and planning should drive that instruction. It was about what we can do to increase the scores but most importantly, are we giving kids the right tools? I think it's necessary from what we're gathering."RASD Superintendent Dr. Michael O'Brien said with a time adjustment in the schedule, the students will not have that traditional recess period. "Part of the responsibility with fifth grade is to get them ready for middle school," Dr. O'Brien said. "They're not losing physical activity time but they're not going to get the traditional recess. They will be taking walks and doing some of those things but we need to focus and use that time in the curricular area." Herzing said fourth grade will not have changes from last year. "Last year, we made quite a few changes in fourth grade," Herzing said. "From the changes that we saw, we're not going to change what we're doing in fourth grade."She said proficiency expectations have been increased from 70 percent to 80 percent for the fourth graders.Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.Ridgway Area School District Board of DirectorsWhen: Tuesday, Sept. 11Where: Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School libraryTime: 6:30 p.m.