Last updated: February 19. 2013 2:53PM - 710 Views

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FACTORYVILLE - At the Lackawanna Trail school board meeting Oct. 8, President Ned Clarke introduced Stephanie Russell, who was recently elected director of special education. Everyone has been very kind in welcoming me, and I would particularly like to thank my administrative colleagues for helping me with this transition, she said. They've all been very supportive, and I appreciate that very much.

Russell announced updates on the special education department. First, she said that she held a department meeting with the special education teachers.

Upcoming will be with the paraprofessionals on the next elementary Act 80 Day, she said.

Russell mentioned that she plans to do a development with the special education teachers on the re-evaluation process and the timelines. She is planning this for Oct. 31. She also informed the board that every six years, each district has to be monitored for continuous improvement.

This year is Lackawanna Trail's year for syntopical monitoring, she said.

Russell explained the components, which are a pre-onsite, visit, an onsite visit and an improvement plan. She said that syntopical monitoring will begin in March.

Russell said that she did this type of monitoring last year at Pocono Mountain and Northwest.

If this is any indication of the work to come, keep it coming, Clarke said.

Superintendent of Schools Matthew Rakauskas said that Trail is trying to incorporate the Common Core standards into the curriculum from grades K to 12. He acknowledged curriculum coordinator Janice Joyce for handling the Common Core part in the elementary and secondary report. He also acknowledged intermediate curriculum director Colin Furneax for giving an overview of the new teacher evaluation system.

It's been a wonderful start to the academic year, said Rakauskas.

In other news, Dr. Tania Stoker mentioned in her elementary principal report, that gifted math teacher Patricia Carpenter took six students to the Scranton Cultural Center Oct. 2. The Lackawanna Trail school district has donated $35,000 to the Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society, she said. So, this is a huge endeavor that started a couple years ago that continues to be a great program, she added.

In his secondary report, high school principal John Rushefski mentioned that he received a call from Joe Holden from Keystone College. He said that Holden informed him that Keystone College will hire one of their teachers to help Lackawanna Trail with its Art Club, which Trail was set to begin the next day. Rushefski said the Art Club is held Wednesdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

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