Lackawanna Trail Board of Education discusses academic progress

By Robert Tomkavage -

FACTORYVILLE — Lackawanna Trail School Board President Philip Stark announced members of the board approved the annual goals for Superintendent Matthew Rakauskas during a regular meeting Nov. 13.

According to Stark, the goals are based on student achievement, organizational leadership in the district, operations and financial management, communication and community relations, human resource management and professionalism.

“They were finalized after several discussions with the Board of Education over the last two months,” Stark said. “Rakauskas’ evaluation for the 2017-18 academic year will be based on how well he carries out these goals.”

Monday’s meeting also served as the final one for board member Ned Clarke, who chose not to run for re-election.

“For the past 13 years, Ned Clarke has come to this board room to serve the community and make Lackawanna Trail a better place,” Stark said. “During his tenure, Ned has several as president, vice president, sat on many committees and has always been a strong and vocal supporter for our students. His contributions to Lackawanna Trail are immeasurable.”

Deborah C. Naylor was elected to fill the spot and will begin her time on the board starting with the district’s Dec. 4 reorganization meeting.

Clarke reflected on his tenure on the board and feels confident about the district’s future.

“It’s kind of bittersweet for me,” he said. “As a board and as a community, we strive to do the best we can. I’ve served at the pleasure of this board and had the opportunity to negotiate a couple union contracts. I feel that this district is thriving and is in a good position to move forward.”

Curriculum Supervisor Tania Stoker gave a presentation on the progress of the district’s schools.

Lackawanna Trail Elementary Center ranked eighth out of 49 elementary schools in Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit (NEIU) 19 and Wyoming County in 2016-17 with a School Performance Profile (SPP) score of 78.7

Lackawanna Trail Junior-Senior High School ranked 11th out of 33 intermediate and/or high schools in NEIU 19 and Wyoming County in 2016-17, and second highest compared to other junior-senior high schools, with a SPP score of 76.0.

“The biggest takeaway is the gain we made at the high school,” Rakauskas said. “We went from a score 62.3 (last year) to 76. Granted, we weren’t happy about being as low as we were, but we made some good curricular changes.

“Hats off to the administration and teachers for really working hard.”

Starting next year, the Future Ready PA Index will use a dashboard model to highlight how schools are performing and making progress on multiple indicators.

“There is no baseline data, but we want to beat the state average,” Rakauskas said. “That’s our goal for next year.”

By Robert Tomkavage

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.