District continues uphill strides for ‘every child’

By on August 10, 2011

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff mreiff.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

At a meeting on July 26, Dr. Bruce Sensenig, Cocalico School District superintendent, took the opportunity to address the Cocalico Regional Leaders on the success of teachers, administrators and parents for their success in making efforts to support the district’s motto, "Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day," for the 2010-2011 school year and continuing to do so for the upcoming start of 2011-2012.

Although the results are still unofficial, one area in which Sensenig feels confident they were able to make strides is by once again making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Status in the state’s reporting system. The district was able to jump nine percent proficiency in reading and math, aiming toward 100 percent by 2014.

"Last year we were one of three districts in the county that made the AYP requirement," said Sensenig.

Sensenig went on to say even though there will be 11 fewer teachers this year, 244, the district has continued to strive to make equal gains in both regular students and those with a difference in socio-economic status.

In budgeting, one of the things that is very costly to the district are the special services (including such things as equipment and transportation), something of which Sensenig hopes to make taxpayers aware.

"There are a whole range of services that we must provide by federal law," he said, adding that although some equipment can cost up to $4,000 a week, the students need these services.

The addition of a new learning center at the high school is, according to Sensenig, a step forward forward for regular education students. A math and reading specialist will be giving support to these students on a regular basis either by small group instruction, individual classes or just working in the classroom with the students.

Finally, Professional Learning Communities, or what used to be called in-service days, are on the schedule again for the upcoming year. Faculty from the different buildings will be responsible for reading articles/books and then proceeding with activities or work- shops to further educate and assist parents and students based on what they have learned.

"The best thing we can do in education is make sure our teachers are qualified and highly competent and are doing a good job in the classroom," said Sensenig.

Also that night, Chief George Beever of the East Cocalico Township police announced that the department will be, after 19 years of talking and planning, getting a new emergency responder system in 2012. Although the numbers are not in yet, the chief is confident that funds will not need to be taken out of the police budget for the system.

"About 15 years ago we started the capital reserve for the police with a recommendation from Adamstown Borough," he said, which he plans on being the source of the funding for the radio system.

The police department has also been looking at purchasing Tazers. A sergeant, patrolman and a corporal got together with some vendors, Beever said, obtained a proposal for this year and a supplemental request for next year. The goal is to purchase at least three or four on a given shift, with the total cost coming to approximately $5,000 for this year.

Mark Hiester, East Cocalico Township manager, announced that the township is looking into putting containers out for cardboard and magazines at the waste site. It would be open from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays.

Denver will host the next Cocalico Regional Leaders meeting on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.

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