First Posted: 8/16/2013
A lot of changes will be greeting students as the 2013-2014 school year begins.
Pupils in the Pittston Area and Wyoming Area school districts begin school on Wednesday, Aug. 28.
Pittston Area Superintendent Michael Garzella said technology has become a district priority. All district buildings will soon be wi-fi capable and, once school board approval is obtained, 1,245 laptops will ordered.
Ten laptops will be put in each kindergarten through grade 4 classroom and they plan to start a hybrid learning model in those classes. At any given time one group will be getting direct teacher instruction, one group will be working on projects and another will be using the laptops for math and reading skills.
“Software will allow the teacher to group students based on the data from the computer and it will allow students to move at their own pace,” Garzella said. “We want to get to the point were students aren’t being held back.”
Students in grades 5 to 12 will have access to carts of 30 laptops.
If the computers are approved, they could be operational by the end of September.
Also, this will be the first school year Pittston Area is offering its own cyber program, Pittston Area Cyber Academy. The program is new alternative to parents using home schooling or outside cyber services program.
The cyber academy is a complete curriculum service offered through an online environment utilizing online courseware and facilitated by local qualified educators.
Garzella and Director of Technology/Online Learning Coordinator Christy Savakinas said the program is available to students in kindergarten to grade 12.
“Pittston Area School District administrators understand there are many online cyber school programs available to your family; however, Pittston Area Cyber Academy has greater benefits than other programs,” Garzella said in a release.
Students will have the opportunity to participate in all clubs, organizations, and extracurricular student activities in the district.
Also, taxpayers in Pittston Area pay annual tuition for residents of the district who have enrolled students in any of the state cyber charter schools. Enrolling students in the district cyber academy keeps tax dollars in the district.
Registration for the Pittston Area Cyber Academy will be held this week.
High school registration will be from 9 to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at the high school. Middle school registration will be from 9 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21 in the middle school.
To expedite the registration process, please complete the attached registration paperwork for the Cyber Academy.
For additional information, contact Savakinas at 654-2415, extension 2107.
Most Pittston Area schools will have new faces in the principal’s offices.
Coreen Milazzo, formerly the district’s supervisor of guidance, was appointed the principal of the Intermediate Center. The center’s previous principal, Janet Donovan, was appointed the director of curriculum for the district.
Art Savokinas, formerly the assistant principal at the high school, was appointed principal of the Primary Center. He replaces Teresa McAndrew, who retired.
Joe Giambra was named vice principal at the Middle School. He replaces Kevin Booth, who was named the district’s principal in charge of security, human resources and federal programs.
Christ Lazevnick, a science teacher is now the vice principal at the high school.
Pittston Area is now offering a dual enrollment program with LCCC. Students will be allowed to earn college credits while still in high school. Higher math and engineering courses will be offered. Credits earned will be able to transfer to LCCC or many other local and national colleges.
Wyoming Area has scheduled kindergarten orientation. The following dates, times and places for their Kindergarten Orientation:
• Monday, August 19, 2013 at 6:30 P.M. at the John F. Kennedy Elementary Building
•Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 6:30 P.M. at the Montgomery Avenue Elementary Building.
•Monday, August 26, 2013 at 6:30 P.M. at the Tenth Street Elementary Building.
Orientation at the Sarah J. Dymond School was held last week.
Seventh to twelfth grade homeroom assignments are listed on Page 14B.
If you have any questions, call the Wyoming Area Secondary Center, Principal’s office, 655-2836, ext. 2344. If a student plans on attending the Secondary Center which includes grades 7 through 12, and has not yet registered, please call the registration office at 655-2836 ext. 2359.
All students, during the course of the school year, should be in their homerooms by 7:45 a.m. 7:46 is the late bell for all students. Students are dismissed at 2:29 p.m.