The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 14, 2012

District plans to boost teachers’ development

JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown school board on Tuesday agreed to create six professional-development coaching positions in an effort to improve  student performance at the middle school.

The positions, being funded by a federal education improvement grant, will be filled later.

District teachers, who would be trained to be coaches, would earn supplemental pay for the additional time it would take to plan and present professional-development activities, Superintendent Gerald Zahorchak said.  The coaches, in effect, will teach other teachers new strategies to educate students, he said.

In other matters, the board agreed to join a national program to help eliminate bullying and other acts that are detrimental to students and the district.

The website AnonymousTips.com provides a way for tipsters to share potentially harmful information with school officials, Zahorchak said. Tips may include, but are not limited to, bullying, drug activity, gang activity, sexting, Internet harassment, child abuse, suspicious or illegal activity, and other school-related problems.

Informers can be confident that they are protected from being identified, he said.

There is no cost to the district for joining the program.

Zahorchak told the board that 10 students from the high school joined students from throughout western Pennsylvania on Tuesday at the 43rd World Affairs Institute for Student Leaders in Pittsburgh.

The event was hosted by Rotary International and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

The goal of the conference was to analyze the economic crisis that began in 2008 and determine where other countries and the students themselves fit into the crisis, Zahorchak said. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions of the keynote speaker.

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