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Chester County Press

Kennett School Board hires a new supervisor of special education

03/15/2016 12:47PM ● By Steven Hoffman

The school board of the Kennett Consolidated School District (KCSD) hired a new supervisor of special education and retained an architect to design a baseball field for the middle school at its meeting on Monday, March 14.

The school board unanimously approved the hiring of Trista Todd as the new supervisor of special education. Dr. Michael Barber, the district's assistant superintendent who oversees personnel, introduced Todd and talked about her background in education. Todd is a graduate of Penn Manor High School. She received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Millersville University. She earned her certification in educational administration from Temple University and in special education from West Chester University. Todd taught first grade in the School District of Lancaster before serving as a learning facilitator and instructional coach in the Warwick School District. She will begin the new assignment with KCSD on Aug. 1.

KCSD is enlisting Architerra, PC to oversee the architectural services for the construction of a baseball field on the southern end of the Kennett Middle School property to support the baseball program for seventh- and eighth-graders. The district negotiated an agreement with Architerra, PC to handle the architectural services for $68,500. Architerra previously worked with the district on the design and construction of the high school stadium, baseball fields, and Legacy Fields.

Board member Dominic Perigo explained that the middle school baseball team had been playing on a field in nearby Hockessin, Del., but that field will soon not be available to the team any longer.

Robert Perzel, the district's director of facilities and construction, said that work on the designs of the project will begin immediately. The baseball field should be completed in time for use for the 2018 season.

Superintendent Dr. Barry Tomasetti and the school board thanked the Johnson family for creating the Johnson Family Philanthropic Fund. The $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to a Kennett High School graduating senior whose intent is to continue his or her education. The application process and requirements will be established by the Johnson Family Scholarship Agreement, and the recipient each year will be selected by a Johnson Family Scholarship Committee. Tomasetti said that this is one of the largest scholarships available in the district for students. Several members of the Johnson family were in attendance at the meeting. Tomasetti said that the district offered the family its overwhelming gratitude for the scholarship opportunity for Kennett students.

The school board approved the lineup of summer academies and summer school programs to provide greater educational opportunities for students.

KCSD will be offering a five-week remedial literacy and mathematics program for elementary school students. The program is funded by Title I and local funds. Students will attend classes for three hours a day each Monday through Thursday from July 11 to Aug. 11. Students must meet the eligibility requirements to participate. Transportation will be provided.

Tomasetti said that this program is beneficial to students because it helps them curtail the regression that can occur during the summer months.

For middle school students, there will be a remedial literacy and mathematics program for students entering sixth grade. These students must also meet the eligibility requirements. The program runs three hours a day each, Monday through Thursday, from July 11 to Aug. 11. This summer academy will be held at the Kennett High School.

Rising sixth graders will have the chance to explore automation and design using a project-based format during the STEM Camp. The program will run from July 11-14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at the Kennett Middle School. The cost for the STEM Camp is $150.

Tomasetti explained that the STEM Camp was introduced last summer, and it was very successful. The Kennett Education Foundation helped fund the purchase of some of the equipment to get the program started, so there will be fewer costs this time around.

There will be a remedial program for middle school students who fail one or two academic subjects during the school year. The students can take a mathematics or verbal/study skills course during the summer, and they are required to pass one of them in order to be assigned to the next grade for the 2016-17 school year. This Monday through Thursday program runs four hours a day from June 11 to Aug. 11, and will be held at the high school. The cost for each course is $300.

For high school students, there is a summer class that allows them to make up credits in four major content areas—English, science, social studies, and mathematics—that are required for graduation, as well as a health course. The program will run 20 days between July 5 and Aug. 8, with each class meeting for three hours a day. The cost of each course will be $300 for students who reside in the district and $450 for students who are not residents in the district.

An original credit summer school course will be offered for English, science, mathematics, social studies and health. The courses will be available online at a cost of $600 for students who reside in the district and $900 for those who don't reside in the district. Students who take an original credit course will attend class for six hours a day.

For students who took Keystone Assessment exams who did not earn proficient or advanced scores, there will be a Keystone remediation course for algebra, biology, and literature. The program will run for ten days, with each session lasting three to six hours a day beginning on July 11. Students will be expected to re-take the Keystone Assessment during the last week of July. There is no cost for this program.

Parents are responsible for providing transportation to all the summer school programs. District officials emphasized that financial assistance will be provided to those students who can demonstrate the need.

The Kennett School Board will meet again on Monday, April 11 at 7 p.m. In the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center.