Grove City Area School District is getting positive feedback from other schools about its educational programming and practices.

At Monday night’s board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Finch reported on a group that visited the district earlier that day.

“They were all here all day,” he said.

About 20 people from across the state came to check out the district. The group, which includes Finch, is part of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Superintendent Academy, which is offered through a partnership with the National Institute for School Leadership.

Superintendents from other districts, NISL and PDE representatives, and a research team from George Washington University toured the school buildings and met with administrators.

“We got wonderful feedback,” Finch said.

He thanked board members Dr. Constance Nichols and Patty Wilson for joining the group and answering their questions.

What Finch is learning from the academy also relates to the research that the district is doing through National Center on Education and the Economy guidelines.

NCEE is a professional development project designed to change the way students learn.

Finch believes that more school districts will take a closer look at Grove City and how the district is putting new practices into place.

Monday’s visit included information about schedule restructuring, and George Junior Republic, and it was a reminder of the quality of the district’s education, he said. 

School officials from another district visited last week to check out the high school’s “Lunch and Learn” program, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Joshua Weaver said.

Lunch and Learn gives students an opportunity to participate in a number of activities and courses each day, and it’s impacted student learning, he said.

“It certainly was a proud moment for me to listen to them articulate updates and changes in their programs,” Weaver said of the high school’s administrative team.

School officials are working to improve the quality of the district’s education products, and other folks are recognizing that, said board President Lee McCracken.

“I think that’s a very positive thing,” he said.

The district is also staying within the budget, he said, thanking board members for their work.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, board members:

• Heard several remarks from resident Esther Falcetta during public comment at the beginning of the meeting. She thanked Finch for revising website content related to the public hearing for Highland Primary Center.

She asked the board to publish the duties of the standing committees, and suggested the board review board operations guidelines.

She requested that her Right-to-Know request from Dec. 17 be corrected on the log to accurately reflect the subject of her request.

Falcetta addressed proposed updates for policy 233, which discusses suspension and expulsion. Expulsion waivers are not permitted by state law, even though the updated policy says otherwise, she said.

The meeting minutes from Jan. 13 don’t reflect what she perceived as a Sunshine Act violation by the board. She later raised an objection when the meeting minutes were approved without revisions.

Also, she asked if the standing committees are authorized by the board. McCracken said he’ll look into it for the next meeting.

• Approved the calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Classes will start on Aug. 31, and the last day is June 4, 2021. 

• Approved a contract with Beynon Sports for $262,273.67 for renovations to the track at Forker Field. The money will come from the district’s capital reserves.

Work is expected to start after the school year ends. The jump pits and pole vaults will be moved inside the D-zone – before the turf on Forker Field is replaced said board member Ray Abplanalp, chair of the facilities and school safety committee.

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