DuBOIS — An overview of DuBois Area School District achievements and initiatives was recently presented to the DuBois Area School Board.

For the 2019-2020 school year, Director of Curriculum/Instruction and Assessment Anne Young said the administrative team teamed up for success to develop four priority district goals — student growth, student achievement, inclusionary practices and trauma-informed awareness.

Young reviewed the district performance data for the 2019 Pennsylvania System School Assessment and the 2019 Keystone scores, which is “just a snapshot of our district data.” PSSA reports yearly scores for grade three through eight for English language arts, mathematics and science, while Keystone tests report students’ best Keystone end of course exam to date by 11th grade for literature, algebra and biology. Scores are banked starting in eighth grade accelerated math.

With regard to the Keystone scores, the high school exceeded the state average in all three areas, said Young.

“In our regional and state comparison, I just wanted to note that DuBois Area School District exceeded state and/or regional percentages in 13 out of our 17 assessments that our students take,” said Young.

Young, who is also the DuBois Area Schools’ Alumni and Educational Foundation executive director, said she helped to oversee six committees: Finance, Marketing, Fundraising, Alumni, Scholarship and Nominations.

“The mission of the foundation is to develop, promote and finance innovative educational programs, activities, and projects from DuBois Area School District,” said Young. “This year, our goals are to initiate an annual giving campaign, launch a website with an online donation portal, design and publish print and marketing materials, organize an Alumni Directory Project and then host a Thank-you Luncheon and tour at the end of the year.”

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As far as donations, the foundation receives donations for foundation initiatives, alumni scholarships and Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) programs, said Young. Since she has taken over as executive director, the foundation has used approximately $85,000 of EITC and grant funds to finance a number of initiatives.

Administrators from all of the six schools in the district, along with the special education department, then presented their report on various activities and programs being held at their schools.

Superintendent Wendy Benton said she was proud of the administrative team.

“I believe that we are stronger than ever, and I see great things happening in our district every day, and I’m so excited, looking forward, with all the great things that we’re going to accomplish,” said Benton.

“Being new to the district, I have some observations that I would just like to share and I’ll start with the students,” said Assistant Superintendent Brigette Matson, noting there are many kind, helpful and polite students.

“With teachers, I’ve really observed very strong collegial relationships, which I just think is paramount and they really understand the importance of building that relationship and connecting with students first,” said Matson.

“And working with the administrative team, I’ve seen very intentional and supportive leadership,” said Matson. “What impresses me the most is they’re really looking at the whole child. When you hear things like mindfulness, from an informed care, they’re really considering that social emotional learning, which I feel sets the foundation for learning to occur and they’re being so thoughtful about that. I feel that the direction they’re moving, and then the thought and care they’re putting into this really sets the DuBois School District up for success now, as well into the future. So I would just like to commend everybody as I’ve gotten to know the district with the efforts that are being put forward.”

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