February 2014 Student Advisory

Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014

Improving Learning:  Every Student, Every Day, Every Way

February 2014


In the fall, winter, and spring of each year, I meet with my superintendent’s student advisory.  The student advisory consists of 18 students from 6th grade through 12th.  Three students represent each grade level consisting of highly motivated, middle-of-the-roaders, and not as highly motivated.  I do this to try and get a cross section of student representatives so I am not just hearing from top achievers or lower achievers.  Each time I meet with the students, I have a series of questions to solicit student feedback.  Here are some of the questions that guided our discussion on Wednesday, January 29th.

I ask students to share any positive or negative experiences they may have encountered from the last time we met.  I ask students to share their thoughts on delays, or cancellations to date and the communication process when we encounter a delay or postponement.  I also ask students for suggestions on how we can improve learning.  Since we now have students setting improvement goals at multiple grade levels, I ask the students to share thoughts on whether it helps to improve their level of effort and does it improve performance?  One standing question I always ask is, what would you like me to do to help you?  Finally, I ask students whether they feel safe at school.

My meetings with students are one of the highlights of my job.  We have a great student body and they share very honestly and openly as young adults.  I always assure the students that what they share is valued and I report back to them when there is an issue the students have shared that requires me to investigate and seek clarification.

My final meeting will be in the spring.  These 18 students have had a very good year to date.  If that isn’t the case with your student, I encourage you to schedule a conference with the teacher immediately.  If you have met with the teacher and aren’t satisfied with the progress, then the next person to contact is the building principal.

Until next month, please visit our new website and join us on Facebook for updates throughout the month!



Donald J. Wills, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools, 


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Posted Sunday, January 19, 2014

Improving Learning: Every Student, Every Day, Every Way 

As we look to begin the second half of the school year, we are concentrating on budget preparation and continue work to improve the learning opportunities for our students.

Here are several items we are very proud of as a District and I just want to make sure all District residents are aware of the positive results which are a tribute to hard working students, teachers, and administrators.

On the first ever released Pennsylvania School Performance Profile, the average of all four building scores combined was 85.5%. The state average was 77.1% so we are pleased to be performing above the state average. The 85.5% is also the highest combined score of all Adams County School Districts!

The District also spends 76% of the total general fund budget on programs, personnel and support that directly impacts instruction and learning for all students. Out of all the districts in Adams County, we are also first in spending the largest percentage of general fund money going directly to benefit instruction and learning. The percentage is also well above the state average of percentage of dollars being spent to directly impact learning.

A third statistic worthy of noting about our District is the class size range for kindergarten through 5th grade is 15 students, being the smallest class to 24 students, being the largest class. This is ideal class size for the elementary level and once again is the best elementary class size range in Adams County and is also ranked high within the state public school system.

The above statistics are a result of keeping our focus to improve learning for every student, every day, every way. As we continue to improve, moving into the second half of the year, we will continue to make student learning our focus.


Donald J. Wills, D. Ed.
Superintendent of Schools



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