Grade grouping plans continue

JOHNSTOWN – The Greater Johnstown School District continues to plan for implementation of grade-level grouping in September, including the scheduling of student visitations and the hiring of laborers.

The Board of Education was given a report on plans for implementation of grade-level grouping Wednesday at Knox Junior High School.

“There’s a lot going on,” board member Ronald Beck noted.

Board President Paul VanDenburgh said principals and staff are making a “phenomenal effort” to bring grade-level grouping to fruition.

Starting with the 2014-15 school year, grades at the elementary schools in Johnstown will be placed this way: prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade at Pleasant Avenue Elementary School; grades two and three at Glebe Street Elementary School; and grades four, five and six at Warren Street Elementary School. School officials said this will be a more efficient model to teach elementary students.

“It’s amazing how much work our three principals have put into this,” Beck said.

The board Wednesday accepted the recommendation of Superintendent Robert DeLilli to approve creation of eight summer laborer positions at a pay rate of $8.82 per hour. He said the hirings are “associated with the move.”

Beck reported the district recently conducted a “very successful” grade-level grouping transportation information meeting for 30 to 40 parents at Pleasant Avenue Elementary School.

Beck said paperwork related to transportation was sent home to families. He said information on a planned district shuttle system is on the district’s website, The shuttle will transport students who live inside the city limits among the three elementary schools. City limits are defined as: for kindergarten – within 0.5 miles from the closest elementary school to your residence; and for grades one to six – within 1.5 miles from the closest elementary school to your residence.

Beck said principals met with staff to logistically go over what will stay and what will go in teachers’ rooms. He said items were color-coded for easier tracking.

“A lot of this will take place in the summer,” Beck said.

Among the other grade-level grouping plans is a June 5 field day in which the students will be bussed to check out their new schools. He said the day will include activities for the children, lunch, and then being bussed back to their regular school.

Also in June, Beck said there will be family tours of the elementary buildings over three separate nights.