Classrooms set for grade grouping

JOHNSTOWN – The Greater Johnstown School District’s Buildings and Grounds Department has been busy this summer, readying classrooms for the elementary transition to grade-level grouping in September, officials said Thursday.

The district is dedicating its three elementary schools to specific grades starting this fall. School officials said this will be a more efficient way to teach elementary school students, who currently attend one of the three neighborhood elementary schools in kindergarten through grade six. District officials anticipate about 900 children will be affected by grade-level grouping, as well as 200 staff members.

City elementary schools will be configured this way: pre-kindergarten, 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.

District Superintendent Robert DeLilli gave an update on grade-level grouping at the Board of Education’s last meeting at Johnstown High School.

DeLilli praised the Buildings and Grounds Department’s work this summer to get classrooms ready for the right instruction. He said staff are doing “amazing,” working this summer cleaning and emptying classrooms in a timely fashion.

“A shout out to that group for doing a monumental job,” DeLilli said.

Leo Loveless, district director of facilities and operations, said every classroom for grade-level grouping is “finished and put back together.”

“I think we owe a great thanks to the facilities team,” said board President Paul VanDenburgh. “Fantastic job.”

Board member Kathy Doughtery said the fact the classrooms are “ready” for grade-level grouping at this time is “great,” and asked that the news be expressed to teachers.

“It’s a true momentum, it’s a true energy and excitement,” DeLilli said.

Beth Brower, president of the Johnstown Teachers Association, also thanked Loveless and his staff for a “fabulous job.”

“The excitement you’ve created is because of the wonderful job you did,” the faculty union official said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.