The Brownsville Area School District Board of Directors approved the district’s comprehensive plan at this month’s regular voting meeting.

The comprehensive plan — which encompasses a professional education plan, induction plan, safe & supportive schools/student services, and Chapter 12 & 14 assurances — was made available for public inspection and comment for 28 days. It will now undergo review by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Once approved, the district’s comprehensive plan will be in effect for three years.

According to Superintendent Dr. Keith Hartbauer, the comprehensive plan was designed to include the academic, behavioral and attendance components of all children, grades K-12, at Brownsville Area School District.

“All programs, procedures and policies that have been implemented correlate with this plan in order to positively impact our district’s culture,” said Dr. Hartbauer, during the school board’s monthly meeting last Thursday. “We are already seeing many remarkable improvements in each of these components.”

Dr. Hartbauer noted that students in grades 3-8 showed improvement in nine out of 14 different academic categories while students in grades 10 and 11 also demonstrated significant academic progress, based on the Keystone Exams.

In addition, Brownsville’s teachers are using the Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) program to achieve improved social and academic outcomes.

“Thanks to this program, we are seeing a decline in student discipline, especially at the higher grades,” said Dr. Hartbauer, who added that PBIS has been used by the district’s elementary school for three years while Brownsville’s middle and high schools have launched the program this past September. “Kudos to our teachers for taking ownership of PBIS and successful implementing this program.”

Dr. Hartbauer also noted that the district is seeing improved student and staff attendance.

“When you see improvements in the school cultures, that helps to cut down absenteeism,” he said. “And when morale improves, you begin to see a significant improvement in academic and behavioral outcomes. We are proud of these successes, and we plan to share them with parents and teachers during a public meeting later in 2019.”

In other business, the board:

n Approved an invoice from Nearpod Inc. in the amount of $2,125 for a Nearpod School license for Brownsville Area School District. Nearpod is an award-winning student engagement platform with ready-to-run interactive lessons for K-12 teachers. The district will use Title IV funds to pay for the license.

n Approved an invoice from Smart Futures in the amount of $4,500 for annual subscriptions for the district’s elementary, middle and high schools. Smart Futures, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit software development organization, provides schools and education agencies with an online career planning and portfolio platform that prepares students for post-secondary success. Title IV funds will also be used to pay for this service.

n Approved a motion to send four security guards to a mandated National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) training at Penn State Fayette at an estimated cost of $3,000.

n Approved a motion to post an opening for a middle school tutoring position.

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