Mars Area adjusts elementary start time

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Mars Area school directors voted Tuesday to adjust the starting time at the elementary school next year and to adopt a compensation plan for nonunion employees.

Classes at the elementary school will begin five minutes later -- 9:05 a.m. -- so teachers can have a common planning period.

Students can begin arriving by bus or car at 8:50 a.m.

Teachers are to report at 8:20 a.m. so they have 30 minutes to plan before students arrive. Dismissal time will remain the same.

The move solves two issues, said superintendent William Pettigrew.

It gives teachers a common planning time so they can work together, and it also frees teachers to supervise students at dismissal.

The board also adopted a compensation plan for Act 93 employees -- principals, buildings and grounds and technology employees. Those employees are not represented by a union. "It's a little bit nontraditional, but it will become state law soon," Mr. Pettigrew said of the plan.

The plan splits employees into two groups: academic and operational. Compensation for both is based on annual performance evaluations and includes salary ranges for positions.

The principals' plan has two unique pieces, Mr. Pettigrew said.

One is a special projects stipend, which gives the principals extra pay for working on a project that is mutually agreed upon by the principal, superintendent and school board.

The other is a super goal, which is tied to student achievement -- again agreed upon by the principal, board and superintendent.

The compensation plan will expire in June 2015.

Both the compensation plan and the new start time for the elementary school were approved 7-0 with Rita Dorsch and Bonnie Weaver absent.

education - neigh_north

Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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