Academic assessment results, the possible purchase of a new van and information about the cost of a play at the middle school.

Academic assessment results, the possible purchase of a new van and information about the cost of a play at the middle school.

All of those issues were discussed during Tuesday night's meeting of the Wayne Highlands School board committee.

Academic assessment

A report was presented about assessment results for Honesdale High School.

The report focused on scores for the SAT tests as well as the Keystone exams.

Superintendent Greg Frigoletto said this is the first year that students have transitioned from the PSSA exams to the Keystone exams.

He pointed out that Honesdale High School "surpassed the state averages" in all categories.

"It is an improvement from what we did last year," said Frigoletto.

The superintendent saidthat in the past, the PSSA exams were similar to the SAT tests but that has changed.

"SAT is different than Keystone," said Frigoletto. "But we have been able to prep students for both."

The information showed that for the SAT scores, the high school students had a combined average of 1,005. The state average is 998 and the national average is 1,010.

It also noted that since 2000, Honesdale High School has produced 15 National Merit finalists and 25 commended students.

Regarding the Keystone scores, Frigoletto pointed out the Class of 2016 members fared better than the current juniors or seniors.

He said the reason is they were the first class which that taken the Keystones and had been fully prepared academically.

For the other students, they had been prepped for the PSSA exams and then had to take the Keystones when it switched.

Frigoletto predicted that as the classes move forward, the averages will continue to rise.

Board member Heather Stephens asked Frigoletto why the Keystone exams were implemented.

Though Frigoletto has been fairly outspoken as not being a big fan of standardized testing, he said "this is one I agree with. It matches the test with the curriculum."

Middle school play

The board was also presented with information about the proposed Wayne Highlands Middle School drama production.

This year the play is, "Getting to Know: Once Upon a Mattress."

The committee was presented information about the cost of the play, which totals $19,000. The full board will vote on the funding at next week's regular meeting. That meeting will be held at Damascus School on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Here's a cost breakdown of the proposed musical:

• Director, Jessica McDonough, $3,960

• Musical director, Lorissa Rarashuk, $1,584

• Sound and lights, Shawn Garing, $880

• Set design, Shawn Garing, $880

Set construction, Shawn Garing, $880

• Choreographer, Jessica McDonough, $704

• Costumer, Linda Zimmer, $616

• Make-up, TBA, $616

• Publicity, TBA, $616

• Professional accompanist, Geri Spinosa, $704

• Props/set, $2,900

• Costumes, $1,500

• Royalty fees (royalties, script rentals, CDs, cast T-shirts, delivery), $1,100

• Sound/lights, $610

• Publicity, $250

• Make-up, $700

• Miscellaneous, $500

The breakdown is $11,400 for total salaries and $7,560 for total other expenses.

Van discussion

The board also heard a proposal from the superintendent about the possible purchase of a new van.

Frigoletto said the current van is a 2000 model with around 80,000 miles. He said the van is used "a lot" for various trips.

"I believe it is appropriate to get a new van," said Frigoletto.

The superintendent said they are looking to get a larger vehicle which has all-wheel drive. He said there have been many instances in the current van where weather conditions have made travel dangerous.

Frigoletto said the district intends to keep the current van, saying it is still in good condition and can be used for local trips.

For example, he said when the golf team has to be transported to the course, the old van is fine.

But for longer trips, he said a new van is needed.

Those trips include events like regional wrestling or state band, where just a small number of students are transported.

Last year, the state band competition was held in Erie, all the way across the state.

Frigoletto said the administration would put out the specifications and if the board approves, put it out for bid.

He said in 2000, the board paid $20,490 for the Grand Voyager they are currently using.

He said a new van would likely be in the $25,000-$26,000 range.