Shippensburg students to visit veterans at VA hospital in Martinsburg
By BRIAN HALL
Shippensburg Area school board approved an unusual field trip that will take students 60 miles away to visit military veterans.
Melissa Forrester’s learning support class will spend a portion of Dec. 17 in the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Martinsburg, W.Va., visiting veterans.
“In the past several years, all of our students have been writing letters and cards to be sent down there,” said Forrester. “We had someone take them down. This year, we thought it would be so beneficial to take the kids to see who they’re writing to. We asked Mr. (Bruce) Levy if we’d be able to do it. The board approved it. Now, we get to go on Monday.”
Forrester’s classes have been writing letters and cards. Students have also asked fellow classmates to sign a banner provided by Signs by Tomorrow from Camp Hill. The banner includes the words “Thank you veterans from Shippensburg High School.”
About 40 students and staff are expected to attend.
Upon their return, students will write about the trip.
Forrester’s students were visited by two military veterans last week who gave a little background on patients at the hospital and answered questions.
“It kinda prepared the kids,” said Forrester. “They talked about some of the things that may cause a veteran to be down there and prepared them for what they might see.”
The school board’s reorganizational meeting to open the night ended with President Herb Cassidy and Vice President Charles Suders remaining in their leadership positions.
Shippensburg Intermediate School Principal David Rice made a presentation on the work of teachers and staff to improve Pennsylvania System of School Assessment scores.
In 2008-09 and 2009-10 the school met all but one target each year, but did not make AYP.
The school has met all of its performance targets the past two years to earn AYP and be removed from school improvement status.
Rice attributed some of the progress to the success of a Read 180 program. The program reached 40 to 50 students the previous two years and has 27 students this fall.
The school has also started an academic after-school program. Rice said students whom the school has determined could benefit the most from the extra time receive homework help from honors students at the high school for a half hour. Then, students receive additional instructional time in math or reading for an hour.
The program finishes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. in the intermediate school.
Brian Hall can be reached at 262-4811 and firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @bkhallpo.