A display of colorful vegetables to sample sat outside the South Williamsport Area School Board meeting room Monday night, as a way to show how schools are embracing new food regulations.
The school district will begin Wellness Wednesdays one Wednesday a month to give students an opportunity to try new vegetables that they might not otherwise get to sample. The first one will take place this Wednesday, Sandy Bacon, food service director, said.
"We're trying to make it a little bit exciting," Mary Kay Bukevich, regional manager, said. "If they try something new, they get a sticker."
For the high school students, the new vegetables will be available at the fruit and vegetable bar they have.
The goal is to allow students to try new things they might not want to get in their lunch, find they like it and choose it next time it is available, Bukevich said.
Also related to state regulations, the board discussed the district's report card regarding PSSA scores.
The district made adequate yearly progress across the board for the 2012 scores, but superintendent Dr. Mark Stamm said achieving it again for 2013 may prove difficult as goals continue to increase. In reading, 91 percent of students must be proficient this school year. In math, 89 percent of students must be proficient.
"Anything we can conceivably do, ... we're going to do it and we're going to do it well," Stamm said.
Changes already have been implemented in the district to improve scores, including teaching classes the same way. Previously, two classes of algebra II could be working on two different lessons at the same time, possibly even using two different books.
"Now it's taught across the board," Stamm said.
Students also are challenged more to prepare them for the exams. Every student is required to take up to trigonometry in math before graduating.
Yet with Keystone exams this year, Stamm said he hopes they will helps scores as students will be taking exams immediately after completing a course, rather than having to remember various subjects when they take their PSSA exams.
Last school year, juniors had to take PSSAs. In December, all of the students who has completed certain math, science and English courses will be tested in it as the transition begins. Within a few years, it will adjust to students taking the exam after the course is finished.