Entries Tagged 'BoardMeetings' ↓

Changes to the Elementary Day

The other night (4/24/2017), the State College School Board agreed to an amendment (technically a Memo of Understanding) to our contract with the teachers (the State College Area Education Association) to examine the feasibility of extending the elementary day. There are several reasons for doing this. The first was to provide more overall learning for our K-5 students, but also more overall time in the core learning subjects (i.e., English/Language Arts, math, social studies, and science). In addition, it will provide a fifth “special” or special learning opportunity (currently library, art, music, and physical education).

From the teacher and administrator point of view, this provides much more planning and professional development time during the school day. As we refine our curriculum in a more deliberate way, our teachers will have — and need — more planning time within the day to incorporate new curricula, new tools, and new techniques into their teaching and learning.

At this time, we have the outline of a proposal for how this would work, given the constraints of our size (for transportation purposes), our staff, and our existing day. We don’t know all the answers yet (if this goes into effect, it will be for the 2018-2019 school year), but we’ll be talking to you at PTO meetings and parent forums in the coming month. The full schedule will be on the SCASD Web site and available in the SCASD Web app.

What’s been going on?

People who only see a School Board member when we’re in a regular board meeting often ask me what goes on between meetings. The last few weeks, my answer has been, “Quite a lot.” In fact what goes on between board meetings is often the best part of being on the School Board. I’ve been:

Reading…

On March 2 — Dr. Seuss’s birthday as any elementary school student can tell you — I was invited to read to Mrs. Donna Bryan’s first grade class at Lemont Elementary School. I brought my own copy of Green Eggs and Ham, and I wore my Seuss hat and Green Eggs and Ham tie.  When I was finished the children asked me why I think reading is important and how I used it in my work.  I had a very enjoyable time and I’d like to thank Mrs. Bryan and her class for the invitation.

Amazed…

On March 4, I attended the Challenging Science Investigations (CSI) Showcase put on by the State College Branch of the American Association of University Women and the State College Area School District Community Education and Secondary Science Department at Park Forest Middle School.  The theme this year was Rube Goldberg contraptions.  I really wanted my daughter to see these young ladies construct complicated “machines” which do very simple things.  There were popping balloons and burning strings and great fun was had by all.  It was very well done.  Thanks to Dr. Donna Ricketts and the Community Education team and to all the science teachers who helped out.

Proud…

Our State College Ice Hockey Team finished the regular season with Senior Night on March 4.  Dr. Mextorf came along to recognize our five seniors and enjoy a very good game.  Unfortunately, we lost to Plum Township 3-2 in overtime, but we still managed to finish third in the top division of the PIHL.  This is the best finish for a State College team since we moved to the AAA (top) division.  We received a first round bye and host a home play-off game on Wednesday, March 17 at 8pm at the Penn State Ice Pavilion.

Practicing, practicing, practicing…

As a result of the first round bye, we had three practices last week and we’ll have two more before Wednesday’s game.  Guest Coach Joe Battista made an appearance last week and went over the penalty kill.  It would be nice not to need that skill, but in reality successful high school hockey teams have successful “special teams.”  Thanks JoeBa!

I’d like to thank all of the folks who have made the last two weeks so enjoyable.  We’ve got a busy, but enjoyable week ahead.