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PASC News Inside This Issue News & Notes...................... 2 • Candidates for Middle Level Representatives Needed • Seeking Regional Representatives from Districts 6–10–12 • Constitutional Amendment to Be Voted on at States New Ideas Needed for Advisor Roundtables........... 2 State Conference Features Outstanding Speakers......... 3 Get Smart: Co-Curricular Activities and Academics.... 4 What Has Your School Done for Service? ........................... 5 Being a Middle Level Rep: A Challenge Worth Undertaking............................................ 6 Act Now on Scholarship Opportunities....................... 7 State Board of Education Meets in Erie......................... 8 Dress Up Day Theme Ideas........................................ 8 PALs Create Positive School Climates................................. 9

Volume 36 Issue 2 October 2011

With a Little Help from My Friends Altoona HS Hosts State Conference In 1932, Altoona High School was the site of the founding of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils. The Altoona High School Student Council hosted the first state conference in 1934, followed by others in 1948, 1986, and 1992. Altoona advisor Dave Aboud hosted the 50th conference in 1986 and continues to be the advisor in 2011 as the state conference returns to its birthplace for the 75th PASC conference. On November 10– 12, the 2011 PASC State Conference will inspire students and advisors with outstanding motivational speakers and opportunities to share ideas and gather materials to take back to school to enrich students and adults this school year!

Keynote Speakers PASC delegates will hear three of the very best speakers in the nation with keynote speakers Mark Scharenbroich, Mark Brown, and Mike Smith. See the accompanying article on page X about each of these outstanding individuals.

Student-led Workshops Delegates will participate in three workshop rotations on Friday, November 11. In addition to lunch, delegates will also attend a workshop session led by volunteer members of PASC’s Alumni Partners.

Advisor Program Thursday afternoon, November 10, will include visits to service idea displays and a “new” advisor meeting prIor to an advisor dinner provided by our conference hosts. The dinner will also include a presentation on the legal aspects of student activities. The Opening General Session for this year’s conference will begin after dinner. Thursday evening’s program will conclude with a Beatlemania Concert for all delegates in keeping with the conference theme. On Friday, the conference will begin with a breakfast for advisors at the Ramada Inn and will be followed by idea-sharing roundtables, which will provide tons of new ideas for both new

and veteran advisors. Advisors will return to the high school in the afternoon for lunch, regional caucus meetings, and the Second General Session.

Conference Meals (Included in registration fee) Students will have dinner on Thursday night at their host family homes and will return to the high school for the Opening General Session and Beatlemania Concert. On Friday morning, breakfast for students will be served in host homes and lunch will be provided at the high school. A dress-up dinner for students and advisors will be held on Friday evening at Blair County Convention Center. Following dinner, a dance for students also will be at the convention center. Advisors may remain for the student dance or return to the Ramada Inn for a mixer with their peers. Saturday morning’s breakfast will be held for students in host homes while advisors will be served a continental breakfast at the high school. continued on page 2

News & Notes Constitutional Amendment to Be Voted on at State Conference A change in Article 4 Section 2 of the PASC Constitution has been proposed. The change will add the position of Alumni Coordinator to the list of ex-officio members of the PASC Executive Board. This amendment will be voted on during Regional caucus on Friday, November 11, 2011 at the state conference in Altoona. Each member school in attendance will be able to vote on this Constitutional change.

Candidates for Middle Level Representatives Needed PASC is seeking two teams, each consisting of a seventh grade student and his/her Student Council advisor, to serve as the Middle Level Representatives on the PASC Executive Board from January 1, 2012 to January 31, 2013. Current board members are Patrick Moore and his advisor, Mrs. Deb Wensel from Kane Middle School (District 1), and Lilly Wang and her advisor, Mrs. Deb Spencer from Great Valley Middle School (District 11). Please contact Amy Kaufmann at amy_kauffman@swsd. with questions about the position. The job description, application, and the description of the selection process can be found at or by contacting us at Completed applications for the student and advisor must be postmarked by Friday, October 21, 2011. All the student/advisor teams will be interviewed at the State Conference on November, 2011 and two middle level teams will be selected to serve on the PASC Executive Board.

Seeking Regional Representatives from Districts 6–10–12 PASC is seeking schools wishing to run for Regional Representative positions for Region C from District 6, Region F from District 12, Region G from District 10. These positions are for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2012 and ending January 31, 2014. Elections for these positions will be held during Regional Caucus Meetings at the State Conference on Friday, November 11th at Altoona High School. Schools wishing to self-nominate should contact their respective District Directors by Friday, October 21st to express interest and should prepare a five-minute presentation for the caucus. Students selected to serve as Regional Representatives must be named by the selected school by December 1, 2011. Students must be a freshman or a sophomore in September 2011 and must be willing to make a two-year commitment to PASC. Terms continue for Representatives in Regions A-B-D-E until January 2013. For a job description and timeline of commitments go to or contact us at 2

PASC News • October 2011 •

With a Little Help from My Friends cont’d from page 1

Registration Information Online registration began on September 1 and will remain open until Friday, October 14. If you did not register early bird, you may register four students and advisor(s) for the state conference. The cost is $110 per person. To register online go to www.pasc75. org or

Housing and Transportation Advisors are reminded to visit and review the list of hotels located in Altoona. If you have not reserved rooms as of today, please do so immediately. Available hotel rooms are limited due to the Penn State home football game on November 12. Students will be housed with other students in host homes in the Altoona community. Advisors and delegates’ parents will be contacted by the host family parents approximately one week prior to the conference. Host families will provide meals and transportation to and from the school and conference events. Transportation for advisors to and from hotels and conference venues will be provided as needed. For further information such as program details, schedules, and directions to hotel and conference venues, please go to www. or

New Ideas Needed for Advisor Roundtables State Conference Roundtables are the quickest and best way for advisors to learn new ideas and become refreshed by old ideas offered with a new twist. Advisors who are coming to the state conference in Altoona are encouraged to volunteer to present a Roundtable on Friday morning, November 11.

Advisors present ideas at roundtable sessions at the PASC Conference.

What is needed? • A ten-minute presentation (offered four times) • A one-page handout sharing the details of the project or tips that worked for you (75 copies) • A willingness to entertain questions and facilitate the sharing of additional ideas for five minutes at each presentation Each presenter gets copies of the other 25–30 handouts shared during the sessions. To volunteer, send an e-mail Kathy Coll NOW at Please do so by October 21.

State Conference Features Outstanding Speakers An outstanding lineup of speakers is scheduled to present during the 75th PASC state conference. You won’t want to miss hearing these top-notch presenters.

Friday’s Speaker: Mark Brown

Manager. He now spreads his positive messages to more than 200 audiences each year. Saturday’s Speaker: The “Original” Mike Smith

Thursday’s Speaker: Mark Scharenbroich

Mark will inspire you and validate the importance of building stronger connections to improve student achievement. Having spoken in more than 3,000 schools across North America, Mark has discovered what the best schools are doing to build a climate where students feel truly connected. Part motivational speaker, part thought-provoker, and pure entertainer, Mark tells engaging stories focused on the relationship side of creating results, connecting administrator to faculty, team member to team member, teacher to student, and student to student. Mark’s credentials include: Emmy award winner, author of Nice Bike—Making Meaningful Connections on the Road of Life, inducted into the National Speaker’s Association Hall of Fame, Silver Screen and Golden Apple International film awards for his movie, The Greatest Days of Your Life… (so far).

Nationally acclaimed youth speaker Mark Brown has dedicated his career to getting inspirational messages out to young people all over North America. With his “tell it like it is” approach, Brown challenges some of the most serious problems in our schools today. His Emmy-nominated presentation “Words Count,” is part of a national outreach program against bullying, sponsored by QSP, Inc., the educational fundraising arm of Time, Inc. QSP has raised close to $3 billion for schools and youth groups in the United States and Canada since it was founded in 1964. The company supports numerous educational activities that go beyond fundraising—like this speaker program featuring Mark Brown. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Brown immigrated to the United States at 18 with $40 in his pocket and a dream of a better life. He never imagined he’d devote his life to helping others. During a brief career as a systems analyst at Reader’s Digest, Brown developed a love for public speaking. But it wasn’t until a life-threatening illness in 1993 that he began to focus on a career change. In 1998, Brown joined QSP full-time as the Community Relations

Mike Smith enjoys a great reputation as a curriculum writer on subjects ranging from time management through diversity to community service, a multimedia producer, an on-screen host, and a lifetime learner, studying a variety of subjects that find their way into his presentations. Mike is an honorary lifetime member of several educational and sales and marketing associations. For the past 20 years Mike has taken his involving presentations to more than two million parents, teachers, students,

and administrators in the U.S. and Canada. He has been a consultant to, and presented at, many national, regional, state, and local conferences. His audiences have ranged from CEOs to second graders. Mike is in demand as a keynote speaker, lending his talents to the themes and messages of his hosts. He has a wonderful ability to” launch” a conference by helping the attendees WANT to participate. As the wrap-up endnote speaker, Mike has helped many a convention theme convert from the words and warm feelings of the conference to the action and desired results in the real world. Mike works tirelessly with the Alliance for Student Activities that he helped to found in 2007. The Alliance provides monthly articles and advice to activity advisors throughout the nation and is a leading champion promoting the value of co-curricular activities as a vital aspect of education in our schools. For additional information on conference speakers go to www.

Membership Cards Available Online PASC has created a template that advisors can use to print membership cards for their student council members. These cards can be used to unify the student council “team,” serve as passes to attend in-school student council meetings, or as discount coupons for student council events and activities. The template allows for the printing of 10 cards using Avery 8859 card stock sheets. The advisor can then print the school and student information on the cards. These can be laminated prior to being cut and distributed, thus making them last for the entire school year. To access this template go to www., click on Resources, and then click on Membership. PASC News • October 2011 •


Get Smart: Co-Curricular Activities and Academics By Dr. Bryan Shelly “If it’s not on the test, it’s not important.” How often have we endured some version of this statement? Over the past 30 years Americans have become increasingly obsessed with standardized tests that claim to measure student progress on “basic” subjects like math and English. Too often the pressures to meet mandated performance goals have caused schools to sacrifice any activity that did not directly teach to the test. Scholarly evidence shows that this strategy is misguided, at least with regards to co-curricular activities. The three studies highlighted in this article are among the most rigorous of at least 25 studies on the link between co-curricular participation and academic performance. Almost every one of the 25 finds that such participation boosts a student’s grades, standardized test scores, chances of going to college, and numerous other measures of academic achievement. Marsh and Kleitman (2002) analyzed a Department of Education survey measuring the social behavior of 12,084 students when they were in eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades and two years after graduation. With such a large data set, social scientists can use statistical techniques to control for other factors and examine the independent effect of the critical variable on an outcome. In this case, Marsh and Kleitman (and the other researchers described in this article) used statistics to test whether participation 4

in co-curricular activities influences academic outcomes even when the effects of a student’s ability, school, personal and family characteristics, and numerous other factors are controlled. In results presented in the Harvard Educational Review, they find that joining more co-curricular

activities and spending more time participating in them is associated with higher grades, more difficult courses selected, more time spent on homework, more colleges applied to, a higher likelihood of starting and finishing college, and a higher final degree earned, even when other factors are controlled. Each additional hour per week spent on co-curricular activities leads to a .045 increase in GPA, 13 more minutes spent on homework per

PASC News • October 2011 •

night, and .155 more university applications. These effects are greater than those of structured out-of-school activities like youth groups and community service organizations and influence a significantly larger range of academic outcomes. In a similar study, Eccles and Barber (1999) tracked more than 1,800

Michigan students for ten years and find that involvement in performing groups like drama club, academic organizations like debate club, and school involvement activities like pep club and student council all have a positive effect

on a student’s GPA and likelihood that he or she will attend college full-time. Guest and Schneider (2003) analyze data from the University of Chicago’s Alfred P. Sloan Study of Youth and Development, which surveyed 6,453 students in Sixth, Eighth, Tenth, and Twelfth Grades over five years. Even with controls in place, participants in all types of co-curricular activities had significantly higher GPAs and more ambitious college plans. Interestingly, participation in non-athletic activities is associated with higher grades in all schools, but participation in sports is associated with higher grades only in schools serving low-income students. This author strongly doubts that students in more affluent schools do not receive academic benefits from interscholastic sports, and other studies argue that sports do have a positive effect on grades, test scores, and the like (for example, see Broh 2002). Even in the No Child Left Behind era, society rightly values the lessons sports teach, but nonathletic co-curricular activities are far more likely to be labeled as unnecessary and able to be sacrificed in pursuit of the all-mighty Adequate Yearly Progress. Guest and Schneider’s results suggest that such cutbacks are harmful. Participation in student council, musical and arts programs, language clubs, and similar activities is at least as important as sports participation. The only finding from these three studies that will trouble continued on page 5

What Has Your School Done for Service? This year’s charity project for the annual PASC State Conference is unique. Instead of asking schools to raise funds for one common charity, each student council is being asked to do an additional service project that goes above and beyond their normal activities during the school year. Share the information on your project with PASC, with other schools, and with the communities of Pennsylvania by doing the following: Compile a list of the projects that your council has done to serve the school or the community. Even include projects that had an impact statewide or nationally. • Approximately how many students were involved and how many hours of service did they perform? • How much money was raised in support of those proj-

ects done in the past year?

(available on the conference web• Select site, pasc75. one or more org.) projects There will and make a be a desk poster display available describing the for form project(s) that collection at can be shared th registration, at the 75 but it is PASC State Whether it’s a canned food drive or some highly recConference in other form of service, be sure to report your council’s projects for this year’s PASC service ommended Altoona. project tally. that schools • If you cansend them not attend the in via e-mail or the U.S. Mail State Conference, still send before the conference. in the data on your service projects so it can be part of the overall accounting of the “Student Council Service to Others Project.” Mail your school display to share with others at Altoona in your absence. Download and complete forms designed to record what is done within the school

Share project photos. When your student council submits the service project forms, you will have the option to submit photos with a small caption explaining the project. The photos and the project forms will be displayed in the windows of the cafeteria at Altoona HS,

where everyone attending the state conference will be eating. This will allow schools to showcase their projects and to gain ideas from others for the future. Not sure your student council has done a suitable service project? It’s not too late. Brainstorm ways that your student council can give back to the community. It can be anything from a candy sale to a bowla-thon or simply volunteering time to the charity of your choice. Record the information about your project on the form found on the state conference and submit it so that it can be displayed at the 75th PASC State Conference. Help us to document what students do for their schools, community, and others. December PASC NEWS will share this incredible array of service projects to others.

Co-Curricular Activities and Academics (cont’d from page 4) co-curricular supporters is the authors’ conclusion is that too few students are participating. Marsh and Kleitman warn that the average 10th grader spends less than one hour a week participating in co-curricular activities, an amount of time that is too short to yield benefits. Sixty-nine percent of Eccles and Barber’s subjects were involved in some form of organized activity, but many of them were members in name only and did not participate enough to reap all of the positive effects of involvement. They also report that adolescents spend only 60 percent of

their waking hours in school, at work, or doing chores and homework, meaning that some form of leisure activity will fill up the remaining 40 percent. PASC is committed to helping students, advisers, and other supporters get the information and support they need to save and expand co-curricular activities. PASC is a founding member of the Alliance for Student Activities, which is organizing leaders from across the nation in support of activities. You can find more information on the Alliance at In newsletters like

these PASC will continue to provide information on the hundreds of scholarly studies that prove activities matter. Those who need information more quickly can email this author, who will gladly provide whatever information he can. Bryan Shelly (bshelly24@gmail. com) is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Wake Forest University. He welcomes the opportunity to discuss or explain any aspect of the research discussed here and encourages readers to contact him or the Alliance.

Further Reading Broh, Beckett A. 2002. “Linking Extracurricular Programming to Academic Achievement: Who Benefits and Why?” Sociology of Education 75 (1):69-95. Guest, Andrew, and Barbara Schneider. 2003. “Adolescents’ Extracurricular Participation in Context: The Mediating Effects of Schools, Communities, and Identity.” Sociology of Education 76 (2):89-109. Marsh, Herbert W., and Sabina Kleitman. 2002. “Extracurricular school activities: the good, the bad, and the nonlinear.” Harvard Educational Review 72 (4):464511.

PASC News • October 2011 •


Being a PASC Middle Level Representative:

A Challenge Worth Undertaking By Patrick Moore, Kane MS If given the opportunity to become middle level representative on the PASC state board, everyone should say, “Yes!” It is a great experience. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I wish everyone could do. Only two middle level reps serve each year. I have served since January with Lilly Wang from Great Valley MS near Philadelphia. When you are a Middle Level Representative, leadership conferences are part of the experience. The LEAD conference is huge, with students attending from all over the country. These conferences are so much fun. The things learned will help with future life. I learned meeting skills, how to let everyone participate, and how to gather ideas. I want to own a business when I get older. All the things I learned will make my business successful or will help me with any job I get. As a Middle Level Rep, I have travelled all over the state. I live in the northwestern part of Pennsylvania and I went all the way to the southeastern part of the state. While there, I tried some potato chips I never even heard of before. I know that that doesn’t sound that amazing but it was, because I learned something. Another thing I was able to do was to go to a Blue level Summer Leadership Workshop. Middle level students go for a week in July and have tons of fun. At the workshop, you do so many activities and learn so many things. Another great thing about 6

being Middle Level Rep is having a voice. Middle Level Reps are members of the PASC Executive Board. While on the board, Middle Level Reps get to vote on things that will affect student councils across the state. This may sound hard but your student council advisor will be there with you to help you out. Since there are only two Middle Level Reps, it’s important to get our voices heard. Every Middle Level Rep has to be able to speak up. It’s not that hard and if you mess up you won’t get criticized; people will help you out. Lilly and I also serve as student co-chairs on the Middle Level Committee of PASC along with Mrs. Amy Kauffman, the PASC Middle Level Coordinator. Finally, what I think is the greatest part of being Middle Level Rep is the people I have met. Throughout the course of my term I have met so many people that will always be my friends. The LEAD conference, held in Stamford, Connecticut, brought together people from all over. I met people from California, Honduras, and even England. It was great hearing about where they live. I even got to go to New York City! It was awesome! I would have never been able to go there without becoming a Middle Level Rep. I saw the Empire State Building, ate at Times Square, and did so much more. That is something I will never forget. At the Blue Summer Leadership Workshop at Grove City College, I met tons of friends. We still talk even though the workshop was many months ago.

PASC News • October 2011 •

Patrick Moore, PASC Middle Level Representative

Finally, the people on the state board may all be different ages from middle level kids to high school kids to adults, but you make a bond with everyone. Everyone feels like a family. These people became my very good friends who have helped me grow through this year. The PASC Executive Board is made up of great people who will always help you and never criticize you. I can not believe at one time I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a PASC Middle Level Rep. Again I will say,” Anyone who has the opportunity to be Middle Level Representative should say yes.” It was one of the best choices I have ever made in my life. You cannot be shy, and you must speak your opinion. Just remember it’s hard to get the middle level voice across to people but if you can take on this job, you can do it. Applications are now available for students currently in seventh grade. Go to www.pasc. net and download one. The job description is there also. If you have questions, contact Amy Kauffman at amy_kauffman@ The deadline to apply is Friday, October 21.

PASC NEWS is published monthly during the school year. To submit announcements, articles, or corrections for newsletters, please email the Executive Director or Assistant Executive Director. Articles or information from PASC NEWS may be reproduced for use, with appropriate credit. Executive Director Jim Finnemeyer North Penn HS 1340 Valley Forge Road Lansdale, PA 19446 215-280-9299 215-855-0632 (Fax) Assistant Executive Director Kathy Ann Coll 174 Link Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15237 412-366-5744 PASC President Mariam Ahmad Altoona Area HS 1400 7th Avenue Altoona, PA 16602 PASC President-Elect Savanna Hovis Laurel JSHS 2497 Harlansburg Road New Castle, PA 16101 PASC News Editor Lyn Fiscus Leadership Logistics PASC Email: PASC Website:

Act Now on Scholarship Opportunities 50th Annual United States Senate Youth Scholarship Program

the Franklin Scholars Program annually awards $10,000 to 25 students in the state of Pennsylvania. The program is designed to increase student understanding and appreciation of the contributions of Ben Franklin and Horatio Alger, Jr. Scholarship criteria are the same for other Horatio Alger Scholarships. An additional essay on Ben Franklin is required. n Pennsylvania Scholars Program: Funded by the generosity of Joseph and Janet Neubauer, 50 Pennsylvania seniors will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship. Scholarship criteria are the same as for other Horatio Alger Scholarships.

Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. with Stephanie Warner and Timothy Sensenig, 2011 winners from Pennsylvania of the U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship.

Two student delegates from each state will be chosen to receive $5,000 college scholarships and the opportunity to spend a week in March 2012 in Washington, D.C., with delegates from across the nation. All expenses are paid by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Each school may nominate one outstanding junior or senior student leader to be considered for the scholarship. Applications are available on the PASC website under Resources. From the menu of resources click on Awards and Scholarships. To be eligible for the Senate Youth scholarship, a student must be a high school junior or senior and must hold an elected position in student council, class government, or a regional or state officer position in a statewide organization. After being nominated by the building principal, the student must complete an application packet and submit it by October 19, 2011 (postmark).

Horatio Alger Scholarships The Horatio Alger Association for Distinguished Americans is accepting scholarship applications for the Class of 2012 due no later than October 30, 2011. Seventy-eight Pennsylvania seniors will receive $560,000 in scholarships in 2012 in this program. Please share the following information with your Guidance Department and with students that you know who fit the following criteria:

n Student Council Member Scholarship: A Horatio Alger Scholarship for a student council member in an National Association of Student Council (NASC) and Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils (PASC) member school. Go to for details. On the application when the student sees the question: Are you a member of student council? CLICK on that and then answer all of the student leader questions and addition essays. These scholarships can only be applied for online:

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program will award scholarships to students recognized for their dedication and selfless commitment to volunteerism. Eligible students must currently be in grades 5–12 and must be engaged in an act of volunteerism that has occurred, at least in part, during the 12 months prior to the application date. Programs could be done in or out of school. All middle level and high schools throughout Pennsylvania will receive program information and applications in early September. All high school principals should have received an application packet in mid-August. Information is also available at Please do not miss this opportunity to give outstanding young volunteers the recognition they so richly deserve. Deadline is October 30, 2011.

The Horatio Alger Association seeks to assist students who have demonstrated integrity, perseverance in overcoming adversity, strength of character, financial need (under $50,000 adjusted gross family income), a good academic record, commitment to pursue a college education, and a desire to contribute to society. n National Scholars Program: Three Pennsylvania students will be selected to each receive a $20,000 scholarship and will be invited to the National Awards program in Washington, D.C. n Franklin Scholarship Program (only for Pennsylvania seniors): Funded through a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, PASC News • October 2011 •


SBE Meets in Erie

Looking for some different ideas for your spirit week dress-up days? You will get more participation with easier, lower-risk themes than ones that require a lot of effort and a higher risk that others will laugh at your effort. Try some of the following ideas:

By Shannon Sullivan, SBE Senior Rep, North Allegheny HS The 304th meeting of the State Board of Education convened in Erie, Pennsylvania, at the Barber National Institute on September 21. The Barber National Institute serves more than 3,600 disabled children and adults annually. The school’s administration provided the Board with a tour of the facilities and the children performed a song. During the meeting, the State Board discussed the draft of a School Libraries Study undertaken per House Resolution 987. The resolution provided the Board with the responsibility to conduct a study of school library resources and services for students in kindergarten through grade 12 by measuring and comparing funding, facilities, access to print and electronic resources, and determining how library resources are allocated for school library services in relation to students and the community. The University of Pittsburgh facilitated the study and the results were discussed with the public at three roundtables held throughout the state. There was a common agreement that Pennsylvania should be maximizing library resources to educate students on an array of issues including properly educating students on determining the legitimacy of information they find on the internet. The Board also discussed Pennsylvania’s transition to the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The State Board adopted the Common Core 8

Dress-Up Day Theme Ideas

n Multi-Color Day—wear as many different colors as possible

Shannon Sullivan, SBE Senior Rep

Standards in July 2011 in an effort to join the movement of installing more universal standards among the states. Currently, we are revising the Pennsylvania Standards to embrace the rigor and content of the Common Core. The Board is aiming to close the gap between the rigor of the PSSAs and the Keystones. Once the transition is complete, the Board expects to apply for the third round of the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top. Believing that professional development among leaders is making an impact in education, the GE Foundation provided a presentation to the Board on its $150 million commitment to education. GE believes in collaboration between schools and professional entities to make data-driven decisions— ensuring powerful outcomes among public school students. GE shared its vision and plan for student success through quality teaching. The next State Board of Education meeting will be held November 15–16 in Harrisburg. Please feel free to contact Erin Agnew, our junior representative, or me with your input on any educational issue or concern. Erin’s email is Agnew. and mine is

PASC News • October 2011 •

n Spots and Stripes Day—wear spotted or striped clothing or a combination of spots and stripes n College Gear Day—featuring hats, shirts and other college gear n Safari Day—everything from low-key khakis to more creative safari gear with hats, binoculars, etc. n Multiplicity Day—like twin day, but match as many people as you can n Hat Day—go beyond baseball caps and find something different n Sunglasses Day—find your coolest or most unusual shades to wear n Stuffed Animal Day—everyone has a favorite stuffed animal they could bring n Surf, Snow, and Sun Day—covers a lot of different outdoor activities n Extreme Weather/Weather Disaster Day—wear raincoats, boots, etc. n People-At-Work/Construction Day—clothing appropriate for a construction site n Profession Day—dress like what you want to be “when you grow up” n Fake an Injury Day—fake any injury with bandages, crutches, casts, etc. n Grandparents/Senior Day—dress like senior citizens Thrift Store Day—dress in outfits from the thrift store n Fashion Disaster Day—dress in deliberately unfashionable clothes n Garbage Day—outfits designed out of plastic garbage bags n Duct Tape Day—outfits designed out of duct tape n Celebrity Day—dress like your favorite celebrity or celebrity look-alike n Salad Dressing Day—people dress like their favorite salad dressing: Ranch (Cowboy), Caesar (togas and sandals), Thousand Island (Caribbean/Hawaiian), Blue Cheese (Blue), French (berets and fashionable clothes), House Dressing (school colors), etc.

PALs Create Positive School Climates By Troy Davis, Region A Rep PASC presented a Principal, Advisor, Leaders Conference (PAL) in two locations across Pennsylvania on September 27 and 29. A third conference, scheduled for Williamsport on September 28, was canceled due to the impact of Hurricanes Irene and Lee on the communities in northeast Pennsylvania. This year, the facilitator for the PAL Conferences was Ann Postlewaite, the executive director of the Minnesota Association of Student Councils and Minnesota National Honor Society and Minnesota National Junior Honor Society. Through numerous group activities, Ann explained how our school is a “construction site.” It takes a team of principals, advisors, and students working together to create a successful project and a positive school environment. Even further, delegates also were challenged to include students who often are outsiders. Principals, advisors, and leaders were all included in activities to show how it feels to be left out. Ann then demonstrated exactly how, in her 20 years as a student council advisor, her council included these “outsider” students. This session was filled with examples that we can use back in our schools. The conference also included opportunities for us to share ideas with students from other schools and for our advisors and principals to do the same. After lunch, delegates reunited with advisors and principals from their own schools to

An opportunity for student leaders to do teambuilding activities (right) and sit down to set goals and plan with their administrators and advisers (above) is a key feature of PASC’s PAL conferences.

begin planning out this school year. By first identifying the basic values our school was built on, we were able to better focus on our goals. This was accomplished using the outline of a one-room schoolhouse and filling it in with answers to questions that included: • 4 of the most important underlying beliefs/ideas/values that your school is built on • 2 to 4 visible characteristics of your school that are supported by the foundation beliefs • Something your school does to make people feel welcome as the enter the building • Some of the activities or events that take place in your school that let people see what is valued by the school • 1 or 2 large projects at your school that touch on or cover several aspects of your school and what it values • What is one thing that draws attention to your school from the outside? This after-lunch session is what makes PAL so special for so many schools. It’s a rare opportunity for students to get

School teams have planning time together at PAL Conferences to work on school issues.

to sit down with the principal as a whole group and discuss issues in the school. Even more so, this conference gives principals a chance to get away from the usual stress of the day. Attending schools should take the PAL conference as an opportunity to redirect where their council is going with the help of their principal, or start the year off on a good foot. To me, this can be one of the most valuable conferences your school attends. PAL was a key opportunity to sit down with my school’s principal, Student Council advisor, and officers,

so that we can decide what changes need to be made in the coming school year. My hope is that as more schools attend PAL conferences in the future, they can better focus their efforts, and a better relationship with administration can develop.

PASC News • October 2011 •


PASC News Oct 2011  

Newsletter for October