PASC News Inside This Issue News & Notes...................... 2 • Seeking Host School for 2014 State Conference • Karin Knaus Named Acting Director for District 7 • National Council of Excellence Applications Due in February PASC Advisors Offer Ideas Gathered at National Conference on Student Activities...................................... 2 2012 United States Senate Youth Scholars Named....... 3 Boyertown Picks 2013 State Charity.................................... 3 NASC To Hold LEAD Conference in Washington, D.C. ........................................ 4 PASC to “Feel The Rhythm” in Boyertown in 2013......... 5 2013 Student Summit in Harrisburg to Focus on Education Issues.............................. 6 10 Things to Know about PASC’s 2013 Trip to the NASC Conference in Las Vegas....................................... 7 December State Board of Education Report................. 8
Volume 37 Issue 4 December 2012
Kathy Coll Honored with 2012 National Earl Reum Award Kathy Coll, PASC assistant executive director and former advisor at North Allegheny Intermediate HS, received the prestigious Dr. Earl Reum Award during the 2012 National Conference on Student Activities held in Pinehurst, North Carolina, earlier this month. Kathy was recognized for her valuable work with advisors to promote and enhance student activities throughout our nation! During her career at NAI, Kathy created both a Leadership I and a Leadership II class for students in grades 9 and 10. Kathy is the rock of the PASC organization. She has served as the Allegheny County (District 3) Director of PASC from 1987 to 2008 and as the co-director of the PASC Advanced Gold Workshop for the past 10 years. As assistant executive director for PASC since 1991, Kathy has conducted annual training meetings for our 12 adult District Directors and created a mentoring program designed to provide support for each of these key statewide adult leaders within the PASC organization. Beginning in 1988, Kathy has planned each of our state delegation trips to the NASC conference. Each trip is filled with leadership activities, team-building opportunities, educational experiences, and memorable outdoor adventures for both student and adult delegates based around the concept of PASC Squads. She has hosted two PASC state conferences, has worked with other advisors on the creation of a handbook for New Advisors, and Planning a Middle Level Conference. She has promoted a rigorous screening process for selection of student-led workshops for both state and national conferences.
Mary Reum congratulates Kathy Coll on receiving the 2012 National Earl Reum Award
Since 1999, Kathy has coordinated the roundtable sessions at our annual state conference, recruiting high school and middle level advisors for more than 30 tables. Kathy has been a presenter at every advisor workshop or retreat program PASC has held over the last 25 years. In June 2012, Kathy teamed with Andy Costanzo as both director and presenter at our most recent advisor program at Susquehanna University. Kathy’s role as a leader within the arena of student activities does not end at the Pennsylvania border. Kathy has been an active member of National Association of Workshop Directors (NAWD) since 1982 and has served as the cohost of the 1998 conference in Pittsburgh and the 2006 conference in Washington, D.C. From 2000–2004, Kathy served on the NASC Executive Board representing Region 2. In that capacity, Kathy championed the idea of an annual Region 2 state officer training conference, which continues to be held to this day as an expanded program for both students and adult leaders of the Middle Atlantic states. During the past three years she has continued her strong advocacy for student activities by working with the Alliance for Student Activities in the development of the Let X=Student Activities program and making presentations promoting the value of student activities and their impact on students, school continued on page 6
News & Notes Seeking Host School for 2014 PASC State Conference The process begins now to select the host for the fall conference in 2014. Student Council advisors and student leaders who are interested in bidding to host this conference should contact PASC Executive Director Jim Finnemeyer at PASCInfo@aol.com or call 215-280-9299 for a packet of materials that explain the bidding process to host the conference and a host school planning booklet. Schools interested in hosting the state conference in 2014 should notify PASC by December 2012. Official letters of invitation from advisors, student council president, principal, and superintendent of schools must be received by PASC no later than January 1, 2013. Schools who bid are invited to make presentations to the PASC Executive Board at a meeting on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at Altoona Area High School. The PASC Executive Board will make a decision that day.
Karin Knaus Named Acting Director for District 7 Tressa Heffron announced in November that she will be taking a leave of absence from her position as PASC District 7 Director. We wish Tressa well with her pregnancy and look forward to the arrival of baby girl Heffron in February. Karin Knaus, advisor at Cowanesque Valley High School and former District 7 Director, has volunteered to serve in the District Director position for the 2012–2013 school year. Karin will work closely with the District 7 officer schools in planning for the spring district conference and will represent the district at PASC Board meetings. Karin can be contacted at Karin.firstname.lastname@example.org or at 814-367-2233.
National Council of Excellence Applications Due in February With less than one month remaining in 2012, it is time for your student council members to organize information on projects, minutes and agendas of meetings, and other information that can be used to support the council’s application to NASC as a National Council of Excellence for 2012. Many PASC member councils have done many outstanding things since January 1, 2012. PASC would like to encourage all councils to apply for this prestigious award. Details on the application process and the appropriate forms can be found at www.nasc.us. The application, based on the council’s accomplishments for calendar year 2012, is due to NASC on February 15, 2013. 2
PASC News • December 2012 • www.pasc.net
Advisors Offer Ideas from NCSA By Lynn Clark, Norwin HS and Jeff Kusniez, Boyertown HS Every year in early December, student council advisors gather from around the country at the National Conference on Student Activities sponsored by NAWD (National Association of Workshop Directors). It is an amazing conference held only for advisors and other adults involved with student activities. We were able to meet this year with other advisors, share ideas, attend various breakout sessions, and hear a set of amazing speakers including Steve Spangler, who regularly appears on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. From the pages and pages of notes we took, we picked four ideas we thought that you would find useful: n Remind101.com — Have you ever wanted an easy way to inform your students and parents of what is happening in your classroom, school, or student council? The program sends text messages, without giving out your phone number, to anyone signed up for the service. It takes about 10 minutes to set up an account and it gives you everything you need to get the information out. Sending messages is even easier than that. And the best part is that IT IS FREE! n Raccoon Circles —Raccoon Circles require a piece of tubular nylon webbing, which can be purchased at any outdoor store, and a little imagination. They can be used for icebreakers, teambuilding, closing activities, or just for fun. Google “racoon circle” and find one of the many handbooks about it on the Internet.
n Coloring Day — Students of all ages love to color and this day allows the inner artist in all of us to come out. All you need are copies of a coloring page, crayons, and some tape. Put the copies and the crayons out during lunch and when they are done hang them on the wall. Names are optional, prizes not necessary, just enjoy the creativity of your students and staff. n WUFOO — Wufoo is a web application that allows you to build online forms, surveys, and gather registration data. If you attended either of the last two state conferences you used Wufoo for registration. With a few simple clicks, you can generate a form and start gathering data and easily download the data as well. There is a small cost for the service, but it can be a valuable tool if you use it wisely. A simple form for a small number of participants could even be free to your organization. While we spent a lot of time gathering ideas, we had time to sit back, relax, and just catch up with each other and many other advisors. Pinehurst was an amazing and beautiful place and we want to thank PASC, and especially Jim Finnemeyer, for giving us the opportunity to attend the conference. For all interested advisors, next year’s conference is in Austin, TX from Dec. 6–8. We suggest you put the dates on your calendar NOW so you don’t miss out on “Leadership is WEIRD”. NOTE: PASC received a donation to pay for the registration of two PASC advisors to attend this conference in 2012. Lynn and Jeff completed the application found in PASC NEWS and were selected to attend.
2012 United States Senate Youth Scholars Named Senators Robert Casey and Pat Toomey have announced the appointment of Dylan Brown and Sarah Rudasill as the Pennsylvania delegates to the 51st Annual United States Senate Youth Program in Washington, D.C. Dylan and Sarah were named following recommendation from the US Senate Youth Scholarship Selection Committee. n Dylan Brown, a resident
of Milford, Pennsylvania is the student council president at Delaware Valley High School (District 9). He is also student representative to the school board and president of the National Honor Society. He competes on district Dylan Brown champion football and lacrosse teams. He was elected Senate Minority Whip at Boys State and attended a summer program at the Air Force Academy pursuant to his interest in the military and aeronautical engineering. Dylan serves others participating in local elections, food drives, Toys for Tots, Relay for Life, and as a Special Olympics volunteer.
n Sarah Rudasill is
student body president at New Oxford High School (District 8). She served a two-year term as NASC Region 2 Liaison, representing student councils in the midAtlantic states. She is captain of the tennis team and of both the robotics Sarah Rudasill and rocketry challenge teams. She enjoys speech and debate. Sarah volunteers at hospitals and nursing homes and is a high school tutor. Sarah seeks to study bio-medical engineering and public policy. She has challenged herself with summer programs in these fields and in leadership development. Dylan and Sarah will each receive $5,000 scholarships and will attend a program in Washington in March sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Two additional state finalists were named as alternates for the program, Sam Becker of Gateway High School (District 3) and Megan Rosenberger of Saint Joseph High School- Natrona (District 3).
Boyertown Picks 2013 State Charity By Karlynn Miller, State Charity Co-Chair, Boyertown HS For the 2013 PASC State Conference, Boyertown Area Senior High School has chosen to donate to VH1’s Save the Music Foundation. VH1 Save the Music is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. It is their renewed commitment to donate 100 million dollars’ worth of new musical instruments to ensure that an even greater number of students receive a comprehensive music education over the next 10 years! For more information on the good work of the foundation, please visit: www.vh1savethemusic.com.
Boyertown selected this foundation because we know music is close to many of our hearts across the state. Over the past few years, as cuts were made to funds for education, many schools’ first option was to cut certain extracurricular programs, including music. Boyertown Area Senior High happened to be one of these schools. However, music is so important to students here in Boyertown that many high school students, and even some younger students, spoke at school board meetings to voice their experiences of how music has made them into who they are. There were rallies held at school board meetings, all set up and run by the students themselves. The major music groups, as well as single performers, filling the yard where
the meeting was being held. Many sang and played music, hoping the board would realize the students’ love and devotion to music. Boyertown’s music program was saved, but not all schools were so lucky. This is why the Boyertown High School Student Council is urging the member schools of PASC to raise money for VH1 Save the Music, so no child has to go through school without the opportunity to learn the value of music in their lives. This year, something new will be introduced to the State Conference. The goal is to showcase all of the hard work done by Student Councils across the state in raising funds for VH1. In order to do this, a highlight video during one of the general sessions will show all different ways that schools
raised money. As you fundraise for VH1 Save the Music, take pictures or videos, then email them to statecharity@ pasc2013.org. Be creative in the fundraising projects you develop and don’t forget that all of the money raised goes to a worthy cause! VH1 Save the Music only accepts monetary donations. If you wish to hold an instrument drive or donate a collection of sheet music, please do so, but they must be donated to a local charity or organization in your area.
PASC News • December 2012 • www.pasc.net
NASC to Hold LEAD Conference in Washington, DC NASC will sponsor a LEAD Conference at a familiar site to PASC member schools the weekend of February 1–3, 2013. The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia (near the Pentagon). The LEAD Conference is designed for student council and National Honor Society members in grades 6–12 with special program strands for middle level students, high school students, and advisors. These exciting and rewarding weekend meetings are designed to encourage interstate communication among student leaders and advisers, to strengthen leadership skills, and to prepare those attending for leadership roles on the local, state, and regional levels. To register, Go to www. LEADConferences.org, choose the site of the conference you wish to attend, then click on the registration information link. Deadline to register online at the member school early-bird rate ($190) is January 13, 2013. Regular registration deadline: January 21, 2013 with a registration fee of ($210).
Schedule The conference begins on Friday afternoon and ends on Sunday morning. Friday: 3:00–10:30 PM Saturday: 7:30 AM–10:00 PM Sunday: 7:30–10:45 AM Special program components for this LEAD conference include: • Film: Teen Truth Bullying and School Violence focuses on social issues that can lead to serious consequences while challenging students to think about how their reactions to these issues impact the lives of those around them. • Following the film, students will participate in a “Difference Maker Summit,” a fastpaced interactive “white-board” discussion to identify critical issues and to give student leaders a voice, challenge them to think differently, and empower them to actually create a useful plan to be the difference on their individual campuses. • “ Words Hurt the Heart, ” a powerful presentaPASC News • December 2012 • www.pasc.net 4
tion led by Bill Bond, NASSP Specialist for School Safety • In addition to special training tracks and presentations, Saturday will be filled with interactive student and adviser workshops, idea exchanges, large-group leadership sessions, and an opportunity to hear firsthand from speakers and presenters who collectively offer 150 years of experience. Two keynote speakers will be featured: Ed Gerety Ed is recognized for his unique ability to connect with audiences about real issues. Through his personal experiences, humor, and insights Ed teaches the principles and skills that are essential to the development of leaders. His powerful programs leave a lasting impact. Ed is the author of Combinations: Opening the Door to Student Leadership and a contributing author of four books on leadership and personal development. He currently serves on the National Board of Directors for the National Speakers Association, who awarded Ed their highest earned designation, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), an honor held by less than 10% of speakers who belong to the International Federation of Professional Speakers. For more information visit www.EdGerety.com Ted Wiese Known as one of America’s best youth leadership development speakers, Ted Wiese works with thousands of students every year to teach and enhance their leadership skills. Ted is in the business of making students believe they can make a difference - and he teaches them how to do it! Ted’s fun-filled keynotes contain contagious laughter coupled with a strong message, while his activityoriented workshops develop student leadership skills in an energetic, highly interactive, humorous and effective manner. With wit, wisdom, and real-life stories, his programs leave students with information and skills to take back to school, ideas to put into action, and something good to talk about in the days and months ahead.
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) Finnemeyer@aol.com PASCInfo@aol.com Assistant Executive Director Kathy Ann Coll 174 Link Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15237 412-366-5744 Kcoll1@comcast.net PASC President Kristina Riggans Union MSHS 2106 Camden Avenue New Castle, PA 16101 PASC President-Elect Danielle Croner Boyertown High School 120 N. Monroe Street Boyertown, PA 19512 PASC News Editor Lyn Fiscus Leadership Logistics PASC Email: PASCInfo@aol.com PASC Website: www.pasc.net
PASC to “Feel The Rhythm” in Boyertown in 2013 Foundation, as well as hear from our final speaker, Judson Laipply. The conference will come to a close on Saturday, November 16 at 11:00 AM when delegates will depart for home after another amazing conference.
Boyertown Area Senior High invites students and advisors from PASC member schools to attend the 2013 State Conference in Boyertown, PA (District 13). Boyertown Area School District’s outstanding music program is the inspiration for our theme, “Feel the Rhythm of Leadership.” With this theme, the goal is to inspire personal growth, spark motivation, and recognize the accomplishments of student councils across the Commonwealth. On the afternoon of Thursday November 14, delegates will arrive and register at the high school, after which they will participate in various welcome activities. For dinner, students will head to their host families and advisors are invited to attend the Advisor Banquet at the high school. Later that evening, all delegates and advisors will gather for our first general session, “Acapella—Use Your Voice.” We will focus on how students can use their own talents to make a difference. After the general session, we will have a surprise activity led by our first speaker, Monte Selby.
Friday will begin with breakfast at the hotels or host homes. Students will arrive at the high school to attend workshops while advisors will participate in roundtable sessions. Caucus meetings and lunch will take place prior to the second general session. That session, titled “Harmony—Use Your Instruments,” will feature keynote speaker Scott Backovich and will emphasize how students can use the resources around them to improve their student council, school, and community. Attendees will return to their respective host homes
following the day’s activities to prepare for the banquet and dance. All delegates and advisors will come together for the banquet, however, high school and middle level students will have separate dances to close the night. We have appropriately titled the last general session “Encore—Celebrate Your Accomplishments” to recognize everything our student councils have achieved this year. We will showcase the efforts of schools across the state to raise money for VH1’s Save the Music
In 2013, Boyertown and PASC plan to use host families for student delegates, but will also provide an option for schools that require students be housed in hotels. Please note, however, that the number of hotel rooms for the housing of both advisor and student delegates will be limited. The February edition of PASC News will provide hotel information. Reasonable hotel rates have been negotiated and will be published at that time. Details of the registration process and per delegate fee will be announced in March. Conference information is also available at www.pasc2013.org. Mark your calendar now and make sure to join us in Boyertown November 14–16, 2013 for the 77th Annual PASC State Conference!
PASC Has Hoodies for Sale A PASC hoodie designed by Destiny Orchowski, former Region D Representative, is now available and being offered to advisors and students at a great price. It is a good heavy-weight hoodie in Black with “PASC” printed in Hot Pink, Neon Green, Neon Blue, or Neon Yellow. (See picture) If you
would like to order one, the cost is $18 plus $4 for shipping; sizes available are small through 3XL.
can be ordered on one form.
Fill out the order form found at www.pasc.net and mail it with payment (check payable to PASC) to Kathy Coll, 174 Link Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15237. Hoodies will be mailed to the school address so several
Questions: Contact Kathy Coll at Kcoll1@comcast.net
Orders are due by January 1, 2013 and will be shipped by January 15, 2013.
Hoodies only $18 plus shipping PASC News • December 2012 • www.pasc.net
2013 Student Summit in Harrisburg to Focus on Education Issues PASC will hold its 15th annual Student Summit in the State Capitol in Harrisburg on February 21, 2013. One of the most important issues facing lawmakers and government leaders in Pennsylvania is the education of our state’s 1.8 million students. Our state government’s continuing goal is to provide the highest quality of education for the 21st Century at the most affordable price. Many adults in and outside of government have many and varied opinions on how best to achieve the goal. The students of Pennsylvania are the recipients of this education and also the greatest stakeholders in the success in achieving the highest standard of education in our nation. The 2013 PASC Student Summit is designed to give the students of Pennsylvania a voice on this most important topic.
PASC invites schools to send four students to Harrisburg for this Student Summit on 21st Century Education. The Summit is designed around six components: • Research and Preparation by student participants prior to the February 21st meeting with focus on four specific educational issues. • Development of proposals prior to the Summit and then initial collaborative synthesis during the morning work session of the Summit. • Presentation and student debate on proposals recommended by student committees during an afternoon general session following lunch. • Refinement of proposals to incorporate ideas generated through debates and discussion. • Presentation of proposals to state-level education entities by selected participants • Presentations of proposals to local school boards (encouraged). Educational Topic Areas The topics that students should research and prepare proposals for in preparation for the Summit are:
Students gather in the state capitol in February for the annual Student Summit .
• Academic Accountability • Equitable Funding • Teacher Certification and Professional Development • Curricular & Co-Curricular Design in the Educational Process See page 7 for a tentative schedule of the day. Additional details about the Summit, the application process, and additional information on topic areas are available at www.pasc.net. A copy of the program information and the application will be emailed in December to all students and advisors who receive PASC NEWS, please download it and share it with others in your school. The program is open to all students (including non-student council members) in grades 9–12 only. If you have additional questions, contact us at PASCInfo@aol. com. Applications will be done at www.pasc.net using Wufoo. Deadline to apply: January 15, 2013
Coll Receives Reum Award (cont’d from pg 1) personnel, and communities. Kathy has been previously recognized in 2006 as one of the Teachers of the Year by USA TODAY. In 1989 and again in 2008 she was named the PASC Advisor of the Year. Then in 2009, Kathy became the Warren E. Shull High School Advisor of the Year. The Earl Reum Award was created in 1991 to honor the 6
outstanding contributions of writer and speaker Dr. Earl Reum, whose contributions to the field of student leadership development over the years have affected thousands of advisors and students in the U.S. and Canada. He wrote extensively to create a leadership curriculum for teacher and student use and authored many articles and monographs dealing with a variety of student
PASC News • December 2012 • www.pasc.net
activity topics. Reum founded the National Association of Workshop Directors (NAWD) in 1973. Eight regional winners received a plaque donated by Herff Jones, Inc. As the national award recipient, Kathy received a ring and an additional plaque provided by Herff Jones, Inc. We salute Kathy and this year’s regional winners of the Earl Reum Award.
Speaker and author Earl Reum, whose legacy is honored with a national award
PASC Student Summit in Harrisburg February 21, 2013 Tentative Schedule 8:15–8:45 Registration at the East Wing of the State Capitol 9:00–9:15 Opening Session in the House of Representative’s Chamber 9:30–10:15 General Work Session
Students will be divided into groups based on their interest in the four major educational topic issues facing Pennsylvania.
A facilitator will lead a group of 30–35 students in a discussion of their topic. Students will be asked to present their proposals to the group.
10:30–11:45 Resolution Writing
Each of the four groups will select up to three student resolutions and divide into that number of sub-groups. Each committee will prepare one or more resolutions to be presented to all delegates during the afternoon General Session. The committee will select two or more spokespersons to make General Session presentations.
11:45–12:45 Lunch on your own/ Free time at the State Capitol Complex 1:00–3:30 General Session on the Floor of the House of Representatives
Each committee will present resolutions to the general body. Delegates and committee spokespersons will engage in a comment period and debate on the resolutions during a 30-minute block of time. At the end of 30 minutes the delegates will vote to support or to reject each resolution presented on that topic.
The same process above will be used to reach student opinion on each of the four educational topic areas. Delegates from other committees may submit written recommendations for the committee to consider following the general session.
Committees will reconvene to revise their resolutions based on the vote of student delegates in the general session and on written opinions provided to the committee from other delegates. Each committee will select a representative to work with PASC on the final draft of the Summit resolutions and presentations of resolutions to Pennsylvania educational leaders. Following the Summit, participants will be emailed resolutions that they may use to present to their local School Boards.
10 Things to Know about PASC’s 2013 Trip to the NASC Conference in Las Vegas
We will be joining “SCI: Nevada- Student Council Investigators” as we head to Sunrise HS in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 22–24, 2013 PASC will be traveling together for a pre-trip that will begin on June 20 and return home on June 24. Details about the pre-trip and how to register with PASC will be available on the PASC website in midDecember
This year’s conference format will similar that used last year in Oklahoma City. This means that a school site/community will be featured and all lodging will be hotel based.
The conference will feature nationally recognized speakers, student led workshops, speaker showcases, and idea sharing sessions. We will meet daily in state rooms for information sessions and one day will be a regional day where we will meet with all of Region 2 to discuss upcoming events.
Up to 6 students and advisors from a school may register for the conference and pre-trip.
Workshop presenters will be needed. Only students who have presented at a state or regional conference can apply. Check out www.pasc.net for details and application after December 15.
The pre-conference trip will be chaperoned by PASC Executive Director Jim Finnemeyer and Assistant Executive Director Kathy Coll, along with other adults who will assist on the trip.
The total fee for the trip and conference will be $1,500. This will include all transportation (plane and busing), registration fee for the conference, hotel, entertainment fees (including a Vegas show), meals (except lunches on the pre-trip), chaperones, a special Region 2 activity Friday night, buttons, and state and region t-shirts.
A PASC Reservation Form and $500 non-refundable deposit be due by February 15, 2013. The Reservation Form will be posted at www.pasc.net
Join us and head back to the “west” to have the experience of a lifetime! PASC News • December 2012 • www.pasc.net
December State Board of Education Report By Erin Agnew, Senior SBE Representative As the holidays are upon us, students are as likely to be dreaming of the Keystone exams as sugarplums and winning at dreidels. With the majority of Pennsylvania schools administering the Keystones from December 3–19, it is important that our students understand not only the background of the test, but its future. Tests in Biology, Algebra I, and Language Arts/ Literature will be fully implemented by the 2016–2017 school year, when seniors must have passed the test with a score of proficient or advanced in order to graduate. Many districts are already using the tests, which is fantastic for both students and schools. This gives the student body time to adjust to a new schedule, although many students I’ve spoken with felt that the Keystones “felt just like taking the PSSA last year.” Beginning to use the tests five years before they become mandatory also gives districts a chance to see how their curricula measure up to state and national standards. Many districts are developing specific classes to address areas in which the Keystones indicate that their students need improvement. Because the Keystones will serve as an endof-course exam, most students will take the exams before the eleventh grade deadline. This kind of class can be a great opportunity to review content for students who do not initially score proficient or advanced. If a student does not have a score of proficient by eleventh 8
grade, he or she can complete a graduation project in lieu of further testing. Schools still have the option of developing local area assessments on their own. These must be approved by the state Department of Education before they can be used as a measure of adequate yearly progress. For students in charter schools, many will be using a grade spans testing system, which is as good an indicator of achievement and progress as Keystone or PSSA testing. Besides Keystones, the November Board of Education meeting focused primarily on the financial security of Pennsylvania’s schools. Education and policy specialists from across the state met before this round of normal Board meetings to discuss a proactive process of financial recovery for high-need schools. Financial recovery plans have been in place in Chapter 18 of the PA School Code, but the last major update was in 2005, when the state was operating in a much different economy than we are today. The proposed changes to Chapter 18 give school districts more than 30 possible grounds on which to appeal to the state to be counted as a financial recovery district. If the PA Department of Education approves the appeal, the district will be qualified as either a moderate or severe status school. These two options move the recovery process along at different speeds based on the needs of the district. While the revisions aren’t completed yet, the special committee on financial recovery worked efficiently at
PASC News • December 2012 • www.pasc.net
last month’s meeting, and I have no doubt the final revisions will create a system that secures a sound financial future for Pennsylvania’s schools. With big changes in testing and financial recovery programs, Pennsylvania, just like our 1.8 million students, is looking at a bright future. So, nothing could have been more fitting than the theme of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) project briefing on December 4. While Pennsylvania isn’t an official NASBE member, the State Board of Education still receives information on projects and reports from time to time. I was excited by the topic of the meeting, and even more delighted to see the inside of a Senate office building for the briefing. Entitled “Born in Another Time,” the NASBE briefing focused on effectively implementing technology in the classroom. A primary concern was the tendency for technology to come into the classroom as a novelty, and then fall into a pattern of disuse. Any student who has seen a Smart Board used only as an upscale projection screen knows exactly what we were talking about. To my delight, PA is already implementing many of the suggestions issued at the briefing. The State Board
Erin Agnew, Senior SBE Representative
of Education is asking teachers to complete technology training as part of continued education in-service hours while still giving them freedom in lesson planning. The Board also offers computer-based versions of standardized tests, which NASBE study group members stressed as an important step towards the future of education. More details on Chapter 18, NASBE projects, and Keystone testing can be found at http:// pastudentrep.edublogs.org/, and Junior SBE Rep, Emily Clark and I are happy to answer any questions at email@example.com. We wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season, and can’t wait to see the outcomes of this years Keystone exams—just one more reason to be proud of PA Students!
Share Your Successful Ideas Does your council have a project or activity that is particularly successful? Write up a short description and send it with photos to PASCInfo@aol.com and you could find yourself featured in PASC News!