Page 1


Feeling under the weather?

Get treated today at Downtown’s Family Practice. Waking up with a fever, sore throat, earache, rash, urinary tract infection, flu, or other illness can really wipe out your day. Now you don’t have to let it! Get expert medical care at the Family Practice at Penn State Health St. Joseph’s Downtown Campus on the Second Floor.

Call ahead! 610-208-4559 – 9AM-3PM

145 N. 6th Street, Reading – Family Practice – Second Floor


SUPERINTENDENT’S MESSAGE I am proud to serve as Superintendent of Schools. Each day, in every classroom, I see the infinite possibilities of success. Reflecting on our school year, Reading School District has great momentum, as READING SCHOOL DISTRICT

we continue to focus on our five strategic plan

800 Washington St. l Reading, PA 19601

areas: Safe Schools; Academics; Communication

(484) 258-7000 office l (610) 371-5971 fax

and Engagement; Finance and Operational Effec-

www.readingsd.org

SUPERINTENDENT Dr. Khalid N. Mumin ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT

tiveness; and Partnerships. [See the complete strategic plan: www.readingsd.org/strategicplan.] More specific, deeper focus in the aforementioned will include: 1. Creating safe learning environments through equity, cultural competence, classroom management and administrative support; and

Chris Celmer, M.S.Ed. 2. The adoption of new Science curricula aligned with PDE standards, and ASSISTANT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT Jennifer Murray PROJECT MANAGER Kristin Boyd Director of Community Engagement boydkm@readingsd.org COVER DESIGN Artwork: Tracy Soto l Signarama Design: Ashley Tomasko l Cast & Crew http://CastandCrew.io PUBLISHER Reading School District Volume 1 - Issue 1 l © Copyright 2016

focusing on cohort graduation and dropout rates; and 3. Enhancing technology to be more interactive with students, parents and the community, by pursuing a parent identification system to streamline safe pick-ups of students from school, pursuing a customer service system for immediate feedback and support, and using more technology based communication of events, parent workshops and activities; and 4. Continued focus on obtaining alternative funding and grants to support student learning and opportunities, and updating school district policies/procedures for school district staff and students; and 5. Increasing the expansion of joint efforts focused on the arts, internship activities for students, ongoing professional development for staff at the five area universities to address the changing needs of students, and increasing partnerships with human services agencies and community partners. We hope you enjoy the stories, summaries and photos in our district newslet-

SPECIAL THANKS

ter, which is relaunching after being dormant for several years. We thank our

TO OUR SPONSORS

valued community partners White Star Tours and Penn State Health St. Joseph

Penn State Health St. Joseph

for partially sponsoring the newsletter and helping to defray publication cost.

thefutureofhealthcare.org

Also, special thanks to the Reading School Board of Directors, students, parents, staff, alumni, residents and our many community partners, as we contin-

White Star Tours

ue this journey of providing our students with quality educational experiences

whitestartours.com

to prepare them for success in an ever-changing society. Together, we will be successful. #RSDproud is more than a hashtag; it’s a movement!

FOLLOW READING SCHOOL DISTRICT

Dr. Mumin was named as a National School Public Relations Association’s Superintendents to Watch. He was among 24 superintendents nationwide

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE RSD APP

to receive the prestigious honor for the 2015-16 school year. In October, he received the Champion of Youth Award from Mentors for Berks Youth. Follow Dr. Mumin on Twitter — @drmuminrsd 1


BOARD PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE That, in which we Believe, drives us. I Believe in the Reading School District! Paramount to the Reading School District Board of Directors, we Believe in Excellence in Education. The fourth largest school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with 19 school buildings, we have a remarkable student body of more than 17,000 and nearly 2,000 committed faculty and staff members. Despite facing challenges, including maneuvering the state budget impasse earlier this year, our district has moved forward in leaps and bounds.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Abraham Cepeda, Esq. Vice President CepedaA@readingsd.org Brian Buerke, Ph.D. BuerkeB@readingsd.org Bernardo Carbajal, Esq. CarbajalB@readingsd.org Manuel Guzman GuzmanM@readingsd.org

Prepared to learn, every student in our district receives breakfast and lunch. The School Performance Profile (SPP) score for Reading High School

Jean Kelleher, M.S.Ed.

is now above the state benchmark, and the graduation rate continues to

KelleherJ@readingsd.org

increase. In addition, our students have received recognitions in the arts, athletics and community service. [Read more about their stellar accomplishments throughout our newsletter.] I Believe: “Something good can happen all by itself, but nothing great can happen without change.” As a board, we lead as a united team with our superintendent, and the administration, each of us from our respec-

David A. MCCoy MccoyD@readingsd.org Julio “Leo” Martinez MartinezJ@readingsd.org

tive roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust. Together, we explore, evaluate and make critical change through scrutinizing the efficacy of cur-

Eddie Moran

riculum and the delivery essential for extraordinary student achievement,

MoranEd@readingsd.org

with defined clear goals toward this vision. The Board has developed strong shared beliefs and values about what is possible for students and their ability to learn, and of the system and its ability to teach ALL children at high levels.

BOARD SECRETARY Lisa Iezzi

We continue our collaborative relationship with the administration, faculty,

iezzilm@readingsd.org

staff, parents and Greater Reading community partners. Through our established, strong communications structure, we inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals.

BOARD POLICIES

Accountability driven, we have spent less time on operational issues and

School board policies are available

more time focused on policies; professional development; monitoring and

on our Reading School District website,

use of program data; aligning and sustaining resources; to meet district

www.readingsd.org/boardpolicies.

goals and to improve our students’ success, I Believe: Like a family, each of us is related to and dependent upon one another; to make the indispensable change for the success of our students, our City of Reading, our Legacy. I Believe in RSD. I hope you do, too. Robin Costenbader-Jacobson, CTACC President, Reading School District Board of Directors Costenbader-JacobsonR@readingsd.org 2

RECOGNITION RECEPTIONS In the fall, winter and spring, the School Board hosts Recognition Receptions to applaud phenomenal students for their accomplishments. In addition, selected staff members receive the Superintendent’s Award of Excellence.


NEWS AND NOTES ‘I’m officially a ‘Cane’ A short-and-sweet tweet posted in November said it all: 5-star recruit Lonnie Walker IV announced he has committed to University of Miami in Florida.

2016-17 BUDGET OUTLOOK The 2016-2017 final budget in the amount of $238.5 million was approved by the Reading School District Board of Directors in June. There were no reductions to personnel or programs. Here’s a brief budget outlook: TOTAL BUDGET — FUNDING SOURCES l $238,577,493 STATE

All-State Athlete RHS senior Edwin Navas was named All-State for Boys’ Soccer. He was also

LOCAL

17.2 PERCENT

7.9 PERCENT

FEDERAL OTHER

73.6 PERCENT

1.3 PERCENT

the premiere kicker on the football team.

EXPENDITURE CATEGORIES INSTRUCTION

Top Chef SUPPORT SERVICES

Carlos Ulerio, a RHS Class of 2016 graduate, won a gold medal in the Job Interviewing category at the national FCCLA com-

DEBT SERVICE OTHER

61.7 PERCENT

29.8 PERCENT Instruction includes: Non-special education: 65.5 percent Special education: 27.0 percent Vocational education: 3.5 percent Pre-Kindergarten: 1.5 percent Other Instruction: 2.4 percent

7.1 PERCENT

1.4 PERCENT

includes student & community activities

petition this summer. He is now attending the Culinary Institute of America in NYC.

EXPENDITURE SUBCATEGORIES SALARIES

Miller-Keystone Blood Center honor Wynton Butler II was the first RHS student to receive the high school student donor

BENEFITS PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

coordinator scholarship from Miller-Key-

DEBT SERVICE

stone Blood Center. Plus: RHS students

OTHER

received the prestigious Angela Hohl

37.4 PERCENT

29.6 PERCENT 20.2 PERCENT

7.1 PERCENT 5.7 PERCENT

includes supplies & other expenses

Memorial Award. Our students donated a total of 348 units to the blood bank — a 197 percent increase. Wynton, a RHS Class of 2016 graduate, is now attending Penn State-University Park. Fuel Up to Play Grant In December, RSD will receive a $10,000 grant from Fuel Up to Play 60, an inschool nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy

Pictured, from left: Tyson-Schoener Elementary held a Pink Out Day to recog-

Council and NFL, in collaboration with

nize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The school also donated get-well bags for

the USDA. The program, which encour-

breast cancer patients at Reading Health System; In the spring, 10th and Penn

ages youth to increase healthy eating

Elementary art teacher Doug Hatch and his students created a cardboard ar-

and physical activity, will begin at four

cade; RSD hosted a Back-to-School Sidewalk Chalk Project, in which staff, par-

pilot schools: 10th and Penn Elementary,

ents and community members joined together to write encouraging messages

13th and Union Elementary, Glenside El-

for students at all 19 school buildings on the Sunday night before the school year

ementary and Millmont Elementary.

began. RHS alumnus Tim Profit of Savage 61 donated the chalk.

3


NEWS AND NOTES U-Knighted Campaign

We saw a lot of great Spirit Week photos, but this

This year, RHS Student Council joined us

one from Superhero Day just melted our heart.

in raising money for our U-Knighted Cam-

A’Latese from 13th and Green Elementary came

paign. In total, district staff members and

dressed in her mother’s work uniform because

students raised more than $28,000 for the

she said her mother is her favorite superhero! To

United Way of Berks County.

see all of our Spirit Week photos, visit our district Facebook page and view the “Spirit Week 2016”

RHS Class of 2017 Officers

photo album.

The RHS Class of 2017 Officers are: President Giovanni Negron-Garcia; Vice President Jayzon Jones; Secretary Pamela Perez;

BY THE NUMBERS

and Treasurer Hector A. Vega-Ayala. Gio, a student at Reading-Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center, was also recently named the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Central Region Student of the Year. All Hail the King and Queen Natividad Bueno, representing RHS Dance Team, and Jahmier Williams, representing RHS football, were crowned Class of 2017 Homecoming Queen and King. New contracts, agreements reached RSD has settled four expired contracts and agreements with RESPA (para-professionals), REA (teachers), RSSSA (administrators/professional support staff) and RSAA (principals/assistant principals). The district is currently in negotiations with the remain-

75

ing four unions and associations: Teamsters; SEIU (food service); AFSCME (secretaries/ clerks), and SPFPA (safe schools). Head of the Class What makes us #RSDproud? The phenomenal RHS Class of 2016, of course! Valedic-

781

of graduates are pursuing

graduates

colleges, technical schools

in the Class

and trade schools, or the

of 2016

Armed Forces

post-secondary education, including 2-year and 4-year

torian Vu Nguyen [pictured, top] is studying biochemistry at Lehigh University, and Salutatorian Thomas Mease [pictured, bottom] is studying computer science at Ursinus College. Vu also won Reading Eagle’s Berks’ Best in the Science category. Read our Graduation Spotlight at rdgschoolsgradspotlight2016.weebly.com. 4

percent

23

percent of graduates attained fulltime jobs with Berks County

25

companies

The number of graduates from the Red Knight Learning Academy-Evening Program, which is designed to curb the drop-out rate. It provides non-traditional, over-age or under-credited students a way to earn their diploma.


NEWS AND NOTES The RHS Percussion Team won first

Designed for success

place at the annual Wildwood

Congratulations to RHS student Bethsaida

Competition in the spring and

Torres, whose artwork was selected for

was named as the Scholastic

the program cover at the annual NAACP

Stationary A Percussion champs.

banquet in the fall.

To view their award-winning performance, visit our Red Knight TV

Caron recognizes students

YouTube channel.

Datnilza Metz and Vilma Dominguez, co-

PHRC AGREEMENT UPDATED The district and Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) have ap-

presidents of the RHS Project Peace Club, were honored with the “Unsung Heroes” Award at Caron Treatment Centers annual breakfast last spring.

proved a new joint stipulation. “The updated agreement is a rich partnership between RSD and PHRC, focusing on equity, access, achievement and Eng-

‘Dream House’ earns

lish Language Learners,” says Waldo Alvarado, the district’s Equity Director.

top spot in Berks County

In total, only eight of the 96 terms from the original conciliation agreement,

Jenny Mejia, a RHS Class

enacted in 2012, now require a full response to demonstrate compliance/

of 2016 graduate, repre-

continued compliance. Nineteen terms were eliminated, requiring no further

sented Berks County at the

evidence; 14 terms now only require annual monitoring data reports; and 35

PA State Computer Fair at

terms now only require a certification statement by the district’s Equity Director

Dickinson College in the spring after earn-

as evidence of compliance/continued compliance. In addition, PHRC is with-

ing first place in the Computer Animation

drawing the Pending Petition to Enforce Action and stipulates the district has

Category at the BCIU Computer Fair. Her

demonstrated compliance with the original agreement for 2014-15. The com-

project was a 3D Model and Rendered

mission is also not extending the length of the agreement and has reduced

Video of her “Dream House.”

the district’s reporting obligation to one time per year. The district stipulated it has been unable to satisfactorily demonstrate compliance with the original

Key Clubber of the Year

agreement for the first two academic years 2012-13 and 2013-14. However,

Congrats to RHS senior Ro-

there are no penalties for this admission, and the commission will not seek to

saura Orozco, who was

compel the district to produce evidence that it complied with the terms of the

named Berks County Key

original agreement for 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Clubber of the Year for 2016 by Kiwanis International. This is the 5th consecutive year a student from RHS has earned the honor. A message from the White House This summer, Elise Jackson, our RHS Class of 2016 President, received a special letter and picture from First Lady Michelle Obama for outstanding achievements

Heading into the new school year, the district completed several facility up-

as a student leader. Elise is now studying

grades, including the Weight Room at Reading High School; uninvent replace-

English at West Chester University, and

ment at Northeast Middle School; the band shed and athletic shed at George

she plans to become a teacher.

Field; new playground equipment at 13th and Green Elementary School [pictured above]; fence replacement at Northwest Middle School; and renovations to George Field and moveable bleachers throughout the district. 5


It’s more than a hashtag. It’s a movement.

The slam-dunk surprise for longtime super fan Bobby

a math equation, a senior posting a selfie with her college

Weitzel. JROTC being named best Regulation Drill Team

acceptance letter, a huddle of kids shuffling with excite-

in the country. Hector Echevarria’s move-you-to-tears

ment as chicks hatch inside their classroom incubator.

performance of “You Raise Me Up” at this year’s gradua-

“The big things like Bobby, of course, make me so proud,

tion ceremony. Our district Communications Department

but all the tiny, not-in-your-face moments are the ones

winning 23 state and national awards, Reading High’s SPP

that matter,” Dower says. “The ones that happen in our

score (School Performance Profile) surpassing the state’s

classrooms every single day. The moments with the real

70 percent benchmark and the German-American Ex-

smiles, the real laughs and the real light bulb moments.

change Program traveling across the globe, putting an-

Those are the moments that make me #RSDproud.”

other layer of Red Knight pride on the map. Whew!

For some, particularly those who reduce our district to

The list of recent #RSDproud accomplishments could

nothing more than stereotypes and statistics, it might be

stretch the length of North 13th Street — twice. But, as 13th

difficult to understand just why so many of our students,

and Union Elementary teacher and RHS alumnus Brooke

staff, parents and alumni are #RSDproud. But instead of

Dower explains, often the most memorable #RSDproud

thinking our students are all trouble makers or assuming

moments are everyday occasions that nestle in your heart

the worst, instead of calling them failures or judging them

and never let go — a teacher remixing the “Whip and

by their surroundings, take a moment to talk to them,

Nae Nae” song to teach sight words, a student mastering

to learn about them, to hear their stories. If you did, you

CONNECT WITH US l STAY INFORMED l SHARE YOUR #RSDPROUD MOMENTS

6


would see who they really “R” — diverse, role models, intelligent and hardworking, creative, involved in their community, passionate, talented and, above all, a family. “I often tell people we’re not perfect, but we’re far better than the perception many have of us,” says Kristin Boyd Edwards, a RHS alumnus and RSD Director of Community Engagement. “#RSDproud has become our Red Knight

Lonnie Walker IV, RHS Class of 2017

rallying cry, and it’s a way to show the world the amazing

The teachers and students are all in this together.

moments that pop up in every corner of our district.”

And I play on the best basketball team ever.

That’s what makes #RSDproud more than a hashtag, says Shareetha Perry, a RHS alumnus who’s now a Glen-

Wanda Gonzalez-Crespo, RHS alumnus and ESL Director

side Elementary Pre-K teacher. “I am #RSDproud because

RSD empowers our students with the skills and knowledge

it’s in my blood,” she says. “My mother taught in RSD, the

needed to overcome what others would perceive as in-

same district where I received my education. I loved my

surmountable challenges. RSD helped me achieve a col-

teachers throughout school, and they left an imprint on

lege education, and the staff here continues to do this

my life. Now I’m following in my mother’s footsteps, and

work for other students every single day.

I’m able to leave an imprint on other children’s lives like teachers did for me. I love my job. Where else can you go

Amanda Wilson, RHS alumnus

and have 40 smiling little faces embrace you?”

Its grit. This is something we discussed recently with friends. Reading kids grow up with grit. You know the world isn’t

A FEW PEOPLE TOLD US WHAT MAKES THEM

.

perfect and you are so much better off for it. Grit is what

TO SEE MORE RESPONSES FROM STUDENTS, STAFF, PARENTS

makes you brush yourself off and get back up in life. Tol-

AND ALUMNI, PLEASE VISIT OUR DISTRICT FACEBOOK PAGE

erance is a part of who you are, and diversity is all you

AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/READINGSD.

know. These are not universals and cannot be taught. 7


JOIN THE

MOVEMENT: 8 EASY WAYS TO SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS AND STAFF

RHS Basketball Squires’ Club

models are encouraged to volunteer

Donors Choose

Founded in 2011, the Squires’ Club is a

for at least one full day each school

Donate to Donors Choose, an online

community organization that supports

year. “Watch D.O.G.S. have been a

crowdfunding tool for teachers who

the Reading High basketball programs

fantastic addition to our school envi-

want to raise money for special class-

through donations, fundraising, and

ronment,” says Traci Webb, principal

room projects. Funded RSD projects

personal interaction. To join the organi-

at 16th and Haak Elementary.

have included bean bag chairs for

zation or be added to its email list, visit

flexible seating, chair pockets to orgaRSD Book Day

nize classroom materials and acoustic

RHS Class of 1992 alums Sara Cosentino

guitars for an innovative guitar lab. Visit

Operation Replay

and Amy Kline started RSD Book Day.

donorchoose.org and search “Read-

Reading Musical Foundation’s Opera-

Each year, their project raises money to

ing, PA” to find a list of current projects.

tion Replay, sponsored by Zeswitz Music

buy books like Charlotte’s Web, Cider

Company, provides used instruments

House Rules and Where the Sidewalk

Alumni Association of Reading High

to financially disadvantaged students

Ends for students who may not other-

Lifetime membership for the Alumni

who would like to participate in a

wise own or read a book. “We know

Association of Reading High School is

community or school music program.

that the right book at the right time in

only $36 and helps to support scholar-

Instrument donations are tax deduct-

the right hands can shape the life of

ships for top graduating RHS students.

ible and a wonderful way to provide a

a person,” Sara says. Donate: https://

The association also recognizes out-

deserving child with an opportunity to

www.gofundme.com/RSD-Book-Day

standing RHS graduates annually. For

the Squires’ Facebook page.

make great music. To date, more than

more information or to download a

500 instruments have been collected,

Ready.Set.Read!

membership form, visit the Alumni As-

refurbished and placed with students

Ready.Set.READ! is a community-wide

sociation of RHS Facebook page or

in Berks County schools. All string, brass,

initiative that brings together schools,

the alumni tab on the district website,

woodwind and percussion instruments

businesses, organizations and individu-

www.readingsd.org.

are welcome. Keyboards are also wel-

als to improve early grade reading

come, but the program is unable to

success throughout Berks County. Vol-

Red Knight Music Association

accept pianos or organs. Contact RMF

unteers are needed to tutor 2nd grade

The Red Knight Music Association is

at (610) 376-3395 to make a donation.

students who are struggling with read-

committed to serving and assisting the

ing. Tutors volunteer weekly for one

RHS and RIHS music programs through

WATCH D.O.G.S.

hour during the school year. Current

fundraising and promotion. The asso-

The majority of our schools participate

background clearances are required

ciation sponsors events and supports

in the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great

prior to assignment, and no previous

students. To learn more, contact asso-

Students) program, thanks to a grant

teaching experience is required. In-

ciation President Ruth Errazuri Moran at

from the Penn State Health St. Joseph’s

terested? Contact Darby Wiekrykas at

Ruthie2boys@yahoo.com or Secretary

Reading Youth Violence Prevention

United Way of Berks County at 610-685-

Carmen Torres at Torres1210@Verizon.

project. Fathers and other male role

4574 or darbyw@uwberks.org.

net.

8


Dawn Conrad School Librarian

Lauer’s Park Elementary

My favorite word is …

I love reading because …

Exuberant. It’s a fun word to say, and

I lose track of time when I get absorbed in a new

I love to be an exuberant person!

book. It’s so great to learn and experience the world through others.

Book character I would love to meet … Hermione Granger from the “Harry

My favorite book ...

Potter” series. I’m sure we could have

“Pete the Cat I Love my White Shoes” by Eric

a fun conversation about how much

Litwin. I love how Pete the Cat never worries or

we love the library!

frets when things don’t go his way. He just keeps on singing his song! If you like my favorite book,

If I started a book club, I would name it …

you might also like the Pigeon books by Mo Wil-

Bibliophiles

lems. He makes me laugh!

“Hello” introduces you to our amazing Reading School District students + staff. To be featured, e-mail boydkm@readingsd.org. 9


TEACHING AND LEARNING l THE ARTS l ATHLETICS Getting connected Our IT Dept. is continuing major technology upgrades throughout the district. RSD’s Internet Capacity has doubled to 2Gb. Also, a Wi-Fi upgrade project approved in February 2016 and covering 12 schools ran several months ahead of schedule and was complete for the opening of the 2016-17 school year. The brand-new highspeed Enterprise system provides wireless network access in every classroom and office area, adding over 650 Wireless access points installed this summer. Installation for the remaining seven schools will start in April 2017 and end in August 2017. As a positive behavior incentive, Tyson-Schoener Elementary hosted a PokéSAT Boot Camps at RHS

mon Go Scavenger Hunt. The kids were all smiles as they found clues, an-

The new SAT Boot Camps at RHS are an

swered questions and collected Pikachu and other Pokémon.

academic training ground for students who want to practice for the exam and improve their scores, according to Aaron Price, a 10th grade Honors English teacher who oversees the program with Algebra 1 teacher Emily Kardoley. The eightweek boot camps are held prior to each SAT testing date, and students attend after school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Participants practice SAT questions and utilize Khan Academy lessons on YouTube, Price says, adding he and Kardoley are also available to answer questions and work one-on-one with students. In addition to the boot camps, participants are able to access the SAT lessons and testing tools on their cell phones or personal computers, allowing them to study at their convenience. “The kids find it helpful,” Price says. “They can learn their weaknesses and strengths. They get more practice so they feel more comfortable with the test questions.” Reading is reading As a way to inspire the love of reading, our district librarians created a RSD Book Club. Each month, they share book recommendations on a selected theme and display the books in their school libraries. 10

Professional Development Council

work, and a capstone internship in

To better utilize teacher feedback,

local schools. As a result of this part-

RSD recently re-established its Pro-

nership, Alvernia offers our teachers

fessional

Council,

a reduced tuition rate and waives

which has allowed staff members

application and technology fees.

to survey their peers, review profes-

Our first RSD-Alvernia cohort, which

sional development proposals, pro-

began in January and includes 16

vide valuable input and plan useful

teachers, is completing the col-

training sessions for employees. Juli-

laborative program. When finished,

Anne Kline, Director of Instructional

those teachers will have the skills

Services and Professional Develop-

necessary to instruct and support

ment, oversees the council, which is

our students from culturally and lin-

comprised of administrators, teach-

guistically diverse populations. In

ers and professional staff members,

addition, the ESL Dept. added three

such as school counselors and

facilitators to its staff, and their pri-

nurses. Professional development

mary function will be to provide

largely consists of state mandated

school-based training and support

training, district initiatives and peer-

for teachers. This summer, the de-

to-peer workshops.

partment also held an ELL Profes-

Development

sional Development Series for School ESL Professional Development

Leadership Teams, where staff col-

RSD teamed with Alvernia University

laborated to develop building-level

to offer the English as a Second Lan-

ELL Program Plans. The plans outline

guage Program Specialist (Grades

goals and action steps targeted at

K-12) certification, which includes

improving academic outcomes for

a combination of coursework, field-

English Language Learners.

For inclement weather updates, download our FREE RSD mobile app, visit www.ReadingSD.org or follow our district Facebook page.


TEACHING AND LEARNING l THE ARTS l ATHLETICS

BRIGHT IDEA

When the staff at Riverside Elementary wanted to connect with students beyond the classroom, they developed a mentoring program to ensure students have another positive adult in their school Thanks to the Reading Symphony Orchestra, our students had two opportunities to experience beautiful music this fall. First, the world-renowned Sweet Plantain Quartet visited our four middle schools, Reading Intermediate High School and Reading High School as part of a residency with the RSO. The quartet fuses Latin-soul and hip hop with classical string music. For one song, they fused classical music with A Tribe Called Quest. Our high school orchestra students worked with the quartet members and then performed with them at the DoubleTree By Hilton in downtown Reading. They received rave reviews and an attendee wrote a nice Letter to the Editor in Reading Eagle about the group. Second, the RSO performed Peter and the Wolf [pictured above] for more than 2,500 RSD students, who had an amazing time learning about music and instruments. Dr. Mumin served as the narrator for the performances, which were made possible through the Peter Brye Music Education Fund.

life. This school year, 22 students are participating, and they are paired with a teacher other than their own. Teachers volunteer to work with mentees on their behavior, classwork and homework, as well other needs identified by staff or family members. The program includes after-school activities, such as making gingerbread houses and playing games; however, mentors are always available to provide extra guidance, positivity and motivation for their

Four art teachers receive honors

Berks County and PMEA Chorus winners

Four RSD art teachers recently received

Congratulations to the following RHS stu-

awards from the Kutztown University De-

dents for auditioning and winning a spot

partment of Art Education & Crafts. They

in the Berks County Chorus. They will be

include: Marcie Blatt, Outstanding Stu-

performing in a concert at Fleetwood

dent Teacher Mentor; Doug Hatch, Out-

High School in January with 200 singers

standing Early Field Mentor; Janna Car-

from across the county: Alexandra Var-

rozza, Outstanding Artist/Teacher; and

gas, alto; Naithan Szerszen, tenor; Miguel

Zoe Dehart, Outstanding Leadership in

Rivera, tenor; Kevin Villegas, tenor; and

the Field.

Luis Ildefonso, bass. Alexandra Mercedes and Carmen Popovici placed as

mentees. They check in with the students often, popping into their classrooms to say “hello,” eating lunch with them or attending their extracurricular activities. “Building relationships is an essential component to student success, not only in school but in life. So we are hoping this program will continue to add positive relationships to their lives,” says Principal Kimberly Birts.

RHS steals the show at 2016 YNOT Awards

first alternates in the alto 1 and 2 sections

For the second consecutive year, RHS

respectively. Also, special recognition to

students won the most YNOT awards,

Alexandra Vargas and Luis Ildefonso for

RHS Outstanding Young Woman

nine in all, for its staging of the musical

going on to make PMEA District Chorus.

Corrine Perez represented RHS

“Aida.” Among its awards was the cov-

Alex placed 10th in Alto and Luis placed

in the Berks Outstanding Young

eted “most memorable overall produc-

21st in Bass. They will participate in a

Woman competition. She plays

tion.” Each spring, the YNOT Awards cel-

three-day choral festival at Bangor High

volleyball and is the head man-

ebrate area high school shows/musicals.

School in January.

ager for RHS Boys’ Basketball. 11


TEACHING AND LEARNING l THE ARTS l ATHLETICS RHS earns bronze ranking from U.S. News and World Report The Olympians aren’t the only people who earned medals this summer. Reading High School received a bronze medal ranking from U.S. News and World Report. The school was listed in the publication’s 2016 National Rankings report. In addition, seven RHS students and recent graduates earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on AP Exams. RHS senior Dalton Boyle qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award. RHS senior Taj Morales and RHS Class of 2016 graduates Jasmine Argueta, Emanuel Luna, Vu Nguyen, Arianne Cabral and Thomas Mease qualified for the AP Scholar Award. This school year, RHS added four AP courses — AP Studio Art, AP Government and Politics, AP Computer Science and AP Biology. This brings the total number of AP courses available to 14. The high school is also Kimmy Goodhart, Coach of RHS Girls’

implementing the rigorous Collins Writing Series to help students prepare for

Water Polo and a 2008 RHS graduate

post-secondary education and AP exams. “These accomplishments are due

[pictured, left], was voted the PA Water

to the hard work and dedication of our students and staff,” Principal Eric Tur-

Polo League Girls Coach of the Year.

man says. “While we still have more work to do, this is impressive news, par-

Also, congratulations to player Elizabeth

ticularly as we strive for continuous improvement and academic growth.”

Gaspari, who was voted 1st Team All State and was selected as Miss Water Polo, given to the top water polo player in the state. Plus: Elizabeth and Charley Stricker were named All Conference 1st team, and Raeann Ringler and Ari Cammarano-McKenna were named All Conference 3rd team. The district has a cooperative athletic agreement with Berks Catholic, which allows their students to participate on the Red Knight swim and water polo teams.

2016 Athletic Hall of Fame The Reading High School Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed its fifth class of inductees in September. The newest class of inductees includes: Christine Johnston;

Our #WhyITeach project was featured nationally on the Teacher2Teacher Facebook page and blog. The project was a valuable way to highlight our fantastic teachers, show why they chose their profession, why they love their students and why they are #RSDproud. View all of their responses: http://rdgschoolswhyiteachproject.weebly.com

Christian Robertson; John Keith; Lamar Stewart; Craig Bell; Roxann Evans; Kevin

2016 Athletes of the Year

Maier; Charles Griffin; Hoby Geesaman;

In June, RHS basketball and football player Khary Mauras was

and the 1983 RHS PIAA State Baseball

named as Reading Eagle’s Athlete of the Year. He is the first

Championship Team.

Red Knight to win the award. Khary, who is attending Old Dominion University, was also named as Reading High School’s

New Athletic Website From sports schedules to final scores, our RSD athletic website is the go-to source. Visit http://readingredknights.org/. 12

2016 Male Athlete of the Year. RHS basketball player Nina Rojas, who is attending West Chester University, was named as Reading High School’s 2016 Female Athlete of the Year.


CLASS NOTES

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT CLASS REUNIONS Let us know if you’re planning a RHS class reunion. We’ll post “We are products of a fantastic education offered by

the information on our district website, www.readingsd.org/

the Reading School District. I just think back to when

classreunions, as well as share it on our social media sites.

we first started at 10th and Green Elementary School.

Send information to boydkm@readingsd.org.

My sister and I were in bilingual classes. We all had the same kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Garl. I know my fam-

VINTAGE YEARBOOKS AVAILABLE

ily will always be proud to be a Red Knight family,” says

The Alumni Association of RHS maintains a large collection

Juan Zabala, pictured second from top.

of vintage yearbooks. E-mail Mr. Tom Fox at tafox801@verizon.net for current price and availability. In addition, you

MARIA ZABALA l CLASS OF 2005

can contact Mr. Fox if you or your family members have RHS

B.A., Criminal Justice + Sociology, Lock Haven University

yearbooks you would like to donate to the alumni collection.

M.A., Public Administration, Kutztown University Employed at PA Department of Human Services

DID YOU KNOW? The Alumni Association of Reading High School is the oldest

JUAN ZABALA l CLASS OF 2006

alumni association of its kind in the state. The organization will

B.S., Economics, Shippensburg University

celebrate its 150th year in 2017.

Licensed Realtor with Berks Realty Group SUBMIT ALUMNI NEWS JOHN ZABALA l CLASS OF 2012

Know a Red Knight alumnus who should be featured in Class

Studying Business Marketing, Kutztown University

Notes or Alumni Spotlight? Have alumni news you want to

Plans to graduate in December 2016

share about a recent accomplishment? Send information to boydkm@readingsd.org for possible inclusion in our next RSD

JONATHAN ZABALA l CLASS OF 2015 Studying International Politics + Economics Sophomore, Penn State-University Park

newsletter.


Red Knights Community Newsletter  

Volume 1 - Issue 1 December 2016

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you