Press Releases

Thursday, December 13, 2018 9:19 AM

In June 2018, Gov. Tom Wolf signed school safety legislation as part of a response spurred by the Parkland High School in Florida's horrific shooting in February 2018 that killed 17 people. Act 44 mandates the establishment and use of the "Safe2Say Something" (S2SS) Anonymous Reporting System by every Pennsylvania school entity by January 14, 2019. 

S2SS is a life-saving and life-changing school safety program that teaches students, educators and administrators how (1) to recognize the signs and signals of individuals who may be at risk of hurting themselves or others; and (2) to anonymously report this information through the S2SS app, website or 24/7 Crisis Center Hotline.  

Click here to view S2SS Frequently Asked Questions.   

Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation.    

 We encourage you to review this information and discuss it with other educational leaders in your school district.

 
Thursday, December 13, 2018 9:18 AM

The past year has seen 93 gun-related incidents in K-12 schools across the United States, the highest number since recording began in 1970 and more than double the number of shootings in 2017.
Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 12, 2018
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Thursday, December 13, 2018 9:16 AM

In a case with potential statewide ramifications, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided a legal fight over school taxes in Lower Merion Township will be heard on its merits.
WITF, Dec. 12, 2018
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Thursday, December 13, 2018 8:08 AM

The Federal Communications Commission estimates about 800,000 Pennsylvanians lack access to Broadband. However, a recent Penn State study finds the number much higher at 11 million people as defined by the Federal Communications Commission. Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss broadband access in Pennsylvania are Steve Samara, PA Telephone Association, Barry Denk of the Center for Rural PA and Senator-elect Kristin Phillips-Hill, York County.
WITF, Dec. 12, 2018
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Thursday, December 13, 2018 8:06 AM

With six months left in the fiscal year, state lawmakers are already looking ahead to potentially difficult budget discussions. However, disagreements have surfaced on what exactly the fiscal situation will be when the time comes.
WITF, Dec. 11, 2018
Full story

 
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 12:53 PM

Internet content monitoring can create a clash between student safety and student privacy. 

One one hand, teachers and parents want students to remain safe from harmful content on the internet. Keeping tabs on every student’s digital presence, however, can create a dangerous precedent.

Click here for full story.

Source: EdTech Focus on K-12, Dec. 11, 2018.

 
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 12:52 PM

With six months left in the fiscal year, state lawmakers are already looking ahead to potentially difficult budget discussions.

However, disagreements have surfaced on what exactly the fiscal situation will be when the time comes.

Click here for full story.

Source: WITF, Dec. 11, 2018.

 
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 9:35 AM

The 2018-19 school year Restraint Information System Collection (RISC) is open for data entry. The system has been enhanced to give local educational agencies (LEAs) greater opportunity to provide more detail about restraints, as well as analyze trends in reducing the use of physical restraints on students.

The Bureau of Special Education (BSE) will continue to require LEAs to report the restraints that occurred in each quarter. This reporting process encourages LEAs to report their restraints in a more timely manner, and, in turn, will help LEAs monitor patterns of episodic behaviors and address them accordingly. The quarterly windows of reporting for the 2018-19 school year are as follows:

Quarter

Begin Date

End Date

Last day to Report

Zero Window Opens

Zero Window Closes

1

07/01/2018

09/30/2018

10/20/2018

10/01/2018

10/20/2018

2

10/01/2018

12/31/2018

01/15/2019

01/01/2019

01/15/2019

3

01/01/2019

03/31/2019

04/15/2019

04/01/2019

04/15/2019

4

04/01/2019

06/30/2019

07/14/2019

07/01/2019

07/15/2019

The RISC reporting design provides an “End Date” for LEAs to comply with their end of quarterly reporting. In addition, there is a two-week window date labeled “Last Day to Report” to allow LEAs to gather and report their students that attend an out of district facility and were placed in a restraint during that quarter. This two-week period is also a designated time for LEAs that had no restraints during the quarter to report zero in the RISC. BSE will continue to send out reminder PENN*LINKS of quarterly reporting.

BSE will continue to monitor the restraint information entered by LEAs. The RISC continues to require each LEA to report the incident, the unsafe behavior, and the de-escalation techniques utilized.  The parent(s) must be notified by the LEA of the use of a restraint and schedule an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting within 10 school days of the use of the restraint in the educational program or after written notice, the parent agrees in writing to waive the IEP meeting. Additionally, restraints occurring during the Extended School Year sessions should be reported within three weeks of the start of the school year.

In reviewing restraints submitted in the RISC, the Special Education Advisers in BSE will continue to focus on LEA monitoring responsibilities as well as:

  • Training of staff in de-escalation techniques,
  • Excessive time of restraint,
  • Excessive use of parent waivers,
  • Mechanical restraints,
  • Injuries,
  • Number of restraints, and
  • 10-day window (school days) to convene an IEP after a restraint occurs.

A RISC Reporting Webinar is posted on the RISC site at https://apps.leaderservices.com/_risc/index.aspx. The RISC Reporting Webinar link is located below the Login box of the Leader Services RISC sign-in page. This webinar explains the reporting process and how to use the RISC system. The webinar also shares how to update your LEA's contact information. All parties involved with the RISC are highly encouraged to view this webinar to learn how to report restraints, how to use the system, and to understand the regulatory responsibility for the LEAs.

Additionally, BSE's “Guidelines for De-escalation and the Use of/and Reporting of Restraints in Education Entities” document is available for review.

Questions regarding the RISC should be directed to either of the following special education advisers:  Keith Focht at 717.783.6921 or kfocht@pa.gov / Pat Haglund at 814.662.2662 or phaglund@pa.gov.

 
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 12:18 PM

A third of Pennsylvania’s public schools that serve high school students met or exceeded the graduation rate goal that the state has set for them to achieve 12 years from now.

Full Story

 
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 11:31 AM

A Pennsylvania court has ruled that some school bus video can be considered public under the state’s Right-to-Know Law in a 2016 case.
Allentown Morning Call, Dec. 10, 2018
Full story

 
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P.O. Box 39, 122 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093 Phone: (717) 732-4999 Fax: (717) 732-4890
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