Press Releases

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 10:33 AM

Dr. Bill Ziegler is a high school principal and President of the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary/Secondary School Principals. He was in attendance for MCDPEL’s LIVE Global #SATCHAT hosted here on the PennGSE campus. Here are a few of Bill’s takeaways.

 
Friday, February 21, 2014 10:27 AM

Of all the challenges facing public schools in Pennsylvania, pension reform is the one that keeps Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq up at night.

Click here for the full story.

Source: Lancaster Online, Feb. 20, 2014.

 
Thursday, February 20, 2014 9:04 AM

Have you been searching for a template for a Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP) that can be used with the new educator effectiveness model? PA Principals Association has developed a template which can be modified by the user to his/her own setting. The TIP includes all the necessary components of an effective plan which include: participants involved, identification of areas of remediation in priority order, composition of specific action plans and documentation of observations and meetings.

If you use the TIP template in any manner, please give credit to PA Principals Association.

Click here for the template.

 
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 1:29 PM

As educators we believe that instructional time is critical in supporting student achievement. To ensure that all students have access to an appropriate amount of instruction, school entities (school districts, intermediate units, career and technology centers) are still responsible for meeting the requirement of 180 days of instruction and the number of hours of instruction required by law: 990 hours of instruction for secondary students, 900 hours for elementary students, and 450 hours for half-day kindergarten students.

To clarify how a school entity is able to meet these requirements, the Department of Education has issued three relevant Basic Education Circulars (BECs): Emergency Closings, Instructional Time and Act 80 Exceptions, and Graduation of Seniors.

As specified in the BEC on Emergency Closings, when an entity must close all or the majority of its buildings, the expectation is that the lost day(s) will be made up by June 30th. IF ALL MAKE-UP DAYS THAT WERE BUILT INTO THE SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED, THEN THE ENTITY SHOULD REVIEW ITS CALENDAR TO ENSURE THAT IT HAS AVAILED ITSELF OF THE ALTERNATIVES TO THE 180 DAY REQUIREMENT UNDER ACT 80 OF 1969.  IT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT EVEN IF A REQUEST FOR AN ACT 80 EXCEPTION WAS NOT MADE PRIOR TO THE EVENT, APPLICATIONS CAN BE MADE UP UNTIL JULY 31 FOLLOWING THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR. 

The BEC on Graduation of Seniors provides guidance on actions that entities can take to keep the original date of graduation as addressed in Section 1501 of the PA School Code.

It is also important to understand that the issuance of a “state of emergency” does not trigger an exception for days of school missed.

The full text of the BECs referenced above can be found at:

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/basic_education_circulars/7497

Questions may be sent to the School Services Office at RA-PDE-SchoolService@pa.gov.

 

 
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 3:31 PM

Beginning in the 2014-15 School Year, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) will be offered an alternative to collecting Household Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications. This alternative is known as the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and was enacted with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 §104(a).  Qualifying LEAs may participate in CEP with one, several, or all schools in the LEA. CEP is a beneficial and streamlined option for eligible LEAs and schools that wish to offer free meals to all children in high poverty schools and eliminate the paperwork and frustration that can go along with collecting individual household applications.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Food and Nutrition (DFN), will be presenting three CEP informational webinars, which we highly encourage you to participate. The webinars will provide guidance on determining which LEAs and schools qualify for the CEP, timelines for submitting information and applications, and benefits, barriers, and lessons learned from other states who are already participating in the CEP. To participate, simply use the call-in numbers and codes below to sign-in to any session (registration is not required):

  • Thursday, 2/20/14 – 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. - Conference dial-in:  Toll Free:  1-855-750-1027,

Toll:  1-717-612-4733, Conference PIN:  476784, Web Conference URL: https://openscapewebconf2.pa.gov/client/fastclient_i_r606283EA.exe

  • Tuesday, 2/25/14 – 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. - Conference dial-in:  Toll Free:  1-855-750-1027,

Toll:  1-717-612-4733, Conference PIN:  117672, Web Conference URL:  https://openscapewebconf2.pa.gov/client/fastclient_i_r717901EA.exe

  • Wednesday, 2/26/14 – 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. - Conference dial-in:  Toll Free:  1-855-750-1027,

Toll:  1-717-612-4733, Conference PIN:  758471, Web Conference URL:  https://openscapewebconf2.pa.gov/client/fastclient_i_r829718F4.exe

 
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:54 AM

Michael E. Allison, a former president of the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PA Principals Association) and principal of Hopewell Senior High School in Aliquippa, Pa., has been elected to the position of President-Elect of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), headquartered in Reston, Va. The announcement was made following an election held during the association’s Ignite14 conference held recently in Dallas, Texas. Congratulations, Mike!

 
Friday, February 7, 2014 11:29 AM

Announcement from Carolyn C. Dumaresq, Ed.D., Acting Secretary of Education, PDE -- Thanks to the responses from school and district leaders, PDE recognizes the challenges faced with any change to the 2014 testing window.  We have decided that there is no perfect solution, so our compromise will be an extension of the PSSA Math/Reading and PSSA Writing testing windows.

PDE will extend the PSSA Math/Reading window to March 17 - April 4, 2014.  Those schools/districts that need to administer the PSSA Math/Reading during the original testing window of March 17 - 28 will still have the opportunity to do so.  Schools/Districts that choose to take advantage of the extended window will have the ability to administer the tests March 24 - April 4, 2014.  The make-up window will be April 7 - 11, 2014.

DRC will maintain its current shipping schedule, so materials will arrive at schools/districts as originally planned.  PDE requires that schools/districts that take advantage of the extended window securely lock the assessments until such time as the assessments are administered.  Additionally, in order to maintain as much of the processing time as possible for DRC, PDE strongly encourages that LEAs return their used testing materials as soon as testing is complete, regardless of which testing-window option is selected.

The same logic applies to the PSSA Writing window. Materials will be available if you choose to test during the original window of March 31 - April 4; however, the window will be extended to April 11 for those who need it.  Make-ups for the PSSA Writing is April 14 - 25, 2014.

The PSSA Science and the Keystone Exams windows will not change.  The PSSA Science window is April 28 - May 9, including make-ups; the Keystone Exams window is May 12 - 23.

DRC will distribute a new survey to schools/district for those sites that wish to change their testing dates.

 
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 2:50 PM

Governor Corbett’s Budget Increases Funding for Education by $387 Million; New Initiatives to Raise Student Achievement

Budget Information

Source: http://www.portal.state.pa.us, PA Department of Education, Feb. 4, 2014.

 

Corbett Unveils $29.4 Billion Budget With No Tax Increase: Pa. Budget 2014

Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed 2014-2015 budget of $29.4 billion would raise Pennsylvania's spending by nearly a $1 billion.

Click here for the full article.

Source: Pennlive.com, by Jeff Frantz, Feb. 4, 2014.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett Calls for Additional $400 Million for Education in 2014-15

Corbett Budget Plan for Pennsylvania Raises Special Education Funding

 
Friday, January 31, 2014 9:59 AM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and its vendor, Data Recognition Corporation, will conduct training sessions on the administration of the 2014 PSSA at the King of Prussia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh PaTTAN office locations. The information being presented is critical to the administration of the 2014 PSSAs. Every local education agency is required to send at least one representative to a training session. These are train-the-trainer sessions, and it is expected that the representatives deliver the information to their coordinators and test administrators.

The training sessions will be presented live at each of the PaTTAN sites listed below. The live presentations will simultaneously be broadcasted to additional PaTTAN locations and intermediate units for individuals who cannot make it to the live sessions. To register for a live session and view a list of available locations that will be broadcasting the event, visit PaTTAN’s website at: http://www.pattan.net/category/Training/Calendar/2014/February

Live Sessions

Feb. 10, 2014

PaTTAN King of Prussia (two live sessions)

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

 

Feb. 11, 2014

PaTTAN Harrisburg (two live sessions)

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

 

Feb. 13, 2014

PaTTAN Pittsburgh (two live sessions)

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

1 p.m. – 3 p.m

For more information, contact PDE Bureau of Assessment and Accountability at 717.265.7655 or visit  www.education.state.pa.us.

 

 
Friday, January 31, 2014 9:55 AM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is providing an opportunity for local education agencies (LEA) to attend an online training that will address how Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS) data is used by Data Recognition Corporation to produce pre-code labels for spring Keystone Exams and for uploading student data for Classroom Diagnostic Tools. This training will explain the data elements required in this PIMS collection window, and the importance of accurate data submission and reporting. The training will be followed by a question and answer period.

PDE will be offering a total of four webinar sessions via "GoToMeeting" on Feb. 6, 2014, and Feb. 7, 2014. Presenters will be from PDE’s Division of Performance Analysis and Reporting. Trainings on both days will be held from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

To register, please select one of the links provided below. Each session has a distinct registration link. Be sure to select the link associated with the session you plan to attend. 

Note:  Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific system requirements and link for joining the webinar you selected:        

Feb. 6, 2014, from 10 a.m. – Noon https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/710756794

Feb. 6, 2014, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/252470986

Feb. 7, 2014, from 10 a.m. – Noon https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/489558506

Feb. 7, 2014, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/522402482

Please contact PDE’s Bureau of Assessment and Accountability with any questions at 717.705.2343 or ra-pas@pa.gov.

 

 
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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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