Press Releases

Monday, March 12, 2012 2:21 PM

PA Principals Association has revised and published the booklet, "The Principalship and Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities." This valuable reference tool, a reprint of the two-volume set PA Principals Association members received in 2006,  will be mailed to active members at the beginning of April. This edition is a four-color, 8  ½" x 11"  (full-size) booklet, which has been updated by Carl Beard, Esq., and Elizabeth Benjamin, Esq., of Andrews & Beard, and printed by Lifetouch.

Monday, March 12, 2012 2:18 PM
According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, did Gov. Tom Corbett propose increasing or cutting funding for public schools? Like many things here, it depends how you look at it. The Corbett administration says its budget proposal for the upcoming year would send at least as much money to each Pennsylvania school district as it got this year. The state education department has released a web site with graphs and a spreadsheet to prove it. Democrats in the state House of Representatives challenge that accounting and have published a competing spreadsheet that shows public school funding dropping next year throughout the state. Click here to read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette article.

Source: myPLS, March 12, 2012.
Friday, March 9, 2012 8:54 PM

ATTENTION PA Principals Association MEMBERS:

Please remember to vote when you receive an email with a link to your 2012 PA Principals Association election ballot. To ensure you receive your ballot link, please make sure that we have an up-to-date email address on file at the PA Principals Association office. Contact Melissa Plantz at to update your email address. Members will receive more information via broadcast emails and PA Principals Association e-newsletters until the start of the election.

Thank you in advance for your time and participation.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 4:57 PM

 The Department of Education today [Feb. 28, 2012] launched a new web site that clearly explains the increases in state taxpayer funding that school districts will receive under Governor Tom Corbett's proposed 2012-13 state budget.

The web site, which offers accurate funding information for the primary subsidies appropriated to school districts, is

Click here to read the full press release from the PA Department of Education.




Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:10 PM

Notice is hereby given that the State Board of Education (Board) will conduct several regional public hearings to receive input from interested parties on draft proposed revisions to Chapter 4 (Academic Standards and Assessment) pertaining to Keystone Exams. A copy of the draft proposed regulation that will be the subject of this hearing is available on the Board's web site at (or scroll down and click on the link below). The list of hearing sites, dates and deadlines for registering are included with this notice.

Individuals must register in advance to present testimony at the hearing. Testimony is limited to no more than 10 minutes, and participants will be assigned a time slot when they register. Each hearing will conclude after the last scheduled witness testifies. In order to accommodate as many people as possible, individuals representing an organization or affiliation are limited to one 10 minute time slot and that organization may only present testimony at one hearing location.

Persons interested in presenting testimony must telephone the Board office at (7l7) 787-3787 (TTY 717-783-8445), Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. by the registration deadline listed for each location below.

Those registered to testify must provide 25 copies of their written testimony at the hearing.

Individuals with disabilities needing special accommodations in order to participate or attend the hearings, such as sign language interpreter services, must contact the Board office at the above listed telephone number by the registration deadline for each hearing. Alternative formats of the documents (e.g. Braille, large print, cassette tape) can be made available to members of the public upon request to the Board office.

Individuals unable to attend the hearing may submit written testimony directly to the State Board of Education on or before 4:00 p.m. on March 9, 2012.

Comments should be sent to:
State Board of Education
333 Market Street, 1st Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

Persons with disabilities are invited to submit testimony in alternative formats such as Braille or taped testimony and via the telephone. Written and alternative formats of testimony will be afforded the same thoughtful consideration by the Committee as oral testimony. Written and alternative
formats of testimony may be as long as the writer wishes; 25 copies of written testimony are required.

Should registrants scheduled to provide testimony need to cancel their participation, the Board requests that they immediately notify the State Board office by calling (717) 787-3787 or via email at

Schedule of Hearings

Montgomery County                                                          
Intermediate Unit

Rooms B-1 & B-2
1605 West Main St.
Norristown, PA 19403

Hearing Date
February 29, 2012

10:00 a.m.

Deadline to Register
February 24, 2012

3190 William Pitt Way
Monongahela Room
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Hearing Date
March 7, 2012

10:00 a.m.

Deadline to Register
March 2, 2012

Pennsylvania Department of Education

1st Floor, Honors Suite
333 Market St. Harrisburg, PA 17126

Hearing Date
March 14, 2012

9:00 a.m.

Deadline to Register
March 9, 2012

Click here to review the Chapter 4 Keystone Exams draft proposed revisions (Feb. 17, 2012).

Friday, February 17, 2012 1:51 PM
This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released a revised Basic Education Circular (BEC) titled Special Education Compliance. School districts should replace the previously issued BEC with the updated document.   Questions regarding Special Education Compliance or any changes to the BEC should be directed to PDE: contact Jean Inskip, special education adviser, at (717) 783-6906 or; or Malcolm Conner, special education adviser, at (717) 667-3153 or

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, Feb. 16, 2012.
Thursday, February 16, 2012 2:21 PM
Dr. Melissa (Missie) Patschke, NAESP state representative from Pennsylvania, is hosting a free webinar from the NAESP Mentor Program, Inspired to Lead: Tips to Encourage the Next Generation of Great Principals, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. EST. Click here for more information and to register.

You may also register by clicking on this link:
Thursday, February 16, 2012 1:52 PM

The U.S. Department of Education has announced an opportunity for school districts to participate in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Completion Project. Districts with two or more high schools are invited to apply no later than March 2, 2012, for the opportunity of being randomly selected to be a part of the FAFSA Completion Project.   

The FAFSA Completion Project was started in 2010 to assist local education agencies (LEA) in aiding high school seniors and their families in completing the FASFA. Research indicates that 90 percent of students who complete a FAFSA will enroll in a postsecondary institution. Through the FAFSA Completion Project, participating LEAs will have access to FAFSA completion data for high school seniors in their district to focus counseling services to students who have not completed and submitted a FAFSA. LEAs will also be provided with the information and tools to help students interested in pursuing postsecondary education.

The FAFSA Completion Project began with 20 participating school districts and, due to increased interest, the project will be expanded this year to include approximately 80 additional multiple-high school and 12 additional single-high school participants. Please note that a notice will be released soon inviting districts with a single high school to take part in the project.   

More information regarding the FAFSA Completion Project, as well as the technical and evaluation requirements for participation, can be found on the Federal Student Aid web site at

If you have further questions, please contact Dena Bates at
Friday, February 10, 2012 8:32 PM

2012-2013 CATS Secondary Program Approval
The 2012-2013 CATS Secondary Program Approval file is now open for new secondary CTE program approval requests. It is recommended that Programs of Study (POS) program approval be sought for all programs for which a POS has been developed. For those programs for which a POS has not been developed, seek Tech Prep approval. By the 2012-13 school year, all approved programs must be delivered as POS or Tech Prep. The deadline for seeking new program approval is May 31, 2012, two months earlier than past deadlines.

CATS Secondary Program Approval Instructions are available on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's web site at the following link:

CATS can be accessed at the login on the PDE home page.

School entities that cannot meet the requirements for approved programs as outlined in Chapter 4 and Chapter 339 Regulations should mark those programs for deletion in CATS on or before October 31, 2012. CTE program approval is required for a school entity to receive CTE subsidy. Programs that are operating without PDE approval will not be eligible for CTE subsidy.

CATS Program Re-approval
For the 2012-2013 school year, the PDE/BCTE, in accordance with Chapter 339.4(a)(2), will review all existing approved programs currently being offered at high schools across the Commonwealth. CTC approved programs were re-approved during 2011. All school entities with approved programs must ensure that all data elements in CATS are accurate. In 2011, revisions were made to CATS including the addition of three new data elements on the Specific Information page. Professional staff from the PDE/BCTE will be contacting all high schools to assist with the re-approval process. Failure to comply may result in loss of approval as opposed to re-approval. Loss of approval results in the loss of CTE subsidy. The deadline for seeking re-approval, by submitting the required data elements in CATS, is May 31, 2012.

In those instances where a CIP is approved under the Occupational, Tech Prep and POS delivery type, it is necessary to edit the data elements only for the POS delivery and the Occupational and Tech Prep deliveries must be marked for deletion after the POS is approved. For CIPs in which a POS has not been developed, it is necessary to submit the data elements only for the Tech Prep delivery type and the Occupational delivery must be marked for deletion.   

All of the data elements listed below must be edited prior to being considered for re-approval:

    Contact information will include 2 names
    Program Specific information
    Articulation Agreement information
    Secondary Scope and Sequence
    Postsecondary Scope and Sequence must be completed for any program that has a
     one-to-one Articulation Agreement
    Dual Enrollment Credits (If applicable)
    Articulated Credits (If applicable)
    Student Industry Certifications (If applicable)   
    Teacher Certificate information including PPID
    Teacher Industry Certifications (If applicable)   
    Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor information (If applicable)
    Industry Accreditations (If applicable)
    Comments (As applicable)

Programs of Study (POS) Information
Any secondary institution may submit a request for POS approval. Currently, there are 38 POS available on the PDE web site and an additional four Phase V POS are being developed. See the list of POS CIPs at the following link:

The competency/task grid for each POS has been developed as the foundational curriculum framework for the CIP. Therefore, all competencies/tasks must be addressed in the approved program. Several POS competency/task grids have been revised and are posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's website. LEAs are expected to use the most recent list available. Additional competencies should be added as recommended by your Occupational Advisory Committee.

A crosswalk template has been added to each POS under the Program of Study Documents section to allow schools to crosswalk their existing competency/task list with the POS competency/task list. Competency/task lists must be available for Perkins technical assistance visits and approved program evaluations to show that all foundational competencies are being offered in the approved program at the local site.

In addition, your approved POS will provide the benefit of the articulated credits indicated by the statewide group of postsecondary institutions named on the following link:

Note: When requesting approval for POS to replace Tech Prep, be certain to transfer your existing one-to-one Articulated Agreements to the new request for POS.

Thursday, February 9, 2012 4:37 PM

The PA Principals Association Forum (online bulletin board) is now LIVE at Our Forum is for MEMBERS ONLY, so you must log in to our site to participate. Go to Contact Us on the main menu and hover over it so the other tabs appear. Click on the tab named  "Forum."? If you haven't logged on to the site, you will once again be prompted to do so.

Upon reaching the Forum page, you will notice that there are two separate threads: Member Introductions (Introduce yourself to the other members); and General Discussion. To participate, click on one of the threads. You can add a new topic or add a comment under a previous topic.

If you have any questions, please contact the forum administrator at

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