Press Releases

Monday, October 21, 2013 8:29 AM

The Senate during the week of September 29, 2013, adopted Senate Resolution 202 (Sen. Pat Vance, R-31), recognizing October 2013 as
“National Principals Month” in Pennsylvania.

 
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 9:52 AM

State Rep. Mike Tobash, R-125, wants to extend the time period for development of the Keystone Exams.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has already implemented the standardized tests in algebra I, literature and biology and has developed and will soon field test Keystone Exams in English composition and in civics and government. Under current law, a total of 10 Keystone Exams must be in place no later than the 2020-21 school year. Through annual appropriation, tests will be added for algebra II, geometry, U.S. history, chemistry and world history.

Click here for the full article.

Source: Hazelton Standard Speaker, By Mark Gilger, Jr. (Staff Writer), October 15, 2013.

 
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 11:17 AM

Remember to register today for the PA Principals Association Conference, October 27-29, 2013, at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College! This year's conference, "Lessons In Leadership," features nationally known speakers, Dr. Todd Whitaker, Charlotte Danielson and Will Richardson. Go to http://www.paprincipals.org/state-conference/register-now to Register Now!

 

 
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 3:14 PM

By Matt Hess, PLS, October 8, 2013.

Department of Education Acting Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq held a conference call [this morning] with members of the media to give a progress report on the state’s new School Performance Profile website.

Sec. Dumaresq explained that the site has received more than 60,000 visits since it was launched last Friday and provided a demographic breakdown of visitors to the website:

                40 percent identified themselves as parents

                14 percent identified themselves as school administrators

                23 percent identified themselves as teachers.

                10 percent identified themselves as taxpayers

                One percent identified themselves as business leaders

                Two percent identified themselves media

                One percent identified themselves school board members

                One percent identified themselves students.

Sec. Dumaresq remarked that “a lot of traffic” on the site was generated through mobile devices. “It’s important to us because as we enhance the site, we want to make sure the view is accurate,” she stated.

Sec. Dumaresq explained that she is aware of the criticism from some school administrators and media who questioned why the department rolled out the website without complete data from every school district. “We did have deadlines with the US Department of Education for the waiver to identify the Priority and Focus schools in particular,” she stated. “As a condition of the waiver, we need to start to drive out that targeted assistance to our Priority and Focus schools this fall. That was one of the major reasons we decided to launch. The majority of school buildings and the vast majority of the data was already collected and verified.”

Turning to the issue of correcting Keystone Exam data, Sec. Dumaresq indicated that the department will include the data from 51 additional school buildings later today and all of the information will be “refreshed in December.”

Sec. Dumaresq then responded to questions from the media.

When will you be hiring Academic Recovery Liaisons?

We are in the process of procuring those folks now and we hope to have them operational by November.

Which schools will be getting those liaisons?

If you look at the Priority schools, they would be the school districts that will be receiving the Academic Recovery Liaisons. We want to place those liaisons regionally and that’s what we’re identifying now.

So one liaison is going to be working at multiple schools?

Yes.

Who will be paying the liaisons’ salaries?

The state.

What information will you be releasing later today?

Three things will be coming out this afternoon. First will be a list by county, district, building, and score. Secondly will be a list of the Priority schools. Third will be 51 new building scores where superintendents asked to have their data released.

Can you define Priority schools?

Priority schools are defined as the lowest five percent of our Title I schools based on the aggregate math and reading proficiency for PSSA or Algebra I/Literature for Keystone Exams or a Title I school who is receiving School Improvement funds.

What responsibilities will Academic Recovery Liaisons will have at those schools?

Their role is really to work with the principals of the Priority schools to help them access the interventions they listed in their School Improvement Grants. They serve as an intermediary to make sure those principals are able to make contact with and get access to a variety available through our IUs and have the ability to work through our SAS portal to get the resources they need.

How many liaisons will you hire for the 92 Priority schools?

We’re looking right now at eight to ten folks.

What will be the cost?

That will vary based on how often they work because it’s not a one-size-fits-all intervention. What that person will be paid will vary based on the context they are working in and how many days they spend with each principal.

What’s the budget for this?

About $800,000 for the Academic Liaisons.

Is that state money?

That’s federal money.

Are you looking for the liaisons to have education experience?

Oh yes. We’re looking for folks for at least ten years administrative experience. These folks will also be supplemented with staff available through our Intermediate Units and the three centers across the state that specialize in interventions for special needs students.

Do you foresee an effort by the state to drive money to the Priority Schools?

The governor will be presenting his budget in the spring and I think you will see some efforts at targeted assistance.

Can you talk about those targeted efforts?

That’s for the governor to release. I’d love to share but you’re going to have to have some patience with me on that one.

 
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 10:36 AM

According to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, educators and state officials agree Keystone Exams were the culprit in Friday’s incomplete online release of the Department of Education’s new school assessment system. Thousands of students, proctors and administrators statewide failed to check the correct box that would indicate whether a student took the test for course credit or to meet federal requirements. Click here to read the Pittsburgh Tribune Review article.

Source: PLS Eye Opener, Oct. 8, 2013.

 
Monday, October 7, 2013 9:49 AM

Acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq couldn’t offer sweeping observations about how well all Pennsylvania public schools are performing based on the state’s new report cards released on Friday.  Acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq is pleased with public schools' overall performance based on the report cards she's seen so far from the state's first annual School Performance Profile. She still hasn’t received building-level report cards for 626 of the state’s the 3,000 public schools – and won’t until December.  But of the ones she has seen, Dumaresq seemed pleased at how many district schools, charter schools and vo-tech schools earned a passing score in this first annual School Performance Profile.

Click here for more.

Source: Pennlive.com, by Jan Murphy on October 04, 2013 at 7:04 PM.

 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 11:26 AM

Contact: Public Affairs Manager Caroline Hailey at haileyc@nassp.org or 703-860-7280

Upper St. Clair, PennsylvaniaMichael Ghilani, principal of Upper St. Clair High School, was honored last week in Washington, DC after being named the Pennsylvania High School Principal of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals.  Designated a state winner in the MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year Program, Ghilani was eligible in consideration to be the National Principal of the Year.

 

As a principal, Ghilani has proven success in involving the local community in the life of the school and has shown an astute awareness of current and emerging issues as well as a passion in improving the school’s learning environment. 

 

Ghilani joined other winning principals from around the nation in DC for the three-day Principals Institute and Awards Gala, held September 18-21.

“NASSP is honored to recognize the outstanding work of Michael Ghilani,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, NASSP executive director.  “The Principals Institute was a wonderful chance for us to thank these outstanding educators while giving them the opportunity to speak with their elected officials, grow professionally and learn from and inspire one another.”

During their visit, principals had the chance to meet with their senators and congressmen on Capitol Hill to discuss educational legislation and its potential impact on their schools, partake in a roundtable conversation with representatives from the Department of Education and share and receive best practices with other principals from around the nation.

The Principals Institute concluded on Friday night with the Awards Gala, kicked off by a keynote address from US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Each principal was then invited on stage during the gala to receive their award and be formally recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in their schools. 

The event came just before the start of National Principals Month in October.

The search for the national principal of the year began in early 2013 as each state principals’ association selected its state principal of the year. From this pool of state award winners, a panel of judges selected three middle level and three high school finalists, who were then narrowed down to the two national winners, Sheila Harrity (Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA) and Sheena Alaiasa (Samuel Wilder King Intermediate School, Kaneohe, HI).

The MetLife/NASSP National Principals of the Year each receive a $5,000 grant, while the four finalists each receive a grant for $1,500. The grants will be used to improve learning at the school (e.g., a special school project and/or professional development).

For more information about the MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year Program and winners, please visit www.nassp.org/POY

To learn more about National Principals Month and ways to celebrate, visit www.principalsmonth.org

 

# # #

About NASSP
NASSP is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and more than 38 countries around the world. The association provides research-based professional development and resources, networking, and advocacy to build the capacity of middle level and high school leaders to continually improve student performance. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development as well, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit www.nassp.org.

About MetLife Resources

MetLife Resources is a division of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company ("MLIC"), a MetLife company. MLIC is a subsidiary of MetLife Inc., a leading global provider of insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife Inc. holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.metlife.com/mlr.

 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 11:23 AM

 

Contact: Public Affairs Manager Caroline Hailey at haileyc@nassp.org or 703-860-7280

Allison Park, PennsylvaniaEric Stennett, principal of Hampton Middle School, was honored last week in Washington, DC after being named the Pennsylvania Middle Level Principal of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals.  Designated a state winner in the MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year Program, Stennett was eligible in consideration to be the National Principal of the Year.

As a principal, Stennett has proven success in involving the local community in the life of the school and has shown an astute awareness of current and emerging issues as well as a passion in improving the school’s learning environment. 

Stennett joined other winning principals from around the nation in DC for the three-day Principals Institute and Awards Gala, held September 18-21.

“NASSP is honored to recognize the outstanding work of Eric Stennett,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, NASSP executive director.  “The Principals Institute was a wonderful chance for us to thank these outstanding educators while giving them the opportunity to speak with their elected officials, grow professionally and learn from and inspire one another.”

During their visit, principals had the chance to meet with their senators and congressmen on Capitol Hill to discuss educational legislation and its potential impact on their schools, partake in a roundtable conversation with representatives from the Department of Education and share and receive best practices with other principals from around the nation.

The Principals Institute concluded on Friday night with the Awards Gala, kicked off by a keynote address from US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Each principal was then invited on stage during the gala to receive their award and be formally recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in their schools. 

The event came just before the start of National Principals Month in October.

The search for the national principal of the year began in early 2013 as each state principals’ association selected its state principal of the year. From this pool of state award winners, a panel of judges selected three middle level and three high school finalists, who were then narrowed down to the two national winners, Sheila Harrity (Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA) and Sheena Alaiasa (Samuel Wilder King Intermediate School, Kaneohe, HI).

The MetLife/NASSP National Principals of the Year each receive a $5,000 grant, while the four finalists each receive a grant for $1,500. The grants will be used to improve learning at the school (e.g., a special school project and/or professional development).

For more information about the MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year Program and winners, please visit www.nassp.org/POY

To learn more about National Principals Month and ways to celebrate, visit www.principalsmonth.org

 

# # #

About NASSP
NASSP is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and more than 38 countries around the world. The association provides research-based professional development and resources, networking, and advocacy to build the capacity of middle level and high school leaders to continually improve student performance. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development as well, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit www.nassp.org.

About MetLife Resources

MetLife Resources is a division of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company ("MLIC"), a MetLife company. MLIC is a subsidiary of MetLife Inc., a leading global provider of insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife Inc. holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.metlife.com/mlr.

 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 8:42 AM

Legislation that seeks to transform the way education is delivered to sixth- through 12th-graders emerged out of the House Education Committee [on Tuesday]. The state House Education Committee passed legislation that seeks to transform the way education is delivered in all Pennsylvania public schools. The bill’s sponsor Rep. Ryan Aument, R-Lancaster, would mandate public schools to offer online learning opportunities to students in secondary schools.

Click here for full article.

Source: Pennlive.com, By Jan Murphy, Oct. 1, 2013.

 
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 10:36 AM

To recognize the essential role that principals play in preparing today's students for the challenges of tomorrow, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) have declared October 2013 as National Principals Month.

Principals are among the hardest working, yet often least recognized individuals in education. Principals set the academic tone for their schools, and it is their vision, dedication, and determination that provide the mobilizing force behind any school reform effort. National Principals Month seeks to honor these unsung heroes for their tireless efforts in pursuit of excellence in education.

Click here to view PA Principals Association’s Senate Resolution 202, sponsored by Senator Pat Vance (R-Cumberland and York Counties).
Click here for the National Principals’ Month web site.

 
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