Press Releases

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 2:03 PM
The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has partnered with a company called School Leadership Briefing to develop a series of informative audio-casts on the power of mentors for principals. The first of the series is titled, "Making the Case for Principal Mentoring." Although, this company sells subscriptions for their work, the NAESP Mentor Series will be availabe at no charge.

NAESP represenative on the PA Principals Association board, Dr. Melissa Patschke, is currently working with them to produce an audio-cast for April titled, "Five Ways Mentoring Supports New School Leaders."

Click here to listen to the first audio-cast of the series.
 
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:38 PM

Michael E. Allison, principal of Hopewell Senior High School, a past PA Principals Association president and a current NASSP board member, participated in a panel discussion called,  "Focus on Education: School Violence." The broadcast, produced by PCN and the Education Policy and Leadership Center, will air on the PCN cable network channel tonight at 9 p.m. EST (Feb. 13, 2013).

This premier episode is devoted to the subject of school violence.

 
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:37 PM

On Oct. 24, 2012, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Act 151 of 2012 resulting in sweeping changes to Pennsylvania's existing Child Labor Law. The Act which took effect on Jan. 22, 2013, confers new powers and duties on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, school districts and others with specific responsibilities under the law.

Please be advised that the roles and responsibilities of these state agencies, issuing officers, enforcement officers, employers, parents/guardians and minors will change significantly as the result of this new law. As such, superintendents and others in authority within Pennsylvania's public schools must pay special attention to their new and expanded responsibilities under the law.  You can access the new Child Labor Act and an Abstract of the Child Labor Act Hours Provisions on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry's web site.

The Department of Education is currently in the process of arranging for the mass production of the new Application For Work Permit and the Work Permit forms that are to be utilized by issuing officers in all public school districts. In order to allow issuing officers to immediately implement the new process and forms, we are making those forms available on a special web page. In order to control access to these forms, we ask that you not forward this link to any individual except those authorized by your school district.  Please be aware that the back of the Application For Work Permit is intentionally blank. The Work Permit, by law, must be  "wallet size." Please copy the two pages back-to-back, and then cut to size. The forms can be located on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) web site using the links below:

School District Work Permit Application

School District Work Permit


The following is a brief summary of the major changes to Pennsylvania's Child Labor Law that impact school districts. There are many other changes to the law such as work hours, summer school and high school graduates. You are encouraged to thoroughly review the new child labor law.

1. Although not specifically addressed in the new law, minors who currently possess a valid work permit may continue to utilize that permit to work.  Minors, who possess a vacation certificate and desire to work for another employer, may obtain a new work permit from the issuing officer in their school district. All minors who possess either an old or new work permit must follow the new rules regarding employment.

2. Requests for work permits involving theatrical and other similar performances will continue to be processed by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. These minors will need verification signed by the principal of the school attended by the minor or the issuing officer of the minor'ss school district. This statement will verify that the performance and rehearsals will not interfere with the educational instruction or school progress of the minor or a guarantee that arrangements are made for a qualified tutor for the minor. If the minor is to be tutored, the application will set forth the name and address of the tutor, whether the tutor is a certified teacher, the name and address of the school official approving the subjects for tutoring and the tutoring arrangements and the number of hours per week the minor is to be tutored. For additional information on employment of minors in performances and the role that school districts play in approving such permits, please visit the Department of Labor and Industry's web site.

3. Under the new Child Labor Law, an issuing officer can be a district superintendent or a supervising principal of a public school district. If a public school district does not have a superintendent or supervising principal, the secretary of the board of school directors may serve this function. The above officials can authorize, in writing, another individual to issue work permits.

4. Under the new Child Labor Law, neither the employer nor a physician will need to sign an application for a work permit. The new law does require that an applicant's parents or legal guardian sign an application for a work permit. In lieu of a signature by a parent or legal guardian, the applicant can sign a statement before a notary public attesting to the accuracy of facts in the application on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The statement must be attached to the application. This requirement does not apply if the applicant can show official proof of high school graduation.

5. Under the new Child Labor Law, there will only be one work permit rather than three.  The new work permit will apply to all minors age 14 through 17 and can be used for more than one employer. The permit will certify that the holder personally appeared before the issuing officer, that all papers required by law have been examined and approved, and that all requirements for issuance have been fulfilled. The work permit must be signed by the holder in the presence of the issuing officer. Minors who can demonstrate official proof of high school graduation do not have to appear before the issuing officer. The issuing officer cannot issue a work permit until they have examined and verified the following papers which verify age: an official document of the commonwealth or if not an official Commonwealth document, an attested transcript of a birth certificate, a certified baptismal certificate, a passport, a certified documentary record or the signed statement of a physician stating that after examination they believe the minor to be of proper age.

6. Under the new Child Labor Law, an issuing officer may deny a work permit if, in the issuing officer's judgment, the applicant cannot maintain adequate academic achievement if permitted to work during the school year. Similarly, an issuing officer may revoke a work permit if in the issuing officer's judgment the minor cannot maintain adequate academic achievement if permitted to work during the school year.

7. Under the new Child Labor Law, an employer must notify the issuing officer within five days of the normal duties and hours of employment of a minor. Within five days after termination of employment, the employer must notify the issuing officer of such termination. Employers are also required to maintain a copy of the minor's work permit.

8. Under the new Child Labor Law, enforcement capabilities have been expanded to include school personnel. The following school officials have enforcement capabilities: chief school administrator, home and school visitor, attendance officer (appointed under sections 1341 and 1342 of the Public School Code), and issuing officer. School districts administer applications and issue work permits. If an enforcement officer has reason to believe that an individual working without a permit is a minor or that a minor with a work permit is working in violation of the age restrictions under the Child Labor Act, the officer may demand that the person employing the individual, provide, within ten days the following: proof of age of the individual in question or cease to employ or permit the individual to work.

For additional information, please contact PDE's School Services unit at 717-787-4860 or via email at
RA-PDE-SchoolService@pa.gov

 
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 2:29 PM
Governor Tom Corbett, joined by members of the General Assembly, along with education and business leaders, talked today [Feb. 12] about reinvesting proceeds from the sale of the state liquor store system into an educational block grant for Pennsylvania's schools.

This Passport for Learning Block Grant is in addition to Corbett's proposed $90 million increase in the upcoming budget's Basic Education Funding line item. This year's proposed $5.5 billion state investment is the highest in state history.

Click here for the full press release.

Source: PDE Press Release, Feb. 12, 2013.
 
Monday, February 11, 2013 4:44 PM
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has received an unprecedented number of communications from schools/districts concerning student use of cell phones during the administration of the Keystone Exams. This following is to remind schools and districts of PDE'ss cell phone policy during testing, and what should be done if a student is caught using a cell phone or other electronic device during testing. These rules and policies apply to the administration of both the Keystone Exams and the PSSA.

All cell phones, smart phones and other prohibited electronic devices are to be collected as students enter the testing site. Thus, school districts and schools should do the following:

* Inform parents and students before testing that cell phones are not allowed during the test administration;

* Inform parents and students that the consequence for using and/or having a cell phone or other electronic device during the test administration will result in the application of a "Do Not Score" label on his/her test booklet or appropriate notification to not score on the online version, and the student will not receive a score;

* Inform parents and students that, if the student uses a cell phone or electronic device in any manner during the administration of the test, the phone or electronic device will be confiscated until such time that the parent or guardian can come to the school, and in the presence of the parent or guardian, the cell phone or other electronic device will be viewed to ensure that no information or material regarding the assessment is present;

* Inform parents and students that violation of the no cell phone or other electronic device rule will result in discipline and that discipline will vary depending on whether test material has been compromised; and  

* Inform parents and students that any items on an assessment that have been compromised, and can no longer be used will have to be replaced, and the parents and students may be responsible for the cost of replacement.

District personnel, school personnel and students must understand that the integrity of the test cannot be compromised. There have been too many reports of students texting questions/answers and taking pictures of questions; thus I request the full cooperation of all district and school personnel in complying with this policy.
 
Saturday, February 9, 2013 2:21 PM

Margaret S. (Peg) Foster, a past president of PA Principals Association and an elementary principal in the Crestwood School District, has been appointed by the PA Principals Association president to serve as the chairperson of the 2013 PA Principals Association Nominations Committee. The committee also includes Kristopher Vancas, principal of Bellefonte Elementary School in the Bellefonte Area School District, and Robert Frioni, principal of Fort Cherry Jr./Sr. High School in the Fort Cherry School District.

If you have any questions regarding the election, the positions available or the responsibilities, please contact the Nominations chairperson, Ms. Foster, at peg.foster@csdcomets.org. If you are interested in running for one of these positions, please contact the PA Principals Association office at snyder@paprincipals.org or (717) 732-4999 for an application. Applications must be received in the PA Principals Association office by Feb. 15, 2013.

Click Here for the Duties and Responsibilities of the President-Elect.

Click Here for the Duties and Responsibilities of the NAESP Representative.

Click Here for the Duties and Responsibilities of the Regional Representatives.

Statewide Elected Positions 

President-Elect - Must be an Elementary Member

NAESP Representative - Must be an Elementary Member

Regional Representative Positions

Region      Level             Current BOD Member       Counties Represented

East II       Elementary      Jeffrey S. Walters                 Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton,
                                                                                     Pike, Schuylkill


East III      Secondary       Dr. Stephen M. Quinn          Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery,
                                                                                    Philadelphia


Central I   Elementary      James E. Orichosky             Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield,
                                                                                    Clinton, Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Potter,
                                                                                    Sullivan, Tioga


Central III  Secondary       Dr. David A. Crumrine         Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon,
                                                                                    Juniata, Mifflin, Somerset

West III     Elementary       Heather L. Hauser               Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington,
                                                                                    Westmoreland

West III    Secondary        Dr. Zeb Jansante                 Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington,
                                                                                    Westmoreland                                              
 
Friday, February 8, 2013 3:07 PM
Pursuant to Act 85 of 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has published the list of low-achieving schools in which students, who live within the schools' boundaries, may be eligible to apply for a scholarship through the EITC 2.0 Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program.

Last year Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law Act 85 of 2012 that gives low- and moderate-income students in low-achieving schools the option to obtain a scholarship to attend a participating public or private school. Under Act 85, PDE is required by law to notify school districts that have schools identified as low-achieving by Feb. 1.

Within 15 days of notification by the department, school districts are required to notify parents and post on its web site, a description of the opportunity scholarship tax credit program, as well as instructions on how families may apply.  

As required by the law, the list of schools contains the lowest-achieving 15% of elementary schools and the lowest-achieving 15% of secondary schools, based on combined math and reading scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment from the 2011-12 school year. Career and technology centers as well as charter schools are not included on the list.

PDE's list of low-achieving schools contains 406 school buildings in 71 school districts across Pennsylvania. The scholarship program has the potential to impact more than 240,000 students. Additional information and sample parent notification letters are available on PDE's web site by clicking here.

For the 2013-14 school year, students who live within the attendance boundaries of one of these schools may be eligible for a scholarship if their household's annual income is no greater than $75,000, plus $12,000 for each dependent member of the household. The maximum scholarship award available to non-special education students is $8,500 and the maximum for a special education student is $15,000.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, Feb. 7, 2013.
 
Friday, February 8, 2013 3:02 PM
The PA House of Representatives approved HB 19, following earlier approval from the Appropriations Committee. The bill requires school districts to incorporate an age-appropriate child exploitation awareness education program into the existing curriculum for students in grades K-8. The Department of Education would develop model guidelines and provide educational materials to be used in the creation of the programs.
 
Thursday, February 7, 2013 5:17 PM

The following notification is provided with the intent of soliciting input into the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) proposal to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) seeking flexibility in implementing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  

Listed below are three principles which our proposal must address.  The "ESEA Flexibility Policy Document"? explains these principles and also lists the flexibility available to Pennsylvania and its LEAs once our application for flexibility is approved. The "ESEA Flexibility Policy Document"? can be found at   http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/esea-flexibility/index.html.

During the past several years, these principles have been pursued by Pennsylvania education leaders. The State Board of Education's adoption of the Pennsylvania Common Core State Standards and Keystone Exams demonstrate adherence to Principle 1. Our work on the PA School Performance Profile creates an excellent foundation for a new accountability system under Principle 2. Principle 3 requirements are met with the implementation of our Educator Effectiveness initiative.  

Although there have already been opportunities for input into Pennsylvania's approach to standards and assessments, school performance profile and educator effectiveness rubrics and multiple measures, we are once again requesting, in accordance with guidance from USDE, that if you have input you believe should be considered relative to the principles noted below and/or on implementing the allowed flexibility identified in the above-referenced policy document, please send your thoughts to RA-NCLB_Flex@pa.gov no later than February 21, 2013.

REQUIRED ELEMENTS

Principle 1:  College- and Career-Ready Expectations for All Students                          
1.A       Adopt college-and career-ready standards         
1.B       Transition to college- and career-ready standards         
1.C       Develop and administer annual, statewide, aligned, high-quality assessments that measure student growth               

Principle 2:  State-Developed Differentiated Recognition, Accountabilit, and Support                  
2.A       Develop and implement a State-based system of differentiated recognition, accountability and support      
2.B       Set ambitious but achievable annual measurable objectives                 
2.C       Reward schools                
2.D       Priority schools                
2.E       Focus schools       
2.F       Provide incentives and supports for other Title I schools           
2.G       Build SEA, LEA, and school capacity to improve student learning          

Principle 3:  Supporting Effective Instruction and Leadership                            
3.A       Develop and adopt guidelines for local teacher and principal evaluation and support systems           
3.B       Ensure LEAs implement teacher and principal evaluation and support systems

 
Thursday, February 7, 2013 2:00 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has developed an interactive training module that all test administrators must complete as part of their training to administer the PSSA and Keystone Exams. District and school assessment coordinators will need to incorporate this module into their regularly scheduled training for test administrators. The purpose of the module is to assist district and school assessment coordinators in ensuring all test administrators have been properly trained to effectively administer the PSSA and Keystone Exams.

PDE will offer an overview of the new learning module to district personnel in a webinar. District superintendents should notify their district assessment coordinator to attend one of three required webinars. District superintendents will need to ensure that all test administrators have completed the learning module by April 5, 2013, prior to the April 8, 2013 PSSA math and reading testing window.

Presentations will be made via "GoToMeeting™."? To register, click on the link provided for the session you plan to attend:         

LEA's in IU's 1-8, 27, 28; Tuesday, February 19, 9AM-10:30AM; the link is:  https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/994662722

LEA's in IU's 9-12, 15-17; Tuesday, February 19, 2PM-3:30PM; the link is:  https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/433476738

LEA's in IU's 13, 14, 18-26, 29; Wednesday, February 20, 9AM-10:30AM; the link is: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/231859274

A recording of one of the sessions will be posted to https://pssatraining.com and to PDE's web site as soon as possible following the sessions.

If there are questions regarding the training, please contact Dr. Kerry Helm at khelm@pa.gov or 717-783-6538.

 
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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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