Press Releases

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 8:07 PM

More monies will be designed for block grants with school districts having to determine how those monies will be spent. While the governor has indicated $100 million more will be coming to schools, until the actual numbers come out, a subsidy increase may not be the case for your individual school district. Overall, the state budget across the board did not increase -- much like what everyone predicted. More details will be provided as they become available.

Fast Facts - Important highlights on the Pennsylvania Department of Education 2012-2013 Budget

Friday, February 3, 2012 4:45 PM
Governor Tom Corbett is slated to present his 2012-13 state budget proposal before a joint meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. Following the governor's budget address, the Senate and House Appropriations Committees will convene hearings on specific components of the proposal. Senate budget hearings will be held: February 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 (PSERS), 27 (Education), 28 and 29.   The House budget hearings will be held: February 21, 22, 23 (PSERS), 24, 27, 28, 29 and March 1, 5 (Education), 6, 7 and 8. Check our web site, Facebook and Twitter for budget updates.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 3:04 PM

The Center on Education Policy (CEP) recently released a new report that examines states' efforts to transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in math and English language arts. As of January 2012, 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core Standards in English language arts and mathematics. According to the report, most states do not expect to have them in place until the 2014-15 school year or later. The report also finds that while state education agencies are taking steps to familiarize state and district officials with the new standards and are aligning curriculum and assessments, they caution that adequate resources and technology related to test administration remain major challenges to full implementation of the CCSS.

Reflecting the complex nature of the transition to the CCSS, implementation is moving at different rates in different states. Six states in the survey expect to fully implement these standards before or during school year 2012-13. Nine states anticipate full implementation in 2013-14, 16 in 2014-15 and one in 2015-16. These state timelines are affected somewhat by the work of two state-led consortia, which are developing assessments aligned to the CCSS and do not expect their tests to be ready until 2014-15.

On a relate note, Pennsylvania's State Board of Education adopted the Common Core Standards in July 2010. Since then, work has been ongoing in the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to get the state ready for implementation. Click here to see detailed information on PDE's work as posted on the Standards Aligned System (SAS) web site. In a report provided to the State Board earlier this month, PDE noted that the Assessment Anchor and Eligible content for English Language Arts and math have been rewritten to match the Common Core. The Bureau of Assessment has a draft of Anchor and Eligible Content for writing that will be reviewed soon. In addition, PDE provided to the State Board an updated proposed timeline:

October 2011 - Revise Anchor/Eligible Content in math and reading in grades 3, 4, 5,6,7,8 and 11 to align to Common Core Standards.
January 2012 - Revise PA Academic Standards in reading and math to create a set of PA Common Core Standards.
January 2012 - Begin development of Common Core aligned PSSA reading and math tests.
February 2012 - Post Common Core Standards on the SAS web site.
February 2012 - Develop PA Common Core train the trainer modules for IU delivery to local education agencies (LEA).
February- May 2012 - Offer training sessions to LEAs.
February 2012- ongoing - Align SAS resources to PA Common Core Standards.
Spring 2014 - Implement Common Core aligned PSSA tests, grades 3-5.
Spring 2015 - Implement Common Core aligned PSA tests, grades 6-8.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, Jan. 27, 2012.

Thursday, January 26, 2012 9:04 PM

NOTE:   Locations of Live Presentation Sites Have Changed

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) will conduct training sessions on the administration of the 2012 PSSA on February 16, 17 and 22, at the Harrisburg, King of Prussia, and Pittsburgh PaTTAN office locations. The information being presented is critical to the administration of the 2012 PSSAs and it is required that every LEA 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 .   

Live Sessions
February 16, 2012
PaTTAN Harrisburg (two live sessions)  - NOTE Live Site has changed
9a.m.  - 11a.m.
1p.m.  - 3p.m.

February 17, 2012
PaTTAN King of Prussia (two live sessions)  - NOTE Live Site has changed
9a.m.  - 11a.m.
1p.m.  - 3p.m.

February 22, 2012
PaTTAN Pittsburgh (two live sessions)
9a.m.  - 11a.m.
1p.m.  - 3p.m.

Monday, January 23, 2012 3:13 PM

For Immediate Release

Leisl Moriarty, NASSP

January 23, 2012

Louis Angelo Named

Pennsylvania Assistant Principal of the Year

Upper St. Clair High School

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Louis Angelo, assistant principal at Upper St. Clair High School, has been named the Pennsylvania Assistant Principal of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PA Principals Association).  Now designated a state winner by PA Principals Association, Angelo is eligible in consideration to be the 2012 NASSP/Virco National Assistant Principal of the Year.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and Virco Inc. come together annually to honor a winner from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools.  From this pool of outstanding administrators, three national finalists will be named in January. From those finalists one national winner will be selected and announced at NASSP's national conference on March 10, 2012, in Tampa, Florida.  The National finalists each receive a grant of $1,500 and the National winner receives a grant of $5,000.

As an assistant principal, Angelo has proven success in involving the local community in the life of the school, astute awareness of current and emerging issues, and passion in improving the school's learning environment.  All state winners, including Angelo, will be honored at a three-day event in Washington, DC, April 18-21, 2012.  Event highlights feature a national speaker, visits to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators, and networking with some of the best assistant principals across the nation.  The event culminates with a black-tie gala to recognize the achievements of each of the state honorees, the national finalists, and the national winner.

"Assistant principals play a key role in the success of secondary schools across the nation," said Brian True, Virco's Director of Sales. "Virco is honored to recognize their achievements and is committed to contributing to their professional development."

"Research shows that principals and assistant principals create the conditions for schools to be successful and for students to succeed.  Recognizing and acknowledging the quality of our school leaders is an honor." said JoAnn D. Bartoletti, NASSP Executive Director.

Additional information about the NASSP/Virco National Assistant Principal of the Year program can be found at or by contacting NASSP at 800-253-7746 or

About Virco Inc.
As America'ss leading manufacturer and supplier of furniture and equipment for K-12 schools, Virco is proud to support NASSP. Virco'ss great classroom furniture selection includes best-selling ZUMA(r) models, traditional chairs and desks, popular TEXT(r), Metaphor(r) and Telos(r) items, and and all-new Parameter(r) desks and workstations for teachers and administrators. In 2005, ZUMA and ZUMAfrd(tm) became the first classroom furniture products to earn GREENGUARD(r) Children & Schools certification; now, Virco has hundreds of Greenguard-certified products. Virco offers classroom furniture industry'ss only Take-Back Program that helps schools recycle their out-of-service furniture. you'sre faced with a major FF&E purchasing project, check out Virco'ss stress-free PlanSCAPE(r) service! For more information on Virco Inc., visit

In existence since 1916, The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the preeminent organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and aspiring school leaders from across the United States and more than 45 countries around the world. NASSP's mission is to promote excellence in school leadership. The National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils are all programs of NASSP. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, Virginia, visit or call 703-860-0200.

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