Press Releases

Monday, November 7, 2011 4:57 PM
November 7, 2011

TO:         News Editor/News Director

CONTACT:     Sheri L. Thompson, Director of Communications, Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals
122 Valley Road, P.O. Box 39, Summerdale, PA 17093
(717) 732-4999 (Office)
(717) 395-6814 (Cell)
(717) 732-4890 (Fax)


Dr. Joshua A. Doll Named President-Elect of State Principals' Association

(Harrisburg, Pa.) — Dr. Joshua A. Doll, principal of Dallastown Area Middle School in the Dallastown Area School District, was recently named President-Elect of the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PA Principals Association), headquartered in Summerdale, Pa.


PA Principals Association's membership of approximately 4,000 is comprised of elementary, middle level and secondary school principals, assistant principals and other educational leaders and is affiliated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Dr. Doll assumed his new position on PA Principals Association's Board of Directors following the association's annual business meeting held Oct. 25, 2011 during its 19th annual state conference in State College.

"The power of PA Principals Association lies in our diverse membership. I have truly grown as an instructional leader and individual working alongside the many committed and dedicated principals, assistant principals and other educational leaders throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is due to these valued relationships, my commitment to our association, and more importantly, my passion for our profession, that I am honored to represent PA Principals Association in the position of President-Elect," said Dr. Doll.

Dr. Doll began his education career as a social studies teacher at York Suburban Middle School in the York Suburban School District. In 2002, he became assistant principal of Elizabethtown Area Middle School in the Elizabethtown Area School District. He served as the assistant principal of York Suburban Middle School in 2003, and in 2007, he assumed the principalship of Dallastown Area Middle School in the Dallastown Area School District.

Dr. Doll has been a member of PA Principals Association for 10 years. Most recently, he served the association as the Central II Elementary Regional Representative on the PA Principals Association Board of Directors (2008-2011). This past year, he served as the chair of the National Distinguished Principal Award Selection Committee and was a member of the PA Principals Association Conference Committee in 2005 and in 2011. In addition, he has been a panelist for the PA Principals Association Aspiring Principal Workshops and has been a Pennsylvania delegate at the National Association of Elementary School Principals' (NAESP) Convention & Exposition.

Dr. Doll has been active in his community as well. He is a board member at the Children's Home of York and the Dallastown Area School District's Dollars for Scholars. In addition, he is a member of the Pennsylvania Middle School Association and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

Dr. Doll received a bachelor of science degree in secondary education from Millersville University. He then received a master's in educational administration / K-12 Principal Certificate from Shippensburg University and his Ed.D. in educational leadership / Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility from Immaculata University.

He resides in York, Pa.


PA Principals Association's Mission: To ensure a quality education for every child by comprehensively supporting the educational leaders of our schools.

PA Principals Association's Vision: To be the best service organization of its kind in the United States.


Dr. Joshua A. Doll Named President-Elect
of State Principals' Association
Monday, November 7, 2011 3:54 PM
The new Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) is nearly complete. This update provides important information about its progress and timeline. Major software applications such as TIMS are complex and subject to delaying factors. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is working to resolve all issues so that it can ensure this new online application system will meet your needs.

PDE has automated the teacher certification process and enhanced the application so that teacher preparation programs, certification applicants, certificated individuals and employers will benefit from the efficiencies and enhancements of the new TIMS. PDE asks for your patience as they work through the final stages and approach the "go live" date.   A major task at this time is the testing of the application to ensure the system works well for users on the day it is launched.

Once a specific "go live" date for TIMS is determined, the Teacher Certification System (TCS), as well as the Professional Education Records Management System (PERMS), will be closed to allow for necessary updates for a period of two weeks prior to the TIMS implementation date. You will receive notification of the specific dates for this upgrade as soon as the department has a confirmed implementation date.

PERMS specific implications:
  • During the period of closure, school districts and Act 48 providers will be unable to upload Act 48 hours for professional education activities, and institutions of higher education will be unable to upload college credits into PERMS. No updates of information will occur.
  • Systems may be accessed for viewing information that is currently in the system at the time of closing.

TIMS/TCS specific implications:   

  • Paper applications will continue to be accepted and date stamped as received, but will not be entered into TCS or TIMS.    
  • Type 06, day-to-day emergency permits uploaded through TCS will not be available.    
  • Both systems may be accessed for viewing of information at the time of closing.

Operations will resume on all systems on the announced "go live" date.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 6:11 PM
Dr. Barry L. Purvis, PA Principals Association president, and Joseph P. Acri, PA Principals Association assistant executive director, attended a public hearing of the House Education Committee on House Bill 1980 (amends the School Code to provide for a rating system for professional employees). Dr. Purvis provided testimony on this issue. Click here to read his testimony.
Thursday, November 3, 2011 6:10 PM

The Senate concurred with House amendments to SB 200, which creates the Safety in Youth Sports Act and establishes standards for the management of concussions and head injuries to student athletes. The bill is now in the hands of the governor, with Nov. 12 the last day for action. Under SB 200, the Departments of Health and Education must make information about such injuries available to students, parents and coaches. A school may hold an informational meeting for students and others. Coaches must complete a concussion management training course. An athlete must be removed from the field of play if he or she exhibits symptoms of a head injury, and may not return to play until an  "appropriate medical professional"? evaluates the student and provides written clearance to return. The definition of  "appropriate medical professional" includes a licensed or certified health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and designated by a licensed physician who is trained in the evaluation and management of concussions. SB 200 also imposes minimum penalties on coaches for violations.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, Nov. 3, 2011.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 4:32 PM

The Pennsylvaia Department of Education (PDE) has received several requests for SAS 101 training. PDE has scheduled three SAS 101 training sessions for the fall session. To obtain information about SAS 101 and to register for training, go to and click on the blue SAS logo.

SAS 101: This workshop is an introduction to the Standards Aligned System (SAS) and the SAS Portal for administrators, curriculum coordinators and teachers in school districts and charter schools.

SAS 101 Training Dates:

November 17              8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.       Pittsburgh PaTTAN, Pittsburgh

November 22              8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.       Harrisburg PaTTAN, Harrisburg

November 29              8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.       Luzerne Intermediate Unit #18, Kingston

Participants should plan to visit nearby restaurants for morning coffee and lunch. Meals are not available on site.
Monday, October 31, 2011 1:56 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) will be conducting a webinar on Thursday, Nov. 17 from 2-4 p.m. to discuss the validation process for local assessments that may be used to meet the state's new graduation requirements. Under the Chapter 4 regulations, school districts may use either the state developed Keystone Exams, locally developed and independently validated assessments, or a combination of Keystone Exams and local assessments to demonstrate proficiency for purposes of graduation. The information presented in the webinar will assist schools in making the decision to use the Keystone Exams, local assessments or a combination as a graduation requirement.
The webinar will:

  1. Provide an update of the work being done by the Chapter 4 Local Assessment Validation Advisory Committee.
  2. Review the new  "Local Assessment Validity Evaluation Handbook"? that describes the validity criteria for local assessments. The  "Local Assessment Validity Evaluation Handbook"? will be available for review prior to the webinar at:  
  3. Review the proposed timeline for implementation of the validity process.

Register for PDE's webinar at:

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, Oct. 27, 2011.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 1:30 PM

According to an article in the Patriot News, By a 27-22 vote, the state Senate passed a school voucher plan that is targeted to low-income children attending poor-performing schools. The vote on the plan, co-sponsored by Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin and Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, followed a more than four-hour debate. It now goes to the House for consideration where support remains uncertain for a taxpayer-funded voucher to allow students to attend another public or a private school where they are accepted. Click here to read the Patriot News article.

Source: myPLS Eye Opener, Oct. 27, 2011.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 6:08 PM

Governor Tom Corbett today outlined his agenda for education reform in Pennsylvania.

"We are set to start work on one of the most important jobs state government can do," Corbett said, and that is to rearrange our priorities when it comes to education.

"It needs to be: child, parent, teacher... and just in that order," Corbett said, speaking at the Lincoln Charter School in York.

Joined by Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis and several legislative leaders in education, Corbett listed his top four priorities for school reform in Pennsylvania including: opportunity scholarships, expanding the Educational Improvement Tax Credits program, improved charter school quality and accountability, and more robust and comprehensive educator evaluations.

To read the full article, click here.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education Press Release, Oct. 11, 2011.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 7:13 PM

By a wide margin, Pennsylvanians oppose recent state funding cuts to public education and support investments in programs that work, according to a new public opinion poll.

Pennsylvanians strongly support investing in tutoring students, reducing class sizes and making schools safer. By a similarly wide margin, Pennsylvanians oppose creating a taxpayer-funded voucher system for private and religious schools.

Those are the findings of the latest Terry Madonna Opinion Research survey, released today by the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA). The results are available on PSEA's web site,

The Madonna poll asked Pennsylvanians for their views regarding the $860 million cut from public schools as part of the state budget Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law last June. Sixty-nine percent said they oppose or strongly oppose these cuts, while only 27 percent said they favor or strongly favor the action.

The Madonna poll then asked survey respondents to give their opinion on how state funds for education should be used if the cuts were restored.
The respondents favored or strongly favored  "more individualized student attention and tutoring"? (89 percent), reduced class sizes (88 percent), and  "programs to help make schools safer" (85 percent). They also favored: alternative placement for disruptive/violent students (85 percent); "pre- and full-day kindergarten"? (73 percent); and "programs to coordinate school, community and law enforcement programs" ?(79 percent).

At the same time, the poll results establish Pennsylvanians oppose "a voucher plan to send students to private, religious and parochial schools."   Fifty-nine percent said they were "strongly opposed or somewhat opposed"? to vouchers, while only 38 percent were in favor of such plans.

The poll presents the findings of a survey of 801 Pennsylvania adults designed by Terry Madonna Opinion Research and conducted September 2011. The sample error for the total sample is plus or minus 3.5 percent.

Source: PSEA Presss Release, Oct. 5, 2011.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 7:12 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has been awarded $38 million through the United States Department of Education's Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program. The states winning the Striving Readers Grant are:

Georgia, $25.65 million
Louisiana, $28.5 million
Montana, $7.6 million
Nevada, $14.25 million
Pennsylvania, $38 million
Texas, $66.5 million

Pending legislative approval, the program is projected to span five years with matching awards each consecutive year. Pennsylvania was one of 35 states that applied for the award.

The Striving Readers Grant was awarded to support Pennsylvania's comprehensive approach to improving literacy outcomes for all children including disadvantaged students, limited English proficient students and students with disabilities. For more information on the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program visit:

Pennsylvania will hold competitions to award 95 percent of the funds as "sub grants" to school districts and early learning providers. Preliminary criteria for the sub grant competition include:

  • Need
  • Capacity
  • Comprehensive literacy plan (birth through 12th grade)    
  • Quality of proposed or existing program
  • Target population
  • Quality of data
  • Fifteen percent of funds will serve children from birth through age five
  • Forty percent of funds will support students in kindergarten through fifth grade
  • Forty percent of funds will serve middle and high school students  
  • Five percent is set aside for state administration
Funds will support programs that advance literacy skills through:
  • Professional development
  • Screening and assessment
  • Targeted interventions for students reading below grade level  
  • Research-based methods of improving classroom instruction and practice

Part of the 5 percent set aside for administration that PDE will incorporate into the first year implementation of the grant will include district training by intermediate units in the following areas:

  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and digital technology
  • Building Blocks for Elementary Literacy
  • Successful Transitions Along the Literacy Continuum
  • Reading Apprenticeship (RA)
  • Implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC)
  • Family literacy and parent engagement
  • Supporting learners with special needs
  • Navigating content with English language learners (ELL)
  • Data analysis and decision-making

No vendor's products, services or publications are endorsed by this grant. Pennsylvania's intermediate units are the recommended service organizations that will provide training on the key elements required for the implementation of the Striving Readers Grant.

Detailed information relating to the application process is expected to be available in November.   Below is the tentative timeline for submission. This timeline is subject to change. Details will be posted on the PDE's federal programs web page when the application process is finalized.

Request for proposals released: November 2011
Application review: December 2011
Awards announced: February 2012   

For more information contact:
Jo Beth McKee
Striving Readers Project Director
Pennsylvania Department of Education or 717-787-7815

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