Press Releases

Monday, March 5, 2018 9:23 AM

The state House education committee plans to explore the issue of school safety at a March 15 hearing that will include whether the General Assembly should give schools the power to arm teachers and other staff.
Allied News, March 4, 2018
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Monday, March 5, 2018 8:30 AM

As we approach the PSSA and spring Keystone testing windows, the PA Department of Education (PDE) would like to remind all LEAs about requirements for participation in the state assessments. The United States Department of Education (ED) continues to require participation of all students; however, in recognition of special circumstances, ED provides some flexibility for five percent non-participation. This five percent flexibility is important to Pennsylvania, as Chapter 4 regulations allow parents/guardians to have their children excused from testing due to a conflict with religious belief. Though Pennsylvania regulations permit this excusal, ED does not recognize this as an allowable reason for non-participation and all students who do not participate due to the allowance in Chapter 4 will have a negative impact on an LEA’s/school’s participation rate, and potentially achievement rate as well. (For more information, please view the webinar: https://youtu.be/kPIWKVDkqII ). The provision in Chapter 4 specifically says,

§ 4.4 General Policies.

(d) School entities shall adopt policies to assure that parents or guardians have the following:

(4) The right to review a State assessment in the school entity during the convenient hours for parents and guardians, at least 2 weeks prior to their admijn9istration, to determine whether a Sate assessment conflicts with their religious belief. To protect the validity and integrity of the State assessments, each school entity shall have in place procedures to be followed when parents or guardians request to view any state assessment. Procedures must be consistent with guidance provided by the Department in its assessment administration instructions. If upon inspection of a State assessment parents or guardians find the assessment to be in conflict with their religious belief and wish their students to be excused from the assessment, the right of the parents or guardians will not be denied upon written request that states the objection to the applicable school district superintendent, charter school chief executive officer or AVTS director.

Parents/guardians are not to be denied their right to have their children excused if they follow proper protocol. Parents/guardians must sign a confidentiality agreement form prior to reviewing the assessment. After reviewing the assessment, parents/guardians must state in writing to the superintendent, CEO, or AVTS director that they wish to have their child(ren) excused from the assessment due to a conflict with religious belief. The specific conflict does not need to be stated; simply that it is a conflict with religious belief.

LEAs and schools are encouraged to seek 100 percent participation in the assessments, but please be reminded of parents’/guardians’ rights under Chapter 4.

 
Friday, March 2, 2018 9:56 AM

After a gunman killed 17 people at a Florida high school last month, President Donald Trump suggested arming teachers could prevent another massacre. But some Pennsylvania educators said that's not a responsibility they want.
York Dispatch, March 1, 2018
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Friday, March 2, 2018 9:55 AM

Threats against schools across the nation continue to spike since the deadly shooting in Parkland, FL, two weeks ago, and Pennsylvania is among states experiencing the most dramatic increases in such incidents over the longer term.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 1, 2018
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Friday, March 2, 2018 9:54 AM

School safety will be the focus of a Senate Education Committee hearing on Friday, March 2,  and a House Education Committee hearing on March 15.
PennLive.com, March 2, 2018
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Thursday, March 1, 2018 9:39 AM

The Trump administration plans to unveil as soon as Thursday a list of more than 10 administrative and legislative priorities the president intends to champion in an effort to help prevent gun violence in schools, including a call to raise the age limit on all gun purchases to 21, White House officials tell ABC News.
ABC Channel 6, March 1, 2018
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Thursday, March 1, 2018 9:38 AM

School safety has been at the forefront following the school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead. KYW's Jessica Dean spoke to eight teachers from across the Delaware Valley for a conversation about school safety and what could be done to prevent this type of tragedy from happening.
CBS Philly, Feb. 28, 2018
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Thursday, March 1, 2018 9:37 AM

There is a growing list of schools where students are planning a walkout against gun violence March 14.
PennLive, Feb. 28, 2018
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Wednesday, February 28, 2018 11:15 AM

Dr. Paul Healey, Executive Director, PA Principals Association, appeared on Smart Talk Radio on Wednesday, Feb. 28, talking about school safety with other education organization representatives. The show aired on WITF (89.5 and 93.3) from 9-10 a.m. and will air again tonight at 7 p.m.

Click here to listen.  

 
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 9:48 AM

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court turned away a request to halt the implementation of the congressional district map it produced after declaring the previous map an unconstitutional gerrymander. 
Allentown Morning Call, Feb. 27, 2018
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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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