Wilkes-Barre Area Expands Study Of Buildings, Approves New Administrator Compensation Plan

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Proposals from companies willing to do a feasibility study of Wilkes-Barre Area’s three high schools haven’t even been submitted yet, but the School Board voted Monday to expand the study to cover all district buildings.

The board also approved a new agreement granting most administrators annual raises between $800 and $1,400 through the 2015-16 school year, an offer Board Member Christine Katsock criticized. She noted the preliminary budget, sure to change before final passage later this month, had a $3.7 million shortfall despite a proposed 2.9 percent property tax increase.

Fear of falling debris from loose facades prompted emergency fencing and entrance closures at Coughlin and Meyers high schools last month, and the board voted to put out requests for proposals for a feasibility study on either repairs of those buildings and GAR High School, or construction of a new high school.

A “pre-proposal meeting” with prospective contractors is scheduled for this morning.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1453620/W-B-Area-expands-study-of-buildings

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Washington Post Ranks McCaskey Among State’s “Most Challenging” Schools

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Student test scores are often used to evaluate schools, but The Washington Post thinks test participation is also worth measuring.

The national newspaper last month published its list, “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” which scores schools based on the number of students who attempt college-level exams.

McCaskey High School in the School District of Lancaster ranked 20th on the listing of the most rigorous high schools in Pennsylvania.

No other Lancaster County schools made the list. The nearest school that did was Lower Dauphin High School in Hummelstown.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/washington-post-ranks-mccaskey-among-state-s-most-challenging-schools/article_098fc76a-d949-11e3-9a57-0017a43b2370.html

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Hundreds Of Perkiomen Valley High School Students Protest Teacher Layoffs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COLLEGEVILLE, PA — Hundreds of students streamed out of the front doors of the school in a quiet wave around 8:30 a.m. More than 550 Perkiomen Valley High School students participated in a walk out to protest proposed budget cuts which could mean several teachers would lose their jobs.

Alexa Monteleone spent the morning of her last day of high school on the baseball field taking a stand to try and save her mother’s job.

“It impacted me a lot. (My mom) has been here for so long and she has been so helpful to the school for the past 13 years,” she said about how she felt when she heard her mother could lose her job.

Monteleone’s mother, Maureen, is a para-professional and wears many hats, according to her daughter.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140509/hundreds-of-perkiomen-valley-high-school-students-protest-teacher-layoffs

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Two Students Shot At Logan Charter School

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two 15-year-old students were wounded Friday afternoon in what may have been an accidental shooting inside a charter high school in Logan, Philadelphia police said.

One of the victims, a girl who was shot through the arm, was treated at Einstein Medical Center, just blocks away from Delaware Valley Charter High School, where the shooting occurred. She was released from the hospital later in the day.

The second victim, her boyfriend, was struck by the same bullet, which lodged in his shoulder, police said. He remained at the hospital Friday night.

The shooting, which sent parents scrambling to find out if their children were safe, came two days after a 17-year-old boy was arrested for bringing a loaded handgun to a West Philadelphia charter school.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20140118_Breaking__Two_students_shot_at_charter_school.html#EzOvRdAkfh5CfyY1.99

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$10,000 Art Scholarship Expanded For 2014

ArtFusion-color600Pottstown, PA – ArtFusion 19464 is partnering for the fourth year in a row with the Greater Pottstown Foundation to present an amazing $10,000 scholarship to a local high school student. The Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship for the Arts is designed to financially assist a qualified applicant in obtaining a degree from accredited academic institutions of higher learning for study in the arts. The program is open to any Pottstown, Pottsgrove, The Hill School, or Owen J. Roberts high school senior student preparing to enter or already accepted to an accredited degree-granting college or university.

The scholarship is awarded based on two criteria:  artistic performance at the Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship Art Exhibit at ArtFusion 19464, and an essay on why the applicant wants to continue their education in the arts. For the first time, this year the scholarship will be open to those pursuing an arts minor as well as those who will pursue a major in an arts-related field.

Interested students must submit a completed application and essay by February 28, 2014. In addition to submitting the application and essay, students must also participate in the exhibit scheduled from May 31 to June 14. Applicants must submit a total of three pieces in specific mediums.  Artwork that will be submitted for the scholarship need not be completed until dropoff for the exhibit in May.

The award recipient will be notified at the reception to be held at ArtFusion 19464 on May 31, 2014 from 1-2pm. Applications can be picked up at ArtFusion’s 254 E. High St. location, or downloaded from their website at http://artfusion19464.org/classes/scholarshipsprograms/.  Students can also call 610-326-2506 or email info@artfusion19464.org with any questions.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

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Reading Police Pulled From The Citadel

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

City police officers have been pulled from their stations at the Reading Citadel intermediate high school while the school district figures out how it’s going to come up with the money to pay for them, district officials said Wednesday.

“We don’t have coverage in the building,” school board President Pierre V. Cooper told fellow board members at the end of their meeting.

“The police are circling and in the area, and they can be there at a moment’s notice,” Cooper said.  “But they are not in the building.”

The two officers stationed at the Citadel, who also serve the high school, were at the school for the first day but were reassigned to regular city patrols later in the week, Dr. Carlinda Purcell, superintendent, said after the meeting.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=505051

Boyertown School Board Hires Superintendent

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Boyertown School Board has hired a new superintendent whose experience with building projects should help the district as it prepares to renovate and expand the high school, officials said Thursday.

Dr. Richard Faidley, 44, who has spent the last two years as superintendent of the Derry Township School District in Dauphin County, was hired by an 8-0 vote on Tuesday.  His salary was set at $165,000.

The board chose Faidley partly because he’s a strong leader and has construction knowledge, said board President Gwen W. Semmens.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=495561

Four Area High Schools Make Newsweek’s Top 2,000

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Four local schools made Newsweek’s list of the top 2,000 public high schools in the country.

Newsweek’s list ranked schools based on different measures  such as average college-entrance test scores, AP scores and available classes, as well as graduation rates.  Such criteria that would indicate college readiness of outgoing students.

Topping the quartet of area schools that made it was Phoenixville Area High School, which came in at 839.

“In all honesty, it’s an honor for Phoenixville to be recognized as one of the top high schools in the nation,” said Phoenixville Principal Craig Parkinson.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130508/NEWS01/130509318/four-area-high-schools-make-newsweek-s-top-2-000#full_story

Four Luzerne County High Schools Make The Grade In National Magazine

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Four Luzerne County high schools received high rankings from the the latest U.S. News & Report.

The Wyoming Area Secondary Center earned a silver medal award in the magazine’s 2013 ranking of top performing schools released Tuesday.

Hanover Area Junior Senior High School, Pittston Area High School and Wyoming Valley West Senior High School earned bronze medals.

The magazine compiles its list after analyzing 21,035 public schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia based on state, federal and independent data.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/460636/Four-area-high-schools-make-the-grade-in-national-magazine

Manheim Township Schools Ban Parents From Eating Lunch With Their Children

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  What a sad reality.

The Manheim Township School District has notified parents that they will no longer be allowed to visit schools to have lunch with their children, a move it says is designed to “ensure a safe learning environment.”

The new policy was approved by the school board on March 21 and is effective May 1.

The policy was described in a letter to parents dated March 22 and signed by the district’s elementary-, intermediate-, middle- and high-school principals.

The letter stated that an exception can be made by each school’s principal if they choose to participate in a celebration such as National Lunch Week.  The new policy would not allow parents to bring “restaurant food from outside sources” during such celebrations, however.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/831066_Manheim-Township-schools-ban-parents-from-eating-lunch-with-their-children.html#ixzz2OqRwcTCx

2 Ohio HS Football Players Convicted Of Raping Drunken Girl; Charges Against Others Possible

Map of Ohio

Map of Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — Two members of Steubenville’s celebrated high school football team were found guilty Sunday of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl, and Ohio’s attorney general warned the case isn’t over, saying he is investigating whether coaches, parents and other students broke the law, too.

Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, were sentenced to at least a year in juvenile prison in a case that has rocked this Rust Belt city of 18,000 and led to allegations of a cover-up to protect the Steubenville High team, which has won nine state championships. Mays was ordered to serve an additional year for photographing the underage girl naked.

They can be held until they turn 21.

The two broke down in tears after a Juvenile Court judge delivered his verdict. They later apologized to the victim and the community, Richmond struggling to speak through his sobs.

Read more:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/rape-trial-of-2-ohio-high-school-football-players-ends-judge-to-announce-verdict-sunday/2013/03/16/1b282264-8e9b-11e2-adca-74ab31da3399_story.html

Violence Prevention Program Targets Reading’s Northeast

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A joint effort to reduce youth violence is targeting the northeast section of the city, an area where most Reading kids will end up attending school.

For members of the Reading Youth Violence Prevention Project, who recently met at Albright College to discuss goals for 2013, the logic was simple.

Northeast Reading is home to Reading High and the Citadel intermediate high school.  There’s also Northeast Middle School, CHOR Day Academy, I-LEAD Charter School and four elementary schools.

“The northeast sector is not considered the neediest per se, but there are perhaps more assets to build upon,” said Laura M. Welliver, project coordinator at St. Joseph Medical Center.  “There are more opportunities to stabilize, using the schools as anchors.”

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=451722

Many Skip School At Brandywine Heights High Over Social Media Rumor

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Given recent events, can you blame parents for keeping their children home!

Despite assurances from the school district there was nothing to be concerned about, 40 percent of Brandywine Heights High School students stayed home Wednesday in light of rumors a student was planning to bring a gun to school.

Dr. Martin D. Handler, superintendent, said rumors began circulating through Facebook, email and other venues over winter break that a student planned to bring a gun to school Wednesday.

District officials alerted state police, who interviewed the student and his mother and determined there was no threat.

Just to be on the safe side, Handler said, state police were on hand at the start of school Wednesday.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=440746

FOOTBALL: Mohler’s Memorable Moments Spark Pottstown

BUCKTOWN — Some folks look at Pottstown’s Dayon Mohler and see a ballhawking safety.

Others fancy the Trojans’ junior as an effective running back.

Pottstown coach Brett Myers, however, has an even more succinct way of describing the 5-foot-11, 157-pound Mohler.

“I’d classify him as a good football player,” Myers said.

So would the majority of the folks who witnessed Thursday’s annual Thanksgiving Day Pioneer Athletic Conference showdown between the Trojans and Owen J. Roberts at Wildcat Stadium.

Mohler saw more action than a retail store parking lot on Black Friday in helping the Trojans overall close out their first non-losing season in 10 years with a 26-21 victory over the Wildcats.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121122/SPORTS01/121129765/football-mohler-s-memorable-moments-spark-pottstown#full_story

Exeter-Antietam School District Merger Talks Give Rise To Questions

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By definition, it’s a union – oftentimes, an absorption. It could be as simple as sharing a sports team. Or as complex as a new high school.

For the school officials who make the ultimate decision, though, mergers aren’t so easily defined. They’re complex; never the same. And ultimately, the trigger for heated emotions all around.

Since talk of a merger between the Exeter and Antietam school districts reignited this year, questions have arisen.

If the two were to combine, residents wondered, would there be a new name? Which high school would be used? And who, if anyone, would actually benefit?

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=410187

Fleetwood School District Cuts Could Be Deep, Wide

Proposed staff cuts in the Fleetwood School District aimed at balancing the budget would primarily impact elective courses at the high school and speciality classes at the middle and elementary schools, district officials confirmed Friday.

The proposed cuts, which will be unveiled publicly at Tuesday’s school board meeting, include laying off three teachers and six support staff members, demoting seven teachers to part time and axing the district’s wrestling program. Four more teaching positions would be eliminated through attrition.

The school board will ultimately decide whether to go forward with the changes intended to help the district close a gap of at least $847,000 in its $38.6 million 2012-13 budget.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=370277

Bradford County Student To Start Memorial For Deceased Classmates

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Bradford County

Image via Wikipedia

Canton, Pa. - I was picking up my mail at the post office recently when a poster on the bulletin board caught my eye.

After looking it over, I learned that Tifany Austin, 17, a junior at Canton Junior-Senior High School who lives in Ralston, has started a unique senior project.

She wants to create a touching memorial in Ralston to remember young people who have passed away in tragic accidents, including car crashes, in the Canton Area School District and surrounding areas.

As part of her project, she is raising money for a metal angel statue to be placed as a memorial in the mini-park by the bank in Ralston. It will be accompanied by a plaque.

Read more: http://thedailyreview.com/news/western-bradford-notebook-1.1282734

$10,000 Art Scholarship Deadline Extended For Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship For The Arts

Pottstown, PAThe application deadline for the 3rd annual Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship for the Arts has been extended until March 10, 2012.  This $10,000 scholarship is designed to financially assist a qualified applicant in pursuing their further education in the arts. The program is open to any Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Hill School or Owen J. Roberts High School senior.  The scholarship is awarded based on two criteria: artistic performance as displayed at the Greater Pottstown Foundation Senior High School Art Exhibit at the Gallery School of Pottstown, and an essay on why an applicant wants to continue their education in the arts.  The applicant’s intended field of study must include a major in an arts related field.

In addition to submitting a completed application form and essay, each student must also participate in the art exhibit at the Gallery School of Pottstown.  Students must create pieces of art from three of four categories: watercolor or pastel; pencil, charcoal or ink; oil or acrylic; and sculpture, which include pottery, stone, glass, metal, fiber or wood. The application and essay must be received by March 10. Artwork does not need to be completed until the art show in May. 

Students can email info@galleryonhigh.com to receive an application, or stop by the Gallery School at 254 E. High St. in Pottstown.
 
The Gallery School of Pottstown is a 501c3 non-profit community art school and gallery. The School offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. The Gallery on High hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The Gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items. The Gallery on High is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-4:30pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The Gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.
 
The Gallery School of Pottstown
@Gallery on High
254 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-326-2506
www.galleryonhigh.org

Three Lancaster County School Districts Will Merge Teaching Efforts

I think this concept makes sense and should be explored around here!

Imagine a high school where students can take classes as early as 7 a.m. or as late as 9 p.m.

Some of the courses are taught face-to-face in the school, with others delivered online and still others taught through a mix of classroom and computer-based instruction.

At this school, tuition is free and students can enroll in specialty courses such as Latin and business Spanish that their home schools don’t offer.

And by taking classes at night or over the summer, they could earn a diploma faster than their peers.
Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/558484_Three-school-districts-here-will-merge-teaching-efforts.html#ixzz1hy97OMXg

More Secret Pottstown Meetings? Do We Ever Learn?

Hand with thumbs down

Image via Wikipedia

I just read an article, on a local online media outlet, about the Pottstown School Board having an Executive Session that appears to have violated the Sunshine Law.  The board discussed cutting art and music behind closed doors after being told by taxpayers this was not their will.

As a student of history I feel it is incumbent upon us to study the past to learn from our mistakes.  Making the same poor decision repeatedly and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

I feel there are other areas that could yield cost savings that we are not considering.  Certain groups are considered “untouchable”.  Art and music are always the first thing a school board looks at cutting to save money.

If we look at the number of students involved with the music program in the PSD, we see a large group.  Not only do many students take part in the music program but our high school band and some other ensembles are award-winners and recognized for excellence.  They are a source of pride for our community.

Clearly, this decision is not supported by taxpayers based on the turn out at public meetings where this subject has been discussed.  Sneaking around behind closed doors is childish behavior and violates the LAW in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  But yet organizations in this town continue to engage in this counterproductive behavior.  How are we supposed to trust any of you???

Shame, shame, shame!  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs DOWN for this poor decision and the even poorer way it was handled.