Miss White Rose City to promote early reading around York

Caroline Jones, Miss White Rose City (submitted)

Caroline Jones, Miss White Rose City (submitted)

Caroline Jones, Miss White Rose City, will visit area schools next week to highlight the importance of reading early and often to children, according to a news release.

Through the United Way of York County, Jones will visit the following schools: York Academy Regional Charter School, York Day Nursery, McKinley K-8 School, and Crispus Attucks’ preschool and after-school programs, Conewago Elementary School, Mount Wolf Elementary School and Otterbein Learning Center.

As Miss White Rose City, Jones, from Mountain Top, Pa.,  represents York in the Miss America Organization.

A freshman at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Jones is an advocate for education and childhood literacy and author/illustrator of “One More Book, Please!”

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Scholarships available for York City students

Attention York City seniors: York City Dollars for Scholars wants to give you a scholarship!

Well, they’d like to consider it anyway. But you have to apply.

The organization needs more students to apply for its scholarships, school board member James Sawor told the board on Wednesday night. Seniors who live in the city school district can apply.

Sawor said about 50 students initially expressed interest in the scholarships, but as of last week only 12 had finished and submitted their applications. Scoring starts March 8, so there’s still time to get those applications in.

There are 48 scholarships available typically in amount of about $1,000 to $1,500, Sawor said.

Additionally, there’s a scholarship available for students who are going to be music majors in college that Sawor said sometimes goes unawarded. (One of those many passionate music students we hear from in York City must be planning to major in it, right?)

So the opportunities are out there. Seek information at the school (try your guidance counselor or ask in the office) if you are interested in applying or pass the word along!

Update: I tweeted this blog entry and learned that the York County Hispanic Coalition has scholarship opportunities, too. It looks like you have until March 27 on those, so get moving!

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York County superintendents weigh in on state issues

Three York County superintendents testified before the state House education committee last week on issues including Keystone exams and ever-changing state standards.

Red Lion Area School District Supt. Scott Deisley, Northern York County Supt. Eric Eshbach and Central York Supt. Michael Snell all appeared before the committee on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.

According to copies of their testimony, Deisley testified with a Delaware County superintendent, Lee Ann Wentzel, on House Bill 177, which would establish a commission to study and make recommendations on the Pennsylvania Core Standards.

They offered support for the bill but cautioned that schools and families are feeling “a bad case of state policy whiplash” from the frequently changing standards, according to a copy of their testimony. Districts face difficulty in adjusting curriculum to meet standards when they change so frequently. For example, Red Lion has had to adjust its five year curriculum review cycle and instead make changes nearly every year in some curriculum areas, the testimony says.

Eshbach and Snell spoke on House Bill 168, which would keep the state from using the Keystone exams as a graduation requirement, among other things.

The superintendents supported the bill, saying that in York County there’s been significant work to analyze Keystone scores and adjust instruction to try to ensure all students can pass. But while all students are expected to pass, schools are also required to differentiate instruction for each child’s needs.

The superintendents also raised concern that the exams don’t look at critical 21st Century skills and could end up taking away from the time students at vocational technical schools are spending on their career skills, measured by another exam.

Read the testimony below. Click here to see who else testified.


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Northeastern Middle students receive Chromebooks

About 100 students at Northeastern Middle School recently received Chromebooks as part of a 1:1 pilot program. (Submitted photos)

About 100 students at Northeastern Middle School recently received Chromebooks as part of a 1:1 pilot program. (Submitted photos)

Northeastern Middle School recently placed Chromebooks into the hands of about 100 seventh- and eighth-grade students.

About 100 students at Northeastern Middle School recently received Chromebooks as part of a 1:1 pilot program. (Submitted photos)

Northeastern Middle School hopes a pilot program will expand to the entire school next year. (Submitted photos)

The school’s GOLD team is participating in a 1:1 pilot program for the rest of the school year. Many school districts around the county have been working to try out or expand such programs, which typically give students a laptop or table to use for their use at school and home.

The idea is to expand the program later, reaching about 1,600 students over two years. Read more about Northeastern’s technology initiatives here.

Northeastern Middle Principal Michael Alessandroni said the hope is to roll out Chromebooks to all middle schoolers next year, pending school board approval. He provided these photos of students receiving their new laptops.

The project is known as “Anytime Anywhere Learning.”

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West York students tackle future city design

West York seventh-graders Kohen Stover, Keyana McGuire, Jonathan Soyke presented their team's project at the Central Pennsylvania Future City Competition.

West York seventh-graders Jonathan Soyke, Kohen Stover and Keyana McGuire presented their team’s project at the Central Pennsylvania Future City Competition. (Submitted)

Seventh-graders at West York Area Middle School recently imagined a city of the future and brought it to life for the Future City Competition.

The Central Pennsylvania regional finals of the competition were held Jan. 24, at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, with the theme “Feeding Future Cities: Create a Futuristic Solution to Growing Crops in Urban Settings.”

Penny Shearer, a West York teacher who worked with the team, said in an email that the competition gives students an engineering problem to solve in the future. This year, they had to choose a protein and a vegetable and determine how to grow enough to sustian the population for one growing season.

“This is a huge endeavor,” she said. The students created a city using SimCity, wrote a 500-word essay about their city and its innovations,  and built a scale model of part of that city. A York College engineering student acted as mentor, and the students answered questions from judges at the competition.

West York students who competed in the Future City Competition created a future city in SimCity and then made a scale model of part of it. (Submitted)

West York students who competed in the Future City Competition created a future city in SimCity and then made a scale model of part of it. (Submitted)

Shearer said the West York team took an award home for designing the “most renewable water source” for its city.

Team members were: Keyana McGuire, Jonathan Soyke, Kohen Stover, Augie Citrone, Jack Citrone, Griffin Conaway, Reilly Dearolf, Anira Glacken, Jackson Suter and Ayla Wallace.

Learn more about the competition here.

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Read Lincoln Charter renewal documents

Last week, the York City School Board voted to approve a renewal agreement that allows Lincoln Charter School to remain open for another five years.

The charter school’s board had previously renewed the agreement, which contains performance goals and other elements, many of which were part of a renewal agreement for its sister school, Helen Thackston Charter School.

Read the renewal agreement below.


Lincoln Charter renewal agreement (Text)

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Students put their view of York into a mural

From the left, Alexander Vargas, 13, Diego Feliciano, age 13, Jada Carr, age 14, and Zoe Falzone, age 13 look over a mural they created with others to be hun in the cafeteria. at Ferguson school January 21, 2015 (Photo by Paul Kuehnel)

From the left, Alexander Vargas, 13, Diego Feliciano, age 13, Jada Carr, age 14, and Zoe Falzone, age 13 look over a mural they created with others to be hung in the cafeteria. at Ferguson school January 21, 2015 (Photo by Paul Kuehnel)

In the cafeteria at Ferguson K-8 School, panels of a mural rested against the wall recently, waiting to be hung.

Students in the school’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) program created the mural with help from artist Ophelia Chambliss. The students first toured the murals of York, then began thinking about what they could paint to represent their city and school, students said.

The resulting panels feature representations of York symbols, like a White Rose, and school images, like the Ferguson Fox. It includes the Penn Park monument and some fun elements like the York Revolution logo, a basketball and a soccer ball.

The project was one of the ways the school has been tying art into the program.

“We thought about the cool parts of York,” said eighth-grader DeJuan Gibbs, adding that to the students, “this is York.”

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Check out events for Catholic Schools Week

Catholic Schools Week is Jan. 24 to 30, and schools around York County will be among those celebrating with the theme of “Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”

Events begin Saturday, with a York Deanery Celebration Mass at 4 p.m. in the York Catholic Auditorium, celebrated by Rev. Ronald Gainer. That will be followed by the “Battle of the Buildings,” at 5:30 p.m. in the York Catholic gym. It’s a friendly competition among York Deanery school teachers doing “Minute to Win It”-style activities, and admission is a non-perishable food item for Catholic Harvest Food Pantry. York Mayor Kim Bracey is expected to attend.

Here’s a look at some of the other activities happening around the county.

York Catholic: Administrators are providing a special treat on Wednesday, which is Student Appreciation Day, and the home and school organization provides breakfast for faculty on Teacher Appreciation Day. A student talent show ends the week.

St. Joseph Catholic School, Dallastown: The school will host a Geography Bee for fourth through sixth grades. Children can dress down and play bingo on Student Appreciation Day, Tuesday, and a talent show will be held Thursday.

St. Patrick School, York: An open house will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Sunday, and a religion bee will be held Monday at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. On Tuesday, expect to see some mismatched clothes as a fundraiser for missions, and that afternoon, fifth- and sixth-grade students will complete a service project at Catholic Harvest Food Pantry. Younger students will work at the food pantry Wednesday.

St. Joseph School, Springettsbury Township: Other events include the Good News Games on Monday, when students will compete based on their knowledge of the Catholic faith, and Project Socks of LOVE on Wednesday, when students will be filling socks with basic necessities to donate to local charities. There’s a poster contest and open house events from 9 to 11 a.m . and 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, too.

St. Rose of Lima School, Thomasville: An open house will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, and the fifth- and sixth-grade STEM Fair will take place throughout the week. On Wednesday, fifth- and sixth-graders at St. Rose church and at Catholic Harvest. The students donated 1,200 cans of food and $650 this fall, so now they will see how the food pantry works. Someone will get to be Principal for a Day on Tuesday, and on Friday night, the school will hold a mini-THON to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund.


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A look at appeal issues York City might raise

What will the York City School District bring up as it appeals a judge’s appointment of a receiver?

We have a little bit better idea, from some documents filed in court today. Previously, the district was told by the court to file a “concise” summary of the errors the district plans to challenge.

We heard some of these matters in court. For example, the district says that the judge didn’t consider some facts the school district brought up, including that the charter school contract David Meckley had directed the board to approve was incomplete and might not even save the school district money, as is required by law.

Read the documents below. Keep up with all our York City schools coverage here.



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City teachers attending Wolf inauguration day breakfast

York City teacher Clovis Gallon will be among those attending a breakfast with Gov.-elect Tom Wolf on inauguration day.

Gallon said the VFW in Mount Wolf is hosting a breakfast where Wolf is expected to appear, and the past commander of the post – also a teacher at William Penn – invited Gallon to attend with him.

He might have a chance to shake Wolf’s hand or maybe talk to him for a minute, he said.

“I definitely want to ask him one or two questions,” Gallon said.

There are several other school connections, including that the Northeastern High School band will perform.

Click here to get caught up on Wolf’s inauguration details and the many York County connections

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