Will York City follow in New Orleans footsteps?

York City School District continues to move through a financial recovery plan that includes the possibility of someday converting schools into charters, if internal reform doesn’t work as the plan requires.

Officials have said new collective bargaining agreements are necessary for internal reform to work financially, and the city teachers’ union recently rejected a contract proposal. So the all-charter option seems to loom larger.

Given that, I thought York-area folks might want to read more about what’s happening in New Orleans, where the Recovery School District will become the first district in the country to be completely made up of charter schools next year. The move has advocates and critics.

This isn’t to say that if York went all-charter, it would work the way it does in New Orleans, where the takeover of schools kicked into higher gear after Hurricane Katrina. But it’s interesting to look at the issues at play in another district. Continue reading “Will York City follow in New Orleans footsteps?” »

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LIU 12 partnership brings NASA into the classroom

I’ve written several times about a connection between NASA and some local rocket kids.

A few months ago, I heard about another NASA connection at an area school board meeting, where a board member seemed pretty excited about a training opportunity through NASA and the Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12.

So I checked it out, and Jared Mader, director of educational technology at the LIU, explained that the intermediate unit was going to offer a training session to bring NASA’s MMS Mission to elementary-level classrooms.

NASA’s MMS Mission aims to build four satellites measuring data in the magnetosphere of earth to determine how solar flares impact the earth and the magnetic field from the earth, Mader said.

Mader said that NASA partnered with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and wrote an activity series to teach students about STEM principles related to the mission. ISTE asked Mader and Ben Smith, a teacher in the Red Lion Area School District, to write an iBook that is a teacher’s guide on how to complete the activities in a digital classroom. (At the elementary level, teachers were likely not science majors, though some might have had some focus on science.) Continue reading “LIU 12 partnership brings NASA into the classroom” »

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Teens: Apply now to join the Teen Takeover staff

Attention teenagers – the York Daily Record is taking applications for its Teen Takeover staff.

Members of the staff write stories, post on the Teen Takeover blog and attend monthly meetings. Your work could be published online or in print.

The deadline for next year is June 27.

Get all the details here. 

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Song urges York Suburban students to recycle

A teacher in the York Suburban School District recently wrote to me to share the high school’s efforts to get students to think before they toss their bottles, cans and other recyclables.

Art classes created posters with the “Think Before You Throw” motto, and music teacher Ashley Thrush composed a song to go with the effort, Leigh Foy, the school’s Green Club advisor, said in an email.

“Our idea is to use the video to teach all the students in the district the ‘recycling song’ so that they can grow up learning to ‘think before they throw’ items in a trash can while displaying the Studio Design’s posters on the trashcans in the district,” Foy wrote.

The song debuted on Earth Day and you can watch the video below!

The high school also turned out the lights April 25, using natural lighting to conserve energy, Foy said.

How do your schools promote recycling with students?

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Auditor general recommends charter oversight improvements

I just got a chance to read through a report from the state auditor general’s office recommends creating a statewide oversight board for charter schools, among other suggestions for improving effectiveness and accountability in that process.

New Hope Academy recently lost a two-year battle to try to have its charter renewed. Recommendations from the state include creating a new appeals process since the current one takes years.

New Hope Academy recently lost a two-year battle to try to have its charter renewed. Recommendations from the state include creating a new appeals process since the current one takes years.

The report was released Monday by Eugene DePasquale’s following a series of public meetings held around the state on the subject. The meetings held around the state showed both parties are struggling with confusing provisions of the law, and that there’s often a lack of direction coming from the state, the report says.

An oversight board could take on tasks like training districts to be effective charter authorizers, enforce regulations related to charter schools and act as a resource for school districts and charter schools, the report says.

Here are some recommendations I think might be of interest to those in the York community: Continue reading “Auditor general recommends charter oversight improvements” »

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Visiting a Red Lion elementary school’s career day

I’m visiting Larry J. Macaluso Elementary School, in the Red Lion Area School District, today to participate in their Career Day and tell them about my job as YDR’s education reporter.

Check back here later, and you might see some students you know!

To give students a taste of my job, I did a short interview with a student about career day.

For students, here are some examples of education stories we cover in the York Daily Record.

York Tech students compete in engine-building contest

South Western: Kindergarten teacher or ninja warrior?

Dover seeks input on 2014-15 budget

York City School Board approves loan

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Recap from the April 17 York City School Board meeting

See my tweets from the last York City School Board meeting below. Read the story here. 

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Weigh in on Dover superintendent search

Want to weigh in on Dover Area School District’s next leader? Now’s your chance.

The school board has launched a search for a new superintendent and is seeking input through an anonymous survey, according to a post on the district website.

The survey will be available through April 27. You can take it online here or get a paper copy at the Dover Area Community Library, 3700 Davidsburg Road, and mail it to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, Dover Area School District Superintendent Search, 400 Bent Creek Blvd., Mechanicsburg, PA 17050.

Participants can weigh in on the qualifications and experience they think are important in a superintendent as well as the strengths and needs in the district, the post says.

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Red Lion kicks off Habitat project Saturday

York Habitat for Humanity and the Red Lion Area School District will kick off their Red Lion Community Build on Saturday.

It’s the first project that’s primarily funded and being built by a school district, according to a Habitat news release.

Students and volunteers will turn the cement block trailer base in to a usable foundation for a new home for Ashley Moffitt and her daughter Shaelynn, 8, the release says.

Saturday also happens to be Global Youth Service Day, an event that mobilizes kids to improve their communities through service.

The project kickoff is at 9 a.m., 101 Schoolhouse Lane in Red Lion.

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Schreiber hosting Instagram contest for students

The weather’s getting nicer, and state Rep. Kevin Schreiber wants to see students’ photos of spring – and he’ll even display some in his district office.

Schreiber is having an Instagram contest for middle and high school students who live in the 95th district (York City, West York Borough, North York Borough, Spring Garden Township and West Manchester Township, District 1), according to a news release.

The photos cannot include people and must be taken in the 95th district.*

To participate, students can post a photo to Instagram, use the hashtag #springintoyork, and include their grade, school and the location of the photo, the release says.

The contest is open April 14 to May 9. Local photographers will judge the entries and pick winners by May 31. The 10 winning photos will be displayed in Schreiber’s district office as his spring/summer art installation, the release says.

*This post was updated to include more information.

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