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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New Hope releases ‘open letter’ video to York City board

New Hope Academy Charter School sent out a video today, which says it is an “open letter” to York City School Board members from the students who weren’t allowed to speak at public comment last week.

See the video below, and catch up on stories about what’s happening.

 

New Hope comments not allowed at board meeting

Public comment limits raise Sunshine questions

Lawsuit accuses York City of Sunshine violations

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Help a York Suburban educator win a spot at a tech summit

Update: Kevin Willson receive enough votes and received an invitation to attend the summit today, he said by email.

Reported earlier:

York Suburban School District teacher Kevin Willson is trying to attend the 2014 Global SMART Exemplary Educator Summit this summer, and you can help.

Willson is in the running to win a free trip to the summit, at SMART Headquarters in Calgary. The program recognizes teacher, technology coordinators and administrators who use SMART technologies in the classroom. (As an example, SMART makes those interactive whiteboards many classrooms now have.)

Willson made a video about his “a-ha” moment – when he first got a SMARTboard and learned what he could do with it to engage students in learning.

To earn a spot at the summit, Willson’s video must be in the top 25 vote-getters, he said. To vote, click here and find Willson’s video. Deadline is March 29.

With district budget always tight, these kind of free opportunities for professional development are valuable, Willson said in an email.

Willson is a business teacher at York Suburban High School and a first-grade computer teacher at Valley View Elementary. Previously, he was elementary district technology integrator.

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Coalition presses for action on expanding pre-k access

Organizations around the state have joined to stress the importance of expanding pre-kindergarten in this election year.

Joan Benso, president of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, said the Pre-K for PA coalition launched in January with 10 founding organizations and that number has since grown to 200.

Statewide, only one in six children have access to high quality, publicly funded pre-k, which means nearly 250,000 children are missing out, she said in a phone conference with reporters.

“We have to make this change and we have to do this quickly,” Benso said.

County-level data provided by the coalition shows that in York County about 9 percent of children, or 1 in 11, have access to publicly-funded pre-K, and 84 percent don’t have access to high-quality pre-K at all. See a full fact sheet here.

Members of the coalition touted the benefits of Pre-K including that students will do better in school and be more prepared for jobs later, that at-risk students who have early childhood education programs are less likely to end up committing a crime later, and more. They also pointed out that other states are taking steps to make pre-k available for all students.

Learn more about the coalition here.

In York City, registration for the school district’s Pre-K Counts program, began Tuesday. There’s one classroom in each district school.

On Monday evening, program coordinator Julie Fabie told the school board she already had 130 appointments for 115 slots. The program is in the midst of its assessment, but in the past has gotten perfect marks.

Board member Glenn Medice said he’d prefer there wasn’t a waiting list.

“I think this is the start of what this district needs … to hit them with the basic skills they need to move on to kindergarten,” he said.

Supt. Eric Holmes said the district would have a proposal in April or May for adding three prekindergarten classrooms next year. They wouldn’t necessarily be Pre-K Counts classrooms, since that is a state-funded program, but they would mirror those.

The district wants to eventually have all students in pre-kindergarten, Holmes said. The district’s recovery plan includes expanding pre-k access.

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