Check out these classrooms

Educators and support professionals spend countless hours getting schools and classrooms ready for students to arrive at the start of the new school year.

At PSEA, we love to see and showcase your hard work and creativity. So, we put out a call on Facebook for pictures of your school or classroom as you get everything set up for the year.

Here are just a couple. Check out PSEA’s Facebook page and the September issue of Voice for even more classroom photos.


Join PSEA Ed Services for an online book chat

Join your fellow PSEA members this fall for an online book discussion about award-winning young adult fiction — and here’s the best part: You can earn Act 48 credit in the process.

It’s a new project from PSEA’s Education Services Division. All you have to do is read the specified young adult novel, complete and submit a brainstorming document to share with colleagues, and discuss potential strategies for using the book in your classroom during an online meeting with your PSEA colleagues. It’s already popular – the first two sessions are already at capacity!

Some of the books on tap for discussion include “Beartown” by Frederik Backman, “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” by Mark Haddon, and “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones.

Register for an upcoming online discussion — and get the full list of book discussions planned for the year — at www.psea.org/Act48BookDiscussions. Please register early. Participation is capped at 15 participants for each online discussion.

Meeting the professional learning needs of our members is key

Book discussions not your thing? PSEA's Education Services Division is also offering a series of Act 48/Chapter 14 professional learning webinars to meet the professional learning needs of our members.

Topics include:

  • Advancing education equity through federal legislation: The Every Student Succeeds Act
  • Certification, evaluation, tenure, and Act 48 for educators in PA
  • Behavior and students with disabilities
  • Universal design for learning
  • Career portfolios: Productively contributing to your school’s Future Ready PA Index
  • Equity audits: What are they and how can they be used to create more equitable and excellent schools?
  • Supporting students with allergies: Requirements and best practices

Register today for an upcoming webinar at www.psea.org/act48webinars.

PSEA member guidance critical in shaping PA?s first ever School Safety Task Force Report

Earlier this year, PSEA asked members to share their ideas on making our public schools safe from violence in the aftermath of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. As one of the Vice Chairs of the new School Safety Task Force, PSEA President Dolores McCracken shared those suggestions with members of the Task Force, including Gov. Tom Wolf and Auditor General DePasquale.  (Read the PSEA report)

Based on this PSEA member feedback, observations shared during the broader regional discussions, and commentary provided through an online feedback form, the new task force has recognized in their full report released Aug. 27, “multiple themes, barriers and opportunities” for a safer Pennsylvania school environment.

More information on the update from the PA School Safety Task Force is available on the Governor’s website.

Public education is Gov. Wolf?s top priority

Since his first day as governor, Tom Wolf has made public education his number one priority. He has restored $1 billion in school funding cuts and made strategic investments in career and tech education and school safety.

Across Pennsylvania, public school students have seen the impact of these funding increases. In addition to restoring school funding cuts, Gov. Wolf, working with lawmakers from both parties, has:

  • Increased funding for school safety programs by $60 million;
  • Increased funding for career and technical education by $10 million;
  • Lifted the number of students in career and tech ed programs by 42 percent; and
  • Boosted the high school graduation rate to 86 percent.

Learn more at www.psea.org/govwolfrestoresfunding.

Less than 100 days remain before Election Day

Election Day is our chance to send a pro-public education governor to Harrisburg.

To make it happen, we need to make sure every PSEA member is registered to vote on Nov. 6. Register today or confirm your registration at www.votespa.com.

Eligible voters must be registered by Oct. 9 in order to vote in the November election. If you've recently moved, make sure you update your registration and find your new polling place.

As we head into the fall, we need every PSEA member out there ready to vote for pro-public education candidates on the ballot.

Understanding ESSA implementation in PA

This school year, Pennsylvania will implement its Every Student Succeeds Act plan. What does that mean for educators and support professionals?

One thing to keep in mind is that a single focus on standardized test scores will be replaced by multiple measures to track student achievement — test score proficiency, test score growth, progress among English Language Learners in attaining English language proficiency, career readiness, and chronic absenteeism.

The other is that the state will now measure student achievement — including all the above indicators and more — at the building level and not the district level.

More information on Pennsylvania’s ESSA plan is available at www.psea.org/essa.

Less classroom time will be lost to PSSAs this year

As educators and students head back to school, they can do so knowing that they will spend more time teaching and learning and less time on high-stakes standardized testing.

That’s because a policy change enacted by Gov. Tom Wolf will:

  • Reduce PSSA exam periods by one week;
  • Set testing time later in the year to give students more time to prepare; and
  • Reduce testing time overall by 20 percent.

Learn more at www.psea.org/testing.

Help support kids with anxiety

Someone once said, “August is like the Sunday of summer.”

For some kids, the start of a new school year can come with anxiety. It's normal for kids to have first-day jitters, but some children may need more support.

That’s why Partners for Public Education worked with PSEA members to develop a resource for parents and other caring adults to help support children with anxiety. Check it out at www.partnersforpubliced.org/anxiety and share it with a student’s parents or other family members who may benefit from it.

Member Benefits Spotlight: PSEA Signature Visa Card

PSEA is partnering with Commerce Bank to bring members the PSEA Visa Signature Credit Card offer. With this card, members can earn cash back rewards with every purchase, with no point cap or opt-in required.

  • 3 percent cash back on wireless provider and ride sharing service purchases
  • 2 percent on gas and restaurant purchases
  • 1 percent on all other purchases

Check it out and get the card that rewards you and supports Pennsylvania educators with every purchase

400 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

This content is intended for PSEA members and their immediate families.

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