Some teachers at a top-performing school in the Penns Valley School District shared secrets to their success last month with other educators across the state.
The district was invited to give two presentations at the Pennsylvania/Title I Improving Schools Conference in Pittsburgh.
“Every year they ask people in high-performing schools specifically to present to other school districts across the state,” Sherri Connell, assistant superintendent of schools, said at a school board meeting last week.
Centre Hall Elementary was named a distinguished school in 2012-13. The awards are given to schools that score in the top 25 in the state in reading or math tests, or that have subgroups of students meet certain performance criteria.
“The conference was a great opportunity to share not only what we do, but to get some feedback from other districts,” Jennifer Matyasovsky, a history teacher at Penns Valley High School, said at the board meeting last week.
Attending presentations given by teachers from other districts showed Centre Hall Elementary teacher Karen Glossner just how lucky Penns Valley is. “By the time we were done, we decided our district is amazing,” Glossner said. “We are so far ahead of so many other districts.”
Glossner said the district is ahead of the curve when it comes to differentiated instruction.
“We treat the students as individuals and we don’t make one assignment for the entire class,” she said. “It’s all about individual students.”
Technology is also a strong suit, Glossner said. And the district’s commitment to technology only seems to be growing.
At the same board meeting, officials heard that a teacher at Centre Hall wrote a successful grant proposal that would bring Apple TVs to the school.
Apple TV is a digital media receiver sold by Apple that allows certain content on computers and tablets to be viewed on a television.
“We can be projecting more of the projects that we are doing, and continue to embed technology,” said Centre Hall principal Danielle Yoder. “I’m very excited Centre Hall has the opportunity to have those devices coming to our school.”