September 17, 2014

For this initial meeting, there were no agenda items. Instead, members were given the opportunity to ask questions about subjects that concerned them. A brief summary of the topics presented and information shared during discussion is provided below.

Safety Training and Active Shooter Exercise


A combination of planning, training, and partnering with others is the best way to ensure that if an emergency does occur in our schools, it can be resolved as quickly and as safely as possible.

Last spring District administration began researching the Run, Hide, Fight model for dealing with intruders to our facilities, including active shooters. Training has since been conducted using this model and a video produced by Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 and distributed by the South Central Task Force. The video, which is approximately 20 minutes in length, was designed to assist area school districts in preparing for active shooter/armed intruder situations and has been the foundation for our District-wide training.

School board members, administrators, teachers, and staff first viewed the video by IU 13. Student training was then carefully considered, primarily based on age and grade classification. Our elementary students (Grades K-5) will not watch the video, but will learn and review emergency procedures. By the end of October, our secondary students (Grades 6-12) will have seen the video, reviewed rally points, and participated in scenario discussions. For operational security reasons, the video will not be shared publicly.

In addition to trainings facilitated by the video, in July the administrative team and local law enforcement conducted a practice exercise by simulating the presence of violent intruders at Cedar Cliff. In August, principals conducted building level trainings with teachers and staff.

Unfortunately, when it comes to responding in these situations there are many variables and not one right answer. The District continues to take measures to prevent emergencies, but if a situation would occur, it is critical that everyone involved is prepared to make quick decisions to keep themselves and others safe. Parents have an invaluable role in preparing students for emergencies. Specifically, parents can reinforce with their children the importance remaining calm and following directions given by adults during emergency situations.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)


The Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) model is a proactive approach to discipline promoting appropriate student behavior and increased learning. The system is based upon a three-tiered model. 

The first tier (universal) serves as the foundation upon which the other two tiers are built. This tier provides a system of supports to all students in a school based on preventative practices emphasizing teaching and reinforcing expected student behaviors. Tier two (secondary) provides targeted interventions to support students classified as “at-risk,” who require more intervention than is typically provided within tier one universal support. Supports in tier three (tertiary) offer the most intensive level of intervention for students with the most significant behavioral/emotional support needs.

Key elements of each tier include:

  • Interventions are planned and positive rather than reactive and punitive
  • Conditions (antecedents) contributing to inappropriate behavior are carefully managed or eliminated
  • Multiple opportunities for positive, corrective feedback are created while negative critical feedback is limited or eliminated
  • Prosocial behaviors are taught directly, practiced frequently, and routinized so that they become automatic 

An overview of the PBIS model was presented to the entire administrative team in June of 2014 and schools were invited to participate in a partnership with the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU).  All three of the middle school principals embraced the idea of bringing PBIS to their schools and will be participating in the CAIU’s initiative understanding it calls for a commitment of at least three years. Teams at each middle school were formed and began training in early September.

Cedar Cliff vs. Red Land Football Game – October 31


This year’s Cedar Cliff vs. Red Land football game falls on Halloween with Red Land designated the home team. (If you are wondering, trick or treat for Goldsboro and Wormleysburg residents is also on October 31; however, Fairview, Lower Allen, Lemoyne, New Cumberland, and Newberry have scheduled trick or treat for Thursday, October 30.) 

While Red Land and Cedar Cliff may be rivals on the field, they are partners when it comes to caring for their community. The schools are teaming up with Volunteers of America to help "kickoff" their annual Holiday Toy Drive. Fans attending the October 31 game are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to be donated to the toy drive and later distributed to needy children in the District. Also scheduled for the evening, the District’s Partners in Education will be recognized prior to opening kickoff.

The night promises to be exciting with lots of “treats” in and around West Shore Stadium, and with so many expected to attend, District administrators are taking additional safety and security measures to ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience.

Fundraising/Facilities Usage


For District purposes, fundraising is any solicitation and collection of money by students for any purpose. Before student groups and parent organizations can hold a fundraiser, they must submit a request form and get approval. Four Board policies are often referenced when considering approval of a fundraiser and determining if any fees will be charged for the use of District facilities. 

These policies are reviewed and revised periodically to ensure they are compliant with laws and other regulations, to make sure they meet the intended goals of the policy, and to respond to feedback received from the community. 

District guidelines for fundraising are determined by these policies and should be reviewed prior to submitting a request for fundraising activities.  Guidelines, and the fundraising request form that must be completed, can be found on the District website under on the Community tab. As groups plan their fundraisers, they may also find the list of prohibited fundraising activities available on this webpage useful.

West Shore Foundation (WSF)


As a related item to the discussion on fundraising, a question was raised about support for classroom technology through the West Shore Foundation (WSF). District Voice members expressed interest in learning more about the Foundation’s mission and role in supporting students. (At the WSF meeting on September 23 representatives from the Foundation were invited to attend a District Voice meeting.)

Twitter


Dr. Stoltz shared that one of the District goals for this year focuses on community involvement, in which communication with a variety of stakeholders plays a significant role. In an effort to effectively engage and communicate in a timely manner with the public, parents, students, etc., the District has incorporated the use of social media and most District schools now have Twitter accounts. The two most recent District additions to Twitter were the high school athletic departments. Please “follow us” on Twitter for updates on school and District events.



Community members are reminded they can submit ideas for future topics of discussion to any District Voice representative.

Next Meeting: November 5, 2014

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