boyertown

Dr. Faidley
 Dr. Richard Faidley, Ed.D.
Superintendent

  • Career Education

    Posted by Kimberly Kern at 11/6/2014

    A few weeks ago I had the privilege to see a Career Portfolio presentation by one of our current 12th grade students.  This student did an excellent job of relating what he has learned over the past few years to help him make decisions on the next steps he will take to prepare himself for success after graduation.  In between each step outlined in our Career Education Plan – job shadowing, interest inventory, college visits, etc. – he shared his reflections on how these activities helped him determine what he PLANS TO DO and NOT DO as a career.  This young man also did an excellent job of learning from life events and using that knowledge to assist his decisions.  He shared that he has been accepted to a four year university to study in a medical field and has a part-time job in our community with a health care provider.  I left this session highly impressed with the work done by this student and the Boyertown Area School District (BASD) to help prepare him for success.

    The Career Portfolio presentation is completed by each of our students during their senior year as the capstone of their required graduation project.  The presentation summarizes several years of work as outlined in our Career Education plan.  BASD implements activities and educational opportunities for our students in grades K-12 that meet the Pennsylvania Standards for Career Education.  We took the additional step at BASD to match these activities to our graduation project as we fully understand the importance of ensuring all of our students are prepared to begin their careers and/or further their education when they graduate.

    Over the course of the next few months our School Counselors, in collaboration with representatives from all stakeholder groups, will be reviewing and recommending revisions to our current Career Education Plan.  We know our current plan is strong.  We also know that we can always improve what we do to provide additional supports for our students.  The following links will provide you with additional information on Career Education:

    ·         http://www.boyertownasd.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=86  : for information specific to the portfolio activities and requirements

    ·         www.pdesas.org/standard/views  : to view the Career Education and Work Standards

     

    I also encourage you to contact our school counselors or principals if you would like to learn more about this exciting component of our program.

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  • School Safety Increases with Raptor

    Posted by Richard Faidley at 9/3/2014 3:00:00 PM

    SCHOOL SAFETY INCREASES WITH RAPTOR

    The Boyertown Area School District and School Board has approved the purchase and installation of Raptor Technologies’ V-Soft visitor identification program. This system will be used at all 10 school locations in the district and will be in full operation beginning August 27, 2014. Robust in application, this system will enable building principals to gain a better understanding of who is attempting to gain access to the school, as well as to track those visitors and volunteers who routinely visit their building. Most notably, this system tracks all Registered Sexual Offenders (RSO) in the United States and alerts district/building administration when and if an RSO attempts to gain entry.

    According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are an estimated 603,000 RSOs in the U.S. Of this number, an estimated 100,000 are absconded; meaning, they are unaccounted for and missing. The V-Soft system tracks all RSOs better than any other similar system in existence today. As an example, consider the following situation: Should an RSO live in New York and move to another state, assuming the RSO notified New York of his/her move, that state, in time, would delete the RSO’s name from their database. That person could then move to Pennsylvania, establish a residence without registering as an RSO, and then attempt to gain access into one of our schools. With Raptor’s V-Soft system, once a person enters their database as an RSO, that person is never deleted from the system. In our example then, if the RSO attempted to gain access at one of our schools, V-Soft would identify the person as an RSO. Law enforcement could be notified and legal action taken.

    Parents should access the website at http://www.city-data.com/so/so-Boyertown-Pennsylvania.html for information pertaining to any known RSOs residing within the City of Boyertown. If any of these RSOs should attempt access into our schools, the V-Soft system will identify them. Our protocol calls for an administrator to speak with the person. If the person has legitimate business in the school, escorted and limited access may be granted.
     
    This system will identify all visitors to a building. State law allows public schools to require that all visitors present a picture identification card. Upon entering a school, a visitor will proceed to a registration desk staffed by a member of that particular school (as selected by the building principal). The staff member will take the ID (usually a person’s driver license) and scan it into the V-Soft system. The ID is compared to the RSO database, along with any “private alert” information entered by building administration (such as information pertaining to parental custodial issues). Once completed, a visitor’s badge will be issued with the person’s name and photo, the day’s date, the time, and the destination within the building for the visit. When the visitor leaves the building, an entry will be made that the person has left the building.
     
    The motivation behind the move to use the system is to continue to provide a safe and secure environment for our students, staff, and community visitors.

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  • Literacy in the 21st Century

    Posted by Richard H. Faidley at 3/12/2014

    Literacy in the 21st Century

    Growing up, I can remember always being told the importance of literacy and the three R’s; reading, writing, and arithmetic.  In the 21st Century, this is no longer the reality.  Certainly, this does not mean the three R’s are no longer important nor does it mean that they lack relevance.  The reality, however, is that literacy now includes an additional essential element for which schools must prepare students.  In a 21st century school, it is no longer enough to simply master the three R’s, students must also learn to master technology as a tool to enhance their own learning, processing, and productivity. 

    According to an International Reading Association position paper on this topic, “To become fully literate in today’s world, students must become proficient in the new literacies of 21st-century technologies.  As a result, literacy educators have a responsibility to effectively integrate these new technologies into the curriculum, preparing students for the literacy future they deserve.”  In support of this need, the Federal No Child Left Behind law includes an Enhancing Education Through Technology section which requires students to become technologically literate by the end of eighth grade.

    Educators must be cognizant of promoting digital literacy by recognizing the proper utilization of digital tools and technology at the same level as reading and writing.  Nurturing a high level of technology interest to develop digital literacy is a modern-day education necessity.  Digital literacy skills are transferrable from the technology world to the real world and meet many of the basic requirements of current learning standards.
    Instilling high levels of digital literacy creates numerous pathways to learn and practice higher-order thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.  Developing digital literacy skills affords students the ability to seek out and utilize knowledge resources that help them create a personal learning connection.  Not to be lost in all of the higher-order thinking and personalized learning benefits is the fact that the workplace is becoming increasingly digitized.  Many of our goals as educators focus on ensuring students have the tools they need to become successful post K-12 citizens.  These tools now include having familiarity with technology. 

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  • School Performance Information

    Posted by Richard Faidley at 1/24/2014
    Over the past few years, public education has been under much scrutiny.  One alternative option available to parents and students is cyber charter schools.  Before you consider moving your child to a cyber charter school program, please consider the fact that the performance of these schools has been shown to be significantly lower than Pennsylvania public schools. 
     
    Earlier this school year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education released the School Performance Profile (SPP).  The SPP provides a building-level academic score based on multiple indicators.  The indicators include student performance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment and Keystone Exams, closing the achievement gap, graduation rate, promotion rate, and attendance rate.  This score provides a comprehensive overview of a school’s program.  Additionally, this score provides the public with a means for comparing the performance of different schools. 
     
    An interesting comparison that can be made is to examine the performance of cyber charter schools versus the public schools throughout the state.  It is no surprise that the average of the Pennsylvania public schools’ SPP scores is significantly higher than the average of the 14 main cyber charter schools from throughout the Commonwealth.  Even more interesting is the fact that the average Boyertown School score was almost double that of the cyber charter school average.  Specifically, Boyertown Area School District’s average was 88.7, Pennsylvania public schools averaged 75.8 and the cyber charter school average came in at a dismal 47.5.  Based on this comparison, it is obvious that the Boyertown Area School District is certainly outperforming Pennsylvania cyber charter schools.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
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  • CREATING A CULTURE OF INNOVATION

    Posted by Richard Faidley at 12/17/2013

    Thomas Edison said it over a century ago: “Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.” Unfortunately, when institutions launch innovation initiatives, they tend to devote most of their time, energy and attention to that initial 1% – the thrilling hunt for the breakthrough idea. The real innovation challenge, however, lies beyond the idea, in a long, hard journey from idea to impact. Innovative institutions sustain a track record of success by creating the right “climate” for employees to cultivate the innovation mindset — to think different, act different, and achieve extraordinary success.

    It is true that as a culture, Americans love their heroes, idealized warriors ranging from Superman and the Lone Ranger to Rambo and Luke Skywalker. But that image of the single hero fighting battles on his own is problematic when it comes to promoting successful innovations in organizations.  Successful innovations in organizations require a collective effort fostered by the ownership of many.

    According to author Chris Trimble, "Because of that aspect of American culture, we tend to subscribe to an innovation myth, wherein there is one brilliant and inspired visionary who makes innovation happen by fighting the system, the system being the bureaucracy in a big organization. "Somehow, this person overcomes all the red tape that is thrown in front of him or her and wins despite it all. This is just a nutty way to think about innovation. Innovation is much more about teams, special kinds of teams, than it is about individual action."

    In an educational climate driven by competition, it is critical that we work toward defining our innovation together.  We must step outside of our comfort zone and create a new environment that fosters creativity and new learning.  We must be open to new ideas and ways of instructing our students, even-though these ideas are vastly differently than the ways we have worked in the past. 

    There are many successes happening with the education of students in the Boyertown Area School District.  Innovation is occurring and students are benefitting from the collective creativity to reach all of our learners.  With that said, we still have a great deal of hard work to accomplish.

    In this new era of educating students, everyone is a free agent.  Increased competition causes us to stretch how and what we do.   One of the keys to achieving in this new environment is to nurture healthy partnerships between teams working on innovation and those administering the operations.

    I encourage all of you to innovate.  I encourage the creation of ideas to move our District forward in this highly competitive world.  I encourage the community, parents, students,  support professionals, professional educators, administration and board of school directors to work together to identify innovation initiatives. 
    In doing so, we will nurture healthy partnerships, build a strong foundation, and create a culture of the power of many.

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  • Understanding the Impacts of House/Senate Bill 76 to our Community and District

    Posted by Richard Faidley at 10/17/2013 8:00:00 PM
     

    I made it a point many years ago to serve public education and to commit myself to the improvement of my community.  I recently read through House Bill 76/Senate Bill 76, proposed legislation to eliminate school real estate property taxes.   This legislation has prompted my written communication to inform the public of the impacts that House/Senate Bill 76 will have on the education of our students and future financial stability of our District. 

    It is certainly obvious to all living in our Commonwealth that we are faced with many challenges as a result of our economy.  It is also evident that when one looks through the lens of what is best for the students in the Commonwealth that House/Senate Bill 76 falls short in ensuring that Pennsylvania continues to be a leader in the nation in the Education of its students.

    A little background is necessary to understand the complexities associated with this proposed legislation.  House/Senate Bill 76 is an Act providing for increased State tax levies in exchange for the elimination of a local tax that funds school districts across the Commonwealth. The legislation authorizes the imposition of an increased personal income tax or a possible increase in the earned income tax by a school district subject to voter approval; providing for imposition of a higher sales and use tax and a broader base of products and services that would be taxable for sales and use tax. The increased State revenue would fund an Education Stabilization Funding for every school district in Pennsylvania.

    It is important that I share with you the impacts that this piece of proposed legislation would have on our school district and community.  House/Senate Bill 76 will have an impact on students and educational quality.  Without a steady revenue stream or any ability to increase revenues to meet rising costs, school districts will have no choice but to pay for increases in mandated costs through cuts to educational programs, services, and staff.  As these mandated costs increase, the corresponding necessary cuts will eliminate more and more educational opportunities, and as a result, educational quality across the Commonwealth will suffer in a race to the bottom under House/Senate Bill 76.

    This proposed legislation also exacerbates the current inequity in the school funding formula. This bill perpetuates the inequity that exists across school districts as a result of the current funding formula. By failing to address the funding formula and instead simply locking in current funding levels for all districts, the bill makes no progress in remedying the educational inequality that exists across the state. For those school districts that have dealt with growth, like the Boyertown Area School District, or with limited tax bases, the injustice is particularly extreme.

    School construction is negatively impacted by House/Senate Bill 76 as it will eliminate the ability of a school district to engage in a school construction project to complete needed maintenance, make facility upgrades, respond to growing enrollment, or even to consolidate facilities to save resources.  Without the ability to raise or save money for a needed construction, maintenance, or repair project, not only will the school construction industry suffer but school facilities across the Commonwealth will deteriorate, putting students and staff at risk, and the inevitable cost of repair will increase.

    House/Senate Bill 76 will result in significant cash flow issues for school districts due to the revenue collection and distribution mechanism contemplated in the bill.  It will easily take the Commonwealth more than a year to generate revenue necessary to replace just one year of property taxes.  With this significant lag in revenue flowing to districts, it will be virtually impossible for them to maintain any cashflow stability, and even making routine payments such as payroll and debt service will become tremendously challenging.

    Under House/Senate Bill 76, the state will assume virtually all the authority once held by local school boards, effectively eliminating all local control.  With no ability to raise revenue or make financial decisions at the local level, the State will be responsible for ensuring that districts have the resources to comply with all mandated costs and even negotiating all collective bargaining agreements across the state.  By removing all of a local school board's authority and ability to respond to the needs of their district, the state will be responsible and on the hook for the financial health of all 500 school districts, and as a result, the state will own all cuts to school district programs, staff, and services that occur under House/Senate Bill 76.

    The legislators recently received a report on the economic impact and viability of the proposed legislation from the Independent Fiscal Office in Harrisburg.  The report, which is available online at http://www.ifo.state.pa.us/download.cfm?file=/resources/PDF/HB-SB_76_IFO_Fiscal_Analysis.pdf, reports that the revenue from the funding proposals in the legislation will be insufficient after the first year of implementation to properly fund school districts across the state.  In the year 5 projection, the deficit funding is projected to be in excess of $1 Billion.

    I urge you to pay attention to this legislation and stay informed by reading the analysis reported by the Independent Fiscal Office.  As onerous as school real estate taxes have become over the years, the ongoing issue is how to properly fund Pennsylvania Public Education.  The State Legislators and administration have neglected the needs of many school districts by underfunding the various subsidies to the schools while increasing the mandates that schools must comply. This proposed legislation is not the answer and will in the long run force schools to reduce the services to the youth of Pennsylvania.  Please contact your legislative representatives and share with them your concern for the future funding of our students’ education.

     
     
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  • United Way: The Gift of Generosity and Helping Others

    Posted by Richard Faidley at 9/20/2013 12:20:00 PM
    I often think about those members of our community who are in need.  I also ponder what part I can do to help.  We have all experienced times in our lives when we have needed help from others.  When that help arrives, it provides hope and new opportunities.  I have been very impressed by our Boyertown community and the focus on Building a Better Boyertown.  So, how can you help those in need?
     
    I hope the information that I share will prompt you to get involved and share your Gift of Generosity.  The United Way of Boyertown has a long history of supporting the local agencies that provide much needed services to the Boyertown School District Area.  As far back as 1932, community volunteers raised funds for the Boyertown Community Chest to benefit Boyertown service agencies.  In October 1958, it was rechartered as the United Community Chest Fund of Boyertown Area and was renamed the United Way of Boyertown Area in 1979.  It is a tax exempt, non-profit organization registered with the IRS as a 501-c3 organization.  During its 80 years of existence, it has performed a function identical to other community-based United Ways throughout the United States. 
     
    The Gift of Generosity can be life changing.  I share an example with you to provide a framework on how your contribution can benefit those in need.  "Mary is in her late 60's and was doing fine until an illness forced her to go to unpaid sick leave from her commercial kitchen job.  At home, requiring oxygen to breath and no job, money for food or medicine, the rent going unpaid Mary became very depressed.  Mary called the Boyertown Area Multi-Service, Inc. and they helped her apply for social security, gave her food from their food pantry and helped her sign up for Medicare to pay for her medical visits and supplies to include her oxygen and anti-depressant medication.  Through dontations to the United Way of Boyertown Area that partially support emergency financial funds at the Boyertwon Multi-Service, Mary received help to pay part of her rent and assistance in how to manage her limited funds.  In addition, Mary has received assistance in applying for subsidized housing and is currently on a waiting list.  Mary anticipates being able to go back to work on a part-time basis as a result of the Gift of Gererosity from her community".
     
    There are many other heart-warming stories that can be shared as a result of our community coming together to help those in need.  If you would like to contribute by giving hope to someone in need, consider a donation to the United Way of Boyertown. 
     
    How do I contribute?  and Where does my money go?
     
    1. By Check:  Send your one-time gift to the United Way of Boyertown Area, P.O. Box 213, Boyertown, PA 19512
    2. Work Place Giving:  Keep your donations local, make sure you designate your payroll deduction to the United Way of Boyertown Area.
    3. Online, Anytime:  Visit the United Way web site to make a credit card or PayPal donation.  www.unitedwayboyertown.org
    4. Automatic Giving: Contact the United Way office to setup a reoccurring ACH, credit card or quarterly billing.  (610) 367-8716
     
    Your one gift is invested in these Boyertown Area community services:
     
    1. Bally Area Ambulance Service                                                
    2. Bally Community Center                                                       
    3. Berks Visiting Nurse Association                                           
    4. Boy Scouts- Cradle of Liberty Council                                    
    5. Boy Scouts- Hawk Mountain Council                                      
    6. Boyertown Area Creative Housing                                          
    7. Boyertown Lions Community Ambulance Service, Inc.              
    8. Boyertown Area Multi-Service                                                
    9. Boyertown Area YMCA
    10. Creatice Health Services, Inc.
    11. Family Services of Montgomery County
    12. Gilbertsville Area Community Ambulance Service
    13. Girls Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
    14. Helping Hands, Inc.
    15. Salvation Army of Boyertown and Beyond
    16. Visiting Nurse Assoc. of Pottstown and Vicinity
                                                                                                                                                             
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  • U.S. Department of Education approves Pennsylvania's No Child Left Behind Waiver

    Posted by Richard Faidley at 9/5/2013 4:45:00 PM
    Governor Tom Corbett recently announced that the U.S. Department of Education has approved Pennsylvania's No Child Left Behind waiver eliminating Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as a tool measuring the success of Pennsylvania schools.  The annual Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) process has in the past been the indicator of whether or not a school was making appropriate progress. 
     
    Taking the place of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) will be the School Performance Profile which will be used to measure the academic progress of all public schools.  The School Performance Profile will provide a building-level academic score based on multiple indicators.  The indicators include:
    1.  Student performance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and Keystone Exams
    2.  Closing the achievement gap
    3.  Graduation rate
    4.  Promotion rate
    5.  Attendance rate 



    The link  below will provide an example of the how the information will be presented.  The information included in this link is for illustration purposes only. This score will provide a comprehensive overview of a school's program. 

    The School Performance Profile scores are scheduled to be released for all public schools in Pennsylvania at the end of September.

    School Performance Profile Example

     

      
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  • Introduction Letter to BASD Staff

    Posted by Richard Faidley at 8/14/2013 3:00:00 PM
    Dear Boyertown Area School District Staff,


    I am honored to be the new Superintendent of the Boyertown Area School District. I began working on August 1, 2013 and I am quickly acclimating myself to the Boyertown Area School District and community. During my first week, I have met many wonderful staff and community members.

    My biography is posted on the District website. It will provide some background as to my experiences in education.

    My entrance plan into the District includes multiple listening and learning activities that will enhance my understanding of the District’s comprehensive strategic plan and ongoing efforts in the District to maximize student achievement. I plan to be visible in the District by making it a priority in my weekly schedule to visit classrooms and attend school events. I want to hear your impressions, feelings, concerns and praise regarding the work we do on behalf of students.

    Creativity and instructional practice need to work in harmony with academic and financial accountability. Like an orchestra, each of you are or are becoming master teachers, but the real magic happens when all parts of the orchestra play together. Our orchestra doesn’t end in a final musical number; it ends with the graduates who meet rigorous standards, who have participated in relevant and rigorous learning experiences and who leave us prepared for the challenges of the 21st Century. 

    I am both proud and fortunate to work in the Boyertown Area School District and for the opportunity to work with all of you. I will work with you to maximize resources and remove any obstacles that impede excellence in teaching and learning. As we move forward in our journey together, we will celebrate excellence together and strive to achieve at the highest level possible. 

    We will work collaboratively to face the challenges facing our school District in the Commonwealth and our Nation. I will communicate issues we encounter while we move forward. 

    Please enjoy the rest of your summer and the time with friends and family. I look forward to meeting each of you personally.

    Sincerely,
    Faidley Signature  
    Richard H. Faidley, Ed.D.
    Superintendent
     
     
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