Welcome Back to 2017-2018 School Year


The Innovators Mindset

Welcome back to the new school year. I hope that all of you had a great summer and refilled your wells with family time, books, vacations, or anything else that made you happy. With our new curriculum being approved, the secondary level will be doing many new things. The middle school will be aligning and teaching a brand new PE curriculum to go with new health curriculum from last year. The high school teachers will be starting with a brand new elective curriculum that opens the door for student voice and student choice. The elementary curriculum is being piloted at Shaull and Sporting Hill with the expectation that it moves to all buildings next year.


The schedule for this week is:

Wednesday, August 16: Convocation at 8 AM. Elementary staff only meet in the Health room for about 45 minutes

Thursday, August 17: Health & PE Inservice All day: 8:00 – 4:00 in Room 309 (Health Room). AGENDA

Friday, August 18: 8:00 – 4:00 Room Prep / Trade day (with enough summer hours of trade time)

Sparking Curiosity: Ramsey Musallam

Spark LearningIt took a life-threatening condition to jolt chemistry teacher Ramsey Musallam out of ten years of “pseudo-teaching” to understand the true role of the educator: to cultivate curiosity. In a fun and personal talk, Musallam gives 3 rules to spark imagination and learning, and get students excited about how the world works. This talk led to a book just released this summer called SPARK Learning. ENJOY! IT’S ONLY 6 MINUTES


Memorial Day Week


I had the chance to go to the curriculum committee last week to present the high school, middle school, and elementary school curriculum. The board was very happy with the direction we have gone. Most of the discussion stayed on the high school electives. The expressed that they appreciated students having choices after the two required courses. They asked that we look to bringing back the athletic training class some time down the line. All in all, it was super positive.

On a personal note, I would like to publicly thank our curriculum writing teams: Doug Blacksmith, Donna Rupp, Jamie Croft, Cecelia Clippinger, Eric Richardson, Colleen Staton, and Brian Rupp. Your hard work and countless extra hours helped to shape the vision for the future of department and the district. While the board thanked me, you truly deserve the credit. THANK YOU!

Also thanks to our administrators who walked us through the tough times and a few frustrations: Brian Robinson, Rob Martin, Judy Baumgardner, Gary Quigley, Michele Virtue, and Matt Treese. Your support and ability to bring calm helped this happen.

Now the work begins… let’s invest and make these courses great.


In the name of not doing too much too soon, we are going to continue with the current uniform policy at the secondary level. I will be doing PO’s for the uniforms in the coming weeks. Please make sure your order is in the sheet.


Thank you to all of you for running great field days. I get to hear feedback from district admin and it is always positive. You truly make a difference with kids.

The use of the Google docs and sheets have been well received with our high school attendance secretaries. It truly made their jobs easier. Any feedback on your end of thing?

GREAT VIDEO: 2 Myths of education with Seth Godin



May 26: Activity logs due as directed by your principal

June 2: Half Day for students

June 5: AM – Schoology Training in building

PM – High School New Curriculum planning

Middle School PBL Training in HS IMC

Elementary new curriculum discussion at HS

June 12: Full day New Curriculum Training (register on 48 carats)

May Department Blog

Curriculum goes to board!

Friday, May 12, 2017, the education committee will (hopefully) approve the curriculum maps from the new curriculum that was written. When approved it goes to pilot for next school year where we use it and provide feedback for adjustments. Full implementation will happen the following year.

Atomic Learning to Replace EDUPlanet next year!

The school district is moving to a new online PD platform that will streamline and make things much easier to complete. It’s called atomic learning and it is available now if you would like to use it. Just click the link and use your novell login. Most of the sessions are trade time eligible with approved RPL.

Technology Update

Laptop carts are going to be updated and collected at the end of the school year. Devices will be collected at the direction of the technology department at the end of the school year.

Professional Development

June 5, 2017: Schoology Training in the morning. The afternoon is still being discussed. I am hoping we can get together as a group. Stay tuned…

Monday, June 12, 2017, from 8-4, we will be doing new curriculum planning for next year. You can register on 48 carats now. Hope to see everyone! There will be a brief group session, and then we will break out by level.

On Thursday, June 15, 2017, from 8-4, I will be running a Health & Wellness Innovation Workshop at PATTAN in Harrisburg. The cost is $45 and you can register at psahperd.org. Mr. Kirkpatrick has said that there is money available if you would like to attend. Please complete an RPL. It is going to be awesome!

Things for Next Year:

With the change in curriculum, I have been considering (and asked by D.O. admin) to look at the secondary uniform policy. I know where most of you stand on the policy and realize whatever is decided will not make everyone happy. I am going to vet this with admin, but before I do, this DRAFT policy is open for comment by you. Please do so by next Friday, May 19.

As you wrap up this year and think of needs that you have for next year, please begin to enter budget items for next year. Keep in mind that we want to keep a five year plan for budget items so that we can plan for bigger expenses.




February Dept Meeting BLOG

Great Thoughts on being Innovative…


Blogs as Portfolios – http://georgecouros.ca/blog/presentat…
School vs Learning – http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/…
Identity Day – https://www.diigo.com/list/gcouros/Id…

MEETING AGENDA (please comment & discuss in lieu of meeting in person):

  1. Next Wegmans Night?  Please take doodle poll
  2. Curriculum is due to me by March 31 for review.  Please try to meet with me if possible.
  3. New policy coming that schools are only allowed one fundraiser per year.  This affects Jump / Hoops for Heart and puts it in direct competition with THON.  Jump / Hoops is so important to our curriculum, I am wondering if we want to get together as a collective voice to discuss coexistence.
  4. Next year, I am likely to be doing the elementary PE budgets to allow for pooling of resources.
  5. Elementary, we have been asked to create a building inventory of our equipment.  I will create a Google Sheet for this to be done.  Can we achieve this by April?
  6. As field day approaches, we have been asked to have a standard form for the request of student helpers.  This form is where we left off last year.  Please review and comment so that this can be finalized and vetted with admin.
  7. SUMMER PD FOLLOW-UP:  Here is a great resources on portfolios both for students, teachers, and administrators
  8. New tech learning module coming soon.  Its called atomic learning.  I can run a demo for anyone that is interested.  This has courses for every level of tech.


Dec 28: Colleen Staton

Dec 28: Mike Langan

Feb 2: Eric Richardson

Feb 2: Seth Lehman

Feb 17: Mike Orfanos

Feb 26: Jamie Croft


December 23, 2016

Weekly Inspiration:

Great story for the time of year…


  1. WEGMAN’S NIGHT was a great success.  High School has a good handle on marketing its new courses.  Middle school got a start on assessments for the new physical education curriculum.  Elementary caught up on assessments.  Please add three hours to your PD logs.
  2. High school: our marketing days in school will be January 11 & 12 all day in the spectator gym.  Teachers, please use the course descriptions to develop 5-6 talking points for the courses you have been assigned for the marketing day.  This will be the key to the success of these courses. The bad part is this needs to be ready to go JANUARY 3 when the kids get back so we have time to tweak.
  3. Course selection night is January 17 from 7 – 9:30 if any of you are free and want to meet parents and market these courses.  
  4. I began using this planning sheet for my admin duties and teaching duties.  The period listings help me know where I left off and if I need to look something up for a student.  I had mine made into a tablet by eagle copy.  If you like it and want to do the same, please go to File> Make a Copy and adjust it for your needs.


I wanted to take a minute and thank you for all the hard work that you put into taking our Health & PE programs into the next phase.  I know its not always easy and can sometimes make you question if we are on the right track.  Please know that we are and I look forward to working with you in 2017.  As you head into your break, remember to take time to recharge, and spend some time with the people you love.  I am thankful for and learn from each of you.



  1. To plan and teach at least one (1) student-centered lesson
  2. To have a social media presence professionally and participate in a twitter chat (Dept hashtag: #CVHPE).

November 21, 2016

Weekly Inspiration:


An oldie but a goodie.  In this world of radical opinions on social media that can affect our own psyche and change who we are, it is important to remember to seek out positive things on the Internet.  Remember that YOU ARE A CHAMPION for our students and no matter what social media is saying, we can, should, and do make a difference.


  1. Here is a doodle poll to decide the best date to work on curriculum marketing for high school, curriculum feedback for middle school, and assessments and collaboration for elementary school: DATE POLL  You will get trade time and ACT 48 for this one.
  2. Budgeting is underway.  Deadline has not been given yet, but think second week in December.  Also, populate the 5 year budget as well.
    3. HIGH SCHOOL BUDGET (all HS teachers use this sheet)


Google Keep is an app that is identical to evernote if you use that.  The difference is that this integrates with your Google Drive account.  You can share “to do” lists, articles and other things.  It will connect to your phone and tablet as well.


  1. To plan and teach at least one (1) student-centered lesson
  2. To have a social media presence professionally and participate in a twitter chat (Dept hashtag: #CVHPE).

November 4, 2016

Weekly Inspiration:


George Couros, author of the Innovator’s Mindset, gives you a look at simple things you can do to be innovative as an educator.  George is an inspiration to me professionally and is part of the greatest paradigm shift I have had in my career.  His ideas helped me rejuvenate my career and start to become a true 21st century educator.


At the last department leaders meeting at the district office, we received some clarification from Steve with supporting details provided by Gary and Dr. Withum.  The key component of the new policy is the archiving part.  Google Drive is the expectation for the archive.  If any of you need a lesson in using Google Drive, please reach out to me.  I have added a brief tech tip involving adding folders and files to Google Drive.  There will be more clarification and detail provided by your building administrators in the coming weeks.  If you are already planning, please continue as you have been, and simply work toward archiving the plans in the drive



  1. Budgets are likely to be due sometime in November.  If you want to start working yours, here are the sheets: Eagle View, Good Hope, and the High School
  2. MEETING TUESDAY.  Agenda is open if you have anything to discuss, please add it with you name after it in case we need clarification.
  3. ELEMENTARY: I have bee asked to provide some feedback on the tablet computers you were given last year.  Please e-mail me the following: Are you using it? Things you like?  Things you don’t like? I’ve only heard from two so far.

TECH TIP (Good for lesson plan policy):


  1. To plan and teach at least one (1) student-centered lesson
  2. To have a social media presence professionally and participate in a twitter chat (Dept hashtag: #CVHPE).