February 25th to 27th was a welcoming weekend for school community members across Pennsylvania. The 2018 PAMLE/PASAP StateConference educated and entertained close to 500 participants and presenters. A platform of keynote addresses, conference sessions, Ed Camp discussions, exhibitors and vendors all contributed to an informative, enlightening and inspirational conference.
Concurrent sessions presented by STW designated school members and other dedicated schools offered strategies and ideas on middle level topics such as Google classroom, team building, academic achievement, flexible seating, student-centered learning, character education, and STW criteria, just to name a few. Attendees acquired best practices and simultaneously networked with colleagues to expand their passion for middle level schools and students.
Additionally, the conference offered Ed Camp discussions; various stakeholders came together in small group open forums to discuss ideas and gather resources on current topics in education such as instructional strategies, writing across the curriculum, advisory, technology, parent conferences, crisis management, diverse learners, bullying and assessments. Attendees shared ideas and sparked new connections across Pennsylvania school districts.
Valuable plenary session speakers and keynote speakers addressed topics including behavioral health, poverty, truancy prevention, and career readiness. Keynote speaker, founder and president of the nonprofit Give an Hour, Barbara Van Dahlen, educated participants on the five signs of emotional suffering and the healthy habits of emotional well-being. Give an Hour is a growing, successful campaign changing the direction of healthy habits one hour at a time. Timothy Shoemaker later launched a keynote address with his inspirational “rags-to-redemption story.” His journey from darkness in poverty and addiction to a bright, passionate and drug-free life is an influential story that resonated with attendees, emphasizing the importance of care in our daily roles at the middle level. “Excellence in Life – The Dash Between the Dates,” the keynote address Tuesday morning given by renowned speaker Mark Brown, shared four key points, the single greatest ACTIVATOR to overcome life’s obstacles, 4 keys to living a meaningful purposeful life and power of your influence and how to be fit for the race of your life.
In between sessions and speakers, exhibitors and vendors added flare to the conference with the latest resources, instructional materials, and educational services. Representatives offered products and services to support educators, classrooms and students.
PAMLE honored its members through the annual comprehensive awards program. STW designated and re-designated schools, outstanding teachers and administrators, the Promising Practitioner and the William Alexander recipient were recognized and congratulated for their outstanding contributions to middle level schools and students. Congratulations to this year's PAMLE award winners! For further details on these distinguished awards, refer to the PAMLE home page.
As always, the Ice Cream Social afforded attendees a social, entertainment outlet with an evening of Penn State’s famous Creamery Ice Cream, raffles, a DJ and of course, dancing. The countless conference opportunities provided attendees numerous reasons to return February 24th to 26th of 2019 for another round of meaningful professional development, networking, and best practices to enhance our middle level schools and students. You can see photos from this year's outstanding conference right here. Thanks to the always-awesome Joy Rosser for this recap of our state conference!
horace Mann offers
PAMLE is proud to share this news with our members as part of our Member Benefit Program. Horace Mann, a long time sponsor of PAMLE has a new and special offer to PAMLE members.
When you switch your auto insurance to Horace Mann, you receive preferred educator rates, multiline discounts (if you have other Horace Mann products) and a school payroll discount (where available). Take advantage of this money saving opportunity.
EDucational Leadership Summit
The 2018 Pennsylvania Educational Leadership Summit will be held at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College from July 29-31, 2018. We had an excellent turnout of district teams and individuals last year and we look forward to growing even more this year. The conference hopes to attract district teams and we are limiting attendees to the first 400 participants. The format of the conference will include: keynote speakers; breakout sessions; table talks on hot topics; team planning and job alike sessions. Click here to register!
The conference committee is currently seeking requests for proposals for the small group sessions that will be held on Monday, July 30, 2018. Click here for the call for presenters form. The deadline to submit a form is Friday, February 23, 2018!
PAMLE Members-Only Section
Interested in handouts from past conferences, videos, and examples of Best Practices for middle level, as well as additional information? Log into the MEMBERS section of the website. Click on the “Members” menu at the top left-hand side of the page. If you don't know your login information, email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your username and password. Building administrators - to give website access to members contact Paul Meck at email@example.com.
AMLE Legacy Videos
The Middle Level Legacy video series documents the history of a major educational reform in American Education: the Middle School Movement. Check out these videos from AMLE.
William Alexander Award
Bruce Vosburgh was recognized by the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education (PAMLE) as the William Alexander Award: Outstanding PAMLE Member. The award is named after, William Alexander was a leader in the middle school movement beginning in the early 1960s. The William Alexander Award from PAMLE is meant to honor a leader in Pennsylvania who is actively involved in promoting the middle school movement. Bruce has been a leader in PAMLE and Schools to Watch for many years. His influence can be felt in middle schools throughout the state. We are proud to announce Bruce Vosburgh as PAMLEs William Alexander Award winner.
Proposals for Summer Institute
PAMLE is seeking proposals to present at our Summer Institute, “STEM for Success: Creating 21st Century College and Career Ready Schools." PAMLE will provide two free registrations per presentation. All information must be completed in order for your application to be considered. All submitted applicants will be notified of the status of their application on or before Friday, March 2. You can submit your proposal here.
NEWS FROM PDE
The U.S. Department of Education had approved Pennsylvania’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan as revised. Approval of Pennsylvania’s Consolidated State Plan is a significant moment for public education in Pennsylvania. The plan is shaped by the guiding principles of transparency, equity, and innovation, and underscores the commonwealth’s commitment to creating more balanced and comprehensive school progress measures, reducing testing time, and supporting Pennsylvania’s educators and school leaders. Read this letter from PA Secretary of Education, Pedro Rivera.
The attached Locally Selected On-Track Assessment Guidance Document is the second of several communications that will offer guidance on the indicators included in the Future Ready PA Index. This document, in conjunction with the PIMS technical manual, is intended to provide administrators with the information necessary to select and report a local assessment if they choose to do so. LEAs in need of technical assistance with on-track or proficiency assessment should contact the Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction at RA-EDFUTUREREADYPA@pa.gov or 717-525-5057. For PIMS application support, please call 1-800-661-2423. Thank you for your dedication to shaping the futures of Pennsylvania’s students.
Change In Certification Bands
Give us your feedback on the proposed teacher certification (HB1386). Read all about it here.
Apple distinguished School
North Hills Middle School has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2017-19 for its successful creation of an innovative environment that utilizes iPads. With the launch of Project Connect, North Hills School District’s 1:1 initiative, educators are able to personalize instruction for every Grade 7 and 8 student in the district and use technology to incorporate vital skills for college and career readiness. Read more about it here.
Hot Topics in Middle Level Ed
NAtional Forum NewsletterCheck out the second edition of the National Forum's Advocacy Communications newsletter!
PAMLE is a proud affiliate of the Association for Middle Level Education
Schools to watch 2018
Three more exemplary Middle Grades Schools in Pennsylvania have been named PA Don Eichhorn Schools: “Schools to Watch” (PA STW) as part of a recognition program developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. These three schools join 35 other Pennsylvania middle-grades schools recognized previously. The three newest schools as well as the eight re-designated schools will be recognized at the PAMLE State Conference at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College on February 25, 2018. Read more here...
This Month From GenerationOn!
Check February is Black History Month, and serves as a time to honor and reflect on the expansive history, culture, struggles, accomplishments and contributions of the African American community. Check out these great resources from generationOn.
Great Advisory Programs
According to This We Believe by the Association of Middle Level Education, “Everyday, millions of diverse, rapidly changing 10- to 15-year-olds make critical and complex life choices and form the attitudes, values, and dispositions that will direct their behavior as adults. Check out these great examples of Advisory Programs from PAMLE's Northwest Region. Want more middle level strategies? Join PAMLE to access our Members’ Only section.
SHARE A BEST PRACTICE!
PAMLE’s mission is to promote best practices for middle level education. To accomplish this mission, PAMLE believes sharing best practices with one another is a road map to achieve this goal. As a result, we encourage you to share the great things happening in your school, programs and activities that make a difference in middle level instruction. There is no doubt that your practices will help other schools and teachers to better meet the developmental needs of our young adolescents. So, please fill out this Google Form to join us in our mission to promote best practices for middle level education! The submissions can be found under Best Practices in the Members Only section of our website. We hope many schools can implement these practices in order to improve, constantly grow, become "A Schools To Watch" and retain this prestigious recognition.