! North Penn Coordinating Council, Inc. Minutes – February 19, 2014

North Penn Coordinating Council, Inc.
Minutes – February 19, 2014
Dr. Lutcher presented an overview of the organization, mission, goals, and on-going projects
of the district’s technology program. Current projects being developed in the district include:
- teaching digital citizenship to students and staff
- Blended Learning (NB and NPHS): combining online and face-to-face learning experiences
- Flipped Classrooms (Penndale): using webcasts as homework to teach traditional in-class/
lecture-based type lessons, and using class time for hands-on problem-solving. The goal is to
allow the teacher to be with the students as they “review” their learned web-based
lessons... the reverse of a traditional in-class “lesson” followed by “review” homework. This
is being done particularly well in Amy Greco’s Algebra class at Penndale.
- iPads for interventions at the elementary schools: classrooms using iPads for intervention
purposes made significantly more progress.
- moving towards electronic management of documents
- online updates: health and demographic information will be completed online, instead
of filling out forms at the beginning of each year.
The district is currently in the beginning stages of developing its Comprehensive/Strategic
Plan for the next three years. This is required by the state department of education. Action
plans include technology that is integrated with professional development, curriculum,
productivity, communication, and connected learning. 98% of students have internet access at
home. Comcast offers free internet access to the remaining 2%.
Across all levels of education, the integration of technology is no longer an option.
Professional development and support will be critical.
In elementary classrooms: iPads/minis for K-2 with 1:1 in grade 2. The recommendation to use
iPads is based on RTII success with iPads in the classroom. The goal is to bring iPads/minis to
each student in grade 2, with classroom access for grades K-1. PC-based minis or tablets for
grades 3-6, with goals of having these in the classrooms for grades 2&3 in 14/15, grades 4&6
in 15/16, and grade 5 in 16/17. Classroom teachers will be teaching publishing skills and link
to curriculum as appropriate for grade level curriculum.
In secondary classrooms, there is a suggestion to bring iPads/minis into the classroom
beginning in 14/15 with 7th grade and in the high school English department. In 15/16 and
16/17, this would expand to other departments. Also envisioned: expanding blended learning
at NB, expanding online options.
With the above goals and actions, there is much in the way of hardware support and
configuring that needs to be carefully planned and considered. This is an extremely
complicated process, with complicated compatibility considerations as well as important
financial considerations.
At the district level, “E-School” is currently the main source of student information. Any
changes made at the school level with regards to demographics must also be made at ESchool. Schools must change to using E-School in order for online district registration and
online updating to work. The goal is to have one common source of student information,
so that there is a one-point system to add/modify information and it will be updated at
every school with one entry. Currently, a change made a local school must also be forwarded
and changed at the district level, and at each sibling’s school. There is more room for error
with additional entry points. Dr. Lutcher was asked if E-Schools might be able to assist our
Home & Schools with our family directories... she indicated that she would look into this
possibility. There are possible concerns with FERPA laws.
January minutes were approved.
Treasurer’s Report:
There are two outstanding dues; notification will be sent to those
An extension was filed for our taxes.
Old Business:
Survey was compiled with information provided from 5 schools. This will
be sent to CC reps, and posted on the CC website. (*note – a sixth
school’s survey will be added to this survey)
Becky Ellstrom has been following up on insurance options available for
our organizations. At this time, no one will give a definite quote without
specifying the number of schools wishing to participate in a group
insurance plan. PTO Today requires purchase of PTO membership in
order to purchase from a number of PTO insurance plans. It is possible
that multiple schools might be able to share one membership, but
individual H&S/group insurance plans would need to be purchased
separately. Essentially, anybody with a board is recommended to have
its own policy. A Specht Insurance representative will be at the April
CC meeting to speak about what is covered under the district
insurance policy, and will offer a quote for supplemental coverage for
home & schools/parent groups.
The Nominating Committee for the CC board is Aimee Heavener and
Becky Ellstrom. There are currently open board positions for
President, Correspondence Secretary, and Recording Secretary.
Coordinating Council needs a board in order to function, and without a
board, CC may cease to exist. The biggest benefit Coordinating Council
provides to our Home & School and parent organizations is the common
non-profit tax code which allows all of our groups to file under
Coordinating Council. Without this benefit, each H&S and parent group
must apply for its own tax code, and file taxes separately under their
own code. This is a significant cost increase to each home and school
and parent group. Please consider nominating yourself or another
interested parent to the CC board.
Next meeting:
March 19, 2014, 7-9pm at the ESC
Speaker: Ray Wilson, Safe Schools Coordinator