PA’s Safe2Say Program Fields over 40,000 Tips in First Year (January 20, 2020)

Last week,  after one year of operation of the Safe2Say program, which was created following Governor Wolf’s signing of Act 44 in 2018, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that Safe2Say Something PA has reached 40,382 tips from on the state’s anonymous reporting system for schools, students, and community members. Of those tips, 6,847 were categorized as ‘life-safety,’ whereby a life was in danger.

Attorney General Shapiro reported that most tips have been about mental health, not school violence  and he re-emphasized the need for additional funding to expand mental health services in schools and “to ensure there is at least one mental health counselor in every school building in PA.” The top five categories of tips received during Safe2Say’s first year were:

  1. Bullying/Cyber Bullying,
  2. Cutting/Self-Harm,
  3. Suicide/Suicide Ideation,
  4. Drug Use/Distribution/Possession, and
  5. Depression/Anxiety.

Students and community members can submit tips at www.Safe2Saypa.org; through the Safe2Say Something PA app; or by phone at 844-Safe2Say (844-723-2729). Most of the 40,382 tips were received through the app (32,998), while 6,512 tips came through the website, and 872 tips were submitted by phone to the crisis management center.

Act 76 Makes Changes to Career and Technical Ed Nomenclature (January 18, 2020)

Act 76 of 2019 amends the Public School Code of 1949 by replacing references to “Vocational-Technical” with “Career and Technical” and “Vocational” with “Career and Technical.”  References to “Vocation” is replaced with “Career and Technical.”  References to Vocational School Districts are deleted, and the State Board for Vocational Education is renamed the State Board of Career and Technical Education.  These changes are effective December 29, 2019.

PDE is in the process of updating documents and its website to reflect the changes.

All vocational certificates that are currently issued and will be issued in the future will now say “Career and Technical” in place of “Vocational.” The change in title does not affect any aspect of the certificate holder’s certification other than the change in language on the certificate.

Questions regarding this information should be submitted to Dr. Kerry Helm, Division Chief of Certification Services, Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality, at (717) 525-5560.

Federal Program Coordinators Training & School Level Plans Needs Assessment Section Training for the new Future Ready PA Planning Portal (January 18, 2020)

​Registration is open for Federal Programs Coordinator Trainings in February and March. To register, use this link: http://www.pafpc.org/page/fpctraining. The training will be conducted in two sections:  8:30 – 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 to 12:00 p.m. The first half of the training will focus on Time and Effort Documentation, a run though of eGrants for Funding Adjustments/Amendments, and an Overview of Federal Programs’ monitoring.  The second half of the training will be a facilitated walkthrough on school level plans including guidance on completing the Needs Assessment section within the new Future Ready Planning Portal. This session will help designated schools (CSI, ATSI, TSI) and Schoolwide Title I schools complete their required plans within the new web portal (please note that TSI are not required to submit a plan to the state). Schools that are non-designated and not schoolwide Title I are welcome to attend if they are interested in learning more about using the portal and completing a needs assessment. Allegheny IU 3: 02/13/20; Appalachia IU 8:  02/10/20; Beaver Valley IU 27: 02/14/20; Berks County IU 14:  02/18/20; BLaST IU 17: 02/07/20; Bucks County IU 22: 03/12/20; Capital Area IU 15: 02/13/20; Central Susquehanna IU 16: 02/05/20; Chester County IU 24: 02/19/20;  Delaware County IU 25: 03/05/20; Intermediate Unit 1: 02/12/20; Luzerne IU 18:  02/07/20; Northeastern Educational IU 19: 02/06/20; Northwest Tri-County IU 5:  02/13/20.

HB 2046 Proposes Changes to Act 82 Regarding K-12 Special Ed. Certification (January 11, 2020)

When Act 82 of 2018 was passed, it changed the grade spans and age levels for K-12 Special Education certification instructional certificates in the Commonwealth. Now, PA House Bill 2046 would delay the implementation of that change from December 31, 2021 to December 31, 2022. In addition, a proposed amendment would permit PDE to continue to issue a special education PK-8 or special education 7-12 certification to any student enrolled in a teacher preparation program at an institution of higher education prior to December 31, 2021.