State Police Invites High School Teens To Take Advantage Of Law Enforcement Education Opportunity (November 17, 2022)

The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Bureau of Training and Education has announced expanded opportunities in law enforcement education for children between the ages of 15 and 18. Applications are now being accepted for The Hill Impact Program, which has expanded to three locations in Pennsylvania. The 14-week program will run simultaneously at the PSP Academy in Hershey, the Army National Guard Armory in Pittsburgh, and the Kingston Armory in Kingston.

The program is free of charge and introduces teens considering a career in law enforcement to many different elements of training and education, including physical fitness and paramilitary disciplines. Participants gain an understanding of what it takes to be a state trooper while learning various elements of police work, such as the Pennsylvania crimes code, vehicle code, and rules of criminal procedure.

The program will begin at all three locations in January. Participants meet once a week for two-and-a-half hours in the evening and on four Saturdays to be determined for four hours. The deadline to register is Dec. 31, 2022, but interested teens should sign up quickly as class sizes are limited.

Teens with a serious interest in attending courses in Hershey should contact Trooper Clint Long at 717-497-4577 or ra-sprecruiter-acad@pa.gov. To sign up for the program in Greensburg, contact Trooper Abby Blazavich at 717-614-7971 or ra-sprecruiter-trp-a@pa.gov. To sign up for the program in Kingston, contact Master Trooper David Peters at 570-459-3900 ext. 269 or dapeters@pa.gov.

The Hill Impact Program launched in 2021 at the PSP Academy, commonly known as The Hill, which has served as the training grounds for thousands of PSP troopers since 1960.

Electronic Results Now Available for Pennsylvanians Registering for FBI Criminal History Clearance (November 11, 2022)

The PA Departments of Human Services (DHS) and General Services (DGS) and the Pennsylvania State Police have announced that Pennsylvanians obtaining a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal History Clearance, a necessary clearance to work and volunteer with children in Pennsylvania, will be able to receive their results electronically if cleared. Applicants who use IDEMIA, the commonwealth’s vendor for fingerprinting necessary to complete an FBI Criminal History Clearance, will be able to receive their results electronically via email if they are found to have no record, helping applicants get this clearance more efficiently. 

Under Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law, certain professions and volunteers as well as prospective foster or adoptive parents are required to obtain clearances in order to work or volunteer with children. Three clearances are required under state law: Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, Pennsylvania State Policy Criminal History Clearance, and the FBI Criminal History Clearance. 

Fingerprints are required to complete the FBI clearance and typically are delivered via mail. Now, when applicants apply to get fingerprinted through IDEMIA (also known as IdentoGo or MorphoTrust), they will be able to register a secure account to receive their clearance via email if no record is identified. When results are delivered via email, applicants should immediately download, save, and print – they will not be able to access the digital clearance multiple times and their account cannot be reset to prevent unauthorized release of clearance information. All applicants will still receive a copy of their clearances by mail, which usually arrives in 7-10 business days. 

Questions regarding child abuse clearances should be directed to DHS’ Clearance Verification Unit at 1-877-371-5422.

For more information on child abuse clearances in Pennsylvania, visit www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov.

November PA State Board of Education Meeting Held (November 10, 2022)

On November 10, 2022 the PA State Board of Education held its 371st meeting both in-person and via Zoom. At that meeting, it was announced that the Special Education and Gifted Education Committee is conducting a review of information collected during roundtable meetings across the state to consider revisions to PA School Code Chapter 16.

It was also announced that a decision was made by the Council of Higher Education to table the Higher Education Master Plan pending further consideration.

In addition, Acting Secretary of Education  Eric Hagarty announced that the Erie School District has become the first school district ever to exit financial recovery when in September its “Financial Watch” label was removed by the state. Sec. Hagarty also commended the General Assembly for providing $21M for all students in K-12 public and private schools to get free breakfast during the 2022-23 school year. He also informed the Board that the first of three recommended competencies regarding standard literacy have been completed, as has the first standard for professional competency.

In a final piece of business, Board Chair Karen Farmer White announced that revisions to Chapters 11 and 12 regarding compulsory school age  regulations  have been completed,  have been approved by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), and have recently been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

OSEP Reminds LEAs of New High School Transcript Requirement (November 10, 2022)

On November 9, 2022, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Deputy Secretary  Dr. Jeffrey Fuller, Deputy Secretary released a PennLink message to all LEAs titled New School Code Requirement: Industry-Recognized Credentials on High School Transcripts.  According to the message,  “[N]o later than the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, an industry-recognized credential attained by a student must be included on the student’s transcript. This requirement was added to Section 121 of the Public School Code by Act 55 of 2022. Section 121 defines an industry-recognized credential as any credential identified in the industry credential resource book or in the industry-based learning guidelines compiled by the Department of Education.”

As such, transcripts must include credentials identified in the Industry-Recognized Credentials for Career and Technical Education Programs Resource Guide and those that meet the minimum non-technical requirements for an industry-recognized credential as found in the Guidance for Identifying and Reporting Industry Credentials for Non-CTE Students. These criteria apply to any student who earns an industry-recognized credential, regardless of whether the student is enrolled in a career and technical education program. 

The student transcript must include the name of the industry-recognized credential, the credential provider and the date earned (e.g., Certified Dental Assistant, Dental Assisting National Board, May 15, 2022.)

Questions about the Industry-Recognized Credentials for Career and Technical Education Programs Resource Guide should be directed to Beth Marshall at betmarshal@pa.gov.

Questions about the Guidance for Identifying and Reporting Industry Credentials for Non-CTE Students should be directed to Laura Fridirici at c-lfridiri@pa.gov.

Questions about industry-recognized credentials and Act 158 statewide graduation requirements should be directed to ra-edgradrequirement@pa.gov.

PennDOT Announces Results of Operation Safe Stop 2022 (November 7, 2022)

​On November 7, 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced the results of Operation Safe Stop, an annual school bus enforcement and education initiative that was held on October 19, 2022. Officials also reminded students of safety tips to remember while waiting for or loading and unloading the bus.

Operation Safe Stop data revealed that participating school districts and law enforcement agencies reported witnessed 155 violations of the law, down from the 252 reported last year. The initiative is held in conjunction with local and state police departments, school districts, and pupil transportation providers to conduct enforcement, raise public awareness about the consequences of improper passing of school buses, and reduce occurrences. Convictions for breaking the School Bus Stopping Law increased from 314 in 2020 to 348 in 2021.

The School Bus Stopping Law requires motorists to stop at least 10 feet from the bus when approaching a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended. Motorists approaching from all directions are required to stop. The only exception to this law is when motorists encounter a school bus stopping on the opposite side of a divided highway when lanes of the highway are clearly separated by a divider, such as a concrete barrier or grassy median.

Some safety tips for students to remember while waiting for or loading and unloading the bus include:
-Get to the school bus stop five minutes early, so you won´t have to run across the road to catch the bus.
-When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic.
-Line up at least five giant steps away from the curb or the roadway to wait for the bus.
-Never run after the school bus if it has already left the bus stop.

For more information about school bus safety, visit PennDOT’s School Bus Safety Tips page on PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website. The website also offers an interactive video illustrating Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law.