PDE Reminds LEAs to Report Expenditures Relating to Exceptional Students (October 2, 2018)

Last month, Ann Hinkson-Hermann, Director of PDE’s Bureau of Special Education, notified LEAs that according to Act 16 of 2000 (24 PS §13-1372(8)),  school districts and charter schools must report the number of students with disabilities for which expenditures were between $1 and $25,628.39; between $25,628.40 and $51,256.79; between $51,256.80 and $76,885.19; and $76,885.20 and over for the prior school year. This report will now be collected at the student level through PIMS using the Student Fact Template for Special Education Act 16 Funds.  The template will be collected during Collection #1 (October 1 through October 11, 2018).  Data is to be based on expenditures incurred during the 2017-18 school year. Guidelines regarding the Act 16 reporting can be found at the following link:  Act 16 Information. The Student Fact Template for Special Education Act 16 Funds can be found in the PIMS manual at the following link:  PIMS Information. Please note that failure to complete the Student Fact Template for Special Education Act 16 Funds report may have an adverse effect on your agency’s special education funding. Questions regarding this reporting requirement may be emailed to ra-edseact16@pa.gov.  A copy of this information is being provided to each intermediate unit so they may assist school districts and charter schools with report preparation, as needed.

SB 1078, Now a Law, Allows Executive Session Safety and Security Discussions (July 27, 2018)

Last month, Senate Bill 1078 was signed into law and was added to the PA School Code. The new law allows school boards to discuss certain security measures as a group in executive session without fear of breaking the law. Although it does not give school boards unrestricted discretion to discuss all safety and security-related issues during an executive session, it does permit discussion in executive session where a public discussion regarding school safety measures would be reasonably likely to impair the effectiveness of measures to be taken and/or would likely jeopardize the school and/or an individual’s safety. The opportunity to discuss such topics in executive session will allow for information sharing between administration and the school board without compromising confidential information.

Wolf Selects PCCD Head to Lead New School Safety and Security Committee (July 26, 2018)

Governor Tom Wolf has chosen Charles Ramsey, the Chairman of the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, to assume leadership of the newly formed state School Safety and Security Committee, which is tasked to identify ways to help protect teachers and students in the school environment. It will also distribute $60 million in grants to school districts and other school entities which can help fund such things as security equipment, staff training, and facility improvements. The committee will also set standards for assessing the safety and security of school buildings, staff training, and help for students with behavioral health needs. It will also develop and conduct a survey to measure safety and security readiness.

AASA Releases Crisis Toolkit (July 25, 2018)

On July 12th, the AASA, The School Superintendents Association, released a toolkit for proactive best practices before, during, and after a crisis. It is titled “School Safety & Crisis Planning” and  includes a 24-hour hotline managed by Joseph Erardi, former superintendent of Newtown Public Schools. Resources were also contributed by the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National School Boards Association, and the National School Public Relations Association.

As part of the toolkit, CrisisGo, an AASA School Solutions partner, is offering an emergency planning and communications platform to AASA members at no cost. The “AASA Safe Classroom” app allows school safety leaders to send audible emergency alerts and enable two-way communications to every computer and mobile device in the school.

AASA releases Crisis Toolkit (July 25, 2018)

On July 12th, the AASA, The School Superintendents Association, released a toolkit for proactive best practices before, during, and after a crisis. It is titled “School Safety & Crisis Planning” and  includes a 24-hour hotline managed by Joseph Erardi, former superintendent of Newtown Public Schools. Resources were also contributed by the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National School Boards Association, and the National School Public Relations Association.

As part of the toolkit, CrisisGo, an AASA School Solutions partner, is offering an emergency planning and communications platform to AASA members at no cost. The “AASA Safe Classroom” app allows school safety leaders to send audible emergency alerts and enable two-way communications to every computer and mobile device in the school.