Letter from Mr. Gale – First Marking Period

Dear Parents and Students,

The first marking period has drawn to a close. This means that the first semester is half over. In the upcoming days reports card will be mailed out. While many of you are aware of your grades for the marking period, the report card also contains comments from each teacher, which additionally reflects the progress each student is making in the class. Tutoring in all subject areas is available for those students who are not pleased with their performance in class. Tutoring occurs on Tuesday and Thursday during homeroom. While some students are required to attend these sessions, they are available to anyone who needs assistance with a class. Please take advantage of this.

Penn Manor High School’s goal is to best prepare each student for life after high school. We strongly encourage every student to take the most challenging class he or she is eligible for and to take classes that are relevant to the career the student intends to enter after graduation. Our teachers are making classes relevant and rigorous for the students through pertinent assignments and activities. In addition to the academic aspect of the curriculum, the skills students will need to be successful in the 21st Century are being emphasized in classes. Many of our teachers have developed instructional activities that incorporate the technology that is available throughout the school. While it is only one example of the work our teachers and students are doing, the on-line edition of our school newspaper Penn Points is a great demonstration of how the use of technology has provided students with the opportunity to learn, be creative, and share their work with people. If you have not done so, please visit Penn Points at www.pennmanor.net/pennpoints. I applaud the efforts of Susan Baldrige and her CP Journalism students for their work in creating an outstanding product. I encourage you to examine what is taking place in many of our departments by viewing the department websites through the Department tab at the top of the page.

On October 14, 2009 sophomores and juniors took the PLAN and PSAT test, respectively. For the past five years, sophomores and juniors have taken these tests during school hours so that they have an idea of how they will perform on the ACT and SAT tests. Students will receive their results in the near future and will have a class meeting where the counselors will explain the results and additional information that accompanies the test results. This will also be the focus of our Parent Coffee on December 14. The results of these tests are useful to students as they prepare for their future.

On November 9, 2009 juniors met with a representative from the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center. Students received information about the various programs that are offered through the CTC. Students who are interested in obtaining more information about the CTC can visit the three campuses in early December. Permission slips for these field trips can be obtained in the Counseling Office. Students who plan to attend the CTC during their senior year are encouraged to take part in these field trips.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 brought about the beginning of our school-wide initiative on reading of non-fiction. Each Wednesday students and staff will read a non-fiction article during the first fifteen minutes of a block. Accompanying the articles are five questions that require the students to apply the information in the article. We are focusing on this type of reading because it is the predominant style of passages that students and adults read.

November 10,11, and 12 brought upon us the presentation of graduation project by the senior class. This class is the first group to work with the new project that requires students to prepare for life after high school. There are multiple parts to the project that students begin when they are freshmen and continue to work on through the next three years. For more information about the project, please explore the Graduation Project link on the website.

While our primary focus is on the education of each child, there is the extra-curricular component of Penn Manor High School. This fall, our students have achieved great success in all of the sports and music performance groups. Our sports teams experienced great success and the field hockey and football team are continuing their seasons into the playoffs. Our marching unit has performed extremely well in their competition series. On November 5 the Penn Manor Chorus put on a very successful “Night at the Hop” which took all of the attendees back in time. On November 20 and 21, Penn Manor Productions presents “Check Please” at 7:30 pm.

We thank you for your continued support of your child and our school.


Philip B. Gale