November 24, 2010
Dear Parents/ Guardians,
I want to alert you to a scheduling change at the high school that will help us accomplish two goals: improving PSSA scores and working with all students in essential skill areas.
To do this, beginning December 1, we will be Adopting An Anchor. On each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday students will report to one of their four classes during what has been our homeroom period. We will continue to have homeroom/clubs/tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Additionally, once we return from Winter Vacation, identified juniors will be attending PSSA prep sessions during the Tuesday/Thursday homeroom.
The Monday, Wednesday, and Friday time will be used for enrichment activities that are aligned with the Math and Reading Assessment Anchors produced by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The assessment anchors are one of the many tools that PDE believes will align curriculum, instruction and assessment practices throughout the state. The Assessment Anchors clarify the standards assessed on the PSSA and can be used by educators to help prepare their students for the PSSA.
Teachers will be designing purposeful activities that focus on a Math or Reading Assessment Anchor as it relates to their daily curriculum.
Our first activity will focus on the math anchor that requires students to answer questions that can be addressed with the organization, interpretation or analysis of data. The second area of focus will be on the reading anchor that requires students to interpret and analyze nonfiction reading. These are both defined areas of need for students at all levels – those who need remediation or enrichment as well as those at every level in between.
Once we have completed a cycle of enrichment periods that focus on the anchors mentioned, teachers will then engage their students in purposeful activities that focus on an anchor the teacher has selected that best fits with the curriculum and concepts of a particular course. Teachers will provide enrichment of a skill that a student has already learned or remediation of a skill that students have not yet mastered.
This change in our schedule is necessary and timely. Our seniors are quickly approaching graduation and it is vital that we prepare them for life after high school. For our juniors, the state-mandated PSSA test is rapidly approaching and we want to make sure that they are ready. Our freshmen and sophomores will be enriched or remediated depending on their individual needs.
Thank you for your continued support as we work to prepare your child for his or her future after Penn Manor.
Philip B. Gale