What's going on in education news March 17 to 23
ONLINE — Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located at the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, NY, seeks to be a resource and destination for educational programming that connects people through shared experiences. In order to do this while operating in accordance with COVID-19 regulations and restrictions, the center is now offering virtual field trips as part of its Explore the ‘60s program.
Explore the ‘60s brings the lessons of the decade to life through livestreams. Students will discover and explore ideas of individual expression, social consciousness and cultural engagement through an in-depth look at content within The Museum at Bethel Woods. The program shares the story of Bethel Woods’ unique place in history and brings awareness to different issues relevant across generations, creating a sense of connectedness to the community.
Explore the ‘60s Virtual Field Trips are available Monday through Friday now through December. The program’s duration is 55 minutes and costs $150 per class; free for Sullivan County students. Themes offered include the following:
Artful Activism (recommended for grades four through 12) explores the cultural, social, and political issues of the 1960s with an emphasis on how art, music and fashion influenced the counterculture.
Woodstock Music and Art Fair (recommended for grades K through 12) explores the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, including the
collections within the museum, and discusses the impact of the historic festival, the community and collaboration that sustained it, and the impacts that are still relevant today.
For more information and to register for Explore the ‘60s, visit www.bethelwoodscenter.org/explore.
LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — SUNY Sullivan will be offering face-to face, in-person instruction as a primary mode of course delivery for the fall 2021 semester.
Courses will be offered in classroom learning, distance learning and hybrid modalities, and the college will be adding night classes to support the schedules of working students. Students will be able to resume life on campus with in-person student activities and services.
The administration will continue to conduct surveillance testing and require social distancing and mask-wearing, even as expanded access to vaccines will become available to the entire community.
Advance registration for the fall semester begins Wednesday, March 24; registration for new students begins on Monday, March 29.
To apply to SUNY Sullivan contact firstname.lastname@example.org; current students can reach out to email@example.com.
For more information, visit www.sunysullivan.edu.
NARROWSBURG, NY — Gary Amerbach of Narrowsburg, NY has earned an Award of Excellence at Western Governors University (WGU) College of Business. The award is given to students who perform at a superior level in their coursework.
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 123,000 students nationwide and has more than 190,000 graduates in all 50 states.
For more information, visit www.wgu.edu.
PIKE COUNTY, PA — Kindergarten registration for the Delaware Valley Elementary School’s 2021–2022 Kindergarten class is set for Tuesday, May 11 by appointment.
If you live in the Milford/Matamoras area and your child will be five years old on or before September 1, contact Susan Rustin at 570/296-1823 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your child’s name, date of birth and your contact phone number and mailing address so you can receive a registration packet.
NEW YORK — Several educational organizations are supporting the New York State Education Department submission of an application for a full waiver from the federal government’s requirement to conduct standardized testing this spring. The School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS) wrote that its members “recognize that teaching and learning in the current environment is inconsistent at best. A statewide testing process would be extremely complex and inequitable, likely with reduced participation, and the resulting data an inaccurate reflection of what our students are actually learning and experiencing. The process as framed by USDE will not provide a comprehensive base of information on student learning loss or socio-emotional needs.”
The Alliance for Quality Education issued the following statement: “New York’s school districts do not have the capacity to administer federally mandated tests. Requiring states to administer these tests this year is a waste of time and resources. With public schools still grappling with how to address the ongoing challenges created by COVID-19, meeting a testing mandate would be an obstacle: the state must either choose to only test the small number of students who are learning in person, or introduce an online test, but many students still lack access to basic technology... and the integrity of testing students at home cannot be guaranteed. Both scenarios would produce skewed and inaccurate data that at best is meaningless and at worst will give us a false picture of student learning during the pandemic.”
New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) also rebuked the federal government’s decision to mandate that states administer standardized tests this school year: “In a year that has been anything but standard, mandating that students take standardized tests just doesn’t make sense,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “As the educators in the classroom, we have always known that standardized tests are not the best way to measure a child’s development, and they are especially unreliable right now. We need to ensure that our students who have been hit hardest during the pandemic receive the support they need. Sizing up students with inequitable and stressful exams is not the solution.”
PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) supports Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to update what it believes to be the state’s flawed and outdated charter school law that is failing children, parents and taxpayers. A press release from PASA reads, “The 25-year-old charter school law and its funding formula is outdated causing significant yearly increases to charter school tuition. These increases are unnecessarily draining funding from traditional public-school classrooms, causing staff reductions, program cuts and property tax increases.
According to PASA, “Gov. Wolf has a reasonable plan to amend the charter school law that sustains public school choice and the viability of charter schools while saving school districts $229 million a year. The proposal aligns charter school funding with actual costs, establishes a statewide cyber school tuition rate, holds low-performing charter schools accountable and requires for-profit charter school management companies to be transparent.
PENNSYLVANIA — SEEDS of Northeastern Pennsylvania will award a $1,000 sustainability scholarship to a college-bound high school senior for the best essay addressing the following topic:
Although there are different studies detailing small-business impacts of the pandemic across Pennsylvania, one thing is clear: The pandemic and the accompanying mitigation efforts had a significant and long-lasting financial impact on our small business community. In order to prevent such severe impacts in the future, and to speed up recovery from the current pandemic, small businesses and local towns must strengthen their resiliency to withstand future stay-at-home orders, supply scarcity and rising energy costs. For a restaurant, it might mean creating a local food network by collaborating with small farmers in their community, investing in energy efficiency measures and strengthening their online platform to stay connected with customers even with closings in place. For local policymakers, it might mean investing in green spaces, green energy and green jobs, all of which will attract more people to the area and, therefore, create a larger customer base for their small businesses due to cleaner air, thoughtful infrastructure and wooded parks.
What would your strategy be to increase resiliency for Pennsylvania’s small businesses across the board and to prepare them for the next emergency? List three strategies, choosing from top-down (proactive policies by government officials), bottom/up (adaptive strategies at business level) or a mixed approach, and consider utilizing reports from Reimagine Appalachia, U.S. Small Business Administration and PennFuture to compose your response.
This scholarship is made to honor the memory of Michael “Jake” Burkhardt, Western Wayne Class of 2015. Jake worked with SEEDS as a high school student. He was attending Keystone College majoring in wildlife biology when he was a passenger in a fatal car accident. He was a fun, kind and generous person with an amazing smile. He loved hiking, campfires, being outdoors, his brother, Ben, and his two beagles.
Local high school seniors from Western Wayne High School, Honesdale High School, Wallenpaupack Area High School, Damascus Christian Academy, Canaan Christian Academy, as well as home-schooled seniors who reside within the areas covered by those high schools, are encouraged to submit their essay via email to email@example.com by 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 2.
For more information, including all participation details, visit www.seedsgroup.net/scholarship2021, call 570/245-1256 or email Olga@seedsgroup.net.