Shippensburg University School Study Council Recognizes Exemplary Programs
At the 28th Annual Exemplary Program Presentations and Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, Dr. Brian Small, Executive Director of the Shippensburg University School Study Council, cited the “creative and innovative collaboration by teams of teachers, administrators and staff in developing highly effective programs that meet a wide range of student needs”. He emphasized that these programs and the teachers and staff who developed them “focused on helping students meet the highly rigorous academic, attitudinal and social requirements of in an increasingly complex and competitive global community.
Nineteen programs from the eleven county area of South Central Pennsylvania, including “Restructuring the 9th Grade Experience” from the Littlestown Senior High School were recognized.
At the Littlestown High School the 9th grade experience was restructured along the lines of excellence and equity as defined by Carol Corbett Burris and Delia T. Garrity in the book "Detracking for Excellence and Equity" (2008). The 9th grade was provided a separate bell schedule to increase the amount of instructional time in the core subjects, subject level teams were provided common planning times, all curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices were analyzed and adjusted. And finally, all leveled classes were removed. All students were assigned academic level courses with appropriate supports through a new intervention process. Now nearing the end of its third year, the results of the changes are commendable and breed an air of expectation for the future.
The programs were selected by a committee of school administrators and University faculty and were based on the following criteria: they fill a generally recognized critical educational need; they utilized an innovative or creative approach; they were cost effective; they were easily replicable in another school setting; and they showed significant student improvement over a significant time period.
Over ninety teachers and administrators and University faculty attended the event and joined in the recognition of these outstanding programs. The annual event is sponsored by the Shippensburg University School Study Council, a professional development partnership between public school districts and the University, which supports school system leaders in improving the instructional experience.