The Consortium in the News
Find The Consortium on Facebook
Everyone likes to be informed and everybody likes to be liked. A winning combination for achieving both is connecting to Facebook. We recently launched a page, so if you’d like us to keep you up to date with our latest developments, just log on and “like us” on Facebook by clicking here.
Great Idea Grants Awards 15 Projects in Fall Round
From support for a STEM Day in McKeesport Area School District, to funds to write stories and create graphic comic books in West Jefferson Hills School District, to helping promote character education through literature in West Mifflin Area School District, The Consortium’s November round of Great Idea Grants funded learning opportunities in subject areas from math and science to literacy and social studies. Click here for more.
The Consortium Kicks Off Fall with a Cornucopia of Events
Just like the schools that we work with daily, The Consortium is busy planning, hosting and attending a variety of opportunities to benefit our region’s students. From a nationally acclaimed author and student journalists to teams of dedicated educators uniting for professional development, Fall has been filled with events rich in valuable resources. Click here for photos!
The Forum for Collaborative Leadership & Innovation Documents
Please click here to be directed to downloadable document files for Forum teams.
1,000,000 Books, Smiles & Thanks
The Consortium for Public Education wishes to acknowledge Guardian Self Storage for their generous donation of a storage unit (for the past 12 years) for our Literacy for Life book drives. Over a decade ago, the Consortium pledged to collect one million children’s books to be placed into the homes of children to start them on the path of reading and literacy success. Since that pledge was made, we steadily worked to collect and distribute the “gently used” children’s books to our region’s underserved families through the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank and other local agencies. We are proud that with the help of many community partners that our goal has been reached and local children have benefited. Guardian has been a part of our success and their on-going support has been truly appreciated.
The Consortium is Pennsylvania Education Foundation's featured foundation
The Pennsylvania Education Foundation will recognize The Consortium as a Featured Foundation on Thursday, September 26th. Please click here on Sept. 26 to learn more about the PA Education Foundation and The Consortium.
Join the AIU’s NEW Institute for Schools and Communities
In schools throughout the country, it’s a brave new world. Smartphones, apps and social media have changed communications as we know it. Parents and families now expect instantaneous contact with teachers and school leaders. How will you fill the gap? Click here to learn about a great opportunity.
Six Tiger Alumni Join MHS Hall of Fame
Six more distinguished alumni have been added to membership in the McKeesport High School Hall of Fame. For more information on the group and the formal Sept. 7 induction ceremony, click here.
TFIM advisors assemble to kick off a new school year
The Consortium’s career exploration and leadership development program for high school students, The Future Is Mine (TFIM), is welcoming three new schools to its network for 2013-2014. Click here to learn which schools are joining.
The CASTLE Unveils STEM Emersion Lab for the 2013-2014 School Year
During the 2012-2013 school year, students in grades five through eight at Clairton Education Center had the opportunity to direct and star in their own music videos, display images taken during nature walks and bike rides, visit museums, create topographical and ecological models and learn about fitness and nutrition. Starting in September, they'll have the opportunity to do research for exciting projects in an on-site classroom that has been turned into a lab. Click here to learn more.
Leadership Retreat focused on bold moves needed to change education
The Consortium capped a year of work aimed at personalizing learning and empowering students with a June Leadership Retreat themed to help educators Build Bridges to Boldness. Keynoting the event was Will Richardson, educator, author and founder of Connective Learning, LLC. To learn more, click here.
Consortium confers Giraffe Awards
Giraffes are gentle creatures that stick their necks out. When it comes to doing what’s right for kids, all of us should be more like them. The Consortium asked the teams of educators at its annual Leadership Retreat to recognize the giraffes among them. Fourteen were chosen to receive The Consortium’s Giraffe Award. To learn more, click here.
The CASTLE underscores benefits of experiential learning
The CASTLE (Clairton’s After-School Teaching & Learning Experience), a collaborative program organized through The Consortium with Clairton City School District and eight community partners, is about learning while doing. During the spring, the learning has taken so many different forms—fishing trips to Peter’s Creek, a community meeting about gender equity, and an art installation in vacant storefronts, among others. Now, an edible schoolyard is on the way. To learn more, click here.
Scholarship Program Tops Half-Million Mark
It all began in the early 1990’s with a few dollars here and a few dollars there, contributed by proud McKeesport High alumni, family and friends who wanted to extend a helping hand to today’s students. Now, with the 2013 awards, the scholarship program that began with a trickle has topped the half-million-dollar mark. For more on this year’s scholarship winners, click here.
Participants and advisors give TFIM high marks
High school students participating in The Future Is Mine (TFIM), The Consortium’s career exploration and leadership development program, gave the experience rave reviews for meeting all key program goals, including helping them learn about careers, job expectations and regional employers. To learn more, click here.
Student Leadership Conference features 16 work site visits,
18 workshops and more
Nearly 400 high school students and team advisors capped a year of discovery when they gathered in April at the annual Student Leadership Conference for participants in The Consortium’s career exploration program, The Future Is Mine (TFIM). To learn more, click here.
Classrooms come alive with Great Idea Grants
From historical documentaries to robotic theater productions, classroom projects blossomed throughout the spring thanks to Great Idea Grants. The historical documentaries brought state honors in the National History Day competition to Belle Vernon Area School District's Bellmar Middle School, along with individual student honors, including two state championships, for webpage and video projects. To learn more, click here.
Learning through a Sense of Place
Sense of Place Learning, one of eight community partners collaborating with The Consortium and Clairton City School District in The CASTLE (Clairton's After-School Teaching & Learning Experience) is featured in an interview on Just Start, a blog that author and educator Allison Zmuda devotes to ideas about teaching and learning. To read the interview, click here.
Nursing Scholarship Opportunity
The Blanche & Dewayne Wivagg Nursing Scholarship awards $3,000 per academic year to nursing students who reside in the Mon Valley and have been accepted at a college, university, or school of nursing in Western Pennsylvania. This award may be repeated to a worthy applicant who demonstrates continued commitment to the nursing profession. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Please email email@example.com for an application or additional information. (Established in memory of Gail Wivagg Krysik.)
Students become teachers at Consortium roundtable
During a morning of roundtable discussions at The Consortium in March, students shared insights about what motivates them to learn and what teaching styles best facilitate their learning. To find out more, click here.
Leadership Institute session focuses on new Common Core standards
The latest session of The Consortium’s Leadership Institute highlighted changes that will be needed as schools and classrooms adjust to new, national Common Core learning standards. To learn more, click here.
MAPS already helping schools move toward personalization
Districts participating in The Consortium’s newly launched MAPS (My Action Plan for Success) initiative already credit it with helping bring students into discussions that will enable educators to better address individual interests and needs. To learn more about the initiative, click here.
MAPS in the media
Broadcast and print media got a preview of MAPS (My Action Plan for Success) when The Consortium and eight participating school districts unveiled the initiative at an October news briefing. MAPS is designed to help schools personalize education and ensure that more students graduate with viable plans for post-secondary education and careers. For a look at the news coverage, click the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tribune-Review or Pittsburgh’s NPR affiliate, WESA.
Give to United Way: make your schools and your kids your Contributor’s Choice
With companies, schools and community organizations kicking off their fall giving campaigns for United Way of Allegheny County, it’s a great time for our program participants and friends to support the students and schools in their communities. Through The Consortium, you can help teachers bring innovative projects to their classrooms, help students explore career paths and give educators access to high quality professional development opportunities. To support this programming, please direct your donation toward us with Contributor’s Choice code #2910. To learn about more ways to support our work, click here.
Showcasing a district that radically reduced its dropout rate
When a school district cuts its dropout rate from 14% to less than 2%, it’s got something to share with others and something for us to showcase. Laurel Highlands School District shared that accomplishment with us and we’re showcasing it for you. We’d like occasionally to showcase outstanding work that all of our partnering districts achieve through participation in our programs. If you’d like the chance to tell your story, just email or call The Consortium’s Communications Director Pamela Gaynor at 412-678-9215. Meanwhile, to learn how Laurel Highlands is overcoming a problem that plagues public schools nationwide, click here.