The Consortium in the News
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If you liked us on Facebook, you can now also follow on Twitter. We rang out 2013 offering tweets just as we marked it with a Facebook page. The expansion into social media is designed to complement our website and our e-newsletter by providing information that you might need immediately as well as brief, timely updates on our programs and partners. As you’re making resolutions for 2014, make one to follow us under our new Twitter ID, @tcfpe. And if you haven’t already liked us, now’s a great time to do so by clicking here. What’s not to like about that?
Forum News and Notes
Click here for the lastest edition of Forum News and Notes.
Forum expands role for students
When The Consortium’s Forum for Collaborative Leadership & Innovation convenes next, it plans to open team discussion tables to students from participating districts. To learn more, click here.
Learning Institute features McTighe
Noted consultant and author Jay McTighe elaborated principles from his book Backward Design at the second of three seminars offered this year through The Consortium’s Leadership Institute. To learn more, click here.
TFIM prepares for annual Student Leadership Conference
Preparations are well underway for the annual Student Leadership Conference that The Consortium hosts for students participating in The Future Is Mine (TFIM), a career exploration and leadership development program now offered in 30 high schools. To learn more about the April event, click here.
Pittsburgh Public Schools advance personalization projects
Educators from three high schools in the Pittsburgh Public Schools system gathered in February to exchange improvement strategies undertaken with support from The Consortium’s Forum for Collaborative Leadership & Innovation. With a current focus on personalizing the learning environment and increasing student engagement, The Forum has helped Pittsburgh Allderdice create opportunities for senior students to serve as teaching assistants, which educators there began after learning of the success Chartiers Valley High School achieved with a similar project launched through its Forum work. At Pittsburgh Carrick, educators have created Friday activity days once a month that bring teachers and students together to enjoy common interests and now also are working on community engagement, with plans for a community day. Pittsburgh Brashear’s work has centered on creating vehicles to recognize student achievement, including a wall where seniors pursuing higher education through the city’s Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program leave handprints in paint alongside descriptions of their post-secondary plans.
Sense of Place Learning hosts guest contributors for CASTLE’s science module
Students participating in The CASTLE (Clairton’s After-School Teaching & Learning Experience) have begun two projects that will help them share their science learning with families and community. To learn more, click here.
Author of Fires in the Mind to keynote Consortium’s June Leadership Retreat
Kathleen Cushman, a journalist who chronicled the work of Theodore Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools and has authored some 16 books about education, including Fires in the Mind, will keynote The Consortium’s annual Leadership Retreat. To learn more, click here.
McKeesport Alumni Scholarships
Once again this year, the McKeesport High School Alumni & Friends Association is offering financial aid in the form of grants and awards to McKeesport Area High School seniors. Last year more than $70,000 was distributed to the graduates of 2013, and the amount for the Class of 2014 is expected to be in the same range. For a complete list and to access applications, click here.
Dr. Matthew R. Hadley Scholarship
Open to Clairton, East Allegheny, McKeesport Area, Steel Valley and South Allegheny high school seniors who plan to enroll in a four-year, full-time program at an accredited college or university. Click here for the application for the Dr. Matthew R. Hadley Scholarship.
Open to students attending East Allegheny, Steel Valley, West Mifflin Area and Woodland Hills High Schools who plan to enroll in an accredited college, university or technical school. Click here for the Hope Scholarship Application.
TFIM teams discuss career learning and community service
Student leaders and advisors from 30 high schools participating in The Consortium’s career exploration program, The Future Is Mine (TFIM) came together in December to debrief on projects, plan their 2014 Student Leadership Conference and hear from guest speakers. To learn more, click here.
After-school programs hold holiday parties
Holiday parties with presents from Toys for Tots capped 2013 after-school activities at Wilkinsburg Middle School and The CASTLE (Clairton’s After-School Teaching & Learning Experience.) To learn more, click here.
Consortium welcomes new Board and staff members
The Consortium welcomes three Board members and two staff members. New Board recruits are Janet Sardon, Superintendent of Yough School District; Dustin Stiver, Program Officer with the Sprout Fund and Mark Eckels, an Investment Officer with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. New staff members are Jackie Foor, Director of Program Opportunities & Development; and Mary Dodaro, Director of Student & Partnership Development. To learn more about them, click here.
Pittsburgh Marriott City Center hosts TFIM site visit
Students thinking about careers ranging from culinary arts and hospitality to marketing and management had a chance to see them all come together at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center, which hosted the most recent site visit offered to participants in The Future Is Mine (TFIM), The Consortium’s career exploration and leadership program for high schools.
County honors Steel Valley’s TFIM team
Participants in The Consortium’s career exploration program, The Future Is Mine (TFIM), at Steel Valley High School received a citation from Allegheny County for their work on a documentary that conveyed belief in the district’s communities. They created the film as part of the region-wide Hear Me 101 initiative that Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab launched to encourage youth to voice their thoughts and concerns to adults and one another. We congratulate all of the students and their advisor, high school Science teacher Sue Olsen. Click here to watch their video.
Eleven high schools participate in The Consortium’s College Knowledge event
Students and teachers who participated in our College Knowledge event will be submitting plans to The Consortium this month about ways to disseminate information garnered at the daylong program to others in their high schools. Once plans are reviewed, they’ll share their learning in the months to come. For some highlights of the event, click here.
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.
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.
The CASTLE Unveils STEM Immersion 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.
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.
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.)
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.