Monthly Archives: September 2016

Yough hits ground running with career readiness initiative

A career readiness initiative that Yough School District launched in September has won recognition from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA). It’s featured in an ongoing series of web posts PSBA is making as part of a multi-year campaign to raise awareness of the value of public schools. Among the most impressive aspects of Yough’s work is that it begins in kindergarten. Click here to read PSBA’s post.


Forum teams aim for measurable improvements in student outcomes

With a stronger emphasis on leadership development and a commitment to helping teams create action plans that advance their districts’ high priority goals, The Forum convened this week for the first session of the new school year.

The Forum’s refocusing reflects feedback indicating that development of leadership skills has been high among the benefits educators realize by participating. A recent survey put the number who believed The Forum had enhanced their leadership skills at 91 percent. The stronger emphasis on leadership development also is grounded in research that finds it second only to classroom teaching in its impact on student learning. _dsc0346

Participants in The Forum develop leadership skills by applying them to create and execute action plans aimed achieving measurable improvements in student outcomes. Data gathering and analysis are critical to successful planning and implementation.

Plans in the works this year range from increasing student leadership opportunities at Pittsburgh Allderdice High School to an intervention in Clairton City School District aimed at helping a group of at-risk students graduate with concrete plans for post-secondary education, jobs or military service.

For 2016-2017, The Forum is bringing together teams from 18 different districts and schools. New to the group this year is Johnstown-based Westmont Hilltop School District.

Projects make learning come alive


Model Cleaners CEO John LaCarte lays out some marketing problems confronting his company for a team of students from Charleroi

Kids from Charleroi Area and Albert Gallatin Area school districts will be tackling a couple of marketing problems that Charleroi-based Model Cleaners needs to solve. Similarly, students from Blackhawk and Avonworth school districts will be helping Robinson-based PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy, the region’s fastest growing company and the nation’s fifth fastest, find more ways to monitor patient compliance.

The projects all are part of new Consortium initiative called Student Powered Solutions. It pairs classrooms with companies, turning real-world business challenges into project-based learning experiences and turning the traditional model for teaching and learning on its head. Teachers facilitate the projects, but students are in the driver’s seat—they take on the role of business consultants and company executives become clients.

Watch our website over the coming weeks and we’ll tell you about more projects and give you some sneak previews of the students’ work.


Consortium adopts new look, new logo, new focus

We’re ringing in a new school year with a new look, a new logo and a new focus. Along with our new website, the changes reflect an evolution the Consortium has undergone in just the past few years–developing several new programs and redesigning longstanding ones as well. In the past three years, we’ve introduced College & …
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Nominate a Champion of Learning!

September kicks off nominations for our annual Champions of Learning Awards. If you know strong advocates for public schools, superb classroom teachers or outstanding school or district leaders, please nominate them. But don’t stop there, because we’re also looking for businesses, organizations and others who contribute time, talents or support to create exceptional learning experiences …
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