• PA Secretary of Agriculture visits Erie's Wayne School to celebrate Farm to School Month

    Posted by Communications/Media Relations at 10/17/2014 9:45:00 AM
    ERIE, Pa. (October 17, 2014) — Wayne School students today learned about the benefits of locally produced and PA Preferred™ food with Agriculture Secretary George Greig in celebration of Farm to School month.

    Greig and local farmers talked with students about eating locally grown foods and the important role agriculture plays in building a stronger community.

    "There’s no better way to celebrate the connection between farm and fork than through Farm to School Month," said Greig. "It’s more important than ever to show the next generation where their food comes from and how they can support local producers. More than serving quality, locally-produced food, Wayne School is supporting farmers who reinvest in the area’s economy."

    Erie's Public Schools sources much of its food from local and PA Preferred farms including John Schultz and Sons Farm in North East.

    Farm to School

    "One of the many things we appreciate about the Farm to School program is the exposure and access that our students now have to local fresh fruits and vegetables," said Diane Sutton, principal of Wayne School. "We’re finding that our students are actually asking now for the healthy fresh fruits and vegetables as snack options."

    Secretary Greig will continue recognizing National Farm to School Month with visits to Lebanon and Lycoming county schools in the next two weeks.

    For more information, visit www.PAPreferred.com
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  • State Street closure to shift student bus routes

    Posted by Communications/Media Relations at 10/16/2014 1:05:00 PM
    ERIE, Pa. (October 16, 2014) — Erie Water Works this afternoon announced that State Street will remain closed between 21st and 26th streets due to ongoing repairs to broken water lines. Officials now expect the closures to last into the weekend.

    EMTA buses transporting students will temporarily change bus stops during the closure for students as follows:

    • Elementary and middle school students normally picked up or dropped off on the east side of State Street at 22nd, 23rd, 24th or 25th streets will be picked up or dropped off one block over on French Street.
    • Elementary and middle school students normally picked up or dropped off on the west side of State Street at 22nd, 23rd, 24th or 25th streets will be picked up or dropped off one block over on Peach Street.
    • For high school students, northbound bus routes will run on Peach Street, southbound bus routes will run on French Street.

    Further updates will be provided as necessary.
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  • Central Tech turning old wood pallets into Advanced Manufacturing projects

    Posted by Communications/Media Relations at 10/14/2014 1:15:00 PM
    ERIE, Pa. (October 14, 2014) — Students at Erie's Central Career & Technical School are turning old donated materials into real world production projects, learning advanced manufacturing processes and STEM concepts. Coordinated by Advanced Manufacturing students, a school-based company designs, prototypes and mass produces a variety of products that are sold to the public using reclaimed and repurposed materials donated by local manufacturers.

    The students' latest project is the reclaimed wood sustainable centerpiece project using discarded wood pallets.

    Over the past several weeks, students completed the design process in pre-engineering, engineering students then took the designs and custom laser engraved them onto the pallet wood, and matching pieces were then machined with a repeatable CNC process.

    The parts were then assembled by students in construction trades and filled with grass and flowers grown using aquaponics by the school's landscaping horticulture department.


    "Our students have many ideas for future projects, all we need is material," commented Mathew Pundt, director of career and technical education for Erie's Public Schools. "Why pay to have them hauled away when Central Tech can pick them up and repurpose the materials."

    Previous student projects included 300 replica carronades for Perry 200, the "Tech the Halls" holiday light display and "Pumpkin D’Lights" for the Penn State Master Gardeners.

    All funds raised through the sale of items goes back to the school to support future student projects. Area companies interested in donating material can contact the school at 814-874-6225 for pick-up.
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  • GEARS afterschool program debuts new website

    Posted by Communications/Media Relations at 10/7/2014 3:10:00 AM
    ERIE, Pa. (October 7, 2014) — The GEARS Afterschool Ed-Venture program has launched a redesigned website (www.gearsafterschooledventure.com) with information on GEARS activities, news and upcoming events.

    GEARS is a STEAM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) afterschool program, offering daily academic enrichment activities, fitness activities and time for homework help and tutoring for students. The goal of the program is to develop students' academic and decision-making skills, build resiliency and promote positive relationships.

    Middle GEARS
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  • Superintendent Badams receives "Asset Champion" award from Positive Youth Development of Erie County

    Posted by Communications/Media Relations at 10/6/2014 4:15:00 PM
    ERIE, Pa. (October 6, 2014) — Erie's Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jay Badams today was honored with a 2014 "Asset Champion Award" from Positive Youth Development (PYD) of Erie County.

    Asset Champion Award

    The award was presented this morning during PYD's Positive Youth Development Week launch event at the Ambassador Banquet & Conference Center.

    The observance runs through Friday with an emphasis on making connections with youth in an attempt to build positive relationships. Positive Youth Development of Erie County is a county-wide collaborative initiative that utilizes the 40 Developmental Assets framework created by the SEARCH Institute.
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  • Erie Family Center launches new website

    Posted by Communications/Media Relations at 10/1/2014 4:20:00 AM
    ERIE, Pa. (October 1, 2014) —The Erie Family Center for Child Development recently launched a new website (www.eriefamilycenter.org) featuring current information about Family Center programs and services, a calendar of classes and events and a newly updated resources page. Visitors can also download Family Time, the Center's newsletter.

    The goal of the Family Center’s new website is to offer an online tool for strengthening families in our community.

    Erie Family Center Website

    The Erie Family Center for Child Development, an outreach program of Erie's Public Schools, builds strong families and strong communities by offering family support services, home visitation services, family skills training and support groups. Services are available to any family living in Erie County. All programs are free and most do not have eligibility requirements. For more information, please contact the Erie Family Center at 814-874-6990.
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  • Project Linus volunteers provide blankets to Diehl third graders

    Posted by Communications Intern at 9/24/2014 5:25:00 PM
    ERIE, Pa. (September 24, 2014) — Project Linus, a national organization that provides new, homemade blankets created by volunteer “blanketeers” to children who are ill, traumatized or in need, today paid a visit to Diehl School to comfort Mrs. Joanne Sivillo’s former second grade students. Mrs. Sivillo passed away unexpectedly while pregnant in July just before her first child, Estelle, was brought into the world.

    As Mrs. Sivillo’s now-third graders filtered into the room, they were greeted by Principal Gilmore and Ms. Joann Burkhart of the Northwest Pennsylvania Chapter Coordinator of Project Linus. The 24 third graders were also greeted by Mr. Sivillo and sleeping baby Estelle.

    Explaining who Linus is to Charlie Brown, Ms. Burkhart told the students, “Linus is a comfort. That’s what these blankets are and that’s who we are — a comfort.”

    Principal Gilmore added, “This is kind of a way to help you remember the good times you had with Mrs. Sivillo and remember you have a school and a community who care about you.

    Project Linus

    Principal Gilmore also presented Mr. Sivillo with a check for $860.00, raised by the students and faculty at Diehl School to help with baby Estelle. Knowing that they helped contribute to the donation for baby Estelle brought smiles to the students’ faces.

    The students then each got to line up, receive a unique, homemade blanket and meet Mr. Sivillo and baby Estelle. As the third graders returned to their seats, they shared some of their favorite memories with Mrs. Sivillo.

    Nina Conner shared, “I loved when she did all of the crafts with us. Tie-dying shirts was the coolest.”

    Faith Hammond also contributed, “She was so nice. She gave us treats like candy all the time. We miss her.”

    As the students were led out of the room to prepare for dismissal, Moustafa Sherif, wrapped in his blue and brown blanket, stopped to admire and say goodbye to baby Estelle one last time. Moustafa then rejoined his fellow classmates, all hugging their blankets tight and remembering their beloved second grade teacher.
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  • Woodrow Wilson Middle School to welcome Freedom Writers Melvin Logan and Tiffony Jacobs

    Posted by Communications Intern at 9/24/2014 7:10:00 AM
    Freedom Writers ERIE, Pa. (September 24, 2014) — Woodrow Wilson Middle School’s seventh annual Community Night on Wednesday, October 29 will feature Melvin Logan and Tiffony Jacobs of the Freedom Writers Foundation as keynote speakers. This event is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Middle School Bully Prevention Committee, Title I, and College for Every Student (CFES) programs. It will be held in the Woodrow Wilson Middle School auditorium at 718 East 28th Street. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. and the program begins at 5:45 p.m.

    The Freedom Writers was started in 1997 by Erin Gruwell, a teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. She was challenged by a room of students considered to be “unteachable” and adapted her curriculum to engage her students and encourage them to rethink rigid beliefs about themselves and others. One of those students, Melvin Logan, was kicked out of two schools for fighting and had been written off by most of his teachers.  Melvin believed he was destined to fail. He joined a local gang and began a life of drugs and alcoholism. Erin Gruwell showed Melvin the value of an education, challenged him every day, and refused to accept failure. He rose to the challenge, became a member of student council, a captain on the school’s football team, and graduated as an honor roll student. Melvin went on to attend Long Beach City College and California State University of Long Beach.

    In her sophomore year, Tiffony Jacobs also became one of Ms. Gruwell’s students. Being in Ms. G’s class offered a relief from her home, which was chaotic. Her parents physically abused each other and their children. When she discovered books, they became her refuge from the violence and chaos she experienced at home. Tiffony graduated from Wilson High School in 1998.  She then earned a Bachelor’s Degree from California State University, Long Beach in 2006.

    The Freedom Writers Diary, published in 1999, features the real-life journal entries by the original students of Erin Gruwell and limited copies will be available for sale before and after the program. Childcare services will also be available during the keynote speakers’ presentations. Dinner an auction will also follow the event.

    The program is free and open to the public; however, dinner reservations are required and can be made by emailing mpeck@eriesd.org or by calling Woodrow Wilson Middle School at (814) 874-6605.
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  • Erie's Public Schools show significant gains in school performance profile scores

    Posted by Communications/Media Relations at 9/23/2014 4:00:00 PM
    ERIE, Pa. (September 23, 2014) — Pennsylvania School Performance Profile (SPP) scores rose in 15 of Erie's 18 public schools this year, according to 2013-2014 student performance data scheduled to be released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

    The average SPP score increased nine percent when compared to 2012-2013. Emerson-Gridley led the city with a 25.4% annual SPP achievement score increase. East High School (24.2% increase) and Pfeiffer-Burleigh (20.5% increase) also posted significant SPP gains.

    "I am truly proud of our students and staff for their hard work," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jay Badams. "They have proven that our shared focus on continuous improvement of teaching and learning can enable our students to reach higher levels of achievement."

    The School Performance Profile academic performance score is based not only on test scores but many other factors that signal student achievement. A student growth factor measures how well students are progressing toward proficiency in state assessments. Also measured are graduation and attendance rates.

    “While these results are certainly worth celebrating, this much more comprehensive data allows us to acknowledge our strengths and also use the profile as a tool for further student improvement," Dr. Badams added.

    Individual 2014 school results include:

    • Diehl School — an 8% increase from 56.4 to 60.7
    • Edison Elementary School — a slight increase from 54.1 to 54.2
    • Emerson-Gridley Elementary School — a 25% increase from 50.6 to 63.5
    • Harding School — an 11% increase from 70.2 to 78.0
    • Grover Cleveland Elementary School — a 7% increase from 74.8 to 80.0
    • Jefferson Elementary School — a 16% increase from 61.8 to 71.5
    • JoAnna Connell School — a 6% increase from 71.3 to 75.2
    • Lincoln Elementary School — a 1% increase from 64.8 to 65.7
    • McKinley Elementary School — a 5% decrease from 60.9 to 57.8
    • Perry Elementary School — a slight increase from 65.5 to 66.0
    • Pfeiffer-Burleigh School — a 21% increase from 45.3 to 54.6
    • Wayne School — a 2% increase from 50.0 to 50.8
    • Roosevelt Middle School — an 8% increase from 55.0 to 59.5
    • Woodrow Wilson Middle School — a 7% increase from 54.9 to 58.7
    • Central Career & Technical School — a 17% increase from 49.1 to 57.6
    • East High School — a 24% increase from 43.0 to 53.4
    • Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy — a 6% decrease from 91.8 to 86.4
    • Strong Vincent High School—a 6% decrease from 48.6 to 45.6

    Additional school level achievement data will be released by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and made available here.
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  • FMC Technologies and Central Tech launch student internship program

    Posted by Communications/Media Relations at 9/22/2014 3:10:00 PM
    ERIE, Pa. (September 22, 2014) — FMC Technologies, Inc., a leading global provider of technology solutions for the energy industry, and Erie's Central Career and Technical School have launched a student manufacturing training program in welding and machine technologies.

    Under the training agreement, participating students at Central Tech will study welding or machine technologies for their first three years at Central Tech and then be eligible for advanced paid training at FMC Technologies, 1602 Wagner Avenue, as a senior.

    The program launched in September with two students involved in the pilot — one employed as a student welder and the other working as a student machinist. The students are working alongside experienced, qualified employees and receive one-on-one, hands-on training while also working to complete their industry competency task list as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

    Once the students successfully complete their internship program, they will be considered for full-time employment at FMC Technologies immediately upon graduation with a competitive earning potential.

    While participating in the program, students complete their academic work in the morning at Central Tech and work at FMC Technologies in the afternoon.

    "We see this initiative as critical to our success in growing our business and adding to our manufacturing footprint in Erie," said Jim Ertl, vice president and general manager of the measurement products business for FMC Technologies’ operation in Erie. "To coordinate a skills-based machining and welding program to fuel our increasing needs with Erie's Public Schools aligns perfectly with our forecasted growth and allows us to retain our manufacturing excellence here."

    FMC Technologies and Central Tech hope to expand the program to offer the opportunity to more students in future years.

    "This is a tremendous opportunity for our school to partner with FMC Technologies and offer students on-site training in machining and welding from experienced employees in an outstanding work environment," said Mathew Pundt, director of career and technical education for Erie's Public Schools. "The students are also working with advanced manufacturing machines and tools and will be preparing for future career employment opportunities at FMC Technologies or elsewhere."

    FMC Technologies has also provided funding to purchase 40 licenses for ToolingU, an online manufacturing training program that Central Tech students will use to learn skills that can be applied to their hands-on training.

    The Central Tech partnership complements FMC Technologies’ already established intern program with local universities, which extends into all disciplines of the company's business and has been in place since 2002. The company currently has more than 30 interns on staff.

    "We believe this program can be expanded to our supply chain and other local manufacturers facing the same critical shortages, added Ertl. "I commend the leadership of our local and international union (UAW Local 714) for not only supporting this program but leading its implementation. Superintendent Badams and his staff have also been true business partners in developing our co-operative efforts to train and employ our next generation of workers."

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