Please click this link to read the Shamokin News-Item's annual back to school story highlighting news, intiatives, and programs that will be offered to Southern Columbia's K-12 students during the 2019-2020 school year.  Listed below is an overview of what's new at Southern Columbia Area. 
 
 
 
 
 
New Staff Members
SCA welcomes Mr. Jeff Rooney as our new Autistic Support Teacher! 
 
New Programs/Initiatives
 
The District was awarded a $10,000 competitive grant by the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education sponsored by the Bayer Fund. Southern's winning proposal, entitled Building a Better STEM Ecosystem in SCA for our Students and Central PA, will equip the Metal Technology classroom with a Horizontal Bandsaw and a Hydraulic Metal Fabricator. The new equipment will give students exposure to industry-grade equipment, enhancing course curricula and creating new opportunities for college credit with Penn College of Technology as well as other learning experiences.
 
The first of the Penn College credit opportunities will be available this year. High School students enrolled in teacher Andy Meyer’s 3D Modeling and Design course will earn 3 Penn College credits. The students will use Autodesk Inventor parametric modeling software to generate and edit mechanical parts and assemblies. The course will provide students with skills needed in a wide range of careers including those in architecture, engineering, and graphic design.
 
STEM 5 for all 5th Graders will be offered in the Unified Arts Rotation. 
 
Projects made possible through funding by the Southern Columbia Community Foundation’s Teacher Grant program will be rolled out in 2019-2020. These are:
 
SCA Roars into Space- The is a two-part project, with one component geared to students in kindergarten through fourth grade and a second focused on students in grades 5 to 12. The entire project is centered around the novel Wonder and will be headed by Literacy Specialist Mindy Novak (K-4) and Library Manager Amanda Noblit (5-12).  They along with the students’ classroom teachers will engage students in a variety of activities including summer reading challenges, school-year reading challenges, physical challenges, STEM activities, and character education. The project is intended to enhance literacy and each student’s knowledge of science, with a focus on space science. It will also promote character education traits such as empathy, compassion, and acceptance of others.
 
SCA C.A.R.E.S. (Caring Adults Reaching Every Student)- This project is focused on fostering the social and emotional development of students in grades K-12 through activities organized by SCA CARES, a committee of SCA teachers and staff formed for this purpose. Grant funds will support several of the committee’s initiatives including Empower, which will engage K-6 students and staff in the use of puppetry and role playing to model the 3 C’s (Communication, Conflict Resolution, and Caring) and H.A.L.T. (Helping All Learners Thrive),  a program that seeks to encourage staff to address conflicts as they arise in the classroom and use them as teachable moments to model the 3C’s. This initiative is being led by Elementary teachers Tia Brown, Jessie Singley, and Fawn Madden, and Counselor Eric Deeter.
 
Tablet PC’s in Physical Education- The targeted audience of this project are the 10th Grade students enrolled in Physical Education Teacher Ted Deljanovan’s Strength Training classes. The SCCF will provide his students with tablet pc’s which they will use to view demonstrations of strength training exercises and record and track their individual progress as they work their way through their prescribed training schedules. The data will be stored in the cloud and accessed by the teacher in real time, allowing him to monitor and track student progress- making training adjustments as needed- increasing the effectiveness of each student’s training program.
 
F.I.T. (Fitness Inspires Thought)- Library Manager Amanda Noblit and Physical Education Teacher Claire Campbell collaborated on this project which will combine “physical activity with academics” with the intention of “not only improving students’ physical and mental health, but their cognitive functioning as well.” Project F.I.T. will equip the High School Library with three Bike Desk 3.0 lightweight, folding exercise bikes. The bikes come with an adjustable desk platform and built-in tablet holder allowing students to improve their cardiovascular health while reading books, working on school assignments or surfing the web.
 
Through an initiative funded by PDE’s PAsmart Targeted Grant program the District will introduce coding into its K-8 Computer Science and STEM curricula and pilot its integration into other areas such as science and math. Middle School Math teacher Aaron Cole and Elementary Teacher Zach Mallet will be among the project teachers piloting the cross-curricular integration efforts.
 
The District will use Boxcaster Pro to stream the morning news program, TigerNews, to the Elementary School. TigerNews previously was broadcast through a closed circuit television network not available in the Elementary School. The streaming capabilities will also be available to the HS and MS in addition to the close-circuit option. Eventually, Boxcaster Pro will be used to stream other school events including athletic events and special ceremonies such as graduation.
 
Beginning this year, the Title I program which provides reading support to G.C. Hartman Elementary students has converted from a Targeted Assistance Program to a Schoolwide Program. This will allow Title I services and resources to be available to all students.
 
G.C. Hartman students will have their own raised bed garden to learn a variety of lessons including those in science, agriculture, and nutrition! 
 
Safe Schools efforts will be enhanced by the creation of a digital UHF radio network and the installation of 3M Window Safety Security Film both made possible by a PCCD grant. The radio project will provide the District a robust, reliable means of communication between educators and first responders. It will be enhanced by the use of Radio Over IP (ROIP) technology which will enable cell phone users to communicate with the new radios.
 
The District also installed new locks on all classroom and office doors allowing them to be locked from inside the classroom protecting staff from having to go into the hallway to do so during a lockdown situation. This project was funded by savings realized by the Energy Project which took place this summer. The energy project also saw the installation of LED lights districtwide and the installation of a solar-power Speed Limit sign along Route 487.
 
The Career Development Program will continue to partner with local businesses to provide students work based experiences in their community setting. If a business would like information on how they can support students develop the skills needed to be an independent and productive member of society, please contact Director of Special Education Jenn Snyder at jsnyder@scasd.usfor more information.   
 
One of the District goals for 2019-2020 is “Looking at the whole person: Social Emotional well-being of students and staff.” To that end we will engage in a variety of initiatives designed to allow our school community to work together with families and outside organizations to help students who suffer from trauma, and those with mental issues, to reach their potential to do great things in life.
 
The District will focus on increasing the level of supports for all students through the implementation of a universal social emotional curriculum beginning in grades K-1.  The district will utilize an outside consultant to assist in the implementation of the program and its systematic delivery across other grade levels in the future.  The research based program is designed to create a positive learning environment and help provide students with the skills needed to be a successful learner in an evolving academic school setting.  
 
The Middle and High School will implement student questionnaires in grades 6-12 to screen for adolescent depression.  The goal is to identify students who are in need of supplementary supports to address their emotional needs both within the school and the community setting.
 
New programs in the Middle School this year to support the social emotional well-being of students include:
Kindness Club – For Middle School students.
Girls on the Run
Peer Mediation
Specialized groups for students including Stress Management, Focus and Healthy Conflict Resolution.
 
Programs continued from last year include:
Too Good for Drugs – Evidence based prevention program taught in classrooms.
Girl’s Circle, ‘Boy’s Council – Evidence based group curriculum for small student groups.
No One Eats Alone Day, ‘Mental Health Awareness Day’
Brain Breaks – Research based stress reduction techniques to utilize in classroom or other settings.
Teen Intervene – Evidence based prevention program providing education, support and guidance to teens and their parents.
 
The District will be one of thirty schools in Pennsylvania to partner with Sandy Hook Promise and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to bring the Start With Hello program to its K-12 students. Students in grades 6-12 will be trained by Sandy Hook Promise personnel. These students will help extend the program to the District’s younger students.  Start with Hello seeks to break down social isolation or the “feeling of being left out, lonely and treated like you are invisible.” Start With Hello (SWH) teaches children and teens how to be more socially inclusive and connected to each other.  Students, staff, parents and other community leaders who interact with children are asked to take these steps: 
 
- SEE someone alone
- REACH OUT and help
- START WITH HELLO
 
Another District goal for 2019-2020 is to ensure a smooth transition. With Mr. Jim Becker being named the Superintendent-elect, the District is currently searching for a HS Principal. The District hopes to hire a principal at the October Board meeting and have him/her assume duties in January. That will provide a month-long transition to get the new principal acclimated, while Superintendent Paul Caputo works with Mr. Becker to get him acclimated to the duties of Superintendent he will assume on February 4th.
 
 
 

 

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