Students in the Warren County School District may get a reprieve until Tuesday, but for faculty the school year is already under way.
Staff with food service provider Aramark were on site at Warren Area High School at 4 a.m. to prepare breakfast for teachers on their first day of school.
"We are starting with a breakfast which has been entirely donated by Aramark... to wish our staff a great start as the school year begins," District Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Learning Amanda Hetrick noted.
A healthy start
Warren County School District administrative staff served faculty breakfast Friday morning as staff gathered to prepare for the upcoming school year. First day for students is Tuesday.
Besides the eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast and other fare, teachers got an extra treat. They had the chance to be served by their bosses. Superintendent Brandon Hufnagel joined principals and other members of the district administrative team to serve teachers the most important meal of the day.
Following breakfast, according to an e-mail from Hetrick, faculty headed to the auditorium for a series of presentations. Hufnagel presented what Hetrick described as a "state of the district" address. Warren County School District Board President Arthur Stewart and Warren County Education Association President Claudia Solinko also spoke before faculty.
Presentations in the auditorium also featured Charles "Boo" Hagerty. Hagerty, an Erie native, was President and Chief Development Officer with Hamot Health Foundation until taking a position as vice president of northern tier markets for the UPMC Health Plan this month. He currently serves on the board of Americans for Competitive Enterprise System (ACES), the Erie Zoo and on the advisory board for Erie Bank. Hagerty was previously the vice president of marketing and corporate communications with Hamot and serves as a guest speaker regionally sharing his experiences in marketing, philanthropy and leadership.
Teachers then split into groups for professional development activities with the administrators for their respective schools. Development sessions focused on improved utilization of educational data, including use of the "compelling conversations" concept. Student Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) achievement and the Pennsylvania Department of Education's new teacher observation form were also reviewed.
Compelling conversations is a concept from the book Compelling Conversations: Connecting Leadership to Student Achievement by Thomasina Piercy.
According to the American Association of School Administrators, "Compelling Conversations is an explicit how-to-book that building principals can use to create dialogue with teachers about changing the slope of achievement by affecting each child's learning, one child at a time.
"Throughout the book, principals are coached to work with teachers as they analyze student achievement data and predict June achievement results as the school year gets under way in September. Individual student goals are established and assessed, measured and monitored throughout the year.
"Teachers' knowledge and experiences are valued in this approach as they work with the principal and with each other to improve students' learning in their classrooms.
"Included in the book are numerous charts and examples of coaching questions and techniques that are most applicable. Suggestions of how to create the time needed for reflection and for conversation among colleagues during a busy school day also are explained."
On Monday teachers will gather at their assigned schools.
According to Hetrick, "Principals will have 90 minutes of time with their faculties to provide building specific information and training that is individualized to their staff."
Teachers will spend the remainder of Monday preparing their rooms and lesson plans for the arrival of students on Tuesday morning.