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#gvfeeling #shreddingevent #drugtakebackevent #gvsd #bses

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Posted by curtisj  On Apr 12, 2021 at 1:21 PM

Garnet Valley Middle School Participated in the 2020-2021 Secondary Middle School Series: Enhancing ELA Outcomes facilitated by the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN). PaTTAN issued a badge to Secondary, interdisciplinary teams engaged in collaborative, systematic decision-making through PVAAS, rubrics, and other data sources. Teams worked toward the goal of implementing standards-aligned, evidence-based reading and writing instruction and supplemental evidence-based intervention toward growth and enhanced problem-solving.

The secondary teams focused on skills related to Data-based Decision-making Using Early Warning System, Family Engagement, Pennsylvania Standards-Aligned High-Quality Core Instruction, Professional Learning, Response to Intervention, and Shared Ownership. 

In order to earn the badge the secondary team met the following criteria: 

  • Participate in series of professional learning opportunities.
  • Action plan for a sustainable district-wide MTSS model for improved English Language Arts instruction for all.
  • Adopt data-based decision-making to inform instruction and intervention
  • Implement evidence-based practices in secondary ELA across all tiers.
  • Meaningfully engage families

The members of the GVMS Secondary team that participated in this grant series and earned the PaTTAN badge are listed below: 

Dr. Lisa Stenz - Principal

Gerry Weinhardt - Assistant Principal

Kim Hassel-Kloss - Assistant Director of Special Education

Jamie Pitcavage - Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction

Lauren Blong - School Psychologist

Katie Bienkowski- Literacy Coach

Tina Dean - 6th grade ELA

Angela Dilworth - 7th grade ELA

Gaby Graham - 7th grade Learning Support

Dan Provence - 8th grade ELA

Sheila Cantando - Reading Specialist/Multi-sensory Reading Support

Kris LaFave - Reading Specialist

Karen Cunningham - Reading Specialist

As a reference, the culminating slideshow is linked below: 
GVMS Secondary Middle School Series: Enhancing ELA Outcomes

#gvfeeling #gvlearns #EnhancingELAOutcomes #PaTTAN
@garnetvalleysd @pattanupdates

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Posted by curtisj  On Apr 09, 2021 at 2:51 PM
News-O-Matic, a children's news website, recently interviewed Bethel Springs's 4th grade teacher and GV Trailblazer's coordinator, Brian Quindlen about Bird Safe Philly and the Lights Out Program!

These programs are part of a nationwide effort to turn off city skylines during spring and fall migration to reduce bird collisions with buildings at night. Click the link below to read the full article and visit the site, which includes photos of birds taken at BSES under the “Slideshow” feature, along with other cool interactive features!

#MakingaDifference #cometogether #gvfeeling #gvlearns #globalcitizenship #BirdSafePhilly #LightsOutProgram
@garnetvalleysd @News_O_Matic @MisterBQBirds @GVTrailblazers

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Posted by curtisj  On Apr 08, 2021 at 1:05 PM

Do you know someone that has made a difference or overcome obstacles for the benefit of inclusion?


9th Annual Making a Difference Awards

These awards are sponsored by Delaware County Right to Education Task Force and are to honor those individuals who promote the inclusion of students with disabilities within our schools and communities.  

Please consider nominating a teacher, parent, paraprofessional, bus driver, administrator, or student for this award!  Our community prides itself on being inclusive and there are so many wonderful examples to share!  


Your nomination should be well written and as detailed as possible - the competition is intense, as there are so many wonderful stories that are generated each year from our community.  

Thank you in advance for your consideration AND for always making a difference in Garnet Valley!


#MakingaDifference #cometogether #gvfeeling #gvstrong #gvlearns #globalcitizenship #SpecialEducation #Inclusion

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Posted by curtisj  On Mar 03, 2021 at 3:25 PM


Written by Jessica Brewer
Class of 2021

I wrote this as part of a project for school and thought I'd share!
Did you guys hear about Covid in the news?
I saw it's in China and on some cruise
I read it started from a guy and a bat
No way! I think I also saw some story like that
I just got a notification on my phone
It's the first Covid case in the US that’s known
Thats so scary but at least its not here
It’s not like we have anything to fear
Numbers are rising and it's starting to spread
We’re closing for a deep clean someone said
Then we get days off, that would be best
I know, right? We wouldn’t have to take this annoying test
Did you guys see the email that was sent out?
We have at least two weeks off, without a doubt
This is amazing! a super long spring break
Someone pinch me and make sure I'm awake
I’m kinda bored and ready to go back
Same, and I’m looking forward to lacrosse and track
Ugh, no spring sports and no junior prom
The rest of our year is on zoom dot com
At least we’re not seniors, I feel so bad
I know, I can’t imagine being a grad
Our senior year will be so fun
12 years of school all for this one
Well its September now and we’re still online
I thought for sure by now we’d be fine
I guess no Hoco or Friday night lights
No float dances or senior rights
Just get through this semester, we have the spring
I can’t believe this is all still a thing
I hate waking up and staring at the screen
This is supposed to be the year we remember as a teen
We should be walking the halls with joy and pride
Waving to old teachers, letting them know on which college we decide

We should be dressing up for the spirit event
And filling the yearbook with senior content
We should be with our friends that we have been beside
Since the 1st grade at the beginning of this ride
But instead we just stare at the names of these peers
That we may never see again after all these years
Now with only 4 months left for our class
We watch each week as monumental moments pass
In the time that remains, we look ahead
Hoping for memories beyond a zoom call from bed

#Pandemic #Poetry #cometogether #gvfeeling #gvstrong #gvlearns #gvhsclassof2021
@garnetvalleysd @gvclassof2021

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Posted by curtisj  On Feb 24, 2021 at 10:22 AM


In April of 1960, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed Spelman College as a guest speaker at its annual Founder’s Day celebration. He inspired the women in attendance by sharing one of his most memorable quotes,

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

These words continue to breathe inspiration into the generations that follow. 

2020 left so many community members lost in, what seems like, an alternate reality - left to scramble in the wake of a viral villain (disaster), that robbed us of the togetherness we so desperately need. Although it may seem like we are lightyears away from normalcy, we can continue to support those who continue to fight against the injustices that have plagued this world well before this virus held us hostage. 

We may not be able to embrace one another, but we implore our communities to fight for the day when we will be together again. Fight for that day to be a day that we will stand together as one and support both the equity and equality of all mankind.

February marks Black History Month, honoring the many men, women, and children that stood up to injustices, promoted peace and love, and encouraged our fellow Americans to embrace that same message of global citizenship that we share here at Garnet Valley School District.

This year we are asking our Garnet Valley Community members to join us in the #BlackHistoryChallenge. All through the month of February, we have been highlighting the many African American pioneers that have left a mark in history, and we are challenging you to share these posts - or create posts of your own, highlighting strong African American figures that have inspired you in an effort to continue to educate our communities. 

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ~ Barack Obama

We would like you to meet...

Carter G. Woodson  •  Mary Eliza Mahoney  •  Ruby Bridges  •  John H. Johnson  •  Claudette Colvin
Susie King Taylor

#BlackHistoryChallenge #blackhistorymonth #cometogether #gvfeeling #gvstrong #gvlearns #globalcitizenship

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Posted by curtisj  On Feb 17, 2021 at 2:22 PM


"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Garnet Valley School District is greater than an institution... We are a community built on strength and resilience - In memory of a man that stood for global citizenship, equity, and equality, may we all find a way to mirror his virtues by embracing people of all race, creed, and religion, seeking to learn more about one another, and standing together against the forces that dare to challenge what we know to be honorable. Let us be the change.

#cometogether #gvfeeling #gvstrong #gvlearns #globalcitizenship #mlkday #mlkjr #martinlutherkingjr #drking #ihaveadream
@thekingcenter @drmlkjrwisdom @mlk-institute

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Posted by curtisj  On Jan 18, 2021 at 8:29 AM




The Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) is proud to recognize Garnet Valley School District for their outstanding commitment to visual arts education with the endorsement Outstanding Visual Arts Community 2020. PAEA empowers its members to transform their practices, students, colleagues, and communities to build a strong art education culture and citizenry.

Districts receiving this endorsement demonstrate the importance of their visual arts programs with:

  • Rigorous and Inclusive Programs: Arts programs demonstrate rigor using standards-based curriculum taught at every level by highly qualified and certified arts educators.
  • Highly Accessible Programs: Art programs are offered to all students at every level of education with a sustainable budget for the visual arts.
  • Highly Visible Programs: Schools and districts identify their programmatic accomplishments, curriculum for all levels, art staff, mission statements, and arts events using their school websites and social media.
"Your district's Visual Arts department is one of only 26 districts selected across Pennsylvania to receive the 2020 OVAC endorsement. PAEA commends you!"

Congratulations and thank you to all for bringing such outstanding commitment to Garnet Valley School District!

Mrs. Diana Stevenson, Mrs. Brewer. Mrs. Buchanan, Ms. Owens, Mr. Moyer, Mr. Wiggins, Mrs. Robertson, Mr. Carroll, Mrs. Buck, Ms. Esher, Mrs. Yerger

#gvfeeling #gvlearns #gvsd #garnetvalleystrong
@garnetvalleysd @gvhsart @PaArtEd

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Posted by curtisj  On Oct 15, 2020 at 1:04 PM

Dear School Community,

covid-19-reopening-of-garnet-valley-school-district-letter-from-superintendent-06-25-2020Happy summer! I’m hoping that you are finding some rest and relaxation despite the fears and uncertainties that continue as a result of COVID-19. This summer will be perhaps the busiest of our administrative team’s careers as we plan for next year while sorting through the volumes of recommendations and guidance that we are receiving from health and educational agencies and experts. Nevertheless, we are moving forward to provide our school community an educational environment that is safe and conducive to the high level of learning that our families expect.

For today’s message, I wanted to focus on four key areas: (1) Reopening School for the 2020-21 Academic Year; (2) GVSD Examples of Distancing, Screening, Hygiene, and Masking; (3) Preliminary Information on Instructional Delivery Options for the 2020-21 Academic Year; and (4) Survey Feedback. 

I’m hoping that this message will give you an emerging picture of what school will look like for the 2020-21 Academic Year. I appreciate that parents will have specific questions and/or concerns, but please understand that everything is still preliminary, and plans will continue to change and evolve as more information is available to us. I will continue to communicate with you throughout the summer.

Opening Schools for the 2020-21 Academic Year

We are moving forward with plans to open schools in the fall. By balancing safety with pragmatism, we plan to provide the greatest protection possible for students and staff. Since it appears that COVID-19 will stay with us for a long time, we have to weigh the inherent risks of the virus with the negative impacts on our students’ mental, emotional, and behavioral health when they are not in school. With the collective support of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Chester and Bucks County Departments of Health, the CDC, the World Health Organization, and our service provider Environmental Consultants Inc., we are working quickly to finalize a framework that will keep everyone safe when school doors reopen on September 1st. 

Based on the recommendations of the experts, we have concentrated our efforts on four main components for reopening: distancing, screening, hygiene, and masking. Although the protocols and procedures will make interactions between students and teachers look and feel different, we are resolute that our students need to be in school for their educational, emotional, and social health.

As I’ve communicated previously, there are committees of administrators, teachers, and parents developing detailed plans in these four key areas for just about every function within our schools. We will communicate specific details in the days and weeks ahead with the goal of presenting a health and safety plan to the School Board by July 28th. Once that plan is approved, parents will have a clear “picture” of what school will look like as we reopen. 

Please understand that everything in the COVID-19 era is constantly evolving. Planning could change based on a resurgence of the virus just as things could change based on developments with testing and treatment. We, consequently, appreciate your patience and flexibility as we progress through the summer.

GVSD Examples of Distancing, Screening, Hygiene, and Masking 

Distancing–Although six foot distancing is optimal, we will be able to meet the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 3 foot distancing in every classroom in the district. Also, through the use of masks by drivers and passengers, our Health Departments have approved allowing two students in a seat on the bus. Distancing procedures and logistics are also being developed for students as they eat lunch, change classes, locker, etc.

Screening–For schools to stay open, those students and employees who do not feel well have to stay home. Consequently, the linchpin of our plan will be the partnership between employees and parents in screening themselves and their children prior to coming to school. We will communicate several times throughout the summer with symptomatic “look fors” and other guidance to assist our school community. Although some community members will desire temperature checks to take place at school, our student populations range from 500 to 1600 students per building, which makes the logistics too complex. Additionally, research is showing that temperatures are affected by several factors that can lead to many false positives and variabilities. 

Hygiene–We are developing procedures as well as purchasing signage and equipment to enhance the hygiene practices within our schools. We will embed time within the day for faculty, staff, and students to wash hands, for the custodial staff to clean and disinfect high touch points, and for our operations team to utilize newly purchased hydrostatic foggers to clean buildings and grounds each night after school. We are also purchasing extra hand sanitizing stations, bottle fill stations to replace water fountains, plexiglass dividers, and other equipment to assist in maintaining hygienic environments. Finally, we will ask that as part of students’ school supplies they bring hand sanitizer, bottled water, and PPE for personal use. Schools will provide supplies but it’s a good idea for students to have an individual supply.

Masking–The masking requirements for students will vary. Based on the guidelines, all students and drivers will wear masks while on the bus. Once in school, masks will be required for our older students more so than our elementary students. However, every student will be required to wear a mask at certain points during every school day. As for employees, masks and/or face shields will be a requirement depending on the nature of the lesson and its location. Again, we are working with the experts to put more specific procedures in place. I realize that masking has become a source of debate, but in Garnet Valley we will follow the advice of our doctors, scientists, and health experts. 

Preliminary Information on Instructional Delivery Options for the 2020-21 Academic Year

In keeping with our mission to personalize learning for all students, the district will offer families a choice in how their children return to school in the fall. Each course format is designed and will be taught by Garnet Valley teachers, using the same curriculum as in our traditional brick and mortar schools. The options will be: (1) face-to-face/blended; (2) fully online synchronous; and (3) our asynchronous eSchool@GarnetValley.

In the face to face/blended learning format, students will be able to access their education by attending school for face-to-face instruction. However, if a student gets sick or needs to stay home because of a compromised family member, we can also provide a blended learning delivery option whereby students can stay home while still accessing their education. In this scenario students would receive their assignments on Schoology and virtually attend class meetings in real time through interactive web conferencing tools. 

For those families that want or need a fully online experience, they will have two options to meet their child’s educational needs–a fully online synchronous learning experience with live instruction and our asynchronous eSchool@GarnetValley program which provides students with more flexibility and more ownership of their learning. The district defines synchronous learning as learning that takes place at the same time as the teacher is delivering instruction. Asynchronous learning occurs anytime and is dictated by established teacher timelines and student preferences. Typically, in this format instruction is recorded through video, audio, or presentation software.

We will provide a more detailed overview of our instructional options for next year in the days and weeks ahead. I, however, want to thank our school community for their critical feedback because it has truly improved our programming.

Survey Feedback

Approximately 1,400 parents took the Parent Survey–Preparing for the 2020-21 Academic Year. The responses gave us important feedback and data in the area of instruction, technology, and parents preferences for next school year. 

Below are some areas of interest:. 

Parents Comfort with Sending Their Children to School in 2020-21

Clearly, we need to know if parents are comfortable sending their children to school next year. We, therefore, asked the following question: we understand that many students or family members have health concerns or compromised immune systems. Assuming there is no vaccine available in the fall but buildings reopen following state safety protocols, will your child(ren) attend school in the building? 77.9% of parents said that they were comfortable; 4.8% said that they were not; and 17.3% are undecided.

Parents Comfort with Utilizing our Transportation Services Next Year

Also important for our planning purposes is understanding parents’ perspectives on utilizing our transportation. 41.3% of our parents chose the option to ride the bus to/from school; 22.5% will drive their children to/from school daily; 11.1% plan to drop off their children in the morning and have them ride the bus home in the afternoon; and 24% are still unsure.

Instructional Preferences for the 2020-21 Academic Year

We asked our parents what type of learning they would prefer for their children assuming that there is no vaccine available in the fall but schools reopen following state safety protocols. This information will be used to help us plan for next year’s student loads for the various learning options that we will have available. Their responses were as follows: 50.4% prefer face-to-face; 40.2% prefer a hybrid program in which students attend school with health dept protocols a few days a week and remote learning the rest of the week; and 9.4% prefer remote learning programs, which would be evolved versions of this Spring's format.

Parents’ Perception of Instruction During the Closure

We continue to provide professional learning to our teachers based on parent, student, and teacher feedback on instructional strategies. As a result, we wanted to get a sense of our “report card” regarding the instruction we provided during the closure. 13.1% thought the instruction was excellent; 36.7% thought it was good; 34.6% average; 14.1% poor; and 1.3% were unsure.

Teacher Interaction in Virtual Learning

We asked our parents to rate the amount of interaction their children had with teachers. This was one of the key areas in which we received a great deal of critical feedback, and thus an area of ongoing improvement for this school year and next. 15% of our parents believed that the interaction was excellent; 20% felt it was above average; 35% average; 22% below average; and 7% poor. 

Overall Quality and Effectiveness of Technology and Technology Support

The district invests a great deal of money in technology, and we wanted to make sure that it worked! When we asked parents about their technology issues regarding virtual learning 61.3% said they had no technology issues; 28.5% said that they had issues that are now fixed; and 4.9% said that technology is still an issue.

Again, we are moving forward with opening school next year and will continue to keep you informed throughout the summer. As always, thank you for your support and cooperation. Enjoy the summer!!


Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent
Garnet Valley School District

Posted by curtisj  On Jun 25, 2020 at 3:18 PM
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