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Welcome to the Garnet Valley School District Blog! Here we will feature news, alerts, and events from our district and its community.

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December 2019 - Posts
garnet-valley-middle-school-introduces-advisory

Garnet Valley Middle School introduced an Advisory Course with their new schedule - Providing students with a safe environment to bond with their peers, confide in a teacher, and create relationships based on kindness, trust, loyalty, and respect. The Advisory courses take place once a month and during this time, the students are encouraged to interact without pressure or stress.

Teachers are free to create a classroom environment that they feel would best encompass all of these. 

From letters and phone calls of gratitude to blind cupcake icing with friends, students put their trust in one another and open up on a personal level to create new relationships.

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Posted by curtisj  On Dec 19, 2019 at 3:45 PM
  

garnet-valley-communities-that-care-vaping-realities-of-parenting

The New Realities of Parenting is a special presentation for parents and guardians of K-12 children. The goal of this session is to heighten awareness for issues facing GVSD children, based upon concerns identified through the PA Youth Survey (PAYS). The more we know about the realities our children are experiencing, the more effective we can become at building strategies for our own families.

This session will offer a unique opportunity for all K-12 parents to learn, share, and support each other as a community. It takes a village to raise a child, and knowledge is power.

Please join us for this important discussion!
Sponsored by: Garnet Valley Communities That Care (GV CTC)

Wednesday January 8th, 2020
Garnet Valley Middle School
7:00- 8:30 pm

Free childcare provided!

VAPING: THE NEW REALITIES OF PARENTING
(Download this flyer for additional information)


We will engage parents and our school community in a 90-minute dialogue grounded in the results from the PAYS survey regarding issues that are affecting our student population. This evening’s presentations will focus on the various aspects of vaping. Anyone who is a parent or caregiver of a K-12 child should attend.

TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED:
  1. Review of PAYS data
  2. Presentations by Vaping Experts
  3. Panel discussion on vaping
  4. Questions from our parents

Vaping Expert Distinguished Panel:

  • Dr. George Avetian, Delaware County Senior Medical Advisor
  • Medical implications of vaping
  • Judge Wendy Roberts, Magisterial District Judge
  • Legality of Vaping
  • Bridget Marley, Holcomb Behavioral Health
  • Vaping 101
  • Danielle Prescott, Vaping Prevention Specialist
  • Resources for parents
  • Carolyn Falcone, Garnet Valley School District
  • GV Trends on vaping

REGISTER NOW!
http://bit.ly/NROP-Jan8
Questions? Email us at GarnetValleyCTC@gmail.com


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Posted by curtisj  On Dec 16, 2019 at 8:34 AM
  

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*Pictured above left to right (top) Joe Kivlen, Chiara Bouchard, Kris LaFave, Heather Milito, Susan Andrechak, Connie Marchese, Renee Tracewell, Ron Anderson, Eileen Stec, Lisa Stenz (bottom) Karen Ferrari, Jen Cisco, Kim Kievit, Erin Cleary, Kate Bienkowski

GVMS School Community,


I am so happy to share with our GVMS school community that we have been Re-designated as a Schools to Watch for 2019. As you recall from my previous communication in October, Garnet Valley Middle School was officially recognized as a "School to Watch in January 2017. Schools to Watch is a program developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. We completed the re-designation process at the end of October. Once again we have achieved state recognition for our best practices and our commitment to our students. This is a huge accomplishment and a direct reflection of our dedicated parent community, students, teachers, and staff.

Some of the highlights from the Schools to Watch report include:

  • Newly fluid master schedule with 57 minutes

  • School's shared vision

  • Maximizing our use of resources

  • Student's' expanded voice and choice in our classrooms and electives

  • Students' active engagement in classrooms

  • Mutual respect and rapport between teachers and students

  • Staff’s innovation and willingness to try new things in the classroom

Lastly, the specific strength associated with our parent community was represented in the following quote..."Parents appreciate the active and ongoing communication between home and school."

As you know, our school appreciates our parent community for their support and engagement.

In terms of our next steps for us as a middle school, the Schools to Watch team recommended that we continue to reinforce, expand, and grow our current practices such as...

  • Increase our use of cross-curricular connections across content areas

  • Expand our student goal-setting and student-led conferences that are turning the learning over to students

  • Increase opportunities to appreciate others' cultures

  • We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season.

Thank you again for your support.

Lisa Stenz, Principal
Gerry Weinhardt, Assistant Principal
Rick Martin, Assistant Principal
GVMS Faculty and Staff


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Posted by curtisj  On Dec 13, 2019 at 2:36 PM
  
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Team Toyota of Glen Mills will be holding a
test drive event in support of Garnet Valley Mini-THON!

December 16th through December 21st 

For every test drive, Team Toyota will generously donate
$25 to Garnet Valley Mini-THON
to support them in their goal of raising $75,000 for Four Diamonds. 

Four Diamonds is committed to fighting pediatric cancer through research, treatment, and family support. 
Please consider test driving a car with Team Toyota this week!  FTK!


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@GVThon @MiniThonGVHS @FourDiamonds @FourDiamondsFTK @TeamToyotaofGlenMills @ToyotaGlenMills

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Posted by curtisj  On Dec 11, 2019 at 1:36 PM
  
Garnet Valley Middle School selects one student from each team within each grade that best represents the key elements of the GVMS mission. They are proud to announce this quarter's students, that were awarded for their excellence in Creativity, Compassion, Community, and Achievement.

6TH GRADE WINNERS 

TEAMS:


BRANDYWINE
Marissa Miczek - Creativity - Exhibiting creativity through originality in writing and class contributions.
Avery Lustgarten - Compassion - Including others while demonstrating empathy, respect, and kindness.
Michael Costa - Community - Being kind, inclusive, and friendly to all his peers.
Shreya Bose - Achievement - Achieving her best through diligence, perseverance, and effort.

CONCORD
Joshua Singh - Creativity - Expressing creativity in both writing and thinking.
Ava Sharp - Compassion - Her willingness to lend a helping hand to her classmates.
Camryn Schwartz - Community - Showing an interest in charitable endeavors.
Lucas Marchese - Achievement - Always working hard and showing incredible progress.

NEWLIN 
Sara Clow - Creativity - Exhibiting creativity through originality in writing and class contributions.
Owen Kabaloff - Compassion - Including others while demonstrating empathy, respect, and kindness.
Braedon Maitland - Community - Being kind, inclusive, and friendly to all his peers.
Catherine Oakes - Achievement - Achieving her best through diligence, perseverance, and effort.

THORNBURY
Marissa Gambol - Creativity - Exhibiting creativity through originality in writing.
Gemma Hay - Compassion - Makes a point to include and help others daily.
Jamie Berger - Community - Her insight which encourages others to think about different perspectives.
Owen Parker - Achievement - Achieving his best through diligence, perseverance, and effort.

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7TH GRADE WINNERS

TEAMS:

ACADIA
Hanalea Grimmelbein - Creativity - Exhibiting creativity through originality in writing and class contributions.
Ethan Yang - Compassion - Including others while demonstrating empathy, respect, and kindness.
Lauren Ricevuto - Community - Being kind, inclusive, and friendly to all her peers.
Madison Bulley - Achievement - Achieving her best through diligence, perseverance, and effort.

DENALI
Elia Bendezu - Creativity - Exhibiting creativity through originality in writing and class contributions.
Julianna Bilson - Compassion - Including others while demonstrating empathy, respect, and kindness.
Anthony Giribaldi - Community - Being kind, inclusive, and friendly to all his peers.
Latham Hutchinson - Achievement - Achieving his best through diligence, perseverance, and effort.

EVERGLADES
Ashlyn Timmons - Creativity - Exhibiting creativity through originality in writing and class contributions.
Adam McClintic - Compassion - Including others while demonstrating empathy, respect, and kindness.
Kaden Longo - Community - Being kind, inclusive, and friendly to all his peers.
Alex Bloodwell - Achievement - Achieving her best through diligence, perseverance, and effort.

SEQUOIA
Jamie Schumacher - Creativity - Exhibiting creativity through originality in writing and class contributions.
Ellie Doody - Compassion - Including others while demonstrating empathy, respect, and kindness.
Avalee McInnes - Community - Being kind, inclusive, and friendly to all her peers.
Justin Searl - Achievement - Achieving his best through diligence, perseverance, and effort.

garnet-valley-middle-school-celebrates-studentsgarnet-valley-middle-school-celebrates-studentsgarnet-valley-middle-school-celebrates-students
garnet-valley-middle-school-celebrates-studentsgarnet-valley-middle-school-celebrates-students

8TH GRADE WINNERS

TEAMS:

GALAPAGOS
Hannah Monroe - Creativity - Demonstrates creativity in artworks and stories across all contents.
Jude York - Compassion - Demonstrates a willingness to help any student who needs support.
Mason Kalman - Community - Actively participates in after-school activities and in the community.
Anh Vu - Achievement - Expands her learning in all areas and advocates well.

KOMODO
Evelyn Walls - Creativity - Exhibiting creativity in presentations.
Ava Wisham - Compassion - Including peers while demonstrating kindness and empathy.
Ava Yau - Community - Being kind, friendly, and inclusive to peers.
Emma Barrowclough - Achievement - Achieving her best through diligence, perseverance, and effort.

OLYMPUS
Alisyn Anton-Cautreels - Creativity - Exhibiting creativity through originality in class contributions and assignments.
Julianna Gambol - Compassion - Demonstrating empathy, respect, and kindness.
Mallorie Jeremiah - Community - A positive role model for others.
Evan Kaewvichien - Achievement - Achieving his best through diligence, perseverance, and effort.

SERENGETI
Anish Vakalapudi - Creativity - Provides a unique perspective to many common issues.
Suhaila Kamuloor - Compassion - Willing and eager to help a new student transition both to the school and the country.
Grace Vaughn - Community - Is a positive role model for others around her and stands up for doing the right thing.
Srilekha Mamidala - Achievement - Overall excellent achievement academically across the board.

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garnet-valley-middle-school-celebrates-studentsgarnet-valley-middle-school-celebrates-students

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#gvfeeling #gvlearns #celebratingstudents #GVMS #GVSD
@GarnetValleyMS @GarnetValleySD

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Posted by curtisj  On Dec 10, 2019 at 10:17 AM
  

garnet valley hosts 3rd annual community connections breakfast

CLICK ABOVE TO WATCH OUR VIDEO! 

 [GARNET VALLEY, PA] December 5, 2019
Written by Joanmarie Curtis

Today organizations from around the Garnet Valley School District and beyond, gathered at Garnet Valley High School for the 3rd Annual Community Connections Breakfast hosted by the school district. Companies and organizations from surrounding communities connected with administrators, teachers, and students, in some cases to strengthen the already growing relationships, and in other cases, to create a new connections to explore educational opportunities for Garnet Valley students.

Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent of Garnet Valley School District, had a goal to create a unified effort between the community and school district to better provide our students with real world learning experiences.

“Every year the connections breakfast evolves as more and more community partners get involved and as new ideas and relationships are established. It was so great to see the authentic and purposeful discussions taking place throughout the room, and I can't wait to see all of the great ideas put into action!” - Dr. Bertrando, Superintendent

The goal of the Community Connections Breakfast is to develop synergistic relationships between our District and our community providing students with authentic connections that will ignite passions, extend their learning, and ultimately prepare them for their futures.

Garnet Valley School District is a public school district based in Glen Mills, PA, within the Greater Philadelphia area. GVSD serves the town of Chester Heights, Bethel Township and Concord Township. Founded in 1959, it is one of the youngest school districts in Pennsylvania.

We would like to thank the companies and organizations in attendance this year:

JPMorgan Chase @JPMorgan @Chase
Action Potential Physical Therapy @ActionPotentialPT
Bethel Township's Honorable Wendy Roberts @DelawareCountyCouncil @DelcoCouncil
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. @MichaelMartinCS
Concord Township Board of Supervisors @Concordtwp @ConcordTwpPA
Corbett, Inc. @corbettinc
Creighton University @creightonuniversity @creighton
Delaware County Chamber of Commerce @DelcoChamber
Delaware County Intermediate Unit @DCIU25
Eastern University @EasternUniversity ...
Farmer's Insurance @FarmersInsurance
Ivy Creek Retirement Living @HawthornRetirement
Longwood Gardens @LongwoodGardens
Navy Yard NSWC Philadelphia Division @TheNavyYard
Neverland Virtual Reality @NeverlandVirtualReality
Newlin Grist Mill @newlingristmill
Rocky Run YMCA @RockyRunYMCA
Servpro Industries, LLC, Glen Mills @SERVPROWestChester
Tower Garden by Juice Plus @juiceplus.us
Widener University @wideneruniversity


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Posted by curtisj  On Dec 06, 2019 at 2:13 PM
  

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Written for GVSD by Susan L. Serbin

“It ticks all the boxes.” The common expression heard these days mean the matter at hand successfully satisfies all the necessary elements.

Simply put, Michael Krautzel’s Healthy Living through Horticulture and Aquaculture course at Garnet Valley Middle School ticks all the boxes. Among the specific boxes are aligning with students’ career exploration; adding to the health curriculum which complements STEM options; having district support; receiving community support; and—most of all—being wildly popular with about the most enthusiastic students imaginable.

“Mike’s course has the ‘four C’s’ we stress: collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and community,” said GVMS Principal Lisa Stenz. “They are 21st century skills needed. The career piece in a middle school course brings learning to life for either college or career.”
Although this is a new health elective in the 2019-20 school year, Stenz had no problem working it into the overall curriculum. A major change in the middle school scheduling structure enabled the addition of this class. She expressed almost as much enthusiasm as the students and Krautzel himself. “You understand what is going on when you see the kids respond and hear how they describe learning.”
In most respects Krautzel has been building a formal course through programs in the summer, spring break and after school. Student interest moved what was an extracurricular activity to full-fledged course development. The middle schoolers have filled Krautzel’s12 sections throughout the year with an average of about 25 youngsters per section. This adds to his Health and Physical Education teaching assignment.

The concept of merging horticulture and aquaculture was based on real-life experience and interest. Krautzel grew up not far from what is now the middle school location. He attended the district through graduation and “did well in sports.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education. Although he holds graduate degrees in Administration as well as School Counseling, Krautzel’s 20 years of teaching (all in Garnet Valley) have been in Health and PE. He sincerely stated he knows he’s in the right job in the right place, loving the fact that “every day is different.”

The family had a large property and a huge garden was part of his life. He now lives in the same area with the acreage to grow vegetables and fruit and keep chickens. His blended family consists of his wife, Jean, their three sons and four daughters ages four through 17. The support he receives at home is vital since, he said, “I’m in school almost every day except Christmas.”

This is not just talk. Since his “subject” involves living things in garden beds and huge fish tanks, year round attention is essential. The half-year elective respects the seasons with horticulture running in the beginning of the fall semester and end of the spring semester. Students are taught basic practices that center on rose-keeping, including weed identification and weeding; pruning, composting and its value to gardens; proper watering and all associated techniques.

Aquaculture, in the other half of the term, focuses on everything in and pertaining to 17 tanks—14 in the classroom and three elsewhere around the building. Students learn about and take responsibility for care, feeding and maintenance of the stunning collection of fish and plant life. The sophistication of the equipment is wide-ranging and can even simulate weather changes around the globe.

In talking to students, it’s clear they love the class and have great relationships with Krautzel. It also becomes apparent that his approach—call it a work ethic—has become a model.

“I can use my free period to help mulch or prune in the outdoor season, or clean tanks and help with the living cultures inside,” said eighth grader Dylan Bledsoe, who is very much a mainstay around the classroom. Dylan is one of many youngsters who appear also to have found a “home” with the course. While not getting too deep into the characteristics of middle school-aged students, several mentioned the appeal of music being played in the room, the hands-on work, and the ability to stay active and not static throughout class. With tanks needing essentially constant attention, Krautzel said “there’s a job for everyone and no one is left out.”

Krautzel and his students handle what are literally the day-to-day responsibilities of his course. However, to create learning and excitement, the “materials,” are far from standard and include tanks and operating equipment, fish, coral and anemone species, outdoor plants, soil, mulch, books, software. The school community, meaning taxpayers, should understand most of the expense is not in the school district budget.

Stenz noted Mike has “made connections across the area.” By connections it might be finding a new fish or coral species at Aquarium World in Boothwyn which is a favorite of adults and kids in the area. Owner Jeff Saylor recognizes the relationship works both ways and has offered “in kind” support when possible. Krautzel looks for opportunities large and small and recently had interest from Subaru as part of the company’s environmental efforts.

“There are tons of people who want to help,” Stenz said.

Krautzel concurred. “We have a very supportive school community which puts a high value on education. I’m fortunate to live in this community which asks what they can do to help.” Over the last several years, the program has received donations of over $140,000 as of December 2019. Although the school board sees and must approve these “gifts,” the money is designated for the program.
“In an era where public schools are under constant scrutiny and criticism for escalating expenses, Mike’s passion to fund his program far surpassed simply asking for district funds,” said School Board President Rosemary Fiumara. “I think this demonstrates the kind of innovation and persistence that deserves recognition.”

Among other outreach initiatives is the Frag Swap event. Organized by Krautzel and held in GVMS cafeteria, the gathering is of coral reef collectors who trade fragments from their tanks, as well as some vendors who come to sell other items that may be of interest to coral reef keepers. In addition to expanding knowledge, the event shows students an entrepreneurial opportunity directly related to their studies. Students also were on hand in the classroom to further demonstrate knowledge about the course, duties and (not the least of which is) the environmental importance of the ocean.

Stephanie and Steven Kolesar provided some adult supervisor in the classroom that day.

“Our son, Hunter, was in the pilot program of this course last year. The program taught him a lot of discipline for what has to be done,” said Steve, noting their 250-gallon tank at home. He also recognized the ancillary learning such as math using the metric system for measurement. “They are applying real world skills, and I see students like my son taking more responsibility.”

Due to timing of the interview, one had to imagine the splendor of some 1,000 roses in bloom (and plan a return visit.)

“Most of our roses are from the David Austin collection which comes from England. We also collect roses from France and Germany, and select those that are mainly disease resistant,” Krautzel said on and earlier tour. Also Krautzel has built benches and a pergola which have frequent use in season.

Student Paxton Hunt was pleased to conduct a quick outdoor tour of the composting and locations where planting and growing are done during the correct season. Throughout the course students continue horticulture indoor work tending to plants and creating pot gardens.

“I’m a huge supporter of this class. I’ve seen such a positive influence on my son,” said Michelle Hunt.

Krautzel is unquestionably noteworthy due to his warm personality, vague resemblance to a teddy bear, sartorial skills at matching Crocs to tee shirt and shorts, uplifting gusto and optimism. Even beyond that, students, parents, school board and the wider community recognize and appreciate Krautzel for his dedication, innovation, tireless work and inspiration.

Stevel Kolesar said (with no prompting required), “Mike’s the kind of teacher that changes lives.”


CONNECT WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA! 
#gvfeeling #gvlearns #aquaculture #horticulture #GVMS
@GarnetValleySD @GarnetValleyMS

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Posted by curtisj  On Dec 06, 2019 at 10:01 AM
  

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Dear School Community,

I wanted to update you on a significant change that took place at last night's School Board reorganization meeting. Rosemary Fiumara stepped down as President and was replaced by Scott Mayer, who has served the Board since 2010 and was most recently in the role of Vice President. Tracy Karwoski will move back into the role of Vice President going forward.

Scott Mayer and his wife Lori are the proud parents of two GVSD students, so he brings an important "parent lens" to his work as President. Additionally, Scott's experience and expertise as the Regional Vice President of Labor and Employee Relations for the InterContinental Hotels Group also gives the Board an important legal perspective. Scott has a strong belief in public education as his mother was a teacher, and his schooling prepared him for success as a graduate of Cornell University and Villanova University School of Law.

I am extremely excited to work more closely with Scott, and of course will miss my daily interactions with Rosemary. Serving as the President since 2012, Rosemary will continue as a member of the Board. She and I worked together for my entire career in Garnet Valley, and it is difficult for me to express how much I appreciated her leadership and friendship over the past 7 years. For those of you who do not have a great deal of interaction with the School Board, it's easy to underestimate the positive impact a great Board can have on a district. We are fortunate in Garnet Valley that through Rosemary's character, caring, and leadership, we have a Board, that philosophically and financially, supports our commitment to personalized student and adult learning, a safe and caring culture that prepares students for global citizenship, and provides our faculty and staff with everything that they need to provide the very best education for our students. If you see Rosemary, I ask that you take the time to thank her for all that she did and does for GVSD.

Have a great holiday season!!

Marc

Dr. Marc Bertrando, GVSD Superintendent

Posted by curtisj  On Dec 03, 2019 at 2:09 PM
  
 
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