Curriculum Department Updates

October 2020

Act 35 Toolkit and Civics Assessment

PDE Act 35 Civics Toolkit

Civics Summit Available for FREE

The Senator John Heinz History Center and the Allegheny Intermediate Unit are partnering to host the 2020 Civics Summit. This teacher-focused summit is intended for educators in Pennsylvania who are advocates of engaging and empowering students to be active participants in the life of their communities, state, and country. During this three-hour free workshop, participants will delve into the goal of increasing student civic participation through the lens of PA Act 35 of 2018, the requirement of all schools to administer an Assessment of Civic Knowledge to secondary students. Through the three pillars of Civic Knowledge, Civic Skills, and Actions, as outlined in the PA Department of Education Act 35 Toolkit, this session will provide practical examples for schools and educators to not just comply with requirements of a new assessment, but begin the process of energizing young citizens to action!
Please plan to join us for one of two (repeated) live sessions by clicking on the registration link below.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 from 12:00pm – 3:00pm or Friday, October 30, 2020 9:00am – 12:00pm Register Here: FREE Civics Summit for Teachers

COVID19 Remote Learning Grant for Social Studies

Comprehensive Planning Updates

Upcoming Training for Phase 3 LEAS (and ALSO Phase 2, now, since deadlines are the same with the extension)

Training Dates and Times:

· November 4, 2020 --- 9:00 am - 11:30 am OR 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

  • To register for the morning session, click here.*
  • To register for the afternoon session click here.*

· November 5, 2020 --- 9:00 pm - 11:30 am

  • To register for this session click here.*

· November 10, 2020 --- 9:00 am - 11:30 pm

  • To register for this session click here.*

PVAAS Updates

Student enrollment was updated – evening of October 14; updated for schools whose enrollment was uploaded to PIMS by noon on September 17th. Schools who had enrollment updated by September 17th will have easier access to data. This means schools can access student projections in the grade and building in which they are currently enrolled.

Anticipate next update early November – based on enrollment submitted to PIMS by October 7th

Recorded Professional Learning:

Upcoming Professional Learning:

PDE in Collaboration with Penn State: Distance Learning Series

PDE is excited to announce a Distance Learning Series in collaboration with Penn State Study Council and Penn State World Campus. The series takes a systems approach to building and refining a comprehensive distance learning pathway in Local Education Agencies. It is encouraged to sign up for the series in teams a five that include LEA level administrators, special education directors, curriculum coordinators, and educators. Folks may also engage in each webinar as a stand alone experience depending on where an an LEA is at along the continuum of building and refining their distance learning system. Each webinar will highlight and release a distance learning tool for LEAs.

Follow the flyer link to register for the series as a team or register for each individual presentations.

The first presentation of the series "A systems Model for Distance Education: Planning for Tomorrow" is on October 29, 2020 from 10:00 - 11:00 am.

IU Curriculum Department Offerings

IU28 Asynchronous Training Library

Click the red "button" above to access our updated asynchronous training library.

IU6 Asynchronous Training Library

Click the red "button" above to access our updated asynchronous training library.

NEW Improving Instruction for Increased Expectations, Engagement, and Rigor Series

This series provides a wealth of options for teachers to learn about how to take the skills they have mastered over the years and tweak them to impact key factors of student learning: having high expectations of ALL learners, fostering student engagement, actively and consistently monitoring student progress, and providing opportunities for greater depth of content understanding. These sessions are all available in a self-paced, asynchronous format. On-site support is available as needed and requested for these sessions as well. The series includes:

  • The Achievement Mindset (4 hours)
  • Tapping into the Four Lenses of Learning to Increase Student Engagement (7 hours) FREE for all schools
  • Formative Assessment at it's BEST (7 hours)
  • PA Core Math (1.5 hours)
  • PA Core ELA (1.5 hours)
  • Unpacking the Standards (1.5 hours)
  • Webb's DOK (3 hours)
  • Gradual Release of Responsibility (2.5 hours)

Please click here to view a flyer for more information about each of the sessions available above.

This series can be accessed in its entirety or in individual sessions. Schools designated as ATSI or TSI have access to all sessions at no cost. Contact Lauren Cunningham or Robin Fillman for more information.

Remote and Hybrid Teaching: Coaching and Consulting

We are offering a three day package of training, coaching, and consultation at no cost to each district. Here are the components of the package:

1. A four hour training (your choice of delivery---in person, synchronous, or self-paced asynchronous) on the themes and components of effective instruction and how those components transcend delivery mode. We will address how to strengthen and increase student engagement, deeper learning, our online strategy toolbox, and complete an assessment of online tools for learning purposes. This training includes examples of practical strategies that can be used to elicit engagement and deeper thinking from students, no matter the delivery method.

2. Two and half days (used at your discretion) with a team of curriculum specialists to work with small groups of teachers in implementing components of the above training.

3. Click here to watch a short video explaining the details of the package. Please schedule by clicking here if you are interested. You may also reach out to or at any time.


Next Meet-Up: Thursday, November 19

3 different times to accommodate as many schedules as possible!

  • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
  • 11:15 AM - 12:45 PM
  • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Connection Link

Additional Dates throughout the School Year

November 19, 2020

December 17, 2020

Feb 18, 2021

March 18, 2021

April 15, 2021

May 20, 2021


ARIN IU 28 Technology Integrators Group

Sessions will focus on topics such as hybrid and remote learning practices, Computer Science, digital literacy, coding, robotics and authentic learning opportunities. Participants will also learn and share tips, tools and integration ideas with those in other districts.

The meetings will look different this year as they will be hosted virtually at from 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm. All sessions will be recorded for future viewing.

The session dates for this year are:

November 17, 2020

December 16, 2020

January 20, 2021

February 24, 2021

March 23, 2021

May 18, 2021

Learning at Home Broadcast Schedules:

Weekly Activity Sheets: (click Weekly Activities in top menu)

Highlighted Resource:

Be Kind Bingo Card

Outdoor Explore Bingo Card

PBS WQED Support Our Schools:

WQED SOS (Support Our Schools) is a universally-designed project that engages students for a period of ten days and crosses curriculum areas to address grade-level standards in multiple subject areas including; math, science, English language arts, and social studies.

Projects for all grade levels are built with a themed concept at the center and have components that integrate all discipline areas. Projects are age-appropriate and have been matched to Pennsylvania State Standards. Each project has a series of four mini-lessons presented by a Pennsylvania teacher with online website support and printable resources available for all students, teachers and caregivers to access. The link to access these resources can be found here:

American Portrait Webinar Series

WITF has received a grant to host 3 webinars with a focus on the PBS show American Portrait. The webinars are geared toward middle and high school teachers. All webinars are 3-3:45 PM.

October 29: PBS Learning Media

November 5: Media Literacy

November 12: Digital Storytelling

FLYER with more information, please share!

Follow, share, and tag the great work you are doing in your classrooms with Pennsylvania PBS:

Hashtags: #TogetherPennsylvania #learningathome
Hashtags for PBS affiliates: #WHYY #WITF #PBS39 #WPSU #WQED #WQLN #WVIA

Student Competitions

STEM Design Challenge

ARIN's Regional Virtual Event will be held March 9, 2021. (More details to come!)

RIU#6's Regional Virtual Event will be held March 12, 2021. (More details to come!)

Governor's STEM Competition - “Improving Pennsylvania Through STEM”

ARIN's Regional Virtual Event will be held on February 25, 2021.

RIU#6's Regional Virtual Event will be held on February 26, 2021.

The state event will be held virtually on May 6, 2021.


Register for this event HERE.

Echoes and Reflections - Resources on Holocaust Education

The Echoes and Reflections website contains resources for teachers of history of the Holocaust and Social Justice. A link to November webinars can be found here:

The link to their website is: