Magic in the Middle~ April 9, 2021

Dear Arcola Families

Spring is in the air and we are heading into MP4. I hope you all enjoyed time with your families over the break. Stay connected as the end of the year will be busy with a final marking period, PSSA/Keystone Testing and closing out the year. We appreciate your support, communication and collaboration with all academic, health and safety matters. Let's all support one another as we press onward.

I continue to be so proud of all students. None of what we are dealing with is easy and truly our students are rising to the challenges daily. I applaud all of you Arcola!

Thank you,

Dr. M.

The Counselor Corner

On Tuesday, March 30, students heard from various speakers in their classes about careers in STEM and the Arts at Arcola’s annual STEAM Day. The day kicked off with a high-energy and informative assembly on music technology given by Brent Daniels, an award-winning music producer, composer, sound designer, songwriter and singer. This is a good opportunity to talk with your student(s) about what they learned on STEAM Day and about your own career journey.

Is your child struggling with fears about going out of the house because of their experience with the pandemic? They are not alone. For some children, the Fear Of Going Out (FOGO) is the new watchword. If this is happening to your child, check out this article for tips on what to do:

April is Counseling Awareness Month. Many of us are confused about the differences between a counselor, psychologist, and psychiatrist, all of whom are often lumped under the term “therapist”. The difference is mainly in education and focus: Psychologists have a graduate degree in psychology, and licensed psychologists typically have a degree in clinical, counseling, or school psychology. School psychologists work within the educational system to help children with emotional, social, and academic issues, including completing psychoeducational testing. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have usually completed a residency in psychiatry and their niche is prescribing psychotropic drugs. Professional counselors have a graduate degree in counseling and focus on client wellness. School counselors are certified educators with a minimum of a master's degree in school counseling, making them uniquely qualified to address all students’ academic, career and social/emotional development needs by designing and implementing a comprehensive school counseling program. Have you ever thought about seeking counseling for your child or perhaps even for yourself? Here are some common questions about counseling that you may find helpful:

Attached to this newsletter is the April issue of Middle Years, a newsletter focused on helping you improve your student’s success in school. We hope you enjoy reading it!

Home and School

Please see the attached flyer on the Grade 8 Social Event. Special thanks to our Home and School for going above and beyond to find an event that allows for a fun and safe celebration!

PSSA/Keystone Testing

Dear Parents/Guardians of students in grades 3 through 8,

Please click the link below to read a letter about upcoming PSSA testing for students in grades 3 through 8. This letter also includes an important form for families of virtual students in grades 3 through 8 to complete.

2021 PSSA Testing Letter for Parents/Guardians

What does this mean?

  • All PSSA testing will occur on site, in person
  • Exemptions: Chapter 4 of Title 22 of the Pa. Code (22 Pa. Code 4.4) provides for the rights of any parent/guardian to excuse their child from the state assessment if they find the assessment to be in conflict with their religious beliefs. If a parent pursues a religious exemption from the PSSA or Keystone Exams, they are to contact their school principal at least 1 week prior to the start of testing to follow the steps below in this order:
1) Email the building principal of the request for religious exemption.

2) The building principal will respond to your request, and ask for you to preview the materials in person, and if due to Covid-19 concerns, this is not possible then that should also be communicated to the principal.

3) Letter to the Superintendent of Schools indicating the opt-out for religious reasons.