Educational Programs Updates

May 2021


This new series provides an equitable, systematic process and technical support for school communities to make important decisions for the start of the new year.

4 Key Components

  • Focus on High-Quality Academics (define the instructional changes needed for the new school year and cultivate a thriving data culture that uses student, family, and staff metrics to inform instructional and assessment planning)
  • Fostering Supportive Learning Environments (place equitable, trauma-informed principals at the core of planning to create emotional and cognitive space for learning, form healthy and supportive relationships, and help youth and staff mentally, socially, and academically recover)
  • Establish Healthy Systems Conditions (engage stakeholders to elevate the voices and data of your school community to reveal its needs, and respond with staffing, technology, scheduling, and management configurations that create conditions for accelerated learning)
  • Design a System of Scaffolded Supports (integrate layered, customized support systems, such as training and tutoring, with an approach informed by data and integrated into policies, procedures, and practices at all levels of school infrastructure)

Register Here and Access the Checklist of Accelerated Learning Sessions

Recorded sessions and resources are available on this webpage .


Email from Brian Campbell on Wednesday, May 5th: "Act 13 of 2020 revises the Act 82 Educator Effectiveness system for evaluating PreK-12 professional employees. Beginning with the 2021-22 school year, the revised rating system takes effect for classroom teachers, non-teaching professional employees, and principals across the Commonwealth.

To assist school leaders and educators in preparing for these changes, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has prepared the following two documents located on the Educator Effectiveness webpage:

PDE is committed to assisting educational professionals in a smooth transition to Act 13 Educator Effectiveness requirements and will release additional guidance and resources over the coming weeks.

Please contact PDE’s Division of Planning ( with any questions."

Act 13 changes the measure on direct classroom observation and practice from 50% to 70% of most educators’ evaluations. The remaining 30% of the rating is based on building level and teacher specific student achievement data, including student performance on standardized testing, local assessments, portfolios and projects. The building level data also will be adjusted by a measure of poverty for each individual school building. The teacher specific student achievement data will include student performance measures that relate directly to an educator’s practice each academic year.

School entities must still complete professional employee evaluations for the 2020-21 school year. However, the requirement to include performance data for a professional employee’s performance rating has been waived for both the 2019-20 (under Act 13 of 2020) and 2020-21 (under Act 136 of 2020) school years.


Any PSSAs completed and returned by June 15th and any Keystone exams completed and returned by July 15th will mean reception of the student data file results of testing in August. Tests given and returned after those dates will not receive testing results until the fall. Also, the ISR and eMetric data cannot be released until the end of the state testing window.

Updated FAQ's on PDE's Website. Click here.


Act 158 of 2018 (Act 158) provides alternatives to Pennsylvania’s statewide requirement of attaining proficiency on the three end-of-course Keystone Exams (Algebra I, Literature, and Biology) in order for a student to achieve statewide graduation requirements. Effective with the graduating class of 2023, students have the option to demonstrate postsecondary preparedness through one of four additional pathways that more fully illustrate college, career, and community readiness.

The toolkit and its related resources are designed to provide guidance as a result of the enactments of Act 158 and Act 6 of 2017 (Act 6), which established alternative pathways to meeting statewide graduation requirements for students who are Career and Technical Education (CTE) concentrators

Access the toolkit here.

There is now an interactive toolkit available as well.

Acts 57 and 110

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Office for Safe Schools (OSS) coordinates school safety and security programs, collects annual school violence statistics, coordinates antiviolence efforts, and develops policies and strategies to combat school violence. Additionally, OSS provides information on laws, policies, and regulations as they impact students and school safety.

Act 57 of 2020 (Act 57) and Act 110 of 2020 (Act 110) are two important statutory changes impacting school safety. The following is a brief overview of each law. In the weeks ahead additional resources will be published to the OSS webpage to provide clarity and assistance with the application of each law.


Please see the latest edition of the Comprehensive Planning Tip Jar here.

Special Education Plans:

  • All Special Education Plans are to be submitted in the FRCPP.
  • Phase 1 - Due May 1, 2022
  • Phase 2 - Due May 1, 2023
  • Phase 3 - Due March 1, 2022 *UPDATED*

  • A mandatory pre-recorded webinar was released on April 1, 2021, for all school districts identified in Phase 3. It can be accessed by clicking here.

    • The purpose of the webinar was to train school districts on the Special Education Plan requirements and the new FRCPP system.

    • Special Education Plans for Phase 3 LEAs will be live in the FRCPP on May 1, 2021.

    • Special Education Plans for Phase 1 LEAs will be live in the FRCPP in late summer/early fall 2021.

    • A demo of the FRCPP specific to Special Education Plans will become available on May 1, 2021, on the PaTTAN website.

    • If you have any questions about the Special Education Plan process or the transition to the Future Ready Comprehensive Planning Portal, please do not hesitate to contact your assigned Special Education Advisor or Amy Deluca, Division Chief, at


As we wrap up our professional learning season for SY20-21, we would like to remind you of the video resources available that have been recorded this school year. All of the webinars offered this year have a companion video in case you missed a session or would like a refresher. You may access them on the PDE PVAAS YouTube Playlist.

Here is a list of the SY20-21 videos now available:

  • Child Success Summary - Key Data You Have Now!
  • Connecting PVAAS to Student Centered Goals
  • Core and Beyond
  • Educators in Action: Supporting Data Use in a Year of Change
  • Focus Forward: A Call to Action
  • Foundations to Understanding and Using PVAAS Projections (2 videos: Administrators & Teachers)
  • Planning for Next Year: Beyond Past Practices to Effective Data Use (2 videos: Elementary & Secondary)
  • Premiering the New PVAAS Value-Added Report: More Value to Value-Added
  • PVAAS & PIMS Data: Quality In, Quality Out
  • School Counselors: PVAAS is for You Too!
  • Secondary Scheduling: Using Data to Determine Need
  • Supporting Teachers in Monitoring Student Progress (2 videos: Elementary & Secondary)
  • Teachers Monitoring Student Progress Mid-Year (2 videos: Elementary & Secondary)
  • Using Multiple Data Points to Inform Keystone Retesting Decisions
  • What Decisions, So What Data? (3 videos: District Leaders, School Leaders, & Teacher Leaders)

Stay tuned for more offerings being developed for SY21-22! As always, please contact us at if you have any questions or if our team can be of assistance.


Asynchronous Training Library

Spring window ends May 30th; Summer window will run July 1, 2021-August 13, 2021

PBS Resources

Ready to Go Summer Programming

Our PBS WQED education partners have created TONS of turnkey camps that are aligned to standards and built around familiar characters that students love. The camp guides are all FREE to use (linked in the catalog). And the guides are purposefully written in a easy-to-follow format for anyone to pick up and facilitate (i.e. educators, after-school program providers, parent volunteers, college students, Americorp members, etc.) If you are looking for additional support (pre-packed bags with materials ready to go ($5/bag/student/camp) OR a PD session to provide in-depth walk-throughs and additional supports (small fee), our WQED contacts are happy to answer any questions or provide support that districts might need as we roll into this unusual summer. Please reach out to them with any questions! Both are listed below:

Gina Masciola, Director of Education Partnerships, <>

Cathy Cook, Director of Education Projects, <



Family Night: Engineering special originally aired on ALL Pennsylvania PBS stations on May 13.

Program Description: This hour-long special will encourage children, ages kindergarten through fifth grade, and their families to get excited about engineering together! Engineering is an exciting and growing field that impacts the world in countless ways. The best part? No computer or special materials will be required.


Did you Miss Remake Learning Days? Check out these ON-DEMAND sessions!

Remake Learning Days (RLD)

On-Demand Events are STILL AVAILABLE! Feel free to share with your educators.


This site is designed to provide resources for STEM and Computer Science for educators, parents, and caregivers. It also contains programming from the 7 PBS affiliates across PA!

Common Sense Education

1) Common Sense Education Recognition Program

2) Common Sense Education SURVEY: Throughout this unique and challenging school year, we made it our mission to help you serve your students by sharing best practices, tool recommendations, and lesson plans for digital learning and life. We're continuing to build resources for classrooms—whether they're online, in person, or both—and we need your feedback. By completing our 20-minute survey by May 31, 2021, you will help us better support you and your students next school year. And as a bonus, you will be entered for the chance to win one of five $100 Amazon gift cards. Your compassion, dedication, and hard work inspire us. This year, and every year, we're here for you.

Instructional Coaching Network

Our network is alive and well and this year we were able to tackle so many big questions in education collaboratively while learning best practices and exploring resources to help support our teachers in our schools. We have one meeting left this year, on May 24th. We are holding this session in person at the ARIN office. If you are a school who is interested in the PIIC coaching network, please reach out to I will come out to your school and meet with you about what this network is all about and how you can leverage instructional coaching in your district.

Summer Professional Learning for Administrators

The curriculum department at IU28 is offering 3 hour summer learning sessions for administrators for the summer of 2021. We have a list of topics that we are currently offering, but also would like to tailor any other topics that you would like to learn about at your request. These sessions are designed to build your understanding from an administrative perspective on these topics and also receive a glimpse of the more technical support that we will be offering to teachers throughout the fall of the 2021 school year. Please click on each topic to learn more.

TDA for Admin

Choice Driven Professional Development

How to Best Leverage Instructional Coaching in Your District

Prioritized Standards

STEM & Computer Science